She's credited as being 'a reluctant beer expert' in the acknowledgements of my book '500 Beers', which she flatly denies. With characteristic wry humour, she read the dedication and said 'That's nice - I've had very few books dedicated to me. Very few.' She gets to try a lot of beers, and even drinks the ones that she enjoys. One of my proudest moments was when I came home and found her on the sofa drinking Crouch Vale Amarillo straight from the bottle. A mother and a beer enthusiast - such an enthusiast, in fact, that she couldn't wait to find a glass.
Anyway, part of my role as husband and father is to make sure that there is always a beer on hand that she'll enjoy. Quite often, she'll have a sip, wrinkle her nose and say 'I don't like that'. She rarely turns her nose up at good, crisp session ales and lighter Americana, and quite often will refuse beers that are merely OK. There are quite a lot of beers that are just OK, so I actually get quite nervous pouring her a new beer. So it was with Hopdaemon Skrimshander IPA (4.5%abv), a copper-gold beer with a spicy aroma and robust poke of hops in the dry and bitter finish. Happily, the beer passed the toughest test - being enjoyed by someone with a demanding but relatively conservative palate. Even better, I think that it's good too, albeit in a slightly agressive way - the dry rasp of hops in the finish could use a bit more sweetness mid-palate for my tastes, but that's just picking nits. It's worth a few quid of anyone's money.
The downside is that I had to share the bottle. But every cloud has a silver lining - I got to open a bottle of Hopdaemon Green Daemon Helles (5%abv) while she cooks, and I write this. Green Daemon has a lovely tropical fruit sweetness on the palate before a gently bitter finish. Rounded, bittersweet and alarmingly drinkable - to my palate, a very modern, drinkable and praiseworthy golden beer.