Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Beering in London: The Airport

So when I set up the trip, we made a decision to use Easyjet to get from Amsterdam to Munich as opposed to taking a 10 hour train or driving. Easyjet is a great little hopper jet system that can skirt you around Europe pretty easily for a decent price, however their hub is set up in London, so we had to go through their airport, and even go through customs. Whereas Amsterdam pretty let you walk in the country, London was NOT PLAYING.

So after nearly getting detained as not everyone in our crew knew the whole trip by heart, we make our way back through the airport and onward to the bar.

This bar (at Gatwick Airport) has about 5 beers on tap, with another 6 beers on hand pump cask. I never actually had straight up hand pumped beer, so I was rather ready to forgive the Londoners. Especially since I never heard of any of those beers before.

Old Hooky (by Hook Norton)
They hand pumped this baby in a pint glass and the dark amber beer had a thin white head. Great fruit, malt, and a strong hop nose. On the taste, I first noticed how warm it was. Compared to the "Extra Cold" Heineken taps we were just drinking, it was a bit of a shock. I'd say it was a good 60 deg F. The flavor reminded me of pumpernickel bread with some dry, chalky sensation at the end. On the second draught, I got chocolate and nuts (no homo). Third draught I get a touch of butter. Low 3 Star. Not bad.

The label on the hand pump mentioned being a Kentish ale, so I expected a healthy dose of some version of Kent Golding hops. The nose is buttery with hops (almost Cascade like). The beer tastes buttery and was full bodied. There is a chewiness to the beer, if that makes sense. But not very taste. High 2 Star.

Flights were called and next thing we knew we were on the plane to Munchen.

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