Publishing note: I've always maintained a backlog of several weeks' worth of entries, and they're set to automatically post to the blog even if I'm unable to get to a computer. Why do I do this? I like consistency, and it's not uncommon for people to stop following a site if it goes silent for a week or more. There are also times when I know if I force myself to write, the work will suffer.
This week I'm down with a hideous cold and have just been alerted to a death in the family. So posting will continue with or without me, but I may not be responsive to comments or e-mail. Now, back to our regularly scheduled programming.
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"The Wychwood Brewery is tucked away behind the main street of the market town of Witney, in the heart of the Oxfordshire Cotswolds." This description could be applied to a producer of industrial insecticide and it would still sound twee and quaint. Establishing a wildlife hospital to care for wounded animals? It needs to be named St Tiggywinkles!
Both bottles are an even 500mL. Hurrah for the metric system! A traditional British pint is 568 mL and a traditional American pint is 473 mL. And things get even weirder when measuring by ounces, the worst Imperial unit in common usage. On the other hand, a half litre is exactly the same all over the planet.
Wychcraft Blonde Beer, $4, 4.5% abv. Light amber in color, soft and refreshing with a touch of citrus and a slightly bitter finish. Very mild flavors though not watery. I don't think I've ever had an English beer that really wowed me, but I've encountered many like this that were plenty enjoyable. However, if I had to pick between the two, my preference would be for the...
Scarecrow Pale Ale, $4, 4.7% abv. This one is USDA Certified Organic if you're interested in keeping an all-organic kitchen. The Scarecrow is very similar in every respect to the Blonde Beer except that it's more bitter and has some ginger elements. If you're looking to make the leap into Pale Ales, this would be a great place to start--not overly hopped, and you can work your way up to Imperial Stouts and serious hop bombs.
Both were served with griddled burgers and steak-cut fries. While neither beer really blew me away, they were enjoyable and easy drinking, and should be available in major grocery stores across the country.
P.S. The name of this brewery reminds me of the disturbing real-life mystery best known by the phrase "Who Put Bella in the Wych Elm?"