Whether you prefer them warm or
chilled, these three mighty ales will make you misty for
jolly old England.
There will always be an England, or so we've been assured. I think
we can assume, too, that there will always be English ale. Ever
since the Dark Ages, when the medieval monster Grendel regularly
devoured Beowulf's companions in the meadhall (probably helping
himself to a flagon or two of mead as a wash-down), the
Anglo-Saxons have loved their brews.
Things have gotten a little more civilized since the days of
Beowulf and Grendel. In fact, my first taste of proper English beer
was on an unusually hot summer's day in London. As parched as
anybody can get within sight of the river Thames, I stepped into
the first pub I saw for a cold one. Instead of refreshment, what I
got was a lukewarm bitter, served unpressurized. The only way I
managed to down it was to close my eyes and think of England.
Luckily, for those of us who like our beer cold, many of England's
finest beers also come in bottles that can be chucked into the
fridge and cooled down to the chilly temperature of, say, an Oxford
don lecturing on theology. These bottles are from three diverse
breweries in different parts of England, but they all have the
distinctive, full-flavored English style, as well as a quirky
British sense of humor in the labeling. Drink them warm or cool.
It's your shilling.