No stranger to a well-crafted ale

As I sit here with a glass of fine Goram beer from the Butcombe Brewery Company, I think how and why it’s so refreshing and satisfying. I looked on the back of the bottle, and this is what Butcombe’s say:

Goram – Bristol’s legendary giant – was no stranger to a well-crafted ale. Fortunately, neither are we. Ode to his renegade ways, our IPA uses a punchy blend of American and English hops to balance stone fruit, citrus and bitter notes with spicy aromas. Strong, big flavoured and with the ABV of a classic ale. When it comes to IPAs, Goram towers above all others.

Yes, Bristol, our nearest big city, once had two giants Goram and Vincent, brothers who were constantly quarrelling. They were quarrelling over beautiful Avona (the River Avon in female form) and for various reasons, Goram drank too much beer and lost his love. IPA is India Pale Ale – a hoppy style of beer which is more or less hoppy depending on the types of hops used to make it. ABV means  alcohol by volume, and it’s the standard measurement across the world to assess the strength of a particular beer.

Goram is one of my favourite beers because of its contrasts, which made me think of way back in the golden time when life was so different and I used to be able to meet my writing groups in person, I wrote this:

We do get some might tricky suggestions for topics for our writing groups; I would probably find it easier if I started thinking about it sooner but usually I don’t. This month, for our meeting tomorrow the topic was ‘opposites attract’.  I have been thinking about it, honest, but what with getting my next book Winterdyke ready for publication, and attacking the jungle that is our garden, and spending time with daughter, dog, husband and son, including celebrating daughter’s birthday – I confess it’s only now that I am putting my mind and fingers to work.
It would be so easy to write to a clichéd theme so often the subject of romantic books, where two individually who are completely different characters and maybe circumstances and backgrounds are attracted to each other and the story-line is how they resolved their differences to live happily ever after. That maybe true – in fact my husband and I are totally different characters and we’re living happily ever after!
So opposites attracting, well maybe not necessarily attracting as such, but opposites which work not only together but work well together. My mind immediately turns to beer.  I like a beer which is bitter, but I also like full mellow tones; I like a beer with a good strong flavour, but with subtle tones. I like a barley richness, but a hoppy edge. I like a nice tongue tingler of a sharp tang, but I also like a full roundness. The attraction of these opposites bitter/mellow, rich/edgy, sharp/round make for the perfect brew. It’s what I find in Otter Ale, and my new favourite Goram by local brewers Butcombe.
As for food, attracting opposites are all the rage, salty caramel, sweet and sour, salty liquorice, salads with fruit, fruit salads with herbs, lamb and mint sauce, pork and apple sauce, mackerel and gooseberry sauce, cocktails with any number of extraordinary ingredients… Maybe instead of opposites attract it should be opposites are attractive!

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