Thursday, 16 December 2010
An Alpine Adventure
Regular readers of this blog may note some similarity between this situation and an incident at London’s St Pancras last week... My attitude is I shouldn’t miss an opportunity to try a new beer.
When I saw the bottle of Calanda at the airport self-serve restaurant, I figured it was going to be a plain mass-market lager, but I gave it a shot anyway, because I thought it might go well with the stir fry I was having. Turns out, it was worse than that: heavy and syrupy, below average even for a dull lager. The label promised, “bière normale”. If only. (The stir fry wasn’t so great either, in case you’re wondering.)
Luckily, my second beer offered something different: flavour. Ittinger Amber pours copper coloured and has a taste bordering on an alt, with a light mouthfeel, mild caramel and a gentle nuttiness, all with a dash of bitterness to round it off. I’d get this one again.
I leave you, then, with three short videos. No, there’s no beer in them; only trains. Switzerland has railways across some of the craziest, and most beautiful, terrain anywhere. As my conference was up in the mountain-side village of Caux (above Montreux), I got to take not only the express along the lake, but also one of the cog railway services that ascends at an absurd angle. If you’re a train freak as well as a beer geek -- or even if you just want to see some amazing scenery -- have a look at these clips: two on the mountain and one along the water.