Sunday, 15 May 2011

Mr Badger

Badger may start off with a gruff and suspicious voice, but he does offer a fantastic welcome to his friends, old and new.
When at last they were thoroughly toasted, the Badger summoned them to the table, where he had been busy laying a repast. They had felt pretty hungry before, but when they actually saw at last the supper that was spread for them, really it seemed only a question of what they should attack first where all was so attractive, and whether the other things would obligingly wait for them till they had time to give them attention.
Although the original text is not specific on the matter -- and in fact it is only Mole who we know for sure is cellaring beer (Old Burton, to be precise) -- I feel quite confident Badger would have also set out on that snowy evening when Mole and Ratty arrive, a few bottles of the Dorset ale, Badger.

It’s a good session beer that goes down easy without any fuss, which we know Badger abhors, and it would have encouraged the convivial atmosphere such a dutiful host would desire to create. It’s also only 4%, so appropriate for a children’s book.

The ale’s copper colour would have matched well with Badger’s well-worn red brick floor. Both mustelid and rodent alike would have appreciated its light mouthfeel, gentle hint of sweetness and hazelnut notes. The drink’s bitterness is pronounced, to be sure, but it’s nothing a sensible animal can’t handle.

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