Wednesday 22 June 2011

Beer blog impact...

It’s been a busy and exciting week on the proper job side of things, with some wonderfully spirit-boosting signs of success. I was selected as one of Foreign Policy magazine’s “FP Twitterati 100”, a sort of who’s who of 140-character commentators on international affairs. And just a few days before that, one of my blog posts got over 20,000 pageviews in a single day, which for me is a record.

When it comes to this humble beer blog, however, evidence of impact is a bit harder to come by. Rewards and recognition are rare, and daily readership tends to be in the hundreds of pageviews rather than tens of thousands. Still, something happened today that gave me some encouragement.

I was having lunch with Mike and a few others at Chez Moeder Lambic, when in through the door walks a man staring into his smart phone. It turns out he was looking at this very blog, specifically my list of top ten places for beer in Brussels, which is what brought him to CML.

The funny thing is, everyone at the table knew him, but we hadn’t planned to meet. In fact, I hadn’t spoken with him for weeks, maybe months. Over from London for the day, he was just reading 40b40 to find a good beer in this city. Our meeting was no appointment; this was the pure power of one man’s beer blog.

That, dear readers, is what I call serious influence.

We all decided to drink a toast to serendipity, and on the recommendation of the always knowledgeable staff, I opted for Zona Cesarini, an IPA from the Toccalmatto Brewery in Italy, makers of the very fine Re-Hop.

Zona Cesarini is amazing: refreshing and complex at same time. It’s got a fruity hop bitterness, with notes of crab apple and under-ripe blackberries surprising your mouth for a moment until a pleasant acerbic pinch is all that’s left on your tongue. There’s no question this is my favourite Italian beer. I’d also say it’s one of my favourite IPAs anywhere.

Following that, we tried Monk’s Stout from Dupont, the Belgian brewer that produces many a good beer, including the yummy Saison Dupont.

Monk’s Stout is a bit thinner in mouthfeel than you might expect from a stout, but those dark, bitter, burnt flavours are packed in nonetheless. Notes I sensed included clover and cola. It goes down very easy.

I strongly recommend you try both these beers. And of course, I know you will.

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