Thirsty Work

Guest Article: Drink Properly

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Where would cycling be without the malted recovery beverage? Does El Pistolero crush a few pints after the Giro? A cold Spanish white wine just does not do it. That notion makes me angry just thinking about it. A good beer in a proper glass; it’s like a clean chain whizzing through the drivetrain, magic. Cheers to @SamV for his wisdom.

VLVV, Gianni

When the suffering stops, it’s time for recovery to begin. So too, as spring has finally bloomed in New England, I’ve once again renewed my tradition of enjoying a beer or three after my rides, as opposed to my winter regimen of a bidon filled with bourbon during/after roller sessions. And since Belgium is home both to the hardest hardmen and some of the world’s finest beer, it seems an appropriate time to consider that beverage because anything worth doing is worth doing right

First, glassware: Just as every Velominatus must know the right tool for the job, there are proper glasses for the varying styles of beer. The shape of the glass impacts the taste and olfactory sensation of ales and lagers as they’re delivered to one’s face. A snifter concentrates aromatics and is especially good for strong, dark American and English ales like Imperial Stouts. A tulip glass has a similar effect, but it bulbous base and flanged lip encourage a naturally tumultuous flow that projects flavors across the palate and is very useful for hoppy ales like IPAs. Then, there’s the chalice and/or goblet. These are the traditional vessels for Trappist and Abby ales. Their broad bases allow the heat of the drinker’s hand to warm the beer, releasing aromatics from the broad surface area of ale atop and make you look fancy as hell. Finally, the shaker pint, even one with a handsome ‘V’ on it, does the least to improve nuanced appreciation of any malt beverage experience. They don’t concentrate aromas and flavors, they offer no flow enhancements, it may as well be a little bucket full of beer. However, buckets are great for moving large quantities of fluid relatively quickly, and a shaker pint is an adequate, if unexciting, vessel for most pale ales, bitters, lagers and the like. Which, in my experience are a much easier tipple to quaff when recovering from getting dropped once again.

Second, temperature: Ice cold is generally bad, especially for high-test trippels and quads that are essential for warming one’s insides after a raw, windy day of vicious jostling on the pavé. Beers that are served too cold maintain a higher amount of CO2 in solution, dulling scents and flavors. By drinking a beer at the proper temperature, the dissolved CO2 is able to escape more readily, assisting with the delivery of the molecules that make beer taste so damn good. Often times a Trappist ale (or barley wine, imperial stout, other strong beer) that’s served too cold will taste overwhelmingly of alcohol because all the goodness is basically held hostage. It’s for these reasons that a frosted glass is also the wrong glass. Most of these beers are best enjoyed around 10C (50F).

Third, don’t drink from the bottle: You might as well be drinking wine from the bottle. When was the last time you did that and looked good? And there’s going to be a lot less flavor, too. The act of pouring stirs things up, similar to decanting wine into a carafe. Beer doesn’t need to breathe like wine does, but by pouring it into the appropriate glass, you are again releasing carbon dioxide and aroma compounds, thus enhancing the flavor.

Finally, drink something actually made the hard way: During some recent sporting event that wasn’t cycling related so I didn’t watch it, Budweiser aired a commercial touting the lack of merit their beer has, yet still proclaimed it was made the hard way. I’m fortunate to live in an area with several breweries within a few kilometers. I can say from conversations I’ve had with the owners/brewers that the beers coming out of their facilities are actually made the hard way – putting in 90+ hour weeks to take home a salary that can hover around the poverty line. As Velominati, craft matters. Just like we buy frames and parts from builders and people who do what they do because they love it, drink beer made by people put their soul into it. It doesn’t have to be local, but it does have to be good.

// Guest Article // The Rules

  1. @Teocalli

    @Owen

    @Teocalli

    Has anyone actually opened a Bike Emporium, Micro Brewery, Coffee Bar?

    My favorite shop in the old country (i.e. northern Arizona) serves espresso and like beverages in the morning, and is immediately next door to a top notch brewery for the evenings. That’s about perfect in my opinion.

    old country = Arizona. Sorry, simply does not compute.

    It is when you spend 15 years there and then move away. Old Country is Arizona, Fatherland is Minnesota. New World is Washington (although Frahnk might disagree that the area should qualify).




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  2. Malteni and Pavé Cycling Classics co-proprietor Alex leading out the penny farthings at the London Nocturn. You’d have to be properly drunk to ride those things let alone race them.

    penny farthings #baller (at Smithfield Nocturn)




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  3. Agreed, but Red was all they had at the liquor store. I swear finding anything Belqian anymore around me is nearly imposible.Used to be finding a good selection of German, Belgian, and English beer, along with a variety of American craft beers was the norm.Now it seems that you can get any style beer you’d like as long as it’s an IPA.Not that an IPA every so often is a bad thing,but the IPA craze seems out of control around here.




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  4. @gilly

    @markb

    @Teocalli

    Has anyone actually opened a Bike Emporium, Micro Brewery, Coffee Bar?

    Hoxton is full of brewerys cum coffee bars cum bike shops, can’t move for bearded twats and wonderful antique road frames fucked-up into ‘fixies’ (all have free-wheels), being pushed along by Digital Experience developers called Julian. FACT.

    Is that the same Hoxton that used to be a shit hole but is now “urban chic?”

    yep.




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  5. @markb

    @gilly

    @markb

    @Teocalli

    Has anyone actually opened a Bike Emporium, Micro Brewery, Coffee Bar?

    Hoxton is full of brewerys cum coffee bars cum bike shops, can’t move for bearded twats and wonderful antique road frames fucked-up into ‘fixies’ (all have free-wheels), being pushed along by Digital Experience developers called Julian. FACT.

    Is that the same Hoxton that used to be a shit hole but is now “urban chic?”

    yep.

    It could be worse, it could be full of Mcdonalds and outlet malls. Hipsters are easy to ridicule but at least they are usually focused on craft and artisanry. Often to excess but I’ll forgive them that as they keep all manner of curious nonsense alive which would otherwise perish. They are also unafraid of shit-holes and that is to be commended




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  6. @Oli

    @piwakawaka

    @Teocalli

    Has anyone actually opened a Bike Emporium, Micro Brewery, Coffee Bar?

    I got coffee, bikes and beer, it’s all for sale!

    You selling bikes as well now??

    Yep, at least three of the bikes @salvationcoffee are for sale.

    @Tugman

    Agreed, but Red was all they had at the liquor store. I swear finding anything Belqian anymore around me is nearly imposible.Used to be finding a good selection of German, Belgian, and English beer, along with a variety of American craft beers was the norm.Now it seems that you can get any style beer you’d like as long as it’s an IPA.Not that an IPA every so often is a bad thing,but the IPA craze seems out of control around here.

    Yeah what is with that? Below is my current favourite, I enjoy a good lager and strong beer so this is a match made in Christchurch, they also do a Strong Pilsner @ 6.8%, and have been brewing since ’91, seriously IPA, APA, whatever, are the helvetica of craft brewing. Oh, and it comes in a 1.25ltr bottle!




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  7. @Chris

    Malteni and Pavé Cycling Classics co-proprietor Alex leading out the penny farthings at the London Nocturn. You’d have to be properly drunk to ride those things let alone race them.

    penny farthings #baller (at Smithfield Nocturn)

    Drafting penny farthings! I immediately youtube searched for this stuff and wasted good time this morning watching penny farthing videos. I love it. I’d swear that every racer of a penny farthing looks to be grinning. You’re probably not joking and they may well all be drunk. Penny farthing crashes? Can’t help but watch. And these cats, when going downhill, get their legs up over the bars to keep ’em from the spinning pedals. It’s looney tunes. My Sunday can only get better if I had my own penny farthing to ride today! Hah. That’s not true. Cheers




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  8. @wilburrox

    @Chris

    Malteni and Pavé Cycling Classics co-proprietor Alex leading out the penny farthings at the London Nocturn. You’d have to be properly drunk to ride those things let alone race them.

    penny farthings #baller (at Smithfield Nocturn)

    Drafting penny farthings! I immediately youtube searched for this stuff and wasted good time this morning watching penny farthing videos. I love it. I’d swear that every racer of a penny farthing looks to be grinning. You’re probably not joking and they may well all be drunk. Penny farthing crashes? Can’t help but watch. And these cats, when going downhill, get their legs up over the bars to keep ’em from the spinning pedals. It’s looney tunes. My Sunday can only get better if I had my own penny farthing to ride today! Hah. That’s not true. Cheers

    That is something else. Hats off to those guys they know how to have a good time




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  9. There can be only one…




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  10. ok, been a while since I’ve been motivated to post. Having trouble here with the bourbon in the bidon. Just sounds so wrong and unpleasant. running into a credibility issue here. bourbon out of plastic, especially bidon plastic sounds gross. Live and let live and all, but this is an instructional article… All that said, excellent beer/glass article and comments. But I’m stuck on that plastic/bourbon interface.




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  11. @gaswepass

    ok, been a while since I’ve been motivated to post. Having trouble here with the bourbon in the bidon. Just sounds so wrong and unpleasant. running into a credibility issue here. bourbon out of plastic, especially bidon plastic sounds gross. Live and let live and all, but this is an instructional article… All that said, excellent beer/glass article and comments. But I’m stuck on that plastic/bourbon interface.

    Whisky in the bidon is a tried and true way of keeping it from freezing on winter rides. And on those rides your nose is so obstructed with snotcicles anyway that tasting anything is impossible.




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  12. @johnnysmooth

    Hey Johnny… I live in Vienna too… the Radler is something wonderful…

    We should go for a ride together… let me know.

    1860




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  13. @gaswepass

    ok, been a while since I’ve been motivated to post. Having trouble here with the bourbon in the bidon. Just sounds so wrong and unpleasant. running into a credibility issue here. bourbon out of plastic, especially bidon plastic sounds gross. Live and let live and all, but this is an instructional article… All that said, excellent beer/glass article and comments. But I’m stuck on that plastic/bourbon interface.

    Whisky in the bison is a tried and true method of keeping it from freezing in winter. I can’t say if the flavor is affected, since on such rides my nasal passages are usually obstructed by snotcicles and I can’t taste a damn thing.




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  14. Whisky in the bison?? I’d pay good money to see that…from a long way away.




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  15. According to Robbie Robertson, The Band recorded Whisky In The Bison in 1973 but the Irish people voted in a referendum to send Phil Linot after them if the track was ever released.




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  16. Because Robertson knew that was just an alias for Phil Lynott




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  17. @Owen

    @wilburrox

    @Chris

    Malteni and Pavé

    Cycling Classics co-proprietor Alex leading out the penny farthings at the London Nocturn. You’d have to be properly drunk to eride those things let alone race them.

    penny farthings #baller (at Smithfield Nocturn)

    Drafting penny farthings! I immediately youtube searched for this stuff and wasted good time this morning watching penny farthing videos. I love it. I’d swear that every racer of a penny farthing looks to be grinning. You’re probably not joking and they may well all be drunk. Penny farthing crashes? Can’t help but watch. And these cats, when going downhill, get their legs up over the bars to keep ’em from the spinning pedals. It’s looney tunes. My Sunday can only get better if I had my own penny farthing to ride today! Hah. That’s not true. Cheers

    That is something else. Hats off to those guys they know how to have a good time

    Alex with his race face on – chapeau sir!




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  18. @Apex Nadir

    Haha, well played!




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  19. @Oli

    damn spell check. But on the other hand, that would be a good show…




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  20. I just love beer. I’ve drunk too much of it this weekend. But next weekend I am riding the South Wales Velothon (with 15,000) others, so am pretty sure I’ll need to lift a glass afterwards.

    Although, I’ve had a bit of a thirst for some fine Weston’s cider recently…




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  21. @asyax

    @Owen

    @wilburrox

    @Chris

    Alex with his race face on – chapeau sir!

    The man is a monster!




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  22. @wilburrox

    ……………..Penny farthing crashes? Can’t help but watch. And these cats, when going downhill, get their legs up over the bars to keep ’em from the spinning pedals. It’s looney tunes. …………….

    Which was apparently the original source of the term “Break neck speed” on account of it all too often turning out that way when they raced them on the poor roads of the era.




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  23. @brett

    @asyax

    @Owen

    @wilburrox

    @Chris

    Alex with his race face on – chapeau sir!

    The man is a monster!

    A monster with fearsome legs.




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  24. @markb

    I working at my local Velodrome today (gear checking). No doubt I’ll manage a few of these:

    Good for Herne Hill for finding imaginative ways to raise funds, but can a beer that colour be described as an IPA? As long as it tastes good I guess…

    Having recently just come back from Melbourne with my 18 year old son I took him into a nice pub in Fitzroy with a list of locally produced craft beers, whereupon the little philistine ordered a VB.

    Once the barman had re-attached his eyebrows I had to apologise on my son’s behalf and ask them to bring him something lager-like.

    At least he then had the good taste to agree that the Nightwatchman I had ordered was much tastier – just a dark beer, similar colour to that FHHV. I think the maker was Cricketers or something like that. Very nice.




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  25. @ChrisO

    Chris, you are right, I would describe it as a brown ale.




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  26. Duck & Birdie know better…

    “We’re not going to ride a bike!” “You’ll get a beer belly”




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  27. This weekends Grand Fondo (Tour of Cambridgeshire) wasn’t quite as well organised as I’d hoped. I had to wait until I’d got home for my malted recovery drink. I’ll be suggesting they provide something along the lines of this:




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  28. @Teocalli

    @Owen

    The world of bikes and beer are indeed inseparable, with the exception of course for those of us who can’t or shouldn’t drink. Discretion is always warraned.

    There’s a place nearby built in an old grain silo with a nice shaded patio and great American styles of (craft) beer. Great, now I’m thirsty too.

    What’s the ruling on how long post-ride one has to consume recovery drinks before it’s just drinking? 70K with 916 M of climbing before work surely warrants some after-work recovery, right?

    Doesn’t the Golden Hour rule apply to recovery drinks or does Malted Recovery Ale get dispensation?

    Well I had a nice Duvel last night(in a Mort Subite gueuze glass sorry) and that was over 24 hours after Saturdays club ride but it definitely seemed to aid my recovery.




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  29. This is my favourite beer, no question. Perfect for drinking in any conditions, cold or hot.




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  30. @johnnysmooth

    Living here in Vienna and they actually have a beer, or should I say bier specifically made for cyclists. Pretty much every brewer makes it and you can often get it fresh from tap.

    The bier: “Radler”, which basically means cyclist.

    It is a mix of a good pils with citrus, so not overly strong, but definitely not sweet. A couple of these with a cycling club after a 100K ride is perfect way to end a ride, which is just what they do here – even if that ride ends at 10am.

    So basically Shandy then? A lot of major brewers are releasing Radlers style beers in the UK (Fosters and Carling spring to mind) and to be fair they probably taste shit compared to the Austrian versions.




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  31. @Nate

    @LawnCzar

    I’ve been tinkering with a recipe for a beer that brew called Hinault ’80. (Say it in French, please.) Came up with it to commemorate his win at that year’s edition of LBL.

    It’s pretty hoppy (35 IBU), brewed with coriander, and uses White Labs’ “Belgian Bastogne” yeast. Comes in at about 7% ABV. Only thing I’m not happy with so far is the color… it’s a nice amber color but I want it golden to match the Renault team kit. I’ll get there eventually.

    Still pretty happy with it — goes down great after a long, cold ride… The key is to have a race on while you brew and bottle. I should put that in the recipe.

    Maybe you need to leave the bottles out in the snow to get hypothermic.

    Make sure you do that in Step #9 of the recipe.




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  32. @Owen

    @Teocalli

    Has anyone actually opened a Bike Emporium, Micro Brewery, Coffee Bar?

    My favorite shop in the old country (i.e. northern Arizona) serves espresso and like beverages in the morning, and is immediately next door to a top notch brewery for the evenings. That’s about perfect in my opinion.

    Ah, Northern AZ… I lived in Flag for a few years, fantastic area for cycling. The breweries are more numerous since I’ve left – both are great reasons for weekend summer trips.




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  33. @MangoDave

    @Owen

    @Teocalli

    Has anyone actually opened a Bike Emporium, Micro Brewery, Coffee Bar?

    My favorite shop in the old country (i.e. northern Arizona) serves espresso and like beverages in the morning, and is immediately next door to a top notch brewery for the evenings. That’s about perfect in my opinion.

    Ah, Northern AZ… I lived in Flag for a few years, fantastic area for cycling. The breweries are more numerous since I’ve left – both are great reasons for weekend summer trips.

    Better mountain riding than road, but then one has to stop shaving the guns and probably ought to smell like crappy beer and patchouli. Can’t win ’em all.

    When you go back, hit up Mother Road brewing and tell them I sent you. The owners are friends of mine – they’ll either throw you a discount or throw you out. Could go either way. But living on the edge is the way of the Velominatus.




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  34. @SamV You must have seen the Ninkasi come back to the Bud commercial. The unfortunate thing is that AB-Inbev owns a rather large portion of the global beer market… even though they are head quartered in Belgium they have long since strayed from the path.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZEKqLxtjwDQ

    Although it would be completely absurd to put this on your race bike, it would be effective for carrying large quantities of fresh beer from your local brewer on a commuter or purpose-built beer carrying bike. http://growlercage.com/




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  35. Recovery Ale of choice for mine.




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  36. @piwakawaka

    This place just opened near me (Kent, England):https://www.facebook.com/thefreewheelgraveney

    They don’t actually brew their own beer, but get it from a local microbrewery.




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  37. @Owen

    @MangoDave

    @Owen

    @Teocalli

    Has anyone actually opened a Bike Emporium, Micro Brewery, Coffee Bar?

    My favorite shop in the old country (i.e. northern Arizona) serves espresso and like beverages in the morning, and is immediately next door to a top notch brewery for the evenings. That’s about perfect in my opinion.

    Ah, Northern AZ… I lived in Flag for a few years, fantastic area for cycling. The breweries are more numerous since I’ve left – both are great reasons for weekend summer trips.

    Better mountain riding than road, but then one has to stop shaving the guns and probably ought to smell like crappy beer and patchouli. Can’t win ’em all.

    When you go back, hit up Mother Road brewing and tell them I sent you. The owners are friends of mine – they’ll either throw you a discount or throw you out. Could go either way. But living on the edge is the way of the Velominatus.

    Mango Dave, My wife and I visited Mother Road on our honeymoon a couple of summers ago after camping up at the Grand Canyon for a handful of days. That is mayhaps my favorite brewery taproom. They were pouring White IPA/Black IPA and Black IPA/Kolsch mixes and we were downing them. Still have a bomber of their first anniversary imperial porter tucked away in my collection. Flag is a cool f’ing town




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  38. I have tended towards cheap beer 1) to save money for bikes 2) until the beer gets really good, I don’t notice the taste difference that much. However, I think my guts have finally told me enough with the cheap brews. Seem to get all out of sorts with much at all from the lower end of ‘Merican beers.

    That’s okay. As with food, the more I pay the more I appreciate it and the more I moderate the consumption. Still, with summer here, nothing like a beer after a ride. I was just traveling and hadn’t been on a bike in five days. The commute this morning had my body feeling like it had never been in a saddle. Amazing how quickly deviating from a routine discombobulates the body and mind.




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  39. @jaja

    love it, best of luck to ’em!




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  40. @RobSandy

    This is my favourite beer, no question. Perfect for drinking in any conditions, cold or hot.

    As part of trip to Cornwall VMH insisted we go to Port Isaac (aka Port Wenn). Dinner at the Old School House wasn’t so bad.




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  41. This is a great beer, hard to find though. Stores around here get three cases every three weeks or so. Made by the Russian River Brewing Company.




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  42. Hapsmo you sir have good taste. I’m also a huge fan of RR’s sour beers. Although living in Arkansas I rarely get to sample them. You ever have any of Almanac’s beer?




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  43. @markpa

    @RobSandy

    This is my favourite beer, no question. Perfect for drinking in any conditions, cold or hot.

    As part of trip to Cornwall VMH insisted we go to Port Isaac (aka Port Wenn). Dinner at the Old School House wasn’t so bad.

    Proper job. I find Doom tastes best drunk at the end of the day in a Cornish fishing village like Cadgwith or Coverack, or on one of the Isles of Scilly. I’m surprised that’s not on the tasting notes.

    I’m not drinking til after Sunday and this isn’t helpful.




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  44. @PantaniForever

    Hapsmo you sir have good taste. I’m also a huge fan of RR’s sour beers. Although living in Arkansas I rarely get to sample them. You ever have any of Almanac’s beer?

    No I have not tried that brewer YET. The stouts look good. Horchata stout sounds odd but I would like to give that a try. What do you recommend?




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  45. One week to the end of my preparatory abstinence and sampling this year’s special from Thornbridge Brewery. Last year’s was a dashed fine tipple.




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  46. I don’t think there is anything better than a nice cold saison after a hot ride. Something from Dupont, or my favorite semi-local example of the genre: Red Barn Ale from Lost Abbey down in San Marcos.




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  47. Fire brewed local drop in the appropriate apparatus




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  48. this is what you need after a hot day in the alps

    mountain king




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  49. @SamV

    Coming back to this thread after a long while, but wanted to say that I finally got the color right in my most recent batch of my Hinault ’80 Strong Ale! Went into bottle conditioning the other day. It’s now within the style guidelines for a golden strong ale, and just in time for the return of cold weather riding. (It’s been Rule #9 weather for a week or, so I figure that will impart it with some special recovery powers.)




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  50. @LawnCzar

    @SamV

    Coming back to this thread after a long while, but wanted to say that I finally got the color right in my most recent batch of my Hinault ’80 Strong Ale! Went into bottle conditioning the other day. It’s now within the style guidelines for a golden strong ale, and just in time for the return of cold weather riding. (It’s been Rule #9 weather for a week or, so I figure that will impart it with some special recovery powers.)

    Lovely color indeed! I’ve wanted to brew a Golden Strong Ale since the beginning, and perhaps it’s time for me to make it happen. Assuming it’s at least 8% that’ll definitely restore the blood flow after a 9 Ride.




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