The country where I live now is called secular by some and religious by others. All the holidays here, with the exception of Independence Day, are religious. Some of us observe them, others ignore them. On Yom Kippur, no one in the country uses transport, many people fast and pray, and some live their lives – quietly eating dinner and watching TV. Until recently, it was understood in Israel that one’s private life should not interfere with others, and rightly so. Now someone is trying to change that, and I hope that nothing will come of it…
Why such a long introduction? – Yesterday was the end of Passover week. Passover is a celebration of the exodus from Egyptian slavery. It is celebrated not only because of tradition, but it is also very much in tune with our lives today. We should try to avoid being enslaved again by much of what surrounds us, and to be truly free. In my opinion, this remains true at all times.
Passover has its own attributes, and the main one is the prohibition of leavened bread. I don’t really observe it, especially since it implies a ban on the consumption of my beloved Beer. I just have a slightly different view of all these outward attributes – I try to get into the essence of these prohibitions and keep only the essence for myself, but it’s not about me now.
The day before, friends who are also big beer drinkers called me and invited me to celebrate the end of Easter week together. They don’t clean the house of leavened foods, but they don’t eat bread and other flour products, and they don’t drink beer during Easter week either. By the time we arrived, the table was set – it turns out you can make all sorts of delicious things and not break tradition! Everything was great fun – laughter, talking, good toasts, but there was something hanging in the air and we could all feel it. Then we suddenly understood that it was a feeling of Waiting. We were all waiting for 7:30 p.m., the time the ban on Leavening ended, and it did! There was Beer coming to our table!
The first was the Belgian IPA. This beer is characterized by high alcohol and a pleasant sweetness in flavor. One of its best examples is Houblon Chouffe, but yesterday we had another beer, Duvel Triple Hop Citra. This annual limited edition has been released since 2010, and its recipe is constant, with only three hop brands changing. Since 2017, the wonderful Citra hop has been a permanent member of this trio – only the other two hop brands have changed. Beer lovers usually look forward to the beginning of the year and the arrival of a new beer from this series. With Duvel we decided to celebrate the return of beer to our lives.
This year we had Duvel Triple Hop Citra, brewed with Citra, Styrian Golding and Saaz hops, also called Jatecky hops. A beautiful golden colored beer with a head-turning magical aroma. You can enjoy it ad infinitum! This magic also remained in the taste, covering the tongue with a bouquet of wild flowers. The magic lasted until the last sip, and then there was that spoonful of tar – all the upper palate in my mouth was suddenly filled with a strong bitterness, and it did not disappear anywhere… It was not just me, but everyone else felt it. The party was ruined, but we decided not to give up and opened the next beer.
It was an APA (Australian Pale Ale) from Kaunas brewery Volfas Engelman – don’t be surprised, with the current confusion with beer classification, almost everyone can come up with their own kind of beer… The beer turned out pretty good. Light yellow in color with a bright and very delicate flavor. It was brewed with hops from Australia, more precisely from New Zealand: Ella, Rakau and the famous Galaxy. Very nice light beer, but we lacked the density, the body of the beer. Perhaps in summer it would be perfect for our heat, but yesterday there was a thunderstorm outside the window and we rejected it…
I began to wonder if we had lost our taste – were we rejecting everything? Our worries were in vain and the next beer calmed us down – a good craft IPA from the same brewery. The beer is quite strong – 6% alcohol, but the alcohol is enjoyable and doesn’t “scratches” throat. Four brands of hops Equinox, Chinook, Cascade and Magnum work well together, creating a long and pleasant aftertaste. We can safely say about this beer: IPA, as the doctor recommended!
I’ve always been biased against Holland lagers, I don’t know why, but I have no respect for them! I’m sure I’m wrong, but I haven’t been able to get rid of it yet. So yesterday when I saw the Holland 8◦6 Intense India Pale Lager I smiled wryly and in vain! It turned out to be a great hopped lager, it wasn’t up to IPA – only 20 units of bitterness, but at 7% alcohol it was a great combination. The beer was strong, yet very mild, not cocky, flavorful and not bitter. I liked it very much – a real cherry on the cake, which we had been waiting for the whole evening!
Then they tried to persuade me to try something else, but I resisted – I was stopped by the road home in the pouring rain, thunder and lightning. That was how interesting my return to the beer routine was.