“Drink provoketh the desire, but taketh away the performance.” – one of Chuwy’s favourite quotes apparently. Well last night I certainly had the drink desire, and this morning I’m having huge problems with performance – I can barely type correctly.

And it’s all thanks to Batbrewer.

Dinaninaninaninan-Batbrewer

Dinaninaninaninan-Batbrewer

Apparently I got home last night swinging a pack of combini sandwiches singing “I will eat! I will eat!” then promptly fell asleep. Makes breakfast easy this morning though. Yum!

The night started at my place with Batbrewer and I sampling each other’s homebrew. I’ll repeat again the comments I made in the Yokohama with Chuwy and Jonno post – you get a really different comments on your beers depending on whether you talk to an average beer drinker (generally “I like it” or “I don’t like it”), an I-read-Beer-advocat beer drinker (“Oh, this tastes like wine mixed with cherries with and avocado chaser”), or a homebrewer. Homebrewers tend to analyse the beers, trying to break down the malt bill and hops, and pick out off flavours and faults (pretty easy with my beers!)

Batbrewer brought along 4 beers:

  • Simcoe Ale II: OG = 1062, FG = 1010, IBU = 73, hops = Simcoe, Centennial, Cascade
  • GFWCIPA clone: OG = 1068, FG = 1013, IBU = 124, hops = Simcoe, Columbus, Cascade
  • Centennial IIPA: OG = 1077, FG = 1017, IBU = 115, hops = Magnum, Centennial
  • Robust Porter: OG = 1057, FG = 1012, IBU = 47, hops = Chinook, Cascade

Batbrewer being Batbrewer, the Simcoe Ale was more IPA like in its IBUs that an American ale, but because it uses Simcoe for bittering, the bittering is smooth rather than sharp, so it doesn’t have the bitter taste an IPA does. The Green Flash West Coast IPA was much better than the real thing (a good job because I don’t like the real thing), but the best of the night was the soon-to-be-WanCup-award-winning Centennial IIPA. For me, the stronger bitterness of the Magnum really makes that beer, and the malt has good complex flavours. Outstandingly good. My least favourite of the bunch was the Robust Porter, mainly because I don’t like smokey beers – Batbrewer himself said this had “turned into a bit of a turkey in the bottles”.

It was really excellent to try those beers. For me, ever since trying his Cal V IPA at the BEERS hamami, Batbrewer set the standard I want to achieve in my IPAs. I’ve still a long way off it – my IPAs tend to come out too sweet – but he did seem to like my Hops of Mass Destruction IPA preview (bottled before dryhopping), so there’s hope that I’m improving.

Suddenly, we realised the time, and with 40 minutes to go before he had to be back to bathe the kids, we ran for the train to Shimo-kitazawa for Ushi Tora to get Rogue. Sadly Rogue had run out in the new bar so we moved to the old bar to check the IPA list. The first words to Batbrewer when we arrived at the old bar were:

“How much time do you have, Batbrewer?”

“20 minutes,” he replied.

Obviously a man famous for his beer dashes. Wasting no time, we ordered the three IPAs on the menu (it would have taken too long to decide which to leave out) – Dick IPA (!), Minoh Double IPA, and Iwate kura IPA (I think). Yip, I had Dick in my mouth last night.

None of the beers was a patch on Batbrewer’s IPAs. Disappointed, we downed them in one and ran to the new bar where I bought Batbrewer a Nogne Imperial Stout to say thanks for bringing the beers. Nice drop, that beer.

Batbrewer left then, but I stayed on, talking with some of the drinkers in Ushi Tora. I do like that new bar, a lot. From there I moved onto Beer Rock where I drank till the cows came home (erm, last train actually). I do have to apologise to the guys at Beer Rock – I can’t remember what I was talking about, but I do remember I was speaking a lot of gibberish in very very bad Japanese. Nothing bad, just lots of gibberish – more than normal. Hopefully I was entertaining rather than annoying.

Shimo-kitazawa is quickly becoming my second home. Two fantastic bars there, and only 10 minutes from where I live.

Today I’m doing a Tokyo Pub Crawl with some of the J bloggers and friends. It starts in 2 hours. I still haven’t sobered up from last night yet. I did find out the name of the guy who runs Beer Rock though: Noguchi-san.

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