Closing Time

So, in addition to all drinking establishments closing at 2.30am, off-licenses now have to close at 10pm. I knew this, of course, but it’s pretty annoying to be reminded after walking over 3km to one of Dublin’s few decent off-licenses to discover it already shut for the night.

Worse, I’ve made this mistake before – more fool me, I suppose, but this is Ireland, after all, and it’s bright until 11pm these days so I didn’t think anything of heading out for a walk at 9.30pm on a nice night like last night.

Anchor Steam Beer

I have to say I didn’t expect to find American micro-brewery beer in Tokyo but I’d never turn down the opportunity…

A hot tip from the Rough Guide for a western-style restaurant in Roppongi Hills (“Roti”) worked out pretty well.

This was a lightish beer and not very strong but…very tasty (as I’ve said before, I don’t know how to review beer apart from light/dark, weak/strong and nice/manky). Went very well with my burger and chips; the highest compliment I can pay a beer.

Wish I’d kept the bottle cap now – this review is even crapper without a picture of it. Anyway, something to seek out next time I’m in San Francisco.

Rochford 8

The Porterhouse is quickly becoming my favourite pub in Dublin. Much to the bemusement of my friend I had somehow classed this place as just another Dublin pub (not that there’s anything wrong with that, of course). Having been introduced to their beer menu, however, I am now singing a different tune.

Last night’s pick was Rochford 8, a Trappist beer from Belgium. It was expensive, strong (9.2% – the 8 refers to an older measurement system) and described as possessing a very strong flavour. Already a fan of another Trappist brew, Chimay, I didn’t have to be asked twice.

I really don’t know what ingredients the monks use, nor are my tastebuds senstive enough to guess. Whatever’s in there, this beer ends up like a soup. A very pleasant soup, at that. If I had to pick a word, I’d say it was fruity. But, like I say, I can’t really tell.

I think mainstream beers have ruined my ability to distinguish one from another – and then when something like this comes along I’m just so delighted to have any taste at all that I’m not fussy!

However, my ignorance notwithstanding it’s genuinely hard to imagine a better beer…except perhaps Rochford 10.

Or maybe just anything else from the Porterhouse menu.