Are my standards slipping? Not really, I washed it down with plenty of cask beer.
The lovely Lisa and I were in Loweswater last week.
There was the hill based heroism of course, such the traverse over to Braithwaite, braving temperatures so cold we could even see our breath, and taking so long it was the last bus we got back.
Beer being a tad bulky we have taken to having some sloe gin with us on the hills in case of emergencies, like it getting a bit nippy or our legs getting a bit tired. The small sample I managed to blag from lovedrinks was better than the Gordon's from the supermarket but there wasn't nearly enough to last the week. Which was a shame really as it wasn't as sweet so more to our taste. Perhaps when the sponsorship deal comes though I'll have more to guzzle...
Anyway, I know you're only here for the beer.
We were staying in Loweswater so we'd be in walking distance of the excellent Kirkstile Inn.
The beers here are from my favourite lake district brewery, Cumbrian Legendary Ales. They've won a couple of CAMRA national awards which I think is pretty impressive, but don't seem to feature much amongst internet beer nerds.
At one point they did send out some samples of their doppelbock, Croglin Vampire, to bloggers but though it's their strongest beer at 8% ABV taste wise I think it's one of their weakest, and always a bit under carbonated. I did have a bottle for completeness sake though, and I even paired it with my pudding. For those that care about such things it's better after a gob full of chocolate brownie. For the full Brewmaster's Table experience I should probably have paired it with some funky cheese though, as I seem to recall that features heavily in the book.
But it was for the draught beer we'd come, and over the week I wended my way across the hand pumps and back again, but mainly drinking Langdale (pale 4%) and Grasmore (dark 4.3%). Neither beer makes me want to shout "AWESOME", but both I drank in quantity and both I plan to drink in quantity again. As far as I'm concerned that means the beers score highly.
As an added bonus there was a case of Loweswater Gold (pale 4.3%) waiting for us at the pub thanks to the lovely Lisa winning a twitter competition.
It's not our favourite from their range, as far as their pale beers go I prefer the Langdale or the LPA, but I'm sure they'll go down nicely, and free beer does taste better.