The featured beer painting of the day is of Hobgoblin Imported Dark English Ale from Wychwood Brewery out of Witney, Oxfordshire, England. I first drank this beer in 2011 when my wife and I were bicycle-touring around Europe. After we crossed the continent from East to West, we hopped on a ferry over to England and stayed in London for a couple of nights at a hostel. London is an expensive city, and the exchange rate was working against us. Just buying pints was bad enough at six pounds per pint. Once you convert that to dollars, you might as well be buying pints at the McCarthy Saloon, where pints go for $8 for anything worthwhile. The hostel sold this beer at the front desk, so I ended up having a few of them. It may have been one of the best beers I had in England. Actually, all the pubs I went to in England were awesome, just a little bit expensive. Something about an English pub just feels incredible. The American bar is either a little too seedy, or maybe too high end, or too hipster, but the pubs in England are perfect. “Ale is what yer drinking, how ‘bout ‘nother pint?”
The Hobgoblin has a nice dark color, amber in hue with a smoky, roasty malt backbone and a small helping of hops to make this beer an Extra Special Bitter. ESBs are not very popular these days, as IPA seems to have ridden to the forefront of popular demand. However, in England, the bitters, mild ales, cask ales (from the big engine that pumps out the weird stale beer), stouts and porters, are the popular brews. A good IPA is hard to find, there are only a few beers there that would even qualify as an IPA, which was a big surprise to me, since England is where the term India Pale Ale was coined. The beer in England has this funk that is normal there, and the Hobgoblin is not exempt, it tastes very English.
Cheers to the Hobgoblin! A great beer with a great character on the label! I am glad I was able to get a bottle way up North in Alaska!
You can purchase this painting, or a limited-edition print at my Etsy shop.
Year of Beer 08.26. Hobgoblin Imported Dark English Ale by Wychwood Brewery. Oil on panel, 8″x10″.