Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

When to Crack Open Collection

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

When to Crack Open Collection

Article excerpt

Byline: Brewing with Richard Fletcher

IFINALLY have a desk by the window. Two windows in fact; with my back to the newsroom, I have semi-panoramic views from my little glass corner. I'm fenestrated to the gills - which makes a change after years spent in the middle of a vast newsroom, where even plants couldn't grow. We tried. They tried. They couldn't.

Of course, this is only good when the weather's nice; when sunlight pours through the blinds and a blue sky suggests a beautiful world beyond work, then it's lovely. But on days like this...

On days like this, I'm thankful to the raindrops covering the window for obscuring the miserable greyness of the street below. On days like this, a good quality beer hoard back at home truly comes into its own.

Call your grouping of favoured beers what you will, as I don't think it has the same naming convention as a wine cellar; a collection, or beers selected for laying down; a cellar, or simply several bottles left forgotton in the cupboard until joyously rediscovered.

Well-kept, aged beer is a thing of beauty whatever you call it. But I like to think of it as a beer hoard, as it brings to mind the Anglo Saxons treasuring and protecting the items most precious to them. Promising yourself a long-anticipated beer when you get home can brighten even the greyest day.

I don't think I ever made a conscious decision to start collecting beers; like most beer fans I know, it begins after buying a special beer that you don't have the heart to drink straight away, or after spotting a limited edition beer.

It brings with it the excitement of buying something great and potentially turning into something spectacular just by being patient; and the interesting uncertainty of not knowing what the final result will be; that it will be different depending on when you finally open it. …

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