Sunday, March 01, 2009

My First Polypin

Following on from my recent discovery that beer is available in 20L Polypins, I ordered one for my little brother's 21st birthday. Of course it was finally delivered the following day, a rant which I will spare you.

The polypin

Here are the sizes beer comes in:

Barrel Name : Size (Gallons)
Pin or Polypin 4.5
Firkin 9
Kilderkin 18
Barrel 36
Hogshead 54
Butt 108
Tun 216

Multiply by about 4.5 to get litres; 1 Gallon is 8 pints.

Anyway, the beer I chose was Alton's Pride from Triple FFF Brewery. How does one pronounce Triple FFF? Do you say "Triple F F F" or just ignore the tautological "Triple"?

Well, regardless of how you pronounce the brewery name, they make mighty fine beers, and Alton's Pride was Champion Beer of Britain 2008.

The beer

One has to leave Polypins 24 hours to let any sediment settle. This done it was time. One pulls off the cardboard to reveal a tap. Inside the cardboard box is a soft plastic barrel. This is the beer equivalent of wine in a box.

Tap of goodness

So a pint is poured. Swing the plastic round and the beer comes out, not too fast, takes about 8 seconds to fill the glass.

And the tasting.. marvellous! Alton's Pride is light in terms of alcohol but pleasant on the tongue - maltier than beers I'd normally go for, but balanced - there's a sense of hops there too.


From the brewery website:

Golden brown session bitter, full bodied for 3,8%. A forward hoppy aroma with a long bitter finish. “Excellent, clean-tasting, golden brown session bitter, full bodied for it’s strength. A delicious aroma of malt and hops. An initially malty flavour fades as citrus notes and hoppiness take over, leading to a lasting hoppy, bitter finish.” Good Beer Guide 2005.

Now the pin sits out on the bench on my balcony, which is fine now as it's quite cold (in fact snow is forecast for Wednesday, hard to believe but still..). This clearly won't work in the summertime, and there's no way I could fit this into my fridge. So I suppose this is a winter, spring and autumn thing only - how could I store the thing in summer time? Perhaps in a large cool box - after all the pin isn't as big as I'd imagine. Then again how would you pour without sloshing the beer and sediment about if stored in a cool box. These are all challenges to be overcome in the next few months!!


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You should buy a handpump (Beer Engine) off eBay. Run a length of beer line (eBay again!) and pour yourself a proper pint! You can store the polypin on any end in this regard as the tap needn't be at the beck and call of gravity.