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A lot at steak with these gutsy ales..

Byline: MAURICE FITZMAURICE WINE with

'M thinking I might need to rebrand this wine column since it's, well, not always about wine.

IMo's Booze News might be broad brush enough to keep me right though I'm more than open to suggestions about what to drink as well as what to call the column.

With Christmas not too far off, there I've said it, there's wine to be talked about (and drunk) but there's also a cocktail or two and then there's the sparkling gear we treat ourselves to once a year or so.

And then there's all those fine beers yearning to be loved or loving to be yearned for.

It's going to be a tough few weeks coming up consuming the best gear I can lay my hands on.

What to drink for Christmas dinner, what to drink when herself goes out and I can make Osso Bucco or Moroccan-style lamb shanks and what to fill my growler with present a not insignificant challenge.

fill my enge. na took brewery ttle. Yes, anted to le some Wagyu world's But this week my journey to boozy nirvana took another interesting turn thanks to a wee brewery apparently started making beer to feed to cattle. Yes, you did read that right. Hillstown Brewery wanted to give their shorthorn cattle some beer to try and replicate Wagyu beef that was used in the world's most expensive burger.

It's brewery that started cows bish.

making beer to feed cattle ndy, wers ear ss e Anyhow, it turns out the cows wouldn't drink any old rubbish. They're obviously trendy, beardy cows, so the brewers started making the good gear themselves. I came across this steak-enhancing ale while filling my growler with Cloudwater America Pale Ale (a top Manchester outfit).

The beer's called Spitting Llama. I mean, a llama! Well regardless of the story behind the label, it's the beer behind the glass that blew my head off. It's a take of the Belgian-style tripel brews that tend to be strong with plenty of flavour but a pale colour that belies an alcohol content between 8% and 9%.

This one was just 7% or I might have needed a llama to carry me home. But it was a knockyour-socks-off, gutsy, fruit basket of a beer. I said fruit basket and I really mean it, it was like something Willie Wonka would have concocted - a blast of boozy fruit salad with a quer kick.

Well, get some and let it get the 7% kick get the imagination going ahead of buying your yuletide drinks in.

LOCAL ALE That Spitting Llama by Hillstown Brewery in Co Antrim is available in good independents for around PS3.50. Trust me you don't need too many of them.

BELGIAN ALE If you can't find the rude llama, Tesco stocks Duvel which is a big flavoursome Belgian ale for PS2. It's 8.5% so be careful.

It's brewery that started making beer to feed cattle

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Title Annotation:Features; Opinion Column
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Nov 28, 2015
Words:494
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