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28-06-2011, 06:57
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A week today I’ll be lying on a hot Menorcan beach. After a very sunny Sunday and Monday, I wake up today and it’s been raining. It’s that kind of warm-air rain that only a sticky summer can have, rain which makes it feel muggy and tropical and needs a crack of thunder to lift the heaviness. With the prospect of more sun to come, both here and on holiday, my thoughts are far away and thinking about a two-week break involving not much more than lying in the sun, reading a huge pile of books, swimming in the clear blue sea and drinking lots of cold beer.

Holiday beer is some of the most fantastic beer in the world. Mythos is one of my favourite beers because it’s wrapped up in so many amazing memories. And it’s the memory and the moment which makes a beer special – any beer. If every beer you ever drank was alone and in a room painted white to be as unstimulating as possible then you’d soon stop drinking beer and you’d never enjoy it – beer is great because of the context we drink it in.

The best beers are the ones which carry a story with them and holidays create lots of stories and memories. It’s that cold beer on the hot beach reading that great book; the sea-fresh fish by the harbour, the people passing by, the beer you finished in seconds because you were so thirsty; the beer you drank as the sun was setting, making you feel on the edge of the world, relaxed; the beer you share with someone special where it’s about you and them and the beer is just the golden glass that sits between you.

The beers themselves are special in the moments you drink them. I’m sure we’ve all brought these beers home to recreate the summer magic on a grey autumn afternoon and it doesn’t work. There’s just something special about the combination of sunshine and local beer and the moment.

I always look forward to that first cold pint in a new place. This year it’ll probably be Estrella. It means the holidays are here. It means I can forget about swirling and sniffing and sipping and writing tasting notes and trying to work out what hops are in it and I can just drink it while on a warm beach with white sand in my toes, relaxing, reading or just staring at hot girls in their bikinis. Holiday beer rocks.

What holiday beers have you enjoyed the most and why were they so good?

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