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Yippee, I can hear you exclaim. More beer sketches for 2017.

I have to get through my beer pile. I've had very clear instructions from Dolores on that point. I've no idea where it all comes from. I really don't. It just seems to pile up magically. Definitely not my fault.

Though my comments are likely to be crap. I've still got a cold. The bastard just won't budge. Been bubbling along since before Krimble.

First beer is from Holland's longest-running contract brewers.

SNAB Otter, 5.6% ABV
It's billed as a Strong Bitter. Bit plae for that, really. It's a dirty gold (due to my poor pouring). Through the snot, I can just about pick up a twiggy bitterness. Is that English hops? I wouldn't dare say. As I've mentioned before, ingredient guessing is a mug's game. Try to look clever, end up looking stupid. The beer is pleasantly hoppy. But a bit lacking in malt to really count as a Bitter. More like a Golden Ale.

"Do you want to try my beer, Dolores?"

"It's quite nice, actually." Dolores remarks with apparent surprise. Implying I usually hand her stuff that tastes awful.

"Do you want to try my beer, Alexei?"

"Alexei has a cold." Dolores reminds me. Best not let him try it.

"I don't want to drink it anyway, Dad."

Though Dolores did collecrt several empty half litre bottles of Heineken from his room this morning. They had a good deal last week at Ton Overmars: a crate of 18 half litres for €8.95. That's almost like German prices.

Talking of Germany, we've just booked flights and hotel for the Berlin beer festival. It's becoming my favourite festival. Probably not unconnected with the fact that it has a virtual zero beer geek count. Drinking with normal people is getting harder and harder at festivals. Even in Belgium. Berlin is always fun. And cheap.

Let's continue with another SNAB beer:

SNAB Pale Ale, 6.7% ABV
Bit more colour on this. Marmalade, I'd describe it as. I made a better fist of pouring this and it's just a little hazy. The label calls it an American Pale Ale. Can I smell tropical fruits? Or am I just imagining it? I'll ask Dolores.

"Do you want to try my beer, Dolores?"

"No, I'm busy." She's fiddling with her new flip-flop.

"Do you want to smell my beer, Andrew?"

"No, can't you see I'm doing something."

Right cheerful bunch they are here today. Let's try another sniff. I'm getting something vaguely fruity. Is that peach? Fuity in a non-specific way (blame my cold) in the mouth. Much less bitter than the Bitter, surprisingly.