Sunday, July 18, 2010

Beerman in London, Part Six

Today, I was at the amazing Kew Gardens, about a 30-minute train ride from London, with my wife, known children, and in-laws.

Think Brookgreen Gardens with far more exotic plants, far fewer sculptures, and a long history of royal residents.

In a cafe/restaurant, I got in line to purchase a Budweiser Budvar -- the other Bud, the Czech Bud, the subject of a previous column.

Two open-air, refrigerated shelves held various bottles of water, wine, beer, etc., and I picked up a Budvar at the end of the line.

The bottle didn't seem quite cold enough, so I looked ahead, saw the second chilled shelf, and decided to wait.

At the second chilled shelf, the Budvar was barely colder than room temperature.

But there was no way I was losing my place in line -- it's one of those lines where the bottled-water purchaser has to wait behind the big-food-order-purchaser.

As a testament to Budweiser Budvar, it still tasted great, even barely chilled.

But I remember, way back in 1998, when I spent three months over here, seeing a news article on the front page of a tabloid about Brits trying to regulate the temperature of beer. Maybe that was more about pubs and tapped and hand-pulled beer. Either way, apparently, the idea of cold beer is still working against convention.

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