Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Sticke Day 2013

Things got off to a slow start as our original train suddenly was delayed by 55 minutes. We caught the next train and so didn't reach Uerige until about 11am. I am sure they were wondering where we were.

Today is the day
It was cold and rainy (again) so we went inside. The middle room with the view of the brewery was the "smoking room" the past few years but that seems to be a thing of the past. I assume the laws changed here in Nord-Rhein-Westfalen. That is a good thing because I like this room for daytime drinking -- lots of light and a view of the brewery.

Our first Sticke
Soon we had are beers. The first sip if Sticke is always exciting -- what is it going to be like? This year was no disappointment but it won't make it into my Top 5 Sticke.  Very well made and very tasty it just was lacking something special. In past years that has extra hoppiness or even extra alcohol (this years was 6.3% which is lower than usual).

My brother used his phone to make a panorama of the room...

After a few beers we split up to run errands, have lunch, etc. That is a sign that others felt similarly to me -- if it was outstanding we would have stayed for lunch. I ended up going around the corner to Die Bratwurst for a Krakauer and some fries

Die Bratwurst

Krakauer and Fries

We had agreed to meet back at Schumacher at 2pm and by then it was a deluge. We retired inside for beer. The regular Schumacher is always malty and this was no exception.

 We moved across the street to Schüssel for the last of the Altstadt beers. Schlüssel is much improved in recent years and this one was thoroughly enjoyable.

 We had a bit of time to kill, so as some of walked by the chocolate shop, we decided to go in for a Hot Chocolate tasting. We had four different Hot Chocolates: one each made with chocolate that was 60%, 72%, 80% and 100% cacao.

A flight of Hot Chocolates
 It was quite a learning experience. The 100% was very bitter and I probably need more education to enjoy it properly -- my mouth kept saying "But hot chocolate is sweet!"  The 60% was very sweet and rich -- too much really for me. The 80% was probably the "sweet spot" for me. Some bitterness and complexity but also some sweetness so my mouth was happy.

By now it was time to gather back at Uerige and the rain had let up enough that we had a couple outside.

More Sticke
 We went into the Brauhaus and found we didn't have the table we usually have, but once closer to the brew house itself. No probable, both are good tables.

Our reservation
Nothing much to say about the rest of the evening. We talked and drank and ate. Of course there was the obligatory haxe.
Uerige Haxe
 Since we had to train it back to Cologne and we didn't know if there were delays, we actually left a bit earlier than we normally would.

I did get a nice picture of the moon over the Cologne Cathedral...

The combination of the rain and staying in Cologne put a bit of a damper on this years event. It is much more fun when you stay in town.

Tomorrow, walking around Cologne drinking Kölsch.

No comments: