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"Holy Grale", being a British beer

"Tempered over burning witches"

An excellent accompaniment to the Holy Grail Sandwich, how about a "Monty Python's Holy Grail", a bottled blend of beer from the Black Sheep Brewery in Yorkshire. Available in off licenses (at least, in the Midlands and North of England) and also in Safeway supermarkets last time I looked.

Originally known as "Monty Python's Holy Grailale", it is a blend of Yorkshire Square Ale, Black Sheep Ale and Riggwelter. Seemingly marketed as a retail, take-home beer rather than a pub brew, its appeal lies mainly in the name (a bad play on words, although appealing to a certain beer-buying demographic, no doubt!) although the three constituent ales are each excellent in their own way. It is a light beer, balanced in every respect, with a 4.7% alcohol content, making it ideal for a night in. Superb with pizza too - bon appetit!

Update: 4th December 2004. Increasingly, I have been struggling to find it in England, and have just found it in the Food Co-op in Davis, California where I now live and work. Maybe this is the demographic they seek - American Monty Python fans. The world is mad.

I am not making this up - http://www.blacksheep.co.uk/

This beverage is, as of 2007, also available in liquor stores in Canada, indicating some sort of North American distribution system since it even has a thing on the label indicating a 20-cent bottle return refund in Quebec. The label is altogether reminiscent of the Holy Grail DVD cover, with the arm with the Grail and the knights and Camelot and all that sticking out of some clouds, all set against a nice bright cheery yellow. It comes in 500 ml bottles, which is nice since my stein can't accommodate more without overflowing or refilling.

The beer pours a nice golden-amber colour, with a foamy head only if you pour it straight into the middle of the stein, instead of down the side. It's also fairly cloudy - impossible to see my finger through the stein. To my mouth, it tastes heavier, alcohol-wise, than it actually is; at 4.7% alc./vol., it's hardly stronger than the Kokanee sitting in my fridge, but it tastes a lot stronger. This is probably from its ale heritage - something into which I have not particularly delved.

At its price point of... um, 5-something with tax, though, Monty Python's Holy Grail will remain an occasional pleasure for me, given that domestic draft beers go for 13-something for 6 cans. Still, it's a neat bottle to have decorating the bachelor apartment windowsill.

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