I kegged my ESB (Hump’s Best Bitter) last night. I sampled it tonight. Luckily, this style of beer is pretty forgivable when it comes to consuming a mostly-flat sample. So despite its low carbonation, it was tasty. It still needs more suds – although if I were serving “cask-conditioned” ale it would be about right already. The beer is pleasant. The aroma is very perfumy and floral thanks to the Willamette dry-hops. The bitterness is earthy, from Target hops, and the rest of the hop explosion is flowery with a touch of citrus, from Goldings hops. It is pretty well balanced.

I had to empty out roughly two gallons of the Farmhouse Ale in order to make room for the new batch. So I have lots of bottles of that. They should keep pretty well, so I’ll make sure that at least one or two bottles survive until 2009.

I ordered a copy of Michael Jackson’s Great Beers of Belgium, and it should arrive this week (likely by Wednesday). I’m pretty stoked. It is out of print, but I found a vendor on Amazon selling a hardback copy of the latest revision (5th edition, from 2005). I’ll likely post some comments on the book after I’ve had time to peruse it. I have no doubt it will be excellent.