Saturday 17 October 2020

Beer and bugs

 As every beer blogger knows getting free beer is the easiest thing in the world. Though breweries might grizzle about it, threaten them with a bad review and they're sending you a case of beer as fast as their little legs can carry it. But despite this due to my insatiable greed I immediately said yes when offered a Hobgoblin beer and bugs snack pack

Hobgoblin is a bit is a bit of a bogeybeer to crafties, and at one point there was a bit of a twitter thing of people mocking those that dared to say they liked it. I'm not entirely sure why, though it might well be due to Hobgoblin having a well know advert that does a bit of mocking itself: "What's the matter lagerboy, afraid you might taste something?". Crafties being at heart lager drinkers themselves no doubt feel slighted. 

I'm not a huge fan myself, though back in the days when I had to buy beer I did enjoy more than a few bottles of the Hobgoblin IPA, which predictably was also treated with distain by the craftily inclined. I was thinking about this again recently when I saw established breweries worried about falling cask beer sales being told that they need to update their beer range. After all, when established breweries have branched out into the craft sector it has always been greeted with universal acclaim. 

The bug bit really interested me though. Over the years I've heard a few things about eating insects but have never done it myself. Well, not deliberately anyway. There were of course beer and bug matching suggestions so I worked my way through both:

Hobgoblin Gold with with chilli and lime crickets. The beer was a bit of a disappointment as it mostly tasted of diacetyl. Personally I don't mind a bit of it but this was too much for me. The crickets were very spicy but certainly tasted better than they looked. 

The IPA  was hoppier and all the better for it, but disappointingly still a noticeable level of diacetyl. I found the Peri peri crickets spicy but milder than the last packet, still pretty full on though. 

Ruby next, didn't notice any diacetyl this time just the burnt sugar taste. As I said, I'm not a huge fan but it did grow on me. The smoky BBQ crickets taste like you expect, but like the others the flavouring is laid on too thick. Overall they could do with toning it down a bit. And they need to do something about the legs. After munching through a bag of crickets you notice you've got lots of insect legs stuck to your teeth. 

Finally it was on to King Hobgoblin, the stronger one. The greater strength definitely improved it, and it reminded me of Old Peculier. The toffee crickets were really good,  clearly desert insects work! I'd overdosed a bit on insects by this point so most of them went in my muesli the next morning. 

I found the beer and bug thing really interesting, and I'll be eating more in the future, particularly as I've still got some more to cook.

They'll probably go in a cricket and grasshopper curry. There was also a packet of insect protein powder. I'm not sure what to do with that one, maybe my brother will want it, it might be the sort of thing he's in to.