Some years ago when, for health reasons, I was taking a seventeen year break from Max, I lived in an establishment run by a certain Miss Whiplash. She was extremely understanding of a man’s needs and was only too happy to let me stockpile enormous amounts of alcohol. In those days, I had taken to drinking strong,continental lagers. I developed a taste for Kronenberg 1664, Grolsh and Budweiser Budvar. These were truly excellent beers and bore no resemblance to their pale, imitative English cousins. Now, I know that in the search for the perfect pint most would agree that we are talking about bottom fermented English beer rather than top fermented continental lager. However, these lagers were of an extremely high standard. In Summer, on the days when the sun shines brightly and it can actually be described as ‘hot’, a chilled lager is perfect for quenching the thirst. For me, the effect it has is to bite the back of your throat as you drink it. I believe that in later years, the Consul, a beer man through and through, even began to develop a taste for German lagers when he took a trip to Berlin to visit some of his old colleagues in the, now disbanded, Geheime Stadtpolizei.