WHAT is it with 2016?

Every week another event comes along to pull the rug out from under us. To the point where it may even be worth just selling the rug. I know it ties the room together, but it's more trouble than it's worth.

Gone are society’s old bedrocks of supranational technocracies, effective political oppositions, Maria Sharapova and pop legends remaining alive. Instead we have failed coups, Hiddleswift, Pokemon Go and the Icelandic clap.

It’s exhausting and confusing. Out with incompetent Old Etonians. Back in with an incompetent Old Etonian. New realities are created and destroyed in a day.

Even trusted comfort blankets like beer are changing. Supermarkets have craft beer sections. CAMRA is considering a change of direction, effectively declaring “job done”.

When I was growing up, beer was generally a yellow chemistry-experiment of dubious origin. You poured as much of it into yourself as possible so as to forget those things you said the last time you did this.

But those sorry days are over, and this was exemplified at a Bad Co. brewery food pairing evening at the Star Inn the City in York last Thursday.

We got there as the July evening was cooling down. I was feeling the woozy vestiges of a force-ten cold. Everyone seated themselves on benches or round tables in the snug room at the back of the restaurant.

There were seven mini-courses, each of which came with two thirds of a pint of a different Bad Co. beer.

First up was ‘Slow Rider’, their surprisingly subtle grapefruit ale at 2.8 per cent. Apparently 100 kilos of grapefruits were used in the creation of this ale, each one hand-peeled by brewery staff, giving them citrus burns. Heroes, all – I wanted to shake whatever was left of their hands.

Each beer was introduced by Bad Co's head brewer Paul Holden-Ridgway, who spoke about the ingredients, where they sourced them and why, how they use their new centrifuge to infuse flavours, and the inspirations they’d taken from high-alcohol bold-flavour American brewers.

Next up was Love Over Gold, a 4.1 per cent blonde ale. It was paired with smoked salmon and bacon caesar with pork scratchings and apple chutney. Bitter grapefruit was again a shadowy presence in this light beer, which also featured some grassy hops and was popular at the table.

It was after the next beer, Communication Meltdown, that I started to slur my speech. A citrus west-coast pale ale at a hefty 5.6 per cent, it went down very well paired with crab with apple and coriander.

The mid-point was reached with Comfortably Numb, the previous beer’s brother, a pineapple and satsuma-tinged Bad Co. classic that I sense is a mini-masterpiece. You could probably drink it all day. Also it’s available to buy in discretely-sized cans, so there isn’t an excuse not to.

The next two beers were Summer Breeze, a lime-and-mint tinged ale, and Honey Hi, a honey pale ale at 4.5 per cent. These two divided the table like a referendum or something. I maintain that limes should Know Their Place, but the latter, made with heather honey, would make Fleetwood Mac proud and went well with a Star Inn crème brulee.

The final beer was an “oak-aged bourbon milk stout” called Dazed and Confused. I normally avoid stouts as they are the liquid equivalent of Ray Winstone but this, with its Black Forest flavours and accompanied by an anchovy and black olive pastry, was a winner.

In an era of near constant game-changing, Bad Co and the Star Inn had come up with a game-changer.