july 2010 brewsletter

It’s been hot, hot, hot down here – I really hope that elsewhere in the country has been enjoying such fanstastic weather, the Wimbledon tennis courts look scorched, the local fields around here are full of crops looking like they need harvesting – the weather is belting as a nearby colleague would say…

It’s been a time for revisiting beers, I have been drinking beers that over the last few years I have walked past when wandering through the cathedral like halls of beer here in Beermerchants.com. It’s been a busy old time for me, and time for reflection has been sparse. Looking back is an odd thing, but it’s fun revisiting beers like Witkap Stimulo, as much the newer bigger more esoteric flavours that I am perhaps guilty of writing a bit much about… but always leave everything on the shelve to make sure everyone who wants a bottle can get it, with out feeling guilty. It’s funny how things seem when they comeback round – I have found different things within certain beers that I now really enjoy and beers that I once really didn’t care for, are becoming more appealling. I love these experiences. Long may they last.

Well, the wonders of the WorldCup in South Africa draw near close, hopes dashed and some champion efforts by teams way out side peoples normal field of suggested winners – which in some really rubbuish seque leads me on to NEW BEERS!

** PLEASE DESCRIBE THIS IMAGE **New beers? Yes, don’t we have enough new beers, every month, something new, something interesting to tease you with, tempt and enjoy… Well, it’s not too often I get to introduce a completely new brewery to these shores: GREEN FLASH!

Green Flash, one of San Diego’s numerous breweries, run by Chuck Silva, yes, that is his name.. someone who I have had the distinct pleasure in spending a few hours in the same brew house with. Whilst brewing at Triple Rock, Berkeley, California – a few years back brewing the “Lowry’s IPA”, Chuck brewed the following day, an IPA with Rodger Davis, with big batch of Rye in the grist. Unfortunately, neither beer will feature on Beermerchants.com – such is the size of production at Triple Rock, and the numerous thirsty people from the people’s republic of Berkeley. But, what I do have is Chuck’s classic west coast ales, big, hoppy and very very drinkable. The West Coast IPA is very much celebrated as a classic. The early birds who follow us on Twitter, and use Facebook are already aware, and really enjoying it!

** PLEASE DESCRIBE THIS IMAGE **Hardknott. seemingly nearly as far away from Kent as San Diego, Hardknott Brewery run by brewer, blogger and industry comentator Dave Bailey. With partner Anne, the brewery is located up in Cumbria. Dave Bailey, migrated from his pub, the Woolpack, once the location of the Hardknott brewery and basis for many a post on his award winning blog. Now he’s brewing full time, proving that he enjoyed the brewerying bit over the running of his pub. Dave, a passionate observer of the waves of the modern brewing industry went head long where many fear to tread into barrel aging beers. We’ve got our hands on a little bit of Dave’s really interesting barrel beers – the Granite and the Aether Blaec. Dark chewy beers, one aged in islay Whisky casks – really, if you’re into big beers and whisky, do not miss out! We like Dave, we like his beers, we think you should too. (that’s Janine, from Ashover brewery and Dom from Marble in the background, just one more example that brewing is chock full of the most amazing people, ever! good times hanging in Brussels with these two, Owen Miller and “The Mark Dredge” ) CLICK HERE PURCHASE THE BEERS.

Cantillon. There are experiences that I treasure, yes I have the fortunate position of “having to go” to Cantillon for work, I have grown to love the place, (I find it hard not to love a brewery!) now I really enjoy the journey and moments to spend in Cantillon. Where once they were very hard lambics, now have migrated to a more rounded elegant brew, through tireless work of the Van Roy family, and the efforts of Jean in the modern world of beer. it’s wonderful to spend time in such a marker brewery once just abolut surviving and now doing very very well, selling everything they produce! So, we popped to the brewery last week, refilled a few shelves with one of the most celebrated gueuze’s and a tiny tiny amount of Jean’s first top fermented beer. Yes, that’s right dear brewerying beery geeky friends of mine, a TOP FERMENTED BEER from CANTILLON! It’s the continuing of the Zwanse series, Jean’s opportunity to play. This year saw the use of a white beer yeast, the beer fermented in the stainless koolschip, (the lower one, in the upper bit of the building in the malt store) in the winter, then it was aged in a bunch of lambic casks, taking the lactic notes on. I believe, there is also a fair amount of oat in this beer. It’s great, refreshing and pleasing to see such an accomplished brewer playing! Please, this is on a first come first served basis, even I haven’t had a bottle, such is my want of getting this out to some of you… CLICK HERE FOR CANTILLON.

** PLEASE DESCRIBE THIS IMAGE **Kernel – Evin O’Riordain, tucked in an archway of the Tower Bridge area, has been brewing up a storm down there… 15 mins walk from the brewery that I get to play in, in Borough Market, I get to spend good times with Evin and his beers. He’s an active and passionate member of the London Brewers Alliance (see more below)- He’s coming on the radar of more and more people – as such brewing more and more beer – exciting, esoteric styles, way out there from the norm – but reflecting his passion in big IPA’s and superb porters. We’ve snagged a few crates of beers as they were flying out the door at the brewery, so you people outside of London can get ahold of what everyone is talking about! The 1890 Porter is excellent- and a little age on it, I am told, will bring it out even further. There is a lot of love for the new Simcoe, big IPA… CLICK HERE FOR KERNEL BEERS

Moor Beer, down in deepest darkest Somerset – we have JJJ IPA back in, and the very popular and celebrated Revival.

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