reflection and redemption…

reflection and redemption

yes, I haven’t blogged in a while. As I have always said, I am not a writer, I just like to scratch down some diary-esque notes – then scare the crap out of myself thinking how time has flown by.

It’s been a very busy few months for Beermerchants and Cavedirect, and the ongoing brewing project at BrewWharf, with Saints and Sinners – not to mention the advent of the London Brewers Alliance, but feeling in a philosophical mood (read: lack of coffee)  I thought I’d put fingers to keyboard and bash out a few word, say hi and frankly procrastinate after a nice dinner.

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Mr Garrett Oliver

We have, friends included, consumed a number of beers that Garrett has had influence on, so far they are pretty  good.

so far:

Thornbridge Alliance
Thornbridge PX  Barrel Aged Alliance
Kelham Island Smoked Porter
Schneider – Brooklyner Schneider & Schneider Brooklyner
Brooklyn Black Chocolate

nice work Mr Oliver.  and a very nice chap he is too.



and if your one of those that doesn’t own his book – go and get it now!

Best Beer in the UK?

It’s always up for debate what’s the best beer, in any category that you chose to select.  There is a chunk of latin that I like – in di gustibus non disputatum – even though I quit latin (and some might say English) when I left a fancy school in Canterbury – says that there is no accounting for taste, or taste is relative to your awareness?

All said, I was given an awesome bottle of beer recently, by none other than Garrett Oliver of the Brooklyn Brewery (thanks!!).    I had already had a sneak preview by Kelly, one of the brewers of said beer, so I was even more pleased to recieve this beer.

I took it to a recent tasting, amongst like-minded beer loving friends, because a Danish friend, and beer lover was in town.   We shared many a beer, my two entrants to the evening, well three if you include a schwartzbeer that I made, were the beer above, and the Jasmine IPA, Fantabulous Resplendance X from Three Floyds.

I hate to talk about leagues of beer, and the like – but this beer is up there with many many of the top beers around the world.   The UK beers, like the excellent Old Chimneys King Henrys Reserve, Durham Temptation/Bendiction, are close – but the the beer above, was the show stopper, an 11% barley wine aged in Pedro Xinmenez casks.  Bright floral orange blossom, and citrus notes.   Incredible stuff. so smooth.   Where as I have bumped into plenty of amazing sour ales, massive imperial stouts, incredible hop bombs – just this year – this beer was a more than a pleasant experience.

The beer,   Barrel Aged “Alliance” from Thornbridge Hall.     whether or not it’s the best beer in the UK,  but over many big Imperial Stouts that draw big plaudits – this had something of a newness/vibrancy – freshness of style that I found it change from what I had experience before with experiential beers!

English Beer

Buy English Ales here