Lambic and Gueuze

About Gueuze, Lambic and more…

This is a truly amazing category of beer.

The few breweries that brew Lambic, then blend to be Gueuze – the famed Cantillon and Drie Fonteinen, the new comer blender Tilquin, the variety and consistency of Boon as much Mort Subite. There are also brews from Girardin and De Troch that aren’t in stock at the moment, but, look out for them in time. Then the curious and perculiar to the lambic brewing scene, the blender, famously Hanssens. It’s hard when you’re this nerdy about Lambic, to not have a growing variety of gueuze and kriek etc.

Yes, Lambic isn’t for everyone’s palate – leathery, acidic, woody, raw and spritzy flavours. But, once you “get it”, you’ll love those flavours. A great come home to beer – the sharp refreshment. That goes oh so well with italian-style dried meats etc.

For the Beauty of Gueuze

For the beauty of Gueuze and Kriek

Save 10% on a mixed case of celebrated and sort after gueuze and kriek. This case ships with a free Boon Glass. Whilst stocks last! [read more here]

It’s not a well hidden secret that we can really dork out when it comes to gueuze, and kriek. Those sour wild fermented beers are a go to, far too often. So much so, we’ve really stocked up and have a good selection.

For the Love of Gueuze

We’ve put together a mixed case of a variety of Gueuze, kriek, faro and witte-lambic, with a 10% discount and a free Boon branded Lambic glass. all available whilst stocks last. [read more here]

Harbour Brewing Co

Harbour Brewing Co

The Harbour Brewing Co was started in 2011 by Bretheyr Rhys Powell and Eddie Lofthouse who share a passion for beer and surfing, both with the dream of opening their own brewery. Rhys had taken steps to make his dream a reality studying Brewing and Distilling at Heriot Watt University in Edinburgh, and having taken a position as a brewer at Sharps Brewery in Rock, North Cornwall. Eddie had been running the family business, The Atlantic Hotel and Doom Bar in New Polzeath, Cornwall, for a number of years. The Hotel and bar closed in early 2011 and is due to be rebuilt as a new hotel, apartment, restaurant and bar complex. This provided a perfect time to make a career change.

Harbour Brewing Company Eddie and Rhys

In early 2011, they decided to take the dream a little further. they met in a pub in Padstow and decided they would open a brewery.  The first thing they did was celebrate by drinking a few beers and deciding a name. It seemed a good idea to name ourselves after the place the idea was conceived, and Harbour Brewing Company was born. Starting from scratch, the opportunity was there to install a brewery system with the versatility to allow the brewing to be as creative as possible. Eddie found a 10 British Brewers Barrel (bbl) system designed in California, and built in Hungary, by the American firm Bavarian Brewing Technologies.

About Harbour Brewing Company

Harbour Brewing Company is a small craft brewery based in North Cornwall. they are committed to making beers that are contemporary and deliver an uncompromising taste experience. they use pure Cornish spring water sourced on the hillside next to the brewery, and only the finest raw materials. they believe this is the only way to deliver a premium quality product.

they apply a progressive and innovative approach in both beer style and brewing technique, whist honoring traditional and proven methods. Using this approach they aim to produce a range of full flavoured, balanced and creative beers.

read more about Harbour Brewing Co here on Beer Reviews, and if you want to buy Harbour Brewing Company

Chimay & Beers

Chimay

Chimay Brewery (“Bières de Chimay”) is a beer brewery and monastery in Chimay, southern Hainaut, Belgium.

The brewery is located in the Scourmont Abbey, a Trappist monastery, and is one of the seven breweries worldwide that produce Trappist beer. They make three widely distributed ales: Chimay Rouge, Chimay Bleue, and Chimay Blanche.

Chimay is an authentic Trappist beer. That means that it is brewed within the walls of a Trappist monastery under the control and responsibility of the community of monks, and whose revenue is devoted to social service.

buy Chimay Beers here

New Beermerchants.com site.

We are proud to announce the launch of our new website. We feel we have radically improved the layout, design and functionality of this new website with many new features! This will be the first time you’ll see the all new Beermerchants.com site.

Built from the ground up, the third incarnation of Beermerchants.com, We’ve gone out and put it all your suggestions in place with the new site.  It’s been a long, big job.   We really wanted to bring something special to the online beer retail world, I really hope you’ll appreciate what we have acheived.    Something simple, clean and easy to find the beers you want, and might like.

Here’s a few new things that I think you’ll appreciate.

NEW THINGS

We think the best thing is that you can browse by the breweries like Huyghe Brewery, Kernel Brewery and Fruli and more… you can find beers by style and by country at the click of one little icon.

You can now: Add to your wishlist, Review every beer, Buy Cider, Buy Genever, Buy Mixed Cases, Bottled Beers, many many different Beer Glasses for every occasion. View more than 300 products per page, quick search and many more little features.. with more to come…

IN STOCK? OUT OF STOCK? – Now, it’s always fatal to make promises, especially when it comes to technology – but, the new system has full stock control, so if it’s there, available and not saying “out of stock”, it should be there!

WISHLISTS? You can now add all the great beers to a wishlist! Yes, just like Amazon, so you don’t have to keep it in your cart! If you do like to add things to your cart and come back, they have a five day “shelf life”… so you have 5 days to grab what you want!

ALL THE GOOD BITS – Be assured, all the good bits are still there: the favourite Mixed Cases, all the classic Belgian beers, Trappist Beers, but now with a range of awesome German brews and many great beers from the rest of the world! All delivered straight to your door for you to enjoy in the comfort of your own home, by our normal couriers.

BEER GLASSES – We have added more Glassware! You’ll find a whole load of new shapes, styles and even some older ones that are oh so collectible.

BEER GIFTS – We have extended the range of Gifts slightly into: Gift cases, Soaps, Books and more coming, under the heading “Gifts”.

Registering is even easier on the new site, but you’ll have to re-register on the new site, but it’s now even easier. If you want more info – click here.

We sincerely hope you like it!

New beers are very much easier to add to the site now as well as bring technology improvements over time, we really have to work constantly keeping the site fresh and always offering something new. We sincerely hope you enjoy your time on the new site and we cant wait to grow and improve it further through 2012.

Thanks for reading! Use Twitter? Say hi, @beermerchants. Use facebook to kill time at work? Yes, we’re on there too…Facebook.com/Beermerchants

Education and Beer – Learn and Share

Education

I was out delivering a talk recently, on beer; you know the usual stuff: how beer is made, how long it’s been made, what makes it “beer” and a loose intro to beer styles and the differences between.

I really love getting out and about, meeting all sorts of people – and thankfully that lovely phrase crosses over, Different Strokes for Different Folks. I am sure some of you have serious qualifications in your chosen career or prior career before you fell into Beer, so you might have the insight in to what a Stroke is. Well, I can start by saying it’s not the brain injury we’re talking about. It’s what some have referred to as an approach to different people that should be individualized. The proverb also means that different people have different tastes. Nobody knows exactly where the saying comes from. Wolfgang Mieder thinks it originated in the United States.

Anyway, why all the psycho-philosopy… well, I think it’s important that we understand where we stand in the world of beer. I think EVERYONE who has a personal or professional interest in beer has an obligation to help those who don’t know about beer, but with the caveat that we mustn’t judge people by their tastes, by what they drink or otherwise.

My toughest tasting from memory, was a bunch of bankers (I have used other terms) certified Industrial Fizzy Lager drinkers, and proud of it. Did I berate them for doing so… no. Did I find an angle with them, exploring their other food intake to seek parallel toward drinking better beer… yes. I had to work very hard on these chaps, one by one, they slowly came around to thinking that perhaps they could do better – and I learned something: their motivations weren’t flavour or the like – it was getting where they wanted to be, in a controlled amount of time – hence drinking Weak Industrial Fizzy Lager. Also, Price was a factor – these better off, financially, people were hung up on the price of Artisan Lager vs Industrial Lager. They also came with the mindset of Last Man Standing – a game of dare to who falls over first; a challenge if there ever was one from my stand point.

The funny thing, even with all the bravado and bullshit spouting forth, once I had done my gig a few of them were keen to talk to me at the bar. Why? I think it was, so not to be under the gaze of the group bullies. What did they ask? Great questions about the history, locale and what does X beer drink well with on the table; not the how much, how much and how much they were involved with when in the formal presentation.

There was my chance to grab a couple from the heard and change their ideals toward the fuller flavoured smaller brewery brewed beers; why beers were sour, why there are 10%+ abv beers etc.

I am in a fortunate position to be able to travel and learn about beer, many people can’t. Relying on friends and mates down the pub – maybe they were bought a box of beers for Christmas Beer, maybe they have a of a 1000 beers to drink before you end up in a wooden box. There are all tiers of tastes, levels of awareness toward beer.

This is where you come in.

I want you to go out, learn as much as you can about beer, learn from those who write, talk and video blog about Beer, and take it to those that aren’t beer-aware. Er, that really sounds like taking a faith to the uninitiated; so you don’t want to sound like a missionary. Ok, how about disruption: Getting out there and flyering for your next local beer festival. Invite all your friends on Facebook, email them. Become an advocate for your good local brewery! Having a party? Take some good, but accessible beers – if no one drinks them, so what!? You’ll have something good to drink all night. Instead of Alcopops try some fruit beers.

It’s all well and good having 1000’s of followers on Twitter, and they’re all beer people, all the people you socialise with are beer people etc… But, I make a concerted effort on corrupting my Fishing and every day mates ideals toward beer – even my gluten intolerant mate who had resorted to cider and corona (his words; they kinda taste the same) to Mongozo GF Pils, “it actually tastes like a lager”.

Why do I say this?

Well, if you as a beer lover, on my Beermerchants twitter numbers, say 3000 people – turn one of your friends onto artisan beer, or just beer (away from wines or ciders – or god forbid Alcopops – a double word score) you immediately double the numbers of people who might buy or the chance that people may find the beers we love.

I am not talking about Militancy – ok, “Occupy The Pub” or “Occupy Supermarket Isles” sounds great, just a gentle nudge here and there. Take a friend to a beer festival – much like Teach a Friend to Homebrew.

Remember – No one likes a Know it all.

Why can’t this be done via marketing or advertising:  You have the trust, you know these people, you know what they want, like and their tastes.  You know their social schedules and you speak to them when they are either making a choice at the bar or in the supermarket isle.   You can of course, should you so wish to, help them with recomendations from Beermerchants.com.   You can hit that totally indivualised experience for the newby beer lover.   Do it!  Tell them, This is why I love beer.

Go for it!

I would love to see this taken on… not in some sort “you must” – just a little softly softly approach. I am sure many of you do anyway.

2012

It’s been a long year for me, little travel and no brewing, but I have seen some amazing sights when I have been out and about. I have pondered a few things, hopes, aspirations and even an “if I win the lottery” type thing…

2011 was a year of great challenges, shifting sands and more choice when it comes to great beers. It was great to see British breweries stepping up and increasing the quality and diversity of their beers. It’s been a lagery year for me, but UK brewed memorably:  Windsor & Eton Republika, Buxton Axe Edge, Dark Star numerous, Magic Rock Human Canonball, Brodies Kiwi, Redemption Big Chief.  Great work chaps! 

Things I would like to see in 2012

  1. I really want to see more collaboration, city wide, or just two local breweries.      Sometimes I think UK brewers look at the US brewerying social schema out of the corner of their eye.   Maybe it’s just a British thing, something we’re expected to leave at primary school, the idea of playing/working together.    Get over it, invite people in, homebrewers, pro-brewers, your favourite brewer in France, Italy, Germany or the US.  Do it! now… get on the phone, internet and do something about it!         (BrewWharf Collab with Toccalmatto and Redemption with Mikkeller, I hope is just the start of it!)
  2. Getting rid of the High Strength Beer Duty. Nuff said.
  3. UK small brewery Keg: I am really hoping that keg or one-way keg, be that KeyKeg or EcoKeg presents chance for brewers then bars to present stronger, hoppier, richer brews. Getting the general drinking populous comfortable with bigger beers and non-cask dispense, but still artisan beer, is a mountain that needs to be climbed. I want to wave bye bye to the tied keg dispense that so many pubs and bars get wrapped up in, for the sake of a cooler?
  4. More and more quality beer bars.    Beer centric bars, with a not-too-geeky-a-leaning are a massive change in the way that we might access quality beer.   Of course, then comes the onus of quality HR needs, good supply and favourable rents and leases… but they can all be worked around.   Applaud those that have taken that leap and make great new beer venues open in 2011. Congrats to Emma J Cole and Tony Leonard on the opening of the Spotted Dog, and Mark with the Powder Keg Diplomacy.
  5. Open a MicroPub: The best thing to have happened in Kent, ever. Very few things come from Kent that can have significant influence out there in BeerLand. The “MicroPub”, probably started in it’s modern guise by the legendary Martin Hillier of the Butchers Arm in Herne. Out here in deepest Kent – the Just Reproach, The Conqueror and the Bake and Alehouse are 5, part of something larger.
  6. More diversification: greater experimentation or investment in away from the norm as well as historical brewing. Where have all the Old Ales gone? IPA’s?
  7. PR Freebies: Dear beerwriter-y types, if you get freebies please – I don’t care if you don’t tell on your blog – but, please don’t look like a soft touch.  Please think about your personal brand.
  8. Being Unreasonable. When ever you feel like complaining about something, consider this:  Creating an alternative.   If you’re not happy with the status quo, do something about it.   Work with a local brewery, help promote their efforts. Work with a local beer bar, help set up a micro pub.    Get beer into your work place, arrange tastings.   Start little tasting circle.    Help spread the word! But, don’t suffer the status quo
  9. Homebrew. Do it.  It’s the best thing ever.   If you love beer, great food and find cooking easy.  And, have good cleaning routines… DO IT!     You’ll take a greater appreciation for the beers that you drink in the pub, or buy from beermerchants.com, than from any book, blog or tweet.     Remember, support your local homebrew shop.
  10. Celebrating. We really need to better celebrate the true industry heroes. We need to better celebrate the brewers, landlords and out and out beer passionate people.   Everyone loves a “nice job” pat on the back, so can we not bring it to ourselves?  Hell, if it takes sponsors, energy etc: I’ll throw my hat in the ring? C’mon people! I asked this last year!
  11. Play well with others: I hope for the long term that everyone learns to play well together. For the sake of the beer….
  12. Websites and e-presence: If you’re business in craft beer, please please get your website straight and keep it up! There are so many out of date and just useless sites out there. We’re so connected these days and so many people just jump on the web to find out. These are your main calling card? Want justification on ROI or something? There are loads of beer savvy techies who’ll help! Email me…
  13. Have fun. I think I work in the greatest industry in the world.    I am surrounded by amazing, passionate and committed people.   We have to remain focused on what reason we got into this crazy crazy game, out and out love for the greatest beverage known to man.   I want it to remain fun, exciting and always leave me with a smile on my face at the end of the day.  With out you all, this would not be possible, let’s keep it that way!

A quick note; Simon Johnson, you rock!

Technology vs Beer

My working week, I guess contrary to what you might think, isn’t beer beer beer… It’d kill me if it was…

This past few months has been a test of willpower dealing with HTML tags instead of iBU’s, category and attribute vs abv, CSV vs IPA.

It’s a whole nuther world, excusing the bad inglish.

I take myself to be fairly fortunate being able to converse in different european languages, recently being in Germany – long lost memories of GCSE German and trips their, plus a few beers brought the basics back. Just enough to get myself into trouble, as the saying goes.

Learning all the words of a techie, the language of languages, code is a good word… Whoah, It’s mind boggling… Php, HTML, MySQL…. Yes dear techie people, we may speaky inglish, but you can easily baffle people.

I suppose what I am driving at is we, those on the beer wagon, need to be very aware of the language we construct about beer, not that I fear The wrath of Robsterowski, but just intimidating the hell out of the neophyte. Then again, lame descriptions of generic blond beers don’t help either. I for one get exponentially bored writing another description about 6% belgian blond ales, knowing full well I wonder if people actually care if it’s hoppy or not.

I am really grateful of all the active people out there who direct tastings, share and educate the incomers to our sport… But I think all the effort we put in has to be with a big chunk of reality… Of not geeking out.

Beyond that, since I’ve been engrossed in tech stuff, I know my beer knowledge has slipped… So much it worries me.
I was recently giving a talk at a digital media meet, realized I was on the cutting edge of things, but the same evening a beer talk – I was struggling for the vocabulary that was alway on the tip of my tongue.

I guess too much of one thing makes jack a dull boy…

Time for a beer me thinks.

Oh, regards all the tech stuff – we have news on the way! 🙂 have a great week!

today my job changed

Today, in offices much like ours, Louise and Colin – people like Zak and his team,  Nigel and Ian, Andreas or Steve, Bart Verhaege,  then people like Nick and Duff, then Martin and Tom will all have dramatic tiered changes to make to their presentation, er, Offering.

Oddly, I guess there might be conversations in offices in Denmark or Northampton, perhaps wherever Tennents is made, but more so in Cheshunt – life will carry on as normal.

The simple reason specialist beer importers, retailers and beer specialist venues will have to charge more, is because of a simple multiplier High Strength Beer Tax that comes into place today.  Yes, that’s a tax for beers over and above 7.5% ABV – capturing in the same net dolphins and tuna – Chimay and Tennents Super;  Stone Arrogant Bastard and Carlsbery Special.   Beers with different origins and space on the shelves of various Retailers.

Why am I concerned, surely the reassuring tones of governmental research showed that you dear beer lover is less price senstive when purchasing High Strength Beer?

Ok, picture this: say a bottle of Chimay will go up 25p perhaps more. 75p at least by the time that hits the shelves of bars.   25p when in retail space, is the difference between two bottle buy and one.    75p, is the difference between a buy and no buy.

I believe the tax system that has been applied is a Pigovian taxThe tax is intended to correct the market outcome. In the presence of negative externalities, the social cost of a market activity is not covered by the private cost of the activity.” – now as you know, I am not the strongest writer in the camp; nor the most erudite – but the way I see it the simple reasoning behind the tax levy was to inhibit the purchase of super strength beer because of their links to antisocial behavior etc.   What the papers would have called a Sin Tax.

Walking through Canterbury last night, after a tasting with some 80 people, students and academics and everyday folk all mixed together – tasting beers from 3.5% thru 11%.    No issues, no trouble – save for a dodgy comedian; long story.  Out in the town, many people drinking “continental style” – cafe sat, coffee, beer or wine all being consumed conscientiously.    I saw a quite few people walking along with Tall Cans of “Mystery Lager”.   I saw one pub with a raucous kick out happening – attended by a brand new Range Rover, unmarked with blue lights appearing from below the grills.    Who were they “attending to”, middle-aged men.     Sad.  Thankfully they didn’t look like Craft Beer people.  More statistics.

You’ll see from the opening paragraph that it was easy to name the family of beer-importer-retailers. There isn’t many of us.   Specialist beer, be that  Artisan, Craft, Craft Keg, Imported Bottle, Cask beer, Real Ale – what ever church you follow, it affects us all.    It’s just more pronounced when your business, livelihood, wellbeing is tied to the sale of over – 7.5% beer.      The internal effects of this,  I know of at least 6 beers that are going to be capped at 7.4%.  I know beers that will not be brewed again.   I know of beers that will not be imported.    I know that considerations have been very clearly stated to continental brewers that beers of 7.4% and above will not be given much push. Times are a changing.   When was the last time you had a breadth of strong, rich, full flavoured massive beers in front of you…  I look forward to seeing Dover Beer Festival this year, “the festival of 5% and above beers” – I don’t hold much hope for the range of biggest of the big beers.

So, if something is taken, something must be given?    2.8% and below, now are 50% off the Duty rate.      As someone who championed 3% beer in cask, and has had long conversations with Eddie Gadd (who if you don’t know does a lot behind the scenes with SIBA); then brewed 2.8% called Low and Behold. (Although, I now know that in fact small brewers aren’t entitled to that lower tax offering, only brewers who are abvove the small brewers discount PBD)   it’s expensive brewing beers at 3%, ingredients that we don’t fully use, massive amounts of hops that compensate for the lack of body – few have mastered the style – perhaps Redemption Trinity is a master of this very small band of beers.  Without checking Ratebeer or something, I would think there were more over 7.4% beers than sub 3% on the market in the UK

All price rises do not reflect the rise in the cost of life, expectations of wage increases and simple business costs.    It’s going to be harder to sell 2 bottles of beer, rather than the one.   Considering the cost of travel is always rising – when you get to the bottle shop, are you then going to have 1 or 2 bottles?   you know the answer.

What were alternatives. Direct regulation?  Did you know that Governments can choose to directly regulate things?   Speed Limits?  (oh noes that’s up for debate too) – wouldn’t have something like “you cannot sell alcohol below cost”  although one wonders if invoices are easily fudged when selling to TESBURAS Or that TESBURAS political weight was just powerful enough to shift the onus from them?

See, we elect people in suits to go and do their best for the UK, both home and abroad.  Make choices and decisions based on heartfelt instincts and research, insight, experience and knowledge…

Did they do the right thing?

have they fuck.

Welcome to Utah.

Other Blog Posts on the same subject:

http://broadfordbrewer.wordpress.com/2011/10/06/point-break-duty-on-high-strength-beers/
 http://hardknott.blogspot.com/2011/10/low-abv-low-duty-low-iq.html
 http://www.magicrockbrewing.com/blog/new-tax-on-high-strength-beers/
 http://ghostdrinker.blogspot.com/2011/09/1-week-till-judgement-day.html
 https://beermerchants.wordpress.com/2011/09/30/today-my-job-changed/
 http://beersay.wordpress.com/2011/10/06/7point5/
 http://blogs.independent.co.uk/2011/10/07/beer-the-bitter-taste-of-bad-legislation/
 http://thebeerboy.blogspot.com/2011/10/higher-strength-beer-duty-my-view.html
 http://thebeercast.com/2011/10/big-beer-month.html
 http://pdtnc.wordpress.com/2011/10/08/an-open-letter-to-my-mp-meps-on-beer-tax/
 http://blog.buntingfordbrewery.co.uk/?p=202
 http://wortnall.blogspot.com/2011/10/what-high-strength-beer-duty-actually.html
 http://gaddsbeershop.blogspot.com/2011/10/brewing-betrayed.html
 http://www.jamesclay.co.uk/beer-suppliers/news/562-highabv
 http://moorbeer.co.uk/news/you-can-make-a-difference
 http://real-ale-reviews.com/high-strength-beer-idiotry/2011/10/
 http://raisethebeerbar.blogspot.com/2011/10/high-strength-beer-duty-why-government.html

Creeping Ivy

Creeping IvyCreeping Ivy

Fashions, trends or just looking over the garden fence… are they healthy?

I am guilty of the next as the next person promoting fringe activities as a “better alternative”; looking back through this blog I have “pimped” – yes, I haven’t mentioned Fullers, Harveys’ or Lees or Wilsons or Holts or a fine pint of Mild often, but that doesn’t mean I don’t miss it when I come back to the UK from foreign beer lands.

But some personal home truths;   I know at the throne of BeerGeekisms I would be burned  for saying how much I love great milds and crystal malt and fuggles and goldings have a place, not at the back of the brewery store.    Belly slapping big Imperial Stouts are awesome, US IPA‘s with nose jangling hop aromas and bitterness that makes your gums peel are all fine, in their place.  I would be hung for loving Lager, from the industrial PBR, Olympia types even a glass of Heineken in Amsterdam, right through fantastic Helles and Pilseners of German and Pilsners from Czech Rep by many real ale-ys.

I grew up in a pub. We served all sorts, Belgian, German and lots of Cask ales – I have always drunk a full spectrum of flavours, as much said by one of the chaps that helped me find my way in beer, “would you want to eat the same type of food every night?

But, I worry when I hear “Death of The English Classical Hop”.   Bramling Cross and Fuggle seemingly will be off the list because of cost of growing and the amount of American hops used.    Yes, I am not a fan of Fuggle, but try brewing a classic stout or underpinning the notes of Goldings with anything else; a local brewpub has steadfastly held on to their Fuggles brew, at 3.6%,  and it was cracking!    Bramling Cross, a hop that I love, seemingly might be off the menu in a couple of years.    Appreciation and championing of classic British ale styles is something to be applauded.    When was the last time you had a great British Barley wine, or Old ale, Lactose stout?  of course you can name a couple?  But how many pale gold, 3.8% american hop “hophead” style beers can you name…  Pete, Martin et al have done a good job of getting the light back on UK classic IPA, but it doesn’t stop there.

The use of American Hops, “Kevin Wouldn’t Like it”, etc…. I love great bright American hop notes, hell what Steve, Angelo and I used by the shit load; but is that at the cost of our UK hop varietals?     I love to see brewers capable of brewing a full spectrum of flavours and styles.  For example, at Pizza Port Carlsbad, a small brewpub in San Diego earlier this year, had a Pils, Porter, English IPA, West Coast IPA, Stout, West Coast Stout, Irish Stout and a cream ale and more on tap all at the same time… it was frikken awesome.

Nut Brown anyone… ? Thank you DarkStar.    1890 Export Stout, thank you Kernel Brewery.      Thank you Ron Pattinson, Durden beer Circle and others for spending so much time on the old school recipes.   And, by the same token I love to see how Rye Beers, Black IPA’s and American-eque flavours have taken ahold here.

When was the last time you even saw a Berliner Weisse, a Goze or Mumm?  All beer styles that live on the far fringe of beer in Germany, that I’d love to see more accessible.      Brown, wood aged sour beers in the UK?     It wasn’t so long ago it was rare to find a porter available in the UK?

Then I see things like this:

This sort of thing yeah is a funny meme and makes a few beer aficionados chuckle.   But is it healthy?     Is it better to be in the tent pissing out, or pissing in?

UK Beer Exports

By chance, I had what is a starter of a conversation with Eddie Gadd of Gadd’s of Ramsgate – the export of British Beer?    Yeah, BrewDog is available about the ways,  couple of the Hepworth beers, Youngs, Meantime and Fullers, Sheps,  are seen here and there; Thornbridge are about too…  we have a shit load of breweries here, some 840?

I see the efforts of the US Brewers Assoc, Bob Pease et al, championing US beer here, Italy and other international Beer festivals.   I see the busiest stand at GBBF the American/Foreign beer bar. Is there a UK beer stand at the GABF?  The different factions about beer in the UK – from CAMRA, Family Brewers, SIBA, the Beer Writers, Bloggers and Twitteratti, Ratebeerians and many trade folk – I know it’s hard for people to work together, but we really need to get our act together on this; not creating a political position or a chance for someone to gadd about the international beer arena to reallly push UK brewing as an export.    I guess SIBA don’t have the financial wearwithall?   Perhaps CAMRA have the £.

If we exported beers, um, like we used to… you know India and Caribbean, or Australia even Belgium; look how many contemporary beer styles we use today derived from those Export Beers?    Not to mention the much needed cash injection?   Perhaps, even, a home for a portion of a brew(s) of over 7.5% speciality beers, now that they are subject to a “supertax”.   (We would have been better served with a law to say that no beer can be sold below cost?)

A Hope for Beer Enlightenment!

My hope for the next few years, is that we can approach beer with an insight into all of the worlds great beer major and minor styles, know where they fit into our daily diet, what they drink really well with and ensure that beer styles aren’t lost to the history books and are around for the next beer drinking generation to enjoy.

I would love to hear your thoughts on the above.