beer of these isles…


Traveling so much and the beers that we keep at – I could quite easily have a finger pointed at me for no love to our local, or national brews.

Over the last couple of years things have really come along here at, I could never have believed that we’d be selling the rare American Craft beer, the number of Gueuze and just the number of great quality British brews that we’ve started bringing together.    Over the weekend that I wandered north to hang out with Simon (the Reluctant Scooper) and hunt for Burton IPA, we chewed the fat when it comes to various English Breweries that we love, and I use that word with it’s full meaning.

Simon’s insight into the midland/North scene is something incredible to hear, the number of breweries that are really trying to brew great, experiential brews, with impressive quality.  Spending time with Kelly and Stephano from Thornbridge and Mark Tranter of DarkStar, Justin of Moor Brewing, chatting with Dominic from Marble, Jeff from Lovibonds, Alan at Old Chimneys, Eddie from Gadds, they are as passionate at many of the breweries that I have travelled around afar, they are brewing exciting beers, they are having fun! and they are growing…   Even the new Steel City Brewing, Pete at the Brew Co for opening up to have this guys is such an incredible opportunity  (even that their new beers, 3 of them, are available at Oxford Beer Fest)

I have taken many beers from these breweries to beer events in foreign lands and people have gone nuts for them.  Ok, I am sure to many readers of this I am shouting at the converted, but, seriously it’s a great time for beer, both home and abroad.    I want to say congratulations, to all.

Showcasing the best of our British ales, Laurence one of the cylinders of the engine, who’s really getting into these beers… has put together a case for you all, and it’s an amazing deal – here –  those beers you receive two of, you’ve got one of them FREE!   yes, FREE!    Plus you get one of the very very cool Gadds of Ramsgate glasses.

Buy English Ales here

Hops on Radio 4 too!  See, beer is getting noise!   and the Telegraph this week!

Tardy and busy!

Sometimes I have to look around and just think that wow, haven’t things moved on!   looking back over the last few weeks, months and the life of this blog – wow.   I wish I could just dump my email inbox on to the blog, much of which I am sure that many other bloggers out there get and which I always read, often with my coffee around 11am. Especially some of the bigger UK brewers various PR companies… my comedy moments all to frequently!    I will be editing the Peter Darby interview this week and in my own slightly inept angle of English making the best of it.   Very interesing and something that I should revisit in time…

I also have a big email to reply to from my favourite local micro, which I must do!     I spent a really good friday night at the Planet Thanet BeerFest, with really good friends and great beers!  The down side was waking on Saturday realising I still had £20 of vouchers in my pocket, um, in the modern way, a kinda FAIL!    Saturday of the Bank holiday I went up to see Garrett at the Bull at Horton Kirby.  Interestingly Garrett does a lot of his communications through Facebook – here –  This was an awesome event, despite the weather; The Mussels were some of the best that I have had in years!  They even had bottles of very rare Belgians along with a great selection of draughts.    All in all Kent was a great place to be for beer last weekend!

SO, here we go!

1, The Coach and Horses, Dronfield.

Transformed pub wins Award recognition

After an extensive ballot of its 1050  members the Sheffield and District CAMRA branch, has declared its District  Pub of the Year for 2009 as The Coach & Horses, Sheffield Road,  Dronfield.

This is a remarkable turn around for a pub that  only just over 2 years ago was declared bankrupt and closed by the previous  owners. The pub was in a very poor state of repair. says Simon Webster,  Director of Thornbridge Brewery, who took over the running of the pub in  2007 and much hard work went into its refurbishment before we could reopen  it. The pub has since concentrated on quality beers from not only  Thornbridge (5 hand pumps dispense their beers, which often include one of  the brewery’s one-off experimental specials as well as the award winning  beers such as Jaipur IPA and Kipling) but also lagers and bottled beers from  across the globe.

Turning around a failed pub can take some  time reports Webster but a major step in the success of the pub he says was  the employment of Kiwi couple Catherine Mueller to manage the pub on a day  to day basis and she has been ably assisted by her partner Kelly Ryan – a  man with a unique insight into the Thornbridge beers as by day he is their  Head Brewer!  Catherine and Kelly have done a magnificent job in  making the pub a success and the CAMRA Award is recognition of this,”  continues Webster and he highlights “not only great beer but freshly cooked,  locally sourced food backed with excellent service as the key to the pub’s  incredible transformation.

The Coach and Horses  will now be entered into the East Midland’s County competition an early  round of the National Pub of the Year award. The pub has a celebration event  planned for Sunday May 24th and Monday May 25th when they will showcase a  number of beers from the Us leading micro brewers alongside a gourmet BBQ  and international live Blues Musicians call 01246 413269 for further information.

To further add to this I’m heading to see Kelly this weekend, with @Terry_Tibbs.     Have a listen to this excellent interview with Kelly on the awesome Brewing Networkhere

2, Struise

If you follow my far more regular waffle, um, microblog on Twitter, Struise beers have arrived at the depot.  They will be available in due course.

read this if you need more waffle

3,  more… but wait.

4, fun in October.

5, Bloggers

We frequently get approached for “free beer” as part of recompense for a promise of traffic and links etc.   We like to send beer to those who are putting the effort in, writing regularly, getting out there, getting to events and generally writing about beer from all aspects in a positive and enlightened fashion, about great beer!   We’ve been picked up by a bunch of bloggers who we all regularly read,  like the Reluctant Scooper, (who we hope will come back with flying colours, ), Knut Albert, and Mark Dredge at Pencil and Spoon.   We’ve also been highlighted by Blog-o-Beer which was very cool, very honest reviews too!

So, all in all a very busy period I just hope I can keep up!

Speak soon and Enjoy Beer!

Another set of brewday pics… Common Conspiracy

Whilst I was away with friends and great beer in California, my brewing amigo – Steve – had to carry the flag for our Conspiracy brews at Gadds.  They were brewing an American hopped pale ale, with a nod toward the Californian Common style, and the famous Anchor Liberty – one of the earliest american style hoppy pale ales.

This beer is now available around Thanet.   I for one look forward to getting a pint or two…  Check with Eddie at his blog for distribution.

here’s Steve’s pics.

Beer Dinners and Beer Arrivals

Beer is really getting to the front of peoples minds, knowing where some of the great beers we sell are heading to, and and the communications that we recieve about the beers – post the event – are so encouraging.

The Griffin Inn, are hosting a full tasting dinner with Mikkeller beers as a central theme – and knowing the sheer quality of the food that they present, it should be an incredible evening.

The second interesting thing in beer is a note that great beers are starting to appear on some very interesting restaurant menus – more soon.  The best thing of it is that they are moving away from the Peroni, Budvar, and Kasteel style/genre of beers – toward a far more selected group of beers…  and what’s best, applying them in a right and proper fashion, with selected glassware!

The Beer arrivals: well, hold on to your hats!   We have some particularly special brews that I cannot wait to offer you all!

The newsletter is out, tomorrow, here

I got to brew recently – professionally – you can see the photos here.   The Brew – “Dark Conspiracy” – an American Mild – 5% and kinda hoppy.   The release party is at the Montifore Arms in Ramsgate.    Eddie wrote in his blog – here