Author Topic: My Beer and Cider Thread  (Read 7484 times)

4Eyes

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My Beer and Cider Thread
« on: October 05, 2011, 09:56:43 PM »
'bout time we started this one :)

As some of you may know, I am a 'real ale' and 'real cider' fan - I don't actually drink that much these days, so all the more important that when I do it is the 'good stuff'

Two things prompted me to start the thread.... firstly, I just enjoyed a cider that was so much better than anything I tried before that really needed commenting on.... Gwynt y Ddraig Farmhouse Vintage Scrumpy (yes.. as the names suggests, it's Welsh) .... if you are in Wales, and you see it on draft, try it - you won't be disappointed.

More importantly, given the transatlantic mix we have here... I am soon be to trying 5 'real ales' from across the pond.

There is a pub chain in the UK called 'Weatherspoons' - they have an interesting business model, they buy up large city centre buildings like old banks and cinemas, and convert them into pubs that 'do the important things right' - a good selection of real ales that are 'well looked after' and cheap too - reasonable quality cheap food, no pool tables, etc and an ambiance that does not offend anyone. They are not the 'cute little pubs' that many people love, but if you are stuck in a city or town centre and you want a 'safe bet' for a good pint, they are the place to go.

... anyway...they are staging a nationwide 'beer festival' that will include 5 craft beers from the US on draught.

This would normally be impossible given the fact that real ale simply cannot be shipped from the US to the UK in sufficient quantity, quickly and cheaply enough to make it worthwhile... so they came up a different plan.. they paid for the head brewers of the chosen 5 to fly over here and persuaded 5 of our established real ale brewers to let them have use of their facilities to brew the beer here.

The 5 chosen ones are:

Bells Brewery, Michigan
Stone Brewery, California
Bend Brewery, Oregon
Fat Heads Brewery, Ohio
Odells Brewery, Colorado

Each has brewed a custom beer which will be sold through all of the Weatherpoons pubs during the next couple of weeks.

Any US folk tried any of these?

Any UK folk feel like doing a tasting comparison?

mivox

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Re: My Beer and Cider Thread
« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2011, 11:45:29 PM »
Everything I've had from Stone Brewing has been fantastic... their Arrogant Bastard Ale is really exceptional, if you like bitter beer (which I know you do, 4Eyes :-).

The other breweries must not be as widely distributed, geographically speaking, because I don't believe I've tried any of them.
I would rather regret the things that I have done than the things that I have not. ~Lucille Ball

Brad

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Re: My Beer and Cider Thread
« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2011, 12:02:17 PM »
>Bells Brewery

I live about 2 hours drive from Bell's so our stores are pretty well stocked. So far I'm impressed with just about everything I've tried of theirs. http://bellsbeer.com/

My favorites are the Bells Porter and Bells Oberon which is their wheat beer.

I've really gotten into good craft beers of late although I'm still learning.

4Eyes

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Re: My Beer and Cider Thread
« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2011, 01:16:03 PM »
Excellent :)

Stones have brewed a 'session IPA' , and Bells a Porter - looks like it will be a good night :)

Brad

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Re: My Beer and Cider Thread
« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2011, 02:02:06 PM »
I think the Bell's Porter will not disappoint.  American Porters tend to be stronger, more out there, than their English (brown) Porter cousins, but Bells Porter is a nice bridge between the two.  It's quaffable.

dogboy

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Re: My Beer and Cider Thread
« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2011, 02:47:36 PM »

4Eyes

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Re: My Beer and Cider Thread
« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2011, 04:37:01 PM »
Quote
American Porters tend to be stronger, more out there, than their English (brown) Porter cousins

Once we get into the UK 'micro brew' area I think the boundary between stouts and porters has a large overlap - I have seen some porters over 6% and some stouts under 4.5%.

I seem to recall that there are some differences in US/UK terminology - are your 'Porters' what we would normally call 'Stouts' ?

All the 'beer styles' seem to be 'flexed' a little these days - reading the Weatherspoons program, there is even a 'black' IPA on the list. Not that I am REALLY worried - 'a rose by any other name' etc .. but that sounds so wrong :)

Looking forward to tasting them all (or at least the first batch) later tonight.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2011, 07:38:30 PM by 4Eyes »

Brad

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Re: My Beer and Cider Thread
« Reply #7 on: October 06, 2011, 04:53:17 PM »
I'm thinking flavor-wise strong not alcohol strong.
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/wiki/index.php/Porter

According to the Wiki, American Porters tend to be 'Robust Porters' - 'A darker, stronger, more intensely malty version of a brown porter,' so I guess somewhere between a stout and and an English Porter.  Anyway it's good!

keano

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Re: My Beer and Cider Thread
« Reply #8 on: October 06, 2011, 06:32:54 PM »

Thanks for the heads up 4Eyes. Looks like some belters on the menu...

See http://www.jdwrealale.co.uk/static/pdfs/Real-Ale-Notes.pdf

Tempted by the Thornbridge one - love their Jaipur IPA.

Gurtie

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Re: My Beer and Cider Thread
« Reply #9 on: October 06, 2011, 06:52:33 PM »
I think MrRex, who some of you know, used to live just down the road from Bend Brewery and thinks its pretty good stuff.

But the man doesn't like curry, so I don't altogether trust his judgement.

Brad

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Re: My Beer and Cider Thread
« Reply #10 on: October 06, 2011, 07:22:04 PM »
Porters were invented in England. Stouts descend from Porters, with Stouts being a stronger flavored form of Porters.

I might be getting my history all messed up but Porters were still very popular in England, particularly London until World War I when shortages of grains for brewing got everyone used to lighter beers.

Info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Porter_(beer)

Info on the taste: http://www.ratebeer.com/beer/bells-porter/3208/

Brad

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Re: My Beer and Cider Thread
« Reply #11 on: October 07, 2011, 09:11:04 PM »
Thank you Brad.

In related news - Is nothing sacred anymore?

http://www.reghardware.com/2011/10/07/google_launches_own_brand_of_beer/

Served by Creepy Eric?  It's probably in Beta.

4Eyes

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Re: My Beer and Cider Thread
« Reply #12 on: October 07, 2011, 10:09:24 PM »
Seems they are drip feeding them over the days of the festival.

So far, I have tried two - both excellent:

Odells 90 Shillings - a dark Scottish-style strong bitter - reminded me of McKewans Champion, albeit not as stupidly strong.

Bell's Kalamazoo Black Silk - they duck the Porter/Stout issue by just describing it as a 'speciality' beer, but it would pass for either. Really, really good - the tasting notes are full of the usual 'flowery' language about oats, chocolate, and gentle fruity hops - but 'really, really good' covers it :)


Brad

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Re: My Beer and Cider Thread
« Reply #13 on: October 07, 2011, 10:38:25 PM »
Hehe!  Yeah they can call it anything at all so long as it is really really good.  I'm glad you are enjoying the beer 4Eyes!