Monthly Archives: October 2014

Erdinger weissbrau

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Time for another wheat beer review, this time its a German hefewiezen by the Erdinger brewery in Erding, Bavaria.  I’ve never been a huge fan of wheat beers to be honest.  Other than Blue Moon there’s not a wheat beer I’ve tried that even remotely tantalised my tastebuds.  However, I really enjoyed this one.  It was reccomended to me by a friend at work, who assured me it was, in his words, ‘lush’.  I personally wouldn’t go that far.  It is though very palettable.

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The beer poured a wonderfully hazey orange,  with a thick, pure white head that retained itself nicely.  The aroma was sweet, but not sickly sweet. Very fruity, with light spicey notes. I got a slight hint of clove.  It drew you in, almost begging you to taste it.

On to the taste.  This beer has a wonderful, medium bodied mouth feel. That is crisp and refreshing, yet still offers the classic hefeweizen smoothness and creaminess you would expect.  There is not as much spice as I was expecting after the aroma.  Maybe just a tad clove.  More noteable flavours are the sweet malty flavours and the rather pleasant tang from the wheat.  Its all rounded off with a hint of earthyness, from the yeast I presume.  the finish is maybe a little dry,  but i suppose that just leaves your mouth wanting more.  All in all, I cant fault the drinking pleasure this beer offers.  I’m not experienced enough with wheat beer to say wether this beer stands out in its style.  But for drinking enjoyment alone I’ll give this German wheat beer a mighty fine 7.5/10

If your curious about wheat beers, this is definatly one I would reccomend to dip your toes into.  I’ll definitly be buying more of this.

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10 reasons to drink craft beer!!!!!

Still not convinced to join the craft beer revolution and ditch the watery, mass produced, tasteless lager??  Let me give you ten good reasons to ditch the dish water and embrace the taste..

1, Craft beer tastes of something.

The main reason above everything else is craft beer simply tastes better.  Mass produced lagers are brewed with profit in mind. Nothing more. Where as microbrewers are dedicated to creating something unique. The focus of the craft brewer is to create a drink full of flavour using an abundance of various malts and hops. They put thier heart and soul into the beer and dont cut corners when it comes to quality. Unlike the big breweries, who are more concerned with removing ingredients to make a bigger profit. 

2, More choice

There are over a thousand microwbreweries operating in the uk right now. That is literally thousands of different beers being produced in thier own unique way with thier own unique recipe. There are dozens of different beer varieties to choose from, compare this to your generic lager brands such as Fosters, Stella Artois, Carling there is simply no comparison on choice.  Craft beer wins every time.

3, More alcohol

Thats right.  Most craft beers dont half pack a punch compared to lager.  With most ranging from between 5-10%abv. But thats just the average.  Some beers brewed for the true beer connoisseur and be found with 20-30 even 40%abv. 

4, Health benefits

Believe it or not.  Craft beers do contain health benefits.  Alcohol aside. Drinking craft beer is said to be more beneficial to our health than red wine is.  Research has shown craft beer to contain a range of antioxidants, soluble fibre and B vitamins. I’ll drink to that!!!

5, Meet the people who make your favourite beer

One of the best things about craft beer is the opportunity to meet the brewers, who are more than happy to show you around thier brewey and explain the processes involved in making the beer.  Because of the pride taken in what they make, microbrewers are some of the most approachable people you are likely to meet. Always happy to answer questions on brewing.  Just dont ask them for any of thier recipes.

6, Drinking craft beer saves you money

Because most craft beers are high in alcohol, it doesn’t take as much to get you merry.  Plus, craft beer is to be savoured, not consumed for the purpose of getting ‘off your face’ drunk.  Though that is always an option if desired.

7, You will be joining a revolution

People are sick of bland, tasteless, dish watery beers.  People want to actually taste something when they drink a beer.  By drinking craft beer and refusing to accept that mass produced “beer water”, you are essentially sticking your middle finger up at the big companies and helping the microbrewery industry grow. Which is beneficial in so many ways. Our drinking enjoyment being one. And supporting small local business at the same time, the other. Imagine the idea of enjoying quality, flavoursome beer brewed no more than 10-20miles from where you order it. Fresh beer, fresh taste. Its a no brainer.

8, Its great fun.

Sounds like a good enough reason, right?  Simply put though, it is really good fun.  Theres nothing better than meeting a group of friends or family and discussing the beer you are drinking.  I dare you to try it just once.  The vast array of different beers available mean you can discuss the smells, tastes, appearance.  You’ll be amazed by the diversity of different beers.  You could even make it a regular thing. Craft beer nights. Why not??

9, Craft beer and food go hand in hand

Like fine wines, craft beers are fantastic for matching up with food.  The vast array of styles and flavours mean pairing them to food is a new and exciting scene on its own.  Already there are restraunts and gastro pubs creating dishes to pair perfectly with specific beers.  So much more to offer than your typical curry and lager.

10, Because I said so!!!!!

Yes. I said so.  Craft beer is so much better than lager.  I really cant understand how anyone would rather drink fizzy tasteless lager instead of a craft beer.  Theres so much more to a craft beer. The craft in making it, the care and attention, the dedication to providing you with a flavoursome beer you will want over and over again.  The diversity and choice the craft beer scene presents us is a million leagues ahead of mass produced lager that all tastes and looks exactly the same.  Try craft beer. And I promise you, you’ll never look back. 

Blue Moon

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Being a complete and utter snob when it comes to craft beer, I usually steer well clear from beers brewed by the so called bigger breweries out there. Bud, Carlsberg and the like.  Luckily for me I was blissfully unaware that this wonderfully crafted wheat beer is produced by Coors.  Despite it stating, “bottled by the Blue Moon beer co.” on the label. It is most definately a Coors product.  I was reccomended this beer by a work mate who tried this while in Edinburgh, served with a slice of orange in the glass.  I know. Thats what I thought.  So the first thing iI did was head to my supermarket to buy and try.  Now im not the biggest lover of wheat beers. Its easy to be put off by the sickly sweet scent and flavours of some ive sampled.  However this is rather different. Its a good introduction to wheat beer if its new to you.  It is brewed obviously with wheat, but also with oats.  Which give it a cloudy appearance and a smooth almost creamy like texture in the mouth.  Upon opening you are instantly hit with the aromas of citrus, predominantly orange and grassy spicy notes. You do get that difficult to describe wheaty smell. Almost like a raw bread dough. Some people like that, I’m not a massive fan, but I can cope with it in the name of research.  When it comes to drinking its an all together different experience to other wheat beers I’ve tried, smooth creamy mouth feel, massive orange and citrus combined with peppery spicy notes and grassy corriander flavour.  It leaves a notable tang of orange after swallowing that definatly invites you to want more.

This is definatly a spring time or summer beer to be enjoyed in the warmer weather. The citrus flavours in this are refreshing and perfect for those lazy summer days.  And like I said, a bit of a slap in the face for the beer snobs like me and a bit of a middle finger back to me from Coors.  Maybe these bigger breweries do care about what they produce after all.

I rate this beer 6.5/10.  Not because its not fantastic.  Just because im not the greatest of wheat beer lovers out there.  Although I reccomend you give this one a try.

Craft beer from a can?? REALLY???

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Its just not right is it?  Craft beer from a can? That awful, metallic, tinny thing we all associate with generic mass produced lagers can not surely be a vessel even considered to contain our beloved ale.  Us Brits know our beer, it comes in dark brown bottles with quirky labelling and would never be right in a can, right?  Wrong!
Following as always trends set by our American friends, craft breweries in the Uk are leaning more and more towards canning as opposed to bottling. And if you weigh up the pro’s and cons, you can’t blame them.  Cans are lighter and more managable to transport than bottles, are more enviromentally friendly.  The inside of modern cans come with polymer linings, which acts as an impermiable barrier between the aluminium and the beer. So no metallic tinny tastes.  Also once the can is sealed its completly impenetrable by light. Which makes the shelf life of its contents increase.

The cost of canning is beginning to fall due to changes in technology and many microbrewers are installing there own canning lines now as opposed to out-sourcing to a canning company.  It is beginning to become more noticable too with a range of well known real ales from Badger, Blacksheep, Morland and Wychwood to name a few, having cans filling the craft beer shelves in our supermarkets.

I have of course had my samples. And in my opinion it has to be said, that I found the beer to be a lot fresher than what you would normally get from the traditional bottle.  Head retention was better also. No tinny tastes or off flavours,and was as close to a fresh pint from a cask as I’ve probably had. So maybe canning is the future. If over 400 microbreweries in the states are doing it.  There cant be too much wrong with it I suppose.  Being such a traditionalist nation though. It will be interesting to see how popular British craft beer in a can becomes.

Dreaming of a crafty career

Its 23:10, and here I am.  Staring into the back of a mass of mechanical machinery.  Watching a carousel of tooling rotate endlessly as my facial muscles subconciously twitch in time with my thoughts.  Thats right,  and pardon the french here, I fucking hate my job! I’m an engineer. And I’m trapped. Trapped by lifes grip on all of us to pay bills and of course pay for our love for crafty beers and other essential neccessities for life.

I dont want to be an engineer.  I want to make delicious, ambitious, mind blowing beer. I want the world to buy my beer and love it. Rave about it. Demand it and celebrate it.  Like I do when I try a new amazing ale.  I want to go home after work stinking of malt and hops, not oil and metal!

I do brew beer with my brew buddy in his (purpose built) garage. But we are mere virgins at brewing. Infact almost everything we have so far made is complete shit to put it politely. But we’re not detered. We’re determined to master brewing.  Then of course is the small matter of the thousands upon thousands I would need to begin brewing professionally. Premises, brewing equipment, botting equipment, kegs, casks. That doesn’t come cheap.  It’s merely a dream. As the craft beer scene in the uk and beyond grows, I’m stood here in a job I loathe, watching the ticket of opportunity blow by.

Im not the first to dream of making beer for a living.  Its a beautiful dream. But at 11:10pm in a factory. Its a painfull dream.  Oh well. Only seven hours and 50 minutes to go.

Blacksheep All Creatures

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You can usually trust in Blacksheep if its a traditional hop bitter British ale you seek.  So you will be mildly surprised by this addition to the Blacksheep family.  Light and golden in colour the aromas strike your nostrils quite pleasantly. Giving hints of grassy herbs and a definite sweet, almost apple like smell that definitly invites you to taste.  Very light and smooth in mouth feel leaves a somewhat disappointing taste sensation on the pallet.  Slight maltose flavour mildly infused with light bitterness from the combination of three hops. A definite apple like flavour, I presume from the use of Bramling Cross hops.  This beer definitly has a session feel to it.  Although it’s not bad at all, it for me leaves you feeling a little let down and wanting a more flavourful punch.  This is a beer that compliments great with strong cheese and cured meats. Not my favourite of the Blacksheep beers but certainly  worth trying out.  I have a feeling that this beer could and probably is so much better from.the cask that from the bottle.  As yet I have yet to see it in any of the pubs I frequent,  but I will keep my eyes peeled for it.  So for now I shall rate Blacksheeps All creatures a respectable but slightly disapointing 6/10.

PUNK!!!!!!!!!!!

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Not sure if you like craft beer???  You clearly haven’t tried Punk IPA by the legendary craft beer creators at Brewdog in bonny Scotland.
Best friends Martin and James founded Brewdog to change peoples perception on beer.  They like myself and many others were becoming disillusioned with the beer scene in the uk.  And in my opinion these two guys are the ones responsible for starting the revolution of craft beer in the uk.  Inspired by the hop heavy beers they tried in the states, they go hop crazy in thier approach to beer making. And I for one champion that approach.

This amazing beer instantly smacks you in the face with heavy tropical citrusy aromas.  It smells so good it could easily be inhaled instead of drank. But that is not reccomended.  Light and golden in colour and coming in at a rather tasty 5.6%, this when chilled to between 4-6 degrees is most definatly quaffable.  Instantly engulfing your entire mouth with tropical fruit flavours. These upon swallowing turn intensly citrusy. With grapefruit very prominant to continue the exotic taste.  The beer for its strength is very smooth and it ends with a very satisfying bitterness that doesn’t leave the pallet too dry.  I love this beer. And it should be celebrated. Not just for the quality and ingenious in its invention, but for being one of the genuine heavyweights in the uk craft beer revolution.

Get to your supermarket and buy this
beer and see for yourself how good beer can truly be.

Welcome to my craft beer blog

2y1iApbJtKuzvELlOzMxTV-yghna9lIJNt3x9iv1Cf7e2raMtgM-7S_KyooNbkEMkbELQn5wU2j8rwi8GX0JsypvRCgm=w580-h190-ncThankyou for visiting my blog.  In which I hope to share my experiences of fabulous beers, discussing flavours, aromas and appearances among all other aspects of beer.  The craft beer scene is growing rapidly.  Following the trend over the pond in the USA, people of the Uk are beginning to demand complex hop filled beers and changing the trend of warm flat ales and the bearded old man reputation that came with it.  Beer is becoming hip, trendy and more importantly demanded. Which in my eyes is a truly fabulous thing.

Now im no expert or experienced blogger.  I’m your average thirty something working/middle-class family man.  I just happen to truly love beer and wish to share it with as many people as i can.   So forgive my atrocious grammar, my terrible choice of vocabulary and basically disastrous writing style. For I am not here to seek accolades. I merely want to share the joy of craft beer,  and so I shall.

I will begin my first review with a beer that is setting the standard in the uk beer revolution. A beer that smacks you in the face with punchy hop flavour, aromas and literally wakens your mind to what real craft beer is.  So stay tuned for the next post.

I look forward to any response or feedback from anyone. So don’t be shy.