PDA

View Full Version : Need your advice



Pivo Prosim
04-08-2006, 03:14 AM
Hello all.

A friend is going to London on business in a few days. He's offered to bring me back a few bottles of England's best. I'm really curious about English ales because we don't have them here except for Newcastle. Actually it's the only English beer I've seen here. Probably another cheap corporate imitation like Heineken and Stella Artois which are brewed locally here now.

What beers and ales would you recommend?

Thank you experts in advance! PP

Bloodaxe
04-08-2006, 06:03 AM
Go to a supermarket like Asda. usually got a good selection of ales such as Specked Hen, Mordues Radgie Gadgie, etc. , Charles Wells, Shepherd Neame Spitfire, and so on. Try to stay away from the big brewers; Newcastle Breweries/Scottish Courage, John Smiths, etc. Choose bottle conditioned beers if possible. Asda usually have the decent stuff all in the same place anyway. Do not buy canned beer!

chazwicke
04-08-2006, 08:20 AM
Tell him to look for bottles that state "Bottle Conditioned" on them. Welcome to the board.

gallowd7
04-08-2006, 03:04 PM
Strangely enough, the Spitfire I bought in bottles was equal to if not better than from the cask.

Richard English
04-09-2006, 02:17 PM
As Chaswyke says, make sure that he gets a bottle-conditioned beer. We brew around 600 of them so there's plenty of choice.

My favourites are Fullers 1845 or Young's SLA. Hop Back Summer Lightning is grand if you want a lighter beer. For something slighty weaker try Coniston Bluebird.

Do NOT buy anything you see advertised in the mass media as it will almost certainly be rubbish. Newcastle Brown, John Smiths, Carling - all rubbish. Don't waste your money.

For useful information on bottled beers try the Oxford Bottled Beer Database http://www.bottledbeer.co.uk/. But don't take too much notice of some of the readers' comments on the posted reviews since many of those who comment are inexperienced, inarticulate, and unknowing.

Pivo Prosim
04-10-2006, 05:08 AM
Thank you gentlemen, you're advice has been passed on.

I can't wait to see (and taste) what arrives!

Really happy I found this place. It should make all my future travels even more enjoyable!

Pivo Prosim
04-14-2006, 12:17 AM
Well, after much anticipation, my friend has returned from swinging London and brought me.....

Drum roll please......

Sushi looking rice cookies/cakes from an Indian bakery!!:confused:

I couldn't believe it.

I still can't believe it....

Okay, I'm just going to have to do this one myself. The wife had been talking about going to Rome later this year but that plan just got cancelled. London, here we come!

Bloodaxe
04-14-2006, 01:52 AM
Shame!!!! Tell him to shove his rice cookies up his.....! Sorry about your disappointment. But as you say a mission sometimes has to be undertaken to secure what's needed- dunno if I would swap a trip to Rome for a trip to London though, then again, i've been to London.

Richard English
04-14-2006, 02:52 AM
I have never drunk any Italian beer that's even remotely palatable. Nastro Azzuro (Nasty and Sorry) is typical fake pilsner chemical fizz.

Of course, Rome is a historic and interesting city - but then, so is London. If you've been to neither then I would certainly suggest London in preference to Rome - or in preference to just about any other city (and I've been to many cities throughout the world).

chazwicke
04-14-2006, 12:15 PM
I'd pick London too, however, If the wife has any say.... Mine is not a drinker. I love London. And you'll find no finer beer. I live in the Washington DC area and DC is one of the most beautiful cities. Especially this time of year. And Paris is also lovely. But I'd choose London any day - for the beer. I need no other reason.

MeridianFC
04-14-2006, 02:13 PM
Traveling to London is indeed going to be the better choice because no matter how good a bottle conditioned beer is it's no patch on true cask ale. You'll be in hog(shead) heaven.

I'd recommend touring the Youngs and Fullers breweries. You'll have not trouble finding good pubs. If you start to tire of cask (I can't really imagine this scenario) you can also visit the Meantime Brewing tap outlet for the resurrection of British lager.

chazwicke
04-14-2006, 03:34 PM
Man! I did not know about Meantime when I was up in Greenwich last month.:rolleyes:

http://www.meantimebrewing.com/

Richard English
04-14-2006, 04:41 PM
If their beer is anything like their website, I'd not want to drink it. Complex, confusing, too clever by half - haven't they heard of the virtues of simplicity?

Obviously some clever-clogs website designer has managed to con them into believing that the more you complicate a thing the better it is - a bit like Dudweiser, in fact.

MeridianFC
04-14-2006, 04:57 PM
Their beer is very good. I don't think it would be to your taste Richard since the goodliest portion of it is not cask. They do have one handpump at the Greenwich tap, the rest are force pressurized (though I think the bottles are all BCA, at least the ones we get over here are). Still tasty. To my mind they're more in the style of American Micros, which for varities sake over there is not necessarily a bad thing, superiority of cask not withstanding.

Richard English
04-15-2006, 01:52 AM
Quote, "...the rest are force pressurized (though I think the bottles are all BCA, at least the ones we get over here are). ..."

If their bottled beers are bottle-conditioned then that augurs well for the rest of their beers. That they are dispensed from a tap does not necessarily mean they are force pressurised; they could simply have a carbon-dioxide blanket. This would mean they are not "real" by CAMRA's standards, but they could still be perfectly good beers. Or the taps might be electric pumps (although these are rare nowadays). It's difficult to tell by looking - but easy enough to tell by tasting.

I wouldn't pre-judge them - but that doesn't alter my opinion of the dreadful website!

chazwicke
04-15-2006, 07:24 AM
I'd have stopped in and tried the beer since I was in Greenwich. I'll most always visit a brewery if I know it is close by. Although when in the UK I almost exclusively drink cask conditioned brews.

K, Where around here did you find it in bottles? I've not been out beer shopping in awhile. I did pick up a second sixer of the Old Domion Spring Brew last evening at the local Harris Teeter (crappy selection). I needed to get some to send to a RealBeer guy from NJ.

MeridianFC
04-15-2006, 10:38 AM
Originally posted by chazwicke

K, Where around here did you find it in bottles? I've not been out beer shopping in awhile. I did pick up a second sixer of the Old Domion Spring Brew last evening at the local Harris Teeter (crappy selection). I needed to get some to send to a RealBeer guy from NJ.

I've seen it several places around town. Cleveland Park Wine and Liquors (Chocolate and IPA) and I'm sure it's a Chevy Chase.