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MeridianFC
01-19-2004, 04:58 PM
I was just curious what some folks favorite UK beers/breweries are. It doesn't have to be a top 10, we all know how confining that can be, but just some GB brews/brewers that you think really stand out.

For me it's gotta be:

Cairngorm
Arran
Belhaven
Harviestoun
Caledonian
Orkney
Hambleton
Timothy Taylor
Young's
Fuller's
Oakham
Castlerock
Meantime
O'Hanlon's
Wychwood
Yates

Scotland has really come on strong in the past few years. Cairngorm and Harviestoun are two of the best going bar none. In England it seems like Yorkshire is putting out more than it's fair share of great beer. I've been blown away by the Hambledon products. I've some bottle conditioned product from Wales I've not had a chance to sample. The only product from there in recent memory I've had is the Hancock (or is it Handcock?) that was decent. I've had nowt from NI or Isle of man. The london standbys are as good as ever, though I have a bit more of a soft spot for Young's. I really like what Alasidair Hook is trying to do at Meantime and I wish some more brewers would get in on that approach.

studentofbeer
01-19-2004, 06:18 PM
goodness, so many on that list ive never even tried.

when i was in the uk two years ago some of my favs were caledonian, theakston and belhaven (my computers are named caledonian and theakston, btw. my old roommates and i called our work group beer and each of us had a beer-themed computer name).

back in the US i drink up fullers (london pride, esb, and finally got my hands on 1845), i just had a cropton's monkmans slaughter that i thought was awesome and i want more of.

chaz will chime in with coniston's bluebird bitter im sure, which is a fine session ale.

there are probably more im not thinking of now. if any of those are bottles available in the US can you add the beer name so i can seek them out? belgian beer, american beer, all beer is good, but english/scottish beer was my first love and will probably always be my favorite.

chazwicke
01-19-2004, 06:24 PM
Student was right. I was thinking Coniston. I have had many from that list of brewers. There are many more to add. I also liked Hook Norton, Woodforde, And before I dig out my lists, I even enjoy Abbot Ale from Greene King. More to follow. ( Also being a political junkie I gotta go watch the returns from the Iowa caucuses)

Stodbrew
01-19-2004, 07:14 PM
Timothy Taylor, Young's and Fullers are all great beers. It's been a few years since I was over in the UK, but I also remember Marston's Pedigree to be very tasty. The Hampshire Brewery in Romsey also makes some very tasty beers. Adnam's was also one of my favorites when I was over there. That's all I can think of right now, but I'm sure there will be more forthcoming.

chazwicke
01-20-2004, 11:53 AM
here is a listing of some of the UK beers I tasted on my last trip. I also have listed where I drank them (pub or GBBF). I hope this list copys here in a readable format.

Shepherd Neame Spitfire Hand and Flower
Everard's Tiger Best Bitter Hand and Flower
Gales HSB GBBF Olympia
Higate Dark Mild GBBF Olympia
Glastonbury Mystery Tor GBBF Olympia
Timothy Taylor Landlord GBBF Olympia
Woodfordes Wherry Best Bitter GBBF Olympia
Hook Norton Best Bitter GBBF Olympia
Titanic Mild GBBF Olympia
Ridley's IPA GBBF Olympia
Marston's Pedigree GBBF Olympia
Vale Black Swan Dark Mild GBBF Olympia
Harviestoun Bitter and Twisted GBBF Olympia 2003 Best of Show Scotland
Greene King 1799 Bicentennial Ale GBBF Olympia
Coniston Bluebird GBBF Olympia
Schlenkerla Rauch Maerzen GBBF Olympia Germany
Olde Trip Ale GBBF Olympia
Caledonian Deucher's IPA GBBF Olympia 2002 Best of Show Scotland
Badger Fursty Ferret GBBF Olympia
Caines Triple Hop GBBF Olympia
Boat Brewery Lockys Liquor Locker GBBF Olympia
Harvey's Sussex XX Mild Ale GBBF Olympia
Holden's Black Country Bitter GBBF Olympia
Crouch Vale Brewers Gold GBBF Olympia Silver Award Winner
Wadworth 6X GBBF Olympia
Hobson's Hop Garden Gold GBBF Olympia
Salamander Mudpuppy GBBF Olympia
Young's Special GBBF Olympia
Ceylon Lion Stout GBBF Olympia Bottled Sri Lanka
Hopdaemon Skrimshander IPA GBBF Olympia
Bridge of Allan Lomond Gold GBBF Olympia Scotland
Black Sheep Emmerdale GBBF Olympia
Fuller's 1845 GBBF Olympia Bottled

Greene King IPA Paxton's Head Knightsbridge
Hampshire Gold Reserve GBBF Olympia
Old Mill Traditional Mild GBBF Olympia
Highwood Tom Woods Shepherd's Delight GBBF Olympia
Greene King XX Mild GBBF Olympia
Charles Wells Banana Bread Beer GBBF Olympia
Adnam's Best Bitter GBBF Olympia
Bateman's Dark Mild GBBF Olympia
Everard's Beacon Bitter GBBF Olympia
Courage Director's Bitter Goat Kensington
Murphy's Stout Fox and Hendersons Nitro Kensington
Young's Special Duke of Wellington Portebello road
Fuller's London Pride Churchill Arms 1999 Best Pub Notting Hill / Kensington
St. Austell Black Prince GBBF Olympia
Lidstone' s Rowley Mild GBBF Olympia
Green Tye Union Jack GBBF Olympia
Organic Black Rock GBBF Olympia
Hexhampshire Devil's Elbow GBBF Olympia
Beaver Bitter GBBF Olympia
Ridley's Rumpus GBBF Olympia
Thwaites Best Mild GBBF Olympia
Fuller's ESB GBBF Olympia
Marston's Bitter GBBF Olympia
Fuller's London Pride Elephant and Castle Kensington
Old Speckled Hen Prince of Wales Kensington
Caledonian 80/ William Wallace Marleborne (Scotland)
Adnam's Best Bitter Duke of York Oxford Street
Samuel Smith's Old Brewery Bitter Lyceum Tavern Strand
Shepherd Neame Master Brew Freemasons Arms Covent Garden
Sweet William Brewery William the Conquorer The Cross Key Covent Garden
Greene King IPA Marquis of Granby Soho
Palmer Brewery Dorset Gold Marquis of Granby Soho
Smiles Bristol IPA Britania Great Pub Kensington
Fuller's London Pride The Coal House Strand
McMullen AK Nag's Head Covent Garden
Country Best Bitter Nag's Head Covent Garden
Timothy Taylor Landlord White Lion Covent Garden
Timothy Taylor Landlord Pontefract Castle Marleborne
Greene King IPA Cock and Lion Marleborne
Brakspears Bitter Westminster Arms Westminster
Bateman's Summer Swallow Two Chairmen Great Pub Westminster
Theakston's Old Peculiar Adam and Eve Westminster / Victoria
Young's Bitter Buckingham Arms Great Pub Westminster / Victoria
Abbot Ale The Colonies Westminster / Victoria
Shepherd Neame Best Bitter Cask and Glass Westminster / Victoria
Fuller's London Pride Bag O Nails Victoria
Exe Valley Weatherspoons Victoria
Brain's SA Weatherspoons Victoria (Wales)

chazwicke
01-20-2004, 11:57 AM
Originally posted by chazwicke
Student was right. I was thinking Coniston. I have had many from that list of brewers. There are many more to add. I also liked Hook Norton, Woodforde, And before I dig out my lists, I even enjoy Abbot Ale from Greene King. More to follow. ( Also being a political junkie I gotta go watch the returns from the Iowa caucuses)

Gales makes some great beers that sometimes make it here in cask. The Ship Inn in New Jersey is a great brewpub that often carries guest British casks as well as their own fine English style beers.

MeridianFC
01-20-2004, 12:02 PM
It's good you put down the locations the beers were sampled in, as with cask beer it definitely can have an effect. For the most part the same beer will taste more or less identical from pub to pub, but every once in while I'll note a slight difference, usually in the ammount of carbonation that's allowed to remain in the beer. Of course this could be a factor of where the beer is at in it's oh to brief shelf life.

chris_o
01-25-2004, 08:06 AM
It is very difficult to come up with a list of favourite beers, not least because I would have two lists - those to drink in a pub, usually in a social setting, and those to sit and sip at home.
But here are some that I have particularly enjoyed:-

Hogs Back Hop Garden Gold**
Inveralmond Ossians Ale*
Wentworth WPA**
Wentworth Gryphon**
Fullers 1845**
Cheriton Village Elder
Newby Wyke White Squall
Woodforde's Nelson's Revenge**
Fyfe Lion Slayer
Robinsons Old Tom (cask)*
Frog Island Natterjack**
Hampshire Ironside**
Burton Bridge Bitter
Burton Bridge Empire Pale Ale**
Corvedale Normans Pride**
O'Hanlons Port Stout**
Bartrams Captains Stout**
Titanic Premium
Atlas Tempest
Salamander Golden Salamander
Old Cannon Gunners Daughter
Red Lion White Lion
Titanic White Star
Ryburn Best MIld
Inveralmond Thrappledouser
Highwood Tom Woods Bomber County
[**=available bottle conditioned *-available in bottle, not BC]

As to breweries, I cannot really think of any where I have found all their beers excellent without exception. Woodforde's, Oakham, Hogs Back, Inveralmond and Titanic come close. In fact, any longstanding micro (by that I mean over 10 years old) with an established portfolio tends to be pretty well up there. What I do find a problem is those micros that feel it necessary to brew some special or other on an almost daily basis. Some of those specials have been real turkeys and can only be descibed as experiments gone wrong. Innovation is one thing, gimmickry is something else entirely.

chazwicke
01-25-2004, 08:56 AM
The Woodfordes Wherry I have sampled has been wonderful. And I believe it is 3.8%. A great session beer.