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MeridianFC
03-23-2004, 05:04 PM
I have a friend coming over from Blighty and has offered to courier some beer. From the following list, what would you recommend that is not available in the US. Obviously some of the UK based poster will not know what is/isn't available so just recommend away. For those based in the US you should be able to filter the list down a bit, though you might not have the depth of knowledge that our friends in GB do.

Thanks in advance.

http://www.onlyfinebeer.co.uk/productSearch.php?searchBy=3&searchCriteria=United%20Kingdom

K.

stronk
03-25-2004, 04:26 PM
From that list:

Adnams, Ssb
Fullers, Fullers 1845
Harveys, Imperial Extra Stout
Hook Norton, Old Hooky
Mauldons, Black Adder
Pitfield Brewery, 1850 London Porter
Rch, Old Slug
Wolf, Lupus Lupus
Wolf, Woild Moild
Woodfordes, Nelsons Revenge
Woodfordes, Norfolk Nog
Woods, Hopping Mad

But there are many others I'd love you to be able to try which aren't sold by that site. There's another (cheaper) site, which is based in Norfolk but has a reasonable delivery charge to the UK: www.beersofeurope.co.uk . Tell me if you want me to suggest some from that site.

MeridianFC
03-26-2004, 10:42 AM
That other site looks great. I think I may order from them after all, mostly because they have the Andechs beers too. Anything you'd recommend from them would be greatly appreciated.

K.

stronk
03-26-2004, 11:17 AM
Adnams Broadside
Caledonian Deuchars IPA
Charles Wells' Bombardier
Charles Wells' Banana Bread Beer
Felinfoel Double Dragon
Fuller's 1845
Fuller's E.S.B.
Adnams Suffolk Strong
Greene King Abbot Ale
Hook Norton Old Hooky
Hop Back Summer Lightning
Morland Hens Tooth Ale
Morland Old Speckled Hen
[The above 2 are my favourite english ales]
Worthington White Shield
O'Hanlons Port Stout
RCH Old Slug Porter
Samuel Smiths Imperial Stout
Samuel Smiths Oatmeal Stout
Granny Wouldn't Like it
Woild Moild
Hopping Mad
Wherry
Wychwood Fiddlers Elbow
Wychwood Hobgoblin
Young's Double Chocolate Stout
Young's Old Nicks Barley Wine
Conniston Bluebird
Harveys Imperial Extra Double Stout
Innis and Gunn
Thomas Hardy's Ale 2003 Vintage

And here are some good Belgians (although I'm sure you know more about them than me):
St. Bernardus 8
St. Bernardus 12
Trappistes Rochefort 8
Trappistes Rochefort 10
Gulden Draak
Saint-Feuillien Brune
Malheur 6
Leffe Brune
Hoegaarden Forbidden Fruit
Duvel
Augustijn
Abbaye des Rocs
Chimay

chazwicke
03-26-2004, 11:43 AM
That site is AWESOME! Too bad they do not sell outside the UK. I saw lots that I would be prepared to order.

Stodbrew
03-26-2004, 11:47 AM
That is a great site. There are tons of beers I would like to try, or have again. It's just a tease! :D

chazwicke
03-26-2004, 11:54 AM
More of a taunt. :D

stronk
03-27-2004, 05:41 AM
Oh yes, I forgot about the Kloster-Andechs Doppelbock; that's good, too.

Richard English
03-27-2004, 07:55 AM
There are now over 500 different bottle-conditioned beers brewed in the UK (plus at least the same number again of brewery-conditioned bottled beers).

It might be worthwhile getting a copy of the Good Bottled-beer Guide. Its ISBN is 1-85249-185-X If your local bookshop doesn't have it you can order it from CAMRA and the page for purchasers outside Europe is http://shop.camra.oxi.net/acatalog/CAMRA_Merchandise_Beer___Pub_Guides_75.html.

Incidentally that site also sells local beer guides so, anyone coming to the UK and wanting to check out the beer in the region where he or she is staying, would be well-advised to review it.

Sorny
03-27-2004, 09:04 PM
The Wychwood beers are at least available in TN. I am a big fan of Fiddlers Elbow and Hobgoblin. Two very drinkable and very tasty beers. If you can ever find them in the local beer stores pick one or two of them both up. Ok, the reason I say one or two is that here they are around $6 a bottle but every bit worth the money spent. Take a chance one this one you won't be disappointed. Oh yeah and if anyone gets a hold of WB's Dogs Bollocks I would gladly pay for a bottle or two. I haven't tried it yet but i would sure love to.

chazwicke
03-29-2004, 01:22 PM
We can get some of the Wychwood beers here in the DC area too. Some are better than others.

Richard English
03-29-2004, 11:05 PM
In the latest edition of "What's Brewing" (the CAMRA newspaper) Jeff Evans adds an interesting slant to this ongoing debate.

He makes the obvious (but often forgotten) point that it's very difficult to compare bottle-conditioned and brewery-conditioned beers since few, in any, breweries make the same beer in both forms.

So you can't check out a bottle-conditioned Youngs Waggledance - as they don't make one. Nor can you check out a Brewery-conditioned Youngs SLA because that, too, does not exist.

However, Jeff did try a comparison between two very similar beers, one a BCA the other not.

This was a tasting between Fuller's Golden Pride - an 8.5%, brewery-conditioned, barley wine and a Fuller's Vintage Ale - an 8.5% bottled-condtioned beer. Both have a very similar recipe, although the Vintage Ale is sometimes "themed" according to the year (although not in 2003 - the date of the one he tried).

His conclusions? Golden Pride is, in his own words, "a magnificent beer". However, compared with the bottle-conditioned Vintage Ale, again, in his own words, "...there was so much more complexity than in the processed beer...suddenly Golden Pride seemed almost one-dimensional..."

The full article is in the April 2004 edition of What's Brewing, sent free to all CAMRA members (so you know what you need to do to get your copy, don't you!)

chazwicke
03-30-2004, 01:20 PM
Conniston is one that is both on cask and bottle conditioned. I think that the bottled version is contract brewed. Anyway it is still delicious both ways and the BCA version is all I can get here. Can't wait until May. My flight and lodging have been booked. I wouls love to also get back to the GBBF this year. Depends on whether I can convince my wife to take her beach week at Topsail Island with her family that week. Then maybe I'll be able to slip away for a few days.

Richard English
04-01-2004, 02:46 AM
I obviously didn't make my point clearly.

There are many, many beers available in draught and bottle versions, Coniston being just one. And I agree; both the cask and the bottled versions are very good - the cask being especially tasty when drunk at the brewery on the shores of Coniston Water.

However, my point was that there are few, if any, brewers who brew bottle-conditioned and brewery-conditioned BOTTLED beers. That is why the discussion about the relative merits of natural and forced carbonation are so difficult to discuss factually, since precise comparisons are difficult to make.

That is why we have been forced to rely on opinions and beliefs when comparing forced and naturally carbonated beers. My own belief, reinforced by a recent experience, is that, for any brew canned beers are the poorest, brewery-conditioned bottled beers better but signficantly poorer than bottle-conditioned, with bottle-conditioned or cask conditioned at the top of the tree.

I rarely drink canned beers but yesterday was on the train back from Liverpool (after a few excellent pints of Cain's) and Virgin Trains had canned London Pride on board. A couple of pints of that helped the journey to London pass quickly.

However, the London Pride was but a shadow of its usual self, lacking in flavour and finish (although obviously a far better drink than the godawful Carlsberg or A-B Budweiser that would have been the alternative).

I was slightly concerned that my palate might have been prejudiced by the excellent Cain's I had been drinking so popped into Wetherspoons at Victoria and had another couple of LPs - but draught. Just as good as ever; it was the canning that had destroyed the flavour. And I know, having drunk it, that bottled LP (brewery-conditioned) isn't so good as the draught.

MeridianFC
04-01-2004, 11:19 AM
In my experience there is any almighty chasm between the quality, in my opinion of course, of any British bottled beer and it's draught equivalent, that is comparing cask to it's bottle conditioned equal and keg to normal bottle. This is not to say there aren't some good, even great British bottled beers, but to me the countries of Britain in general are best at draught beer and spcifically excell at cask. I contrast this to Belgium where their strength is in the bottle, specifically bottle conditioned beers.

These are of course great generalizations, but it's the way I see. That is to say that's the way it is. ;)

BTW Richard do you have any recommendations from that site's list?

I already have access to the following:

Adnams Broadside
Fuller's 1845
Fuller's E.S.B.
Adnams Suffolk Strong
Greene King Abbot Ale
Morland Hens Tooth Ale
Morland Old Speckled Hen
O'Hanlons Port Stout
Samuel Smiths Imperial Stout
Samuel Smiths Oatmeal Stout
Wychwood Fiddlers Elbow
Wychwood Hobgoblin
Young's Double Chocolate Stout
Young's Old Nicks Barley Wine
Conniston Bluebird
Thomas Hardy's Ale 2003 Vintage

chazwicke
04-01-2004, 11:41 AM
I think we all can agree that cask is absolutely the best way to enjoy a fine ale and BCA is second best . Then it goes down hill from there. Some day I'll drink Conniston at its source. I've visited their website before and it looks like a nice place to stay over. Congrats on hitting your 800th post Richard.

Theakston
04-01-2004, 12:44 PM
Coniston is a really beautiful place to visit, as is the whole of the lake disctrict. Beautiful scenery, great for walking on the fells working up a thirst. I've visited the Black Bull many times but before it was a brewery - it used to be a Hartleys pub I believe.

For anyone visiting England you should really consider getting out of London and visiting some of the more beautiful rural areas, where the pubs are part of the local village community. The Lake District and the Yorskhire dales have beautiful scenery, have great pubs, and are way cheaper than staying in London. Plus you will experience a different, more traditional English way of life.

Rant over - sorry MFC for hijacking your thread.

MeridianFC
04-01-2004, 01:33 PM
No worries. I was just going to mention that I spent a wonderful weekend oncein Todmorden, somewhere in the wilds between Yorkshire and Lancashire. It was somewhat desolate but also stunningly beautiful.

Richard English
04-01-2004, 03:39 PM
Quote "...BTW Richard do you have any recommendations from that site's list..."

Apologies. I must have missed something. Which site's list do you refer to?

Of the beers you mention, all are good and some are excellent; I recommend always that your stick to the BCAs.

So far as the superiority of cask over bottle, just a few years ago I would have agreed; now I don't. There are some beers that are as good or better in bottle than they are in draught and Fuller's 1845 is one such. As a draught beer it is very good but drinks its strength. In bottle its balance seems better balanced and drinks more easily. It is, as I have so often said, a truly amazing beer.
I would say, though, that this is not often the case and I have only ever found it to be so with BCAs; brewery-conditioned bottled beers do not come close to their draught equivalents.

MeridianFC
04-01-2004, 06:30 PM
Originally posted by Richard English
Quote "...BTW Richard do you have any recommendations from that site's list..."

Apologies. I must have missed something. Which site's list do you refer to?

.

http://www.beersofeurope.co.uk/

Richard English
04-02-2004, 02:02 AM
Thank you.

In fact, I would hesitate to recommend from such a wide choice. According to the introduction to the site they have around a thousand different! I would only ever go for bottle-conditioned, which cuts down the choice somewhat but there's still hundreds. Predictably the UK selection is the best.

Sadly the site contains some inaccuracies and is often lacking in information (especially as to which beers are bottle-conditioned) Coopers, for example is passed over with no special comment - even though it is bottle-conditioned and as tasty as most other Australian beer is vile. There is one glaring error where they refer to Sri Lankan Lion Stout as a lager - and also as a stout in the next entry. The picture is of the lager. If you like stouts, Lion is one of the best there is.

My advice remains, as ever, go for the bottle-conditioned if you want the best; a good bottle-conditioned beer beats a good brewery-conditioned beer every time.

noby
04-02-2004, 02:40 AM
I see that web-site ships to UK only.
Does anyone know of a good on-line shop that delivers to the Rep. of Ireland?

noby.

chazwicke
04-02-2004, 11:04 AM
Originally posted by Richard English

Sadly the site contains some inaccuracies and is often lacking in information (especially as to which beers are bottle-conditioned) Coopers, for example is passed over with no special comment - even though it is bottle-conditioned and as tasty as most other Australian beer is vile. There is one glaring error where they refer to Sri Lankan Lion Stout as a lager - and also as a stout in the next entry. The picture is of the lager. If you like stouts, Lion is one of the best there is.



I concur on your remarks about Coopers and most Australian beer. (Tooth's Sheath Stout used to be pretty decent. I do not know if it is still being brewed.)

The Lion Stout is wonderful (Thanks for the recommendation at GBBF last year, Richard). Meridian, We can get that in the DC area. I think I last got it at Total Wines.