Sunday, 14 March 2010
A Collection of Old Bottles
I am well aware that many fellow beer bloggers are a lot more adept at tracking down and describing interesting and, sometimes esoteric, beers than I am. With this in mind I have written this post primarily for the benefit of my more local readers.
I've been cracking open a few bottles recently; bottles I've collected over recent weeks. Last night I enjoyed a bottle of Lees Moonraker, a fine, rich, dark strong ale, and a former winner of CAMRA's Champion Winter Beer of Britain. At 7.5% abv, the beer doesn't take to many prisoners, but it was a good one to finish up on. The 5% Winter Beer brewed for Marks & Spencers by Adnams, could perhaps have done with being a shade darker, but was still an enjoyable example of this style of beer.
Putting winter behind us, and moving on to spring, allows one the chance to enjoy the Co-Op's Organic Ale, a well-hopped, 5% abv golden ale brewed for the Co-Op by Freeminer Brewery, who are based in the Forest of Dean. As the beer contains a portion of Free-Trade sugar, it is currently on promotion in the company's stores, and at just £1.00 a bottle, is an absolute bargain.
I also recently enjoyed a couple of very diverse bottles from Greenwich's Meantime Brewery. The first, a 4.7% Pilsner has also been on promotion recently; this time in Sainsbury's, and at £1.00 a bottle I wish I'd bought a few more. The other Meantime beer was the London Porter, specially brewed for Marks & Spencer. Again this was a particularly fine beer and, according to the brewery " No fewer than seven malts go into our Porter, helping us recreate a recipe of 1750, specially chosen to bring you the flavours so loved by Londoners that demand for Porter made London the brewing capital of the world." The beer is also available in large 750ml? bottles from Sainsbury's.
Brew Dog's Punk IPA is a further beer that has recently been on promotion in Sainsbury's. This is extreme beer; 6% abv and aggressively hopped interpretation of an IPA. As the brewery states on the bottle: "Brew Dog is about breaking rules, taking risks, upsettimg trends and unsettling institutions (wonder who they could be talking about here?), but first and foremost great tasting beer." I'll certainly drink to that, and at £1.00 a bottle, who says supermarkets only discount cheap tasteless lout?
Bernard Cerne Pivo is a Dark Lager from the Czech Republic and, to my mind, is one of the finest examples of this style of beer available anywhere. On my recent trip to Prague, I enjoyed quite a few glasses of this excellent beer, so it was good to be able to pick p a couple of bottles at a branch of Tesco's on a recent visit to Norfolk. Packaged in a distinctive swing-topped bottle, this 5.1% abv dark lager is micro-filtered, rather than pasteurised, resulting in a fresh tasting, intensely malty beer. Just sitting here, enjoying a bottle, has transported me back to Kyvadlo in Prague, where I first encountered this beer.
I've still got a couple of bottles of Rochefort Trappist beer to enjoy (8 Degree and 10 Degree), that have been kicking around since the autumn. Those plus the bottle of Lowenbrau Triumphator, brought back by my son's friend from a recent visit to Munich should make for an interesting sampling session; but preferably not all on the same night!