Tuesday, 15 February 2011
I have written in the past, at some length, about Bottle-Conditioned Beers (BCA's) and after my experiences with the Woodforde's range I was sent to sample, and more recently with Beau Porter, from Royal Tunbridge Wells Brewery, have only served to endorse my earlier views. These are that bottle-conditioning is a very hit and miss affair, and that consistency is certainly NOT guaranteed with this process.
Matters came to a head the other night when I poured, or I should say attempted to pour, a glass of Beau Porter, from RTWB. Normally an excellent beer, the bottle I opened was extremely lively. Granted it did not fob all over the place, but despite slow and careful pouring I still only manged to get about a third of a pint in my glass, (the rest was all foam). Interrupting the pouring process of course led to a glass of cloudy beer; not too much of a problem with a dark beer such as porter, but nevertheless the suspended yeast still affected the taste.
For me, this was a good beer spoilt, and quite unnecessarily as well. So far as I am concerned, bottle-conditioning adds nothing to a beer, and runs a strong risk of spoiling it. I have now reached the stage where I actively avoid BCA's, and I think CAMRA has got it very wrong with their persistence in endorsing this style.