Discount supermarket, Lidl, have once again come up trumps in the bargain beer stakes. This time it’s two beers from the Shepherd Neame Heritage Range; namely India Pale Ale 6.1% and Double Stout 5.2%. The beers are on sale at just £1.49 each; a saving of 50-60p compared to other supermarkets which stock them.
Not my favourite brewery, of course, but the higher gravities of these two beers, compared to the normal stuff churned out by Sheps, means there’s a lot less chance of the brewery’s rather voracious, house yeast ruining them. (Most Shepherd Neame beers suffer from being too attenuated – fermented right out, leaving virtually no residual sugars, and therefore no body in the finished beer. The result; a thin, very dry and harsh-tasting beer).
I picked up an eight-bottle case of the stout this morning, and am tempted to do the same with a case of the India Pale Ale, before stocks run out. I do sometimes wonder about Sheps and their relationship with Lidl, as the latter often have “one-off” special brews from Sheps on sale by the pallet load. In the main these are beers in the 3.8% bracket, and despite retailing at just 99p a bottle, are not normally worth buying, for reasons stated above.
The two “heritage beers” though are in a different league; reputedly being based on old 19th Century recipes that were recently discovered in the brewery archives. I’m not quite sure how they ended up being discounted in Lidl though, unless the beers have not been selling as well as Shep’s hoped, and they needed to sell them off cheap in order to shift them.
The latter scenario is unlikely though, as the stout at least has plenty of shelf life, with an expiry showing of October 2015. Whatever the reason, if you fancy picking up these beers at a reduced price, then get down to your nearest Lidl.
The illustrations above are pump-clips for the draught versions of these two beers, which are brewed to a lower gravity than their bottled counterparts.