Friday, 19 July 2013
A Few Random Beery Thoughts
Does anyone know who brews the Firestone Walker American Independence Pale Ale, currently on sale in Wetherspoons outlets? Actually, what I probably should ask is which UK brewery is brewing this 5% beer under licence, as I doubt very much that it's all being imported from across the pond.
Anyway, it was by far the best beer I had last night in our local JDW in Tonbridge, unlike the much vaunted Robinsons Trooper which distinctly underwhelmed. I enjoyed Robinsons ales during my time in Greater Manchester, back in th mid 1970's, but every time I've tried a pint of their beer down here, it's always disappointed. Perhaps Robinson's beers just don't travel, although going back to the Iron Maiden inspired Trooper, Curmudgeon also found it underwhelming, and that was on its home patch in Stockport!
Also disappointing were the two bottled IPA's from Traditional Scottish Ales which I picked up cheap in Lidl's a week ago. Both Rok and Ben Nevis are just 4.0%, and both fail totally to deliver. Weak and insipid with that nasty "woody" after-taste which to me is normally a sign of yeast infection. There is a brewery not a million miles from here which seems to suffer from the same problem, yet amazingly keeps going. Perhaps some people actually like this in a beer, but I'm not one of them, and I'm glad now that I didn't return to the store, as I was threatening to, and buy some more. I've still got a bottle of Wild Stout, from the same company, to try, but I'm not going to hold my breath.
I also came across some beers with this "woodiness" back in April, whilst in Norwich for the CAMRA Members Weekend. I won't name and shame, as this was three months ago, and the brewery concerned might well have cleaned up its act, but selling beers in this sort of condition, doesn't do anyone any favours, and tarnishes the micro-brewing industry with a largely unwarranted name for producing beers that are hit and miss.
I've got a few more beers to try over the weekend, which I hope will be somewhat better. In the meantime, who is brewing Firestone Walker American Independence Pale Ale?