Why buy fresh fruit smoothies when you can have beer instead?!
Remember Reefs? Smirnoff Ices?
Remember Hooch and Barcardi Breezers?
Well this summer you might struggle to fnd the above, but fear not as beer has come to the rescue. If you want sweet fruity flavours and a drink to get you a little on the tipsy side, why fork out for dirt cheap alcopops when you have quality on your side:
Kernel Centennial Pale Ale
Um Bongo aroma with a touch of Blackcurrant Ribena. ABV of 5.4% and a body of yoghurt and oats, it simply glides down your throat like Yop. Not too bitter, though the bitterness that there is lingers long-time…
This beer knocks most pale ales for six and is quite frankly amazing. I was lucky enough to get this as an added extra from my #beerswap partner and it outshone the other brews. Beers like this can make a brewery…if it’s not a fluke then Kernel have a lot to live up to.
Halcyon by Thornbridge
(2009 Green hopped, oh yeah!)
It’s more tropical than last years Halcyon, the dominance of grass in the nose has disappeared in favour of exotic fruit. I used to love that damn prairie grass, but hell do I now crave that beautiful pineapple explosion.
What a quandary! What hops have they changed or replaced? You may have sold out your grass roots Thornbridge, but you’ve replaced them with a beer that I could have sex with.
Thornbridge Halcyon is Innocent Smoothie on acid (or something stronger). Get me another fix, now.
Marble Manchester Bitter
A passion fruit hell pit, this is the sort of beer Adam threw away paradise for. And rightly so, Adam, who wants a garden of fruit trees bending under the weight of it’s luscious produce when you can sit back and knock the crown cap of a Manchester Bitter. I’d give up my Eve and all pasta based dishes for this beer. I’d be tempted to call Charlie Brooker’s bluff and offer a little finger perhaps. Maybe even a thumb. I’ll definitely give up all hoofed animals to maintain the existence of this beer perhaps in doing so rid the world of half it’s methane emissions too.
This might just be the beer that saves the world.
Beer: Centennial Pale Ale
Brewery: Kernel Brewery
Style: London Pale Ale
Area: London, England
Beer: Thornbridge Halcyon
Brewery: Thornbridge Brewery
Style: Imperial IPA
Area: Derbyshire, England
Beer: Manchester Bitter
Country: Manchester, England
Tags: kernel, marble, thornbridge
Thanks to mybrewerytap and beermerchants for supplying the beer. Yep, they were freebies, and I’m proud to say I’d pay a significant amount of my hard earned cash to drink these again. Which I have actually just done. And I would recommend that you also try them.
Badger Golden Glory is one of the beers that got me into this beer blogging malarkey. Back way when, bored of the canned lagers largely devoid of taste and with a little more disposable income than my university days, me and then house mate Alan were keen to drink something with a bit more taste. We sampled everything the supermarkets had to offer, from local ales to the array of continental lagers.
Somewhere along the way Golden Glory (and Badgers other similar beer Golden Champion) soon became a favourite. It was sweeter with a more palatable taste than most of the beers and was always on form, which made it an easy purchase decision. I’d often pick up a handful of new beers to try and then a risk-free Badger and maybe a St Peters.
Coming back to it now feels a bit full circle. And the good thing is that Golden Glory is still great.
Peaches and melon dominant the nose, you could easily call cherry blossom, kiwis and candy too without fear of sounding pretentious. There’s a bit of an alcohol sting to the first sip, a touch of spice and a bitter finish. Above all this beer is sweet,all floral and fruit overlaid rather than intertwined with a very subtle caramel flavour and a bitter finish.
This is easy to drink from glass or bottle, there’s a zingy kick to it which gives it that little bit more oomph (or umpf?!) over some of it’s competitors on the supermarket shelves. If you like your beer to have aroma and punch then as English ales go you can’t do much worse than this fruity number. Serve slightly chilled for a bit more kick and refreshment on a hot day (you might be waiting a while though!)Tags: Badger, Floral, Golden Ale, golden glory, Hall and Woodhouse, melon, peach
Terrible beer, great name.
Of course not, it’s the other way round. Disclaimer starts here: I love this beer.
I first sampled The Bitch at the Flying Dog UK tasting in Leeds. This 20th anniversary beer jumped out of its take-home tetra pak like a bat out of hell. Its nose blasted my clean out of my seat and before the night was out it was on its way to being a beer phenomenon.
Raging Bitch’s Belgian influence is the first thing that strikes me: it’s fruity esters and yeasty sweetness that only Belgian beers can pull off. Until now.
Massive grapefruit pith and outrageous sour fruit intertwine with a sweet malt finish and a bitter attack from an armada of late hops. The nose is huge thanks to a dry hopping assault by Amarillo hops. You pluck out the names of most of Sainsbury’s exotic fruit aisle if you close your eyes; for me the grapefruit ebbs and flows against tangerine and apricot. Read the rest of this entry »Tags: belgian, flying dog, grapefruit, IPA, raging bitch, tangerine
In honour of the recent brilliant defensive performance put in by the nation’s new favourite ginger, Paul Collingwood, (although things in South Africa have taken a turn for the worse in the last couple of days) I think it’s time to Ginger Beer it’s day in the sun.
You probably would have had to have had your head buried very deeply in the sand since last summer in order to have missed the rise of Crabbie’s. In their defence there is no attempt to hide the fact that Crabbie’s is an alcoholic version of the Ginger Beer that you get as a soft drink. I have to say that I really like it but that I don’t really like myself for liking it!!! You haven’t seen a Real Ales Reviews review of it because I wouldn’t have the face to come on here, where we espouse the virtues of micro-brewing and real brewing processes, in order to sing the praises of a mass produced and mass marketed ‘alcopop’.
The problem with Crabbie’s isn’t that I don’t like it, I have already said that I do, I just don’t see it as a beer. It’s great ice cold with a nice picnic but it just doesn’t hit any beer buttons. So what are the alternatives for us beer nuts? Well you could do a lot worse than starting with this Ginger Beer offering from Naylor’s Brewery. Details of the brewery, based near Keighley, can be found on their website. Ginger Beer is a seasonal brew but can be found in Beer Ritz at the moment.
First and foremost this is a beer. Golden amber in colour and with a lightly hopped taste the beer is present but subtle enough to allow the ginger flavour to come through and compliment it. It is not an alcoholic ginger beer but rather a genuine ginger flavoured beer, in the same way as a strawberry or peach flavoured beer. I wouldn’t expect a fruit beer to taste like fruit juice with an abv and I feel the same about this ginger flavoured beer. There is a distinction to be made between a ‘ginger beer’ and a ginger flavoured beer. Naylor’s is the latter and, in all honesty, while there is nothing wrong with liking it, the former probably has no place in the real ales sphere.Tags: Crabbie's, Ginger Beer, Naylor's Brewery
After discovering this week that some friends of ours have brilliantly spoofed our efforts to appreciate good beer with their own lager reviews site, it seemed fitting that I should come across a bottle of lager I picked up in Beers of Europe a few weeks ago brewed by a company that have had rave reviews for their ale products on our own site.
Williams Brothers Brewing Company have couple of lagers in their range, including Ceilidh (reviewed here). Rather unusually, this beer is described on the bottle as a ‘lagered fruit beer’, which suggests that it is something of a hybrid product aimed across a couple of beer styles. Based on an old Scottish harvest beer recipe from the 16th century, we should anticipate a fruity beer infused from the gooseberries prevalent in the ingrediants.
The nose is extremely sweet, with the citrusy, fruity aroma backed up with a chocolatey note that cuts through at the end. In the glass, the liquid is a very pale blonde that lets the liveliness of the lager shine through. Despite the fruit beer connections, the appearance is definitely one of a lager, so it seems natural to describe it as such.
Despite the effervescence of the beer in the glass, the fizz on the tongue quickly fades away to something of a creamy mouthfeel that is surprising as it is pleasant. The taste continues the sweet theme set up in the aroma, but does have a citrusy sharpness about it as well. Read the rest of this entry »Tags: Fruity, gooseberries, grozet, lager, Premium Lager, Sweet, williams brothers
Last weekend I was pretty much off the (online) radar compared to usual, and in the 2 days I left the twitterverse to its own devices it seems it all went a little BrewDog mad. With the revelation that BrewDog stitched themselves up deliberately over Tokyo, some people congratulated them on a point well proved whilst others bemoaned their tactics and deception.
I understand and to a point commend BrewDog for standing up to some of what the Portman group do, and appreciate they are not the perfect, unbiased solution – for instance I’m not sure that BrewDog’s labels incite anti-social behaviour as much as a Taste The Difference lasagne does. But, I am annoyed that they pulled last week’s stunt: firstly because they ignore the fact that the Portman group is an alternative to state legislation; secondly that they went out to actively ask people in the beer community to defend Tokyo, knowing damn well they’d sent the letter, and thirdly, does it really help an industry that some days looks like imploding in on itself?
As I’ve found with BrewDog recently, the sentiment and passion is no doubt there, but sometimes, execution lets them down.
BrewDog have moulded themselves into a bit of a cult brand, and one that is gradually making inroads into the wider population, with a rebellious brand persona that many supermarket shoppers and beer drinkers will enjoy and tap into. After all, BrewDog are still unique compared to the traditional brewers available in UK supermarkets.
I say cult because there is something dogmatic about following BrewDog, and I’ve no doubt that people hold BrewDog in high esteem. Much in the same way that they look forward to their favourite bands new release or the next big book by an author, people wait in keen anticipation of every move BrewDog make, regardless of what that move might entail.
Which leads us nicely onto Dogma, the second BrewDog beer review in our Sainsbury’s Beer Competition series (especially as it’s the 13th post in this series posted on Friday the 13th!)
Dogma is the reincarnation of Speedball, the heather honey infused beer that gave BrewDog their first really big PR piece just before we kicked this little blog off. Read the rest of this entry »Tags: BrewDog, dogma, guarana, honey, jaipur, kola nuts, poppy seeds, sainsburys
Football on the telly is always a good excuse to have a few beers, so with England confirming their place in the next world cup (no doubt a great excuse for an international beer feature come next June) I seized my chance to try a few new ales from Morrison’s reasonable range.
First up, Greene King’s ‘Ruddle’s County’ a dark ruby ale with a sweet nose, a slighty fruity aroma that gives away a hoppy essense (Brambling Cross hops according to the bottle).
The impressive part once in the mouth is just how smooth this beer is for a bottled product; limited carbonisation suggests that a cask version of this product could not possibly be much smoother. An uncommon thing in many mass-produced bottled beers in my experience.
The aftertaste is particularly strong, and the alcohol in the ale is particularly prominant, leaving a bitter aftertaste that lingers a little too long in the throat to be considered a treat.
Reflecting on the finished bottle, it almost felt like the beer had not been left to mature quite long enough, causing a sensation that, quite frankly, left my throat burning slightly in the similar manner that a weak spirit of some form might.
Next up was a total contrast: Badger’s ‘Golden Champion’. The ‘Golden’ part of the name is not ironic; the liquid is certainly that, pale and transparent, as opposed to deep and opague. Read the rest of this entry »Tags: bitter, Golden Champion, John Willies, premium, Ruddles County
August 24th, 2009Fruity Beers
Badger First Gold, 4.0% abv
One of the defining characteristics of Badger First Gold is it’s sheer floral fruitiness. Which, at risk of sounding somewhat cliched, makes for a very ‘moreish’ drinking experience.
Equally pleasing is the fact that this golden ale can be regarded as a ‘session’ beer. (It weighs in at a punchy 4.0%.)
Better still, and as one would expect from any session beer worth it’s salt in these BBQ summer months, the taste is undeniably crisp and refreshing. THis makes it a beverage of almost schizophrenic proportions. A beverage where the idyllic, fragrant English countryside collides head on with the cool, clinical, clean excellence of an authentic German lager.
Apparently this beer was a double gold medal winner at the 2005 brewing industry ‘oscars’ held in Munich – making it a ‘World Champion Beer’Tags: Badger, First Gold, Floral, fruit
Fruli Belgian White Beer – Strawberry Flavour – 4.1% abv (bottled)
We’ve been up and running for a couple of months now and I’m ashamed to note that the level of female input into our reviews is frankly disgraceful. In an attempt to partially redress this error I rocked up to work this week with two bottles of Fruli, one for each of two lovely ladies from my office who were good enough to offer their time to provide me with a review in exchange for beer.
Fruli can be quite a dividing beer, something of the Marmite of the beer world, with most people either loving it or hating it. I was interested to see whether the reviews were similar or whether we would be lucky enough to see opposite ends of the spectrum. For background I should state that Amanda is an experienced beer drinker who often recommends beers and watering holes to me on a Monday after she’s been out and about over the weekend. Rachel is just an experienced drinker!!!
‘As soon as I opened the bottle I was hit with a strong smell of strawberries. I found the taste was not disappointing but I wonder if an avid beer drinker may well do as there’s only a tiny hint of beer flavour in there. It’s mostly Strawberries!
It reminded me more of a sparkling wine than a beer. I really enjoyed the taste and would definitely drink this again although I don’t think I could drink more than two in a row as it is quite sweet.’
‘I was quite disappointed in this strawberry beer, it was quite wet with no real beer taste and only a slight taste of strawberries. I too thought it was more like a pink sparkling wine than a beer.
I did however love the Timmermans Strawberry beer on draught from Muse in Wetherby on Friday night. It was really tangy with a slight beery taste. I would definitely drink that again.’
Many thanks to the guys for their comments on Fruli. I have posted a link below to an unofficial Fruli website. The website is really cool, although unofficial, and I will try and get a Fruli trail over to them for Leeds in the coming weeks.
In the meantime please feel free to add comments below if you wish to ‘weigh-in’ on the Fruli vs Timmermans debate which Amanda may well have just inadvertantly started…….Tags: 4-5% ABV, Belgian White, Fruli, Muse, Strawberry Beer, Timmermans