BrewDog Chaos Theory
Complexity in the universe is often based on simple, fundamental rules. We don’t know all of the rules but we understand some of them; however despite this, life is still, at our level, an unpredictable and seemingly random existence.
Chaos theory helps us get our heads around this (and then in the next breath turns our perceptions of ‘thought on its head). It also suggests that systems such as our universe are completely deterministic…in theory. But unfortunately we have to pinpoint the exact starting conditions of the system, which is a little more than tricky when every single tiny particle in our universe system was compacted into an unimaginably small space, a little over 13,700,000,000 years ago (plus or minus about 14 million years!).
This chaotic nature has parallels with the brewing process, where we calculate the mix of initial ingredients, follow strict processes and end up with tasty beer at the end. But we can’t always predict the exact end result and consistency and quality in a brew can be more difficult than just throwing the ingredients together and sticking the heat on.
As you might have guessed there’s a parallel between all this and BrewDog’s last beer in our Sainsbury’s beer competition series. Chaos Theory is an ode to chaos theory (although at 7.1% it doesn’t really help me get my head around the physics much!). Read the rest of this entry »Tags: beer, BrewDog, chaos theory, competition, india pale ale, IPA, sainsburys
Before I go any further, this review is only half a review of Allgates Portersque. In fact it’s a review of my tasting notes from memory, so as a beer review it can be taken with a pinch of salt!
I’ve really enjoyed writing this belated series on the 2009 Sainsbury’s Beer Competition, and I’m hoping that there will be a few people eager to find out which beer we think deserved to win the contest. Anywhere, on with the story…
For my birthday my girlfriend bought me a Moleskine notebook, one of the smaller sized ones that just about fits in the back pocket of Levi’s and is covered in thick black leather.
It sat unused whilst I filled up other pads and scraps of paper with the types of daily notes that I sometimes like to jot down, lists that never get completed and what not. And then I started writing intensely about beer for this blog, having a few bottles of ale a week and penning simple tasting notes. At last I had the perfect use for my overpriced notebook and quickly got to work copying into it my beer notes across from the back of receipts and various other cleverly recycled artefacts (I got most done one productive afternoon on holiday this year whilst sipping on Mythos!)
It’s been a life saver really, it even has a small filing section at the back for storing any notes that I still scribble onto post-its or the back of used envelopes, for copying up at a later date.
But every now and then one slips through the net. I flick through the pages searching for that beer that I know I’ve drunk but just can’t remember enough about to write up from memory, and it’s not there, nowhere to be found. On this occasion the beer is All Gates Porteresque. Read the rest of this entry »Tags: allgates, beer, competition, porteresque, sainsburys
Yellow Hammer stood out on the Sainsbury’s shelf like a woodpecker drilling into my brain, the bold yellow type urging me to pick it up.
My first O’Hanlon’s ale poured a light golden colour with a delicate head. It was pretty lively with a slightly yeasty aroma that many bottle conditioned ale seems to have.
This was followed by the fresh floral scent of Cascade hops, which preceded a golden malt taste that was fresh and sweet. I was right in the mood for it and it came up trumps with a nice balance of hops, malt and sweetness to refresh my palate.
This is a zesty little number, the malt is subtle and it has the character you might expect from the small, lively bird it’s named after. This is a beer that could really hit the spot in a refreshing way.
This beer brings up a question I’ve been meaning to ask for a while: ‘bottle conditioned’ or ‘not bottle conditioned? It’s a debate that every now and then rears its divisive head. This is a nice beer, and I’d certainly have it again, but how much better is it because it is bottle conditioned? (I’d genuinely like to know!).
I’m not sure I like having to take great care and attention pouring this when I’m dealing with what is essentially a light, refreshing golden beer. If I wanted this on a summer night I’d prefer to slightly chill it and not have to worry about sediment escaping the safe confines of the bottle.
That sediment makes a big different if it does end up loose in your glass of beer (a little bit of which did near the end).
Regardless of that this is a good beer that I’d love to try on draft in a beer garden and will definitely try in a bottle again (pouring with more due diligence this time around!).Tags: beer, Bottle Conditioned, competition, golden, sainsburys
Bays are very much an unknown to me, and this is the real beauty of the Sainsbury’s beer competition. Without, it would probably have taken a trip to Devon for me to have stumbled across this beer.
The brewery is a new one, set up in 2007 on the south Devon coast and has three flagship ales: Bays Best, Gold and Breaker. It’s the latter that made the cut in the Sainsbury’s Beer Competition this year and therefore found its way into my trolley a few weeks ago.
I should point out I drank this a little colder than it’s probably meant to be, a result of not very good fridge planning and me been very indecisive about which beers I wanted that night.
Bays Breaker is an interesting beer, it’s almost peppery, sweet and bitter all at the same time, an array of contradictory flavours that sit together better than you’d expect. The peppery aftertaste demands another sip, a sip that will start fruity and soft, and ends with a carbonised bitterness.
In big gulps the malt and fruit shines through and if you sip slower it the bitter flavours linger.
Without becoming a favourite Bays Breaker certainly makes for an interesting tipple and that could well have a couple of food partnerships out there waiting to be found (I reckon this to wash down fish and chips might just work!)Tags: bays, beer, breaker, competition, devon, fruit, pepper, sainsburys, torbay
The first in our Sainsbury’s Beer Competition series is Woods Shropshire Lass. You might have guessed from the name that it pours a blonde, light beer (why aren’t there any darker beers called brunette?!).
A sniff of this is nice indeed, a floral fruity scent reminiscent of a spring day or a summer morning from a novel.
To drink it’s tasty and refreshing, a crisp, blonde body makes this an easy drinking ale.
Nothing in this beer compromises any other flavour, there are no taste that haggle for your attention or force you to notice them.
It’s a gentle and taste beer, delicately fruity and well balanced.
I reckon most pub goers could fulfil a session on this (during the milder months of the year at least.Tags: beer, blonde, brunette, competition, sainsburys, shropshire lass, woods, woods shropshire lass beer review sainsburys competition
October 7th, 2009Comment
The Sainsbury’s Beer Competition ended last month, but for those of you that missed it or are still a little confused over who won, Real Ale reviews is coming to the rescue with a slightly belated but not-to-be-missed review of each of the 15 finalists.
There’s been lots of recent developments in the beer aisles of UK supermarkets this year. From Tesco announcing an extended North American range to M&S adding new products and giving their beers a lick of paint.
But Sainsbury’s somewhat stole the show with its beer competition, no doubt helped by the fact that they picked no less than 3 BrewDog beers amongst their finalists which led to a race to the checkouts for beer lovers.
The winners of the competition would achieve a permanent place on the Sainsbury’s beer shelves and thus a real opportunity to break into a wider market and target audience.
We won’t be revealing the winners here yet, so if you don’t know then stick with us and we’ll take you through all the beers and try and guide you on where to finsd them. If you really can’t bear the suspense (or are crazy enough to not want to wait for 15 posts on a competiton that’s ended!) then I’m sure you’ll be able to find the answers via Google.
And without further ado, onto the beers!
Tags: beer, competition, sainsburys
The 15 finalists in the Sainsbury Beer Competition 2009 were:
Bath Ales Golden Hare
BrewDog Chaos Theory
BrewDog Hardcore IPA
Greene King Bretwalda
Hambleton Ale Talyor’s Tipple
Williams Bros Brewing Co 80/- Ale
Williams Bros Brewing Birds ‘n Bees
Williams Bros Brewing Co Ceilidh
Williams Bros Brewing Co Williams IPA
Wolf Brewery Woild Moild
Wolf Brewery Wolf Whistle
Wood’s Shropshire Lass