Bottle-ageing beers: the don’ts and do’s

There’s a simple rule for most modern bottled beers when it comes to ageing: don’t. It’s not worth it. Probably the vast majority of beers are designed to be drunk fresh, and all they will do if you keep them is deteriorate. However, a few beers actually need ageing before they’re in perfect condition, even… Read More Bottle-ageing beers: the don’ts and do’s

Cask beer equals live music, bottled beer equals CDs

A few weeks ago I went to a performance by Wynton Marsalis, whose music I have been buying since the early 1980s. He arrived then as a young trumpeter who could play jazz and classical music with equal genius: I remember listening to his recording of the Hayden Trumpet Concerto in 1983 and feeling that… Read More Cask beer equals live music, bottled beer equals CDs

The most expensive beer in any bar in the world?

There might, I suppose, be a bar selling BrewDog Tactical Nuclear Penguin or Sink the Bismark for, what, three times the store-bought retail price, but even that wouldn’t beat it. And admittedly this is a beer that has spent a year maturing in the caves of Champagne (that’s “cellars”, incidentally, and not, as one English… Read More The most expensive beer in any bar in the world?

Bracia: great beer, shame about the dodgy history

Ping! It’s an email from the chaps at Thornbridge with details of their Bracia chestnut honey beer, the one raved over by more than just me at the Guild of Beer Writers dinner last week. The press release details exactly what goes into the beer, and also reveals where they got the name from: Bracia… Read More Bracia: great beer, shame about the dodgy history

Thomas Hardy’s 2008 versus Thomas Hardy’s 1988

The latest, 2008 edition of Thomas Hardy’s Ale, the strong bottle-conditioned beer from the West Country, has just hit the shelves, with a special label celebrating the 40th anniversary of the first brewing of THA back in 1968. That first brew, made by Eldridge Pope of Dorchester in Devon, was itself commemorating the 40th anniversary… Read More Thomas Hardy’s 2008 versus Thomas Hardy’s 1988

Sainsbury’s winning bottled beers

This blog is currently the top result in a Google search for outsize menswear chain Massachusetts. I haven’t, you’ll guess, ever written about retailers of XXL male clothing in the Greater Boston area, but I did make a joke when I blogged on judging at the Sainsbury’s beer competition in April about the name of the… Read More Sainsbury’s winning bottled beers