Beer

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Beer

Postby Roy Hunter on Mon Aug 22, 2011 5:59 pm

Seriously, how has this forum gone on for so long without a thread dedicated to beer? Isn't it a devotional drink for Pastafarians? Anyway, I have picked a funny time to start this thread because I am currently on the wagon, but that is no reason not to talk about beer.

I am just back from Spain, where they have a very low alcohol limit for driving - 50mg per 100ml of blood, unless you are a new driver in which case it is 10mg / 100ml - so it is effectively zero-tolerance for drink driving. But the Spanish love their going out and socialising, the tapas bars, the nightclubs, the restaurants, and they stay out late when the public transport is not running. So how do they get around this socialising-but-not-drinking impasse?

With a fantastic selection of alcohol-free beers. Well, OK, not alcohol-free, but less than 0.05% ABV, so effectively alcohol-free. But seriously, you can buy more brands and types of alcohol-free beer in a Spanish supermarket than you can buy regular beers in a small British supermarket. I did not have time to try them all, but I had a few with varying results. My humble review is as follows:

Becks Blue: comes in 330ml bottles, just like regular Becks, it is brewed according to Germany's beer purity laws, then has the alcohol removed. It tastes like Becks with the alcohol removed. That is not a bad thing - you would notice if you picked up the wrong bottle in the bar, and it is quite palatable, especially when it is cold.

San Miguel 0.0 Sin Alcohol: comes in 330ml cans, but a taller skinnier can than a regular San Miguel. It tastes not unlike regular San Miguel, quite malty and almost yeasty, and again tastes great served very cold. San Miguel 0.0 Sin Alcohol is also available in lemon or apple flavours. Why oh why oh why would you do that? Oh dear. But the regular one is nice.

Mahou Cerveza Sin Alcohol: I am not a fan of regular Mahou, truth be told, and I approached the alcohol-free variant with a bit of trepidation. It wasn't bad. It's not my favourite, but it was not offensive like any of the British low-alcohol or alcohol-free beers I have tried.

Buckler: made by Heineken, it is a 'safe', inoffensive beer that doesn't really excite me that much. Again, not offensive or anything, but unless it was served ice-cold it didn't really push my buttons. It was served in a lot of restaurants (probably because it is cheap), but it didn't really do much for the food because it... didn't really taste of anything. Good ice-cold after a hot journey in the car or a walk to the bar in the afternoon sun, though.

Bavaria: 330ml cans or 275ml bottles, it is malty and yeasty, tastes OK without needing to be ice cold. When it is ice-cold, it is my favourite of the brands I tried, nice and light to drink, and on a hot summer's day it really feels like you are drinking a cold beer, but without the alcoholic effect.

Anyway, compared to the likes of Kaliber, or the truly execrable Tennants' L.A (like drinking cold mucus with an Alka-Seltzer in it), the new alcohol-free beers are just great. Even when I do go back to drinking, I might consider drinking one con alcohol, one sin alcohol, one con alcohol, one sin alcohol...

So use this thread to give us your beer experiences. Apart from the ones that lead to the drunk postings thread, obviously...
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Re: Beer

Postby daftbeaker on Mon Aug 22, 2011 6:49 pm

Roy Hunter wrote:Becks Blue: comes in 330ml bottles, just like regular Becks, it is brewed according to Germany's beer purity laws, then has the alcohol removed. It tastes like Becks with the alcohol removed. That is not a bad thing - you would notice if you picked up the wrong bottle in the bar, and it is quite palatable, especially when it is cold.

Seconded. Beck's is good and Cobra alcohol free is pretty good too. Kaliber is interesting, it definitely tastes like Kaliber rather than beer with the alcohol removed. It reminds me of the taste of peanuts for some reason.

Anyway, beer :drinking: Tesco round here do Tetleys at £2.50 for 4 cans which tastes nice and is marginally (about a penny) more expensive than Tesco's own beer. Lubbly jubbly.

Guinness is still the best beer ever. Unfortunately it depends a lot on the pub and most pints I've had round here have been a bit flat and sour. I guess I've been spoilt after working in an independent pub that cleaned the lines every week amd traind the staff to pour it properly :bummer:
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But why is the rum gone?!
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Re: Beer

Postby DavidH on Tue Aug 23, 2011 3:56 am

Roy wrote:Seriously, how has this forum gone on for so long without a thread dedicated to beer?

Dunno, but well done for putting it right.

The Wye Valley Brewery in Stoke Lacy, Herefordshire, produces some excellent beers. Butty Bach and Dorothy Goodbody are pure nectar. You find them in many pubs all over the west midlands; don't miss any chance to try a jar or three.

I do hereby solemnly declare that I have no financial connection with said Wye Valley Brewery - but the MD is a mate of mine.
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Re: Beer

Postby TwistedSister on Tue Aug 23, 2011 11:42 am

[buuurrrrp], excuse me. :blush:
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Re: Beer

Postby Roy Hunter on Wed Aug 24, 2011 7:38 am

Woo hoo! Just found Bavaria alcohol-free beer in my local Tesco! Result!

Quick ethical check: does drinking alcohol-free beer count as drinking beer? Do I wait for the weekend? Hell, do I wait until I've finished work for the day? Granted it's got no alcohol in it, but the whole "I'm having a beer, therefore I must be finished working and it's time to relax" feeling is just the same.
"I don't mean to sound bitter, cynical or cruel; but I am, so that's how it comes out." ~ Bill Hicks.
"To argue with a person who has renounced reason is like administering medicine to the dead." ~ Thomas Paine.
"One should not believe everything one reads on the internet." ~ Abraham Lincoln.
"If you're making a political point wearing a balaclava, you're a c***. It was true for the IRA and it's true now." ~ daftbeaker.
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Re: Beer

Postby daftbeaker on Wed Aug 24, 2011 8:42 am

Roy Hunter wrote:Woo hoo! Just found Bavaria alcohol-free beer in my local Tesco! Result!

Quick ethical check: does drinking alcohol-free beer count as drinking beer? Do I wait for the weekend? Hell, do I wait until I've finished work for the day? Granted it's got no alcohol in it, but the whole "I'm having a beer, therefore I must be finished working and it's time to relax" feeling is just the same.

Flimsy moral standards :drinking:
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But why is the rum gone?!
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Re: Beer

Postby PKMKII on Wed Aug 24, 2011 10:21 pm

Current beer in the house is Blue Point Brewing Company's Summer Ale. Smooth flavor, no hop bite at all, but still sufficiently complex. Almost like someone spiked an ale with a little wheat beer. Also a bottle of barleywine ale I should drink up.

Speaking of wheat beers, that's generally speaking what I like. Obviously, I don't like that moose piss commercial lager style that all the mega-breweries like Coors and Budweiser make. But too many beer aficionados in the US are focused on really strong and harsh-flavored beers, like IPAs and stouts. Now, stouts I like if they're done right, but IPA's are just too overbearing. Hops should add a touch of complexity, not overwhelm the palate. Which is why I'm fond of wheat beers, they're not hoppy, but they're not bland either.
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Re: Beer

Postby daftbeaker on Tue Sep 06, 2011 10:39 am

Roy, what is 'heavy'? I got that it's beer but is a bitter or an ale or a stout? :confused:

Also, McEwan's Export is rather tasty, shame it's expensive :bummer:
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Re: Beer

Postby Roy Hunter on Tue Sep 06, 2011 11:15 am

daftbeaker wrote:Roy, what is 'heavy'? I got that it's beer but is a bitter or an ale or a stout? :confused:
It is very similar to bitter, a dark beer. Heavy is usually denoted as 70 shilling or 80 shilling (originally denoting the amount of tax to be paid on a barrel). Typical pub heavies are Tennent's 70, McEwan's 80, Younger's Tartan, I believe Belhaven do one too but it's been years since I drank heavy.

daftbeaker wrote:Also, McEwan's Export is rather tasty, shame it's expensive :bummer:
OMFSM! :shocked:
I thought I was mad..!

Stay away from The Red Death. Here it is relatively cheap, because it is regarded as relatively crap.
"I don't mean to sound bitter, cynical or cruel; but I am, so that's how it comes out." ~ Bill Hicks.
"To argue with a person who has renounced reason is like administering medicine to the dead." ~ Thomas Paine.
"One should not believe everything one reads on the internet." ~ Abraham Lincoln.
"If you're making a political point wearing a balaclava, you're a c***. It was true for the IRA and it's true now." ~ daftbeaker.
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Re: Beer

Postby daftbeaker on Tue Sep 06, 2011 12:29 pm

Roy Hunter wrote:
daftbeaker wrote:Roy, what is 'heavy'? I got that it's beer but is a bitter or an ale or a stout? :confused:
It is very similar to bitter, a dark beer. Heavy is usually denoted as 70 shilling or 80 shilling (originally denoting the amount of tax to be paid on a barrel). Typical pub heavies are Tennent's 70, McEwan's 80, Younger's Tartan, I believe Belhaven do one too but it's been years since I drank heavy.

Aha, thanks. I may have to investigate this next time I end up in Scotland as it sounds good :drinking:

Roy Hunter wrote:
daftbeaker wrote:Also, McEwan's Export is rather tasty, shame it's expensive :bummer:
OMFSM! :shocked:
I thought I was mad..!

Stay away from The Red Death. Here it is relatively cheap, because it is regarded as relatively crap.

Well, I like it :moon:
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Re: Beer

Postby PKMKII on Thu Sep 08, 2011 9:48 pm

Had a bottle of Tiger out at dinner tonight. Like most Asian lagers, very light and malty with no hops. But this one had a toasted/nutty undertone. Good meal beer.

Current beer in the house is Yuengling, also a lager. Nothing exciting, but a good standby.
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Re: Beer

Postby daftbeaker on Tue Sep 13, 2011 1:48 pm

I can't be bothered to start a cider thread :idiot:

Scrumpy Jack is still my favourite of the canned ciders round here, it's a rather dry but at 6% and 500ml cans you can get hammered pretty quickly without intending to. Woodpecker is also quite tasty but is much sweeter, probably because it's only 3.5% and there's still quite a bit of sugar left in it. Tesco's strong dry cider isn't quite as nice but at 50p a can I'm not that fussed and it's still much better than the fizzy horsepiss known as Strongbow.

If you ever get a chance to try some of the proper cloudy ciders and scrumpies from the West Country do so, they're awesome. A word of warning though, if it tastes like apple juice it's probably going to ambush your brain later :haha:
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Re: Beer

Postby Roland Deschain on Tue Sep 13, 2011 5:51 pm

When I used to drive all the time, i'd either go for the southerner's favourite (half a shandy), or have something like Bitburger Drive (best non-alcoholic beer in the nearest bar to where I used to work). On those occasions when I didn't have my car with me, and especially after I started getting the train/tube to work, I would drink one or more of the following:-

Staropramen - It's pretty typical for a Czech lager. It has a nice strong flavour with plenty of those fancy words professional wine tasters use coming through on the pallete and the nose.The best thing is that it doesn't have a vile flavour such as Stella Artois has, which I am not particularly fond of.

Peroni - This is an Italian lager. It is usually expensive, but it comes in these awesome tall glasses. They're really cool. This has nice subtle flavours coming through under the main flavour. Ditto on the fancy words comment above.

London Pride - This is a pretty standard bitter, and is brewed in Chiswick. It's more a mild than a bitter, but they essentially come under the same heading these days. I love bitter, and the way you can drink ones with a lower alcoholic content, like this one at 3.7% ish, and not be either completely sozzled or bloated from bubbles.

AK - This is a local Hertfordshire brewery, and what I usually drink when out and about near my home. Not that I do that much, and i'm being honest when I say that. Pubs full of chavs or soccer nuts are not my cup of tea. Anway, I digest (heheheh). This is again a milder flavour, and doesn't bloat you. AK make a few different beers, my favourite being the traditional one (red pump logo).

Spanish Cider - If you don't particularly like English cider (pretend cider strained through cat's urine, if you will, like K, Diamond White, Strongbow, etc), then I recommend you to try its Spanish counterpart. I'm sure Roy must have had some of this at one point. The Ciderias in the north of Spain are the best to try it at, as they do that funky pouring from a height thing.

Efes - It's a popular beer in Turkey. I sampled many bottle when I was there a couple of years ago. I can't recall the taste properly, but I do remember it being nice.
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Re: Beer

Postby DavidH on Fri Sep 16, 2011 10:55 am

I agree about Peroni and Efes. In Greece, you've got to try Mythos (Μύθος).

DB, if you're a cider man, you need to visit Yerefrrdshire. Not for Bulmers, which is cat's piss, but stuff like this. Newton Court is about six miles up the road from me.

BTW when Bulmers was locally owned and providing 3,000 jobs in town, no-one ever admitted the stuff was crap. Now it's owned by some big conglomerate and employs hardly anybody, so we tend to tell the truth about it. :haha:
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Re: Beer

Postby daftbeaker on Fri Sep 16, 2011 1:14 pm

DavidH wrote:DB, if you're a cider man, you need to visit Yerefrrdshire. Not for Bulmers, which is cat's piss, but stuff like this. Newton Court is about six miles up the road from me.

Bulmers is a bit crap but they make Woodpecker which is cheap and quite nice. Westons are awesome though, I've had several fun nights after drinking Old Rosie :drinking:
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