I'll drink to that!
If you needed an excuse beyond it being Friday, why not raise a glass to the 11th International Beer Day? Allegedly started by a Californian bar owner, it is now a genuinely global celebration with 200 events around the world. Getting involved is pretty simple: Drink good beer with good friends Give the gift of beer Enjoy …
I think you must be having my allocation since I rarely drink beer (gives me bad headaches after only a pint or two). The exception being Weiss Bier - being more wheat-based it doesn't seem to have the same effect.
Bizarrely, whisky doesn't have the same effect even though it's barley-based too.
Budweiser has been a Belgian company
ITYM "rabidly monopolistic US company" - after all, they are the ones who tried to sue the *original* Budweiser (Budweiser Budvar - the Czech company who have been around longer than the US company that brews Budweiser) in order to stop them using the name Budweiser for their beer - despite the fact that Budvar had been using it a lot longer.
I will admit that I sometimes do have a US-recipe Budweiser - it seems that it's association with real beer is sufficiently tenuous that it doesn't have the same effect as most barley-based beers (possibly because they only use barley malt with the rest of the yeast feedstock being rice).
As someone who does regular extensive research into the beer available in pubs around Yorkshire and the Midlands, I'm not entirely convinced by the claim that John Smiths is the tipple of choice Yorkshire way. Equally, I'm doubting Pedigree's popularity in the east Midlands.
Over here in mostly-damp Sheffield, the main "ale" choice is usually Doom Bar or one of the standard Carling/Carlsberg/Fosters triumvirate, though a lot of pubs have been supplanting these with various continental lagers such as Estrella or Amstel.
And if I was feeling cynical, I'd suggest that this is because they can charge extra for these "exotic" lagers (though equally, the current exchange rate presumably isn't helping matters). Though it may also be because the overly hopped "IPA" style much loved by those people with coiffured beards and top-knots seem to be slowly falling out of fashion.
Still, it's Friday, so I'll be able to do some more research into this shortly...
Doom Bar is gaining popularity in East Anglia too, but it's just the one brew and I'd guess most people couldn't tell you who brewed it.
But, the map seems a bit confused about beers vs brewers anyway.
Still, Everards or Marstons* in the midlands, Fullers in the SE, and even GK** are vastly better options than any of the u-bend lagers in the rest of the country.
* Isn't Marstons owned by GK now?
** GK beers are a lot better than 20 years ago, but they need to be informed that not everything needs to be an IPA / Abbot / Speckled Hen variant.
Fullers are gone, now, too. That leaves, er... Youngs, Shepherd Neame, Wytchwood and a ton of small indies.
FWIW anyone who enjoys proper beer and has some time to kill waiting for delayed / cancelled trains at at London King's Cross / St Pancras should stroll 100 yards east along the Euston Road, dodging the tourists, beggars, drunken hen/stag parties from the NE and the yuppies heading home from the newly redeveloped slums-come-hipster offices and try The Scottish Stores at the bottom of the Caledonian Road. Excellent selection of reasonably priced brews, including several I'm sure featured in the "Beer" episode of Blackadder S2... and it used to be a strip pub, so you can try to imagine how it looked in the bad old days five years ago.
That icon looks suspiciously like gassy lager rather than actual beer... hmmm any chance of a G&T icon instead? Larger makes me feel bloated, headachey and really unpleasantly irritable and stroppy.
And whilst I'm burning karma -- has anyone tried a double-blind taste test to see if drinkers can tell Moretti from Estrella from Stella from Amstel?
It's a totally different picture from where I'm sitting... But then Leeds had 23 different brewers so I guess we have an issue with agreeing to anything brew wise.
Still my monthly shipment arrived in time for the weekend and I've just acquired a box of northern powerhouse so I'll just drown my sorrows over the John smiths (Sam smiths is always way better) with much superior drink this evening.
"I'm not entirely convinced by the claim that John Smiths is the tipple of choice Yorkshire way. Equally, I'm doubting Pedigree's popularity in the east Midlands."
Likewise WRT to Tennants in Scotland. It's ok(ish) but not great. I guess the Scots will put up with it for patriotic reasons though.
>the Czechs have cleared the top spot for 25 years
The only reason that they were not top dogs earlier was that they were shackled to Slovakia, as part of Czechoslovakia, until 1993. The Slovaks drink quite a bit of wine and dragged the Czech figures down. Off to the Czech Republic in just over a week. I must see what I can do to up the figures!
London seems to be very big.
When I lived in the South, it was HSB, where I grew up, then, when I moved to the Southampton area, it was Ringwood Badger and a few other local ones. London Pride didn't get a look-in.
When I went on a sailing holiday in Scotland, the captain took along 2 cases of malt whiskey and a case of Kestrel (because you need something light to drink in the mornings, before the sun was over the yard arm).
In the old days beer didn't travel well. While at college in Liverpool I can remember being told about a pub "Don't drink there, the beer's crap, it's Boddingtons", A few years later, in Manchester, I was advised to drink in a particular establishment because they served "an excellect pint of Boddingtons".
In the mid '70s I discovered Ruddles, brewed in that large county, Rutland. The current beer with the Ruddles moiker is now brewed by Greene King in sunny Suffolk. It's not the same.
Who can remember the "Brahms & Liszt" in Leeds?
Excellent pint of boddies? Har. Never thought I'd say this, but your scouser pal was right - boddingtons is awful even if you get it straight from the bloody brewery. Heck, the denizens of the northwest aren't wrong, even fecking Foster's is better.
Plenty of nice breweries around these days like everywhere else (tatton brewery is great), but avoid the yellow crap at all costs...
It may just be a story, but I recall hearing that Heineken developed a special brew for the American market to recreate the flavor of beer that had spent too long in transit because they'd managed to hook everybody on it before opening their own brewery in the US and didn't want to risk a flavor change. People get what they expect, I guess.
Mine's the one with the extralarge Hershey's bar in the pocket.
Re: Watney's Red Barrel. c.f. Double Diamond!
"I’ve seen thousands of brewing records from several countries, but these were the first to shock me. And the first where I haven’t thought, “I’d really like to try that beer.” CAMRA was right to tell readers to “avoid like the plague” in the first Good Beer Guide. Because Watney’s products were up to 20 percent muck: beer returned from pubs, sludgy stuff from the bottom of tanks and other crap lying around the brewery."
"you werent supposed to take it seriously..."
The UK lost its sense of humour a long time ago.
Imagine looking at America's racist moron President in his shitty shapeless suit with that fucked up tangle of yellow bullshit on top of his big dumb pumpkin head, yammering incoherently like a low-wattage imbecile and thinking "oh yeah, my country should have one of these too"
(Credit: Jeff Tiedrich on Twitter)
No its because they wanted to name it a certain 4 letter word that was much closer to what it tastes like, but couldnt get it past the naming bureau. They tried a whole bunch of other 4 letter words as well, but in the end they gave up and just went with XXXX's.
Had some Fosters once. Couldn't tell if what I drank had already been passed through someone else's kidneys or not.
But as a left-pondian, I have to be embarrassed by not only Coors (Rocky Mountain beaver widdle) but also Busch (seriously, seriously don't flush it down the toilet, it would be a waste of water) and, of course, Budweiser, the Pig of Beers.
We have a lot of craft breweries on the West Coast now, and by God if they put anymore wretched grapefruit rinds in the wort to give it a "citrus tang" or -- as one commentard mentioned -- frigging RASPBERRIES in the mix, then I will be driven to the harder stuff.
Por moi, Pilsner. Urquell will do.
I'll give you a pint when you sober up enough to figure out which one of these five you see in front of you is the real one.
(Stage whispers to everyone else: there are really five tankards on the bar in easy reach, but only one of them has beer in it, the other four are filled with plain tap water to see if he notices.)
Peroni... In Wales? It must be all the toffs in the Gower.
Maybe Peroni is the biggest one brand sold (no idea why, it tastes worse than Stella) but I expect if you look at volume including real ale by micro breweries and Brains Bitter (is much nicer than Greene king and London pride) it would be obvious we don't all drink that crap lager.
I'm leaving Brains Dark out of this, it tasted much nicer when the pubs were allowed to put the filtered dregs back in the barrels. Sometimes you would get a hint of cider, if you were really lucky it would taste of strawberry, pernod or some other random mixture that got tossed in.... Hence micro breweries were born when the fun police decided that's naughty and you may get ill if you are not an x miner, your lungs ain't screwed, you don't smoke 40 a day or live in Wales.
-The Czech Republic still tops the world consumption league by some margin. Precise figures vary but Japanese brewer Kirin reckons the Czechs down an admirable with 183 litres per person per year (322 pints), down on previous years but still well ahead of Austria in second place with a measly 106.6 litres. The UK languishes in 23rd place with just 66.5 litres.-
I could drink those Czechs under the table. Like my father, and his father before him, I usually don't stop till my urine is flammable. It's practically a Minnesota tradition to down cheap beer until you cannot stand up or see straight, and start speaking in cursive. Even our last state governor was an admitted alcoholic and it didn't hurt his reputation one bit. You have to have a hobby to pass the time during our long, cold winters. Here's mud in your eye!
Even using a conservative estimate of my daily average consumption is staggering compared to these records. I will not do that again (calculate my annual beer consumption). When tempted to do so, I vow to have a beer instead. If that doesn't work, I'll have another and repeat until I simply cannot do the math. Since I did it, I will have to do penance. Oh man, my personal beer inventory is low, off to the pub then.
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