Author Topic: What is the best readily available bottled ale?  (Read 10209 times)

contango

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Re: What is the best readily available bottled ale?
« Reply #100 on: December 17, 2015, 05:36:38 pm »
If you like Sierra Nevada and you like IPAs, see if you can find Torpedo or Hop Hunter. Don't know if they're available in the UK. Torpedo is a fairly strong IPA, Hop Hunter is enhanced with hop oils. It's pretty intense but if you like IPAs it's worth a shot.

I think I've had Torpedo before but you don't see it very often. Never seen Hop Hunter on sale in the UK, to my knowledge, but it sounds interesting.

I once spent an evening drinking rather too much Torpedo and Hop Hunter. I'd been out with some friends and a couple of us polished off a growler on the way home (neither of us was driving, I might add!). I spent most of the next morning wishing I hadn't had so much Torpedo and Hop Hunter.

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I recently opened a bottle of Stone's Sorry Not Sorry IPA made with peaches. That was unusual.
As a rule, the only fruit addition I will tolerate in beer is cherries in a good oude kriek. Nothing good can come of adding peaches to an alcoholic beverage (I had a bad experience with Archers as a teen).

As a rule I'd agree with you but every once in a while Stone does something silly that shouldn't work but somehow does. The peach-infused IPA wasn't one of their best but worth drinking again.

As for Archers, I narrowly escaped a very bad experience with Archers. I was in a holiday camp with some friends and had been drinking rather more than normal. It was the sort of place where they didn't want you taking in your own alcohol but also didn't offer much beyond Castlemaine XXXX at twice the going rate. So I convinced the guy on the door that I needed to take my bottle of beer back to my chalet with me because I didn't want anyone spiking it and taking advantage of me, then accidentally dumped the beer and replaced it with vodka. After a couple of those I somehow made it back to my chalet, where we drank some more before I passed out. When I woke someone had left a glass of water for when I regained consciousness. I was just about to drink it when I remembered we'd been drinking Archers the night before. I don't imagine the consequences of draining a tall glass of Archers on top of an apocalyptic hangover would have been pleasant, for me or anyone within chundering range.

Always carry a small flask of whisky in case of snakebite. And, furthermore, always carry a small snake.

ElyDave

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Re: What is the best readily available bottled ale?
« Reply #101 on: December 18, 2015, 02:55:15 pm »
quite like some of the Brew Dog beers, but they're much better draught than bottle.

I grew up on Wadworths 6X and still like that.  Bottled, I quite like Oakham Ales Citra and the St Peters IPA or Best
“Procrastination is the thief of time, collar him.” –Charles Dickens

Wowbagger

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Re: What is the best readily available bottled ale?
« Reply #102 on: December 18, 2015, 11:00:05 pm »
I was trolling the aisles of Tesco this afternoon and happened upon the beer. There were a few varieties which I have never seen in Waitrose so I thought I'd experiment.

Suffolk Springer (GK) - OK. Quite a decent pint without being out-of-the-ordinary. I might buy it again if I see it.

Timothy Taylor Boltmaker - very disappointing. In fact, quite unpleasant. The bottle claimed that the draught version was CAMRA Cask Champion Beer of Britain 2104. Not a patch on Landlord, which is very good.
Oh, Bach without any doubt. Bach every time for me.

Re: What is the best readily available bottled ale?
« Reply #103 on: December 19, 2015, 09:38:10 am »
As a rule, the only fruit addition I will tolerate in beer is cherries in a good oude kriek. Nothing good can come of adding peaches to an alcoholic beverage (I had a bad experience with Archers as a teen).

Cantillon's Fou Foune made with peaches is sensational.  Sadly, it's so desirable, a bottle will set you back 20 squids.

Mrs Pingu

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Re: What is the best readily available bottled ale?
« Reply #104 on: December 19, 2015, 10:48:09 am »
Raspberry in beer is often good if it's tart enough, but not as good as cherries, obv.
Do not clench. It only makes it worse.

ian

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Re: What is the best readily available bottled ale?
« Reply #105 on: December 20, 2015, 05:46:16 pm »
The haul from yesterday's BBM... there's two bottle of Prairie/Evil Twin's Bible Belt missing because my wife hid them as a not very mysterious Christmas present.

!nataS pihsroW

Mrs Pingu

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Re: What is the best readily available bottled ale?
« Reply #106 on: December 20, 2015, 05:56:35 pm »
The one on the end doesn't look very beery...
Do not clench. It only makes it worse.

ian

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Re: What is the best readily available bottled ale?
« Reply #107 on: December 20, 2015, 06:02:53 pm »
As they let us poke their gin still, it seemed the least we could do was buy a bottle. That's the London Dry, they do an Old Tom too, but wasn't very Old Tommy to my taste.

I really want the Prairie Bomb, but it's a rocking 13% so definitely not for a school night. Mind you, the Partizan Huff is 14%...
!nataS pihsroW

fuzzy (retd.) AAGE

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Re: What is the best readily available bottled ale?
« Reply #108 on: December 21, 2015, 10:04:30 am »
Seeing the cans of beer there, what is the collectives view on tinnies?

I find that many a beer that is available both tinned and bottled tastes far better from the bottle.
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ian

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Re: What is the best readily available bottled ale?
« Reply #109 on: December 21, 2015, 10:32:44 am »
A lot of craft brewers are now using cans – small-run canning lines are modestly cheap, no more so than bottling lines, and bottles cost more than cans, they're heavier, take up more warehouse space, are harder to store (light and breakage), and cost more to transport.

I can't tell the difference. Modern cans are polyurethane-lined so impart no detectable metallic case. Pour into a glass and I doubt anyone can tell the difference. Of course, some people might like the ceremony of pouring from a bottle, in the same way as people insist on corked rather than screw top wine.

The other big thing is that I can carry a lot more cans in my pannier than bottles.
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citoyen

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Re: What is the best readily available bottled ale?
« Reply #110 on: December 21, 2015, 11:02:49 am »
A lot of craft brewers are now using cans – small-run canning lines are modestly cheap, no more so than bottling lines, and bottles cost more than cans, they're heavier, take up more warehouse space, are harder to store (light and breakage), and cost more to transport.

My only reason for preferring to buy beer in bottles is that I can re-use them for my home brews. I don't think canning is a viable option for the home brewer yet, and cans aren't re-usable. I could use Kilner jars, I suppose.

I tend to find beer from cans a tad fizzier than bottled beers but that may be my imagination, or it may just be a characteristic of the particular canned beers I've tried.

What is a keg if not a giant can?

ian

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Re: What is the best readily available bottled ale?
« Reply #111 on: December 21, 2015, 11:20:40 am »
I've done a fair few brewery tours and brewers seem to think there's no difference, the main issues seemed to be cost (second-hand bottling equipment is easier to get your hands on and suitable for small runs, canning equipment on the other hand is expensive and still only cost-effective if you can shift a fair amount of product or can afford some fancy-smancy small-run canning lines that US craft brewers are using) and consumer acceptance – cans are still viewed as the vehicle for cheap and generic beer (bottles are more artisan, cans industrial), and old skool cans left that nasty tinny aftertaste (new ones don't, but a lot of people still associate that taste).

The bottle of Morning Star we bought was fresh, we had to wait while he stuck the label on.
!nataS pihsroW

citoyen

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Re: What is the best readily available bottled ale?
« Reply #112 on: December 21, 2015, 01:33:10 pm »
I went beer shopping yesterday, to a proper beer shop. I broke my own non-fruit rule by coming away with one of these among my selection:
http://honestbrew.co.uk/shop/buxton-trolltunga-gooseberry-sour-ipa/

I do like a good sour beer and this one intrigued me.

None of the beers I bought really belong in this thread, all being wilfully esoteric. And not available in Tesco at any price, never mind 4 for £6.

ian

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Re: What is the best readily available bottled ale?
« Reply #113 on: December 21, 2015, 03:13:43 pm »
Thing is that they're not so esoteric these days. Bypass the supermarkets and their limited choice. My main complaint is that I couldn't possibly drink all the beer I'd want.

Omnipollo (with Siren) do a very nice peach IPA (actually, I think it's the same stuff, Omnipollo are doing some kind of collaboration with Buxton). In fact buy all their beers because there will be no disappointments. I have some Wild Beer Indigo Child (gooseberry sour) in the pipeline (they also do some great beers).

!nataS pihsroW

citoyen

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Re: What is the best readily available bottled ale?
« Reply #114 on: December 21, 2015, 03:36:41 pm »
Thing is that they're not so esoteric these days.

Fair point. Even specialist beer shops are becoming like supermarkets - too much choice and not enough difference.

And it's a shame because all these fucking hipster 'craft' brewers are saturating the market with stuff that often isn't actually all that good. Or they try to be clever and come up with wacky gimmicks like resurrecting ancient beer styles (forgetting why those styles went out of fashion) and then sticking feckin' gooseberries in them.

I'm sure it'll be very pleasant but I bet it won't be as good as a classic Orval.

ian

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Re: What is the best readily available bottled ale?
« Reply #115 on: December 21, 2015, 03:48:37 pm »
I dunno, I enjoy the wealth of choice. If you don't want fruit, you don't have to have it (and applying the reductionist logic, there would have been none of the fantastic sour krieks which set the benchmark for all fruit beers, or the fabulous lambics, goses, and sours). Sure, I love to sit down with a good 'simple' Belgian beer too, and sometimes I appreciate them all the more without the jiggerypokery. If I'm in Belgian cafe, I'll usually just ask for the bar's recommendation. They've never yet handed me a Stella.

I lived in the US when craft beer kicked off, and there was a brewery down the road, and I was spoiled. It was grim to get back the UK and discover that we were still bobbing on an ocean of Carling and Stella was 'exotic'. People thought Greene King was an IPA rather than bottled dishwater. Gawd, it's a million times better now.
!nataS pihsroW

citoyen

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Re: What is the best readily available bottled ale?
« Reply #116 on: December 21, 2015, 04:34:20 pm »
Choice is the capitalist myth.

Mrs Pingu

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Re: What is the best readily available bottled ale?
« Reply #117 on: December 21, 2015, 07:32:04 pm »
Wild Beer are amaze balls :P
Do not clench. It only makes it worse.

ian

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Re: What is the best readily available bottled ale?
« Reply #118 on: December 21, 2015, 08:26:23 pm »
Choice is the capitalist myth.

Yeah but communism would only offer two beer options: a lager called, with some truth, Spent Reactor Fuel Decontamination Fluid no. 5, and a dark beer made with beetroot.

"I'll try the beetroot beer, comrade," you'll ask, guessing what the lager is after trying Submarine Buoyancy Tank Cleaning Fluid no. 3.

"There is no beetroot beer."

"But you just said..."

"It's cabbage beer now. Beetroot is no longer sufficiently patriotic. Cabbage is now the symbol of our striving proletariat."

"Is there a cabbage beer then?"

"Why yes, comrade! Cabbage is the spirit of our nature, the leafy vegetable of progress."

"I'll have a pint of that then."

"You'll have to come back tomorrow."

"So, the only beer you have is Spent Reactor Fuel Decontamination Fluid no. 5?"

"No. We don't have that either, we sell it all to the capitalists."
!nataS pihsroW

Mrs Pingu

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Re: What is the best readily available bottled ale?
« Reply #119 on: December 21, 2015, 08:31:25 pm »
Sounds like trying to go to the pub in Belgium - 'we're closed, because it's our bar and we can'
Do not clench. It only makes it worse.

citoyen

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Re: What is the best readily available bottled ale?
« Reply #120 on: December 21, 2015, 10:29:05 pm »

"So, the only beer you have is Spent Reactor Fuel Decontamination Fluid no. 5?"

"No. We don't have that either, we sell it all to the capitalists."

And they rebadge it as Double Triple Bastard Imperial IPA.

ian

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Re: What is the best readily available bottled ale?
« Reply #121 on: December 21, 2015, 11:18:36 pm »
Oi, you cheeky little imp. Besides, I'm down with the sours and imperial stouts at the moment. I don't mind an IPA, but I'm not so big on the bombast. I'm going to drink my bottle of Tactical Nuclear Penguin at Christmas thought. Possibly not in the same hour as my bottle of Bible Belt.
!nataS pihsroW

citoyen

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Re: What is the best readily available bottled ale?
« Reply #122 on: December 22, 2015, 08:00:02 am »
I should confess that my haul the other day included at least one bourbon barrel-aged imperial stout. And I'm actually very much looking forward to the gooseberry sour.

ElyDave

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Re: What is the best readily available bottled ale?
« Reply #123 on: December 22, 2015, 09:01:29 am »
A lot of craft brewers are now using cans – small-run canning lines are modestly cheap, no more so than bottling lines, and bottles cost more than cans, they're heavier, take up more warehouse space, are harder to store (light and breakage), and cost more to transport.

My only reason for preferring to buy beer in bottles is that I can re-use them for my home brews. I don't think canning is a viable option for the home brewer yet, and cans aren't re-usable. I could use Kilner jars, I suppose.

I tend to find beer from cans a tad fizzier than bottled beers but that may be my imagination, or it may just be a characteristic of the particular canned beers I've tried.

What is a keg if not a giant can?

I buy bottled for the same reason, but there are only so many bottles you need an removing labels is such a pita
“Procrastination is the thief of time, collar him.” –Charles Dickens

Re: What is the best readily available bottled ale?
« Reply #124 on: December 22, 2015, 04:54:34 pm »
Having recently discovered the delights of a small local brewery (west Birmingham) I'm unlikely to buy "readily available bottled ale" for quite some time. Fixed Wheel Brewery ales are brewed by a successful local time triallist of recent years and most have cycling themed names. Even more delightful are some of the cask / keg ales that aren't bottled and joyfully the brewery is licensed and opens to the public regularly drawing a bigger crowd than many pubs, but that's even further off-topic.

Prior to this discovery I tended to settle for Butty Bach and Hobgoblin.