The beer (and occasionally wine) thread

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  • IPA stands for India Pale Ale and it was originally well hopped strong beer designed to survive being shipped to the East Indies. You can still find IPAs made in that style.

    American IPA is something else, and because of fashion it has become the ubiquitous style of IPA, not for everyone and many overdo the citrus but they are not all bad.

    Thornbridge Jaipur is my go to beer if I find it in a pub, fortunately my local frequently has it, though it also has another 7 pumps with beers constantly on rotation and one off specials and I am always up for trying something new so I won't always have it. Also it is strong so I avoid it if I'm on a session. Jaipur is an IPA and predates the fashion for american IPA and is made to be close to the original concept.

    I'm not against drinking lager either, though most stuff available in this country is very bad, they are often made in the UK and share little with the original apart from the name. Nothing wrong with a bottle of the orignal Czech Budweiser (the American brewery "borrowed" the name), Gernan Paulaner Pilsner or Belgian Vedett Pisner.
  • veronese68
    veronese68 Posts: 27,289

    secretsam said:

    IPA are you for real? I find that stuff universally rank. They’re the worst offenders for the grapefruit wannabes. Hoppy like anything.

    Anything labelled "craft" beer is inevitably over-hopped pi55, made by someone with an ironic beard and no f&&king clue.
    Local, proper breweries are the way to go. Chiltern Brewery in Bucks, for example.

    Being a self confessed curmudgeonly old git I should probably have this attitude, but I like beer and i like trying different beers. I can't drink Guiness as it gives me heartburn, most other stouts and porters are ok thankfully. I like some IPAs, there's a pub near me that keeps some good ones on rotation. Some I find are too much. I'm really not keen on sours, the owner of a beer shop near Lyon told me he thought they were beers for people that don't like beer. If you're ever offered a Gose don't do it, it's utterly rank. Read this if you don't believe me:
    https://www.thrillist.com/drink/nation/craft-beer-is-dead-gose-ruined-craft-beer
    I really like sours :smile:

    .
    And you clearly like your beer, that disproves his theory.
    Going to a pub tonight that has 15 hand pumps plus lots of fizzy beers. Unfortunately the company has gone into administration so I don't know how long it will carry on in this guise.
  • bobmcstuff
    bobmcstuff Posts: 11,196
    edited August 2023

    secretsam said:

    IPA are you for real? I find that stuff universally rank. They’re the worst offenders for the grapefruit wannabes. Hoppy like anything.

    Anything labelled "craft" beer is inevitably over-hopped pi55, made by someone with an ironic beard and no f&&king clue.
    Local, proper breweries are the way to go. Chiltern Brewery in Bucks, for example.

    This is the truth.

    I love real ale and usually drink the weakest in the pub. There are innumerable local breweries around the UK and I really enjoy trying new ones or finding old favourites. Few things depress me more than a bar selling only keg beer.

    "Craft IPA" seems to give the brewer licence to chuck a ridiculous amount of hops into it to create something so astringent as to be undrinkable (to me) after a pint.

    "Proper" IPAs can, however, be beautiful and so irresistably moreish as to render the imbiber powerless to resist drinking too many. Wadworths Henry's IPA being a current favourite of mine.

    Of all the beers I have drank around the world, the one that impressed me most was BeerLao - this is made with rice rather than barley and, at about 9p per "pint" bottle in Lao, very easy to like! Sadly, it does not travel well.
    Neither style are really "proper" IPAs given that alcohol and hops are both preservatives so originally IPAs would be brewed stronger and hoppier to survive the passage to India (I am sure everyone has heard that a million times edit: including 2 posts up :smiley: ). But this means they wouldn't have been anything like either current real ale IPA or craft IPA - real ale IPAs today are in practice little different from a Best Bitter with a small amount of dry hops (we reduced alcohol contents significantly during the first world war), and craft IPAs are too fresh and carbonated (given they're normally force carbonated and haven't spent 6 weeks on a boat).

    According to my dad I am named after one of those old school IPAs, but my mum says that's rubbish ;)
  • bobmcstuff
    bobmcstuff Posts: 11,196

    secretsam said:

    IPA are you for real? I find that stuff universally rank. They’re the worst offenders for the grapefruit wannabes. Hoppy like anything.

    Anything labelled "craft" beer is inevitably over-hopped pi55, made by someone with an ironic beard and no f&&king clue.
    Local, proper breweries are the way to go. Chiltern Brewery in Bucks, for example.

    Being a self confessed curmudgeonly old git I should probably have this attitude, but I like beer and i like trying different beers. I can't drink Guiness as it gives me heartburn, most other stouts and porters are ok thankfully. I like some IPAs, there's a pub near me that keeps some good ones on rotation. Some I find are too much. I'm really not keen on sours, the owner of a beer shop near Lyon told me he thought they were beers for people that don't like beer. If you're ever offered a Gose don't do it, it's utterly rank. Read this if you don't believe me:
    https://www.thrillist.com/drink/nation/craft-beer-is-dead-gose-ruined-craft-beer
    I really like sours :smile:

    .
    And you clearly like your beer, that disproves his theory.
    Going to a pub tonight that has 15 hand pumps plus lots of fizzy beers. Unfortunately the company has gone into administration so I don't know how long it will carry on in this guise.
    I was trying to guess which brewery that might be, but unfortunately there's so many going under at the moment :'(
  • jdee84
    jdee84 Posts: 282
    A hot day in Spain and a cold Estrella Galicia can't be beaten.
  • veronese68
    veronese68 Posts: 27,289
    Big Smoke and we're going to the Albion in Kingston.
    https://www.thedrinksbusiness.com/2023/07/big-smoke-pub-co-appoints-administrators/
    It started with a pub in Twickenham called the Sussex Arms, they had lots of different beers and music was only played on vinyl. They then took over some other pubs and started brewing at the Antelope in Surbiton, have been expanding and taking over more pubs. The ones I've been to are good pubs.

    Regarding IPAs, I say IPAs are like R&B, nothing like what it started out as.
  • ddraver
    ddraver Posts: 26,383
    Similar things happened with speciality coffee where acidity = good so roasters/brewers made products that would score high on the rating scale but taste f'kin awful to anyone drinking it for pleasure.

    Thankfully it's starting to die off in coffee...less sure about beer...
    We're in danger of confusing passion with incompetence
    - @ddraver
  • ddraver
    ddraver Posts: 26,383
    edited August 2023

    .

    Regarding IPAs, I say IPAs are like R&B, nothing like what it started out as.

    Les mots justes!


    We're in danger of confusing passion with incompetence
    - @ddraver
  • bobmcstuff
    bobmcstuff Posts: 11,196
    ddraver said:

    Similar things happened with speciality coffee where acidity = good so roasters/brewers made products that would score high on the rating scale but taste f'kin awful to anyone drinking it for pleasure.

    Thankfully it's starting to die off in coffee...less sure about beer...

    Huh, I didn't know that... Interesting comparison.

    Sounds a lot like beer back in the 2000s/early 2010s, when the trend was for enormous West Coast IPAs which would be clear, 7-8%+ and with really high IBUs (massively bitter). But most normal people don't like things that bitter (Stone Ruination is a good example that's relatively available - so called cos it ruins your palate for anything else...)

    The backlash to that was New England IPAs (NEIPA) which are hazy, soft, and with low IBUs - although they can still come across quite bitter because if you have too much late hops/dry hops you can get some astringency and hop burn. Especially if you have that grapefruit profile. Most current craft pales are NE style cos it's easier for the brewer to make it hazy. I actually quite like a cleaner west coast style and they seemed to be having a bit of a resurgence last year or two, but I don't see that many around now. Hopefully it will settle out somewhere in the middle... A lot of them just call themselves generic "American pale ales/IPAs" these days.

    The really good NEIPAs manage to achieve that flavour profile without the hop burn/astringency but a lot of brewers just keep chucking more hops in. Deya have some good examples of NE style DIPAs that are up about 8% and keep that soft chalky low bitterness without the astringency.
  • bobmcstuff
    bobmcstuff Posts: 11,196



    Thornbridge Jaipur is my go to beer if I find it in a pub, fortunately my local frequently has it, though it also has another 7 pumps with beers constantly on rotation and one off specials and I am always up for trying something new so I won't always have it. Also it is strong so I avoid it if I'm on a session. Jaipur is an IPA and predates the fashion for american IPA and is made to be close to the original concept.

    Jaipur was directly inspired by American IPAs at that time, although with some English tweaks - https://www.beervanablog.com/beervana/2021/5/13/2021/making-of-a-classic-thornbridge-jaipur

    Martin Dickie worked at Thornbridge before he left and started Brewdog, which is interesting: "He only lasted a year at Thornbridge before heading home to found BrewDog, where he promptly made an extremely Jaipur-esque beer you may have heard of: Punk IPA. "

    5.9% vs 5.6%, relatively clear, high bitterness - main difference is Jaipur is regularly available on cask, if you can find it on keg it's a lot closer to Punk with the higher carbonation etc.
  • Jezyboy
    Jezyboy Posts: 2,894
    I had thought "IPAs" in terms of the modern big flavour interpretation track back to Sierra Nevada Pale (among others).
  • bobmcstuff
    bobmcstuff Posts: 11,196
    A saison might be a good shout for someone who doesn't like IPAs - usually dry, relatively low bitterness, drinkable - great food beers. Especially one of the less funky ones, Saison Dupont is easy to buy.
  • bobmcstuff
    bobmcstuff Posts: 11,196
    Jezyboy said:

    I had thought "IPAs" in terms of the modern big flavour interpretation track back to Sierra Nevada Pale (among others).

    I think that's more or less correct - US homebrewers wanting something different to light lagers in the early 80s. In terms of anything that's craft beer IPA anyway.

    British classic real ales calling themselves IPA (e.g., Greene King IPA) have a different genesis.
  • Pross
    Pross Posts: 40,435
    Am I the only one that finds the sheer number of beers on offer in some places now ridiculously over the top? If I go into Tiny Rebel or somewhere like Head Of Steam my eyes glaze over at the choices and I eventually just point at something in a panic as I'm holding up the queue.
  • bobmcstuff
    bobmcstuff Posts: 11,196
    edited August 2023
    Pross said:

    Am I the only one that finds the sheer number of beers on offer in some places now ridiculously over the top? If I go into Tiny Rebel or somewhere like Head Of Steam my eyes glaze over at the choices and I eventually just point at something in a panic as I'm holding up the queue.

    I prefer a smaller well thought out list yeah. If it's too big I either have to spend ages deciding or default to a brewery I have heard of.

    My local has 10 taps but one is always Irlbacher lager and another is always a 10%ish imperial stout - so basically 8 to choose from normally which feels pretty manageable.

    It's OK to have bigger lists if they are well thought out and easy to navigate (i.e., numbered and divided by style) but Head of Steam is usually a clusterf*ck (not that I often go there). More =/= better, though.
  • Jezyboy
    Jezyboy Posts: 2,894

    Pross said:

    Am I the only one that finds the sheer number of beers on offer in some places now ridiculously over the top? If I go into Tiny Rebel or somewhere like Head Of Steam my eyes glaze over at the choices and I eventually just point at something in a panic as I'm holding up the queue.

    I prefer a smaller well thought out list yeah. If it's too big I either have to spend ages deciding or default to a brewery I have heard of.

    My local has 10 taps but one is always Irlbacher lager and another is always a 10%ish imperial stout - so basically 8 to choose from normally which feels pretty manageable.

    It's OK to have bigger lists if they are well thought out and easy to navigate (i.e., numbered and divided by style) but Head of Steam is usually a clusterf*ck (not that I often go there). More =/= better, though.
    I quite like a bigger selection, but when it's a gazillion IPAs with no further description it can feel a little pointless.
  • veronese68
    veronese68 Posts: 27,289
    Yes, the layout of a large selection should be properly thought out. Most places are happy to let you try them, but in the unlikely event I've tried 2 and not liked them I'll order a pint of something I know I like.
  • Stevo_666
    Stevo_666 Posts: 58,383
    Pross said:

    Am I the only one that finds the sheer number of beers on offer in some places now ridiculously over the top? If I go into Tiny Rebel or somewhere like Head Of Steam my eyes glaze over at the choices and I eventually just point at something in a panic as I'm holding up the queue.

    Nope, and its the same at the supermarket - apart from the holding the queue up bit. In a way I'm glad I don't really like beers (apart from wheat beer), as the cider selection in most places is much more manageable.
    "I spent most of my money on birds, booze and fast cars: the rest of it I just squandered." [George Best]
  • rick_chasey
    rick_chasey Posts: 72,517
    Cider just doesn’t sit well about half way through the drink.

    Will make an exception for Breton dry stuff but even then
  • Stevo_666
    Stevo_666 Posts: 58,383
    edited August 2023

    Cider just doesn’t sit well about half way through the drink.

    Will make an exception for Breton dry stuff but even then

    Each to their own - don't have a problem half way through or at any other stage. There are also some potent ones that taste pretty good.
    "I spent most of my money on birds, booze and fast cars: the rest of it I just squandered." [George Best]
  • bobmcstuff
    bobmcstuff Posts: 11,196

    Cider just doesn’t sit well about half way through the drink.

    Will make an exception for Breton dry stuff but even then

    You could try a saison maybe as they tend to be dry, not too bitter, quite drinkable - only thing is a lot of wild beers put themselves under that category so need to get something fairly neutral like the Saison Dupont. Otherwise you might get a funky farmhouse surprise...
  • If you enjoy Tripels and Porters then Beer Gonzo is your best bet. In their various guises they’ve been importing the finest Belgian and American beers since the late 90’s. Well ahead of the curve.


    Cheers SBA, not come across them before.
    They wholesale to bars through out the UK. Always have an incredible range. They’ve now got a deli counter as well which is ace.

    Am currently in the arse end of nowhere in France and discovered a local brewery and tap room. Absolutely magic.

    There is a lot of snobbery involved but same as anything, cut through that and order what you like. Gonzo probably has the best range of rare Lambics in the UK but it’s not really my bag. Like MG I love a tripel or Porter. The Black Damnations are stupidly expensive but absolutely beautiful.
  • focuszing723
    focuszing723 Posts: 7,196
    Just general Porter beers, don't get all wangery about "who brewed this?" just try different ones, they're all pretty good and the variety is what counts.
  • Mad_Malx
    Mad_Malx Posts: 5,001
    I always like to try different beers. on my rare nights out i inevitably end up at some stage of the session with something that starts off ok up but by half way isn’t working at all.
  • I'm off to the Netherlands for a holiday next week, any recommendations on good local beers to try?
  • ddraver
    ddraver Posts: 26,383
    There's this place there that has all the best beer and food. If I recall correctly it's called...erm..."Belgium"

    (NL is in a similar place to the UK, just with easier access to Belgian Beers)
    We're in danger of confusing passion with incompetence
    - @ddraver
  • Ha, fair point. I assume they'll sell Belgian beers there so what should i look out for other than the usuals you get over here (Drenthe region).
  • rick_chasey
    rick_chasey Posts: 72,517
    Drenthe - they’re a bit funny around there.

    Though they partake in afternoon coffee, which is a significant contribution to civilisation.

    DD is right.
  • gethinceri
    gethinceri Posts: 1,515
    edited August 2023
    I love beer, I REALLY LOVE BEER.

    But the "ales" I have access to in pubs that I happen into tend to have beers that are mentioned in a couple of the posts above:
    Deya ales.... too hoppy, ruining the taste and using "IPA" is a misnomer.
    Tiny Rebel.... trying to be "in", I'm clearly not.

    I keep searching to replaying the days of necking several pints of Flowers Original or Double Dragon when they were readily available on draft.
    Or the days when the legendary Freeminer Brewery was still in existence.

    Youth, eh?
  • Mad_Malx
    Mad_Malx Posts: 5,001
    ddraver said:

    There's this place there that has all the best beer and food . If I recall correctly it's called...erm..."Belgium"

    I’m not convinced Vlaamse frites are the pinnacle of culinarily excellence