Thursday, 30 December 2010

McMullen’s Stronghart

7% ABV

This has been my Christmas tipple of choice this year, quite a lovely strong warming bitter for the season. Currently it is only available in bottles, which my local landlord liked as he could keep selling it whilst keeping the full range of their other beers on the pumps. Something I agree with too as it happens, this way other beer I fancy isn’t punted off the pumps, always a winner.

It pours quite lively with a tan coloured head and rich dark golden brown appearance. On the nose it smells of sweetness and spices which after the first alcohol hit in the taste comes though in buckets. Highly enjoyable in its bottle form but I would love to try it on cask just taste the difference although I could see why bottle would be better as your pubs can order smaller or larger quantities depending on their customers taste.

It is also a lovely pint when topped up with a bottle of McMullen’s very own Pale Ale, bitter and pale ale who would have thought it. :) Certainly a winter warmer even if a bit lethal, it was this combining which meant I slowly drank in the pub but it was worth it. I like being able to have a pint or half of something stronger within a session on a cold winters evening and this is a great drink for it.

Possibly another beer for the aging process I feel, if it lasts that long. In either case it’s a case of Stronghart in the online shopping basket, shame they don’t sell their Pale Ale online too.

For more information:

Friday, 24 December 2010

Merry Christmas

As it is Christmas Eve I write this from my work desk awaiting the time when we down tools (aka calculator and keyboard) and head out for the festive session in the pub.

Stronghart, the McMullen seasonal bottle beer is calling to me from my local and as soon as the boss gets fed up with us all and boots us out the door I'll be heading to my local. Hopefully my lovely partner will be there already with one poured for me.

So this is the last post before the big day.

This is Meer For Beer signing off with hugs and beer with Best Wishes for Christmas!

Have a lovely day folks.

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Samuel Smiths

I love the time when a group of people come into one of these pubs and say “I’ll have a pint of Ste…..” which trails off as they realise no, they can’t. The only goods sold in these pubs are the Samuel Smiths brands, even the spirits, crisps and soft drinks are all branded to this brewery. I believe the only brewery to do so in England, in America I see Goose Island have an own range of soft drinks but I bet they haven’t got this far in the branding.

Not everyone’s pint of beer but I rarely find a bad one of their pubs, just recently London pubs have been having a bit of tart up and a new lick of paint. Unlike many other breweries when this company do up a pub there is no danger of it becoming a wine bar affair rather than a pub. The Crown near Tottenham Court Road has fairly recently been done and it now a very nice place to wander into for a drink, many have commented on the work done to the Princess Louise in Holborn which is frankly stunning.

The brewery pubs do have a soft place in the hearts of those who go to them, each pub in unique and many with unusual and beautiful features that the Brewery takes care not to lose. The London pubs have been the focus of many a pub challenge, this one is one of the best detailed maps for finding their pubs. Good Beer guide is useless for these as brewery’s beers are not considered real beer under CAMRAs guidelines sadly.

Pricewise they only usually put up their prices when duty goes up and when by the same amount which is unusually fair in this day and age. Bottle beers are more expensive than pump but not to a ridiculous point, the range is good too. Taddy Porter and the Oatmeal Stout being personally favourites and they are especially lovely on a cold winter’s day in front of a warm fire in a pub accompanied by a book and my mobile switched off so I can’t disturbed by the Husband who has probably realised I haven’t gone shopping but will be in a pub somewhere. Bliss.

Brewery Webpage:
And yes, it is a webpage not website; they may have joined the 21st century but only just.

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Attention Those Who Run on Beer!

I would be very surprised if you haven't noticed the charity appeal banner on this blog just recently but there is another side to the charity coin...the London Marathon.

It's the biggest and bestest one in the world and held in London, have your chance to beat the London Pride Bottle's time!

Or alternatively run with the bottle and try and blag a couple of pints at the finishing line! :)

Now for the Serious bit;

Run the Virgin London Marathon 2011 for Whizz-Kidz!

Whizz-Kidz, disabled children’s charity, has places available in the world’s best marathon – the London Marathon 2011.

To run for Whizz-Kidz, you need to fundraise a minimum of £1600. Please contact Jess on (or call 0207 233 9696) for more information.

Closing date: January 2011.


Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Anchor Brewing Company – Old Foghorn

8.2% ABV

I enjoy Barleywine beers, for me they are THE winter choice but they are becoming awkward to find. This was the only one I could find in otherwise well packed beer shop and it’s not even a British barleywine. I miss the days of Old Nick from Youngs, that was a great beer that was so wonderful for sipping on a winters evening.

However this was the only one I could find on Friday so what’s it like? The beer itself pours well, a rich cherryique colour with a fluffy off white head that lasts well but will go into a fine lacing towards the bottom of the drink. Dry and sweet like sherry. Unlike British versions which are golden syrupy and coats the mouth with a sweet alcoholic kick. This American version is drier on the end which totally neutralises the sweet first notes from the beer. Not sure I really like that in a Barleywine, I enjoy the lingering sweetness of the British versions.

I will say I am not convinced the bottles I had were kept brilliantly as the tasting notes from American reviewers mention that it is dry but not the level of dryness I had so maybe the batch these were from didn’t travel well or weren’t kept in the best conditions in the shop. So with this in mind I am going to be open-ended in my review, the first notes were gorgeous honey tasting barley maltness that was morish and gorgeous, the slight dryness was appealing but the overwhelming dry almost mustiness is so jarring I will take as a sign of the beer on it’s way out.

All in all I do recommend you try this beer, it is not the same as our versions of this style but it is a lovely version from across the sea.

For More Information:

Thursday, 2 December 2010

December's Delights

After last year’s slightly disappointing Christmas beer apart from Loddon’s Razzle Dazzle which was stunning, I have been planning my festive beer drinking. I will have bottles after this weekend hiding around the house and my order of stronger beers will be done to beat the government’s stupid plans for higher tax on some beers.

I think on the whole it is the high percentage beers that cost a lot of money that have attracted the government eye, rather like high earners who have to pay 50% tax do. Makes me glad I am a lowly paid minion, the only reason I am but anyway…..

To get back on track..seasonal beers, here is a sneak ticking list I want to try and get around;

Harvey’s Christmas Ale 8.1%
Wayland’s Marley’s Ghost 5.2%
Fuller’s Old Winter Ale 4.8%
St Austell’s Raisins To Be Cheerful 5.5%
Sharps’ Abbey Christmas 4.6%
Otter Brewery’s Otter Claus 5.0%
Cotleigh’s Red Nose Reinbeer 4.5%
Titanic Brewery’s Deck The Halls 4.2%
Crouch Vale’s Happy Santa 4.3% and also Santa’s Revenge 5.0%

I like Crouch Vale’s duel beers concept. This month should be better than last year, can’t wait.

And remember it can’t be Christmas unless there are puns in some of the beers names