Young’s Special London Ale

When selecting beer to celebrate the London Olympics this beer was obviously a monty. How can you go past something that mentions London in the title of the beer?  Young’s are based in London so that explains the London part of the name but why is this beer special? Well the Head Brewer has this to say about the beer; “A wonderfully balanced, deep-golden strong bottled ale. The pinnacle of Young’s brewing. Saviour and Enjoy.”

Of course this isn’t true. The Young’s Double Chocolate Stout is clearly their best beer, even I could tell that back when I knew exactly two fifths of fuck-all about beer. Almost four years later and now I know exactly three fifths, so I’ve come a long way. Continue reading

Theakston Old Peculier

Now that’s peculiar

Welcome to day two of Englishpalooza AKA Olympic Beer- a-go-go. Today we are actually a bit out of the home of the 2012 Olympics, London. We have travelled up the road to Yorkshire and we are looking at another typically British style of beer – Old. Yep Old Ale is a style of beer, which explains the Old but what of the seemingly misspelled ‘Peculier’?

This beer is not peculiar, meaning odd but rather is named after the Peculier of Marsham, peculier in this sense meaning a parish outside the jurisdiction of the diocese. I thus like to consider that Marsham is a lawless place similar to the roads of Mad Max or the seas of Waterworld.  

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Italiano Spectapular

My Antonia and the awesome tablecloth

Spectapular is now a word that is in the vocabulary of even those who have only just dipped their toes in the frothy water of the craft beer pond. The Spectapular that they are familiar with was the giant four day long festival held at the Royal Exhibition Buildings in Melbourne.

This weekend it was Spectapular time again, but instead of the giant beast it was back to the roots of these events with the Local Taphouse in Melbourne which was decked out in checked tablecloths and the kegs filled with special Italian brews.

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Arvo Beer 34 Vs Arvo Beer 51

It’s not often that I talk about wine companies, but to understand Arvo beer you need to understand Casella Wines. 

Now you might not have heard of Casella, but even those with a passing interest in wine will know the [yellow tail] brand.  This brand was originally launched in the US in 2000, by 2003 it was the biggest wine brand in the US. This in turn made Casella one of the biggest wine companies in Australia and the biggest wine exporter Australia has. If you doubt the power of Casella consider this:

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Uncy Dan’s American Cousins.

Red Trolley

Like it or not Dan Murphy’s (Uncy Dan to his friends) rules the Australian liquor retail scene. They are increasingly making a strong play in the craft beer arena as well, their website lists 102 ‘craft’ beers, not exactly Slowbeer territory but nothing to sneeze at.

They even sponsored the recent Great Australasian Beer Spectapular in Melbourne, cleverly building a database of beery folk for future marketing, they then preceded to send me emails about wine specials about 3 times a week until I got fed up and unsubscribed myself, but again they are trying – sort of. 

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Cisk Lager

Cisk – Largely what you would expect

Prologue:  It’s lager time again, this time all the way from Malta. Now everyone knows a Maltese person or at least Australians do (did you know that about 15-20% of the population of Malta immigrated to Australia just after the Second World War?) and everyone likes to make Maltesers jokes about him or her, but what do you really know about Malta? Well it’s an island in the Mediterranean about 80km south of Sicily, it’s hot and looks pretty nice from the photos I’ve seen. But can they make beer? Well let’s kick it old skool and find out.

Packaging: Traditional sort of stuff, a coat of arms with a horse on it, some medals from the ‘too small to read the location’ beer festival and a heap of traditional gold, white and yellow. And the name ‘Cisk’ was brewery founder Giuseppe Scicluna’s nickname and means ‘the cheque’ because he liked to pay bills by cheque. It’s a dud nickname but probably better than ‘that dirty arsehole that never pays his bills.’

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Around the World….

One of the great things about beer is that it is brewed in almost all countries of the world, whether they are the traditional Euro nations with hundred year old breweries and their own local hop varieties, to societies better known as technological wonderlands/airport hubs and all the way to Caribbean islands more known for cigars, rum and baseball.

 It doesn’t matter where you are, chances are you can get a beer and chances are it’ll be local. Today we look at two such beers, both from island nations; Tiger from Singapore and Cubanero Fuerte from Cuba.

Tiger Beer is one of the most world’s more famous beers.  Asian mainstream brews don’t have the best of reputations as the climate of most of Asia seems to suit light bodied, easy to drink lagers. Tiger is no different, it is a pretty standard lager with lively carbonation that makes it refreshing but masks the flavour somewhat. There is a slight, vaguely metallic hop note that lingers, but this beer is clearly designed for refreshment more than anything else. Okay, but not great – Schooner.

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Good Beer Week Day 4 – West Australian Brews

Dinner at the Great Northern

When a plumber starts swearing you know you are not going to have the best of days. This is how yesterday started for me. Those playing along at home will know that on Monday I ripped out a pantry so that the plumber could look at a leaky downpipe. It turns out that the leaky downpipe is not a leaky downpipe at all but rather a rusted through metal roof and what seemed like a simple fix will now drag on for a few more days whilst everyone considers how to fix it.

On a related note I now need someone to build me a new pantry, if anyone knows of a handyman/cabinet maker/joinery person who doesn’t mind doing smallish jobs, drop me a line on the email address over there on the left.

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