A band of aggressive beer salesmen seems to have passed through our neck of the woods, or maybe a new cash-and-carry has opened?
At any rate, the range of beers available at fairly ordinary corner shops and grocers near our house has expanded massively in recent weeks.
Here’s a partial list of bottled beers we can buy on the way home from work without going near a supermarket:
- Grolsch Weizen (big thumbs up from Bailey, Boak not so excited)
- Jennings Cocker Hoop, Cumberland and Sneck Lifter
- Bateman’s Combined Harvest and Victory
- All the Badgers, including unseasonal Pumpkin
- Young’s Bitter (bottle conditioned), Special London and Chocolate Stout
- Wychwood Hobgoblin, Wychcraft, Black Wych, Circle Master and Goliath
- Hen’s Tooth
- Cooper’s Sparkling Pale Ale
- Theakston’s Old Peculier
- Shepherd Neame Whitstable Bay, Spitfire, Bishop’s Finger, Master Brew and 1698
- Fuller’s London Pride, ESB, Golden Pride, Honey Dew and 1845
- Svyturys Ekstra, Gintarinis and Baltas
- Baltika porter, wheat beer, dark lager and helles
- Pilsner Urquell
- Budvar and Budvar Dark
- Pitfield Red Ale, Stock Ale and EKG
- Gulpener Rose (eugh!)
- Paulaner Helles
- Brakspear Organic and Triple
- St Austell Proper Job and Tribute
- Baltika porter, dark lager and wheat beer
- Usher’s Founders Ale.
That covers a great many of our day-to-day needs, but it would be nice to see more porters and stouts; more Belgian beer; and the return of Brooklyn Lager, which has disappeared from our local off licence.
And, of course, there is a bit of an illusion of choice here, because many of these beers are very similar in taste and appearance and, in some cases, are made and owned by a handful of umbrella companies.