Top of the Pops

jamesclay.jpgBeer enthusiasts in the UK owe James Clay and Sons a debt of thanks.

They’re the canny importers who have made it possible for us to get our hands on Brooklyn Lager, Goose Island IPA, and other exciting beers we’ve banged on about in the past.

On their website, they list their top ten sellers. As of Monday 24 March, this is how the chart looked:

    1.Duvel
    2.Erdinger Weiss
    3.Lindemans Kriek
    4.Lindemans Framboise
    5.Chimay Red Cap
    6.Schneider Weisse
    7.Vedett
    8.Brooklyn Lager
    9.Sierra Nevada Pale Ale
    10.Karmeliet Triple

Ring any bells? It’s what’s in the fridges in almost every even vaguely aspirational bar or pub in Britain.

Sure, it gets a bit boring seeing those same beers all the time, and, yes, Vedett is shite, but I’d be very glad if my local swapped its fridge full of Stella, Becks, Holsten and WKD Blue for just a few of those.

6 thoughts on “Top of the Pops”

  1. We get these re-imported through Clay’s as well, usually. Or at least they have a Clay label on them.

    A truncated version of that list is very familiar from bars like this.

  2. Schneider Weisse at that all important number 6 slot is one of my favourites.

    I found Clays a little problematic to deal with, but it was over two years ago now, perhaps they’ve improved.

  3. Clays are OK to work with and as Boak and Bailey say, they’re responsible for bringing some good beers into the country.

    Out of interest, among beers that aren’t currently available here in the UK, which do you think would have a market?

  4. Stonch — is this a hint about your new venture…? Sounds interesting.

    I don’t think you see very many exciting German beers in the UK, although the situation is improving. What about Kneitinger Bock, for example? A bit strong for the UK pub/bar market.

    Oh — Herrnbrau! They’re from Ingolstadt and every single one of their beers we tried was fantastic, especially their winter wheat beer (Schneewaltzer…?).

    Baltic porters? They sound romantic, if nothing else.

    Paul — yes, I like Schneider a lot. It might sound daft, but the fact that it’s a little darker really makes it look a lot tastier than some of the snow white wheat beers.

  5. Shockingly James Clay is how we get those American beers as well. All the way to the UK from the States, then to sit in storage before embarking on the sea journey to the Antipodes. Its no wonder they are often pretty tired.

  6. Kieran — that is truly shocking. On a related note, do Japanese beers ever make it your way…? Interesting ones, I mean.

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