beer reviews Beer styles

British Versions of Continental Beers

In the last few months, we’ve come across a couple of welcome attempts by British breweries to mimic continental beer styles. More of this, please. It’s surely the best way to compete with imported lagers?

Wylam Czech-style Pilsener beer is malty, fruity and very satisfying.  It’s nowhere near as good as a fresh Czech beer on tap, or even Derbyshire brewed Moravka, but compares very well with a bottle of Budvar.  An impressive offering from this Northumberland microbrewery.


Cain’s Double bock is very ‘true to style’, despite its origins in the north west of England, rather than the brewhouses of Bavaria. It’s really heavy and malty, but without being too sickly. It’s got some very pleasant milk chocolate and vanilla flavours and a soupy body.  At 7.1%, it goes straight to your head. Is this is available in cask form? If so, we’d love to try it.

6 replies on “British Versions of Continental Beers”

The double bock is apparently their seasonal beer for February, albeit 4.5%. We had it in cask last year, though I seem to remember then it was 8% or thereabouts. The problem with 8% cask beers is that they don’t sell particularly well in my local and therefore tend to sit there a bit too long.


I have not tried Wylam’s Bohemia – must be one of the only ones, though. We get Wylam a lot here in Leeds and I must say, they are a consistently excellent brewery. And I quite liked the Cain’s Bock, too. Aside from being a little thick, I thought it had a lovely sweetness.

Had a pint of the cask Bohemia in the Three Judges in Glasgow on Saturday night. Really tasty, but wish it had been colder – not something I usually yearn for with cask.

Barm says “Why on earth would a true to style Bavarian bock be available in cask?”

Well, perhaps because most decent beer is drunk in cask form, & sometimes the cask serving can work, albeit in a different way to the bottled/keg (e.g. the lighter carbonation & lack of pasteurisation/filtration can make for a better flavour).

On this occasion (the 8% version of Cain’s Double Bock) in my experience, it really didn’t work! Flabby, over-sweet, pancake-flat & just nasty.

Now, to the other, IMO more pertinent, question – “Why on earth would you call a 4.5% cask beer a Bock at all!?”

The bottled version of this beer I thought was wondrous – the carbonation kept it interesting in the mouth, and its acidity balanced the sweetness & alcohol, I’m no Bock expert, but it was a delicious beer.

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