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beer reviews bottled beer

Community beers

James and Lizzie Brodie, who run our local brewery, kindly gave us a box of their beers last month, and we’re slowly working our way through the ones we haven’t tried before. The first thing to note is that either free beer tastes better or, across the board, Brodie’s beers have improved since they first launched. We enjoyed their Eat 17 IPA last year, and their Ho Ho Ho at Christmas, and the first of the new lot we’ve tasted were excellent too.

Old Hopper’s Ale is brewed with hops from East London (Cable Street, in fact) picked by residents in Tower Hamlets Community Housing. The beer gets its name from the fact that many of them spent summer holidays as children picking hops in Kent. It’s a nice story and a really impressive beer, with a good solid hop flavour that isn’t astringent or grassy.

Pink Pride is a light beer (3.4%) with a little raspberry in it and an excellent example of a refreshing and balanced fruit beer. The raspberry is there but not overpowering, perhaps adding just a little sourness. Grapefruity hops give it a crisp finish. It tastes and feels a lot like a cask ale, a great achievement for a microbrewed bottled beer.

It’s accompanying story is slightly more vague than Old Hop Picker’s.  It was apparently made “with the help of London’s gay community”. We can’t work out if this is a brilliant marketing trick  or an act of commercial suicide. However good the beer, a lot of blokes might feel a bit vulnerable shouting to the barman in a crowded pub: “Can I get a bottle of Pink Pride, please? Yes, that’s right, the gay beer. The one with raspberries in.”

13 replies on “Community beers”

I’ve been a bit turned off Brodie’s beers due to the condition I’ve found them in at The Crosse Keys in Covent Garden. I have heard they’re good at the brewpub though. I doubt I’ll ever make it out there though.

I second the praise for the Pink Pride. Best British raspberry beer I have ever tasted.

@jeff – You can try wellkept Brodies in the King Charles I in Kings Cross – along with your own fine establishment, one of the best pubs in NE central London.

Jeff — the conditioning was a bit rough when we first tried them, but recent bottles have been really good — fizzy looking at first, but settling into long-lasting, rocky head. I assume they’ve listened to feedback and practiced a bit! Probably better in bottles than at the pub, I think.

Dan — how many other British raspberry beers are there? It is a corker, though.

I wasn’t hugely impressed by the Brodie’s beers at source back in late 2008, but it sounds like they’ve come a long way since. Also, it was great to see them, as the local brewery, sponsoring Pig’s Ear last year.

And Pink Pride is a fantastic idea. Is there going to be a special blog and website to promote beer to gay people, with a glass design poll and beer cocktail recipes? I certainly hope not…

I wouldn’t be too concerned about ordering a ‘gay beer’ even though I’m straight, but I would be embarrassed if the words “can I get” ever left my lips in that situation!!!

I always have an overwhelming desire to punch anyone that says “can I get” and I’m not a violent man.

Agree with Paul. Awful, awful manners to use such a horrid phrase when ordering. Right up there with ordering from waiting staff while conducting a mobile phone conversation…

Blimey. I had no I idea people felt that strongly. Always seemed a fairly harmless phrase to me. Is ‘get’ the problem word? Would ‘can I have’ be preferable? Or is it the lack of a ‘please’?

For me it is the ‘get’, although no ‘please’ is not a good sign. ‘Get’ implies self-service. The person behind the bar does the getting and not the customer.

Jeff, with you on the mobile phone thing. It was not that long ago that people would step outside to take a mobile phone call, or switch their phone off in places of entertainment. I’m sure that some mobiles are made without an off switch these days.

Agree that Brodies have come a long way in a year or so. Thoroughly enjoyed the brewery showcase day before Christmas. Next one is 27/28 March at William IV – another chance to try all 19 current beers at £1.99 a pint. Steve

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