Why so few bottled dark beers?

It’s always inter­est­ing to see the old adverts that pubs some­times use to dec­o­rate their walls. A poster for Bateman’s Salem Porter from the ear­ly 90s caught our eye this week.

We assumed this beer had been dis­con­tin­ued because we’ve nev­er seen it for sale any­where, unlike their ubiq­ui­tous XXXB and Rosey Nosey Christ­mas beer. But, no, they still make this mul­ti­ple award win­ning cask only beer.

Keen as we are to find it on cask one day, it would also be nice if their bot­tled range (which we can get very eas­i­ly in cor­ner shops in our bit of Lon­don) includ­ed this appar­ent­ly bril­liant beer. Per­haps they could drop one of the three very sim­i­lar gold­en ales to make room?

Maybe they feel there’s no mar­ket? If so, that’s a shame, because we real­ly believe dark beers (milds, porters, stouts, lagers, what­ev­er) are going to be the next big thing. After all, what’s a cool­er look­ing pint than one that’s pitch black?

Cornwall in conclusion

castleinn

These are our final words on Corn­w­al, which we’re sure is becom­ing a bor­ing top­ic.

Ten great Cor­nish beers

  1. St Austell Trib­ute (cask con­di­tioned).
  2. Marks and Spencer’s Cor­nish IPA (bot­tle con­di­tioned).
  3. St Austell Prop­er Job (bot­tle con­di­tioned).
  4. St Austell Admiral’s Ale (bot­tle con­di­tioned).
  5. Sharp’s Chalky’s Bite (bot­tle con­di­tioned).
  6. Skinner’s Gin­ger Toss­er (cask con­di­tioned; excel­lent despite the ter­ri­ble name).
  7. Carn Brea One and All (bot­tled; not brewed in Corn­wall).
  8. St Austell Cloud­ed Yel­low (bot­tle con­di­tioned; a fake Bavar­i­an wheat beer).
  9. Lizard Ales’ An Gof (bot­tle con­di­tioned; strong dark ale with salt and smoked malt).

Five dis­ap­point­ing Cor­nish beers

  1. St Austell HSD (cask con­di­tioned and bot­tled).
  2. St Austell IPA (a Greene King IPA beat­er – bland and weak).
  3. Sharp’s Doom Bar (didn’t find a good bot­tle or pint of this any­where; maybe we should have gone clos­er to the source and made it to Rock?)
  4. Skinner’s Bet­ty Stog­gs (cask con­di­tioned; too much crys­tal malt and some card­board).
  5. St Austell Trib­ute (bot­tled; dead and flavour­less com­pared to the cask ver­sion).

Two decent Cor­nish pubs

1. The Cas­tle Inn, St Ives – looks a bit rough around the edges (those “drugs will not be tol­er­at­ed” signs send all the wrong sig­nals) but was full of old men and guest ales when we went on a week­day lunchtime.

2. The Ship Inn, Mouse­hole – prob­a­bly cheerier in sea­son, but has a very friend­ly and effi­cient – he ear­wigged when we were decid­ing what to have and the drinks were lined up on the bar before we got there. Our mates’ kids tell us the Ribena Fruit Shoots were well kept, too.

Next time, we’ll check out the Blue Anchor and the Tinner’s Arms at Zen­nor.

We have a winner: best British Koelsch Klone

A few months ago, we spot­ted that Young’s bot­tled Kew Brew (now “Kew Gold”) is a dead ringer for a decent draught Koelsch. We test­ed that the­o­ry again this week and are now pre­pared to say, out­right, that it’s the best sub­sti­tute for draught Koelsch you can get in the UK.

Fil­tered, pas­teurised bot­tles of Frueh just don’t com­pare. It’s even bet­ter than Meantime’s slight­ly bland effort.

Young’s Chocolate Stout: now with added smoke

Has any­one else had a bot­tle of Young’s Choco­late Stout recent­ly? We just tried one at a Young’s pub in Lon­don and were astound­ed to dis­cov­er that (a) it’s got bet­ter and (b) it no longer tastes of choco­late, but rather intense­ly of smoke and roast­ed bar­ley. The ingre­di­ent list includes oats and “nat­ur­al choco­late flavour­ing”.

Any insight much from those in the know would be much appre­ci­at­ed.

Cornwall and beer on the train

We’ve just returned from a week in Corn­wall, in the far south west of Eng­land, so expect a few posts in the com­ing days on our beery adven­tures around St Ives. We got the week off to a good start last Sat­ur­day, though, with a few bot­tles of Marks and Spencer’s rel­a­tive­ly new Cor­nish IPA on the train.

mandscornishipa

We’ve just returned from a week in Corn­wall, in the far south west of Eng­land, so expect a few posts in the com­ing days on our beery adven­tures around St Ives.

We got the week off to a good start on the train from Lon­don last Sat­ur­day with a few bot­tles of Marks and Spencer’s rel­a­tive­ly new Cor­nish IPA.

We were pleased to see that the super­mar­ket chain are now cred­it­ing the brew­ers of their own-brand bot­tle-con­di­tioned beers on the labels (we  beer geeks like to know where our booze is com­ing from) and that this is a prod­uct of St Austell.

We guessed it would be a rebadge of their bril­liant bot­tle con­di­tioned Prop­er Job, but it’s not. It’s weak­er (5% as opposed to 5.6%) and also has a lighter body and dri­er fin­ish. It’s much clos­er, in fact, to cask con­di­tioned Prop­er Job. We thought it was deli­cious. One of the best bot­tled beers we’ve had in a long while.

Thanks, St Austell and M&S, for a great start to our break.