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.

Chalky's Bite Improves with Age

In a recent tasting, Zak Avery compared Sharp’s Chalky’s Bite to Koelsch, which spurred us on to open the last bottle of a case we were given as a gift a year ago. In honour of Zak’s comparison, we drank it from Koelsch glasses.

chalkysbite

In a recent tasting, Zak Avery compared Sharp’s Chalky’s Bite to Koelsch, which spurred us on to open the last bottle of a case we were given as a gift a year ago. In Zak’s honour, we drank it from Koelsch glasses.

We pretty quickly decided that we didn’t really see any similarity although we take Zak’s point about the cold conditioning of top-fermented beer.

What we also noted was that it had aged beautifully. It was nice enough fresh, but after a year mellowing in the ‘cellar’ (garage), it knocked us for six. Without a fresh one for comparison, it’s hard to say what had changed, but our feeling was that it had lost some bitterness, become rounder and less brash — like a classy Belgian blonde.

We’d be interested to hear any suggestions for other British beers, apart from the usual suspects, that age well.