Mulled beer

Lon­don was an eery place yes­ter­day. A thick fog descend­ed, leav­ing vis­i­bil­i­ty of only 10 metres in my neck of the woods. The streets were absolute­ly desert­ed – maybe peo­ple have left town, maybe those that are around were all hun­gover.

Any­way, I fled to my local for some signs of life. The beer wasn’t in great nick to I switched to mulled wine, which got me think­ing. You have mulled wine, milled cider – why isn’t mulled beer pop­u­lar?

I’ve had hot beer with spices in Poland, where it’s rea­son­ably pop­u­lar in the south in the win­ter. I seem to remem­ber it being quite nice, espe­cial­ly a ver­sion with hon­ey and gin­ger.  It obvi­ous­ly doesn’t taste much like beer, but it was very sat­is­fy­ing after a day trudg­ing through snow.

A quick google search reveals this arti­cle on about var­i­ous his­toric mulled beers, and they sound extreme­ly appeal­ing.  I par­tic­u­lar­ly like the bit about spic­ing them up to make home­brew more palat­able, as we’ve got a fair bit of only-just drink­able home­brew in at the moment.

Has any­one mulled beer suc­cess­ful­ly and if so, what would they rec­om­mend? Does heat­ing enhance or kill bit­ter­ness?


Do not try this at home (or anywhere else): Mongozo coconut beer

When we set up this blog, one of our unwrit­ten rules was that we would not be over­ly neg­a­tive about beers. If we didn’t like some­thing, we would move on and blog about some­thing we did like.

I’m going to break this rule now to warn to fel­low beer lovers, par­tic­u­lar­ly you exper­i­men­tal types. Do not try Mon­go­zo coconut beer. It is pos­si­bly the nas­ti­est thing I have ever tast­ed (yes, that means worse than the polio vac­cine). I’m not the only one to be dis­gust­ed – see reviews on Rate­Beer. coconut-beer.jpg

One of my locals has been stock­ing this stuff for years, with increas­ing­ly des­per­ate signs (“Have a refresh­ing, unique coconut beer!”). I should have heed­ed the warn­ing, but I was in an exper­i­men­tal mood. Oh dear. Hav­ing had a cou­ple of sips and vis­i­bly reeled from the shock, I tried my usu­al tac­tic in these cir­cum­stances of pre­tend­ing it wasn’t beer. That didn’t work either.

The sad thing is that I like the idea in prin­ci­ple. The Mon­go­zo beers are brewed by Brouw­er­ij Huyghe and use fair­trade coconuts. I’ve noth­ing against coconuts in beer, and think they could work quite well. Lew Bryson (“Seen through a glass”) has a review of a Coconut Porter here which sounds right up my street.

The prob­lem with this one is the sug­ar. It is just so sweet, you can feel your teeth rot­ting as you drink it. I can for­give many flavours in a beer, but excess sweet­ness is not one of them.

Sor­ry Mon­go­zo. I want­ed to like you, I real­ly did. If it makes you feel bet­ter, The Beer Nut has had some oth­er Mon­go­zo prod­ucts and is cau­tious­ly polite about them.