bottled beer buying beer london

The Beer Rep Cometh

Some cornershop beers
Some cornershop beers

A band of aggressive beer salesmen seems to have passed through our neck of the woods, or maybe a new cash-and-carry has opened?

At any rate, the range of beers available at fairly ordinary corner shops and grocers near our house has expanded massively in recent weeks.

Here’s a partial list of bottled beers we can buy on the way home from work without going near a supermarket:

  • Grolsch Weizen (big thumbs up from Bailey, Boak not so excited)
  • Jennings Cocker Hoop, Cumberland and Sneck Lifter
  • Bateman’s Combined Harvest and Victory
  • All the Badgers, including unseasonal Pumpkin
  • Young’s Bitter (bottle conditioned), Special London and Chocolate Stout
  • Wychwood Hobgoblin, Wychcraft, Black Wych, Circle Master and Goliath
  • Hen’s Tooth
  • Cooper’s Sparkling Pale Ale
  • Theakston’s Old Peculier
  • Shepherd Neame Whitstable Bay, Spitfire, Bishop’s Finger, Master Brew and 1698
  • Fuller’s London Pride, ESB, Golden Pride, Honey Dew and 1845
  • Svyturys Ekstra, Gintarinis and Baltas
  • Baltika porter, wheat beer, dark lager and helles
  • Pilsner Urquell
  • Budvar and Budvar Dark
  • Pitfield Red Ale, Stock Ale and EKG
  • Gulpener Rose (eugh!)
  • Paulaner Helles
  • Brakspear Organic and Triple
  • St Austell Proper Job and Tribute
  • Baltika porter, dark lager and wheat beer
  • Usher’s Founders Ale.

That covers a great many of our day-to-day needs, but it would be nice to see more porters and stouts; more Belgian beer; and the return of Brooklyn Lager, which has disappeared from our local off licence.

And, of course, there is a bit of an illusion of choice here, because many of these beers are very similar in taste and appearance and, in some cases, are made and owned by a handful of umbrella companies.

beer reviews

Wychwood Plumduff

logo_wychwood_2.gifReading and writing lots of beer reviews can get dull, but every now and then you have a beer that’s so damn tasty you have to write about it. Even more so when it comes from a surprising source.

We’ve never been that enamoured of Wychwood – we just don’t find their beers that exciting. But we picked up the seasonal Plumduff a month or so ago on the recommendation of the Beer Nut, whose review you can find here.

We’ve only just tried it, and it is lovely indeed. The addition of plum juice makes it fruity, but not in an over-powering fruit-beer type of way. Definitely ale first and fruit later. It smells and tastes not unlike a Belgian “abbey” ale, like Ciney, with very slight sour notes. Or perhaps a bit like Cain’s Raisin beer.

It feels stronger and therefore more “warming” than its 5% suggests (this is not always a good thing, but definitely welcome during this cold snap!)

I gather from their site that this is just brewed for Sainsbury’s, and just at Christmas. Pity.

Anyway, I’m sure Wychwood don’t need our love, but I thought I’d put this up to encourage other Wychwood apathists to give it a go.  Big thanks to the Beer Nut for the recommendation.