An ale festival at the White Horse

Popped down to the White Horse at Hedgerley with two of my brothers-in-law today, to sample some of the guest ales.

British ales are among the world’s best beers, but to enjoy them you usually need to drink them at a pub from a well managed cask. Bottled versions tend to be dull and a shadow [...]

Two superb beers from Thornbridge

Good wine is, unfortunately, rarely cheap. Great beer is more often than not quite affordable.

Of course, most beer is boring. Increasingly, though, exciting beers are becoming easier to find. If you want an interesting drink, you can rock up to most supermarkets with a couple of quid and score a good bottle.

Tonight I have been [...]

Beer: my first experience of The Kernel

Working on the Douro film tonight with Dave Fuller, who brought round a couple of beers from The Kernel brewery. They’re probably the UK’s most highly regarded craft ale producer at the moment, and these two beers lived up to their billing.

The Kernel Pale Ale (Columbus) 5.2% alcohol
Amazing aromatics: complex, deep, hoppy, slightly floral but [...]

Video: tasting 3 beers, comparing beer glasses

Most readers will be familiar with the wide array of wine glasses on sale, and the art of matching the right wine to the right glass. Well, what about beer? I thought I’d try tasting some different beers using different speciality beer glasses, from Spiegelau. Here are the results.

These glasses are available from Around Wine [...]

Exciting times in the world of beer

OK, this is a wine blog, but I am obsessed by flavour, and I’m enjoying beer quite a bit at the moment, and I suspect that many readers will also have an interest in interesting beer.

The beer world is going through a very exciting phase at the moment. It used to exist in a very [...]

Curious Brew, a remarkable lager

A beautiful evening. In the mid-20s, with a gentle breeze. Time for some beer.

It’s Curious Brew, a lager from UK winery Chapel Down. (See www.curiousbrew.com.) Made with East Anglian Malt, Saaz and Cascade hops, and then refermented with a Champagne yeast, and given a ‘dosage’ of lovely Nelson Sauvin hops.

It’s a gold colour, and is [...]

A night out in Vilafranca with nice wine and beer

This weekend Vilafranca comes alive with the Vijazz festival. It’s basically a street party combining jazz and wine. Over 30 Penedes wine producers are taking part, and there are two music stages, one in the main square and a slightly larger one in a more enclosed square in front of the large church.

Some good acts [...]

Beer for wine lovers

Neil Walker is a foodie-beer geek who writes the Eating isn’t Cheating blog. I met him on a beer press trip to Ghent last December (below – he’s at the far left, looking away), which was a blast. Recently he contacted me to suggest we do a guest blog for each other. So I wrote an article on [...]

Beers from Thornbridge

Delighted to find three beers from Bakewell-based brewery Thornbridge in Waitrose today. They’re all brilliant.

First up, Thornbridge Jaipur India Pale Ale. It’s aromatic, spicy and hoppy with a hint of malty sweetness and complex, concentrated flavours of citrus, herb, spice and bitter hops. 8.5/10

Next, Thornbridge Kipling South Pacific Pale Ale. It’s made with Nelson Sauvin [...]

Beer: St Stefanus Blonde in 75 cl bottle

Now this is a really smart beer. It’s a Belgian beer with aspirational ideas, and it’s now available in 75 cl bottles.

Belgian beers are really interesting, but they tend to be niche. Supermarkets generally stock Leffe (in both Brune and Blonde forms, the latter being very respectable and quite affordable when on promotion), Duvel (quite tasty) and [...]