Manchester pale ale (MPA)

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I’m a scouser born and bred, i’m so Scouse that when i grow my hair i start to look like the men off harry enfield, i’m that Scouse that i look like a parody of my own Scouseness, i have the curly hair and yes i do have a funny way of saying “chicken and chips”. This has seen me reviewing some beers from my city recently but for this one i ventured to our neighbour in the east, Manchester to see whose beer is better. I’m going to let you in on something, its Liverpool but then i could be a little biased.

Vital stats:

Look:

in the glass the beer was toffee in colour, it was somewhat active but had a very little head, id describe it more as an ale rather than a pale ale in look, i guess no one let them know it was suppose to be pale in colour. despite that it looked like a pretty solid ale.

7/10

Aroma:

Not only did it look like ale is smelt like ale as well, nothing really stands out in the aroma of this beer it just smells like a generic middle of the road ale.

2/10

Taste:

This is a pretty solid standard ale that you could have in any pub on this fair island, this isnt a slight on the beer, sometimes this is what you need, much like a comfort blanket sometimes you want to go in, order a drink and know exactly what you getting. that is this beer all over its not amazing but its not offensive either. Although you do get a slight taste of lime in the aftertaste. This is a very middle of the road beer.

4/10

Value:

This is a very inoffensive beer, you get what you pay for here, its neither brilliant or bad it just is and theres nothing wrong with that. sometimes you just want a beer cold at the end of the day and this fits the bill and can be found reasonably priced nearly everywhere.

6/10

Session:

This is a pretty solid session beer, i have nothing to say about this beer due to it being totally unremarkable and that actually helps it in the session, you can literally drink this all night long and not even realise,

7/10

As i have said throughout this review, this beer is rather unremarkable, its very middle of the road and plain, saying that though it does offer more than generic larger “A” that you’ll find in most pubs. it looked ordinary, smelt like an ale and even tastes like one. if this was a colour it would simply be egg shell white, ordinary but with aspiration of grandeur.

52/100

Liverpool Craft Love lane

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So today we continue our look at the beers of Liverpool Craft beer, this follows on from the highest rated beer we’ve ever reviewed (here) and surprisingly our lowest ever (here), both of which come from this brewery. i’ve also said that this is my one of my favourite brewerys in liverpool, that being said though we dont have too many brewiers up here on the banks of the mersey. this beer has often become my default beer in my local and something i recommend everyone try.

Vital stats:

  • pale ale
  • brewed in Liverpool, England
  • 4.5% APV
  • drank on draft from the grapes liverpool

Looks:

in the glass this beer was golden and very active, almost as active as a five year old hopped up on artifical colours, it also had a bold and bombastic two finger head that clunge tot he glass for dear life throughout the life of this beer.

8/10

Aroma:

This beer also delivers on the nostril, it was bold, packed full of citrus and incredibly hoppy.

8/10

Taste:

To say i like this beer would not be doing it justice, when i first had it it quickly entered my top 10 and may have rekindled my love for the pale ale. the flavour of this beer explodes in the mouth with just the right hit of bitterness.

I love this beer. Its one of my go to beers.

8/10

Value:

This beer get a solid buy from me, i bought it, i enjoyed it and would happily buy it again.

9/10

Session:

This is a great session beer, ive been known to drink it all night with zero problems. i also recommend it to who ever will listen.

9/10

In conclusion this is a solid beer from Liverpool craft. it looks fantastic, is great on the noise, delivers on the flavour and you can drink it all night long. yes i did just do that. i naturally consider it great value for money and would highly recomend it to anyone who will listen.

84/100

Craft Liverpool rye pale ale

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So we continue our look at the beers of the Liverpool craft brewery, after the truly stellar beer that was their west coast pale ale (review) comes their Rye pale ale. To say these two contrast would be a huge understatement, im a fan of the rye pale ale, i actively seek it out and have been trying to review as many of them as possible recently but this left we with a bitter taste in my mouth.

Vital stats:

  • brewed in liverpool
  • a rye pale ale
  • available in Keg/Cask/Bottle
  • bought at brewdog liverpool
Look:
this beer was cloudly and looked like apple juice in the glass, it also had no head to speak of and it was very flat. if im honest ive made homebrew that looked quite similiar, but i am adversed to filtering my beer as i like to bottle ferment. this beer was not bottle fermented so they cant even use that as an excuse for this horrid looking beer. this looks more a kin to a glass of scrummpy than a pale ale.
 3/10
Aroma:
delivered nothing, so i have nothing to say.
1/10
Taste:
on the tongue though this does at least offer something, you do get a kick of rye and a hit of citrus but not much, shame there both buried quite deep down. im really struggling with this beer im not going to lie, im trying so hard to find things to say.
3/10
Value:
As i said in my previous review i consider Liverpool craft to be one  of my top brewerys and this beer is just a shame, they make two of my favourite beers (more on the second later), if i see one of their beers on tap im likely to pick it up but i can honestly say i didnt enjoy this beer in any way, sure i can find some good things to say, if i look hard enough and believe me im looking pretty damn hard because i dont want this to be true but i cant recommend this to anyone.
2/10
Session:
to top it off the Flavour of this beer doesn’t travel too well, the more you drink the more bitter it becomes, perhaps its feeding the bitterness in my soul but each mouthful of this was worse than the last.
2/10
this beer was a huge disappontment for me especially as their last beer was so great and the beer to come is one of my go to beers. this looked like homemade cider only without any real aroma. what little taste their was bitter and overpowering, all of these factors mean that this isnt good value for money and i cant call this a very good session beer. a true shame.
22/100

Liverpool craft West coast pale ale

IMG_0622After last weeks bevy of Brewdog beers i’ll be taking a look at some beers closer to home, we’ll be looking at Liverpool craft beer company’s beers, this review is for West coast pale ale and as a little preview this has become one of my favourite beers to enjoy in sunny liverpool.

Vital stats:

  • brewed in Liverpool
  • comes in 330ml bottles
  • californian pale ale
  • 6.2% APV

Looks:

this beer comes in a a 330ml bottle with a simple green and white label, it was was incredibly lively in the glass, when i poured this out i guestimate it was 90% head, lovely frothy white head. when i got the head down to a resonable size the beer was cloudy and toffee in colour.

9/10

Aroma:

something has changed for me in recent months, i seem to be craving hops, wonderful bitter hops and when i put this to my nose thats exactly what i got, beautiful hops with a little citrus thrown in for good measure. it was very yeasty yet also inviting even if it did make the eyes water slightly.

9/10

Taste:

this is a beer full of bold flavours, its very hoppy and yeasty, perfect for the beer garden if you ask me. despite this big bold flavour its still somewhat delicate on the tongue, although its big on flavour its quite quick to disapate, it gives you just enough to want more and never overstays its welcome.

9/10

Value:

i personally think this is fantastic value for money, especially at this time of year. there is a link between the weather and beer if you ask me, a beautiful sunny day does so much to improve your over all mood that its not hard to assume that it also improves what ever your drinking, this is why you’ll think estrella is the best larger ever when your drinking it on a beach in Spain but even the most beautiful beer can be a truly miserable experience if your cold and wet. i’ve tried this beer alot and each time ive love it, in winter ive even been known to use this to remind me of sunnier climates.

9/10

Session:

this is a great session beer, honestly i cant say enough good things about this beer. ive had it alot, ive had one at the end of the day and several in a day session with friends. i love it and would recommend it to you all over and over again.

9/10

this could be the highest rated beer we’ve ever done had on all hail the ale and obvisoulsy its hit all areas for me.  its starts by looking great, follows this by hoppy and lively aroma and follows this with powerful hoppy goodness that i’ve come to love, because it delivers in all areas naturally its great value for money and honestly i could drink hundreds of these without ever getting bored. it deserves such a great score and i recommend it to everyone who will listen.

90/100

Dead pony club

deadpony3So with brewdogs new AGM taking palce up there in the dark wet north i thought i would take a look at some of brew dog latest beers, and by latest i mean a beer that been around for a while but i never got round to reviewing until now. Say what you will about brewdog, there ability to self promote, there often garish marketing methods (a taxidermied squirrel anyone?) they do make great pubs and my fair city just got one. now its not really for me, yes it has a fantastic beer selection but honestly i prefer my pubs with years and years of booze stains from the many great moments that have happen there. despite not really being my type of pub i do like the fact that they let me take away any beer they have on display for use at home, its a nice feature and honestly i think it may start becoming my go to off license. at this point i think i should stop waffling on and get down to the nitty gritty  of actually reviewing this fine beer.

Vital statisics:

  • Brewed in scotland
  • 5% APV
  • Come in 330ml bootle and can
  • American style pale ale

Look:

Dead pony club, like most Brewdog beers comes in both a bootle and a can, they have the standard modern blocky label, perosnally i always prefer the look of the cans because there smaller and cuter. when poured it was Golden brown, cloudy and produced a single finger stark white head. it was a very lively Californioan pale ale and you do indeed feel this in the stomach.

8/10

Aroma:

The Californian pale ale is known for its big bold hoppy flavours, trust the yanks to take a stable of the british drinking scene for generations and take it to its natural heights and do it in a natrually american way. known for their big and bold antics it is only natrual that their beer should follow this model. this beer was hoppy, i dont know why but at this moment i am craving the hops like never before, must be the good weather. this style of beer is also known for combining severel types of hops and when i put it up to my nose i got two distinct types of hops, quite rare for something so bold and bombastic to also hint at the care a delicancy that goes into it.

7/10

Taste:

The subtly shown in the aroma is present here, strange to write thos words in regards to brewdog but they have been releasing these toned down beers recently and i appreciate it. Dead pony club had a slightly hoppy taste on the tongue but it quickly disappeared, it was a very subtle beer but what flavour it does have it goes a long way.

7/10

Session:

Subtly is the key here, and that subtly makes this a wonderful session beer with each beer going down well, a little too well if im honest.

8/10

Value:

A fantastic value if you ask me, i walk past a brew dog pub most days on my way home and i often head in a grab another of these beers. thats all you really need to know really.

7/10

In conclusion this is a fabulous beer from brew dog, it looked spot on, subtly was the key here as the aroma had hoppy subtle undertones that was echoed in the taste profile. This is a great session beer and i consider it great value for money, i might call this Brewdogs best beer and i know thats controversal.

74/100

Why we have two budweisers

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Budweiser is everywhere at the moment, i have no doubt its because of that truly awful Super Bowl advert, Myself and Martin wrote very long piece in regards to that (here), so I’m not going to retread old ground here, One of the points i brought up there was the fact that we have two companies with a claim to Budweiser name and that somehow i know the reason for that, so i thought that because I’m desperately avoiding doing any actual work at the moment i would explain that process to you.

So last year Anheuser-busch was awarded the trademark for Bud here in europe (here), i know because i read about it and several other things that day, I also wrote about it because i have no real life, It was quite a controversial claim because despite what budweiser would have you believe they are not the only producers of beer in the world, They were not the first producers of beer and they just plum stole the recipe for Budweiser for the czech republic district of Budvar. A very similar beer to modern day Budweiser has been produced and consumed in this part of the world since 1265, Now for those of you who saw that good damn awful bud advert you no doubt aware that they have been brewing beer since 1879. i’m going to spell this out for lots of people, that means Budvar is several hundred years older than budweiser, yet somehow it ended up being made in America.

The answer to why this is down to a strange quirk in early american copyright laws, i want to get one thing straight, Anheuser-busch did steal the recipe from Budvar by modern day standards, They went to the area (then part of austria-Hungary), They tasted it and took it back to America, Now the people weren’t nessacaryily happy about this but had no real recourse, this is down to copyright or lack there of as the case may be. the distance between the two helps but this stopped being an issue sometime later, the world is a lot smaller than it used it be.

Following the American war of independence there was very little economic or cultural power in america, they naturally hid this lack of anything with an open door immigration policy and successive wars because nothing makes money quite like killing a bunch of people. one of the ways the government tried to speed up cultural growth was through very lax copyright laws, and by lax i off course mean non existent. the way the law was applied was justly, if your product was manufactured in america then it was entitled to full copyright protection, if it was not manufactured there then nothing, this meant that many american companies just plain copied their international forebears, this copying was so prolific that many pieces of china from this time are manufactured in America rather than china, this is something antique dealers are very aware of, if your one of those people that watches Antiques roadshow they references this on a couple of occasions, so Budweiser is a shameless rip off and its not until the 20th century with the advent of the internet that many of us knew, so we have two budweisers, original ok budweiser and the headache in a bottle budweiser that we have all grown to hate and its all thanks to a quirk of copyright.

i’m just going to let that sink in for a moment, the reason america is such a cultural powerhouse is down to them having no copyright, the country most obsessed with copyright only got into the place to bully others about copyright was by ignoring others, so why didn’t we fix it when america started recognising foreign brands, the answer to that is a another simple one, The Soviet Union, when the world was asked to choose between the soviets or the americans most of western europe choose the americans and as a result they favoured american brands over soviet ones. this insured that any claim by Budvar would go largely unnoticed within the European union, fast forward to today and budweisers huge advertising budget has insured that they are the only bud in many peoples eyes and thats a shame for many reason, Money really can grow a brand better than actual handwork i guess.

Stone Brewery ‘Pale Ale’ – The Review

There was a massive buzz when these Stone Brewing Co. beers came into the shop I was working at, not least because one of them was called ‘Arrogant Bastard‘. I’ve not tried that one, though I have tried Levitation [gorgeous], Ruination IPA [a little overrated] and – the one I’m reviewing today – their Pale Ale. This isn’t my favourite one of theirs, nor is it disappointing, so I suppose you could say it’s a good mid-point.

But what does that really mean? Well, read on to find out more, good people.

Vital Stats:

  • 5.4% ABV
  • 50 IBUs
  • Brewed in San Diego, California
  • Comes in 12 Fl. Oz bottles
  • Hops: Magnum and Ahtanum

Look The bottles look quite dull, because they’re all stencilly, with lots of negative space on a brown glass background. The designs are cool, just not eye-catching. They put lots of effort into the blurb, too – perhaps the most I’ve seen on the back of a bottle – and that’s genuinely amusing, it must be said.

In the glass, it’s amusing. What the hell can I mean by that? Well, it’s typical Stone Brewery to have a pale ale that’s not pale. In fact, I’ve had lighter ambers, but anyway… It’s a nice dark copper colour, vibrant and exciting. Head’s loose, relatively dark and retains itself well. 7/10

Aroma Dead bitter, with a real piny hoppiness. There’s hints of sweetness too, but it’s actually hard to get much. I get this coke-y note – sarsaparilla maybe? Maybe it’s just me, but, as I say, I couldn’t get much. 5/10

Taste It’s quite hoppy, very bitter, but still quite floral and light enough not to anaesthatise the tongue. It was hard to pick out individual fruits… there’s perhaps a touch of grapefruit… I think I get vanilla and even raspberry on the finish. The maltiness is subservient, certainly, but supports the beer well, giving it a refreshing, creamy feel, with milky honey notes. Zesty citricity – yummy but not mind-blowing. 7/10

Value £2.85 per bottle. Not bad – but is this beer special enough to justify the price tag? Compared to other breweries’ beers, perhaps, but certainly not compared to other Stone offerings. 6/10

Session The particular hoppy quality of this beverage would almost be enough to put me off having a lot of it [and I don’t believe I’ve ever said that about anything before…], but the malts do balance it a little, I guess. The experience develops a little as you drink more, but basically I’d say you have to be ‘in the mood’ for this one. 7/10

I’m really conflicted about what I think about this one. Yes I enjoyed it, but there are so many drawbacks – not least the difficult quest for aroma. In short, I could take it or leave it. I wouldn’t avoid this, but I’d look out for other Stone Brewery beers, especially the Levitation.

Final score: 64/100