Thursday, 31 January 2008

Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale 2007

  • Name: Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale 2007, 6.8%, United States
  • Appearance: Amber, slightly hazy. Nice amount of head, longlasting.
  • Aroma: Hops and some fruit. Citrus.
  • Taste: Lots of hops, citrus. A bit too hoppy for me.
  • Bought: Tesco, 350 ml, £1.40
  • Overall score: 2/6
  • Info: 31/1-2008, 184/500

Monday, 28 January 2008

Marks & Spencer Yorkshire Bitter (Cropton)

  • Name: Marks & Spencer Yorkshire Bitter (Cropton*), 4.6%, England
  • Appearance: Dark brownish red. Good amount of off-white head. Shortlived. Sediments.
  • Aroma: Malt and flowery. Hops, slightly burnt.
  • Taste: Malt and spices. Slightly sour and bitter. Burnt.
  • Bought: Marks & Spencer, 500 ml, £2.00
  • Overall score: 3/6
  • Info: 28/1-2008
* According to Ratebeer this beer is also known as Cropton Yorkshire Moors.

Saturday, 26 January 2008

Corsendonk Christmas Ale

First bottle from the batch of 18 beers I bought in Bier Tempel, Bruges. Shared this big bottle with MG.
  • Name: Corsendonk Christmas Ale, 8.5%, Belgium
  • Appearance: Champagne cork & wire. Dark redish brown. Good amount of dark head. Shortlived.
  • Aroma: Sweet, fruit and berries. Cherry. Liquorice?
  • Taste: Cherry and some malt. Dark fruits. Sweet. Bittersweet aftertaste.
  • Bought: Bier Tempel, 750 ml, €5.95
  • Overall score: 3/6
  • Info: 26/1-2008

Thursday, 24 January 2008

Marks & Spencer Buckinghamshire Ale (Vale)

According to Ratebeer this beer is also known as Vale Grumpling Old Ale, so moved there.

Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Marks & Spencer Norfolk Bitter (Woodforde's)

Late 2007 Marks & Spencer launched a range of four bottle-conditioned beers. I bought three of these from their branch in Canary Wharf, London.
  • Name: Marks & Spencer Norfolk Bitter (Woodforde's), 4.5%, England
  • Appearance: Light brown. Small amount of fizzy, shortlived head. Some sediments.
  • Aroma: Malt and some fruit and hops.
  • Taste: Rather bitter, some malt and citric. Bitter, unpleasant aftertaste.
  • Bought: Marks & Spencer, 500 ml, £2.00
  • Overall score: 2/6
  • Info: 22/1-2008
Raising my glass to the late Heath Ledger...

Monday, 21 January 2008

Beer Hunting In Bruges

I was looking forward to check out the beer shops in Bruges, and got a list of shops from Ratebeer, and prepared my 300/500 shopping list.

First up was Bacchus Cornelius in Academiestraat 17, but I was disappointed to discover they were not open:

Next up was The Bottle Shop in
Wollestraat 13, where I was met with the same thing:

Uh-oh, are all beer shops going to be closed in January? :-o

Getting slightly nervous, we walked past "2 be" in
Wollestraat 53, and they were at least open. The selection was quite good, but it seemed a bit expensive.

Philipstockstraat 7 I found Bier Tempel, and they have a good selection. The owner was very helpful, and I ended up buying 18 bottles from him.

We also more or less accidentally walked past Bier Paleis in
Katelijnestraat 25-27 which is a combined beer shop and souvenir shop. I hadn't planned to buy more beers, but I just had to buy Westvleteren Abt (12) for €6 and Westvleteren Blond for €5 as a gift for someone. Shame they didn't have Westvleteren Extra (8), but I guess I just have to come back for that :-).

Visiting Brouwerij De Halve Maan

While in Bruges, Belgium, we decided to take a tour of the brewery De Halve Maan (The Half Moon), which according to them is the only brewery really inside Bruges' town center.

During winter they have hourly tours between 11am and 3pm, in English, Dutch and French, and they are limited to 50-60 people per tour. They quickly show you the new brewery where they brew today, and then spend the rest of the time showing you the old brewery. Please note that you have to walk up and down some very steep stairs (240 steps in total, allegedly), so this tour might not be for everyone.

The 45 minute tour is €5 per person, and it includes a glass of Brugse Zot at the end, so it is quite good value.

Sunday, 20 January 2008

Beautiful Bruges

We have just returned home from a weekend Eurostar-trip to Bruges, Belgium. It is a very pretty town and it is a fantastic place for beer lovers.

In our pretty standard hotel, Hotel de' Medici, I had the following beers:
At different lunch places I had:
At the Bierbrasserie Cambrinus their beer-book (!) includes around 400 beers and it is probably the best beer selection I have ever seen. I only had one beer there:

I couldn't believe they had this (and the Blond and the Extra) on the menu, and it was only €6.95 per bottle. I just had to have it... This is the third time I drink the 12, and it was unfortunately served too cold and it was probably a bit too young. Still very nice, though!

We also went on a brewery tour of De Halve Maan, which included a free glass of:
I am definitely coming back to Bruges - still need a few more beers for my collection! I didn't get around to go to 't Brugs Beertje this time around either. They have around 300 different types of beers and it is supposed to be even nicer than Cambrinus!

Wednesday, 16 January 2008

Fuller's Jack Frost

Nice winter beer bought at the end of December 2007.
  • Name: Fuller's Jack Frost, 4.5%, England
  • Appearance: Redish brown. OK amount of off-white head, shortlived.
  • Aroma: Nice dark fruit and berries. Some malt.
  • Taste: Dark fruit and malt, some berries. Slightly dry and bitter.
  • Bought: Waitrose, 500 ml, £1.69
  • Overall score: 4/6
  • Info: 16/1-2008

Monday, 14 January 2008


Saw this one in Tesco, and the only reason I bought it was to increase my country-tally to 47.
  • Name: Bergenbier, 4.8%, Romania
  • Appearance: Clear golden, nice amount of white head.
  • Aroma: Hops and malt. Lemon.
  • Taste: Standard lager: hops and malt. Dry.
  • Bought: Tesco, 500 ml, £1.19
  • Overall score: 2/6
  • Info: 14/1-2008

Sunday, 13 January 2008

Chimay Blue comparison

I tried both "Blue" versions at the same time to see if there was any noticeable difference between them. Unfortunately, the Grande Reserve seemed to have gone slightly off due to having been stored at home for nine months. One difference, though, was that the smaller Bleue seemed to be smoother, and the larger Grande Reserve had more head.

It is quite strong, so you'll definitely feel the effects of over a liter of 9% beer :-).

Thursday, 10 January 2008

Erdinger Weissbier Alkoholfrei

Tried this one as part of my "mission" to find a nice low-alcohol beer to enjoy on days when one has to drive.
  • Name: Erdinger Weissbier Alkoholfrei, 0.4%, Germany
  • Appearance: Hazy yellow. Lots and lots of white head. Longlived.
  • Aroma: Initially vile, then minestrone soup! And some lemon.
  • Taste: Sweet, some fruit. Little wheat. Watery and boring, but no bad.
  • Bought: Tesco, 500 ml, £0.95
  • Overall score: 2/6
  • Info: 10/1-2008

Tuesday, 8 January 2008

O'Hanlon's Goodwill Bitter

Christmas beer bought for me by MG in Sainsbury's.
  • Name: O'Hanlon's Goodwill Bitter, 5.0%, England
  • Appearance: Chestnut brown. Small head.
  • Aroma: Malt and hops. Spices. Cinnamon?
  • Taste: Quite hoppy, and malt. Sweet, though bitter aftertaste.
  • Bought: Sainsury's, 500 ml, £?.??
  • Overall score: 3/6
  • Info: 8/1-2008

Sunday, 6 January 2008

Kulmbacher Mönchshof Original Pils

As the previous one, bought by OKO in Germany, and kindly "donated" to me.
  • Name: Kulmbacher Mönchshof Original Pils, 4.9%, Germany
  • Appearance: Nice swing-top bottle. Light golden. Good amount of head.
  • Aroma: Hops, some lemon. Grains?
  • Taste: Quite hoppy. Some corn. Acidic, bitter aftertaste.
  • Bought: Gift, 500 ml, €?.??
  • Overall score: 3/6
  • Info: 6/1-2008

Friday, 4 January 2008

Baisinger Teufels Bock Hell

Pre-Christmas gift from OKO, bought in Germany when he picked up a vehicle there.
  • Name: Baisinger Teufels Bock Hell, 7.0%, Germany
  • Appearance: Light golden, clear. Nice amount of white head.
  • Aroma: Hops. Vanilla? Some malt. Citrus fruit.
  • Taste: Malt and hops. Hint of alcohol. Fresh. Strong aftertaste. Warming.
  • Bought: Gift, 500 ml, €?.??
  • Overall score: 3/6
  • Info: 4/1-2008

Wednesday, 2 January 2008

Zagorka Special

Not sure what is so "Special" about this one, but I can at least add Bulgaria as my 46th country.
  • Name: Zagorka Special, 5.0%, Bulgaria
  • Appearance: Pale clear golden. Almost no head. More when warmer. Small bubbles.
  • Aroma: Some malt. Slight honey? Not much.
  • Taste: Bitterness and some malt. Unpleasant aftertaste.
  • Bought: Waitrose, 500 ml, £1.49
  • Overall score: 2/6
  • Info: 2/1-2008