Thursday, 24 June 2010

O What a Beautiful Pint

I'm sorry to have been missing so much recently, Taste of London (which was a fantastic success) absorbed all my time over the past couple of weeks and then I've been playing catch-up.

Okay, I also went fly fishing for the first time on Tuesday with my lovely dad, and I even caught two 1.5lb beauties! Dinner last night was fabulous!

But anyway, my main reasons for this post are on a Welsh theme, which is O, so delicious - I think you probably know where I'm going with this.

Yes, my Otley beer was sampled and I'm thrilled to say that it was everything I'd hoped it would be - full of aromatic lime and lemon notes from the botanicals of kaffir lime, lime skins and lemon grass - as well as the glorious Sorachi Ace hops - and with just the right spicy undercurrent to offset the sweetness provided by galangal.

I was so pleased with it I must have hugged everyone at the brewery nearly to death at least twice when I tasted it!

For those of you who have been guessing it's called thai-bO and I'm delighted to say that Otley is coming to lovebeer@borough* on Saturday July 10 and you will be able to sample at the Meet the Brewer event then!

Usual deal, £15 a ticket and the sessions are at 1pm & 3.30pm, tickets available from the Rake or by calling 020 7378 9461 from 3pm today.

*lovebeer@borough is my tasting business in Borough Market, therefore this post represents something in which I have a financial interest

Thursday, 10 June 2010

A Day Full of Profit & Potential

Just a quick note for you all, as I like to bring good news to the table on a Friday morning, Fuller's results are out and they are gooood!

For those of you who are interested in that kind of thing you can read the full set here - for those of you, like me, who prefer a more executive type of summary, here are the highlights:

  • Revenue up 8% to £227.7 million (2009: £210.0 million)
  • Adjusted profit before tax up 17% to £26.6 million (2009: £22.8 million)
  • Own Beer sales volumes up 2%
  • Managed Pubs and Hotels like for like sales increased by 2.7%
  • Tenanted Inns like for like profits declined by 1%.

Also, just as an aside, I'm off to try my Otley beer today, which has the potential to be awful or fabulous, I'm very nervous about which one! And for those of you who've been trying to guess what the name is, it's thai-bO - told you'd all kick yourselves (sorry, I just can't help myself, I've got some sort of syndrome, bad punitis or something!).

So, I'm wending my way to judge at the Great Welsh Beer & Cider Festival, where I'll try my beer but it is a tad wearily, I must admit, after an excellent event with Young's, Charles Campion, the Evening Standard and Martin Peters MBE! What a very nice man, great crowd pleaser and full of funny stories and the audience was super-receptive to my beer tasting before hand and asked some quite taxing questions, great to see such knowledge and passion in the room!

However, obviously they were there to see Martin Peters and I have to say quote of the night was when he was asked about 'that' goal in the 66 final: "It was a goal, I'm telling you that because I was f*cking there!"


Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Stars & Stripes to Fly Over SW6

Yeh haw! The American Beer Festival is back at the White Horse again this year and looks set to be bigger and better than ever.

Take your taste buds on a trans-Atlantic trip as south west London’s finest beer pub showcases some of the very best America has to offer, including some never before seen on these shores draught beers from respected brewers like Goose Island from Chicago, Yard’s Brewing from Philadelphia, and Flying Dog from Maryland.

The pub will also be bringing over brews from Odell’s, Brooklyn, Blue Moon, Sierra Nevada , Left Hand and Stone. The White Horse is hoping to repeat the success of last year's similarly themed event. Timed to celebrate Independence Day, the fest kicks off on Friday July 2 and will carry on throughout the weekend.

There will be a tremendous choice of the finest American beers, including Goose Island Bourbon County Stout in cask, which will only be served in halves, alongside some extremely special cask beers from the ever anarchic, and always tasty, Flying Dog, including the brewery’s latest offering Raging Bitch – an IPA brewed with Belgian yeast.

There will also be a wide array of keg beers on offer from highly-respected breweries like Sierra Nevada, and also little-known in the UK but nonetheless multi award-winning microbreweries like Yards from Philadelphia..

And, because the White Horse is always all about demonstrating the diversity of British beers as well, they will have beer on handpull from a whole host of English beers that boast an American influence in hop form from breweries like Crouch Vale, Thornbridge and Dark Star.”

Weather permitting the BBQ will be fired up and offering a whole host of American classics, as well as the ever-popular hog roast and, as you would expect from The White Horse, the beer quaffing will be accompanied by appropriate live music from The Steelers and Fallen Heroes, and there will be live barn dancing with Cut a Shine.

The White Horse, 1-3 Parson's Green, London, SW6 4UL T: 020 7736 2115 W: Twitter: @WhiteHorseSW6

* I have been working with the White Horse on this beer festival

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

True to Form?

Only got two ticks to post this but BLIMEY! Truman's beer is back - when I find out more I'll post more!

World Cup Fervour?

Hmm, it may be a little late but a heads up to all small brewers putting out a World Cup beer, be careful how you brand it - FIFA is on the warpath and Hook Norton is currently in its sights according to Brand Republic.

The thrust of why FIFA is turning its sights on a relatively small brewer from Oxfordshire is that it has used the phrase 'Brewed to celebrate the FIFA World Cup 2010. Supporting England', which it's apparently not supposed to without jumping through a whole series of hoops and parting with large sums of cash!

Oh, and this goes for publicans thinking about how to go about showing the World Cup, apparently you've got to be careful not to breach guidelines too!

However, I do have a rare good word for Carlsberg as the official beer of the England team, which has sensibly chosen not to pursue any legal action, knowing that a) the backlash would be enormous and b) that it's frankly pointless as it would cost more than any settlement would be worth and, I would imagine, could easily put a brewery the size of Hook Norton on very shaky ground.

Mars, on the other hand, looks like it's going after Nestle for its Kit Kat Cross Your Fingers campaign, which could see an almighty legal battle - although I'm still hanging on the outcome of Unilever suing the BNP for using Marmite in a party political broadcast, perhaps we can get an extraordinary ruling where Nick Griffin is publicly flogged for being a total waste of skin & oxygen...

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Genetically Modified Welsh Football

Guys & Gals,
I apologise for the lack of blogging activity recently but boy have I been busy and I'm afraid I lack the dedication of other bloggers to write until 4am in the morning after finishing a day's work - call me old-fashioned but I feel I ought to speak to my other half from time to time!

Anyway, I've got a few newsflashes for you - firstly it's come to my attention that someone (who doesn't even have the conviction to name themselves) has been wandering around the interweb claiming Fuller's uses GM US hops; as far as I can find out in my enquiries there isn't even such a thing as GM hops and the only beer Fuller's uses US hops in is Discovery, so where this person gets their "information" from is beyond me.

But, if you want to ask the head brewer himself he'll be coming to lovebeer@borough on June 12 for two meet the brewer sessions at 1pm and 3.30pm. Tickets are just £15 and the beer line-up can be found on our Facebook group.*

Secondly, I had an awesome time brewing with Otley in Wales last week, we made a wheat beer flavoured with galangal, oven-dried lime skins, lemon grass & kaffir lime leaves + Sorachi Ace hops; it's other going to be magnificent tasting or great to dab behind the ears - but you never know until you try!

I also did a little filming whilst there and once I've edited out the most unglamorous bits (because god know's it's tough to look glam when you're brewing and I was a little worse for wear after drinking with the lovely Mr Nick Otley the night before) I shall get that up, which will be a first for this blog!

And finally, I recently prepared a list of World Cup beers for a paper which strongly intimated it was a for a commission, it wasn't they just wanted my hard work (and, admittedly, plaguarism  utilisation of the website, which I did hold my hands up to!) so I shall be using it to my own ends and will be posting a list of World Cup beers, where to get them and also a few food suggestions that I'd love people to add to from their own experiences as I haven't been to far too many of these countries and my knowledge of, say, Uruguayan food for example, is slim at best.

Toodle Pip for now blog followers and a little thanks to for making me website of the day - please give them a visit.

*this mention is for my beer tasting business in Borough Market