Monthly Archives: March 2012

#Impoff

A smart idea by Durham Brewery: create a “virtual tasting event” where people everywhere try their favorite Imperial Stout and then tweet about it. CAMRGB (Campaign for Really Good Beer, not to be confused with CAMRA) also supported the event, and from what I’ve seen on Twitter so far it’s been a rousing success. Since I am the first one to jump on the bandwagon of any totally made-up holiday (International IPA Day, anyone?) or event related to beer, I thought I’d share my thoughts on the two bottles I popped open for this global (OK, mostly British) event of virtual beer goodness.

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A package from Sweden

Thank you for this, Jonas! The Monk’s Café Russian Imperial Porter (the middle bottle with the dude on it) I’ll save for a double tasting as I have the 2010 edition as well. Really looking forward to the Sigtuna East River Spring Lager now that spring’s here, a flavourful lager is an essential part of summer. And as always I’m excited about the Mohawk Oxymoron Black IPA as Mohawk quickly has established itself as one of Sweden’s leading craft brewers, specializing in small-batch, quite experimental stuff.

Mikkeller Roundup

As it happens, I’ve been sampling a lot of Mikkeller beers lately – thanks, Craft Beer Company and BeersofEurope.co.uk – so I thought I’d write up a themed review post. Here you go – my views on four Mikkeller collaborations and three Mikkeller originals:

Mikkeller/Revelation Cat Cream Ale (ABV 5.0)
I loved the Revelation Cat Milk Mild, one of the most flavoursome below-ABV 4.0-beers I’ve ever had, so I was excited to see a collaboration between Mikkeller and the Italian cat brewer. This is the house beer at noted Italian beer bar Brasserie 4:20 (Rome).

Look: A cloudy, dull orange/amber with a small but nicely frothy head.

Nose: Vaguely citrusy, rather faint.

Mouth: Comes on like an IPA with plenty of fruit – there’s a distinct taste of peaches – and a quick resin/citrus hop bite. The creaminess is not very pronounced, but it is there, adding a bit of body and depth throughout.

Mark: 3/5. Very refreshing at ABV 5.0 but lacks that special something. It’s really well balanced and I’m sure this goes great with a variety of foods.

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London Beer Blog Goes To Italy

A selection of Italian craft beer

So while the rest of you Londoners were enjoying the London Drinker Festival, the Ale & Blues Festival at the Sebright Arms, meeting Mikkeller etc, I had to go to Italy for work. My attempts at connecting with the local Italian craft beer scene (i.e. drinking) failed at first – my schedule was packed, and Perugia (where I was) is not exactly craft beer heartland. They used to have a beer shop, apparently, but when I arrived at the address it was long since closed. The one beer bar I found by diligent Googling opened too late for me to nip off for a quick one before the conference dinner.

However, on the way back, I had two hours to spare in Rome. I’ve never been to Rome. There’s the Colosseum, the Forum Romanum, the Vatican, the Trevi Fountain… so what do I do? Head for the craft beer shop closest to the Central Station and hang out there for a while, of course.

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Update

The London scene is expanding at such a rate that it is difficult to keep up. I’ve updated my London Breweries page, adding Rye Lane Brewery and Weird Beard Brew Co, plus a list of brewpubs. I’ve also added a few venues to the London Beer Bars & Pubs list, probably old news for you jaded readers.

While I was doing this, I found out that there’s a beer festival (or beer and blues festival, to be precise) at the Sebright Arms this weekend (March 10-11) focusing on London breweries – there’ll be beers from almost all London breweries by the looks of it…The Kernel, London Fields, Redchurch, Weird Beard, Moncada etc etc… And with pints at £2.50, you’d be silly not to sample a few. Me? Sorry, due to a scheduling conflict I’ll be in Italy this weekend. But I may pop by late Sunday, if I can.

EDIT: And, oh yeah, the London Drinker Beer and Cider Festival is also this weekend. Which I am also going to miss. I’m a bad London Beer Blogger.

Drinking Dens: BrewDog Camden

The bright blue sign of BrewDog is a beacon in the beer wasteland that is Camden: this part of London has been crying for a good beer bar for a long time. And in December of last year, those cries were answered. This is not your average pub, though, and it is doubtful if the BrewDog gang would even consider “pub” an appropriate word to describe their venues. There are no hand pumps, keg beer only, all dispensed via slick-looking branded black tubes. The interior is very du jour, with spartan cafeteria-style furniture and naked brick walls, plus of course the ubiquitious BrewDog branding. You’ll either love it or hate it – and I love it, as it gives the place an instant identity, a recognizable feel, a vibe, if you will. BrewDog Camden is your beer-loving friend who still manages to be hip somehow.

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