Friday, 7 March 2014

News and Brews - March 2014

LONDON CALLING! We’ve added another of London’s crop of breweries to our range – Weird Beard Brewing Co. Coupling striking branding with excellent beers isn’t rocket science, but Weird Beard have got it right on both counts. The current range is: Little Things That Kill (pale session ale, 12x50cl, 3.5%), K*ntish Town Beard (American wheat beer, 12x50cl, 5.2%), 5 O’Clock Shadow (IPA, 24x33cl, 7%), Fade To Black (black IPA, 24x33cl, 7%), Holy Hoppin’ Hell (double IPA, 24x33cl, 9.6%). And should you need any more reason to try them, Weird Beard were voted the 5th best new brewery in the world by the beer rating site

Continuing the London theme, we’re had a recent restock from Partizan Brewing Co. I’m sure many of you will be pleased to hear that after a period of testing “library bottles”, Partizan have elected to extend the expiry dates on their pale ales and IPAs, which will now be getting 6 months at bottling. The current range is: Saison Grisette Lemongrass, Citra IPA, Amarillo Pale Ale, X-Ale (previously Mild), 8 Grain Porter, Foreign Export Stout, and Albatross Barley Wine.

Our friends at Saltaire Brewery haven’t been resting on their laurels, with a couple of interesting new beers recently added to their range. The first, Celebration Ale (strong ale, 8x50cl, 6.5%) was brewed to commemorate the visit of the Princess Royal recently, while their second, Bock (8X50cl, 5.6%) is a collaboration with Dark Star Brewery.

We’ve noticed a bit of a contraction in the “world beers” sector over the last couple of years – not so surprising maybe, as it mostly consisted of identikit 5% international lagers. So we were doubly delighted to get our hands on the Spanish craft beer Er Boqueron (12x33cl, 4.8%), a robust pale golden ale with a full malty body and enjoyably raucous hop finish. Its USP is that it’s made from seawater (desalinated, of course), and it does have a slightly savoury note in the finish. Different and distinctive, and we like it.

After last months' "three in a row and a bonus point" from Thornbridge Brewery, we were delighted to have yet another new arrival. Otto (12x50cl, 8%). This latest addition to their range is in the mould of the classic weizenbock Schneider Aventinus, and if recent releases are anything to go by, will be nothing short of amazing.

As I’m sure you know, we offer single-bottle picks on more expensive stock, and falling very clearly into this category, we currently have some Brewdog Mix Tape 8 (blend of barrel-aged triple and barrel-aged IPA, 14.5%, pictured) and Brewdog Mikkeller Nogne O Black Tokyo Horizon (blend of 3 imperial stouts, 15.2%).

AND FINALLY, just a bit of housekeeping really. We’ve re-jigged the layout of our price list a little bit, so that rather than all the glassware having its own section at the back, it is now listed in with the brewery that it applies to. Please do drop us an email if you’d like a current trade list.

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

News and Brews - February 2014

We have a good slice of new beers this month, starting with a refreshed range of Belgian beers. From the Trappist stable, Achel Blonde and Brune (both 24x33cl, 8%) make a welcome return, and in a similar vein, we have taken in the superbly high quality St Bernardus ABT in large format (12x75cl, 10%). Near-legendary farmhouse brewery Fantôme join us with their wild and funky Saison (12x75cl, 8%). Continuing the saison theme, Saison de Silly (24x33cl, 5%) returns, and in a more refined vein, please welcome Rodenbach Caractère Rouge (6x75cl, 7%), Lastly, looking reassuringly experimental, Duysters Tuverbol (12x37.5cl, 10.6%) is an unusual blend of a tripel (Duysters Loverbol) and lambic from the legendary Drie Fonteinen. And on the dark side, Van Den Bossche Buffalo Stout (24x33cl, 9%) arrives to blur the lines between stout and quadrupel.

From across the pond, a couple of new visitors: Anchor Brekle’s Brown (24x35.5cl, 6%) is a delicious nutty dark ale given a tropical fruit twist with a bit of Citra hop action. And swooping down like bourbon-cloaked wolf on the fold, the annual arrival of Goose Island Bourbon County Stout (24x33cl, 14.5%) is sure to get every cellar-stashing imperial stout aficionado’s whiskers twitching. And stay tuned for the annual arrival any day now of Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye (24x35.5cl, 6.4%).

Continuing the barrel-aged stout theme, we’ve managed to secure some of the harder-to-find expressions of Harviestoun’s Highland Park whisky cask-aged Ola Dubh. Alongside the 12yr Old, we now also have the 16yr Old and the 18yr Old. All are packed in 12x33cl, and all weigh in at 8%abv.

If you prefer your wood-aged beers a bit paler, we have some new arrivals from Innis & Gunn, all in 12x33cl. Seasonal Irish Whiskey Cask (7.4%) is back, alongside the Canadian Cherrywood (8.3%), and two new products complete a large range – Smokin’ Gunn (7.4%,individually boxed, limited edition) and Toasted Oak IPA (5.6%). Original, Winter Treacle Porter, and Bourbon Stout are also still available, in 24x33cl.

New Thornbridge Brewery beers are like buses – you wait ages and then three come along at once. Colorado Red (5.9%) is a re-brew of their collaboration with Odell’s, albeit with a slightly different hopping regime – don’t worry, it’s still massively over-hopped. Sequoia (4.5%) is a hoppy American amber ale, and Beadeca’s Well (5.3%) is a smoked porter made with peat-smoked malt.

Revolutions Brewing are in the throes of refreshing their range, so get ready to say hello and wave goodbye as a few beers are discontinued and others arrive. First arrival is Pretender Blonde (4.5%), as we wave goodbye to the now discontinued Beat Red, Kraftwerk Braun, and Identity – expect these to be replaced over the coming months.

Continuing the theme of discontinued beer, St Austell have sadly had to delist their Smuggler’s Ale and Smuggler’s Grand Cru due to “a potential duty issue with revenue and customs”. We hope that they resolve this soon, but happily we are able to console ourselves with a fresh delivery of their superb double IPA Big Job (7.3%, 12x50cl). Grab some while it lasts, as this was a very quick seller last time.

More exciting news very shortly!

Friday, 24 January 2014

News & Brews - January 2014

We’ve had a big restock from Hardknott Brewery, including two limited releases, Vitesse Noir (11% imperial stout infused with vanilla, chocolate and coffee, 12x33cl) and Granite 2013 (12.7% barley wine, 12x33cl). This goes alongside their core range, all in 24x33cl: Infra Red (6.5% red IPA), Azimuth (5.8% IPA), Code Black (5.6% black IPA), Cool Fusion (4.4% golden ginger ale), Dark Energy (4.9% stout), and Continuum (4% session ale). We’ve been distributing Hardknott beers for a few years now, and can honestly say that their beers have never been better in terms of quality and value for money.

Continuing the infused imperial stout theme, step forward Arbor Ales. Our current range of their beers as follows (all in 12x50cl): Breakfast Stout (7.4% imperial stout with oatmeal, coffee and chocolate), Motueka Single Hop (3.8% pale golden ale), Blue Sky Drinking (4.4% best bitter), Tasmanian Devil (4.6% Galaxy-hopped amber ale), and Saisonal (6.8%), a delicious dry-hopped saison collaboration brew with Bristol-based Wiper & True.

The Hop Studio have teamed up with Hull’s 1884 Dock St Kitchen to produce a modern British ale to compliment the restaurant’s modern British Food. Autonomous (8x50cl, 5% pale ale) is a copper-coloured ale that combines earthy Fuggles hops and fruity First Gold to great effect – full bodied and with a lovely spicy, marmalade-tinted finish.

We don't often mention the fact that we distribute for The Kernel Brewery, one of the UK's best-respected and most influential small breweries. Pale Ales (in 12x50cl, around 5.6%) and IPAs (24x33cl, around 6.9%) vary according to hop variety. There are also outstanding stouts, porters and specials too. Really, you should try them.

That most traditional of traditional Yorkshire breweries, Sam Smith's, has released a new beer. Well, I say new - we didn't know about it until we stumbled across it on the internet. Anyway, Sam Smith's Organic Chocolate Stout (12x55cl, 5%) is a tasty, sweetish chocolate stout that is pretty self-explanatory.

Great Heck have added another new beer to their range, just as the others are about to sell out. Citra is a single-hopped session beer (4.5%, 24x33cl). We also currently have stocks of their Yakima IPA and Black Jesus black IPA.

St Austell have bottled their 1913 Stout (5.2%, 12x50cl), a smooth oatmeal stout brewed to a recipe that has been meticulously researched from old brewing journals (it says so on the bottle). It’s smooth, chocolatey, and seriously good quality.

AND FINALLY, when Bristol Beer Factory say that this might be the best beer they’ve ever brewed, you better sit up and take note. Belgian Conspiracy (7.5%, 12x50cl) is a hybrid new-world triple / Belgian IPA, hoppy as anything, and with a lovely minerality to the finish.

Monday, 8 July 2013

Roosters & Odells "The Accomplice"

The guys at Odell Brewing Co., Fort Collins, Colorado, visited Rooster's last year as part of a whistle stop tour. Fast forward a few months and Doug Odell, founding brewer of Odell Brewing Co., sent an email asking if they’d like to brew a beer with him - a question that took a nanosecond to respond to… yes!

Several months and various emails later, Doug joined them at the Brewery for a couple of days to finalise the recipe and brew the beer. The Accomplice is a pale ale as prepared for India that’s been brewed using six different varieties of hops, crammed into almost every possible part of the brewing process, to create intense floral and fruit aromas, backed up by a balanced level of bitterness.

When Rooster's suggested the name to Doug, his response was, “It sounds kinda sinister… I like it!”. So, there you have it. The Accomplice - a Rooster's classic with a sprinkling of Odell magic.

A limited run of 120 cases

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Otley Brewing Company - OOOOO!

Like it says in the picture - OOOOO!

Otley Brewing Company of Pontypridd aren't a new brewery by any stretch of the imagination, with brewing starting in earnest in 2005. 2006 saw them sweep the board at the Great Welsh Beer and Cider Festival, and they posted a not-too-shabby brace of first places at the 2008 Great British Beer Festival. The quality has never slipped, and the sleek, clean look of the bottles accurately reflects the contents.

Otley Brewing Co is family owned, and when we visited them a few years ago, head brewer Charlie Otley was sporting a fine Mexican moustache that he'd grown as part of a fancy dress costume for the weekend. needless to say, whenever we bump into Charlie, we are a bit thrown by the fact that he doesn't look like a Mexican any more.

We’ve been meaning to get around to listing  for about a year now, but things just kept getting in the way of it happening. Happily, whatever those things were are now in the past, and so here they are. Currently in stock we have: Otley O1 (pale golden ale, 4%), Otley O9 (filtered witbier,  4.8%), Otley Oxymoron (black IPA, 5.5%), Otley O6 (porter, 6.6%) and Otley Motley Brew (IPA, 7.5%). 

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Salopian Brewery - Ticking All the Boxes

It's hard being a beer wholesaler. No really, it is. While it's really fun to seek out the latest amazing beers, it's important to remember that the range that we sell needs to have balance across it. Which is why we were delighted when Salopian produced a couple of the most kick-ass British IPAs that we'd tried in a long time. It meant that finally, they were ticking all the boxes.

Automaton IPA (7%, 20x33cl) and Vertigo Black IPA (7.2%, 20x33cl) are as good an example of their respective styles as we've tried in a long time. And they perfectly compliment the rest of Salopian's range. Shropshire Gold (3.8%, 12x50cl) is a decent pale copper-gold session beer, nice enough, with a good whack of late hops. Oracle (4%, 12x50cl) is a pale straw colour, with the malt dialled back a bit and the hops shining all the brighter because of it. And Darwin's Origin (4.3%, 12x50cl) is a fully copper-coloured bitter, but don't be fooled by the appearance - this is a best bitter with the hops turned up to 11, with a lovely sweetness at it's core, then turning bitter and perfumed in the finish.

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Rooster's Brewing Co - Free-Range Yorkshire Beer Now In Bottles

Quite how we’ve managed to keep this a secret is beyond us, but we’re delighted to start this month by announcing that Rooster’s Brewing Co. have not only launched a range of three beers, but have appointed us the sole distributor for all bottled products.

Since hatching in 1993, Rooster’s has developed a reputation for brewing a range of highly regarded cask beers.

Tom Fozard, Rooster’s Commercial Manager, comments: “It’s a little bit overdue, but we’re really pleased to finally have our beers in bottles and believe that the three beers we’ve decided to enter the market with will appeal to beer drinkers across the scale, whilst also looking the business on the shop shelf and in the fridges of bars and restaurants.”

The beers being launched, all packaged as 8x50cl, are the brewery’s flagship beer Yankee (pale golden ale, 4.3%), Fort Smith (IPA, 5%) and Londinium (coffee porter, 5.5%), brewed in collaboration with Taylors of Harrogate, an independent coffee merchant local to Rooster’s, whose After Dark blend forms part of the recipe for the beer.

Head Brewer Oliver Fozard adds: “We’ve been working hard for the last six months to ensure that the beers are represented in the best possible way when poured from the bottle, as there are a lot of differences between that and beer dispensed from a hand pump. We’re really pleased with the final product.”

Rick Tingley, Head of Coffee at Taylors of Harrogate, comments: “Taylors of Harrogate is proud to be working with neighbours, Roosters Brewing Co. on their coffee porter, Londinium. The dark, rich nature of the beer matches flawlessly with the sultry tones of our After Dark blend, which provides a deliciously chocolaty aftertaste – perfect for enjoying long into the evening.”