1. Tony Smith, Ed, Reg Hardware
    Pint

    Cakes'n'Ale

    Pending the arrival of a Cakes'n'Ale section all of its own - there's more to life than all this technology nonsense - we'll start here... with Steel Toe Stout from the Ska Brewing Company (http://www.skabrewing.com/main.html).

    Rather nice, slightly sweet American dark beer, brewed to an English Milk Stout recipe, apparently. Not as smoky as US dark beers sometimes can be - though that's not a bad quality IMHO - with some pleasant coffee flavours. Bit of chocolate in there too.

    Tasted at Byrons Hamburgers, Haymarket branch (http://www.byronhamburgers.com/), which I'd recommend for its grub alone, if not for the excellent - and just revised - craft beer menu.

    Anyone know of a UK distributor of Ska's brews?

    Trivia Fact #99: Ska is based in Durango, Colorado. I once spent a night there when a blizzard stopped me reaching Denver across the Rockies. Pleasant town, I recall. But effing cold that night.

    1. jake Silver badge
      Pint

      Preemptive post (was: Re: Cakes'n'Ale)

      Yes, us Yanks *can* build good beer. It ain't just BMC here on the left side of the pond ... See this post of mine.

      1. Drewc Gold badge

        American IPAs

        Colder, hoppier, stronger and much tastier than their UK counterparts. Sierra Nevada is maybe the best known and you can now get it in Sainsbury's - Yay! Bit pricey though.

        But yes, America does great beers - and they are readily available all along the west coast.

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: American IPAs

          Sierra Nevada is pretty much my goto when I'm on the road East of the Rockies. It's not bad, for a mass-produced beer.

          That said, there are locations all across the US that have preserved plant sugars well worth sampling. I always ask a local where to eat when I'm in a strange place ... and ask the chef there for suggestions on local brews & vintages. I'm rarely pointed in the wrong direction.

    2. Al Taylor
      Thumb Up

      Re: Cakes'n'Ale

      Durango - I remember that.

      Seem to recall the tyres on the rental car had frozen flat the following morning. I did genuinely fear they'd find us on the side of that f**king mountain the following spring.

  2. jake Silver badge

    Dogfish Head's "Indian Brown".

    A Scotch ale crossed with American brown ale, brewed with a similar hops bill as an IPA. No detectible fusals, esters, or aldehydes[1]. Just good, clean flavor. Worth sipping from "ice cold & fizzy" through "room temperature and flat" ... This one's tasty all across the board! Makes good pot-roast, chili, and whole-wheat bread. Remember to keep it out of direct sunlight ... it skunks fast.

    Worth a try, if you can find it. Recommended.

    [1] Unlike all of the "Sam Adams" line ... that shit always gives me a headache the next day, even if I just drink one 12oz bottle and nothing else but water.

  3. Tony Smith, Ed, Reg Hardware
    Pint

    Über Alles

    A trip to Morrisons this weekend furnished me with three genuine German weissbiers: Schneider Weisse, Erdinger Weissbier and Franziskaner Weissbier. I love weissbier, with its cloudy looks and cereal taste - though there's a bit of citrus in there too.

    I have to mention that I generally have the latter when travelling in Germany, so it's a bit of a favourite of mine. Very smooth - nice and wheaty too. Just right, IMHO.

    http://regmedia.co.uk/2012/04/04/beer_1.jpg

    Of the other two, the Erdinger has a more 'organic' taste - the Schneider more 'industrial'. I'd recommend the former.

    http://regmedia.co.uk/2012/04/04/beer_2.jpg

    http://regmedia.co.uk/2012/04/04/beer_3.jpg

    PS. Morrisons appears to be building a decent array of international bottled beers. Worth a look.

    REJECT the 'Brewed in the UK under Licence' FAIL

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: Über Alles

      Not fond of Wheat beers, myself. But then if we all liked the same beer, the world would be a very, very boring place ...

      I also totally reject the "brewed in X under license" fail ... and in fact, I completely refuse to drink so-called "imported" ales here in the US. Invariably, they are artificially skunked ... Old Peculiar with a skunky background has to be tasted to be believed. Narsty.

      1. Drewc (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

        Newcastle Brown Ale - and Bass

        Both easier to find in San Francisco bars than in pubs in the south-east of England.

        Newkie Brown is undrinkable IMO.

  4. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

    US hops over here on the cheap

    There are a few UK brewers using US hops to create American-style IPAs. My pick is:

    http://www.brewdog.com/product/punk-ipa

    Malts: Marris Otter Extra Pale Malt

    Hops: Chinook, Simcoe, Ahtanum, Nelson Sauvin

    Tesco and Sainsbury's do it, 4 for £5.50. I haven't found anything as good at anything like that price. and it's very good.

    1. jake Silver badge

      4 for £5.50 is considered inexpensive?

      What size bottle is that?

      I can purchase 6 packs of 12oz (354ml) microbrews for about a buck a bottle ... and that's good beer, too ... the cheap stuff is ~35 cents a 12oz can, or less on sale.

      1. Citizen Kaned

        Re: 4 for £5.50 is considered inexpensive?

        our beer is often much stronger than the stuff in the USA though. american beer is often classified as 'fizzy piss' here :)

        1. Drewc (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

          Re: Re: 4 for £5.50 is considered inexpensive?

          Sure - but we are comparing like for like here.

          Standard size beer bottles in UK are 330ml - about 11 US fl.oz.

          There isn't that much difference in beer prices in general between UK and US - but American IPAs are sold in the UK as craft, specialities - and hence they are sold at premium, compared with lagers and bitters.

        2. jake Silver badge

          @Citizen Kaned (was: Re: 4 for £5.50 is considered inexpensive?)

          Might want to actually read this thread, Citizen.

          I can purchase a 22oz bottle of 8.2% ale within walking distance of pretty much anywhere I need to spend the night here in California ... for under US$4.00. With the exchange rate hovering around 1.57 US dollars to the GB pound ... well, do the math.

        3. Tony Smith, Ed, Reg Hardware
          Pint

          Re: 4 for £5.50 is considered inexpensive?

          As opposed to the stuff micturated out of your average UK pub's lager tap, presumably...

          Genuine US beer - even from the big brands - is better than the stuff sold under its name over here.

          Same is true of Stella, Kronenbourg, Heineken, Grolsch etc.

          Why do the Brits - well, the lagerboys - put up with this watery, no-taste stuff? Answer: they clearly don't care about flavour.

          1. jake Silver badge

            @Tony Smith, Ed, Reg Hardware (was: Re: 4 for £5.50 is considered inexpensive?)

            "Why do the Brits - well, the lagerboys - put up with this watery, no-taste stuff? Answer: they clearly don't care about flavour."

            And is probably the reason the entire ignorant pissing contest exists in the first place ;-)

      2. Tony Smith, Ed, Reg Hardware

        Re: 4 for £5.50 is considered inexpensive?

        Maybe but you don't get taxed to buggery like we do over here.

        Think the beer here is pricey? You should see what they charge for gas

    2. Tony Smith, Ed, Reg Hardware
      Thumb Up

      Re: US hops over here on the cheap

      Brew Dog now has a tied pub in Camden - corner of Greenland St and Bayham St.

      http://www.brewdog.com/bars/camden

      Their Punk IPA and 5AM Saint are both bloody good.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @ andrew Orlowski

      Nice choice, Brewdog's Punk IPa is my beer of choice at the moment, really good flavour profile on it.

  5. jake Silver badge

    The wife & I split a 12oz bottle ...

    ... of Anchor Brewing's "Old Foghorn" barleywine this evening ... it's the first of a case that I purchased back in 1992.

    Oh, my fucking gawd/ess ... Brews built to age are wonderful when aged properly!

  6. Shane Phillip Maher Irish Poet And Bard
    Pint

    Beer and Wine

    Anyone ever tried Irish Craft beers ? Why does nt a pint of guinness taste the same anywhere here but Eire , is it because of the lack of flow ? Why is it so difficult to find good European wines in Ireland and why in God's name are they so bloody expensive in a European Union founded on the free movement of goods , capital and labour etc . Philosophically speaking why are we being continually screwed and here in Ireland we've been shafted for thousands of years and still no sign of an orgasm ( on our part anyway ) . Maybe this stuff is too heavy like the deep chocolate gateaux I made earlier nice but got to get back on an enviromental treadmill , real running that is . Great lager weather here at the moment looking forward to being on the beach in Ballybunnion tomorrow . Just rounding off the night / morning with a nice pinotage .

    Have a nice day y'all .

    Slainte mo chairde go mbeirimid im beo seo in aimsair aris .

    Slan go foil.

    Shane.

    BTW Anyone read 'The Shack' any comments ?

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