Apart from the Yuck factor these drinks may not legally be called "Beer", at least in civilised countries.
An Australian brewery has been banned from promoting one of its beers, after a minor mistook it for chocolate milk. The beer in question is a chocolate stout produced by the Howler Brewing Company. The stout includes "Milo" – a powdered Nestlé product popular in Australia and South-East Asia as either the basis of a hot …
While I share your sentiments about what can (or should) be called "beer" (nitpicker that I am...) I have to point you towards our Belgian friends. They have (I believe) one of the highest number of breweries per capita, and a very wide variety of beer. Think about e.g. Krick (with cherries) or Geuze (with chocolate). I cannot drink more than one of either, they are not "quaffable", but an enjoyable experience nonetheless. Neither can I drink more than a small glass of Gewurztraminer (perfect with cheese, I think), still nobody would question that it can be a high quality wine.
Same with beer. There are some that you can drink all night, there are some where one glass is enough. They all have their place on the menu / in the world.
Actually it does still have legal force in Germany, in that beers made with other ingredients cannot actually be labelled as beers. OK it was updated in 1993 to increase the number of allowable ingredients and processes, but if you use ingredients not on the list you cant legally label your drink as a beer.
So yeah it does still have some legal force (just certainly not as stringent as the 1516 version).
> "beers made with other ingredients cannot actually be labelled as beers"
To the best of my knowledge: this is not true anymore, after some court case. You can mention "brewed after Reinheitsgebot" (or somesuch) to advertise that fact.
Btw. the old ruling (not Reinheitsgebot, so not beer) was somewhat of a protectionist thing from German breweries.
Actually after talking to a german mate of mine, (who went on about this topic for far longer than i consider healthy), Yeast at the time was considered a part of the brewing process and not as an ingredient that's why it wasnt listed. Same reason the keg isnt listed as an ingredient, it was just something needed in the process...
At the time, the keg and the yeast were one and the same. For certain brewing processes, this is still the case (lambic springs to mind).
From Wikipedia: (my emphasis)
Lambic is generally brewed from a grist containing approximately 60–70% barley malt and 30–40% unmalted wheat. The wort is cooled overnight in a shallow, flat metal pan (generally copper or stainless steel) called a coolship where it is left exposed to the open air so more than 120 different types of microorganisms may inoculate the wort. This cooling process requires night-time temperatures between -8C (18F) and 8C (46F). While this cooling method of open air exposure is a critical feature of the style, the key yeasts and bacteria that perform the fermentation reside within the breweries' timber fermenting vessels.
The Reinheitsgebot does a fantastic job of preserving quality German beer. They dont drink as well (to my mind) as good UK beers - they are a pleasure to drink but UK bitter goes a couple of steps further and actually makes me happy too.
The annoying thing about adjuncts is many of them are unnecessary, you can make a dark sweet chocolate tasting beer that obeys the rules of the Reinheitsgebot should you wish to. I've made on that tastes like espresso but fortunately I lost the recipe.
It's Kriek (not Krick) and Geuze is not with chocolate but with wild yeast, which makes it slightly sour. The Belgian beers show that there is indeed a beer for almost every occasion and season and we should be celebrating the variety. Instead, however, the world seems to be marching inexorably to about four different beers (and cheeses for that matter) because most people don't seem to care.
That's the opposite of what's happening.
I live in South London. I have done the occasional pub crawl in my life. About 10 years ago I did my first brewery crawl (in Boulder, CO) I can now do a brewery crawl from my front door.
There are now more breweries in the good beer guide than there were beers when I first purchased a copy.
I had several excellent craft beers last time I was in Vietnam.
Even the USA now has decent cheese - although you still have to seek it out.
And you don't have to be in London or Boulder to do a brewery crawl. I'm in Knoxville TN, and I can also now do a brewery crawl from my front door. They're popping up everywhere, there's now three more within walking distance that didn't exist the last time I looked.
Not sure what you mean about having to seek out decent cheese. It's only a couple blocks from my house to a grocery store with a great cheese section and free car chargers.
Now if this stupid pandemic would just end....
Floris are a Belgian brewery that do a chocolate beer. They also do a bunch of different fruit beers. They're all a bit "bland wheat beer with some flavourings chucked in" for my personal taste, but they're nice enough on a warm afternoon.
The chocolate beer is particularly odd, because it simply tastes like a glass of mediocre hot chocolate that's gone cold. But it had to be tried, and it's the most chocolatety tasting beer that I've yet had.
Of course porter already has chocolatey notes, so when you add chocolate to those, it can be quite nice. I'm a fan of the Meantime one, that I've already seen mentioned.
Although Meantime also do a lovely raspberry beer. Which is particularly nice, because it's a nice beer that they've put some raspberries in, so you can drink several bottles of it. Whereas I'm usually happy after just one fruit beer, and then move on to something else.
I couldn't answer the survey, because I don't mind the odd chocolate beer - but I prefer a fruit beer - if I want some sweetness in my glass. A nice kriek goes down well. Sainsbury's, Tesco and Morrisons all have a small range of Belgian beers, and can be relied on to have one or two fruit ones on the shelves.
I like a bit of lambic too, but none of my friends have ever found that to be acceptable tasting. Whereas most people like a nice fruit beer when you serve them.
The Belgian beers show that there is indeed a beer for almost every occasion and season and we should be celebrating the variety
I remember the first time I visited Bruges with The War Department. I'd been there a few times before but it was her first visit, so when we went to a cafe and she was presented with the beer menu she looked a more than little bemused.
To be fair, the menu was fairly epic, even by Belgian standards - a lovely Dickensian-style tome containing 600+ beers.
When the waiter came over to take our order the bemusement was still very much in place, so she asked "I quite like those cherry beers - how about one of those?" The waiter helpfully guided her to the correct page in the menu and invited her to make her choice from the 19 on offer.
Technically a Geuze is a young lambic beer mixed with an old one, eg. one batch that has been fermenting for a year with another that's been fermenting for 3 years.
An unadultarated lambic is a wild fermented beer from the Zenne valley near Brussels. Apparently the yeast that makes it a lambic only lives there. And it has to be wild brewed, you can;t export the yeast from the valley and make it somewhere else or it's not lambic.
There is also Faro, which is a lambic with added sugar, but it used to be a way of serving lambics, where you poured it slowly over a sugar cube on a spoon to sweeten it to taste. It's lovely on a hot day.
I did a german course in the 90s, and we used to get taken to local bars for a Stammtisch on friday nights.
Once after a few beers, i came back from a toilet trip and couple of people presented me with a "Wurstbier", basically a beer with a broken up sausage in it. The oil from the sausage mixed with the head and left a nasty mess in the glass, but the sausage was a pretty welcome snack regardless at that point in the evening.
It wasn't until I downed the lot that they admitted that they'd just plonked sausage in my beer for a laugh.
Meantime Chocolate Porter.
Rudgate Chocolate Stout.
Hotel Chocolat Beer
Sam Smith Chocolate Stout
Are just some of the chocolate beers brewed in Britain. I don't think UK is the only place that makes them and also messes about with all kinds of other strange beers - like Yorkshire pudding ale and Sticky Toffee Pudding Ale.
Do they all have chocolate in them. There is after all a thing called chocolate malt because its a malt that's roasted to a point where it provides chocolate flavours in the beer and in changing the quantity and with the right choice of yeast you can alter the flavour still further.
When is a beer not a beer? Well there are those who say that beer should only contain water, hops, malted barley and yeast. But that creates problems for such things as wheat beer, not to mention those beers that use varying amounts of rice in place of barley to save money.
But that's not the worst of it, depending on which country you live in the is a very long history of using flavourings other than hops. The likes of spruce make a perfectly palatable alternative for example.
So there question is where do you draw the line?
Remember early purity laws didn't even include yeast in the list of permitted ingredients.
Originally in the UK, ale was brewed from water, malt and yeast. Beer was ale flavoured with hops. Other flavourings produced ales, not beer.
More recently the definitions have become somewhat muddied. Young's, for example refer to their draught beers as "ales", while their honey flavoured product (bought in from a deceased brewery) is called a beer!
My local does a pale at 3.2%. Four pints and I'm on my arse and yet down town I can easily do a gallon of a 4.5%. Many incoherent arguments about whether the alcohol levels are made up of whether its the hops (a very close relative of cannabis) or an allergy to the new strains of hops in it.
The headline could be construed as click-bait - but this is El Reg we're talking about here and the writers have a sense of humor.
The sub-head gives more clarity to the topic and the article explains the point. The El Reg angle on this article isn't nanny-state interfering but humor around beer flavors. (Which many of the commentards have followed up with)
And you know what: If you think the headline is click-baity, don't click on it or waste time posting a comment.
The problem with that is you don't know it's clickbait till you click and read it (with the exception of the "YOU WON'T BELIEVE..." type tosh).
It's not even necessary here, I'd still click to see why the packaging was banned. And then not see the packaging in question anywhere in the article, but that's a separate issue lol.
So what if the child mistakes it for the sickly gloop? Unlikely to down the lot in 3 seconds, and more likely to spit it out. What sort of parent leaves super sugary food and drink around for a child, that's not able to read, to help themselves?
Although, my boy when he was about 3, you couldn't put a tinny down anywhere in reach, he'd casually saunter up, take a swig of lager, put it down, and wander off and get on with whatever he was doing!
About 24 years ago I was looking after my baby son.
He couldn't crawl, but could roll around on the floor, and was about 6 months old.
I just finished my can of bitter, so quickly popped into the kitchen to get another from the fridge.
In the intervening 20 seconds son had rolled over to the empty can, picked it up and was holding it over his mouth, correct way up, and I returned to see him getting the last couple of drips out of the can!
The grimace from the hop taste was well funny.
Strangely, he isn't a great beer drinker now.
My brother's attitude was to let their daughter try everything. Children mostly liking the sweet stuff. So sh had a sip of beer, yuck, never tried again. Same with wine, her Mum's rum, or her Dad's scrumpy.
Until the fateful Christmas when I bought him a bottle of Madeira. One of the sweet ones. That was much to her taste. I intercepted her at my place (aged 4), on Boxing Day heading for the kitchen. "Oh can I get you a drink, I've got lemonade, fruit juice, squash."
"Can I have some madeira please Uncle NotSpartacus."
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I guess you've never tried any chocolate stout then. There's this thing called "fermentation" you might have heard of, where microorganisms (usually yeast) turn that sugar into alcohol. Chocolate stouts are usually strong, dark, and bitter, with a chocolatey aftertaste.
They won't be sweet unless someone has done something to stop the fermentation (like a fortified wine), or they've put far a load of sugar in to start with and the yeast has poisoned itself, this would lead to "off-flavours" from the dying yeast, apparently known affectionately as "yeast-poop" amongst brewers.
Not to mention the Belgian lambic fruit beers. Which are generally much less sweet - but still very interesting. Though not something I've managed to get many friends to drink, who'll drink other fruit beers.
The nice thing about variety, is that there can be something to everybody's taste.
Plus I'm not sure I see anything morally superior in choosing to drink something because it's not sweet - or initially takes getting used to. If you like those ciders with fruit juice dumped into them, then all power to you. I find them too sweet, but I know plenty of people who find them pleasant and refreshing. Including my Mum - who's 82 and definitely not in the alcopop market. Her favourite drinks are strong German or Czech lagers, those fruity ciders or a glass of wine.
I don't think "modern" has anything to do with it. I just don't think the tasty and subtle wonders of the hop could be improved by the addition of powdered chocolate biscuits.
Feeling compelled to go along with trends, no matter how stupid, holds back properly good new ideas, both in beer and tech.
Hops don't tend to play much of a role in the taste of stouts which are dominated by the roasting of the malts. The resulting flavour is closer to other strongly roasted drinks including coffee and coacoa, which is why the addition isn't as odd as it might sound at first. Personally, I'm not a fan but SWMBO most definitely is and who's going to argue? Certainly not me…
Mine's the one with a copy of "Top Tips for a Clean House" in the pocket.
If you're drinking something hoppy, it's probably an IPA, or possibly a session ale, but not a stout. Hops are added to pale beers to preserve them. Stouts and porters tend to be robust enough both in terms of flavour, and cask-life, without having to add poncey flowers into them.
Ruddles got 'modernised' when Watneys bought the brewery, since then Grolsch and Greene King have completed its modernisation. Meanwhile the original beer has been approximately revived as Rutland Bitter, brewed in Oakham.
I vote for vi(m), Sam Smiths Chocolate Stout and the Yorkshire Square fermenting system
There are a number of cholate beers available in the UK, a large number of which, probably the majority are not sweet.
cocoa, naturally a bitter flavour, fits well with hops in a dark malty beer. I agree completely that packaging it in similar packaging as a product aimed at children is not smart.
While possibly in danger the advertising iceberg, Plum Porter is an excellent beer for those that prefer sweet dark beers.
The same brewery produces a Cappuccino Stout that is served best with a shake from the cocoa shaker typically used on Cappuccinos.
Don't knock it before you try it!
I'm not a huge fan of the chocolatey or coffee flavours in beer, so tend to steer clear of porter - though I often end up drinking them on the grounds of trying everything once. I have a bit more luck with finding stouts that I like. But I must say, I'm intrigued by the idea of a plum porter.
My favourite dark beer is Chimay blue.
But there's not many beers that I don't enjoy, even if I won't have a second glass.
Not sure if I’m due a parrot … but, milo and nesquick are two distinctly different products. Nobody ever stuffed three spoonfuls of nesquick in their gob (and didn’t cough to death).. Milo on the other hand is eaten by the catering tin (it rarely sees milk).
People have been sticking chocolate in beer for ages and suggesting that a smooth merlot may have grown on the same side of a hill as a chocolate wrapper, it can be delicious.
Marketing it to kids is (always) pants though.
Not in the states. I grew up at that time, and it was distinctly called just Quik, and its bunny mascot had a Q dangling from his collar. The change stateside occurred sometime in the 90's, probably due to trademark issues though I'd have to research it further.
Nestle also makes the Milo drink, but as someone had said previously, it's not the same thing, as it's marketed more to hotter/more rural markets where milk is not as common. I compare it more to Yoo-Hoo (another watery chocolate drink invented and sold stateside).
As for the article and the idea of chocolate beer, I won't vote as I'm a teetotaler (I have a sensitive tongue for alcohol). I just say whatever tickles your gullet. I've heard of various chocolate brews being available, and America thankfully has a decent-enough craft-brewing culture, so if you want to try something, there will probably be someone somewhere (given how big the US is) trying it out, or you can try your luck for yourself (homebrewing is a known hobby). To the advertising authorities, I say bully. Confusing labels do need correcting, especially when kids can get involved.
Stir with a spoon,
It's easily done,
Nesquik makes milk fun.
Come on, be a super-shaker,
Nesquik makes milk fun!
All you need to do, is add a mooooo...
Typed that from memory of 1970s adverts. Thinking about it now, it suggests you stir with a spoon, but that you should be a super-shaker. Does that imply making it in a cocktail shaker? "Miss Moneypenny, I'll have the strawberry Nesquik, shaken not stirred..."
I did thanks.
"That packaging decision, as explained by the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR), led to "a complaint from a concerned parent after their child thought the can of Choc Milk Stout in the fridge was a can of Nestle's chocolate milk product, Milo"."
Doesn't say who's fridge that was. A shop's fridge? Their fridge? Their friend's fridge?
I'm not sure how these companies get away with packaging their product to look like one made by another manufacturer in the first place. I'm sure if Nestle had got wind of it, it might have resulted in a sueball coming their way, so perhaps this was a better result for the brewery in the long run.
The story doesn't even say the child actually open the can or drank any of it. It just says: "a complaint from a concerned parent after their child thought the can of Choc Milk Stout in the fridge was a can of Nestle's chocolate milk product, Milo".
So me thinks this 'concerned parent' got $$ in their eyes thinking they could get a big payout if it went to court. As if it was in their fridge at home then they obviously didn't see the packaging was an issue when they bought it.
Then again, Nestle are known to be one of the most unethical companies in the world. Their past track record is unenviable:
There's also growing concern over Purina/Felix cat food (Purina are owned by Nestle) as the recipe has recently been changed and some people have found their cats becoming ill after eating the new recipe, with some even stating that it has killed their cats.
Apparently, it's been reported that the previous "meat" content of the food has now been replaced by something derived from crushed insects! I'm not sure exactly how true any of this is, but given Nestle's track record, nothing would surprise me about that company.
Here in CA Marijuana/CBD "edibles" (usually sweet) are legal, as well as other mongrels such MJ spiked coffee.
That really is a huge danger to kids because the taste is that of a normal brownie (for example).
But I can't imagine a kid expecting chocolate milk to do anything else than spit out chocolate beer.
Furthermore, they've hijacked the word "edibles" - which use to mean stuff you put in your mouth in order to sustain life.
If they taste like a "normal" brownie, either too little cannabis in the recipe, or its a really nasty over sweet recipe used, as cannabis adds a hint of bitterness to a brownie flavour.
Though my taste preference is not for over sweet brownies, & appears to be a minority view as over sweetened biscuits, cakes etc. seems the norm
I'm not a fan of the overly sweet stuff, but Youngs Double Chocolate Stout hits the spot. A vanila note to the stout without being sweet or overpowering. I've tried a few where the brewer has turned the dial to 11 and the result is only usable in cooking. Or for emptying a pub if that's all you're serving...
I don't object to novelty beers, provided always that one can purchase something that would have been recognized as beer by previous generations. A couple of years ago, we ate at a restaurant owned by the Dogfish Head brewery in Delaware. One had to look closely at the list to find a beer that didn't have grapefruit, jicama, sea salt, or some other odd ingredient. It was the more annoying in that Dogfish Head (since bought out) could produce perfectly fine beers.
It's not like the same hasn't happened in the UK regarding colourful nice can designs that some busybody thinks would appeal to a child.
Right. And that child, upon taking a sip (if they manage to open the can that is, ring pulls are difficult for the younger children) would continue to drink something that was clearly not what they were expecting or like? Nah.
A little bit exotic. If you're ever in Shanghai (yes, unlikely for the next couple of years at least, I think), the King Louis Imperial Stout at the Boxing Cat pub - branches in the French Concession and Xintiandi districts. I was there in late 2019 (and didn't bring anything back - honest).
Closer to home (and about as sweet as I'd want): The Seven Brothers Brewery, Salford, produce Sling it Out Stout, made with the help of upcycled Coco Pops.
I used to have a desert made with Kahlua, Baileys, cold instant coffee made up with milk and vanilla ice cream with chocolate sprinkles/a flake, and a straw served in a tall dessert glass (knickerbocker glory glass)
One could rarely finish a glass... by the time one got to the bit you could eat with a spoon, a Baileys coma was rapidly approaching.
No chocolate to be had, the original had the last of some chocolate malt in it but I dispensed for this version. 3G of oatmeal stout brewed by yours truly. Just polished off a glass. A generous dollop of mandarina bavaria hops combined with roasted malt and oats (malt & flaked) gives marmalade on toast.
I’m going to add this one to my repertoire, version 2 hits the money.