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The Beer Thread

Professor Rob

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My favourites have of late been Chinese beers- Harbin (no longer sold in Tescos AARGH!) and Tsingtao, which still thankfully is.

Both are dry (ish) and not overpowering in flavour, very refreshing and clean tasting, quite light. Lovely stuff.

Still only brewed in China too- not doing an awful lot for global warming having it shipped over to the UK but does a lot of Masu cooling so thats OK!

Give them a try if you come across them.

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In my local chinese supermarket Harbin can be bough for 60p per 330ml bottle as opposed to 1.10 for Tsingtao. I've always wondered why

60p! it was over £2 in Tesco, one of the few beers they never seemed to reduce in price.

Actually I think this was 660ml bottles (the ones with the cloth cover).. but I am still gutted they stopped selling it.

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I tried what's claimed to be the world's most bitter beer at a local ale festival at the weekend: Pitstop's The Hop. It's 8.0% and registers 323 International Bittering Units (IBUs) if that means anything to anyone. I love real ale, but could barely manage more than a couple of mouthfuls of this. The aftertaste...oh, god... the aftertaste! Like liquified burning rubber.

Good job they were handing out free pasties at closing time to soothe my tastebuds.

Here's a brief news report.

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I wonder how you measure bitterness.


The International Bittering Units scale, or simply IBU scale, provides a measure of the bitterness of beer, which is provided by the hops used during brewing. Bittering units are measured through the use of a spectrophotometer and solvent extraction.

This technique was adopted at the same time as another method based on measuring the concentration (in milligrams per liter; parts per million w/v) of isomerized α acids in a beer, causing some confusion among small-scale brewers. The American Society of Brewing Chemists, in the introduction to its methods on measuring bitterness, points out some differences between the results of the two methods:

While the results of the IAA [isomerized α acids] methods are practically identical to those obtained by the BU method for beer brewed with fresh hops, the IAAs of beer brewed with old or poorly stored hops, and with certain special hop extracts, can be significantly lower than the BU figure.

The bittering effect is less noticeable in beers with a high quantity of malt, so a higher IBU is needed in heavier beers to balance the flavor. For example, an Imperial Stout may have an IBU of 50, but will taste less bitter than an English Bitter with an IBU of 30, because the latter beer uses much less malt than the former. The technical limit for IBU's is around 100; some have tried to surpass this number, but there is no real gauge after 100 IBUs when it comes to taste threshold. Light lagers without much bitterness will generally have 5 IBUs, while an India Pale Ale may have 100 IBUs or more.

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They had that at The Palace in Leeds a few weeks ago, it's bloody gorgeous.

Currently obssessed with this shop in Leeds, Beer Ritz it is absolutely amazing. Check out the selection :wub: .

Highly recommend the two Brooklyn Brewery/Schneiderweisse beers.

Dark Galleon is and was indeed lovely. Very, very nice indeed. Yum. Sigh... Yes. Mmmm....

Anyhow shopped at Beer Ritz last year to buy some bottles for my dad (who allegedly collects the labels. I think it's a ruse myself) and they were ace. One wasn't in stock at time of sending so they phoned up and offered lots of alternative options. Highly recommended. Also they do the less easy to find flavours of Leffe which are fab, especially Radieusse.

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My local organic shop for some reason has an amazing beer section too. Mostly Northern brews, but anyway, for the first time ever I saw a bottled Barley Wine. This stuff infact -


Barley Wine is one of those sort of forgotten brew styles, in all the years of drinking I've got through I've never seen it on sale anywhere. And it's lovely, strong but with a really interesting taste. A real winter warmer, one of those beers that puts a glow on you. I've heard it's a bit of a 50/50 with most people when they try Barley wine. I'm definately going to hunt out a couple of others though. I believe the brewery is going to have the Red version out in a couple of weeks.

Which kind of leads me on to this - Milk Stout form the same brewery. Not seen a milk stout before so I was eager to try iy. Not to my taste unfortunately, not as sweet as i thought it might be, thankfully. But a little bland.

Currently polishing off a couple of Robinson's 'Old Tom'.

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Barley Wine is one of those sort of forgotten brew styles, in all the years of drinking I've got through I've never seen it on sale anywhere.

It's not forgotten by all those tramps drinking it on a street corner near you ;)

Sadly, Barley Wine fell into disrepute and a bastardised version is often sold as super-strength beer/lager in corner shops. I do like to try good ones when I see them at festivals - Hog's Back "A over T" is a good one (9%odd). Adnam's "Tally-Ho" is a classic of the style, and this is the time to find it, although if you can find it in February or March after it has matured in the cask for a couple of months it'll be even better (albeit also of now-indeterminate strength!).

Harvey's Christmas Ale sort of tastes like a sour barley wine to me. That sounds disgusting, but I love it.

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  • 2 months later...

Tesco are currently doing a rather excellent American Double IPA under their Finest range, brewed by the lovely folk at Brewdog. It's bold, fruity, sharp and fresh, and all that other wine tasting shite. Best bit? At 9% and £1.99 it makes a quite excellent alternative to a post-work glass of vino.

Might try making a stew with it...

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  • 3 weeks later...

Recently most the pubs around me who generally mainly pander to a younger clientèle have starting actively selling doombar in dedicated pint glasses, beer mats etc.... Noticed it early last year being promoted in older pubs, seems to be doing good business for a bitter.

Overall its smells and tastes quite nice but it takes a while for some of the staff to learn to pull the pints properly with them doing it like larger instead of pulling most of the pint, collecting payment, then finishing off and serving.


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Doombar has gone mad in the last few years, went from seeing it once in a while in beardy real ale pubs to everywhere. If it's kept right it's a lovely pint.

Yeah it's everywhere isn't it? Nice though to see decent beers exploding on the scene. I'm seeing a lot of summer lightning round here too, as well as Brewers Gold which is just amazing.


If I had to choose just one beer to drink for the rest of my life it'd be between this and London Pride.

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