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12 hours ago, minstrels said:

That's awesome @jimmbob!

 

I booked my Certified Cicerone written exam a couple of weeks back. June 25th. Just over two months to study but I'm absolutely bricking it! :omg:

 

Oh that sounds really interesting, I didn't know it was a thing! Are you doing it for professional reasons or  for fun?

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5 hours ago, PK said:

 

Oh that sounds really interesting, I didn't know it was a thing! Are you doing it for professional reasons or  for fun?

Just for fun. I've already had a semi successful brewing career and I've got no intentions to go back to it. :)

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Cloud water are putting 8 beers in tesco, contract brewed at brewdog. 

 

A 4 pack of collabs with minority owned businesses with cloud water and brewdog not taking a profit. 

 

Then their core range is being discontinued and a replaced by new recipes for tesco. 

 

I think it's a good thing, obviously supermarkets are bad but they are also inevitable. Raising the profile of queer and black owned breweries and shielding them from the supermarkets bullshit is a really good way for cloud water and brewdog to use their position to help the industry. 

 

It also gets cloud water to more people, and makes their basic range accessible. I'm looking forward to being able to pick up some cloudwater if I fancy a decent ipa after work when the bottle shop is closed. 

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That's a bit of a reductive attitude to be honest. Non alcoholic beers are actually on the rise in terms of availability and quality. It's a really interesting growth in the market. 

 

Perhaps you like to get drunk every day of the week, but a midweek 0.5% abv beer is a great thing, especially now they aren't just some afterthought or some mass produced becks-blue type crap.

 

Thornbridge Zero Five, Big Drop, To Øl, and many more are putting out some very refreshing, very drinkable beers where you can have a few, still enjoy the taste of craft beer without feeling drunk. It's great for midweek or it's great when you just had a couple of 8% beers and want to slow down a little but still have a drink on the go. So I don't think it should be frowned upon that they're mixing with the alcoholic versions. They're not exclusive drinks.

 

They are also generally quite low calorie. I think a zero five is about 20 or so calories per bottle.

 

Craft breweries are actually putting care and effort in making them still interesting and complex enough to be significant. The amount of alcohol isn't always the thing that makes a drink worth more money. Hops and effort are part of it too so I'm quite happy to pay a significant amount for a decent low ABV beer. It's not even like Seedlip which is just herby water and can feel a little bit overpriced. 

 

Don't get me wrong, I've yet to have a non / low ABV beer I enjoyed as much as some 8% hazy bastard of an IPA. 

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The bottom line is that for me a lot of weaker beers just don't measure up. They lack in substance and body and that's the ones WITH alcohol. I would have happily tried this 4 pack if it was all alcoholic beers, but i'm never going to pay £2.50 for a can of no alcohol beer, and I feel there will be others who share that same opinion. If people want to buy and enjoy a no/low alcohol beer then that is great, but why not do them seperatly? Just feels like defeat from the jaws of victory. 

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11 minutes ago, minstrels said:

Given that the other 6% IPA they're putting into Tesco is £3.50, you're technically getting the low alcohol beer for free.

Eh?? I understood these were 4 unique Cloudwater x minority brewed beers (albeit by Brewdog) that wouldn't be available seperately. 

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I think the point is that the Non Alcoholic Beer costs less but the higher abv beer costs more so you've come out even on the four pack.

I quite like a N/A beer in between the higher ABVs or if I'm driving so it's no problem for me. It's a real shame that N/A beer in this country is really focussed on shit lagers and flavourless pale ales when if you go to a supermarket in Sweden you can pick up all sorts of stuff between 0.5% - 2% that's interesting and flavourful.

They are highlighting the work done by a lesser known brewery that is making those more interesting low ABV beers and I think that's a good thing. 

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Interesting, will definitely pick up this pack at Tesco and give it a go, depending on how widely it's rolled out.

 

The Tesco Extra near me doesn't even have the last lot of craft beers Tesco were supposed to be selling yet, so I'm not holding my breath for this new stuff.

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On 14/04/2021 at 08:41, Gaz said:

Cloud water are putting 8 beers in tesco, contract brewed at brewdog. 

 

A 4 pack of collabs with minority owned businesses with cloud water and brewdog not taking a profit. 

 

Then their core range is being discontinued and a replaced by new recipes for tesco. 

 

I think it's a good thing, obviously supermarkets are bad but they are also inevitable. Raising the profile of queer and black owned breweries and shielding them from the supermarkets bullshit is a really good way for cloud water and brewdog to use their position to help the industry. 

 

It also gets cloud water to more people, and makes their basic range accessible. I'm looking forward to being able to pick up some cloudwater if I fancy a decent ipa after work when the bottle shop is closed. 

 

Thinking about this more, I'm increasingly sad about the move.

 

Yes, they give a lot of nice PR about the collab box (which is available in less than 50% of the shops that their core range is coming to), but it's the move of the whole core range to being brewed at Brewdog that's probably the death of them for me.

 

It's how Beavertown started getting shit, and how Brewdog started getting shit.

 

I don't want to be a pessimist but I would bet a bollock that in twelve months' time the core range available in Tesco is going to be a pale shadow of what it was, it'll be thin, mass produced bland beer like all the other stuff coming out of the vast Brewdog industrial machine.

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11 hours ago, Isaac said:

 

Thinking about this more, I'm increasingly sad about the move.

 

Yes, they give a lot of nice PR about the collab box (which is available in less than 50% of the shops that their core range is coming to), but it's the move of the whole core range to being brewed at Brewdog that's probably the death of them for me.

 

It's how Beavertown started getting shit, and how Brewdog started getting shit.

 

I don't want to be a pessimist but I would bet a bollock that in twelve months' time the core range available in Tesco is going to be a pale shadow of what it was, it'll be thin, mass produced bland beer like all the other stuff coming out of the vast Brewdog industrial machine.


I'm not sure that's exactly how it works - sure I recognise the drop in quality in Beavertown and Brewdog since they entered supermarkets, but that's also aligned with them growing and in Beavertowns case selling half the business to a big manufacturer.

I think it was inevitable at some point that craft beer would cross over fully into the mainstream and that instead of having loads of shit, low quality lagers we'd have loads of shit, low quality pale ales but I think that's to do with breweries growing and taking on investment money and needing to show different figures and results.

If Cloudwater can scale without having to take on shareholders, without having to scale up their own equipment or streamline their processes that's likely to preserve their output.

I've had some really good beer from Tesco, North Brewing's Kreik IPA is one I keep going back to and it's meant I've sought out their stuff at bottle shops too.

 

1 hour ago, memories said:

Blog post from Vault City about going into Tesco.

 

https://vaultcity.co.uk/blogs/news/the-tesco-conversation


This is good - it's nice to see Sour beer getting more accessible.

They make some good points in that blog about how it's helping them to reduce costs overall by having the commitment of a supermarket purchase, so instead of using less fruit in a recipe they can get cheaper fruit because they are buying in bulk.

I guess the risk on the flip side of that is that Tesco make up so much of their profits, and so much of their volume, that it becomes a priority. That's not something Cloudwater will have to worry about by contracting it out.

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There are some great supermarket beers on the go. As Gaz says the NB Kveik is right up therem

 

Northern Monk Faith in the Futures is a current highlight for me, I think it's fantastic and for me it's the best on the shelves.

 

Other good ones from Tesco at the moment are the two Salt beers Huckabuck and Ikat.

 

Morrisons also has some crackers with Salt Tram and Northern Monk Transient both being great beers.

 

Room for both in my eyes, I had this Overtone last night form my local indie shop and it was incredible, just so juicy and tasty.

 

 

 

IMG_20210414_184439.jpg

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Up there with the best beer experiences of my life. First time in Brighton for almost a year, when I’m normally down at least 2 days a month. Wife and kids off meeting friends. Sun shining, just visited my favourite beer shop and a bag full of delectable treats to imbibe. Got a good book to read and the beach is calm. Bliss. Two beers down now. Hoping my wife is happy to cook..

44AB40B8-07F9-4DC4-B847-EA705E8D6939.jpeg

CC85D6FF-F025-4AC2-9212-A13E82200F16.jpeg

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On 14/04/2021 at 22:04, Isaac said:

 

Thinking about this more, I'm increasingly sad about the move.

 

Yes, they give a lot of nice PR about the collab box (which is available in less than 50% of the shops that their core range is coming to), but it's the move of the whole core range to being brewed at Brewdog that's probably the death of them for me.

 

It's how Beavertown started getting shit, and how Brewdog started getting shit.

 

I don't want to be a pessimist but I would bet a bollock that in twelve months' time the core range available in Tesco is going to be a pale shadow of what it was, it'll be thin, mass produced bland beer like all the other stuff coming out of the vast Brewdog industrial machine.

 

 

It's not really comparable to Beavertown though who sold themselves. CW are contract brewing a core range for Tesco and, also, offering game changing huge opportunities to the collaborators. Stacey of RL is ready hopeful that he will finally be able to establish his own actual, physical, brewery rather than cuckooing. I'm sure the other breweries are similarly optimistic but, also, as Lily of QB says, there will be a product on the shelves of Tesco with prominent 'queer' branding and photos of a trans woman on the can. It's genuinely progressive. 

 

I'll try the collabs as I have a lot of time for all the tiny, niche, minority owned breweries and their missions and ambitions but really I, and most of by beer friends, are not the market for these beers. We can happily carry on drinking brewed in MCR Cloudwater whilst they sell the Brew dog beers to an entirely different market. 

 

As for the core range moving to Brewdog and Tesco I'll not really miss it as they release more than enough non core beers across all styles and, currentky, I only drink core beers when sent them in event packs. They know their 'afficianado' market spends more time chasing the novel variants than drinking the core beers. Horses for courses. 

 

Anyways, tonight I am very very much enjoying this (very) dark sour from Toronto wizards, Bellwoods:

 

20210416_205207.thumb.jpg.e8232c5b042be43975f5a158777b190c.jpg

 

 

It's nothing like the aggressive tartness that the name suggests. It's a beautiful, soft, rounded, plummy treat and may well be the best I've had from them. 

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We moved to Newcastle a week ago from London so naturally we want to get all up in to the local breweries. Only really knew about Wylam before. Got a fridge full. 

 

But we discovered an amazing off license / local grocery shop nearby us by Jesmond Dene. Absolutely loads of interesting beers and lots local. 

 

Haaaaanyway... This marmalade and assam ipa from Northern Alchemy is really really lovely. Often these kinds of fruity ipas can be a little cloying or overly citrussy but it's got the perfect balance. You can taste the tea and bitter orange but it's not dominating. The wife is drinking their mango session pale which again tastes fruity without being sweet. 

 

 

IMG_20210417_125257_786.jpg

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On 14/04/2021 at 09:45, cowfields said:

That's a bit of a reductive attitude to be honest. Non alcoholic beers are actually on the rise in terms of availability and quality. It's a really interesting growth in the market. 

 

Perhaps you like to get drunk every day of the week, but a midweek 0.5% abv beer is a great thing, especially now they aren't just some afterthought or some mass produced becks-blue type crap.

 

Thornbridge Zero Five, Big Drop, To Øl, and many more are putting out some very refreshing, very drinkable beers where you can have a few, still enjoy the taste of craft beer without feeling drunk. It's great for midweek or it's great when you just had a couple of 8% beers and want to slow down a little but still have a drink on the go. So I don't think it should be frowned upon that they're mixing with the alcoholic versions. They're not exclusive drinks.

 

They are also generally quite low calorie. I think a zero five is about 20 or so calories per bottle.

 

Craft breweries are actually putting care and effort in making them still interesting and complex enough to be significant. The amount of alcohol isn't always the thing that makes a drink worth more money. Hops and effort are part of it too so I'm quite happy to pay a significant amount for a decent low ABV beer. It's not even like Seedlip which is just herby water and can feel a little bit overpriced. 

 

Don't get me wrong, I've yet to have a non / low ABV beer I enjoyed as much as some 8% hazy bastard of an IPA. 

 

Top consumer advice chap! 

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On 17/04/2021 at 13:03, cowfields said:

We moved to Newcastle a week ago from London so naturally we want to get all up in to the local breweries. Only really knew about Wylam before. Got a fridge full. 

 

But we discovered an amazing off license / local grocery shop nearby us by Jesmond Dene. Absolutely loads of interesting beers and lots local. 

 

Haaaaanyway... This marmalade and assam ipa from Northern Alchemy is really really lovely. Often these kinds of fruity ipas can be a little cloying or overly citrussy but it's got the perfect balance. You can taste the tea and bitter orange but it's not dominating. The wife is drinking their mango session pale which again tastes fruity without being sweet. 

 

 

IMG_20210417_125257_786.jpg

Near Sandyford lane?

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I lived in Northumberland a few years back, Rehills and Coppers in Newcastle are both incredible. I used to make the 30 mile round trip a couple of times a week to buy beer at Coppers. An incredible selection of beers and the prices were great. Could never quite believe how many beers I'd walk out with for the money I paid.

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Oh that's worth a trip then. Coppers are a little further away from me but looks interesting enough to give them a visit. If we ever learn to drive then it'd be a bit easier!

 

Rehills though is 0.5miles from where we live which is so convenient. And the guy serving us looked like he used to be in the Ramones, which was somehow a plus.

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A smaller order than usual for me.

 

image.thumb.png.57a3f40e17bad55b59b6793c9993389c.png

 

Every so often two friends and I club together for a large order from one of the various Irish craft beers sites, this lot being from https://www.craftbeersdelivered.com/ who I can definitely recommend (if you're in the EU or Northern Ireland, anyway - they don't ship to the UK right now). It's got to the point now where I rarely buy beers in the shops, as there's such range available online and I'm at home all the time so delivery is never an issue.

 

Now, I like my imperial stouts - I like a drink that takes some work - and there's some fine ones here. The one on the left is Lervig 3 Bean Stout, a Norwegian beer that comes in at 12% and tastes like heaven. The four white cans are Dark Majik, brewed in Sligo by Lough Gill Brewery. A friend had his stag do in Sligo in 2019 and a few of us arrived there early to get a brewery tour in. Absolutely well worth it, too - the Dark Majik is a lovely imperial, the Chukee Larmz (not shown - it's always sold out!) is a marshamallow stout that tastes like a sweeter, heavier version of Tiny Rebel's Stay Puft, and I'm rather fond of the Cutback, a session IPA that I'll have to get loaded up on when the good weather arrives.

 

To the right of that is Chocolate Ox, a new Lough Gill beer which I've yet to try. Tomorrow!

 

I've not had any of the others yet, either. The White Hag is another County Sligo brewery that was actually founded by the same person that founded Lough Gill. Apparently there was some acrimonious disagreement that lead to the great Sligo beer schism. Or so we were told. They do variety of flavoured stouts like this one, and they're generally decent.

 

The Irish craft beer scene appears to have exploded in recent years, with many different breweries offering all sorts of interesting stuff. Up north, I'm a big fan of Mourne Mountains Brewery whose Hoops & Staves is a delicious (you guessed it) oatmeal stout, and their Moto Psycho Nightmare is a vegan chocolate marble cake stout (again!) that I could do with getting more of. But they also do a variety of pale ales, and much like Boundary Brewing (another decent shout), are always trying new stuff.

 

If I have a favourite, it might be the Lervig. At €6 a can, it's not cheap, but it's so worth it.

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