Archive for December 18th, 2007

The Takeover Panel has now given the Dutch and the Danes a deadline to make an offer for Scottish & Newcastle.

The consortium must announce a firm intention to make, or not to make, an offer before 12 noon on 21 January 2008.

Heineken and Carlberg claim to welcome this decision. I don’k know how deeply felt this welcome is.

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Another beer blogger

Check out Relentless Thirst, musings of a cerevisaphile. Some interesting thoughts about the American giant brewers moving into what they call craft beer, for excample. Cheers, Eric!

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The hype and the reality

Sometimes I am puzzled by the gap between the marketing hype for beers and reality as known to me – the beer itself. Usually this applies to mass market lagers where the elaborate ads spin a story about something else (anything else!) than the bland beer they are brewing.

But sometimes there are smaller breweries that go over the top. I bought a bottle of a barley wine from the Old Bear Brewery at the Pig’s Ear beer festival the other week. I later came across this glowing press release

Yorkshire’s Old Bear Brewery has taken the wraps of its latest creation – a 12.5% ABV ale that is thought to be Britain’s strongest regularly brewed bottled beer.
Duke of Brontë was created by head brewer Ian Cowling, and is described as light copper coloured, with a “smoky” flavour and warming after taste.
It was initially put together as a one-off draught brew for a music and beer festival in Derby earlier this year, and since then it has appeared at various beer festivals.
Ian Cowling has spent the past few months fine tuning the brew, and has now launched it in 330ml bottles, although it is available in cask form if requested.
He said: “The sheer strength of Duke of Brontë essentially dictates that it is best suited to bottling. It went down really well at the beer festivals, but once word got out we had many enquiries from specialist off-licences asking for it in bottles.
“I’m really proud of Duke of Brontë. We do a guest beer every month in addition to our regular range of seven ales, but it didn’t take us long to realised that we’d hit on something that was worth pursuing.

Well, I opened my bottle on Saturday, hoping for a decent beer. My tasting notes:

Hazy brown with a rapidly disappearing head. A strong tobacco flavour overpowering everything. It was impossible to finish.

Anyone else tried this?

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To India with an IPA

As most of you will know, beer writer Pete Brown has travelled from England to India via South America with a keg of IPA to recreate the journey these beers had 150 years ago.

He has documented the voyage in his blog, and there is a book to be published in 2009. A sampler from the blog:

So it was up to me to tap the keg. As the journos started to arrive, I attached the custom-built keg coupler and pushed down…

At this point I should probably mention that the function suite at the Deputy High Commission had just been extensively redecorated. The smell of fresh paint still filled the room. The suite wasn’t officially reopened yet, and was open early especially as a huge favour to us.

 more at Pete’s blog.

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The 2007 beer photo

This photo is nicked from Alan’s blog and Stonch’s blog, and it is the winner of the photo contest run by these two blogs over the last month or so. The picture is taken by John Lewinton and it’s called Two Pints of Bitter. Go over to the other blogs to see it in full size!

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