Dave, this "bud's" for you - bacon flavored beer:
Now, life just got better!
I'm trying out the Young's Double Chocolate Stout as I type. I was at Whole Foods (aka Whole Paycheck),did a search on my new Samsung Galaxy S3 smartphone for the Lounge,your post,and the link while at the imported beer section.
Bacon will have to wait another day.
Ain't technnology wonderful though?
Young's Dbl. Chocolate is a great Ale. It's probably classified as a Stout, and has a bit more body, than most Taddy Porters do.
Some years ago, we attended a beer tasting, where the chef prepared a dish for about 10 ales, beers, Stouts and Porters. One of his signature desserts was his Chipolte Chili Flourless Chocolate Tart. It was paired with the Young's, and was a beautiful pairing. We adjusted my wife's Flourless Chocolate Tart a bit, and served that at several parties. After a half-dozen wines with the meal, I brought this guy out in a "thistle glass," and everyone just looked at me. One comment was "Hunt, your wine's got a head on it!" I think that I handed out a dozen recipes, with Young's Dbl. Choc. spelled out, plus a few local stores, that usually handled it, over a few months. Love that pairing!
PS - sort of in the same vein, try Samuel Smith's Taddy Porter too.
PPS - if you have been doing that one in a Pilsner glass, try to pick up a couple thistle glasses. Room & Board (US) had those in good quality, at a really fair price. Other retailers should have them too, and especially with the popularity of Belgians, and richer beers/ales.
Not sure why my mind has gone to brews (maybe this thread, or July 4th, here in the US), but want to throw out another Young's - the Old Nick's is a good one too!
In our AZ, USA, heat, might break out the thistle glasses, and pour come Chamays?
I'm just trying out different brews,Bill. I'm in Berkeley,and there's plenty of imported beers and wines at my local supermarket. I'm not commited to getting proper glasses or matching these drinks to the correct foods as of yet.
Anyway, I do keep my eyes open when you mention the ales,wines and various other brews you try out.
Thanks for the tips! Now I'll finish off that Double Chocolate I saved from last night. It's pretty good.
Got one more for you, then I'll leave you alone to just taste.
Thomas Hardy's Ale. It is a bit closer to a barleywine, than most common ales, and will have a "Brewed in ____ " date on the label. It ages wonderfully in a wine cellar. I'd get smaller bottles of it, if found, as it's like Port wine - a little goes a long way. Now, I drink those in my Port glasses (copitas), like my Tawny, or Vintage Port. Lovely ale.
In Berkeley, you should be able to find it, though probably not at a grocery store - I'd try an imported beer shop.
If you can find a couple of "vintages," grab one of each, and do a side-by-side tasting. I've got 'em going back to about 1987, though there are now some big holes in the "verticals."
In my area of the US, we are blessed to have quite a few offerings from Samuel Smith's represented, plus also many brews from throughout the UK (I am using that term rather broadly, and mean no disrespect to, say Northern Ireland). Some areas of the US are not nearly so fortunate, at least IMHO.
One producer, who is not so well-represented is Fuller's. I pass them by, both into and out of London, and really, really need to stop in for a tour. Those that I have sampled have been quite good.
The growth of the mega-breweries - InBev, Diageo (aka Guinness), Heineken, Carlsberg, Scottish Courage - who also control most of the distribution network and outlet properties (pubs, restaurants, hotels, &c.) has almost killed real ale. Fortunately, they failed and small independent groups have doggedly ensured traditional beers have survived. The growth of micro-breweries is very encouraging, and on my travels (UK, Belgium, Aus, Canada) I've seen original small breweries re-furbished and flourishing, and entrepreneurs take on the challenge of starting new ones. This is very good news, particularly as the corporate international brands become blander.
CAMRA in the UK advocates on real ale, community pubs and consumer rights. http://www.camra.org.uk/ I was a member in the 80s but sadly I've let my membership lapse. (Slaps wrist).
I recently visited the Granville Island Brewery in Vancouver http://gib.ca/beer/ and enjoyed their beers, particularly the more traditional beers, even though they seemed expensive by UK prices.
Meanwhile, Iechyd da!
BTW, all Guinness is now brewed in Dublin. Everyday about 9:30am a ship arrives here from Dublin and some dozen 30,000 litre tankers disembark. The thought of it is enough to put me off Guinness!
You know, the conglomeratization (is that a real word?) of UK/Euro brews had pretty much escaped my notice - duh! I saw it in the US, and also with world wines, but just did not pay close attention to "foreign" brews. Thank you for pointing that out to me.
In the US, we saw the "majors" take over, scooping up smaller breweries, and basically homogenizing the products into 3 or 4, even if the old names were still on the can/bottle. Over the last few decades, patrons have flocked to the micro and macro-breweries, in great number. Most are doing quite well, and many have developed a cult status. I happened to live in one of the US epi-centers of craft beers, so got to see and experience it first-hand. Finally, be "big-guys" did take notice, and started to explore more artistic endeavors for their products. Many of their bean counters realized that there was a whole new world, outside of Bud-Lite. Going back to the mid-90's, even Coors took note. They hired a young brewmaster from a micro-brewery, and gave him carte blanche with doing the craft-brews at their newly opened Coors Field. Though his paycheck came from Coors Corporate, he was instructed to do his own thing, and not to ever answer to corporate accounting, or marketing. That was a real dream job in that he had virtually unlimited capital, was his own boss, following his own dream. Not sure how it is today, but his brews were always voted the best at any US ballpark, and I knew many people, who attended the ball games (the Rockies were still pretty bad, in those days), just for the brews.
It is not too far from what I have observed over the last few decades in the UK, where US and multi-national corporations bought up pubs, especially around London. They became "Applebee's," but with cool decor - same old, same old, with no spirit, or character - just neat architecture. Finding a stand-alone, owner-driven pub, became a real treasure hunt for me. However, when I found one, it WAS a treat. Those few also offered craft-brews, most of which, I had never heard of, nor tasted.
Thanks for giving me a better perspective on breweries in UK/Europe. I still have so much to learn.
Europe, Middle East and Africa