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Great Britain Beers of Great Britain and Ireland?

Discussion in 'Europe' started by BrewddhistDrunk, Mar 26, 2013.

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  1. BrewddhistDrunk

    BrewddhistDrunk Initiate (0) Mar 2, 2013 Iowa

    this is mainly for those living across the pond or to those who have visited before, but i'm vacationing in ireland and britain in a couple months and am hoping to drink some of the finest beers these countries have to offer. i've had a lot of the stuff they export over here and enjoyed most of it (guinness, fullers, youngs, samuel smiths, st peters) but i'd like to try some quality brews that aren't available in the states. any suggestions?

    also if you know of any good pubs to check out that would be a bonus :grinning: i'm not 100% sure where i'll be yet i know london, shannon, and dublin for sure... it will be mainly southern ireland. cheers! :slight_smile:
  2. SupremePie

    SupremePie Initiate (0) Sep 30, 2012 Vermont

    I had the pleasure of sharing a couple of bottles with a couple of beer junkies visiting from across the pond a few months ago. Amongst the bottles they brought were a few by a company called Brew By Numbers, and absolutely blew me away. Their Double Berliner Weiss was absolutely phenomenal and has sparked a desire to seek out and try as many of their brews as possible, a journey which, much to my chagrin, has gained zero momentum. I really can't express how much I enjoyed that brew, on par with many of the limited release Hill Farmstead offerings I have been fortunate enough to try
    BrewddhistDrunk likes this.
  3. GuzzLah

    GuzzLah Initiate (0) Mar 2, 2013 Illinois

    Why don't we get any small/craft beers from the UK, or do we? The UK beer selection here seems the same as it did 10 years ago.
  4. BedetheVenerable

    BedetheVenerable Meyvn (1,023) Sep 5, 2008 Missouri

    Dunno where you're gonna be in England, but try to get some Black Sheep brews on cask (particularly the Riggwelter, but they're all excellent!) and perhaps nab a bottle or two of Durham Brewery's offerings, as some of them are quite tasty. I have a soft spot in my heart for Robinson's Old Tom as well, which is fairly easy to find in bottles. Drink low-gravity, traditional-style ales on cask, as we don't really do those types of beers stateside very often and they're often quite wonderful!
    jmw and BrewddhistDrunk like this.
  5. BrewddhistDrunk

    BrewddhistDrunk Initiate (0) Mar 2, 2013 Iowa

    I'll be on the lookout for BBN thanks, sweet prof pic too hendrix? i dig :sunglasses:
  6. BrewddhistDrunk

    BrewddhistDrunk Initiate (0) Mar 2, 2013 Iowa

    nice thanks i will check em all out, i have had black sheep (bottled) but not the riggwelter. yeah the real ale from the cask is my main priority i cant wait! i will mostly be in ireland but as far as england it will be probably 2-3 days in london and bath.
  7. Sudsday

    Sudsday Initiate (0) Mar 18, 2013 Texas

    This is a thread I'll be watching closely, as I will be traveling to both Cork and London soon. Keep 'em coming!
  8. BottleCaps80

    BottleCaps80 Zealot (595) Jan 12, 2013 Iowa
    Beer Trader

    Killkenny Irish Red
  9. ghostwalker

    ghostwalker Crusader (757) Sep 3, 2005 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    The Kernel, right there in London. They make a great variety of tasty stuff! Wish they would start sending them over this way.
  10. GennyCreamAle

    GennyCreamAle Initiate (0) Feb 25, 2009 New York

    It's my understanding that the best UK offerings are all cask ales that cannot possibly make it over here in time to be any good. Everything we happen to get in bottles is subpar and anything Nitro is pure evil.
  11. tendermorsel

    tendermorsel Initiate (0) Oct 22, 2006 Massachusetts

    Kernel, Marble, Thornbridge and Brodies are all upstart English breweries that are really doing some great things lately. I freaking love the Kernel. You are a damn fool if you are visiting London and there on Saturday afternoon and don't go to the brewery. They do an awesome job with IPA's in particular using southern hemisphere hops. I also loved Brodies London Sour. lacto-cask beer? Yes please.

    Honestly I think the beer scene in London is ready to explode. I have noticed a huge difference in just 4 years. New bars, new breweries importing and availability of foreign/non cask beers. I my last trip I may have ticked more delicious beer in London than in Belgium. Lot's of great stuff happening in England... It's just under the radar on "this" site.
    Bitterbill and BrewddhistDrunk like this.
  12. tendermorsel

    tendermorsel Initiate (0) Oct 22, 2006 Massachusetts

    In many ways I agree that it would be great to see the Kernel here. I love there stuff. I worry that bottles would just sit around on the shelves in the states like Thornbridge does around here now. The sell it for 4-5 pounds a bottle (6-8 USD) @ the brewery too so I fear that the price would be obnoxious here after importing. Lastly there best stuff is there hoppy stuff and that doesn't always travel across the Atlantic well.

    I doubt Evan will import here anytime soon. There is a huge demand for his beers in Europe. More places in Spain NL and Belgium are carrying there stuff all the time. He doesn't need to send stuff stateside. I did hear rumors of a Struise/Kernel collaboration last fall which would be pretty sick.

    Personally I would love to see them come out to BA fest here in Boston. I think that they would be very well received in that type of environment.
  13. lucas1801

    lucas1801 Initiate (0) Apr 5, 2012 Massachusetts

    Spectrum, Thornbridge, Fyne Ales, Cairngorm, Bristol Beer, Breconshire, etc would be a decent start.
    Bitterbill and Zimbo like this.
  14. BrewddhistDrunk

    BrewddhistDrunk Initiate (0) Mar 2, 2013 Iowa

    The Kernel and Brodie's are now both definitely on my list. as for the others id like to try them but my time in england will be limited to london and bath so if they are only available locally i will be out of luck. would still love to hear other suggestions from ireland especially :grinning: thanks for everyone's input so far!
  15. marquis

    marquis Crusader (741) Nov 20, 2005 United Kingdom (England)

    Bath Ales brew some interesting beers.
    Some of our breweries specialise in US influenced styles, and good as they are there's no point in going abroad and drinking the sort of thing you can get at home.Buy a Good Beer Guide and see which pubs are recommended where you are going , the Guide isn't the Bible but it's at least compiled by people who judge pubs on their merits and not because the pubs buy their entries.
  16. Zimbo

    Zimbo Initiate (0) Aug 7, 2010 United Kingdom (Scotland)

    You'll likely tire of the beer 'choice' in Ireland quite quickly.
    Edinburgh is a good destination where most of Scotland's best breweries and beers are showcased in the many pubs. Plus there's the Hanging Bat (6 cask and 14 draft keg choices) and even the slowly being forgotten about BrewDog bar in the Cowgate.
    Hoppsbabo and BrewddhistDrunk like this.
  17. Aye

    Aye Aspirant (239) Jul 21, 2011 United Kingdom (England)

    Bath Ales pubs were my go to watering holes when I knocked about Bristol. Bristol is a kick in the pants from Bath and I highly recommend a trip to The Merchants Arms, The Bag Of Nails, The White Lion, Zero Degrees and The Three Tuns, I hear good things about The Salamander in Bath too.
    Arbor Ales, Bristol Beer Factory, Wickwar Brewing are worth looking out for.

    As for London, the Borough Market area seems to be a Mecca of late. Utobeer beer stall, The Rake and the Market Porter are all within the market itself. Someone else with more up to date experience of the place can fill you in on pubs like Craft....
    BrewddhistDrunk likes this.
  18. Aye

    Aye Aspirant (239) Jul 21, 2011 United Kingdom (England)

  19. Padraig

    Padraig Initiate (181) Jan 14, 2013 New York
    Beer Trader

    They best ones are stretched enough serving their local markets (sound familiar?).

    Of course if US BAs were more willing to trade and get over their "Cantillon or nuthin, bro" fixation they might turn up at tastings are the like over there more often.

    Brew By Numbers do some some pretty great saisons as well.
    CwrwAmByth likes this.
  20. CwrwAmByth

    CwrwAmByth Poo-Bah (1,725) Jan 24, 2011 United Kingdom (England)

    It depends really what you want to go for.

    Obviously as has already been said you can get some really great cask ale, of which you don't really have anything similar too across the pond. The london BAs will probably be able to point you to the right direction for them, as it mostly depends on the pub and cellaring qualities.

    On the other hand, recently we've had loads of breweries start up that you would probably call "craft" style breweries. In that they experiment a lot, and have their core range on bottles as well as cask and keg, with lots of good IPAs and big stouts too, all in all you can tell they're going for big flavours. These breweries would include (from London): Kernel, Beavertown, Partizan, and others which I've generally found to be more of a hit and miss quality.

    Others which are great that you should be able to get in London on tap in places like the Cask Pub and Kitchen and Craft Beer co, are Summer Wine, Tiny Rebel, Wild Beer Co, Magic Rock, Buxton, Moor, Arbor amongst others (including all the Scottish ones Zimbo can tell you about, not including Brewdog!). You can always ask London BAs to get some bottles in for you to trade for as well, as there are some great harder-to-get beers, the kind you crafty yanks always love, like BA Imperial Stouts etc, as well as breweries which don't distribute very widely.

    Let me know when you're in London and if you like I might be able to get you some nice Welsh stuff.
    BrewddhistDrunk likes this.
  21. CwrwAmByth

    CwrwAmByth Poo-Bah (1,725) Jan 24, 2011 United Kingdom (England)

    This would be one of the main reasons I wouldn't want it to travel over. The decrease in quality would be pretty severe, as stuff like the IPAs only has a BBD of 3 months after bottling, so it's almost guaranteed to be out of date by the time you get it. Most US beers we get over here are past there prime at least. I.e. a local shop is still adding SN Southern Hop Harvest from last summer to the shelves!
  22. Padraig

    Padraig Initiate (181) Jan 14, 2013 New York
    Beer Trader

    I was looking at a can of Flying Dog Snake Dog last night. Somehow once it travels over the Atlantic it goes from having a 140 day best before window to a full year.

  23. CwrwAmByth

    CwrwAmByth Poo-Bah (1,725) Jan 24, 2011 United Kingdom (England)

    I've noticed some US beers just don't have a BBD on anymore. That or it's quite hard to find on the bottle.
  24. BrewddhistDrunk

    BrewddhistDrunk Initiate (0) Mar 2, 2013 Iowa

    awesome stuff thanks to everyone for contributing. im not sure ill be able to trade while im there im going with family who arent really interested in beer (except my brother) so its mainly sightseeing and some golfing while i try to work in as much drinking as possible. ive got a lot of great spots added to my list now, a couple more places in ireland that we may be visiting are cork and ballybunion if anyone is familiar with these areas.
  25. breda7

    breda7 Initiate (0) Nov 21, 2010 United Kingdom (England)

    try to visit yorkshire in the north some great small breweries with superb beers. get to bradford and i'll buy you a pint
    BrewddhistDrunk likes this.
  26. BrewddhistDrunk

    BrewddhistDrunk Initiate (0) Mar 2, 2013 Iowa

    thanks i appreciate the offer but im only going to be in the south unfortunately. im not the brains behind the trip Im more or less along for the ride trying to maximize the beer consumption along the way. cheers
  27. Robert_N

    Robert_N Initiate (0) Apr 10, 2012 United Kingdom (Wales)

    Those suggestions are OK but let's face it you are really looking for the inside track, so here it is...
    There is a very rare beer called Doom Bar, keep an eye out for it and if you are lucky enough to see it then drink it while you have the chance, you never know when you might see it again.
    Please don't tell too many people about this as I don't want all the whalez hunters to keep posting threads about where they can find "Doomy B" when they visit this side of the pond and drinking it all up.
  28. jmw

    jmw Initiate (0) Feb 4, 2009 North Carolina

    I may be daft but is this a joke?

    OP, look for the pub that has a good cellarman and drink whatever they have on cask. It will all be quite new and a good time for you. Naming names of particular beers at your level of experience with the UK (e.g. none) will only have you chasing after false whales. A good pub will have good beer--just drink that.
    My only other suggestions: don't expect 9% barrel aged anything, as that is an American insecurity, and don't for gods sakes ask for a 'Scottish ale'.
  29. BrewddhistDrunk

    BrewddhistDrunk Initiate (0) Mar 2, 2013 Iowa

    haha preeeetty sure that was a joke :wink: but you're right the cask ale is really my focus in england but most of my time is going to be in ireland and i'm not sure they do much cask? (correct me if i'm wrong).. not chasing whales just looking for some good suggestions of which i've already got quite a few. i actually didnt realize they were brewing as many american style ales as they are in england. might grab a couple nice bottles of these but the experience of cask is a unique one i'm looking forward to the most.
  30. BrewddhistDrunk

    BrewddhistDrunk Initiate (0) Mar 2, 2013 Iowa

    in dublin there's a lot of great spots you guys have suggested and that i've read about but what's the outlook for the rest of the country, especially the southwest coast.. because we may not even make it to dublin and if we do it will just be for a day. is it going to be mostly guinness? i've found a couple that seemed nice but it looks like they have been bought out or no longer brew themselves. did find one in cork called the franciscan well that looks promising and in tipperary the white gypsy. will be traveling around killarney, tralee, lehinch, doolin, lisdoonvarna and want any local flavor possible along the way.
  31. Ruds

    Ruds Initiate (0) Sep 15, 2008 United Kingdom (England)

    Burren Brewery who brew from the Roadside Tavern, Lisdoonvarna - as good as you'll get in those parts
    BrewddhistDrunk likes this.
  32. BrewddhistDrunk

    BrewddhistDrunk Initiate (0) Mar 2, 2013 Iowa

    yeah i did see that one i think we'll probably drop by there, there's a nice spot with fresh smoked salmon nearby i guess so that sounds pretty damn good to me
  33. breda7

    breda7 Initiate (0) Nov 21, 2010 United Kingdom (England)

    doom bar rare? its in my local at least once a month and i live in bradford
  34. Aye

    Aye Aspirant (239) Jul 21, 2011 United Kingdom (England)

    Look, not all of us are lucky enough to have access to Doomy McBar on the reg, don't rub it in.
    I can get some sweet small batch Deuchars if you're down to trade?
    ImperialStoat likes this.
  35. CwrwAmByth

    CwrwAmByth Poo-Bah (1,725) Jan 24, 2011 United Kingdom (England)

    Lucky :slight_frown:
  36. BrewddhistDrunk

    BrewddhistDrunk Initiate (0) Mar 2, 2013 Iowa

    haha wait the doom bar is a real thing? i thought he was just fukkin around hah
  37. jmw

    jmw Initiate (0) Feb 4, 2009 North Carolina

    it's a beer
  38. shyhenry

    shyhenry Initiate (158) Oct 11, 2010 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    To fill you in, Doom Bar is a bitter that's pretty ubiquitous in the UK. It's a safe, boring beer made by a brewery that's owned by Molson Coors. Something like Blue Moon would be its US equivalent.

    Even though jmw seems to be a dirty spurs supporter, I have to agree with him. Finding good pubs that know how treat cask beer is far more important than chasing specific beers. Most good pubs rotate their cask lineup like crazy anyway, so there's no reason to send you on a wild goose chase.

    London now has something like 40 different breweries. Be sure to drink as much of our local stuff as possible when you're visiting. Visit the Kernel and Partizan breweries if you have a Saturday morning spare. The Union Tavern near Portobello Road almost exclusively serves beer brewed within the M25. There's a load of great pubs in London that are mentioned in other London-focussed threads in this sub-forum, so feel free to utilize this site's search function. Cheers!
    BrewddhistDrunk likes this.
  39. BrewddhistDrunk

    BrewddhistDrunk Initiate (0) Mar 2, 2013 Iowa

    hahah thanks for the explanation i could sense the sarcasm but didnt quite get it. appreciate the info i look forward to seeing how its done in the motherland, cheers!
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