UK enthusiast looking for American equivalents

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by zid, Feb 13, 2013.

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  1. zid

    zid Champion (867) Feb 15, 2010 New York
    Beer Trader

    I love UK brews, but due to cost and lack of availability, am interested in finding American beers that can come close to scratching that itch on a more regular basis. Beers would ideally be available in NY and in 12 oz. Would love to hear any recommendations for beers that come close to the flavor profiles of (in order of interest):

    Black Sheep Riggwelter, Coniston Bluebird Bitter, Daleside Morocco Ale, Daleside Monkey Wrench, RCH Ale Mary, Theakston Old Peculier, and Harviestoun Old Engine Oil.

  2. jmw

    jmw Initiate (0) Feb 4, 2009 North Carolina

    Yards does some decent approximations, but not necessarily of those particular beers. Good choices though.
    JackHorzempa likes this.
  3. BedetheVenerable

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

    First off, Riggwelter is my all-time favorite brew, and Theakston is up there as well, so I feel your pain.

    Goose Island is available in NY, if I'm remembering correctly? Their Honker's Ale (6-packs, 4.2% English-style bitter) is very good, though w/more late-hopping than many of the bitters I had in England. Still, traditional ingredients, and very English in inspiration. Good stuff. Schlafly Pale Ale (4.4%) is a smooth, English-style bitter, though w/a lower hop presence, both in terms of bitterness and flavor/aroma. Also quite good, but I'm not sure if you can get it there in NY.

    The sad truth is that if you're a hardcore British ale fan (as I am) there's just not much Stateside (at least that I've found yet) that can do those beers justice. It's honestly a HUGE part of what got me into homebrewing. I now brew predominantly English session or session-ish beers (3.0%-4.5% abv) brews, because they're what I love, and they're really tough to get here. It requires a decent output of time and (startup) money (to do it right, we're talking somewhere between $200-400) but the rewards are sizable.
  4. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Defender (664) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts

    I just brewed an English Bitter for the same reasons, but it's only my second homebrew. Any recommendations? Definitely interested in the same beers 3 - 4% abv bitters, milds.
  5. champ103

    champ103 Poo-Bah (3,874) Sep 3, 2007 Texas
    Beer Trader

    Depending on where you are, you can find Harviestoun Old Engine Oil in the States. Most of the Ola Dubhs as well.
    Mediczod likes this.
  6. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,122) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    To springboard off what jmw posted, Yards makes excellent English Style Ales: ESA, Brawler (an English Mild) and Love Stout (an English Stout). They use English Malts and English yeast strains to make these beers.

    I also consider their beers of the Revolution as being English style: Jefferson Tavern Ale and Washington Tavern Porter.

    The advantages of drinking US craft brewed English styles beer is lower cost and fresher product; and I personally think fresher product is the ‘real’ winner!


    P.S. If you can get ESA on cask that beer really, really shines on cask!
    TongoRad likes this.
  7. zid

    zid Champion (867) Feb 15, 2010 New York
    Beer Trader

    Had the pleasure of trying some of Yards beers on a road trip. Loved Washington's porter. Goose Island is very easy to get here, and I really like Mild Winter and Harvest. Wish they had something in that lineup that was like a darker English beer. It isn't too hard to find Old Engine Oil but it's around $5 for a 12oz where I live.
  8. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,122) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    “…like a darker English beer.” Yards Brawler is an English Dark Mild.

  9. Gilmango

    Gilmango Aspirant (224) Jul 17, 2007 California

    I too would second the homebrewing recommendation. The sad truth is that many lower alcohol beers do not travel well, especially if shipped overseas in unrefrigerated uncontainers (easily damaged by heat and temp. fluctuations), and if they are shipped by sea in refrigerated containers they will be damn expensive. And sadly not too many American brewers are brewing those styles either. So brewing your own is a great alternative, and you can do a fine job with extract / partial mashes / brew in a bag methods on your stove top which really can reduce start up costs (especially before you decide you really like the hobby and the beer and perhaps decide to upgrade). There are a ton of great English hops, yeasts, grains, and extracts available stateside.
  10. e30todamax

    e30todamax Initiate (0) Oct 5, 2012 Virginia

    North Coast Old Stock ale is a goto, and I'm sure you'd enjoy Denver Pale ale from Great Divide
  11. Beerista

    Beerista Initiate (0) Sep 11, 2012 Massachusetts

    Pretty Things makes English style brews, available in NY. One of the brewers is from Yorkshire. Their line includes recreations of historical English recipes.

    If you travel in the US, try asking in the appropriate regional forum about English style beers available in your destination. In Massachusetts, Ispwich and Mayflower brew excellent beers in the English style, though with gaps in the lineup. Good low ABV beers are tough to find anywhere, but I recommend Pretty Thing's X Ale 1945.
  12. zid

    zid Champion (867) Feb 15, 2010 New York
    Beer Trader

    Thanks for the suggestions. Some will be on my radar: Schlafy, Ipswich, Mayflower. Some are already favorites: North Coast Old Stock is awesome and the closest I've had to Old Peculier, Pretty Things is the one brewery I'd try anything from blindly (but their recreations are almost impossible to find in NY).
  13. Stevedore

    Stevedore Poo-Bah (3,832) Nov 16, 2012 Wisconsin
    Beer Trader

    BIAB is the way to go
  14. mellowmark

    mellowmark Aspirant (263) Mar 31, 2010 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    You can find Old Engine Oil all over in the states.
  15. patto1ro

    patto1ro Defender (627) Apr 26, 2004 Netherlands

    Dann worked as a brewer in Yorksire, but he's an American. His wife Martha is from Yorkshire.

    The 1945 X Ale is all gone, I fear.
  16. HKUSPC40

    HKUSPC40 Initiate (0) Aug 28, 2012 Washington

    Haven't had anything that compares to Old Engine Oil in the states... It sucks too because it's $30 a sixer in Seattle.
  17. ThirstyFace

    ThirstyFace Initiate (0) Jan 11, 2013 New York

    Regarding Old Peculier, I'm not sure why you would seek an American equivalent now that it has fell back into the fold. Über freshness is not a concern, or shouldn't be, for that style. Moreover, at 12.99 a sixer, an US equivalent would not be cheaper. That beer is amazing and no one is duplicating it. Cherish it. Buy it. Keep the demand alive along with me and other smart fellows.

    That said, I'm right on board in your plight. Not enough UK, for me English in particular, to be had in NY. We were getting tall boys of Bombardiere, but that flow seemed to have dried up. Shame because they were cheap and tasty.

    I would love to see an East Coast brewer champion UK beers they way Victory champions German styles.
  18. zid

    zid Champion (867) Feb 15, 2010 New York
    Beer Trader

    I'm with you regarding Old Peculier. That's why it was near the bottom of my list.

    Trying a Two Brothers "Long Haul" right now and it's great. Would recommend to anyone in this thread.
  19. fox227

    fox227 Initiate (0) Nov 19, 2010 California

    I am very fond of the many British ales I've had, but I too am dismayed by the overall lack of options and American iterations. I love American style hoppy brews as much as anyone, but I like variety.
  20. Longstaff

    Longstaff Initiate (0) May 23, 2002 Massachusetts

    IMO Widmer Drifter is the best Best Bitter widely available in the US. Just have to realize that its a new world approach (modern hops and bit more abv) to an old world model.

    I'm like a broken record with this beer, but I love it so much and think that unique, drinkable, balanced pale ale is an area US craft brewers have yet to develop much beyond SN pale ale knockoffs and ipa wannabes.
  21. Longstaff

    Longstaff Initiate (0) May 23, 2002 Massachusetts

    You used to see much more UK styles in New England (Maine may still be the last bastion) but it seems most brewers have decided (wrongly imo) that they have mastered that and moved on to more "exciting" style that get beer geek recongnition.
  22. ThirstyFace

    ThirstyFace Initiate (0) Jan 11, 2013 New York

    I would strongly argue that Drifter is not an English style bitter
  23. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,122) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    I personally have never had Widmer Drifter but I find the selection of hops in that beer intriguing: no different. With its unique citrus character, smooth drinkability, and distinctive combo of hops and malts, Drifter Pale Ale is truly an original.
    Alcohol by Volume
    28 IBU
    Original Gravity
    13.8 Plato
    Pale, Caramel, 20L, Caravienne 20L, Caramel 80L, Carapils
    Alchemy, Summit, Nelson Sauvin

  24. zid

    zid Champion (867) Feb 15, 2010 New York
    Beer Trader

    Not too long ago, at a point when Old Peculier was no longer distributed in the States, someone recommended Old Chub to me as a substitute. After buying some, I understood what he was getting at, but it seemed so lifeless in comparison for me.
  25. bpd2001

    bpd2001 Initiate (127) Jun 14, 2012 New York

    What part of NY are you in? If you are near the Hudson Valley, Sloop Brewing makes a nice English-style pale ale.
  26. Longstaff

    Longstaff Initiate (0) May 23, 2002 Massachusetts

    Never said it was - thinking outside the rigid old world box.

    Its all pale ale...
  27. Monsone

    Monsone Initiate (196) Jun 5, 2006 Illinois

    Now that Goose is bottling Nut Brown again you may enjoy that one. It is a bit more American in character though, but still a solid brown ale.
  28. ThirstyFace

    ThirstyFace Initiate (0) Jan 11, 2013 New York

    Really? Old Chub as sub for OP? That is craZy
  29. ThirstyFace

    ThirstyFace Initiate (0) Jan 11, 2013 New York

    Ok, then my mom is a haircut.
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