What are your favorite Import English Ales?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by Warwick7, May 27, 2019.

  1. Warwick7

    Warwick7 Initiate (64) May 25, 2019 Maryland
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    We don't seem to get a lot in my area, unless I haven't looked hard enough. Mostly SS and Fuller's. Its up to you if you want to say Newcastle, considering its brewing location. I decided to make this about imports because I already know England has amazing Ale. I want to know the quality of Imports here in North America. What are your stories with them; have they been your hard to find Holy Grail, have you stayed loyal to Newcastle despite the changes. or do you live in an area where English Ale is everywhere? Are English Imports declining or rising in popularity?

    Cheers,

    Warwick
     
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  2. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,150) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
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    Warwick, I have chosen to no longer purchase imported English Ales since they are consistently too old on my local beer retailers' shelves. I hope that you have much better luck in this regard.

    I enjoy the English Ales brewed by Yards Brewing Co. of Philadelphia. They are tasty and fresh.

    Cheers!
     
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  3. MNAle

    MNAle Poo-Bah (1,561) Sep 6, 2011 Minnesota
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    I suspect it is because you don't know where to look.

    Here, in addition to those you mention, it is fairly easy to find English beers from Boddngton, Greene King / Morland, Robinsons Family Brewers, and Well's & Young.

    As to my favorites, they are Fuller's ESB and Coniston Bluebird (sadly, not available here, but I picked up a couple on a trip to the west coast). I'd also like to try Timothy Taylor, but, again, not available here.
     
  4. rudiecantfail

    rudiecantfail Defender (636) Aug 9, 2011 Pennsylvania
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    I'm not so much into English ales anymore, but I've always really liked Boddingtons on tap. It was a gateway beer for me back in the 90s and I have a soft spot for it.
     
  5. Doma

    Doma Initiate (33) May 19, 2019 California

    On a fresh palate TT Landlord and Fuller's London Porter are my favorites.
     
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  6. ypsifly

    ypsifly Meyvn (1,064) Sep 22, 2004 Michigan

    Fuller's Vintage
    Fuller's 1845
    Sam Smith Stingo
    Hobgoblin
    Old Vintages of Thomas Hardy's from the original brewery....yes they can still be found on a shelf if you know where to go and have the $$$.
     
  7. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (1,938) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina
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    I don’t drink much in the way of English brews any more, but Fullers was easy to find sometimes on sale too. My favorites were Bluebird and Bateman’s, but they were single bottle buys at a pretty stiff price back in the day.
     
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  8. Spade

    Spade Initiate (74) Mar 27, 2006 Pennsylvania

    If you're near NE Maryland I'm told State Line has a good selection of English imports. A friend of mine loads up a shopping cart periodically.

    Can't say I have a favorite but recently I've been enjoying some brews from Orkney Brewery.
     
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  9. keithmurray

    keithmurray Meyvn (1,332) Oct 7, 2009 Connecticut

    Fullers London Pride
    Samuel Smith Oatmeal Stout
     
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  10. scream

    scream Meyvn (1,124) Dec 6, 2014 Wisconsin
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    The ones I liked best I can no longer find - Fuller's 1845 & Bateman's XXXB
     
  11. NeroFiddled

    NeroFiddled Poo-Bah (11,032) Jul 8, 2002 Pennsylvania
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    Brawler works for me!
     
    #11 NeroFiddled, May 27, 2019
    Last edited: May 27, 2019
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  12. NeroFiddled

    NeroFiddled Poo-Bah (11,032) Jul 8, 2002 Pennsylvania
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    When you say Timothy Taylor I'm guessing you're thinking of the Landlord. Great beer! I also love a beer by Sharps called Doom Bar but I don't think that's imported - a reason to visit jolly old blighty!
     
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  13. NeroFiddled

    NeroFiddled Poo-Bah (11,032) Jul 8, 2002 Pennsylvania
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    Ahhh, both treasures! I haven't had Bateman's XXXB in decades, at least three. What a bloody spectacle that one was! Brilliant! And I can only mourn for the lost Whitbread.
     
  14. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,150) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
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    And I thoroughly enjoy Yards ESA on cask. That beer used to be available at a number of Philly area bars/pubs but it is very limited today (2019) unfortunately. :slight_frown:

    Good thing I have an English Bitter Ale fermenting right now where I used Timothy Taylor (West Yorkshire Ale) yeast. :slight_smile:

    Cheers!
     
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  15. scream

    scream Meyvn (1,124) Dec 6, 2014 Wisconsin
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    Our niece's husband is from Wales. He is a Hollywood writer and the gal he primarily works for lives in London so he goes there at least 1x a yr. Last trip he brought me a case of XXXB ! Finished it up about a wk ago.
     
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  16. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (1,938) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina
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    Brawler is a damn good beer.
     
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  17. zid

    zid Meyvn (1,330) Feb 15, 2010 New York
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    Imports are definitely slim pickings. These days my favorite is JW Lees Harvest. That beer deserves its pedestal.
     
  18. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poo-Bah (6,827) Sep 14, 2002 Wyoming
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    That's one thing I noticed. As the "craft" beer movement grew, the imports that I previously enjoyed declined in availability, year after year. The few that still do show up are long in the tooth. Well, those that require at least a monicum of freshness.
     
  19. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,150) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
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    That is exactly the situation in my area (the suburbs of Philly). Not much to pick from and what is there is more often than not too old to be worthy of purchase.

    The one exception to the above would be Belgian Ales (e.g., Abbey/Trappist Ales) but I personally choose to not purchase them since they are too damn expensive.

    Cheers!
     
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  20. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poo-Bah (6,827) Sep 14, 2002 Wyoming
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    I've requested and my retailer friend has put in orders for, especially, English beers and they have always been unfilled. I believe he went through Shelton Brothers but it might have been B. United. If the orders HAD been filled, who knows at what age the beers would have been. Not filling is telling me not available. Sad state of affairs. :slight_frown:
     
  21. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,150) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
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    With either of those importers you would have likely had to crack open your piggy bank in order to purchase those beers.

    I had a local beer retailer special order me some TipoPils (Italian brewery) that was handled by B. United. I paid $22+ for a four-pack of 12 ounce cans. Whoa!!:astonished:

    The beer store manager had to order an entire case and I noticed many months later the majority of the beers in that case were still in the store. Either other customers were disinterested and/or were unwilling to pay the exorbitant price for this beer.

    I wonder if your retailer friend when he was presented with the fact he would have to at a minimum purchase an entire case and would likely have unsold inventory decided to not consummate the purchase? Would you be willing to purchase an entire case?

    Cheers!

    P.S. FWIW, after my TipoPils 'debacle' I have never asked this store to special order any other beers for me. I felt bad that he had so much unsold inventory that he had to 'swallow'.
     
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  22. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poo-Bah (6,827) Sep 14, 2002 Wyoming
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    Not good at snipping. Sorry.

    One of the beers that I asked my retailer friend for was Timothy Taylor Landlord, a full case of it. I had it before and it wasn't super fresh but it hooked me. These distributors shouldn't list them on their websites or whatever when they don't have/can't get them.
     
  23. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,150) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
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    Well then, it would appear to be a supplier problem/issue here (unless just providing a single case was not deemed to be worth their time?).

    Cheers!
     
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  24. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poo-Bah (6,827) Sep 14, 2002 Wyoming
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    He tried 2 cases knowing one was already claimed. They, B. United most likely, didn't have the goods. It's like going to an online beer store and clicking on a beer and seeing "out of stock" only not seeing that.
     
  25. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poo-Bah (6,827) Sep 14, 2002 Wyoming
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    I stand corrected. It was Shelton Brothers and it's still listed on their website.

     
  26. MNAle

    MNAle Poo-Bah (1,561) Sep 6, 2011 Minnesota
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    They're Scottish, not English! :wink:
     
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  27. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poo-Bah (6,827) Sep 14, 2002 Wyoming
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    Lol. Yes.
    We at least have some Olas in town and they aren't required to be fresh but I am not their biggest fan.
     
  28. jesskidden

    jesskidden Poo-Bah (1,850) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
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    The former. According to The Beer Institute (based on stats from the US Department of Commerce and Bureau of Census), UK beer exports to the US in millions of gallons:

    2014 - 15.1
    2015 - 13.8
    2016 - 10.2
    2017 - 7.6
    2018 - 3.4

    In the period between, roughly, 1999 and 2008, the UK's total beer exports to the US were often around 1 million barrels (so, 31,000,000 gallons).
     
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  29. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poo-Bah (6,827) Sep 14, 2002 Wyoming
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    1970s to 1980s would have been substantially more eh? Watneys Red Barrel was near everywhere in Orange County California in the 70s when I lived there.
     
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  30. TongoRad

    TongoRad Poo-Bah (2,647) Jun 3, 2004 New Jersey
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    Egads, that's telling. I'm sure that relocating where Bass is brewed accounts for the lion's share of that, but still it's pretty stark to decline about 90% within a decade.
     
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  31. jkrich

    jkrich Meyvn (1,194) Nov 1, 2001 Florida
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    I used to really enjoy Marston's Pedigree. It was packaged in attractive, brown bottles at a reasonable price. That was in the late 1990s, and I have not seen the product since.
     
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  32. TongoRad

    TongoRad Poo-Bah (2,647) Jun 3, 2004 New Jersey
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    Their Cream Stout was fantastic! But, then again, that may have been during the period when they were brewed in Canada.
     
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  33. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poo-Bah (6,827) Sep 14, 2002 Wyoming
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    1970s?
     
  34. TongoRad

    TongoRad Poo-Bah (2,647) Jun 3, 2004 New Jersey
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    Bateman's had a small revival about a decade ago, I'd say. It only came in 500ml bottles at the time, so that didn't exactly encourage bulk purchases. Still, it was great to revisit it while that lasted.

    These days, when there's even less on the shelves, I find myself going back to Wells Bombardier as a reliable choice. It may not be the best, but certainly scratches that itch.
     
  35. TongoRad

    TongoRad Poo-Bah (2,647) Jun 3, 2004 New Jersey
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    I'm thinking late 80s with that one.
     
  36. MNAle

    MNAle Poo-Bah (1,561) Sep 6, 2011 Minnesota
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    Yikes! At that rate, it should be at zero by next year. Even if it leveled off at ~3, is that even sustainable?
     
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  37. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poo-Bah (6,827) Sep 14, 2002 Wyoming
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    Have no fear. I'm pretty sure that you will always have some wretched old Samuel Smith's on the shelves. :slight_frown:
     
  38. Spade

    Spade Initiate (74) Mar 27, 2006 Pennsylvania

    I know, I know! I was trying to be succinct. Apologies to any Scots on the site.
     
  39. jesskidden

    jesskidden Poo-Bah (1,850) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
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    Yeah, but imports in general were a still a tiny (~2-3%) portion of the market - (In 1980, 188 million bbl. of beer brewed in the US and 4.6 million bbl. imported.)

    United Kingdom beer exports to the US
    1970 - 458,330 case equiv.* = 1,031,242 gallons / 33,266 bbl.
    1980 - 1,372,061 case equiv. = 3,087,137 gallons / 99,585 bbl.

    * 24 X 12 oz/2.25gallons

    (One of the annoying factors in researching imports is that the Feds/US Brewers Assoc. were constantly changing the unit of measurement-
    gallons / cases / barrels....WTF.:astonished:)

    UK imports were likely majorly affected by ABInBev moving the brewing of Bass to the US for the US market* and Heineken moving the brewing of Newcastle to Holland (a few years before the Lagunitas deal).

    * As noted by @TongoRad above - missed that with my head in old copies of The Brewers Almanac and then workin' the calculator...:wink:
     
  40. Warwick7

    Warwick7 Initiate (64) May 25, 2019 Maryland
    Trader

    Hello! Will get back to you all tommorow at the latest. I just just had SS Brown Ale for the thile first time and it was exstascy. There Imperial stout is amazing too. I did try Yards Pale Ale I realize its the one American Pale Ale and Im sure its not what you where suggesting but Had my favorite label, all yellow and the crown looks like a Gothic Church window. Plus Yards reminds me of the Yardbirds which turned into Led Zeppelin. Hope you all are enjoying your weekend, I greatly appeciate your posts.

    Enjoy English Ale

    Cheers,

    Warwick
     
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