Monday, January 24, 2011

A Wish List

When I go to a bottle shop I am instinctively drawn to the British beer section, swiftly followed by the "European" section - I say "European" because you sometimes get the feeling that there are only 5 types of beer: American, British (usually with Irish beers included, though not mentioned specifically as "Irish"), Belgian, German and "European" or "Other". It is in the "European" sections that you find Czech lagers more often than not, although I have seen them in the German section, oh such delicious irony.

This habit got me wondering over the weekend about the breweries whose products I would love to see available in Virginia, assuming of course that they aren't already elsewhere in the US. So here, is my wish list:

Kout na Šumavě, as I have mentioned many times, make the best lager on the planet. End of story. Full stop. To achieve this magnificent feat of zythophilic engineering there is no imperialising, no india-ising (made up word I know, but you know what I mean), but making great beer using excellent local ingredients (sounds like a story I know from history...). I have heard rumour that someone is trying to bring it in to the States, so hopefully rapture is near indeed.

Leicestershire based Everards make honest to goodness superb ales. Again you won't be finding any imperial best india bitter shite going on here, but traditional British bitters and ales, superbly made. They bottle, to my knowledge, 3 of their line, Original, Beacon and Tiger. Don't just take my word for how good their beers are, see here, and here.

I have raved many times about Lovibonds on here, Jeff was the first Brewer of the Week and yes my Lovibonds glasses are my favourites. The best thing to put in a Lovibonds glass though would be a Lovibonds beer, in particular the Wheat Wine you see in the picture, or the Henley Dark. I can't comment on the 69 IPA, because you can't get it here - but if past experience is any guide, then I look forward to it when I am home in Blighty come this summer.

A Kentish brewery making a range of lovely drops of ale that in my opinion deserve a wider audience. You see that bottle of Timothy Taylor Landlord in the back of the picture there? I would love to find that in a Virginia bottle shop as well.

These are just some of the beers I would love to see available over here, and maybe some of the distributors are listening. I can think of a few other breweries that I would love to see over here, purely on reputation as I haven't actually had any of the beers, Hardknott springs to mind, as does Dungarvan. What beers would you like to see available where you live?


  1. In agreement about Everards.

    Their 'Original' held the top spot on my chart for a good while.

    They really do know what they're doing.

  2. I'd love to see regular Coors in the UK, not just Coors Light. Bud may be the beer of Smokey and the Bandit 2, but Coors is the beer of the original and better first film.

  3. I know it is not the same distance as over the pond but for me I would like to see following travel a few more miles than they currently do (so that I can buy them);

    Darkstar Brewery
    Uley Brewery
    Crouch Vale Brewery

    I don't know much from the US market but would be good to see a few hit the shops over here

  4. Have you been introduced to my fiance, Marc Smith? He's the [relatively new] craft brew consultant for Virginia Eagle.

    I think you two should talk. :)

  5. I would love to see more Sam Adams beers in the U.K. There Boston Lager was the first American beer which I tried(only one we get) and thought 'mmm, this is actualy rather good!' Ever since I've always loved U.S. craft, and found it remarkable that you can get there imperial series of beers in your 'hypermarkets' such as Publix over there.

  6. I must've drained at least a cask of Tiger the last time I was in Edinburgh. As for Landlord in Cumbria and North Yorkshire, I think it's measured in BBLs.

  7. I'd love to get Kout na Sumave beers in England! Matuska have made it and hopefully Kocour will follow soon. And I live in West Kent and it's hard enough for me to get Gadds beers nearby, so you aren't alone!

    As for coming the other way (US to UK), the list would be too long! Oskar Blues would be a good start though - I think their core range is simple and spot on and a six pack of each would do nicely!

  8. I have a bottle of Matuska Black Rocket in my fridge - I am fairly confident of it being, if not the only bottle in the US then certainly one of very few.

  9. I still have a bottle of Lovibonds Gold Reserve. In May it will be 2 years old (more as I don't know the date of bottling). When you come back to visit, If I have not given in to temptation, we can share it :D


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