Monday, June 24, 2013

Local? My Arse!

If you've been following Fuggled for a while then you will know that I generally hold the whole 'craft' beer thing rather lightly. I don't really give much of a toss about the corporate structure of the company making the beer I drink, as long as it tastes good then I am generally a happy camper. However, one thing that I do appreciate is honesty in advertising. You can imagine then my dismay at wandering into the store yesterday and seeing the following:


Now, this isn't some half baked rant about the 'crafty' beers as opposed to the 'real thing', but rather a half baked rant about the terminology in this poster adorning a stack of Blue Moon...'locally "craft brewed"'? Really? Who the fuck does the cretin that came up with this poster think he or she is kidding?

Last time I looked there is no 'Blue Moon Brewing Co' in Virginia, but then, as we all know, Blue Moon is a brand of the brewing giant MillerCoors (a joint venture between Molson Coors and SABMiller in the US), and there is a MillerCoors brewery in Virginia. Said brewery is just across the mountains, and perhaps it is the only part of this advert which is true as it is in the Shenandoah Valley.

Do the marketing geniuses behind this poster honestly think that anyone with half a brain cell is going to believe that Blue Moon is 'local' in the same way as Devils Backbone, Hardywood or the soon to open Three Notch'd Brewing?

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Go Mad My Son

Yesterday, Mrs V, myself, and my parents went up to DC for a day trip. It's only a couple of hours by car from our house to the parts of Northern Virginia that have a connection to the city itself through the wonders of the metro, and so we parked up and rode into the District of Columbia.

Having bimbled by Capitol Hill, strolled along the National Mall, sauntered around the National Air and Space Museum, we were all well and truly foot weary. Earlier in the day my mother had mentioned that my parents would like to treat us to a good meal. Not being all that knowledgeable about the DC area, and the fact that our car was out near Falls Church, I suggested trying out Mad Fox Brewing.

I have only ever heard good things about Mad Fox, so it was with some excitement, and not a little trepidation, that we took our seats. I say trepidation because so often when a place is praised to the heavens it fails to live up to my expectations.

Mad Fox would be different. From the moment I looked at the beer menu I knew what I wanted to drink. Mason's Dark Mild, a 3.3% English style mild, served on cask, that could not have been any more spot on had it tried, and yes, it was served as cask ale should be, sparkled. I tried a few samples of other beers, a kölsch, both filtered and keller style, again excellent, an English Summer Ale, superb, and a porter which was entirely magnificent.

The beer was just one part of the deal, as there is traditionally food involved in dinner, and the food was as good as the beer. Whether is was my burger with caramelised onion jam, or my mother's fig and balsamic pizza, there was a general consensus that the food was delightful. Oh, and did I mention yet that the service was absolutely wonderful?

It's fair to say I have become a fan.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Old Mann Brown - The Tasting

I mentioned back in April that my parents were coming to visit us here in Virginia, and that I was planning to brew a clone of Mann's Brown Ale as it is a beer my dad quite often talks about. I made one change to the recipe as the homebrew shop didn't have any Kent Goldings hops when I popped in to get my ingredients, but they had Fuggles, so I switched.

Last night, after a week and a half in the bottle, I decided to see how it was coming along and popped open a couple of bottles for myself and my dad to try.


Early indicators are good, the carbonation is good, the colour is a rich mahogany with a light tan head, it certainly looks the part, and at just 2.9% definitely a session beer. The nose has a touch of apples and pears hidden in with caramel and chocolate notes. Tastewise, the chocolate and caramel are there again, with a good bready backbone and a spicy hop bite from the Fuggles. Three mouthfuls later the glass was empty and I was headed to the cellar for another bottle.

Overall, a very encouraging start to what could be my beer for summer...