Showing posts with label gadds. Show all posts
Showing posts with label gadds. Show all posts

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 ?umavě, 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?

Friday, April 30, 2010

Brewer of the Week

For this week's Brewer of the Week we head back to the Garden of England, Kent, and to , maker of some excellent beers which I thoroughly enjoyed back at Christmas 2008 when my family all got together at my brother's place in Ashford.

Name: Eddie Gadd
Brewery: Gadd's

How did you get into brewing as a career?

I was pulling pints in the Flounder & Firkin waiting for a tunneling contract to start and the head brewer, Steve Lawson, invited me to a days work cleaning casks. Been stuck ever since.

What is the most important characteristic of a brewer?

The willingness to wear a hat, without doubt.

Before being a professional brewer, did you homebrew? If so, how many of your homebrew recipes have you converted to full scale production?

No. In fact I didn’t have a home: I was a young couch surfer.

What is your favourite beer that you brew?

The one I’m brewing, always. It’s such an engaging occupation that each and every brew is special. This remains true even after the 3000th time.

If you have worked in other breweries, which other beer did you enjoy brewing, and why?

Dogbolter. I brewed an awful lot of it in 1994 and it was hard work, but great fun.

Of the beers you brew, which is your favourite to drink?

The one in my hand. Seriously: choosing which beer to drink at any particular moment is intuitive, so as long as you let that happen it’ll always be your favourite beer because if it’s hitting the spot there’s no room to think of any other.

How important is authenticity when making a new beer, in terms of flavour, ingredients and method?

Best practice within a particular location is so often encompassed within the authentic brew of the area that it’s difficult to ignore. However, we can control an awful lot more factors than we used to be able to so authenticity, from purely a flavour perspective, is becoming irrelevant. And I certainly have no truck with tradition or sticking to arbitrary rules. If it’s good beer and my customers want it, I couldn’t care less about authenticity.

If you were to do a collaborative beer, which brewery would you most like to work with and why?

John Smiths in Tadcaster. My old mate Iain works there and he’s learnt a great deal since he left Ramsgate, it’s time he taught me some things. Or Wye Valley Brewery because the head brewer is a genius.

Which beer, other than your own, do you wish you had invented?

Orval, but I’m glad I’m not that old.

Monday, January 19, 2009

East Kent Gold

On those rare occasions when I get to the UK my beer priority is to try whatever local brews I can get my hands on, as I did when I was in Oxford last October. As I have no doubt mentioned, my eldest brother lives in Kent – the garden of England, and famed for its hops, so I guess the beer there has an advantage. I have enjoyed many a pint of Shepherd Neame’s various offerings, thus I decided it was time to discover some of the smaller independent brewers that call Kent home.

Thankfully, the Sainsbury's in Ashford, and a small shop called Macknade Fine Foods, both stock locally made ales, and so I got my hands on some bottles from the Ramsgate Brewery (their website is under construction).

The Ramsgate Brewery sell their beers under the brand name Gadds'. From their range I had the No. 3 and Faithful Dogbolter, both of which are bottle conditioned. The No. 3 is a strong pale ale, with an ABV of 5% that pours a light amber with a rocky white head and a fair amount of fizz. Admittedly the picture isn’t great, as mobile pictures are wont to be. The nose was rather citrusy, but also very spicy, with slight floral notes, as you would expect from East Kent Goldings and Fuggles. Beneath the vibrant bitterness of the beer is a very gentle toffee sweetness, which smoothes out the beer, making it is deliciously refreshing.

Faithful Dogbolter is a dark porter, with an ABV of 5.6%, that is a beautiful ruby colour and has a slightly beige head which disappeared rather quickly. I had a slight stuffy nose and couldn’t detect much at all when I tried to smell the beer, perhaps a touch roasty, but little beyond that. Taste wise though this was quite simply lovely, velvety coffee laced with milk chocolate – like a Galaxy bar from when I was a kid. Like the No. 3, the bitterness of this beer is held in balance with sweet smoothness of the finish. A really lovely beer.

If these beers are representative of the entire Ramsgate Brewery range, I look forward to the day when I get back to Kent and can try these again, as well as try the other beers these guys make.

Old Friends: Joseph's Brau PLZNR

I have to admit that there really are not that many things that I miss as a result of this pandemic. I am sure that comes as something of a ...