Showing posts with label landlord. Show all posts
Showing posts with label landlord. Show all posts

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Timothy Taylor Landlord - A Public Service Announcement

I have waxed lyrical in posts passim about my love of Timothy Taylor Landlord. Whether bottled or on cask, it is one of my favourite beers on the planet. It is one of the models I used when creating Bitter 42 with Three Notch'd, and is a constant point of reference in my homebrewing efforts when I make best bitters.

Not too long ago the beer underwent a brand refresh, which included a change in the label on the bottled version. Below are the old and the new, with the old first.



On various trips to bottle shops I would see Landlord, but with it's former guise and so I avoided it as I don't want to spend money on out of date beer, my assumption being that the presence of the older label was an indicator of old stock. Well, it turns out I was wrong in my assumption.

Apparently the process of getting a new label approved by the TTB here in the States is so onerous that the decision was taken to maintain the old label for the American market rather than suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous bureaucracy.

From what I have been told by the brewery, the beer has a shelf life of 12 months, and the date on bottles is a "best before" date rather than a "born on". So, American fans of classic English beers, check out the date rather than making my mistake, and enjoy probably Yorkshire's (and by default England's) finest with all the requisite aplomb!

Get thee to a bottle shop...

Friday, September 25, 2015

Guest Post: Always There

Part 3 in the 'Always There' series of posts comes from TenInchWheels who as well as being a good writer is a magnificent photographer, take a gander at his blog sometime, even though he hasn't posted in a while, the pictures are great. Anyway....

For more than two decades I’ve been a Londoner. And for most of that time, the capital has largely been a dismal place for the lover of good beer.

I grew up in Keighley, and anyone who’s read my blog will know that I’m an unashamed Taylor’s fanboy. Maybe I’m biased about our local heroes, but I really don’t care. I earned my beergeek chops on sparkled, cellar-cool Landlord, drunk from the fountainhead, The Boltmakers Arms. From the immaculate old coaching inn to the shabby lock-in in the shadow of a derelict mill, a good pint in almost any pub could be taken for granted, and still can be. Until I left home for art college, I didn’t even know it was possible to get a bad pint.

In 1992 I moved to London. London! The greatest city on earth! Surely, in this throbbing metropolis of impossible-to-please Cockneys a good pint was a dead cert. Well, no. The pubs were good, but the beer was almost universally bad. For the first few years I persevered. Always ordering from the handpump, and I was nearly always disappointed. It was a matter of pride to find that elusive, decent (or consistently decent) pint. Soho, Camden, Shoreditch, Brixton, Holloway, Holborn, Highgate, Hackney, Bethnal Green. Flat, flabby, skunky, sour, murky, eggy. I’ve run the gamut of pints that I’ve had to return to a stink-eyed barman, swatting off the inevitable ‘it’s meant to be like that’ comments. Too many ‘nearly’ pints winced down. Too many unfinished nonics of flat, soupy brown boredom left on sticky tables. One famous day I took my dad to a pub, where - on asking what real ales were ‘on’ - he was told that the bank of six handpumps was just for decoration. So I gave up. For years - now it can be told - I drank Kronenbourg, Newcastle Brown or (heaven help me) Strongbow. But one thing kept me going through those terrible years. Bottles of Timothy Taylor’s Landlord.

On trips home I’d bring bottles back down on the train with me, my rucksack clinking like a milk float. Rare sightings in supermarkets were moments of rejoicing. Visitors would leave them in the cupboard, where I’d find them behind the cornflakes with a moist, homesick eye. Crack off the cap, wait a second, pour. The head settles. First sip and the tingling hit as your palate wakes with that characteristic smack of grapefruit and marmalade which drifts into an astounding lip-smacking, citrus-bitter finish. Full-bodied. Satisfying. As comfortable as my old Redwings, as cosy as a cashmere scarf in a Pennine February. You don’t want cosy? I do. It’s the taste of permanence, rootedness, and home.

Landlord’s a legend, and nowadays it’s in every London pub worthy of a visit. I’ve even seen it sold in a bowling alley. Taylor’s have brewed Landlord since 1952, and it’s always been a favourite among beer fans. But it was a rare sight on handpump in the capital until 2003. That was when Madonna lit Taylors’ blue touchpaper by claiming in an interview with Jonathan Ross that she enjoyed a pint of of their most famous brew at Soho’s Dog And Duck. Did anyone really believe her? It didn’t matter. Suddenly, you started to see it all over the place. And in London it was terrible whenever I tried it. And in 2015 it usually still is. So Landlord is still my go-to bottle, and probably always will be.

And now London is a city with more breweries than I can count, and a beer choice that’s impossible to comprehend. I’m sat typing this with a choice of at least twelve places to get a good, well-kept local beer within a five or ten minute bike ride. I have the pick of the best brews in London on sale at my local bottle shop, the Wanstead Tap. When out and about I no longer have to carry a mental map of a half-dozen ‘reliable’ pubs. A revolution has happened - but there’s still work to do before this is truly a great ‘beer city’. Now you can now get Landlord in almost any supermarket, but the contents of my rucksack on trips back from home still ring and tinkle as the the train clatters south to Kings Cross. Although nowadays it doesn’t matter too much if a couple of those bottles don’t survive the journey.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Landlord, landlord!

A quick post today as I am at the Society for Scholarly Publishing annual meeting. Last night though I went back to Church Key with some of my colleagues for dinner.

Highlight of the dinner was very simple, bottled Timothy Taylor Landlord, though the J.W. Lees Harvest 2011 aged in Lagavulin casks was also rather nice. There are many times when I wish there was an American brewer making English style pale ale with as much panache and flavour as Landlord, especially when paying more than $10 for a bottle. As a treat though, it was worth every drop of the amber nectar.

When I get back to Charlottesville tonight, I can see a few bottles of St Bernardus in my future, and possibly finally tucking into Evan Rail's homebrew...

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

When Beers Inspire

Back in November I had a choice to make. My parents were going to be in England visiting my eldest brother, and they were taking their car, so I asked if they wouldn't mind taking a case of beer back to France for me. Naturally they were happy to do so, and so I ordered a selection from Beer Ritz.

There was one beer which I absolutely knew I wanted in the selection, the magnificent Timothy Taylor Landlord. I had last devoured a bottle of this nectar in 2008 whilst at the same brother's house for Christmas, which was the last time the entire clan was together at the same time. Knowing that I loved it, I ordered 4 bottles so I could indulge to my heart's content.


At 4.2% abv, Landlord is a beer you can sit with and drink a fair few of without keeling over when you stand up and discover your legs no longer function. I love the fact that the label describes it as a "Strong Pale Ale" and while I may quibble over the use of the word "Strong" there is no arguing that this is as packed with flavour as any, more feted or trendy, beer. I will not bore you with tasting notes, but rather simply say this, if there is a better Best Bitter in the world I am yet to drink it.

Unfortunately I have never seen it in the US, but I will have a stab at brewing a clone version. I have read that the grist is simplicity itself, 100% Golden Promise, the hopping is a blend of Fuggles, Styrian Goldings and East Kent Goldings, and I have a packet of Wyeast West Yorkshire yeast in the fridge. I was planning my first brew of the year to be an 1868 Younger's XP (a Scottish IPA brewed with Saaz), but that might get bumped to the second brew of the year.

Each of the 4 bottles I had in France went down with inordinate ease, hopefully my own version will do likewise.

* again the picture is not from this trip, but there is a very good reason for this, honest.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Working in the Industry?

I am assuming here that the majority of Fuggled readers do not work in the brewing or pub industry, although I know a substantial minority do, and the other substantial minority have ambitions to. On Saturday, having been to the opening day of Charlottesville's Farmers Market and out to Lake Monticello to observe some university rowing (Mrs Velkyal is considering taking up the sport), we decided to drag my parents out to Starr Hill before it got too busy in the tasting room, and trust me Saturday afternoons can be nuts in there, and it was only midday when we arrived, spot on for opening time.

I hadn't seen a few of the guys in there since my operation back in January so it was good to catch up with them, and if I may have a moment of narcissism, nice to see their reaction when I walked into the tasting room. So we all tasted the beers, sorry to say though, the new summer seasonal brew, Lucy, just isn't my thing by even the most tripped out of imaginations, but Northern Lights IPA and Dark Starr Stout were just as good as ever, and the Love was good. Eventually though my parents and Mrs Velkyal went off on the tour, while I stayed at the bar, not wanting a busman's holiday by taking a tour I have given many times.

The bar wasn't that busy, but then a couple of people came in wanting kegs and so one of the guys had to run off to get them from the keg room, and that's when a few groups of people turned up, effectively swamping the guy left behind the bar, so I offered to help out until the bar crew was back to full strength. It was only about 15 minutes but it dawned on me that as much as I enjoy drinking beer and making beer, I really enjoy serving beer. I don't mean this just in some esoteric, standing at the bar talking with people, bucolic bar life idyll, which I am sure, like most idylls,  is a pipe dream, but I actually enjoy pouring beer, changing kegs, keeping the bar clean, presenting a good image to the customer, I like to make sure that each sample I pour has a decent little head on it. Simply put, I care about the beer I put down in front of visitors to the tasting room (where I hope to be working more regularly again, soon).

I often think about one day having a pub of my own, perhaps a brewpub, perhaps not, but definitely a pub, and I guess that I have a good skill set for being a landlord/owner of a pub, so hopefully one day I will be.

Old Friends: Joseph's Brau PLZNR

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