Beer Today http://beertoday.co.uk British beer news, blog and events listings, updated daily Tue, 03 May 2016 10:22:25 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Steel and oak vessels arrive at XT Brewery http://beertoday.co.uk/steel-oak-vessels-arrive-xt-0516/ Tue, 03 May 2016 10:13:27 +0000 http://beertoday.co.uk/?p=36770 XT Brewery has been expanding capacity with the introduction of several new vessels: some built of modern stainless steel and some in very traditional oak....

The post Steel and oak vessels arrive at XT Brewery appeared first on Beer Today.

]]>
XT Brewery has been expanding capacity with the introduction of several new vessels: some built of modern stainless steel and some in very traditional oak.

XT BBBirra DonkeyThe brewery has purchased several large oak casks for the development of specialist barrel-aged beers. These casks have been crafted by the master cooper Alistair Simms, especially for the brewery.

He dropped into XT last month to see how the beers were developing and to deliver his latest creations. Virtually brewing royalty, Alistair is now the only master cooper left in England.

Joining the oak casks are several shiny new stainless steel tanks installed to expand capacity and enable more specialty Animal beers to be brewed. The tanks give greater flexibility for the brewers to make more complex recipes and age the beers longer before shipping.

Meanwhile, XT has been working on two collaboration beers. Donkey (4.8% ABV) is an Anglo Italian witbier created with BBBirra. Their head brewer, Carl, joined the team at XT and brought several of the speciality ingredients for the beer.

The pale, cloudy wheat brew has a spiced edge and hints of orange from Sardinian orange peel. The beer is named after the 15 donkeys Carl has on his farm and who eat all his spent brewer’s grain.

Joining forces with premium coffee microroastery in Oxford, Jericho Coffee Traders, and aided by the extensive coffee know-how of James and Lizzie, XT has created a coffee-infused pale ale, Animal Pukeko (4.6%).

Named after a delivery truck, the beer has a unique flavour hit of coffee and is topped off with a dash of New Zealand hops.

• XT IPA (4.2%) will be available in 330ml cans from June.

The post Steel and oak vessels arrive at XT Brewery appeared first on Beer Today.

]]>
Fringe Benefit ‘an ale of two cities’ http://beertoday.co.uk/fringe-benefit-ale-two-cities-0516/ Mon, 02 May 2016 08:08:24 +0000 http://beertoday.co.uk/?p=36745 Brewers from Brighton and Edinburgh — home to the UK’s two largest fringe arts festivals — have teamed up to brew a beer that celebrates the vibrant...

The post Fringe Benefit ‘an ale of two cities’ appeared first on Beer Today.

]]>
Caledonian Laine Fringe BenefitBrewers from Brighton and Edinburgh — home to the UK’s two largest fringe arts festivals — have teamed up to brew a beer that celebrates the vibrant culture of their two cities.

Edinburgh-based Caledonian collaborated with The Laine Brewing Company, from Brighton, to create Fringe Benefit, a light and flavour-packed IPA that will be available at the Brighton Spiegeltent and selected Laine’s pubs throughout the upcoming Brighton Fringe Festival.

Fringe Benefit’s floral and citrus aromas combine with spicy hop and biscuit malt flavours to create a very drinkable, flavoursome and crisp IPA that perfectly encapsulates the laid-back fun of the festival.

Caledonian Laine Fringe BenefitLaine’s head brewer, Nic Donald, said: “The Brighton and Edinburgh Fringe are the two most important arts festivals in the UK. As breweries based in these amazing cities, a collaboration between Caledonian and Laine’s makes perfect sense.

“We wanted to create a beer that reflects that spirit, so we created a vibrant IPA that is packed full of interest and flavour, but is light and sessionable enough to be drunk at any time of day, or performance! It really is an ale of two cities.”

Craig Steven, Caledonian’s beer manager and a Beer Academy sommelier, added: “Fringe Benefit is a deliciously refreshing session IPA that we worked together with Nic to perfect. We were delighted to collaborate with the guys at Laine’s to create this special edition and show them around the brewery up here. Brighton’s beer drinkers are in for a treat!”

Fringe Benefit IPA will be launched at the Brighton Spiegeltent, the unique performance venue that that sets up camp each year on Brighton’s Old Steine, on Friday (May 6). It will be available at the Spiegeltent and selected Brighton venues — such as the North Laine Brewhouse, East Street Tap and Dead Wax Social — throughout the festival.

The post Fringe Benefit ‘an ale of two cities’ appeared first on Beer Today.

]]>
Hawkshead Tonka returns, now in bottle http://beertoday.co.uk/hawkshead-tonka-now-in-bottle-0516/ Mon, 02 May 2016 08:03:16 +0000 http://beertoday.co.uk/?p=36750 Tonka, one of the most talked about beers in Hawkshead Brewery’s series of limited releases last autumn, is back, and this time, due to popular demand, it...

The post Hawkshead Tonka returns, now in bottle appeared first on Beer Today.

]]>
Hawkshead TonkaTonka, one of the most talked about beers in Hawkshead Brewery’s series of limited releases last autumn, is back, and this time, due to popular demand, it will be launched in bottle.

It’s brewed using (and named after) an ingredient rarely seen before in a beer, the tonka bean. It is the fruit of the South American Cumaru tree, used by chefs for its complex scent and nut and fruit flavours.

Head brewer, Matt Clarke, also aged the deep, dark, velvety ale — an imperial porter with an ABV of 8.5% — with cacao nibs, adding to the beer’s diverse characteristics.

Matt said: “This is a complex beer with many layers of flavour: chocolate, vanilla, coconut, almond, bitter cherry, rolling into the richness of dark malts.”

Tonka will be launched on Friday (May 6) at The Beer Hall, the Hawkshead Brewery tap, where visitors will be able to enjoy it poured from keg, as well as getting their hands on bottles to take away.

The post Hawkshead Tonka returns, now in bottle appeared first on Beer Today.

]]>
AB InBev: competition negotiations taking toll http://beertoday.co.uk/ab-inbev-competition-negotiations-taking-toll-0516/ Mon, 02 May 2016 07:38:28 +0000 http://beertoday.co.uk/?p=36743 Competition authority negotiations to win approval for AB InBev’s deal with SABMiller are continuing to take their toll, says a leading academic. One major brand included in the...

The post AB InBev: competition negotiations taking toll appeared first on Beer Today.

]]>
Competition authority negotiations to win approval for AB InBev’s deal with SABMiller are continuing to take their toll, says a leading academic.

AB InBevOne major brand included in the latest sale is Pilsner Urquell and its worldwide rights outside the US. Japan’s Asahi might be a possible suitor following its acquisition of Grolsch and Peroni. Within the US Pilsner Urquell is going to Molson Coors as further efforts are made to gain competition authority approvals.

Prof John Colley, of Warwick Business School, said: “In North America, while MillerCoors has been sold to Molson Coors, there are continuing concerns from anti-trust authorities about control of distribution and AB InBev’s ability to prevent craft beers reaching drinkers.

“After the disposal of Miller, AB InBev still has 45% of the US beer market. It is vertically integrated into wholesalers and many of the others represent AB InBev exclusively. One senses the game is not over either in the US or Europe and that further restrictions will be imposed.”

He added: “AB InBev’s enormous market shares, post the SABMiller bid, have resulted in major disposals in the US, Europe, and China, together with worldwide rights to a number of brands such as Grolsch, Peroni, Miller and now Pilsner Urquell. The main objective of the deal is stronger growth positions in Africa and Latin America. However, the extent of divestments elsewhere needed for competition authority approvals, is continuing to grow.”

The post AB InBev: competition negotiations taking toll appeared first on Beer Today.

]]>
New phase for London Pride campaign http://beertoday.co.uk/new-phase-london-pride-campaign-0516/ Sun, 01 May 2016 11:25:03 +0000 http://beertoday.co.uk/?p=36736 Fuller’s London Pride has launched the next phase of its Made of London campaign, supported by an interactive digital campaign that will reward the beer’s...

The post New phase for London Pride campaign appeared first on Beer Today.

]]>
Fuller's Made of LondonFuller’s London Pride has launched the next phase of its Made of London campaign, supported by an interactive digital campaign that will reward the beer’s fans with a free pint. The campaign has been creatively developed by The Corner London.

The latest phase is based around the phrase ‘a beer as alive as the city that brews it’ and follows on from the previous iconic London scenes that have formed the backbone of the brand’s Made of London advertising.

The latest execution has a focus on the energy and vibrancy of London and Londoners, and London Pride’s role within it. There are three new posters featuring different parts of the River Thames from dawn to dusk, which will be visible on sites throughout London including over 500 around the London transport network and a full takeover of Waterloo station, as well as a number of press ads in targeted London titles.

On Wednesday (May 4) the digital phase of the campaign will go live, focusing on facts that capture London Pride’s special relationship with the city; for instance, that it is a beer named by London, for London, and that it is still brewed in the same spot, by the River Thames at Chiswick, that it has been for the last 60 years.

In addition, followers on Twitter will be asked to share their perfect London Pride moments and for an hour, at certain points during the campaign, anyone who tweets one of those special moments will receive a voucher for an instant free pint of London Pride.

Jane Jones, Fuller’s head of marketing, said: “The Made of London campaign has real traction with Londoners and nearly six million people will see this latest burst. As ever, we look to reward our fans across the Capital, too — and digital allows us to do this beautifully.

“Previous campaigns have generated extraordinarily high levels of engagement and we hope our followers will share some fantastic photos with this latest activity.

“There is no other beer that has the empathy and relationship with London that London Pride does. Fuller’s is a truly historic quality brewer and this unique position really shines through with all our Made of London activity. Cask ale is a living, natural product and this latest phase really does emphasise that it is as alive as the City it’s brewed in.”

The post New phase for London Pride campaign appeared first on Beer Today.

]]>
Meet Neil, Bierkeller’s volunteer taster http://beertoday.co.uk/meet-neil-bierkellers-volunteer-taster-0416/ Sat, 30 Apr 2016 12:23:44 +0000 http://beertoday.co.uk/?p=36732 Picture: Huw John A Cardiff man who secured a job as The Bierkeller Entertainment Complex’s first volunteer ‘bier taster’ has clocked in for his first...

The post Meet Neil, Bierkeller’s volunteer taster appeared first on Beer Today.

]]>
Bierkeller taster Neil KiddiePicture: Huw John

A Cardiff man who secured a job as The Bierkeller Entertainment Complex’s first volunteer ‘bier taster’ has clocked in for his first shift.

Neil Kiddie (pictured) landed the role after responding to an advert posted by the venue in February. With lots of applicants, competition to become the company’s first dedicated beer taster and blogger was fierce.

The 31 year old, who lives in Cardiff Bay, marked his first shift by collecting ten bottles of beer including a copper ale from Fodo Brewery and a blonde ale from Saugatuck Brewery.

Neil will be sampling bottled and draught beers from the venue’s three bars: The Bierkeller, an original Bavarian-style bar; Shooters Sports Bar; and the Around The World Bar, stocking 150 different beers from across the globe.

Neil’s role involves a fair amount of admin, writing a regular blog comprising of beer reviews. Not one to keep his opinions on beer bottled up, Neil can’t wait to get started on the first entry.

He said: “I’m so pleased to have won the competition. Obviously this isn’t my actual job, but it’s something great to do in my spare time. I’ve visited lots of different breweries across the country and had a go at making my own beer, which has inspired me to try and taste as many new flavours and variations as possible.”

Neil’s day job as a business support analyst for Brains Brewery involves maintaining the day-to-day operations of hundreds of pubs and coffee shops across the UK.

He added: “You’d think I’d be sick of beers, but it’s something I’m really passionate about. The Bierkeller has got loads of interesting beers I can’t wait to try. I’ve just picked up a batch from its Around the World bar which includes some American brews I’ve never tried, so I’m really looking forward to writing about them.”

Kharl Pitman, general manager of the Cardiff Bierkeller Entertainment Complex, said: “It’s great to have Neil around. Becoming our volunteer ‘bier taster’ was a dream job hundreds of people wanted. Neil has just started, but we’re looking forward to him popping in and seeing what he thinks of the new beers and unusual brews we have on offer.”

The post Meet Neil, Bierkeller’s volunteer taster appeared first on Beer Today.

]]>
Imbibe Live brewing challenge returns http://beertoday.co.uk/imbibe-live-brewing-challenge-returns-0416/ Sat, 30 Apr 2016 10:35:28 +0000 http://beertoday.co.uk/?p=36728 May 20 is the deadline for brewers wanting to take up this year’s Imbibe Live Wheat Beer Challenge. Once they have registered their entry, competitors should...

The post Imbibe Live brewing challenge returns appeared first on Beer Today.

]]>
May 20 is the deadline for brewers wanting to take up this year’s Imbibe Live Wheat Beer Challenge.

Once they have registered their entry, competitors should deliver samples of their beer to Fuller’s, in Chiswick, London, between June 13 and 17.

Imbibe Live challengeThe winner will not only score a seasonal listing in a selection of Mitchells & Butlers’ leading pubs, but also a trip to the Pilsner Urquell brewery in the Czech Republic.

Following a first round of judging at Fuller’s, the Imbibe Live audience will cast the winning vote at the final in Brewers’ Den on July 4.

Designed to highlight what goes into crafting a great beer for Imbibe Live’s on-trade audience, the finalists pitch for votes while the audience taste the beers.

Guest judges joining competition chair and Imbibe Live ambassador Mark Dorber, from The Anchor at Walberswick, include this year’s brewer of the year, Jenn Merrick, Fuller’s head brewer, John Keeling, and wheat beer specialist and Meantime founder, Alastair Hook.

Competition partners There’s A Beer for That and SIBA will also be represented along with prize sponsors M&B and Pilsner Urquell.

Beers must contain at least 25% wheat in their mash bill and have been released this year, or be due to appear later this year. Entries in all styles are being invited, from bière blanche to Berliner weiss, fruit wheat beer to dunkelweiss. To ensure all are able to enter, all formats are welcome — cans and bottles, mini-kegs and mini-casks.

SIBA’s Neil Walker said: “The wheat beer challenge is an amazing opportunity for brewers to be judged by some of the UK’s top brewers and industry experts and potentially be crowned for the UK’s best wheat beer in front of the nation’s drinks buyers at Imbibe Live. This unique event is once again putting beer front and centre and I would encourage as many breweries to enter the competition as possible.”

The 2015 winner, Tim Dunford of Green Jack Brewery, has already thrown his hat in the ring for 2016.

The post Imbibe Live brewing challenge returns appeared first on Beer Today.

]]>
Caldeonian renews Fringe collaboration http://beertoday.co.uk/caledonian-renews-fringe-collaboration-0416/ Fri, 29 Apr 2016 07:25:08 +0000 http://beertoday.co.uk/?p=36723 Shona McCarthy, Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society chief executive, with Cledonian Brewery MD Andy Maddock The Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society is once again teaming up with...

The post Caldeonian renews Fringe collaboration appeared first on Beer Today.

]]>
Caledonian Brewery Edinburgh Fringe

Shona McCarthy, Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society chief executive, with Cledonian Brewery MD Andy Maddock

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society is once again teaming up with Edinburgh’s Caledonian Brewery in a new three-year sponsorship deal that will help thousands of visitors navigate their way across Edinburgh during the annual Festival Fringe.

The extension will see Caledonian Brewery continuing its sponsorship of the boards that appear outside every Fringe venue, the combined Edinburgh Festivals official map and the Fringe map that appears in the official Fringe Programme, as well as supporting the Friends of the Fringe membership scheme.

Shona McCarthy, Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society chief executive, said: “It is with great pleasure that the Fringe Society can announce that we will continue to develop our relationship with Caledonian Brewery over the next three years.

“This year, Caledonian Brewery venue boards will once again be on display at Fringe venues right across Edinburgh, helping audiences find their way around the Festival Fringe. We are delighted that this major sponsor is an Edinburgh-based company, and we look forward to working with them over the next three years.”

Andy Maddock, managing dDirector of Caledonian Brewery, added: “We’re delighted to have cemented our partnership with the Fringe for the next three years. As the local brewery and historic Edinburgh landmark, we’re very proud of our city’s Festival Fringe — the biggest of its kind in the world — and pleased to play a role as a major sponsor in helping visitors navigate their way around this beautiful city during festival time. We hope festival-goers will enjoy a few pints of our newest craft beers along the way too.”

The post Caldeonian renews Fringe collaboration appeared first on Beer Today.

]]>
Harveys wins ‘rural Oscar’ for tourism enterprise http://beertoday.co.uk/hareys-rural-oscar-tourism-enterprise-0416/ Thu, 28 Apr 2016 15:52:01 +0000 http://beertoday.co.uk/?p=36712 Left to right: Hamish Elder, Harveys Brewery executive chairman; Environment Secretary, Elizabeth Truss; and Carol Thwites, Harveys’ spirits, cider and minerals buyer. Picture: Countryside Alliance...

The post Harveys wins ‘rural Oscar’ for tourism enterprise appeared first on Beer Today.

]]>
Harveys Countryside Alliance Award

Left to right: Hamish Elder, Harveys Brewery executive chairman; Environment Secretary, Elizabeth Truss; and Carol Thwites, Harveys’ spirits, cider and minerals buyer. Picture: Countryside Alliance

Harveys Brewery has been crowned champion in the tourism enterprise category of the Countryside Alliance Awards, held at the House of Lords.

The ‘rural Oscars’, as they have become known, cover four key categories of countryside endeavour: butchery, village shops, post offices and tourism enterprise. Thousands of nominees from across the nation were whittled down to ten finalists in each category.

Countryside Alliance Chief Executive Tim Bonner announced Harveys’ victory by saying: “The champion in this category is appealing in many ways. It is woven into the history of the town and area it serves, it supports local farmers and producers, it is a huge local employer and, crucially, it brews beer.

“Harveys Brewery is revered as a Sussex name and embodies all the high standards and values of a bygone era, with the seventh and eighth generations of Harvey family at the helm. Trading since 1790, it is the current generation’s challenge to merge the old and the new, and this it does to great effect.

“Brewery tours are conducted personally by the directors, late-night shopping festivals are held in the yard, and the dray horses ride through the town every week for no other reason than that they put a smile on peoples’ faces.”

He added: “Harveys are very proud of their British credentials: all hops are grown within 50 miles, all malt within 90 miles and all by-products are returned to local agriculture, including Plumpton Agricultural College which converts the spent grains into 1 million pints of milk. Ninety per cent of their beer is consumed within 50 miles and the spring water for brewing is drawn via an artesian well 60 feet below their premises.

“Harveys support local events and activities through sponsorship of Sussex Food and Drink Awards, Lewes Business Awards and the Heavy Horse Village at the South of England Show. With many people coming to Lewes for the coastline, South Downs and myriad further attractions, the concept of a traditional pub is very high on people’s to-do list and Harveys ensure their brewery and pubs remain as traditional and English as the beers themselves.”

Harveys executive chairman, Hamish Elder, said: “We were delighted and surprised to have been honoured with this tribute. It is reassuring to know that the efforts of our team are recognised. I suppose the reasons were chosen are manifold: people, pubs, hops and horses. We have always striven to employ local staff, contract local craftsmen, use local ingredients in our beer, and sell local products in our shop and pubs.

“We have invested greatly in our pubs recently, particularly in guest rooms. But I believe it may have been our venture in re-establishing the presence of a heavy horse dray in Sussex’s towns which has caught the imagination for this award. We love the fact that the horses make people smile. They seem to embody our traditions, strengths and local rural heritage.”

The post Harveys wins ‘rural Oscar’ for tourism enterprise appeared first on Beer Today.

]]>
Ocado listing for two Arkell’s beers http://beertoday.co.uk/ocado-listing-arkells-beers-0416/ Thu, 28 Apr 2016 15:48:38 +0000 http://beertoday.co.uk/?p=36716 Wiltshire brewery Arkell’s is celebrating being listed on the UK’s top online supermarket, Ocado. Two of its award-winning beers, Moonlight (4.5% ABV), and Wiltshire Gold (3.7%)...

The post Ocado listing for two Arkell’s beers appeared first on Beer Today.

]]>
Wiltshire brewery Arkell’s is celebrating being listed on the UK’s top online supermarket, Ocado. Two of its award-winning beers, Moonlight (4.5% ABV), and Wiltshire Gold (3.7%) are now available to buy online, both priced at £2.19 per bottle.

Arkell's MoonlightThe listing is part of Arkell’s work with Taste of the West, the West Country food and drink co-operative. Ocado.com/tasteofthewestcountry.com is the first regional shop of its kind, the result of the collaboration of food and drink producers across the West Country, orchestrated by Taste of the West.

George Arkell, managing director of Arkell’s Brewery, said: “This is a brilliant opportunity for us to sell and promote our fabulous beers to OCADO’s growing customer base nationally.

“We are a regional, family brewery and enormously proud of it, with most of what we brew sold within an 80-mile radius of our brewery. But a bottle of Arkell’s tastes as good in Sheffield or Southampton as it does in Swindon, and now customers further afield can buy it.”

John Sheaves, chief executive of Taste of the West, added: “I am delighted with this development. It has been a long time in the planning and effectively takes Taste of the West onto a new innovative marketing platform. The new OCADO account is the first account for our new commercial service, run from our commercial arm, Taste of the West International, and feeds directly into a buoyant online market.”

The post Ocado listing for two Arkell’s beers appeared first on Beer Today.

]]>