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    Tuesday, 7 April 2009

    If I Owned A Brewery Part 2 - The Permanent Beers

    Beer is a serious drink and as such deserves to treat its drinkers like serious people. My brewery therefore will produce a number of permanent beers in various styles, and will have serious understandable names.

    All too often we order beers not having a clue what we are going to receive. We can of course ask the bar staff but sadly they are not always fully in command of the knowledge to tell us whether the beer will be a golden ale or a dark mild. ABV doesn't tell us as much as it used to. That pint of Old Gutblaster could be anything.

    Sure, sometimes it's nice to be surprised, but that can occasionally be problematic.

    My dark mild will therefore be called Dark Mild, my porter Porter and my barley wine Barley Wine. No jokey names thank you very much. It may be boring but breweries back in the day didn't feel the need for odd nomenclatures.

    You'll know what you'll be getting with my beers. Tomorrow I'll do the seasonals.


    Karen and Mark said...

    Absolutely. In my dreams I run a small rural bar, the front room of our cottage, close to the river Severn in Glocs. Out back we have a large orchard for cidermaking, and a small brewery in the outhouse. The only beers I want to offer are 'Dark' - a tasty, dry Midlands style Mild, and 'Pale' - I think you get the idea...

    Alex Cooke said...

    The Royal Oak in Bath always has small glass of each beer in front of their handpumps - allowing you to see the colour of every ale. It's such a simple idea and tells you so much about the beer that I can't believe no one else has copied it. I would in my imaginary pub.

    The Beer Adventurer said...

    It makes me laugh to see your imaginary brewery, with its boring name and boring beers, probably with boring imagery, right next to a BrewDog advert!

    Tandleman said...

    The BA - That's rather a good point. It isn't that straightforward.

    Alex - not a bad idea, though I quite like to see on a board a scale of one to five, one being the palest. Whatever way, info is good. Wasn't that one of the clever ways Oddbins shot to the top as a wine retailer?

    Curmudgeon said...

    Yes, bear in mind that a lot of breweries decided to give their beers more interesting names than "Bloggs's Bitter" so they leapt off the bar more in the free trade. For example Robinson's Best Bitter became "Unicorn" and Best Mild "Hatters".

    Obviously if you're just running a brewpub and aren't looking to go into the free trade it isn't so much of an issue.

    maeib said...

    TBA - You're right, but I haven't done the seasonal or occasionals yet which will be less, as you say, boring, but as I say traditional.

    Interestingly you're probably got the imagery spot on though.

    Alex and Tandleman - Both good ideas but all too rare, and in the case of the 1-5 or A-E scale which The Wellington in Brum does; mistakes are often made.

    Karen and Mark - I'm ooming to your dream pub when you open it, just give me a shout. What about the cider though?

    Curmudgeon - Does Unicorn really outsell the old Best Bitter? That does surprise me.

    bigun said...

    Last night, in a quest for something nice and dark, I chose "Arran Dark" thinking I would be onto a winner, only to find it a dark golden bitter. I nearly took it to trades descriptions but I drank it instead.

    Barm said...

    Why do so many people not seem to have a problem with fantastically named beers that don't give you any indication of what they look or taste like?

    You know where you are with something called Bloggs's Bitter. You know who makes it, and you know roughly what to expect. You can also compare beers you've drunk before and say Bloggs's Bitter is better than Bates's Bitter but not as good as Thorpe's Bitter.

    If I buy a ready meal at the supermarket, I want to know whether it's meant to be a chicken curry or a shepherd's pie, before I buy it. I expect it to say "shepherd's pie" on the box and not "Sheepshagger's Dinner".

    My brewery will also have mild, bitter, old ale and porter, with no fancy names. In fact I'm considering just calling them X, XX, etc.

    Karen and Mark said...

    It's been a bugbear of mine for many years. If I walk into the better Leics freehouses, I know the licensees well enough to ask for their recommendation based on the style of beer I'm after, but when in a strange pub the sight of several pumps bearing wierd and possibly wonderful beers with no clue as to their style is a real turn-off for me.

    The Alex in Kettering indictaes on the blackboard whether a beer is Light (L) or Dark (D), but on the last couple of visits there have been 12 L's which all tasted very similar. Not great but I suppose it at least proves that the system is working.

    Leigh said...

    i'm with you on the daft names for beers front. Can't stand it, think it turns some people off driking the stuff. This is a fun game - I play it all the time when I'm homebrewing!! Keep up the good work, Maeib.