Friday 31 July 2009

If you had to...

I posted here about the best beers available in the supermarket, suggesting that Meantime’s IPA and London Porter were my then-choices. I think I’m changing my mind. And following yesterday’s FAB POW! post you might know what to: Orval. It’s a fantastic beer and I can get it in the supermarket.

Which, in a round-about way, leads me onto this: If you could choose, or if you had to choose, one bottled beer that you’d want available in the supermarket near you, but which isn’t already, what would it be? You can have anything. It can be from anywhere in the world. It can be a one-off or just something which you can’t buy near you. Literally anything. It’ll be sensibly priced, not completely marked-up if it’s something rare or from far away. And you still get all the other regular beers to choose from too. Even those of you who are pub drinkers must enjoy the odd bottle or two at home, but what’s the one. But you can only choose one extra to sit on those shelves so pick carefully!


  1. Right now I’d want Pliny the Elder. It’s probably the best bottled IPA I’ve ever had and it’s the sort of thing that I’d drink a lot of and it’s the kind of beer that really gets me going right now.

    Runners up: bottles of Thornbridge Jaipur (coming soon I hope!), Alesmith IPA or Ruination IPA. If it’s winter then Thornbridge Bracia or Harviestoun's Old Engine Oil (maybe an Ola Dubh).

  2. I'd have to say BrewDog Paradox. Incredible stuff.

    Although I'd definitely second and welcome a chance to buy Thornbridge Jaipur or Ashford on a regular basis.

  3. Mikkeller stateside or Beer geek breakfast or any of the thornbridge ones (got a bracia at home to try soon)

    i was quite shocked when i found ola dubh in booths in keswick, not a beer u would have thought u would find in the supermarket...actually booths has a really good range of beers, far better of any of the supermarkets near me.

  4. Chaos Theory and Hardcore IPA... Oh look, wish come true already!

    I'd love to be able to pick up a bottle conditioned Marble Dobber and maybe a few supping bottles of Pint too. In general, more American stuff from the likes of Stone, Goose Island, Dogfish Head etc. would be great. And the full Mikkeller range, of course.

  5. Mikkeller Stateside and Paradox Smokehead should be drunk every day in my opinion... now where did i put that lottery ticket?

  6. This is the problem with asking such a question. In jump the Brew Dog Bandwagon. It gets kind of boring.

    Maybe I'd choose Proper Job by St Austell. But maybe not.

  7. Michael Elliott31 July 2009 at 13:14

    If pressed to make a choice right here and now, I think I'd opt for AleSmith IPA. It would be a bit of a gamble, since I've never actually tasted it.

  8. Tandleman,

    Why is it a problem if it's what people want? Perhaps the GBBF organisers would do well to take note?

    Proper Job is a terrific ale and tastes great out of the bottle too. Thoroughly deserves to be sat next to Tribute in all the major supermarkets.

  9. Darren, which Paradox would you go for? Have you had the Raspberry Smokehead yet?

    Moggy, two good choices - I'd have the Brunch Weasel Geek though ;) And finding Ola Dubh in Booths is a win!

    Dubbel, have you found Chaos and Hardcore in Sainsburys yet? I thought about a bottle of Dobber while writing my answer too... I might have to venture up to The Bull's showcase. Next week is going to be a HUGE beer drinking week!! (And I'm still doing GBBF on Sat too!)

    Mr Adventurer, solid and good luck with that ticket (if you win grab me some Tokyo* with your order)!

    Michael, it's a fantastic beer and a brave decision to pick it blind! Oh and the Stone IPA I got was great so no worries about the best before date, thankfully.

    And Tandleman... Dubbel beat me to it, but a lot of people like Brewdog beers, especially readers of this blog because more of my drinking is bottle-based. Maybe there is a bandwagon and maybe it's full of fanboys but I think this is reflective of changing drinking habits. And there is a WHOLE WIDE WORLD of beer to choose from, I don't ask anyone to choose their favourite British beer or BrewDog beer... And the whole point of this 'If you had to...' series is a bit of fun because, after all, beer IS fun. Just play along :)

  10. Brewdog IPA is nice. I'd buy it if available at my local store. In saying that, the price would have to be comparable to say Racer 5, AleSmith IPA, etc.

  11. Dubbel beat me to it, I would love to see Marble Pint in bottles in the supermarket, I could drink that till the cows come home. Failing that I would love to be able to get bottles of Jaipur easily.

  12. "Maybe there is a bandwagon and maybe it's full of fanboys but I think this is reflective of changing drinking habits."

    First bit right, last bit, doubtful to say the least. And Tribute is shite compared to Proper Job. IMO of course.

  13. Jaipur? Wait and see, folks, wait and see.....

    I'd still take Green Flash West Coast IPA though.

  14. Also, Tandleman, I don't mean to be incendury but surely BrewDog even if they have their fanboys deserve recognition as a tour de force for the marketing of their beers? Other brewers would sell their souls for a following like theirs, they must be doing something right.

    As for my personal opinion of their beers, I'm divided. Some I really enjoy, others leave me cold.

  15. Pete, I thought about Pint too but I'm not so sure on that one. I think it's a beer that massively benefits from cask freshness and that might be lost trapped inside a bottle, even if it is bottle conditioned? Who knows... As for your Tandleman repost, there are those who despise Brewdog's marketing approach. Personally I like the punk nature of it and I see exactly what they are doing and I love it; it's very refreshing, but then I say that as a fan of big American beers. And I think you are right about many breweries dreaming of having a fanbase like Brewdog has (and they only started brewing 2 years ago!).

    Haddonsman, I can't wait to try the bottle conditioned Jaipur from the new brewery. Hopefully they'll have a few bottles waiting at the brewery opening (Kelly, if you read this, that is a major hint!).

    And Tandleman, pubs are closing and more people are dinking at home. Drinking at home they have more options to drink exactly as they please and more and more drinkers are being turned on by beers from breweries like Brewdog (that's what marketing/PR does for you). And these drinkers, I would hazard a decent guess, all enjoy cask ale too. This is where drinking habits are changing. The 'modern drinker' enjoys pints in the pub AND bottles at home. And real ale has it's fan-men too...

  16. Crikey, I admire Brew Dog. They brew some great cask beers, manipulate the press to their own advantage, are Scottish and prove that you can cock a snook at convention. They do a lot right imo.

    Not so bad on the whole.

  17. I've always been disappointed by Brew dog beer when I've found them on cask, I think they're better in bottle. On the other hand St Austell Tribute is excellent in cask but not half as good in bottle.

    As to what beer I'd want to see, the one beer I really miss is draught Ind Coope Burton Ale. But as this is about bottled beer I'll have to go for Goose Island IPA, which I first found in my local Safeways but sadly I only find in specialist beer shops nowadays.

  18. Rodham's IPA, Rooster's Yankee (but they don't bottle so this eally would be a miracle), Pliny The Elder's a good shout...Dogfish Head 75 Min IPA, and finally Alaskan Smoked Porter.

  19. Alas Mark,

    We're all out of bottle refermented Jaipur... was far too popular! New bottling line will hopefully be close to up and running when we have our brewery opening, but no plans of yet to tackle BC Jaipur until we've got all our nifty new technology sorted and perfected! Flavour matching here we come!!

    Am sure there'll be a few tasty casks knocking around though :)

  20. Mark,

    I am lucky that my local deli stocks most of the beers I like,and at reasonable prices, Goose Island I.P.A at 1.68 a bottle for example.They also stock Proper Job that Tandleman mentions.If I had to choose one bottled beer from the supermarket though it would have to be Saison Dupont.

  21. I had a superb weissbier in Berlin last year - local stuff, bottled but for the life of me I can't remember the name... which might have something to do with the number of these I got through...

  22. Ed, I've had some excellent cask Brewdogs before, you just have to get them right. My favourite pub is having a Brewdog BBQ in two weeks, it's 30 mins outside London and well worth the trip!!

    Leigh, they're some crackers buddy! Not had the Alaskan Smoked Porter but it's on my list of bottles to buy from the GBBF.

    Kelly, damn you, you break my heart but then you fill it again with the prospect of casks! Looking forward to it!

    Dave, I wish I could pick up GI IPA near me, that's a great beer (I had a bottle yesterday!). And Saison Dupont is a classic; it's almost surprising that you can't find it in supermarkets considering Orval is well-stocked.

    Andrew, I've been there many times, unable to remember the names of bottle-gone-by. Now my notebook comes with me, or I can chect to see what I plugged in to twitter!