Perhaps I was too hasty in my wild praise of Thornbridge Halcyon. It’s not that it doesn’t deserve it – of course it does, it’s bloody fantastic – it’s just that maybe I’ve found something even better.
It was Friday. It had been a very long bitch of a week. I was hot and thirsty and tired. I slumped in from work, dragged myself to the fridge and pulled out a restorative beer: Marble Brewery’s Manchester Bitter. I’ve had it on cask in The Bull and loved it but was a little worried about how it would transfer over into a bottle... I needn’t have. It’s 4.2% of brilliant. It’s a stunning gold colour. It smells like you’ve been locked in a room full of sacks of deliciously fresh hops - passion fruit, tropical fruit and citrus – the kind of aroma you want to be able to inhale so deeply that it fills every last space of your lungs. It’s easy drinking, it’s completely delicious, it’s got these incredible hops that just keep on teasing and playing and nibbling away, so fruity, astoundingly fresh, vibrant, AWESOME. It puts almost every other bottled British beer I’ve had this year to absolute shame. Breweries: if you want to taste what a 4.2% hoppy bottle-conditioned British bitter can taste like then try Manchester Bitter. Please.
In fact, it’s so good, I put my money where my mouth is and just bought a whole case of it from myBrewerytap – it’s the perfect summer beer and I can’t imagine anything better when sitting in the sun than a chilled bottle of this.
myBrewerytap are also selling four other Marble bottles – Lagonda IPA, Tawny No.3, Ginger and Chocolate Marble. Beermerchants sell the special, limited edition Marbles, which are also fantastic (Special, the American-style barley wine is my favourite).
I've never had the bottled version, but Manchester Bitter has been Eileen's beer of choice in the MA since, well, a long time. It used to be mine, too but then Pint came along.ReplyDelete
Must try it again.
I tried this quite a number of months ago now and at the Sheffield #twissup was talking to Dom about it.ReplyDelete
He mentioned that they weren't happy with how it had transferred to the bottle (they outsourced the bottling).
From your reaction I guess they have now figured out how to bottle this to perfection - I'll be popping down to Source deli in Ormskirk at lunchtime today to pick up a bottle to 're-rate'!
I'm somewhat of a late starter, so have been drinking Pint (or Janine's One) since I first discovered the MA, interspersed with Ginger; but on the occasions when Pint has run out I've gone onto Manchester and wished I'd done so sooner. I guess I was expecting something brown and boring... but then remembered where I was!ReplyDelete
The quality of the bottles Manchester Bitter took me by surprise as well. Seriously good. Glad you're enjoying them Mark!ReplyDelete
Praise indeed - and well deserved for a truly outstanding bitter.ReplyDelete
Drinking it when available ought to be compulsory.
Please please PLEASE change the record. Every beer you drink is "AWESOME!"ReplyDelete
:-) He uses the word "awesome" in real life too, not just the written form. Although I've not yet heard an "Oh-Em-Gee!" exclamation (yet).ReplyDelete
Is, like, Mark in fact, like, a Valley Girl? ;)ReplyDelete
Awesome is probably my least favourite Americanism. And I have a bunch of them.ReplyDelete
Wish I could get it. Unfortunately their website is the most absolutely unhelpful site I have ever seen! (Oooh! A pictograph of a pint glass!....No, clicking that doesn't do anything...that either...)ReplyDelete
I know that process and ingredients and such isn't your think Mark, but do you have any interest in reaching out to them to find out, say, what hops they're using?
Tandleman, I've only had it from the cask once and loved it. I think that if you had the bottle I had then you couldn't fail to be impressed by the quality of it. And there ain't nuffing wrong with awesome!ReplyDelete
ChrisM, there's nothing brown and boring about this bitter! Pint is a brilliant beer, I love it.
Ron, 1) These beers ARE awesome, so of course I'm going to describe them as that. What other words do you suggest I use? I'm not a bloody walking dictionary.
2) Look back over the last 10 posts (I choose 10 because that's how many are on screen now). I use 'awesome' in two posts. This and the Halcyon post. You might notice a certain self-referential, self-mocking, tongue-in-cheek tone to it?
3) In relation to Brad's point: I totally do use Oh-Me-Gee.
Joe, the Marble website doesn't do very much... check out mybrewerytap though. I'm about to email Dominic from Marble now so I'll see if I can get the info out of him!
You are the antithesis of the dry humour of bloggers Mark, a shining beacon of awesomeness and enthusiasm. I hope you never lose the enthusiasm or let other dictate what you should say on the blog.ReplyDelete
But...tell me why this is better then everything else. The difference between Pint, Kernel Centennial, Halcyon, to the non-geek it's minuscule, it's irrelevant...it's almost unnoticeable. Taking into account all styles and relativity, the cost of these beers compared to something in the supermarket and the travel miles I've why should go order a case of this for summer?
(And replying 'cos it's awesome won't do'!)
Earlier this year I won a bottle of Lagonda IPA in a raffle. After a couple of weeks in the cupboard, it still didn't seem to have cleared. One day, I bit the bullet and poured it out - it had the colour, clarity and condition of ditchwater. It went straight down the sink. Yet another reason not to touch bottle-conditioned beers from micro breweries with a bargepole.ReplyDelete
Mark, good question... For me, the difference with this was the absolute freshness of flavour which it had. It bests so many other bottled beers because it packs a considerable volume of flavour into its modest 4.2%. You know... that's a difficult question. Pint, Kernel, Halcyon, they are great beers. What makes them great is that they are the sort of beers I want to drink and they are the sort of beers I want to keep around.ReplyDelete
Mudgie, Marble have recently changed their bottlers and the difference is very clear, I think. Don't give up on them yet. I do get your point of bad BC beer from micros and I've had plenty of average ones. But every now and then you get a goodun'.
At least you didn't use OMFG.ReplyDelete
Mudgie - Marble don't use (traditional?) finings so beers are often cloudy. It does mean they are veggie friendly, though!
To tell the the truth I absolutely loved Kernel and Halcyon and I'll jump on the bandwagon very soon.ReplyDelete
No plans this weekend so I might just whip down to Picadilly for a day out in Man-chest-er. Marble Arch and Manchester Bitter would be respite from taking Sarah shopping!
Bastard! I've tried to hurry up my case so I can have a couple of bottles on Sunday with a BBQ.ReplyDelete
I'll come up and visit sometime and we can go to Manchester for a few beers.
Jo and I are heading to the Marble Arch for our anniversary dinner tomorrow. Lovely, lovely Manchester Bitter on draught. And Pint and Lagonda and Dobber and Stouter Stout and No.6 and... :DReplyDelete
I was fortunate enough to be given a bottle of manchester bitter (amongst others) by Dominic of Marble. It was the first batch they had bottled themselves after outsourcing it and it was the BEST bottled beer I have ever had. Quite aside from the fact that the beer itself is awesome (yes, awesome), it was the most cask-like tasting bottle of beer I've tried. If you had poured it in a glass and given it to me without my knowing it was a bottle, I would have sworn till the cows come home that you had served it either by gravity or through a handpull. Yet another reason why Marble are the best brewers in the UK <-- according to me!ReplyDelete
Mark, buy some Tawny 3... Oh and drink it of course, you'll like it a lot.ReplyDelete