Why we're here...

Beer culture is coming of age. At any store, restaurant, bar, or friend's house you can now find at least a few good brews. In fact, there seem to be so many new beers, breweries and bars it's difficult to separate the good, the bad, and the mediocre.

If you're going spend $10 on one beer, what should you buy? If you're going to drive 2 hours to check out a brewery, what's worth your time? If you're going to plan a Friday night, what has a good selection and friendly atmosphere? We're here to help you answer these questions.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Old Speckled Hen and the Fight for Real Ale

Old Speckled Hen is an English Pale Ale brewed originally by Morland Brewery before being bought out by Greene King. In a certain sense, Greene King is England's version of Budweiser/InBev. Greene King is known for buying out many local breweries, changing recipes and then trying to push out the remaining local brewers from the market.

What am I talking about? Well Bud/InBev own majority stakes in Kona Brewery, Red Hook, Widmer, and many others. They do this for shelf space. The more space they can fill up on store shelves with the beers they make money off of, the less microbrews can compete. The whole macro vs micro fight is off most Americans radars. But in the UK, there is a strong campaign to keep beers locally made.

I bought this beer in a pint can with nitro fro $2.99 from Pangaea Two Brews Cafe. It has an ABV of 5.2%.

First, there is a very specific way to pour a nitro can. You pop it open, hold vertically upside down and let it pour into your pint glass. The widget inside ensures the nitrogen and beer get properly mixed. No need to stop until the can is almost empty. Unlike carbonated beers, a nitro beer wont overflow with foam. After it hits the top slow drop in the last remaining bit of beer. This will pour the perfect pint. Shout to James at Pangaea to teaching me this.

The beer is copper in color with a thin creamy head that leaves thick lacings. There's a weak aroma of sweet malts. The taste is not very good. It's sweet, but has a medicinal flavor. The earthy hops leave an unpleasant bitter finish. It has a medium body that's smooth and creamy, but that doesn't make up for the taste.

Overall, I don't like this beer. Not sure if I got a bad can, but there's no flavor. Some reviews suggested a lemon citrus hoppiness, but I didn't get that. The only bright spot was learning how to pour a nitro can. Skip It.

No comments:

Post a Comment