Friday, September 09, 2005

September 2005 - Beers from Across the Pond

For our September Memphis Beer Club we tried beers from "Across the Pond" at Fox and the Hound in Memphis. After they had to go dig out the "Samplers" from storage, we had to make very educated guesses on which beer was which. The ones we were unable to determine a second full sample had to be tried. This made for a long night. Some of the glasses still had dust, but added a little something extra to the beer.

We started off the tasting with two beers brewed by Guinness Dublin, Ireland, Guinness Draft and Harp Larger. When these two beers are served together in Ireland they are considered a "Black & Tan", while here in the US they are served as a half and half. Harp lager is A Pale Lager and was the first beer brewed by the Great Northern Brewery in 1897 and Harp Lager was born, with the Brian Boru Harp as it emblem. In 2005 Harp had a brand make over and was separated from Guinness and ironically there is no longer an actual Harp on the design of the new tins and bottles as that logo belongs to Guinness.

Guinness Draft is one of the best know Stouts in the world. Arthur Guinness was a visionary founder with a passionate obsession in 1759. The legendary Guinness two-part pour. First, tilt the glass to 45 degrees and carefully pour until three quarters full. Then place the glass on the bar counter and leave to settle. Once the surge has settled, fill the glass to the brim. It takes about 119.5 seconds to pour the perfect pint. In 2005 Guinness launch a new ad campaign with the two brewmasters, which are BRILLENT.

The next beer was Newcastle Brown Ale, a brown ale, brewed in Dunston, Gateshead England by Dunston (Scottish & Newcastle). In 1913, the Blue Star was adopted as the Company’s trademark. Newcastle Brown Ale was first brewed in 1927 in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England. The Newcastle has a great interactive website with a great diagram of how their beer is brewed. This is a great easy drinking beer that is perfect for any occasion.

The other half of the American "Black and Tan" is Bass Ale. This Premium Bitter/ESB is brewed by Samlesbury (Interbrew UK - InBev) in Preston, Lancashire, England. The legendary status of Bass is symbolized by its iconic red triangle, recognized as the world's first registered trademark. The brand has had an incredible pedigree for centuries. It has been painted by Manet, fought over by Napoleon, and served on the Titanic.

John Courage Amber is another Premium Bitter/ESB and brewed by Fountain (Scottish Courage - Scottish & Newcastle). I have had this beer multiple times and I have never been overly impressed with this brew. It is listed as a bitter but it's closer to a lager and they call it an amber. Here's an interesting note. John Courage Amber is brewed by Scottish Courage LTD., Edinburgh, Scotland, but Scottish Courage is owned by Scottish & Newcastle (who also own John Smith's, Kronenbourg, Newcastle Brown and others) and I find no reference to John Courage Amber on their website.

The next beer was a Scottish Ale brewed in Fountainbridge, Edinburgh Scottland, McEwans Scotch Ale. This beer was originally by appointment to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

We finished the tasting with our first Belgium Strong Ale, Maredsous 8 brewed by Brouwerij Moortgat in Breendonk-Puurs, Belgium. The Maredsous lines of beers were launched 1963 by the third generation of Moortgats.

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