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No more Fuller's beers

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10 minutes ago, Señor Chris said:

The main problem with craft beer is that it makes the majority of 'cask' ales seem watery and tasteless by comparison.

 

An interesting comment - but how do you differentiate between "craft beer" and "cask ale"? I'd call them both "real ale". Are you suggesting that "craft beer" comes only in bottles or cans rather than on draught?

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2 hours ago, Athy said:

An interesting comment - but how do you differentiate between "craft beer" and "cask ale"? I'd call them both "real ale". Are you suggesting that "craft beer" comes only in bottles or cans rather than on draught?

 

Real ale relies on secondary fermentation in the castor bottle to provide the pressure to dispense it. Craft beer doesn't necessarily.

 

Official definitions here:

 

CAMRA defines real ale as beer that is produced and stored in the traditional way and ferments in the dispense container to produce a reduction in gravity. It is also dispensed by a system that does not apply any gas or gas mixture to the beer other than by the traditional Scottish air pressure system.

 

The Brewers Association, craft beer’s nominal governing body in the United States, is responsible for various beer events and festivals throughout the year (most notably October’s Great American Beer Festival), and also provides a frequently updated list of beer styles – most recently changed to include various iterations of the hazy New England-Style IPA.

The BA does not define what a craft beer is per se, but it does outline that most craft beers come from a craft brewery, which it defines by the following criteria (per craftbeer.com?

  • Small – Annual production of 6 million barrels of beer or less.
  • Independent – Less than 25 percent of the craft brewery is owned or controlled (or equivalent economic interest) by a beverage alcohol industry member that is not itself a craft brewer.
  • Traditional – A brewer that has a majority of its total beverage alcohol volume in beers whose flavor derives from traditional or innovative brewing ingredients and their fermentation.

That’s the technical definition of a craft brewer as defined by a craft beer-related organization, and as such, craft beers are any beers that are created by those small, independent and traditional breweries.

  • Greenie 1

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It may be unfashionable amongst  'real ale' folks  to admit that where the beer is brewed is now no longer a matter of where the brewery is, and as casks are no longer of wood - indeed no wood is used in the whole process.

When I were a lad, the  Thames breweries  were located next to The River - not because  Thames water being used for the brew (just as well...) but that it was an ideal way of getting coal to the premises (although when at college - engineering-  we joked that the supply was of  "Metropolitan Liquor" - i.e straight out of the Thames. There weren't any liveaboards in those days.... The college (now upgraded to an University - but aren't they all) had some sponsorship from Fullers, as did the pub opposite and the horse trough - the latter where I ended up on at least one occasion.

I digress,

Nowadays with some of the skill removed from the brewing process, it has now become a matter of selecting the desired quality of brewing material, thus you can brew a good tipple in the most unpretentious  industrial estate you can imagine. DS is - methinks - brewed a couple of miles away from me in such a venue, which I know as a timber / ex railway yard previously owned by some folks very dear to me.

 

I feel better now...   

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8 hours ago, Athy said:

An interesting comment - but how do you differentiate between "craft beer" and "cask ale"? I'd call them both "real ale". Are you suggesting that "craft beer" comes only in bottles or cans rather than on draught?

Not at all. The main difference to me is that craft can be cooler and livelier and yet still have more flavour than cask.

 

Somewhat relevant:

https://www.fullers.co.uk/blog/beer-articles/cask-and-keg-beer

 

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3 hours ago, Iain_S said:

Have to say that the majority of  times I have tried a "craft beer", I've found it over hopped with added flavours, mainly citrous. It's a bit like "Artisan bread", wrecking the product with added frippery.

Some are like that. I prefer the unfined 6-8% double IPAs. Slotting in the odd sour which is tart enough to make your toes curl gives the tastebuds an experience you won't get anywhere near with traditional ale.

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5 hours ago, Señor Chris said:

Not at all. The main difference to me is that craft can be cooler and livelier and yet still have more flavour than cask.

 

 

 

So, your "Not at all" means "Yes". If a "craft beer" can be cooler and livelier than cask beer, that means that you don't think it can be served on draught. This is not so.

I also wonder how the serving temperature is relevant: of course a beer can be cooler if you put it in the fridge or keep it in a cold cellar. If you don't, then it will assume room temperature. his applies to all beers (and any other liquids, come to think of it).

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On 25/01/2019 at 13:35, Athy said:

CAMRA expressing the fervent hope that the Gale's ales brewed at Chiswick is a bit of a joke. Gale's was brewed by an independent company in Horndean, Hants., until Fuller's swallowed them in 2006.

Within a year of buying Gales, Fullers sold the brewery for housing. Only the cooling tower remains as it was grade 2 listed. Fullers only wanted the Gales brands and their pubs, many of which are now sold off.  Fullers failed miserably to brew Gales ales that now taste foul.  HSB was a fine brew, sadly not now.

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A few years back there was a lot of bar room chatter down here in Dorset about a joint venture between Hall & Woodhouse  (Badger) and Fullers to build a new joint brewery. The driver was the redevelopment of both existing brewery sites for housing. The rumour was that they were looking at potential sites in the Slough area.

 

The idea seemed to die the death when the North Dorset District Council was less than enthusiastic about the housing use idea unless a new brewery was built locally first. Shrewd on their part I think. In the event a new brewery was built on part of the existing site. The old brewery is currently being converted into apartments. I can't imagine for a second that the Griffin brewery will last more than five minutes under the new owners.  Maybe they will build a new brewery elsewhere or brew in the H & W brewery in Blandford? H & W's bottled beers are great the cask stuff less so. London Pride brewed in Dorset and sold in Fullers and H & W pubs?. Sounds like a plan to me

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7 hours ago, Señor Chris said:

Not at all. The main difference to me is that craft can be cooler and livelier and yet still have more flavour than cask.

 

Somewhat relevant:

https://www.fullers.co.uk/blog/beer-articles/cask-and-keg-beer

 

 

Breweries will always prefer keg to cask conditioned, because no skill is needed to store and dispense it properly, hence there is less loss per barrel.

  • Greenie 2

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1 minute ago, cuthound said:

 

Breweries will always prefer keg to cask conditioned, because no skill is needed to store and dispense it properly, hence there is less loss per barrel.

How much keg beer is sold in modern pubs? I think it's been relegated to places which have a bar but which aren't actually pubs, such as large hotels. The exception is Guinness, which is what I tend to drink in such establishments.

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14 minutes ago, Athy said:

How much keg beer is sold in modern pubs? I think it's been relegated to places which have a bar but which aren't actually pubs, such as large hotels. The exception is Guinness, which is what I tend to drink in such establishments.

 

Keg sells much more, although I cannot find any specific figures on Google.

 

A few of links on cask vs keg.

 

https://www.morningadvertiser.co.uk/Article/2018/03/12/Cask-Beer-solving-the-problem-of-price

 

https://cask-marque.co.uk/cask-vs-keg/

 

http://thomashallett.com/great-keg-craft-beer-rip-off/

Edited by cuthound

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2 minutes ago, cuthound said:

 

Keg sells much more, although I cannot find any specific figures on Google.

 

 

You are jesting, surely?

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2 minutes ago, Athy said:

You are jesting, surely?

 

No keg covers most lagers, Guinness, John Smith's etc as well as so called craft beers. Cask volumes are in decline and have been for a while 

 

Breweries and unskilled landlords prefer keg to cask because a barrel lasts weeks not days before going off and barrels can be changed quickly without the need to disinfect the dispensing pipes and pumps.

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4 minutes ago, cuthound said:

 

No keg covers most lagers,

LANGUAGE!

I obviously wasn't counting those, as we were discussing proper beer.

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The fullers site is madness these days for a brewery. It's now in a high end residential area, the lorry access is abysmal. It is however a perfect residential development for high end riverside living. I am not convinced it would repay the whole purchase price but certainly over half. 

Recently they installed a micro-brewery there and I winder if the plan might be to maintain the micro brewery and 'heritage centre', but redevelop the main brewery, offices and warehouse. The main brewery would be much better located in Slough or even subcontracted to Greene King who seem to brew everyone's beers on contract these days. 

The other huge local brewery, in Mortlake across the river is also being redeveloped for the same reason. 

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I'd assumed that craft was just a fancy term for a shelf life, keg version of real ale? Most pubs appear to think it is worth another 70p-£1 a pint though, i disagree. 

 A definite bonus in a pub without the ability to keep beer, i was extremely happy to find a few craft beers available in the 100 club, at the same price as the usual down and dirty gig lager.

2 minutes ago, Tigerr said:

The fullers site is madness these days for a brewery. It's now in a high end residential area, the lorry access is abysmal. It is however a perfect residential development for high end riverside living. I am not convinced it would repay the whole purchase price but certainly over half. 

Recently they installed a micro-brewery there and I winder if the plan might be to maintain the micro brewery and 'heritage centre', but redevelop the main brewery, offices and warehouse. The main brewery would be much better located in Slough or even subcontracted to Greene King who seem to brew everyone's beers on contract these days. 

The other huge local brewery, in Mortlake across the river is also being redeveloped for the same reason. 

Green ming is a thorn in the side of real ale today, with its corporate attitude and generic beer. A real shame as at one point it was one of few brewers promoting ale drinking. 

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37 minutes ago, BWM said:

 

Green ming is a thorn in the side of real ale today, with its corporate attitude and generic beer. A real shame as at one point it was one of few brewers promoting ale drinking. 

Their Abbot Ale still enjoys a high profile, being available in bottles and cans in many supermarkets. Unfortunately I do not enjoy Abbot Ale.

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1 hour ago, Athy said:

Their Abbot Ale still enjoys a high profile, being available in bottles and cans in many supermarkets. Unfortunately I do not enjoy Abbot Ale.

It seems to me that they have sewn up many outlets through aggressive marketing, all Wetherspoons have an independent selection and another group of handpumps with green ming and affiliates (ipa, abbot, gloombar and speckled hen). This is repeated in many tied pubs and a surprising number of supermarkets. 

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1 hour ago, Athy said:

Their Abbot Ale still enjoys a high profile, being available in bottles and cans in many supermarkets. Unfortunately I do not enjoy Abbot Ale.

 

Only the draught version is real (unpasteurised and alive). Nothing wrong with the reliability of the bottled versions, but they are rather two-dimensional, especially compared with the Memsahib's home brew.

 

The confusion between 'craft' and 'real' isn't helped by the likes of Morrisons, who tag all bottled bitters 'real ales' -- they'd be completely in the wrong if it were not for the odd bottle-conditioned beer on the shelves. Having said that, I had a Coniston Bluebird Bitter (bottle-conditioned) last night and it simply wasn't anything like as good as the bottle of Titanic Extra Dry Stout (pasteurised) that preceded it.

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5 minutes ago, BWM said:

It seems to me that they have sewn up many outlets through aggressive marketing, all Wetherspoons have an independent selection and another group of handpumps with green ming and affiliates (ipa, abbot, gloombar and speckled hen). This is repeated in many tied pubs and a surprising number of supermarkets. 

I'm delighted to see such an old-established brewing company thriving and expanding. Unfortunately, I'm not fond of Abbot (which, like Old Speckled Hen, is also a bit on the strong side, and Doombar has no detectable flavour. So I applaud them but rarely drink their beers.

 

Ming? Do they serve their beer in vases?

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2 minutes ago, Athy said:

Doombar has no detectable flavour

 

Virtual greenie for that! I suffer from the same problem -- an educated palate!

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5 minutes ago, Athy said:

I'm delighted to see such an old-established brewing company thriving and expanding. Unfortunately, I'm not fond of Abbot (which, like Old Speckled Hen, is also a bit on the strong side, and Doombar has no detectable flavour. So I applaud them but rarely drink their beers.

 

Ming? Do they serve their beer in vases?

No vases, just a take on the flavour (or lack of) and the buy 'em up attitude to small brewers. I know Fullers has been guilty of this but they seem to have changed their attitude lately, having bought up some notable freehouses and left them as such.

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