A Good Beer Blog


Have you read The Unbearable Nonsense of Craft Beer - A Rant in Nine Acts by Alan and Max yet? It's out on Kindle as well as Lulu.

Maureen Ogle said this about the book: "... immensely readable, sometimes slightly surreal rumination on beer in general and craft beer in particular. Funny, witty, but most important: Smart. The beer geeks will likely get all cranky about it, but Alan and Max are the masters of cranky..."

Ron Pattinson said: "I'm in a rather odd situation. Because I appear in the book. A fictional version of me. It's a weird feeling."


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Knut Albert Solem -

I don't think it is the use of lactose that is prohibited in Britain, but more the use of terms like "milk stout". This might lead potential drinkers to believe that this is a product which is - heaven forbid - good for them. I have a hazy memory of reading about this somewhere. There was a tendency in the early years of the twentieth century to connect health claims to just about anything, which the health authorities later clamped down on.

Knut Albert

Alan -

That makes more sense. I am glad we have a foot in the door with EU regulation interpretation. I think it is a lovely style - stout without the roast but all the rich.

Matthew -

How long has this been contract-brewed? I've had it, but not for some time. It is an excellent example of a milk stout. The best one that I ever had (Bandersnatch, from Tempe, Arizona) is no longer available, alas.

Some day I need to do a taste comaprison between Mackeson's, Left Hand (which is great), and Hitachino (from Japan). Any others? This is a rather rare style.

Alan -

Lancaster Brewing from PA has one, too.

Alan -

Hey - I have a Left Hand Milk Stout in the stash! Looking forward to it now.

Knut Albert Solem -

What does the glove do among the beer bottles? You don't throw them around, do you?

Alan -

Its just still life art of things I like, Knut.

Beered -

The stash is beautiful, really just beautiful.

Is it perpetual? A bottle in, a few out? Without end into eternity?


Alan -

You got it. The stash is a source of well being in itself. I will do a little renewal from SW Ontario perhaps this weekend, maybe a run to Syracuse on Labour Day weekend twinned to the NY state fair, too. It is all about staging the sources of enlightenment out before my mind's eye and upon the calendar in a prudent moderate plan. I have a post to do about two more wittes as well as four separate brewers (Middle Ages, Left Hand, Wolavers and Mendocino) plus a bunch of singles for the quick notes. Add the post or two about beer news every week and a post or two from BLork every month and that stash should hold me until 1 October. I am not exactly a big imbiber.

But then the stash would be gone. So it needs constant renewal. I have, conversly, one small problem of the last IPA by Great Divide that I suspect I will not pop given the effect sulfates have on my skull. I wish I could award it as a prize.

Medical Billing Services -

Does anyone know if thi beer is available in Arizona? I have been looking

FClass Travel Tips -

I had one, what a fantastic brew.

Alan -

Used to be regularly available at a local store where I grew up & went to college. I have an extensive past relationship with this one! Think of it as a great brew when you are also in the mood for a jamocha shake. Yes,... even a beer Milkshake!

Alan -

I had a moment's confusion there - this is another Alan, not editor Alan (me).

kyle -

So, I just had a six of this fine brew, and was so enthralled with it that it was gone that night. I've been on my local beerman's case, and he recently got a, well, CASE in that I promptly bought.

There is no end of love I have for this beer. Spread word, this stuff is delicious.

Dan Singleton -

I have had little luck finding this beer. I found a case in Point Marion, PA at a distrubutor located in an alley behind a church. This was during the last week of October 2008. I bought two six packs in Albuquerque, NM after that but was told they were then out of stock. During the road trip back from the Pittsburgh area (Point Marion connection) a stayed overnight in Cincinnati, OH. I located the telephone number for the Royal Imports outfit that was brewing this beer but neither I nor the operator could any response other than the telephone number had been disconnected. The earlier bottles indicated that Mackeson was made by the Whitbread Brewing company in England but the newer ones indicate that it is made by Interbrew UK. Of course it was also made in Cincinnati by Royal Imports under the supervision of the English company but I don't think Royal Imports exists any more. Maybe the brewing of this excellent beer has been caught up in the giant Ambev beer brewery by-out. Does anyone know if Mackeson is being made anymore in the United States?

Dan Singleton -

My previous posting was incorrect concerning the large beer company Ambev. Interbrew merged with Ambev in 2004 to form Inbev. Now the conglomerate has merged with Anheuser-Busch to form Anheuser-Busch Inbev or AB Inbev. I just hope this large company does not forget about this excellent beer, Mackeson.

Philip -

I had a regular supply here in NoVA - both a small boutique of good eclecticism, as well as our "Total Wine and Beverage" stores. I have not been able to find this wonderful quaff (my Winter favorite) since September, and nobody seems to know why....I am severely bummed.

D. -

I tried the Lancaster stout just to see how it compared to the Mackeson and it wasn't even a close second. You can however, find them both in NoVA. The Lancaster, at My Organic Market and the Mackeson, at Trader Joe's. If you like either of these, you might also like Dogfish Head's Raison D'Etre also at MOM's.

Tony Crawford -

Please tell me the name & phone number of any 2distributors of Mackeson Triple xxx Stout i Florida.
Ineed some andcan only find it in New York City. I live in Central Florida.


Tony Crawford -

Please tell me the name & phone number of any 2distributors of Mackeson Triple xxx Stout i Florida.
Ineed some andcan only find it in New York City. I live in Central Florida.


redman -

looks like the brewer or importer (royal imports LLC of cincinnatti) is out of business. in fact i can no longer find McEwan's Scotch Ale either. i am bummed. nobody makes anything like mackeson's.

Dan Singleton -

I have seen Mackeson Triple Stout listed as a product from the Boston Beer Company who, as you all know, makes all the Sam Adams stuff. I suspect that they purchased Royal Imports LLC in Cincinnati and is making it there again. I am currently in Phoenix and will look here for some of this most excellent beer. Supposedly Texas and Arizona have this beer for sale but in New Mexico, were I live, the distributors no longer pick this beer up. Could be ignorance on their part as to who is making it now or different distributors that carry Boston Beer Company stuff. Got to go.

FunkyBlue -

I've been a fan of Mackeson for almost 9 years. I live about an hour from Royal Imports and I've been unable to find any Mackesons since Christmas time last year. I have one left in the fridge and I've been saving it for a special occasion. Anyone have any news on if this is being produced/imported again? I'm dying to replenish the fridge...

FunkyBlue -

Actually, I don't see anything in Boston Beer Co. for Mackeson, but I do see it here:


Diana -

My liquor store in Mesa, Az also no longer carrys Mackesons and said their distributor not longer has it available. That, along with some other beers. I bought the last four beers they had and am now out. It is my favorite beer and am now back to drinking Guiness or some of the Dog Fish Head beers, which are quite good, expecially the Chickory Stout; but nothing compares to MacKesons.

Gordon Inwood -

I loved the comments about Mackeson Stout I used to work for shepherd-neame in Faversham, Kent (UK) If any of you good people holiday in the UK You MUST take a brewery tour here, its a really old site (1698 but probably much earlier) its a really intimate place with superb beer, highly recommended. (try Bishops Finger, its ordered in the local pubs by asking for 'nuns comfort'.........I kid you not!)
Gordon Inwood.

David R. Plemel -

Where cab I purchse this great stout for retail?
Used to get it at British Pantry in Redmond, Wa. Also at Trader Joes in Kirkland, WA. Contact at e-mail address.


Mason Hurd -

I loved this stout in my teens and 20s when I lived in Florida. Back then it was the real stuff, straight from the UK and I loved it. A couple years ago I bought the Cincinnati made stuff and it didn't taste as good as I remembered the UK brew did. Perhaps they changed the recipe? Anyway I am 40 now and live in NH. If anyone knows where I can pick this up around here I'd love to know about it. The last time I saw Mackesons for sale was at Yankee Liquors in Rhode Island around 2004-2005 and I haven't seen it since. Drop me a line at marsbrngrofwar@yahoo.com if you know where I can get it in New England.

Chris Funk -

I believe Mackeson is dead. Whitbread shut down and took Royal Imports that brewed it in Cincy with them ~2 years ago. I have been looking nationwide trying to find a bottle anywhere and have been unable. I found an eBay auction for a 10-pack of assorted beer with one Mackeson in it, but that's all.

Carib Beer is brewing a slightly different mix for South America, but I haven't found a single distributor that deals with Carib that are able to get it.

Some sites say that Boston Beer Co. is taking over the brand name and list them as the brewer now, but I called their main phone number yesterday trying to get some confirmation on if they did in fact have the brewing rights and if they were producing it and the gent on the phone had never heard of it.

So, unless a miracle occurs, it is a beer lost to the ages. If anyone can prove me wrong, please feel free to contact me at cfunkxcs.at.gmail.dot.com.

Stuart Calderwood -

I'm reluctantly beginning to give up on ever having another Mackeson, my favorite dark beer. I've gone through the same searches that others have, with the same complete lack of luck. One beer-reviewing site has added a notice: "THIS BEER IS NO LONGER BREWED." I'm even considering trying to follow a recipe that I found online...what a disaster that would almost certainly be.

If by some quirk or chance anyone finds it, please post here, and we can race to buy it up. Meanwhile, has anyone tried both Left Hand and Mackeson? Are the actually similar at all?

Stuart in NYC

FunkyRed -

So, I am in no way a beer afficionado - I don't drink beer, but when met with a challenge, I'll go for it.

That being said, I was looking for Mackeson for my husband (FunkyBlue) for his birthday. I ran the gamut of "no's" from distributors and the like. Finally, I decided to start at the source. I called Boston Beer Co. They directed me to Anheuser Busch, who actually OWNS the brewery now in Cincy, Ohio that brewed and distributed Mackeson. The VERY pleasant woman on the phone not only told me "no", but she even suggested ways for me to go about my search as well as similar beers that I might find for him (I know better than to buy a knockoff). For the last 3 days I've been researching and networking, on the web and by phone, to see where it would end up. Finally, I decided to contact Carib Brewery. No dice, no one would answer the phone. I ended up on their distributor page, and found some local distributors and made a few calls. Again with the "no's" - until I reached one in which the young lady gave me a number for Carib that would most assuredly answer the phone after I remarked that no one would respond. It was the contact that the distributorship had on file, located in the US. So, I gave it a shot. To my surprise, someone answered the phone. A very nice gentlemen, and one that I began to realize was likely not accustomed to having his number given out, or speaking to an individual consumer. I gave him my well rehearsed question about the possibility of finding it in the US. His response, again "no". Fan-freakin'-tastic... I then began my questions about how I could go about asking someone in the Carribean to import it, then speaking about the history of the beverage and how it ended up in this way. I quoted dates, and Whitbread, and the Mackeson boys as well as the implementation of his own company. With a bit of surprise in his voice, he remarked about how I'd "obviously done my homework". I chuckled and this was his response: "I will tell you that we are working on the distributorship in the US. I can tell you it will be soon. Obviously, I can't give you anymore details than that, but it will be soon." When I queried what "soon" was in his world, he explained that it wouldn't be this year, but they have a ballpark estimate of mid-2011. He explained that he was aware of the ground-swell of Mackeson drinkers in the US and they do pay attention to the public's interest of having it again within the US.
In conclusion - there will be Mackeson. They will distribute it here and those who enjoy it will, no doubt, be happy.
I don't even drink the stuff, but I still have his number... ;)

Brian -

@FunkyRed, Do you know if there is any update on bringing this beer to the states? This was my favorite beer, would do anything to have it again.

ross frank -

where can a mackeson lover find this beer to purchase?
Omaha, N.E.