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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Gary Gillman -

On the Past Masters XX, since aging is part of the process, both initially in cask and via bottle-conditioning, the time elapsed since bottling may have improved it quite a bit. The label states it is good until the end of 2013 and I'd think it could go longer if well-stored.

Apart from the inherent high quality of this beer, the validity of such exercises is to show (me anyway) that many current craft beers are authentically 1800's-style ales. It shows too that many of them are wannabees, but the best of them stand up to this beer IMO albeit sometimes with different hop tastes.


Ethan -

Posts like these are my favorite, Alan. Donno why, but your breezy recap of things from so many domains beery... it is nice.

Alan -

I am just setting you up. Once the nano brewery is going, I am so free loadin'.

Steve -

$3.75 a steal! That's around half of what we have to pay and its brewed here!

Alan -

That is the love bit. The LCBO moves so much and buys in such volumes that it can get prices to an extraordinary level some times.

Sadly, only one of the six left. Shared one of the XX with a beer fan I met at a neighbour's party last night. Also had one of the stouts with a splash of Warre Warrior port just to see. All very yum.

dave -

For the Boston Beer/Anchor Steam news what "corresponding code" are you talking about? (The news itself is a bit old, with a few posts on beernews.org about the whole thing. Unfortunately the posts are not tagged with a single tag, but searching for boston beer, http://beernews.org/brewery/boston-beer-co/, brings up the posts, interspersed with other boston beer related news.)

Alan -

Well, if we are all buddy buddy members of the beer community hovering like electrons around the core of craft brewers, suing each other would be a basic violation of the unwritten code.

Gary Gillman -

Working back to your post on O'Hanlon's stout in 2007, it is said (taken from the label I think) that the addition of port was a bartender's morning-after trick. This makes sense to me but as part of a larger story. Rooting about in Google Books, I found at least three references to stout and port with the context clearly suggesting they be mixed (because e.g., sometimes the same article advised to use them separately).

Each source was either medical advice - these were the days when some doctors advised alcohol for ailments - or for nursing mothers. In other words, the context was medical/health matters, not one connected to purely social or entertainment practices. One can easily see how the combination became a "specific" (to keep with the 19th century context) against a sore head in the morning after.

My own theory is the drink is really an echo of entire butt beer or the best of it from the 1700's, because in that era, George Watkins amongst others wrote that good porter should have an elderberry note. Other writers spoke of a fruity or port-like or winy note.

With porter becoming less and less aged in the 1800's and perhaps the old "ethereal" (estery in part) notes faded and a way to recall the past was to add a dash of port to a glass of stout. Same thing with lager-and-lime, I think it was a way to recall the palate of top-fermented ale as lager started to take over. A lot of this can be unconscious, no pun intended.


Alan -

That's an interesting observation. The right combo is certainly tasty - but not all are.

Gary Gillman -

Agreed! Everything is in the blending, and proportions. Everything.