Drinking through Michael Jackson's Great Beer Guide, from A to Z, Since 2000. Sometimes barman, all the time connoisseur. 💯 Original. 🗽NYC In Oslo🇳🇴

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#Chiltern #Three #Hundreds #OldAle - See: previous Chiltern post. On 2/15/19 , @fourdigitcharmer and I made our way through this absolutely #adequate strong ale at the West London Hyatt, on our way to other ventures (including a nice 🥩 and glass of 🍷😂). It was, perfectly fine, and I noted: "deep color, had to sip, like a normal old ale" - Normal beer is beer after all and it was put here to be drank. The #Quest. #Thegreatbeerguide #thegreatbeerquest #England #Englishbeers #Englishale #realale #darkale #beerlist #beerblog #beerlove #beerlife #beerlabel #rarebeer

#Chiltern #John #Hampden 's #Ale - We are now entering some random territory with #Thegreatbeerguide - Even by the normally circumspect standards and focus, and the historical point awarding by #MichaelJackson #BeerHunter , he quite obviously had his own personal hobby horses, and it seems Chiltern, a small farm brewery in #Aylesbury , #Buckinghamshire is one of those. He included not one, but two Chiltern #beers in his volume. They are not a historic #brewery, founded just in 1980, which is adolescent at best in the brewing old world, and they don't make any one spectacular beer. So in the end, the novelty of the Chiltern beers is in the scarcity of them and the eventual acquisition thereof - there are, after all only just over 400 total Untappd checks for this one after all these years -- It's a beer list, not the ten commandments, ya know, I'm cool with it. MJ had his reasons. #onthisday two years ago I enjoyed a John Hampden's at my brother-in-law's place on the Isle of Dogs in the London Docklands. I was expecting some sort of revelation, a eureka blast of #realale magic, after all, how did this beer of all beers take up real estate in The Great Beer Guide beside the likes of Chimay grand reserve!? My notes: I found this to be pretty ordinary. Oh well. #thegreatbeerquest #englishale #England #britishbeer #britishale #beer #beerpic #beerbottle #beerblog #beermicroblog #microblog #beerhunt

#SierraNevada #Narwhal #2019 - About the only thing I can think of that would link this #jetblack #Imperialstout to any sort of deep ocean life is that Herman Melville could have used this beer as ink in his well to pen one of his great high seas tales. This is beer was thick and demanding, #malty and #smokey , inky and outstanding- I am not an expert myself on how dark beer bottle ages, in fact I'm pretty bereft of authority on that bit, so I can only speculate, but I wonder if giving it the extra year added a harder low end boozy pop, stronger even than it's indicated 10.2% on the palate, it felt that way, but perhaps one year doesn't make too much of a difference. Stylistically, for what it's going for, to be a malt harpoon right to the face, it achieves highly. A very good beer, and rarity up here in 🇳🇴. #californiabeer #americanbeer #independentbrewing #darkbeer #stout #stouts #beerbottles #chico #whales #beerlist #beerblog #black #blackbeer

#Younger of #Alloa #Sweetheart #Stout - A quick post on this beer for the lore, and because I must. #ThisWeekIn #2005 I flew up to #Glasgow for the first and only time to visit @hbrawner1982 , my friend from primary school and later, my flatmate in London. This was a quick trip to see a few sights and go out into the town. This is the Glasgow post. Other than the fact businesses would not take Scottish bank notes at the time having uncovered a massive local counterfeiting ring, that weekend was notable for me being hoyed out of a bar for the only time in my life (owing less to anything that I had done than to the paranoid/hyper-serious and draconian security situation in the nightlife there, good grief). Staying in #Anniesland a burb in greater #strathclyde , the offy by the overland rail line provided me the staples I needed - my first IRNBRU, a huge can of Tennent's #Super and this magnificently weird and rare libation. I wrote in the book "is this beer?" - too right. A 2% archaic #British small beer, this stout was halfway between flat soda and thin, sweet porridge - more of a stout wort than a beer, a real oddity. It's actually quite miraculous that this is still in production - now owned by Tennent's #Caledonian , I don't see the market or purpose for this beer in terms of commercial viability other than as a cultural and historic touchstone, but they still brew it nonetheless. In the end, an "interesting" beer, like Glasgow is an "interesting" place. #thegreatbeerquest #thegreatbeerguide #scottishbeer #scotland #britishbeer #stouts #smallbeer #lightbeer #beerblog #beerlist #beerbook

#Banks's - A #beerart post to comport with the shoddy craftsmanship of my photography - half decent job I think though! You can tell a lot about how beer culture has changed in the generation since #TheGreatBeerGuide came out by looking at this can -- Banks's "original" was just called "Banks's" and it was a mild, not necessarily on the modern tasting and color scale, but more a reflection of what it wasn't, which is to say, bitter, and your average Birmingham area ale supper would know that. At 3.5%, Real ale like this was still the choice of the fishmonger coming off shift in the morning, and the ploughman and tradesman at lunch, not to mention the banker after work, and although drink as a societal construct in this way was archaic in England by then, it still lived on in places into the 90s - a way of life rather than a social curiosity the way it is now. Anyway, to make a long story short, they now put "mild" on the can (to differentiate from the more popular amber, I suppose) though it's much lighter than the popular dark milds of the common era. This is #oldschool traditional Black Country beer, keeping Brummies warm all hours of the day for decades. I had my one this week in 2019 - The special quality is not the beer but the type of society it fit into, that doesn't really exist anymore, but the beer does, long live "Banks's". #thegreatbeerquest #mildale #britishale #englishale #britishbeer #birmingham #wolverhampton #blackcountry #greatbritain #beerblog #beer #beerlist #beerhunt #ale #realale #beercan

#GreeneKing #Strong #Suffolk - Notes from #untappd : "A little long in the tooth, maybe on the shelf too long, but also maybe what old ale tastes like!" Greene King, famous masters of the classic IPA, also have this vintage old ale, without the fanfare or marketing. Understandable, this was a tough one. The quote above was, to be fair, generous. On the page I wrote "Tastes like it was poured from the bottom of a garbage can". Probably somewhere in between🤷‍♂️. The @fourdigitcharmer and I met on Tottenham Court Road up by Euston and ducked into a side street to sip this one and have a chat before embarking on a session in Fitzrovia. Perhaps not the best for a street soda, a beer described as sappy, peppery and winey, but it was so tough, just so tough. Maybe it's a true old ale, the way it's supposed to be, the way it's always been. Considering I found it on the shelf of an offy called #Drinks #Paradise off of #Camden Road in #Kentish Town, it might just be an ale that's old😆. In the end, a beer that I had. On to the next one. #thegreatbeerquest #britishbeer #britishale #englishale #oldale #strongale #vintageale #ale #realale #beerlist #beerhunt #beerbook #beer #reviews #blog #labels #beerlove #beerlovers #grog

#Worthingtons #White #Shield - A classic #Burton on #Trent foundational English beer. The best water, the best craftsmanship, some of the best real ale in history. I first had this one #onthisday in 2019. A #MolsonCoors property now , passed on from the acquisition of Bass, which had possessed it since 1927. It's a beer from 1744. Let that sink in. Some history. It's a relief it has *survived and still, at 5.6% a high quality, robust and elegantly dry bitter (I can't say not degraded from moving locations, since i personally didn't have it previously the MC UK ownership, but a lovely beer, still.) *I say survived, because as a #Bass ale property in 1997, it was briefly on the chopping block and only saved through a popular revolt! True story. A true luxury to enjoy again and again. #thegreatbeerquest #realale #bitterale #burtonale #englishale #britishbeer #englishbeer #beer #ale #beerhistory #history #stories #beerbottles #beerlist #book #hunt #beerhunt

#Gordon #Highland #Scotch #Ale - "Boozy as hell!" .. A few years ago I met up with @fourdigitcharmer in #Marylebone #London 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿, and we cracked into a few #rarities of #thegreatbeerquest , which I'll talk about here this month. On the heels of #GordonXmas , here is the #yearround version of the #WeeHeavy, originally brewed for the Belgian market by Scottish Courage and now owned by Timmermans outright. The original was/is 8.6%, and is either out, or at least hard to find, but the current version is 8%. It was more of a "really heavy" than a wee heavy, and that might be a peculiarity of the Belgian preferences, hard to say since the disposition of this beer in history is such a one-off. In addition, #Thegreatbeerguide notes that in 1998 #ScottishCourage launched a slightly lighter version of the scotch ale under their then #McEwans banner for the UK market called #Champion, which is still brewed by #Eagle, formerly #Wells via #Youngs. A lovely, fruity and mellow Scottish beer, survivor of label ownership swaps, accessible and tasty. Great beers both. #scottishbeer #Belgianbeer #britishbeer #britishale #beerlist #Biere #beerhunt #beerhunting #beerfriends #stories #memories

#Gordon #Xmas - I had a few near misses with finding this beer over the years, including seeing a bottle right in front of me in an Amsterdam bottle shop and completely whiffing🤷‍♂️. I found it in Oslo two years ago this week, and it was worth the wait. A beautiful ruby color, and a really strong woody taste with a sweet edge, a classic Wee Heavy strength, but more flavor for Christmas, it feels like at least. This beer was still brewed by #Courage in the UK when #thegreatbeerguide #book was released over 20 years ago, a beer long regaled in #Belgium (brought there by the Brits during the Second World War) the Gordon label was acquired locally along the way by #Timmermans, so it's now a continental property. By all means a lovely beer, a classic type and a beautiful bottle to go in the collection. #thegreatbeerquest #scottish #style #belgianbeer #christmasbeer #weeheavy #beerhunt #beerlist #beerpics #beer #bier #biere #stories

#OnThisDay in 2015 - Open faucets at DC Brau, for charity, @adamfkemp tells me. The charity, I could not tell you - BUT, " for charity" was good enough for me -- ya know, free indy beer🤷‍♂️🙏🍻. #thegreatbeerquest #dcbeer #independentbrewery #beer #beermemories #memories #stories #traveldiaries #diary

#Alaskan #Amber - Still a legend, still making the rounds - just recently saw on the page of @lotte_peplow reppin US brands in the UK, psyched the classics are still making the grade. I remember having this beer, specifically ordering it, and what the bar looked like it back in February 2006, but i couldn't tell you the name of the bar, just that it was in the Gaslamp in San Diego, CA. Like recent posts, I'll use this one as an homage to the Gaslamp - I've frequented San Diego over the years and, most notably spent a few months cooling my heels there in 2012, and the bar scene in the area was quite prolific with some great classic boozers, no doubt benefiting from the almost perfect weather year round and predictable consumption patterns keeping places alive without expensive renovation - no reason to improve on greatness. The #Gaslamp has, of course, lots of modern bars and clubs, but it's share of agro #booze haunts also. As a prism for the whole scene I'll talk briefly about my favorite place, Star Club (Star Bar) a 47 year stalwart downtown dive where you can still get a $3 Bush heavy draft. Catering to the gamut, the main sale point is the inimitable double rail aisle bar Where many places have embraced the horseshoe or ring island bar, Star club has a bar on each wall with stools at both sat about two feet from each other, back to back with a narrow aisle between them; Double the boozer, double the stank! I've never seen another setup like this in all my years, and the variety is just awesome - if reader is ever out in SD, don't miss the glorious crapola quality of this fantastic gem, and that's your Gaslamp post. #sandiego #beerhunting #beerlist #beerbook #bars #boozers #dives #haunts #divebar #divebars

#LaChoulette #Framboise - #ThisWeekIn 2013 - "The most complex framboise I've had". One more beer with only a comment and a venue, but absolutely no memory of it - another one lost to the institutional memory #blackhole of #thegreatbeerquest. A quick opportunity to pay homage though to the nightlife scene of the Upper Bowery on Manhattans lower east side and the bars that made it all work. Heading south past the Cooper Union you would have Cooper 35 on the left which boasted the $5 "pint of anything"(now gone from the Bowery museum development) down one block where you'd find legendary Phebe's , downtown's sweat factory young professionals bar before brother Jimmy's made a cottage industry out of it, and across the street looking west you'd find #Swift . A marvelous curving bar with booths in the back and a spiral staircase, the place fancied itself a writers and philosophers whiskey sipping joint, but from day one they had one of the great beer lists stocked with classics from near and far. It doesn't surprise me they would have La Choulette in their fridge, it just surprises me that I remembered to make note of it, I was "a young 30" in February of 2013, I hadn't given up the ghost yet! From 2006 when i began frequenting the area, and for about 5 or 6 years, this area was the last vestige of the area that maintained a grit to it and wasn't overcome by development (CBGB was still there in the beginning), but then the Bowery hotel opened and Astor Place was redeveloped and privatized leading to a big reorienting of what the whole area was going to be. No more #Cooper35, and as of last year, no more Bowery Bar, with all is shock value history. Nothing lasts forever, but the days are long gone now anyway. Swift is still there though, maybe it's more the literary salon it always claimed to be these days. #bars #newyork #memories #stories #beerdiaries #beerlist #beerblog #beerhunt #nightlife

#Schloss #Eggenberg #Urbock 23° - #ThisWeek in 2007: "Pretty gross but you gotta do what you gotta do to check them off." A beer lost to the institutional memory #blackhole of #thegreatbeerquest. Re-reading the profile of this beer, I feel like I 💯 missed the boat on it in my uncultured youth, and that's of course true. I'd love another crack at this one, it seems like it's one of the great, mature and complex beers of the world, not unexpectedly. I write as if I've never had it, but on a February #Chinatown night in 2007 #NYC, it was likely one beer among many, so my palate doesn't place it at all in the minds eye. The comment is all that remains🤷‍♂️. #bock #bier #beerblog #beermemory #beerlist #beer #beerbook #beer #hunting #hunt #notetaking

#Anchor #Old #Foghorn - Another post to give love to our old faithful bars, which we belly up to, and which sustain us. You get what you give, as The New Radicals told us. #Toronado is a #pioneer beer bar that has been serving the discriminating drinkers of San Francisco in it's perfect Lower Haight location since the 90s - I first went there in 2003, one of the first great beer bars I ever set foot in (the dot com bubble had burst, the city was in a slump, and you could still hang out in SF semi-broke then, but i sure wish I had more cash to use at this place). Still chugging along, after raising enough money to get over the hump of lockdown #1, and now having built outdoor patio space to accommodate clientele during the health troubles. Yes, protect this place like you would a church! Toronado was long the epicenter for high concept beer culture in SF, sophisticated imports and great range with first generation west coast micro. For 20 years they hosted a major barleywine festival, a niche pursuit for anyone, but soup to nuts they would do their best to fill a whole chunk of their 52 taps with freaking barleywine, and it was a packed and popular blowout. That's where I had the local beast Anchor Old Foghorn for the first and only time ever, in February 2006. To be honest, I don't recall much about the #beer in a sea of barleywine that amounted to double digits that day (I was still only 23 then), I am surprised I remembered to write it down in the book, but there it is. The winner that year was Arctic Devil by Midnight Sun brewing, but who are we kidding, I won from having been there. The festival was ended in 2016 after having been overrun by SF beer week festivities that, ironically, were originally built around the #barleywine fest, and that's just the way it goes. @fourdigitcharmer will probably have one or two great tales of the Toronado. #bars #beerbars #thegreatbeerquest #beerstories #stories #beerbook #beerlist #quest #beersearch #darkbeer #beerblog #memories #history #sanfrancisco #bayarea

#HonorableMention - #TheGreatBeerGuide boasts two #spiced beers from the Grolsch stable that are no longer produced: Bazuin, an homage to ancient local #brews (and a cousin to their tripel) that was gone by 2000, and a spiced #dark called Wintervorst, part of a 4 seasons special range, done away with by 2002. The 4 seasons special line still exists though, and while the winter is now a bock, the #Grolsch #Rijke #Herfst #Bock , the Fall beer, seems to be the closest one you can get to the qualities of the old #Wintervorst as they are laid out. I was able to get a can of this, try it and talk about it as a hat tip to the old Grolsch brews I missed out on many years ago (though some weirdos on Untappd are still uncorking bottles of Wintervorst from 1997 from time to time, but that's another story). Sweet on the palate, easy and #aromatic on the nose, a good weight, this beautiful dark auburn bock is an ideal moody beer for dark days and a satisfying sipper, much more wieldy than German bocks of similar ilk. Well spiced and the right strength at just over 6%, I enjoyed it very much, it is no surprise this is a real crowd pleaser. As I mentioned previously, foreigners know from Grolsch little more than the swing top plug on their pungent lagers. For whatever reason though, these feasts for the taste buds stand in plain sight in the store refrigerators all over The Netherlands proper, and you wouldn't know if you're not there. You probably havent seen it, I know I haven't, but it's been checked in a whopping 56,000 times on Untappd. I don't get the Dutch market and it's export schemes, and I'm just going to give up🤷‍♂️🤦‍♂️😆. #thegreatbeerquest #dutchbeer #bier #bockbeer #bokkøl #fallbeer #seasonal #redbeer #strongbeer #sterkøl #beerstories #beermemories #beercan #can #harvest #brown

#Gulpener #Korenwolf - Early on in this #microblog I did an anniversary post about Gulpener Korenwolf based upon only a few recollections I had scribbled in the page margins having not had the beer in 15 years. Well, I got my hands on a can of freaking Korenwolf (🎉) folks. This Dutch delicacy, a legendary Belgian white adjacent beer, gave me pause to reread the whole page entry from 20 years ago to prepare myself. Words that popped were "earthy perfume and big fruity attack". Spot on. This beer is like an irreverent tiki drink of the wheat beer world; sweet, satisfying, just the type of beer that can lower the heart rate, close your eyes, be on that beach. The colors of the can take you there, the hue of the brew stands up the photo of the benchmark a generation ago.📸 To the American palate, this is sort of like what a proto Blue Moon would taste like, but without effort, and a thousand times better - sweet and refreshing is what this beer IS, not what its trying to sell you. A shame, like so many other Dutch beers, this masterpiece is, basically, found only in The Netherlands for the most part. As I covered in a previous post, you only really see Heineken, Amstel and Grolsch lagers as well as the odd Palm, outside of the national borders when it comes to staple beer brewing, and a whole cornucopia of subordinate varieties from those breweries and others are left for the local Dutch, and really no one else to savor, and highly regional at that. I shake my head, but i forge forward undeterred, it is #thegreatbeerquest, after all. #WheatBeer #whitebeer #bier #dutchbeer #GulpenerKorenwolf #dutchbrewery #beerblog #beercan #beerporn #beerlove #beerphotography #beerhunt #beerhunting #legendarybeer #legend #legends #thegreatbeerguide #beerlist

#Alfa #Super #Dortmunder - Alfa is a Dutch brewery in Schinnen, about as far east as you can get before entering Germany in the province of #Limburg . The brewery has changed its offerings over the last 20 years, and no longer makes the specific "Super Dortmunder" but do make two lineal successor beers, the Krachtig Dort at the the same 7.5% and the Super Strong at the slightly higher 9%+. I'm going to go with the Super Strong, both because it carries the heritage "Super" name, and also because it's next to impossible to get my hands on Alfa beer; this is the first one I have ever seen of any variety in my 20 years doing this, including multiple visits to 🇳🇱, so I'll take what I can get! A seriously tasty and refreshing strong lager, you could drink it all day, you might stumble into a pole or walk into a tree, but you'd want to try at least, very very smooth, and the strength well concealed. #TheGreatBeerGuide refers to the original Super as "perilously drinkable", and that's really the takeaway from this beer, which is why I will be counting this as the heir to the throne. I don't know why Alfa beer and, to a similar extent, Brand beer in the Netherlands are really hard to find despite being well established and known scale breweries (their beers all have around 6k-8k check-ins on Untappd, not the most but not anonymous either), but that's how it is. Similar to the mysterious Nowegian brewing land lay, there must be some archaic territory plan that is adhered to from tradition and to keep some solvency for the industry in the domestic market, AMS stays away from Groningen who stays away from Maastricht who stays away from The Hague etc. My first Alfa beer after 20 years though. Great stuff. #thegreatbeerquest #lager #strongbeer #thenetherlands #schinnen #dutchbeer #dutchbrewery #brewing #beer #beerblog #beerhunting #beerhunt #beersofinstagram #superbeer

#Brooklyn #Black #Chocolate #Stout - Just some housekeeping for January before the month is out - I must say that I think of all the #breweries boasting fantastic beer in #thegreatbeerguide , #BrooklynBrewery is the only one where I have been enjoying their crafts in 4 distinct decades (meaning the 90s for those scoring at home). I grew up in NYC and went to High School in Brooklyn in the 90s and used to play against Automotive high school in sports up in Williamsburg. I specifically remember going on a tour of the newish brewery space before Brooklyn was cool, back in the Clinton years, though it might have been the year 2000 already by then. I was only 18 then, but eh, pre 9/11 NYC, no one cared about anything. What i didn't know was that one of Brooklyn's niche claims to fame is their early distribution agreement into Norway thorough one of the big cartels, which gave them market access to the peculiar brand of loyalty that Norwegians give their stalwart brands, which is bonded like dentures - and good for them! They were early in here and have been now forever. Black chocolate stout, a strong and sweetish flavor bomb, hasn't changed, and stands up to the taste I first had of it in January of '04- a bar I worked at here in Oslo had a regular order on the Brooklyn bottles and we used to marinate bacon in the stout, always leaving a little extra for a side car, what's a #barman to do? What was once a vanguard of new brewing is now a straight up American classic. #TheGreatBeerGuide #thegreatbeerquest #stouts #darkbeer #craftbeer #brewery #beerblog #blog #picture #project #beerlove #beerphotos #beerlegends #beerofinstagram #legend

#McAuslan #StAmbroise #Pale #Ale - *Repost from last week, to give this beer it's proper #thegreatbeerquest due. Montreal is a city that at it's roots has been shared down the middle by descendants of the British and French settlers whose cultures have been both fused and cultivated independently - you can literally see that in the names of the McAuslan brewery's St. Ambroise line. This beer though has a heavy dose of old Brittania in it. Launched in 1989, pre-dating any semblance of a brewing revolution by 15 years at least, it's no surprise that this is a classic light pale that would be easily recognizable on the English ale spectrum, copper color, individual tastes but distinguishable, pleasant and blunt. The book says "long flavors" and that's evident. A very nice beer. #TheGreatBeerGuide #canadianbeer #Canada #Montreal #biere #paleale #ales #beercan #can #cans #beerreview #beerblog #beerdelivery #beerbox #paleale #paleales #palealebeer

#HertogJan #Grand #Prestige - If ever there was a perfect name for a beer to capture the #gallantry and #nobility of this sub-regional specialty named after a renowned #Duke - "Grand Prestige". Sounds, uh, prestigious 😀🤦‍♂️. Presented in an annualized livery, corked in a bottle of heavy matte black #ceramic, this is a special brew that I have been waiting a long, long time to try. Classed as a nominal #barleywine, this #Dutch #strong #ale doesn't really have a style to call home - it tastes, one might say, very continental. It is one or two degrees away from the stronger dubbels you find in the region, but it has a lot more character. Pouring a sort of dark red velvet hue (the book calls it garnet, which works) slowly settling into a reddish brown, this had a mealy head, and clocking in at 10% it had an evident, yet sweet and competently placed booze quality to it - thing is, just as the book said, it was pretty light and an easy drink, at least easier than you'd imagine based on its serious presentation. A brewery out of Arcen in the Netherlands, Hertog Jan also now owns the rights to Het Elfte Gebot from the quest, the flagship beer of their defunct local competitor Arcen brewery, brewing it as recently as 2016. Hertog Jan is owned by InBev, but the scarcity is explained in it's packaging - not an easy beer to find, not just everywhere, but can be found, and voila. I love this beer, one of the greats of my life. #thegreatbeerquest #darkale #thegreatbeerguide #greatbeer #beerblog #beerhunter #beerreview #holland #bier #hertog #jan #beerhunter #beerhunting

#Ayinger #Winter #Bock - Ayinger again (sound of angels singing 👼🎶) - It's an ungodly -9c (15f) here right now, a perfect time to crack open this beauty with a beef pot roast made from a 7 hour slow cooked hunk of 🍖 beef back cut, I thought it was important you knew that!😆 An orthodox #doublebock, little smokey on the nose, very dark in complexion, and at 6.7%, sharing a strength and calculus with Celebrator. They are very similar beers, Celebrator perhaps a little darker and starker, and while I'm never complaining about more Ayinger in my life, I don't see the point of this beer other than to roll out a seasonal and vacuum up cash, when you defeated the game with Celebrator already. Anyone can enlighten me. #thegreatbeerquest #germanbeer #bier #bocks #bockbeer #bokkøl #darkbeer #Bavaria #bayern #bavarianbeer #beerblog #beerreviews #beerstyles #legends #drinks #beers #greatbeers

@NewLevelBrewing #Krampus #Christmas #Ale ( #Bourbon #Barrel #Aged #Imperial #Eggnog #Stout) - It's not every day that a variation of pretty local #craft Christmas #beer makes it across 2 continents and 8 time zones in a global lockdown, but that's what I have here. The surprise package in the Canada box - a 38 times #untappd checked in 11.9% #booze bomb from #Calgary - these guys plummed the depths of stout imagination here - consumed in astonishment in #Oslo #Norway last night. It felt like the first Guinness to make it to the Congo probably felt like. Probably. I often say I haven't gotten too deep into the crafts because I like my marriage😂 - but when it comes to my doorstep, what to do - dream of what is on the other side, that's what you do -- By looking at the overall selection of beers this brewery thinks up, big and bold tastes, you get the idea that nothing is off the table, I wish I lived anywhere near them, but then again, marriage. This beer was thick in the mouth feel to the point of a somewhat unmanagability if not consumed properly - a sipper to be sure. The eggnog taste was in there... Boy was it. Growing up over the years, the Original Bush 12% was for years reputed to be the worlds strongest market beer, and it was thought any stronger abv would cannabalize the elements of a beer - bellying up to the bar, these guys do a very good job of cloaking the 11.9%, swish it around a little bit and you get the adherent tastes, but what you don't get is a heavy handed dose of spirits, which is the case all too often. #Bravo . So yes, for my once in a blue moon review of a true blue #craftbrewing #specialty , I wanted to take the time to shout out the Ross Bros and their hard rockin crew in Alberta, I really enjoyed your beer up here in Oslo, best of luck with yo thang! #thegreatbeerquest #microbreweries #microbrews #canadiancraftbeer #craftbrewery #canadianbeer #stouts #imperialstout #darkbeer #beerblog #beerbox

#BigRock #McNallys #Extra #Ale - I know I've reached some kind of meta #thegreatbeerquest peak when I acquire a beer, and it directly references the beer guide list right on the label (clipped as shown). Nice moves by @bigrockbrewery . This super rarity is certainly the piece dé resistànce from the brews @tyler.mcleod sent me over from Calgary🇨🇦 - certainly a fortuitous connection, it turns out not only would this be likely my only opportunity to *ever* get a can of this, but it seems it's only being produced in a short run for the brewery's 35th anniversary. Fate, one would say, the stars aligning, or the beer gods nodding in your favor, perhaps. The beer is a stunning old school Irish Red, at 7% a beautiful long drinking malt special, roasty and delicious, the strength, at least for me, concealed by the pace by which I was savoring it (well over an hour) and as with such temperamental darks, the tastes changed and deepened as the beer approached room temp. This beer was accompanied by the collectible glass from the brewery which I'm delighted by, so I can always use it and look back on the altruistic gesture from my new buddy in Calgary, chin chin🍻. #canadianbeer #canadian #canadiancraftbeer #brewing #canada #irishred #redale #beerblog #beerreview #beerhunting #beerhunt #rarity #beerstory #beerinstagram #beerfluencer

#Kaltenberg #Ritterbock - This has been somewhat of a white whale #beer for me. From the #brewery that makes the more famous and readily available König Ludwig Dunkel and Weiss range, Kaltenberg Ritterbock is a seasonal early spring #doublebock , the continued existence of which was a complete mystery to me as of 3 weeks ago. I had never seen or heard about whether this beer was still being made or if it was available anywhere in the past 20 years, but with IG hosting their brewery page, I made an off-handed comment on one of Royal Bavarian's IG posts about their dark beer: "Do you guys still make the Ritterbock? It's a life's goal to try it." It had not been any part of their wide ranging digital marketing. A few days later a DM arrived back: "Just let me know your address and we would be happy to send over our Kaltenberg Ritterbock :-) Best regards" No. Questions. Asked. 👊. 2.5 weeks later, a beautiful DHL box arrived on my doorstep. I still have no idea where or when anyone can acquire this bottle in the world, but that's no matter now! We had a sunny January thaw today, and I enjoyed this beer in my yard while the sun was going down in the relatively balmy weather. This is a beautiful, beautiful beer, incredibly tasty, dark and sticky/sweet, somewhat smokey, but the kicker is that it's quite light on the palate and easy drinking. The hue on the head rings true to the 20 year old photo and they disguise the 9% with mastery. I'm thinking that this is standing eye to eye with Ayinger Celebrator and Paulaner Salvator, and possibly better. In the end though, I'm just glad I was able to try this once, and it was a gift from the beer gods through their agents, the social media marketing team at @royalbavarianbeer - the true kings of fan service, and a major thanks to them - (they need more followers, so follow them and get to see Prince Luitpold of Bavaria talk about beer!) A tale as old as time, or as old as self-driven e-commerce! #thegreatbeerquest #beerhunting #beerhunt #beerhunter #beerlove #royalbavarian #germanbeer #bier #bockbeer #bokkøl #darkbeer #bocks #bavarianbeer #bavaria #visitbavaria #bayern #beerblog #beerreview #beerbottle #germany

#Brick #Bock ( #Successor #Beer ) - Brick Brewing, having grown in size and stature after being the first craft brewer in Ontario🇨🇦 in 1984 (one of 10 licenses in the country then) changed their name to Waterloo Brewing to establish a major link between their brewing ops and location. The bock has been dropped from the regular range (though a double bock has been produced in the past as well as a lighter bock called Ironhorse years ago) leaving the #Waterloo #Dark as the lineal successor beer to Brick Bock - this beer is 5% compared to the 7% Brick Bock, but like the description in the old book it was a soft touch for a dark and very malty on the nose, a very big beer in mouth feel, a very slurpy brew. Fantastic. An incredible thank you to patron of #thegreatbeerquest @tyler.mcleod for sending over a few cans of old school Canadian legends from Calgary as a project during these weird times, samples I almost certainly would never be able to get my hands on now raising a family on the other side of the planet. A true blue IG champion🏆. #canadianbeer #canada #ontario #craftbeer #regional #darkbeer #malty #malt #waterloobrewing @waterloobrewing (I hope I got the history right🤞!) #beerblog #beerhunting #beerhunter #thegreatbeerguide #beerhistory #brewinghistory #canadian

#Schlösser #Alt - Another down home Altbier originally from #Düsseldorf, the spiritual homeland of the style, Schlösser is now under #Radeberger ownership and is brewed in #Dortmund. Had this bottle escaping the rain under a train trestle in London southbank😆 this week in '19, but this part of Lambeth is more revamped office blocks and lofts than anything else now, our early afternoon free range beer more boho than hobo - that's my story at least! A sturdy old-style German beer, lighter than anticipated, and with a distinguished pop -the winter chill had done it's work on the bottle by then, nice and cold, which worked well for the beer type, and my work there was finally done. #thegreatbeerquest #bier #Germanbeer #altbier #beerblog #beerbottles #beerlabels #beerreview #beerlife #beerlove #beermad

#Dortmunder #Union #Export - More cultural learning in Lambeth: Export strength, for when you run out of road 🤦‍♂️🤷‍♂️🥳. Dortmunder Union and Dortmunder Actien (DAB) gave us Export strength lagers, they are old school, industry standard fare. Using the terms Dortmunder and Export interchangeably was common in beer circles at the beginning of #thegreatbeerquest 20 years ago, but in recent years with the advent of avant garde brewing mixtures and styles, they just slap the word Imperial on anything stronger than government cheese, which I understand, but Dortmunder/Export is a style, imperial pilsner is not, my opinion. There was no reason to kind of ditch it along the way. DUE is a very straightforward pre brewing revolution beer that doesn't have anything spectacular to offer other than consistency and ease of drinking, which I'm sure came in handy to many a man trying to make a living on the Rhein once upon a time. A nice brewing touchstone. #germanbeers #lagers #lightbeer #bier #beerstory #beerbottle #bottle #bottles #beerlabels #beerme #øl #beerlove #beerblog #beerstagram #beers

#Manns #Original #Brown #Ale - Some more traipsing through Lambeth with liquid lunch on my mind. Could not have picked a better tipple for 11:15am, a-ring-a-ding-ding. Tipping the scales at a hefty 2.8% , Mann's Original is yer classic small beer, in the British concept, fit for a laboring man to dig a ditch with or steve a tall ship down the wharf, but in style, it fits in better with the Dutch Oud Bruins in form and function. This beer was near a wort, or your collection of "near-beers", sweet and porridge like, i couldn't sense the alcohol before, during or after. There was a time, about 250 years ago that this beer style was ubiquitous, but this class of beer, the London (southern) Brown Ale, is essentially extinct, Marston's seems/seemed to continue producing it as a hobby horse, but we'll see how long that lasts under Carlsberg. Happy I got to try it. #thegreatbeerquest #brownales #realale #ale #britishbeer #britishale #britain #England #greatbritain #smallbeer #beerbook #beerblog

#Bolten #Ur #Alt - These next few beers in #TheRundown are from a series I like to call "Drinking worldies on the streets of Lambeth, to not carry beer around all day". I had a few bottles shipped to @deividcalles in Bournemouth at one point for safe keeping. He met me in London, #onthisday in 2019 down at #Waterloo at 11am... with a whole clutch of beers in a flimsy plastic bag🤷‍♂️😆🤦‍♂️. I couldn't very well carry that mess around all day, so the only thing to do was to get down to business, really. We made a day of it. So, Bolten Altbier just happens to be the standard bearer in the style - you'd hope so, they've only been making the stuff since 1266 - worldie. Like anyone would do, I popped the swing top in front of a Tesco Express and mainlined it. Magical. Starting the day off right🍻. #thegreatbeerquest #Germanbeer #altbier #bier #classic #beerstyles #southbank #beer #stories #diaries #memories #beerbook #beerblog #storytelling #worldie

#Courage #Imperial #Russian #Stout - Another beer for #TheRundown this month, a rare beer from Courage, one of the famous old time names in British beer, with it's easily identifiable cockerel crest. The experience of my drinking this beer #onthisday in 2014 is sort of lost on me. I remarked that it was so strong as to be almost undrinkable, which would make sense, probably incredibly dry as a Russian would be. What I do remember is the long and tedious process of removing the label from the bottle - it's very delicate wafer thin paper flecked with metal foil and i needed the aide of a razor to loosen the haphazard glue bits after softening in a bowl of water. It was painstaking - but it worked. I don't really remember where I got this beer, and I've never seen it since, but I'm very happy the label remains, it's it very well styled and limited in it's run featuring an individual stamped batch number in black for each bottle - the provenance of the beer brewed for Catherine the Great in 1795 and the fact that it can age up to 13 years in the bottle. It's certainly one of my favorites. #TheGreatBeerGuide #thegreatbeerquest #stouts #britishbeer #britishale #beer #beerlabels #beerstyles #couragebeer #couragebrewery #imperialstyles #beerblog #beerreviews #beerlove

#Marstons #OwdRodger - Disclaimer: @mines.apint , look away now, fair warning! #England doesn't make #bock beer, in name at least, but Owd Rodger, a classic Old Ale, is about as close as you get. At #thegreatbeerquest I judge Marston's beers in a time-warp of sorts, the way they were graded back in the 90s, before they courted controversy with their business practices, and the truth holds here as well. The #BeerHunter placed it on the list for a reason, I have but no choice😆. This #beer is one of just a few Marston's beers that have stood the test of time and are still produced regularly today. Marston's proper underwent a brand wide revamp that streamlined their labeling across products, which you can see in the beer bottle and accompanying glass which I enjoyed this weekend - in comparison to the classic label off a bottle I picked up at King's Cross #onthisday in 2019. It's very sticky, heavy and inky, subtly sweet but hard - and like a bock, the type of beer you can imagine a knight in chain-mail dipping a chalice into an open air wooden ton to gulp. Just a really nice archaic ale, judging it on its own merits as a potable. #ales #realale #englishale #britishale #britishbeer #oldales #beerstyles #beerbottles #bottle #beerbook #beerlistv #beerblog #beerreview #beerlife

The #Swannay #Darks - I wanted to take a moment to mention these great beers from the #Orkney #Islands which have helped keep me warm in the hearth during this polar vortex. The deep cultural connections between Scotland and Norway are well documented, but many who aren't familiar with the region wouldn't know off hand just how close the two lay (just across the water and close enough to sustain a ferry from Stavanger to Newcastle just south of the Scottish border for many years). As an alternative to the more well known British beer purveyors, some of which are now subsidiary to larger interests, it seems that a few Scottish indies have cut their own trade arrangements to get their goods into market. Swannay ales have slowly trickled into the market here and there are now at least 6 varieties to be had, and the added value of variety is not to be understated. These darks though are stupendous. The Starboard Porter is jet black, malty, and smooth with a medium texture, and the #Sneaky #Wee Orkney #Stout , a #dryhopped roasty malt bomb, incredibly dry as to taste spicy, what a concoction. I have no earthly idea what type of reach these beers have in any other place and to what degree, but if you see them, ya know, try them, and support👍🍻 #thegreatbeerquest #darkbeer #britishbeer #scottishale #scottishbeer #classic #scotland #beerblog #blog #beerpic #beerpics #photos #reviews #review #malt #beer

#McNeills #DeadHorse #IPA - #TheRundown - I don't have too much to say about this beer, one of the original heavy early 90s IPAs by what would be considered a nano these days, but I went to the University of Vermont and this was no doubt carried by the #PearlStreetBeverage like all the other great first gen #Vermont beers. The cradle of civilization. I had it for the first and only time #onthisday in 2004 - The place is still functional, and cans are apparently still available, but it looks to be very local. Good for them! #Thegreatbeerquest #craftbeer #microbrewery #nanobrewery #ipas #localales #beermemories #beerreviews #beerblog

#Ayinger #Jahrhundert #Bier - Ever since @fourdigitcharmer and I shared a 7000 mile, 9 hour time differentiated Old Rasputin a few months ago, I've been looking for other opportunities to virtually "share a round" with a friend. It's hard in these times to find friends who can sync up and also have access to the same variety of interesting beers that are worth trying in totally different places, but tonight I shared a real-time Jahrhundret bier with fellow traveler of the great beer quest @deividcalles down in Dorset on the south coast of England (pictured). Sharing the same beer takes effort- shared experiences don't have to fall away. It's worth it. Now this beer is a great sharp and spicy lager. Brewed for Ayinger's centenary in 1978, it calls itself an #export, stronger and more malty than their Bairisch Pils, which aligns with the strength guide, but I suppose a regional rivalry (Rhineland v #Bavaria) prevents it from being called a #Dortmunder, but that is what it screams. Ayinger have always hit the heights with their regular selection, no reason to improve on basic perfection, and this one is no different. Perfect to share with a friend. #thegreatbeerquest #german #Germanbeer #germanbier #tyskøl #bavarianbier #bavaria #visitbavaria #lagers #lightbeer #sterkøl #beerblog #beerreview #beer #friends

#Anchor #OurSpecial #Holiday #Ale - #TheRundown - Merry Christmas and Happy New Year... On sale 😀, most probably. That's right nordmenn, in America they discount beer, and I'm pretty certain I bought this discounted after the holiday season was over the first time at a supermarket that moved a lot of beer in NYC. I've had this beer exactly twice - #onthisday in 2004 (17 years🤯) , and the 2018 vintage pictured. To be honest, the powerful holiday brews aren't my favorite, and this one really blows the doors off in taste elements without really overdoing it with the booze, so a superb early days seasonal option in the American market, either way. Anchor, the legendary San Francisco brew always comes correct, and now that it's owned by Sapporo, a product of the Japanese beer acquisition war of recent years, more people can enjoy it. #thegreatbeerquest #holidaybeer #christmasbeer #sanfrancisco #beer #American #independentbrewery #legend #beerreviews #beerblogb #beerrating #beerlist #memories

#GrünerløkkaBrygghus #Løkkatrollet #Stout - It's been busy around here and I've been hoarding content, what are ya gonna do? #Grünerløkka, to those unaware, is the more bohemian and mod social neighborhood of east central #Oslo, and this #brewery is the reigning local champion there. They make great stuff. A huge #thegreatbeerquest #bigup to them for this #impeccable beer - obviously, impeccably styled, it looks absolutely #gorgeous, but the malts and natural notes are smokey and blunt. At 7%, i think it qualifies as a #classic type Imperial Stout, and drinks like a Russian/Baltic, deep with a serious head and #boozy flourish, which I'm so fond of, and perhaps that's why I'm really digging on this beer. If you're in Norway, it was recently released through the Vinmonopolet, and with the bars closed, that's the only way to find it. Drink up, god fornøyelse. #norwegianbeer #microbreweries #øl #mikrobryggeriet #stouts #darkbeer #beerstyles #beerblog #beerreviews

#Ayinger #Celebrator #TheRundown - #Fanboy time! Lordy, the beer, the experience, you keep coming back. I had the celebrator the first time 17 years ago this week, and many times over the years, all out of the bottle. It wasn't until last year that a bar I was working at carried, on one glorious week, a single key-keg of it, seemingly as an outlier off of a recurring Ayinger Weiss delivery. Could it have been even deeper and more brooding in the subtle notes? Yeah - pretty freaking phenomenal. I put this in the pantheon of the greats and probably THE untouchable double bock. #thegreatbeerquest #bocks #germanbeer #greatbeer #beerlegends #beerblog #goats #darkbeer #beerstyles #beerlove #beerchronicles #beer #bier #beerreviews #beerreview #blog

#Belhaven #WeeHeavy - #TheRundown - For whatever reason some months have more entries in #TheGreatBeerQuest than others, and January is one of them. Nothing left to do but just run them down. First off an anniversary this week from my first crack at the classic Wee Heavy from the stalwart Belhaven, and I am pretty sure the first kept label in the lengthy run of this particular beer hunt. I set this bottle sticker in this book 17 years ago, and it looks like it could have been yesterday. The nature of time and preservation. My notes in #2004 were "Stylistically very tart, hard to drink if you are not outside in the cold." My young palate was still keen on American lights, so the wee heavy may have literally been a wee bit heavy for it's appreciation, but honestly, the same could be said about this beer now that I've been around the block a few times - it's cold and wet in Scotland and this beer is brewed for that place. A fantastic beer that I've had literally, just once or twice. The label remains. #britishbeer #britishale #scottishbeer #scottishale #beerlabels #beerblog #beermemories #beerstoriesv #beerproject #beerbooks #beerlove

#Fullers #Golden #Pride - A "Strong" ale. 8.5% , big, beefy, and a dark gold, almost like a bouillon cube was dropped in. I'm going to need a official ruling from resident Fuller's experts @mines.apint : I found this to be a bludgeon of an ale, very blunt and alkaline as if you ordered a beer and a nip of brandy and dumped it right in - I understand that it's a strong ale, so is that the point? Am i missing something? I just kind of don't get it, so enlighten me! #thegreatbeerquest #ales #britishbeer #englishbeer #englishale #realale #goldenale #beerblog #beerlife #beerbottle #beerme #beerreview #strong #strongales