You love the blog, so subscribe to the Beervana Podcast on iTunes or Soundcloud today!

Wednesday, November 09, 2011


Our big days continue. This morning at a well-regarded micro in Sussex (directly south of London). It's named after a Grateful Dead song (sort of apocryphally, as it turns out), which made it a great location for Oregonians. In fact, there's no Dead-headiness about anything. What there is is very good beer made in a kind of fusion between traditional cask ale and American craft brewing.

The beer reminded me a bit of Double Mountain--recognizable beer styles tweaked a half turn. Their Best Bitter has a dash of smoked malt, a touch that creates the impression of an old, traditional beer. Their flagship is a low-alcohol extra pale shot through with a stiff dose of Cascade and Amarillo hops.

My favorite was an exceptional imperial stout full of yeast character. Fruity, plummy, figgy, with an underlayment of chocolate. One of the better imperial stouts I've tasted.

The second stop was Greene King, an apparently controversial brewery among some of the geekier set. But now I'm tired and a post on GK will just fail to do it justice. (Though for anyone wondering how far under the bus I'm willing to through them, consider that it's one of the last breweries in England to vat a strong ale [with requisite wild microfauna] for two years. What sell-outs!)

Anyway, more later. Meantime, here's the vista from atop the brewery, which rises above the town of Bury St. Edmunds in Suffolk, east of London.


  1. Curious to know:
    Where do Dark Star Brewing Co. get their Cascade and Amarillo hops?

  2. Old Suffolk by Greene King is a beautiful beer.

  3. Greene King's bad reputation comes from one beer, Greene King IPA, which is, at best, an understated beer and, from where we're sitting, annoyingly ubiquitous and bland -- a bigger threat to cask ale in the UK than kegged beer these days. But we liked their Suffolk Springer, which has a dash of the aged old ale, and people tell us their (impossible to find) mild is remarkably good.

    Oh, they also released a weaselly "London" beer in their London pubs to fleece tourists. Bah.

  4. Greene King's bad acceptability comes from one beer, Greene King IPA, which is, at best, an chaste beer and, from area we're sitting, annoyingly all-over and banal -- a bigger blackmail to barillet ale in the UK than kegged beer these days. But we admired their Suffolk Springer, which has a birr of the age-old old ale, and humans acquaint us their (impossible to find) balmy is appreciably good.

    Oh, they aswell appear a weaselly "London" beer in their London pubs to bleed tourists. Bah.