If you know me or of me, you will know I like beer. Over the last few years I have been collecting photos of every new beer I have.
I now have over 1,700 individual beers photographed and have realised that many beers that I assumed I have photos of, I haven't.

This blog will be therefore be an account of my quest for new beers to photo and how I enjoyed them (or not).
My email is ralphgant@sky.com.

Friday, 27 January 2012

Beer and Me, again

As I have reached the 1,000 beer photo mark, I thought I would repost my original Beer and Me, blog.

With more people reading the blogs I thought it would be a good idea to explain my take on beer drinking and also explain why my reviews as so short. So below is an updated version of that original Beer and Me, blog.

If you know me or of me, you will know I like beer.

Over the last few years I have been collecting photos of every new beer I have tried.

I now have over 1,000 individual beers photographed and have realised that many beers that I assumed I have photos of, I haven't. This blog will be therefore be an account of my quest for new beers to photo and how I enjoyed them (or not).

I do not have the ability to describe all the various tastes, I just know what I like, I don't even concentrate on analysing taste too much anymore, I just think to myself "that's good, I'll have another one of them" or "that's nasty never again" or worst of all "that's bland why bother". If I do ever acquire a better ability, I will add to the descriptions, but I doubt it. I have tried, but beer smells of beer (unless there is something different about it) and beer tastes of beer (well most UK beer does).

I am not fond of some styles of beer, Pilsner and Stout are two but I can and will still drink them. Some like sour beers are just wrong though and I will not touch them (well not again).

A note on "Real Ale", the term means nothing at all to me, beer is beer, good beer is good beer and bad beer is bad, no mater what you call it or how it is made, to me it is all in the taste and not in a perceived category.

In fact CAMRGB, The Campaign For Really Good Beer, is a far better idea than CAMRA The Campaign for Real Ale but someone has to try to protect the small brewers, although the masses are entitled to drink what they want.

Thursday, 26 January 2012

St. Sylvestre, 3 Monts

Did you know I had a beer photo in a book, a proper book, 300 Beers to try Before you Die!

My photo of St. Sylvestre, 3 Monts from France, is included in the CAMRA (campaign for real ale) Book, 300 Beers to try Before you Die! by Roger Protz. I was contacted by them to ask if they could use my photo, they had seen it on Flickr and needed one for the new edition. I agreed and got a complimentary copy of the book as soon as it was published.

300 Beers to try Before you Die!300 Beers to try Before you Die!

Since then I have been having a go at trying to collect all of the 300, I haven't been very successful, only got about a third up to now but the quest continues. 300 Beers to try Before you Die!

As for the beer well, at 8.5% a light gold colour with a thin head, it had a slightly sweet aroma, a fruity taste and it felt strong, it was very nice though.


Tuesday, 24 January 2012

My Top Ten French Beers

Today on Facebook, I was asked by Siblu Holidays, if I had a Top Ten French Beers, I didnt but it is a good idea for a blog.

I have not done a Top Ten Beers before, one reason is, that although I am qualified to make my own Top Ten of my favorite beers, I have not tried enough beers from any particular country to make a definitive list. Saying that, I can list some of the beers that I have had from France, not necessarily in the order that I liked them and not necessarily best. Obviously this list is to my taste, the beers I liked and many may disagree with my choice but that is the beauty of beer drinking.

The French are experts at making those easy to drink lagers, lagers that are best served very cold on very hot days (just what you need on holiday in France), and many UK supermarket own brand lagers are brewed in France, so I think the best of these need a mention. I also though it would be nice, to include a mention of the other beers I like that are widely available throughout France, together with a warning of the beers I would not buy again over there.

Now for the hard part, I think it is too difficult for me to rate them in any order of preference, so it's just a list of  Ten beers I would like to have again and also a variety of styles.

Jenlain, Ambrée

Jenlain, Ambrée, France  Jenlain, Ambrée, France

7.5% nice head, amber colour with a thin head, fruity aroma, sweetish but strong malty taste, very nice, one of the best French beers I have had so far and better than the Jenlain Blonde.

Kronenbourg, 1664, France

Kronenbourg, 1664, France  Dot, France 2011

You should all know this one as, Kronenbourg 1664 is France’s No.1 selling beer and the UK’s second-biggest selling premium lager. 5.0% lager, gold with a thin head, not the worst you can get, good cold on a hot day in France.

Kronenbourg, 1664 Blanc

Kronenbourg, 1664 Blanc, FranceDot with 1664 Blanc

Not so well known although it was pushed for a while over here, a nice entry level blanc. 5.0% (it was in blue bottles when I bought it in France), cloudy pale yellow with a thin head, fruity aroma, fairly sweet citrus taste, Dot likes it more than me but I will not turn one down, ever.

Heineken (France), Edelweiss

Heineken (France), Edelweiss, France  Heineken (France), Edelweiss, France

Another blanc beer, 5.0% Weissbier, cloudy gold colour with not much of a head, sweet floral aroma, taste like a normal wheat beer but with a hint of vanilla, surprisingly I really like it and when in France, buy it whenever I come across it in the shops.

Jenlain, Blonde

Jenlain, Blonde, France  Jenlain, Blonde, France

7.5% gold colour with a thin head, sweet malty aroma, sweetish but strong taste, very nice, one of the best French beers I have had so far.

Pelforth, Blonde

Pelforth, Blonde, FranceDot with a Pelforth Blond, France 2008

5.8% gold colour with a nice head, basically a very nice hot day beer but I prefer the Brune.

Pelforth, Brune

Pelforth, Brune, France  Week 43 - An52 Beers, Pelforth, Brune, France

6.5% dark colour with a good head, caramel aroma, bitter sweet burnt malt taste, very nice beer.

Kronenbourg, Wilfort

Week 42-52 Beers, Kronenbourg, Wilfort, France  Me with Kronenbourg Wilfort France 2009

Another Brune, 6.9% dark colour with a very nice head, a dark beer with a malt aroma, some caramel in the taste but slightly lacking in body.

Saint-Omer, Bière Bock

Saint-Omer, Bière Bock, France  Saint-Omer, Bière Bock, France

Saint-Omer, make the majority of French beers sold in UK supermarkets. 4.0% gold colour with no head, slight malt aroma and taste, very much like the 5.0% Saint-Omer Blonde, great for dinking on a hot afternoon in the back garden, not for the beer connoisseur, purely for drinking without thinking. Best served very cold.

St. Sylvestre, 3 Monts

St. Sylvestre, 3 Monts, FranceSt. Sylvestre, 3 Monts, France

8.5% light gold colour with a thin head, slightly sweet aroma, fruity taste and strong, nice though.

See also Another Ten French Beers

Four top Belgian beers that are immensely popular in France and are sold just about everywhere, in bottles and on draught.

Stella Artois, Jupiler, Leffe Blonde and Hoegaarden

Stella Artois, Belgium   Piedboeuf, Jupiler, Belgium   Beautiful Blonds from Belgium   Hoegaarden, Witbier, Belgium

Finally a few that I would avoid (this doesn't mean that you will not like them though), click on the photo to find out why.

Meteor, Blanche, France   Fischer, Desperados Red, France   Fischer, Desperados, France   Fischer, Fischer Tradition, France

The full list of my French beers

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Four Beers this Week

Four new beers this week, although one is an old favorite with a new strength (the strength did rise quite a while ago but I only just noticed).

First the old favorite Marston's, Pedigree from England Old and New

Marston's, Pedigree (4.5%), England   Marston's, Pedigree (5.0%), England

The old one was 4.5%, the new is 5.0%, not much differences in taste, although the new one may be a bit sweeter. the new 5.0%, deep amber colour with a thin head, aroma is malt, taste is malt, liquorice and toffee with a sweet aftertaste of refreshers.

The next on is also one I have had before, on draught in Durham, it was good then so worth trying in bottles.

Marston's, EPA from England

Marston's, EPA, England   Marston's, EPA, England

3.6% golden colour with a good head, fruity hop aroma, citrus hop taste, it was as good in bottles as it was on draught and at 3.6%, it just goes to prove, beer doesn't have to be strong to be good.

Next, Robinsons, Unicorn from England

Robinsons, Unicorn, England  Robinsons, Unicorn, England

4.3% amber colour with a thin head, hop and malt aroma, hop and malt aroma taste, quite a good beer.

Lastly, Thomas Hardy, Ushers Founders from England

Thomas Hardy, Ushers Founders, England  Thomas Hardy, Ushers Founders, England

4.7% deep amber colour with a thin head, low in aroma, taste is malt and hop, an ok bitter. It is possibly better than is sounds here but the other beers were all better on the night.