Craft beer since 1845

Dear Reader,

The headline is almost a verbatim copy, taken from a German family owned brewery. Their slogan: craft beer since 1862. I changed the numbers to fit an English brewery, Fullers. More about them later.

First, let’s get to craft beer, or the recent hype about it.

For many decades the brewery industry went through a phase of consolidation. On a global scale this is ongoing. The No. 1 brewing concern, Anheuser Bush InBev, itself a result of countless mergers and acquisitions, wants to merge with the No. 2, SAB Miller, again a conglomerate of many breweries. Together the two companies will have a market share of 30% globally.

In the late 20th century, enough people got upset with what some call TV beers. Those beers, heavily advertised on TV, had become tasteless. To appeal to the masses, the brewers dropped all character and taste. The running joke then was:

What does American beer have in common with having sex in a canoe?

Both is fucking close to water.

Today the jokes go like this:

Yet, even then you could find tasty beers in America. Avoiding the watery beverages pretending to be beer like Budwiser, Coors, Miller, etc.,  my favorites were Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, Brooklyn Lager, Samuel Adams, and the imported Bass Ale. And in Europe you could find fine beers almost everywhere. Avoiding the TV beers like Carlsberg (Denmark), Heineken (The Netherlands), Kronenbourg (France), Warsteiner (Germany), there were hundreds if not thousands of great beers.

So in the late 90s people in significant numbers dropped those TV beers in favor of products from what was called micro breweries. And during the 2000s the trend went from micro breweries to craft beer. As a result you can now find thousands of beers. Many of those are really bad, a few are really excellent.

What people seem to have forgotten, many excellent beers have been around for centuries. Bass Ale, the oldest English trademark, is a prime example. There is no need to try all those craft beers, if you have proven beer champions.

And that brings me back to Fullers. On a recent trip I had the great pleasure of tasting their beers. The result: their London Pride is delicious. And their London Porter is brilliant.

Fullers has been around since 1845 and London Porter is the mother of all porters. And – to my surprise – it is the mother of all stouts, including world famous TV beer Guiness. If you like Guiness, I encourage you to try a London Porter. It is so much better.

London Porter is a very tasty beer, excellent in winter. And it goes extremely well with your steak, or game, or a any rich meal. Occasionally I now substitute red wine with a London Porter. It is that good.

Next time you want to try one of those fancy craft beers, why don’t you try one of those old, proven, classic, beers. Crafted since 1845. And many even longer.


Engine Room

23 thoughts on “Craft beer since 1845

  1. Sorry Smiles but I cannot wait for you any longer.
    Asking for a month for a db meeting has proven too much.
    My paranoia is more frequent.
    I am not happy.
    I cannot think or focus.
    Worst of all I cannot learn anything.
    You did what was best for you and I must do what’s best for me.

  2. Dear ER
    Next time try beers from Greene King. Their IPA is fantastic as is their Abbott
    Ale. Greene King pubs are mostly in East of England.
    Invite the Druid and me along as we love our Real Ales.

    1. Dear Smiles,

      Yep, I tried Greene IPA. It is OK, but not memorable. I would not recognize it.
      The Abbot Ale I will try next time, thanks for the hint!


  3. Agree on the London Pride, not tried the Porters, so will do. Yep – abbots is tasty and so in Adnams, which around here seems to be quite common. What’s rather nice about a visit to Wetherspoons, is that they offer a range of different ales each week, giving the opportunity to taste lots of colloquial flavours. Must say I do tend to fill the fridge with “TV” beers, they are cheap and refreshing, although cans of Speckled Hen also adorn the hall cupboard!

    1. Dear Philippa,

      Thanks for the comment!
      The Speckled Hen is as good as the Greene IPA mentioned above, and a lot better than Spitfire. Yet, it is not recognizable, not that special, to me.

      Those pubs with ever changing beers buy what is cheap and/or on offer. Not necessarily what is really good. They enjoy the extra margin, which the brewery owned pubs don’t get.


  4. Hi Philippa
    Get them out of the hall cupboard and invite the Druid and myself over.
    We will make some space for you.

  5. I don’t drink beers/ales!
    I’ll see what I can do if it is a magnet for the men.

    Casper X

  6. I remember that you are always trying very hard in general, to get an invite to the pub. It must be a sanctuary for men or something :-)
    I never blame my pals for the hungover, it just is, I should have stopped drinking sooner (as I am a lightweight) and not when I was unrecognizable to myself. Party Party Party!!!

    Casper X

  7. On the 11th June I have the pleasure, of seeing the an A Capella group at St Margaret’s Church, Church Lane, Leeds doing “Bach & Beyond “- I cannot wait to hear them harmonize. It starts at 7:30pm so perhaps before I will pray for Smiles knee to stop running away from his frail body.

    Casper X

  8. Two things I miss about England are the beer and pubs.
    But there again, in Vienna we have Heuriger (Wine Taverns) and better weather to sit outside to enjoy a few Viertel.
    Off to Florida on Thursday with Mrs Smiles. This time I am not asking ER for tips as he is not too happy about it. No Miami but Naples this time.

  9. I guess you are asking for too much Smiles! It is a good idea not to ask for anything. That is definitely what I would do :-)

  10. Beer is like wine, we know what we like.
    I never object to people drinking shite beers, that’s their choice.
    I have tried to educate people, but they just end up drinking your favourite beers.
    Just buy the cheap crap when they visit.

  11. I think I get what you mean Druid. I might be out on Thursday at the Town Hall Tavern, 17 Westgate, Leeds, after shopping with friends for dinner at 7pm and will see what people are drinking.

  12. The Town Hall Tavern in Westgate is a Timothy Taylors Pub, so definitely some good beers on tap. Try a pint of Landlord.
    I almost wish that I could be there instead of Florida.

  13. What should we drink ? Quarts or Gallons ?
    People in UK will never understand the metric system despite learning only this at school for over 50 years. Nobody knows their height in cm or weight in kg.
    Mrs Smiles does not drink beer.

  14. I will be there but drinking wine instead.
    I am glad Mrs Smiles knows not to abuse her body with beer.
    And I too will stop the abuse after as I deserve better for my body.

  15. Beer does not abuse the body if drunken in moderation but this is something that the louts who invade UK inner cities on Friday and Saturday nights know nothing about.
    Do you know how much sugar there is in wine. ??

  16. I know abuse very well to know the psychological effects it causes.
    No I do not but feel free to enlighten db, I am sure they will enjoy some facts today.

  17. I have changed my mind about Thursday not that it matters.
    I will not be commenting on diablog any longer though I might visit every now and then.
    All the best :-)

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