They Brew it, I sell it, You Drink it... and so do I..

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Oldie Beer 3 :(

Now it's not just me, Tom and Zak who work, run and regulate the Beer Ritz shop. There is another couple of awesome people who work with us, who we count as very good friends and are a pleasure to work with. Rory Morris has been a dedicated employee for a few years now, who is an awesome member of the team and always will be, even if he's moving up to Glasgow soon. (he will be sorely missed)
    Jeff (or Juffage as he's know on Twitter) Is a new-ish member to the team who hales from the States. He has just been away for a couple of weeks living it up on the rarest of the rare that the USA has to offer beer wise, and has been kind enough to bring some back to us to share around.

The image of the orange-y beer 'Cane & Ebel' was one of the treats he brought to share with me. It's an 'Overly hopped Red Rye Ale' which has been produced using palm sugar. It was such a fantastic brew that I've hopeful plans to brew a replica styled beer with a friend some time soon. (if I can only get a recipe sorted!)

So with the notion of sharing beer floating around which I'm all too fond of, I thought it would be good to whip out an Oldie Beer to share with Jeff, which has been catching my eye now for some time. The beer has been aging away for the best part of 4 years now, and I was very fearful of actually trying it. This is because at the time of production I heard that the brewery was having a little trouble with some sort of filament issue? which was making some of the beers taste a little burnt. I know this not to be the case nowadays (an easy fix for them), and they produce great beer, but back then it was one of the first beers to go into the collection so I was well up for storing it.

Back then I think this was the strongest beer in the UK! (O how times have changed!) I'm of course talking about Capstan F.S. from the Old Bear brewery. I was immediately concerned when I opened this old brew and it proceeded to cascade out of the top like an over shaken bottle of Coke!! Initial nosings were promising. Good strong aromas of caramelized apples mixed with a sour-esk vintage ale abounded. Unfortunately that was as good as it got. The beer had indeed been spoilt by a small brewing imperfection. It was basically a burnt beer, simple as.

It was a real shame. The first time I had this beer 4 years ago, it was one of the most interesting things I'd ever drunk at that time. This is a big thing you need to take heed of when thinking of storing a beer. No matter how well you store it, how dark and temperature controlled it is, It is brewed by someone who is only human! Not every beer you ever buy will be perfect.

I wasn't disappointed though. It was just another beer experience. You have to take the faulty beers with the un-faulted. It's what will make you a better beer drinker. (or a bigger beer nerd) I'm going to try see if they make this beer still, and grab a few more. Some to drink right away, and some to store, hopefully for another fun eve in a few years time. :)


  1. I enjoyed this blog! I do like Old Bear Brewery, although mostly the stuff I have tried has been cask, not bottle.

    However there's a Costcutter's nearby, which sells their whole bottled range (...well they did last time I went in, which was probably sometime last year). I'm sure I saw this beer, which i'm now intrigued to try, dunno whether it was a new/old batch though. I shall try see if it's still there later on in the week!

  2. ah, the old bear capstan...i expected it to be a hell of a lot darker than it was - but i can't say I enjoyed it. Sorry!

  3. Ibb - Thanks for that, I've had quite a bit of cask from them, we've even sold cask beer of theirs in the shop before which was really cool. I will try to track down some new stuff too.

    Leigh - I reckon if it was a lot darker it would be right up my street. I will try to get it again though.

  4. I had their 'christmas pudding' ale late last year, that wasn't a great experience, not off beer but something wasn't quite right.