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

Thursday 21 January 2016

Healthy Beer!

I enjoy bottles of Purdey's. It's a multivitamin fruit drink which I pay a bit more for, for for a drink whose effects are probably no better than normal fruit juices... But I like it though! Plus it calls itself an "Elixir" and ever since I first played Final Fantasy XII many many years ago, I've always been a sucker for an elixir!

I was thinking the other day that if I felt so inclined I could add a bit of rum or vodka to some Purdey's and make it an evening drink rather than morning drink. I tell myself because it's got extra vitamins, it must be better than having a vodka & coke for example.

Now there's plenty of vitamin drinks out there, but I've started wondering if you could actually brew a multivitamin beer??

Before anyone starts though, I know that beer is horribly horribly bad for you and that there's "No safe limit" to drinking, so I'm not pretending that anyone try make any claims that beer could be good for you. Oh, heavens no! Daily Mail save us!

Joking aside, could you make a multivitamin beer and not label it as being good for you, just add the extras on the ingredients list..? There's plenty of beers with caffeine in them.  Hell, Erdinger Alcohol Free advertises itself as an isotonic drink. I know I get a better (most probably false) sense of well being from drinking Purdey's so why not get that from beer too? (It's probably all the placebo effect if we're being fair)

Pint of Jaipur with extra C, B2 & B6 please!

Things to ponder on....

Monday 18 January 2016

Beer Experiments

I got a bit of stick recently from more than a few people for stocking a new lager in the shop, and I think unfairly so.. I think this stick might come from quite a bit of beer snobbery, so I decided to do a bit of an experiment...

I've been craving lager recently, not sure why but I've been drinking quite a bit of it. The beer itself I recently started stocking is Primus - that (yes that) Belgian lager. I feel it was badly received in the shop, considering we also sell beers like Carling, Fosters and Corona ect.. Yes we actually do sell those kind of drinks! We are a local off-license as well as a specialist beer shop!

So I decided to grab a can of Primus and another two beers, we also sell, and see if I could pick out each one in a blind tasting. I made sure I was completely withdrawn from the pouring so as not to give any bias, and also made sure the name of each beer was stuck to the bottom of the glass for later.

Beer 1: sweet malts, corn flavouring and hay with some biscuit malt aftertaste. Ice cold and refreshing.

Beer 2: Sweet again and creamy, slight creamed corn flavour. Softer than the first and a little more mello.

Beer 3: Pretty much exactly inbetween the first two. Still ice cold and refreshing.

They all tasted pretty much the same to me, if not for a slight discrepancy in texture, a slight colour difference in one and a bigger carbonation in another.


After peeling back the paper it turns out beer 1 was Stella, beer 2 was Jupiler and beer 3 was Primus. So a pretty interesting experiment if not for the only conclusion that these beers are all basically the same. Yes, all these beers taste the same. And I'm not just saying that, I know the differences in beer, even when it comes to the "same" beer, look here at when I did US Sam Adams vs Kent Sam Adams.

Don't go judging beers without trying them, and certainly don't go judging them because you think they're crap.. There's a beer for everyone. And I'm happy to report since stocking it last week, Primus (which I actually preferred, probably because of the extra carbonation) has easily out-sold Stella and Jupiler.

It's cheaper than Stella too.....

Sunday 10 January 2016

Brewdenell 4

What a great way to stick two up to the new ridiculous alcohol guide line bollocks than with a cracker of a beer festival in January!

Yes this weekend saw the fourth annual Leeds based beer festival at the Brudenell Social Club - Brewdenell! Fourth time held and fourth time visited for this ghost.. and once again it didn't disappoint. The whole venue was rammed full of people, more so than last year I'd say, but this was no bad thing.. I got there slightly later than my Beer Ritz colleagues but we soon found a nice spot just by the keg bar (under a well placed fan) and tucked into a lot more beers.

My tipple of choice for the night was the strong IPAs from places I've never heard of, and places I can't remember! I do however recall trying some Edge Juggernaut DIPA and thinking it tasted far too much like hop oil. I then followed that with some Odell Myrcenary and once again was throughly impressed at how good that beer is!

I sampled a few dark beers too, but nothing really stood out apart from some Founders Dark Penance and Kirkstall Barrel Aged Drop Hammer, which had a very good condition to it compared to the last time I tried it and it was completely lifeless..

That's something I did notice about this year compared to last, there wasn't that much beer on offer. Maybe it was just because I went late on Saturday night and a lot had run out, but the selection seemed pretty slim in my opinion. That's to be my only gripe, I had a good night indeed and look forward to the next! Still going strong at the fourth showing and continuing in popularity, it's definitely on the beer festival calendar of the not to miss category.

I was interested to hear that Friends Of Ham had a stall down this year, but was unable to sample any meaty goods as they'd gone by the time I'd arrived. Oh well.. It's not like the pub is far away!

January is an interesting time to have a beer festival if you ask me. I think it gets missed off a few people's Golden Pints beer festival of the year as they might have forgotten about it by December. Only a minor point, it takes nothing away from a great festival.

Tuesday 5 January 2016

When Did Beer Shops Stop Selling Beer?

Beer Ritz has been a shop selling beer in Far Headingley for coming close to twenty years now.. That's older than most breweries.. Well all the "crafty" ones anyway. We've moved with the times we like to think, but have remained relatively unchanged in what we deliver to our customers.

We brought Belgian and European beers into the heart of Leeds before it became cool. We started to stock Brewdog beers when they first opened way back when, and still do regardless of their "punk" rhetoric. We saw the mass importation of American hop forward beers, and subsequent following of style from British brewers. We've seen duty rises, brewery openings and even the unfortunate closures.. Hell, we nearly even closed ourselves, and would have if it wasn't for a man who's just as passionate about beer as I, if not more so.

The fact is that we've seen a LOT in this industry, and I can personally maintain that we've always given the customer what they really want... Beer.

It's no secret that over the past few years there has been a flourish of specialist beer shops opening around the UK over the past 2/3 years. More than a couple on our city doorstep as well. Now I'd never say this is a bad thing, in fact we're loving the competition!

The thing that interests me though is what the shops deliver. While these shops have good beer selections (some better than others) I've personally found that there's a lot of extra things to be bought in said establishments. Things like beer T-shirts with the shops logo printed upon. Beer mats in the similar ilk, carrier bags too.. it seems like it doesn't matter what beer you've bought as long as everyone knows where you bought it from!

Don't get me wrong, of course getting the word out there is important for business - so I guess the open question here is, do you think Beer Ritz is missing a trick buy not having lots of personalised merchandise?

Saturday 2 January 2016

An Old Enemy

Well I hope you're all rested and well after Christmas and New Years celebrations, because there's an old foe rearing it's ugly head.

It seems Dry January is back once again, but this time I personally think they've gone a step too far with their advertising... If you haven't seen it already there's a TV advert doing the rounds at the moment to promote this most ludicrous of "months" which I take a great deal of offense towards.

In the advert itself it's claimed that by partaking in Dry January you have "One less sin to worry about". Sin? SIN?!? Since when did drinking anything become a sin?? Except for drinking dragon seamen maybe!

Being not only a religious man, but also a man who's income is based upon alcohol, I find this term which is used in such relaxed referral to be very offensive! You know what really worries me about this advert though? ..
There's plenty of idiots who watch TV...

Let's not fudge the issue. There are a lot of people in this country who have a problem with alcohol, but these people aren't who the advert is directed at! Hell, most of these people probably don't even have a TV! The advert is directed at some people who will blindly follow the rules to make themselves feel better about themselves for no real reason.

Am I being too harsh? I don't think so.. Because If we start so publicly demonising alcohol in this way and making everybody think they're doing something wrong for consuming it, how long will it be before the Temperance prohibitionist movements come back and take the pints out of your hands?!

Want to give money to cancer funds? Just do that! It's a damn good cause, but you don't need to come up with an excuse to give money or raise money!

I just read the other day that the recommended daily limits are going to be changed soon.. Hands up if you think they're going to put it up...

If you put enough crap out there about how drinking is wrong, and how it's really, really bad for you it won't be long before enough idiots follow on and call for restrictions and bans to be put in place.

Since when did you people let someone else tell what and what not to drink? These snake oil salesmen have let themselves into your lives and made you think that you need to do what they say. Drink what ever the hell you want, just do it in moderation. I've seen this Try January thing going round at the moment. At least some people out there have some sense and don't want to see the fun/relaxation/joy/jobs/industry/fucking beer taken out of the common mans hand.

Just have a bloody beer, it's a miserable enough month already!