05 August 2009

Weather for Duckworths

Finding the sun in an Irish summer is somewhat akin to Russian roulette
-- Flatten the Hay
Never truer than of this particular Irish summer. On a recent dismal evening I cracked open a bottle of Shepherd Neame Goldings "Summer Hop Ale", having found it on special at Lidl. I had hoped I'd be able to get one from the box, but the shop had managed to pile three layers of exposed bottles on top of the only closed box and I wasn't in the mood for Jenga.

As a result, the beer was quite firmly, pungently, lightstruck. However, I'm honestly not sure there was much of a beer there to begin with. I got major stale oxidised notes and a detergent undercurrent beneath the malt, like a bar of soap wrapped in candyfloss. Mercifully there's no aftertaste, just a jarring dry full stop. An awful beer, like an undead version of Bateman's Combined Harvest. And I don't like the new, more slope-necked, Shepherd Neame bottles either. Grumble.

Enough of that. Reports from yesterday's excursion to the Great British Beer Festival will follow shortly.


  1. Did you go tot he Shepards Neame stand at the GBFF yesterday? It was interesting to try these beers not lightstruck.

  2. No, didn't make it. I tend to avoid beers I'll find in the pub sooner or later anyway.

    Though I'm not sure I've ever been in a Shepherd Neame pub, now that I think of it.

  3. Anonymous9:35 am

    It's useful to know what to avoid! I think it's the first time I see "undead" used to describe a beer.

  4. Reviewing crap beers is so much easier than good ones. I've a task ahead of me to go through all the great stuff I had at the GBBF yesterday.

  5. The Bloody Tan10:01 am

    I'm heading to the airport in half an hour and thence GBBF.
    Go on - give me just one name for the first beer to cleanse the palate before launching headfirst into the throng ?

  6. Heh-heh. Actually, genuinely, one of the best beers I had was Whitewater's Knight Porter (NI bar): simple and tasty. Whatever you do, don't miss the Stone beers at BSF, but maybe leave them to later on.

  7. Interestingly I actually enjoy this beer since I got it at Lidl. Oh its not complicated or anything to get excited about but sometimes I just want to knock back a beer and this does the job better than a lager. I would not call it crap, but it is certainly crisp and citrusy and I find it leaves a nice hop aftertaste. It is a little metallic but its a nice beer I thought.

    As a quaffer, I love this beer.

  8. Anonymous11:55 am

    Lovely to have finally met you in person at the GBBF. You do bring the party, sir! xoxo

  9. I'm pretty sure the party was there before I arrived. But it was great to meet you at last.

  10. This seems to be my reaction to every Shepherd Naeme bottle and I say this as someone who lives 20 minutes from the brewery and has Shep-saturated beer aisles. I always find the distinct cardboard flavours to be unappealing.

    Great to meet you yesterday, I hope you had a great day!

  11. I can't say I'd ever noticed the cardboard before, but then I'd normally be drinking Bishop's Finger which has lots of earthy funk to bury it in.

    Yep, it was a marvellous day (or 5 hours anyway), and it was a pleasure meeting you.