Where to buy good bottled beer?

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Will Borgeson

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Dec 12, 1996, 3:00:00 AM12/12/96
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John S. Watson - FSC (wat...@pioneer.arc.nasa.gov) wrote:

: The only other thing I can advise you do it learn to make you own.

Another fun way to go is the 16 oz cans of Guinness, Murphy's, and
one other brew whose name escapes me (it is a British pale ale with a nice
flavor). These have a very draft-like effect, and light can't get to
them.

Will

Ken Papai

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Dec 12, 1996, 3:00:00 AM12/12/96
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(Jim Hunt) writes:

>|> Another fun way to go is the 16 oz cans of Guinness, Murphy's, and
>|> one other brew whose name escapes me (it is a British pale ale with a nice
>|> flavor). These have a very draft-like effect, and light can't get to
>|> them.
>|>
>|> Will

>Except these cans don't have beer in them. Or even stout. Read the label,
>Guiness sells stout; but what goes in those cans, as properly labelled on
>the outside, is "Pasteurized Stout". Guiness refuses to call it stout after
>it has been boiled.

First of all it's Guinness. 2ndly, Guinness invented the widget
in those 14.x oz. cans. Guinness is PROUD of their canned version
of on-tap Guinness. Guinness is merely calling att'n to
the fact they flash-pasteurize the beer in the can.
--
Ken Papai -Racer 5- Wannabee
Marin County, California [subliminal ad for Bear Republic here]
kpa...@rahul.net 5+++ Support your LOCAL microbrewer
http://www.rahul.net/kpapai/ Northern California Brewpub FAQkeeper

Jim Hunt

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Dec 12, 1996, 3:00:00 AM12/12/96
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|> Another fun way to go is the 16 oz cans of Guinness, Murphy's, and
|> one other brew whose name escapes me (it is a British pale ale with a nice
|> flavor). These have a very draft-like effect, and light can't get to
|> them.
|>
|> Will

Except these cans don't have beer in them. Or even stout. Read the label,
Guiness sells stout; but what goes in those cans, as properly labelled on
the outside, is "Pasteurized Stout". Guiness refuses to call it stout after
it has been boiled.

Boiled beer is spoiled beer.

--
Jim Hu...@mti.sgi.com Of course, that's just my opinion, I could be wrong.

Will Borgeson

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Dec 14, 1996, 3:00:00 AM12/14/96
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Ken Papai (kpa...@rahul.net) wrote:

: First of all it's Guinness. 2ndly, Guinness invented the widget


: in those 14.x oz. cans. Guinness is PROUD of their canned version
: of on-tap Guinness. Guinness is merely calling att'n to
: the fact they flash-pasteurize the beer in the can.

Right, 14.9 oz, at least that's what the Murphy's can in front of
me says. Thanks Ken, I had been wondering why they don't quite fill a
pint glass. It looks like a 16 oz can, so I guess that widget displaces
around an ounce. The can also says Murphy's Irish Stout. I don't have a
Guinness can on hand at the moment, but am not much worried about what
they call it. All I know is that it tastes *real* similar to what comes
out of a Guinness stout tap that is very carefully maintained, and better
than what comes out of a poorly maintained one. Since I can take home 4
of these near-pints of, to me, very tasty stout for $6, it's one of the
many brews I like. It blows the doors, IMHO, off the Guinness that comes
in a bottle. Whether or not it's been flash-pasteurized isn't all that
important to me, nor am I purist enuff to care whether a draft pint is
hand-pumped or moved via gas. I'm beginning to wonder who is more
opinionated - the brew crowd or the wine crowd. I enjoy (what I perceive
to be) good brew, wine, sodapop and fruit juice, but am not all that
serious about it...might detract from the fun involved. I think the folks
at Guinness have good reason to be proud of what they pack in the big
cans, and of the process they came up with.

Will


Jim Hunt

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Dec 16, 1996, 3:00:00 AM12/16/96
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|> serious about it...might detract from the fun involved. I think the folks
|> at Guinness have good reason to be proud of what they pack in the big
|> cans, and of the process they came up with.

The cans I have don't have the 2nd pop device, they are just narrow beer
cans. I only had one of the double fancy type, but the ones I described,
the ones that say "Pasteurized Stout" on the label, are just standard
cans, no extra hardware inside.

Are the fancy cans still out there? I got these a while back at Safeway,
mostly because I cracked up when I read that label. I like Guinness, (but
I love John Courage!) and they are going about one a month. Taste fine,
since I keep them in the fridge.

I still think that label is Guinness asserting that:
Pasteurized Stout !== Stout

And I agree. I caught on the exact week in 1982 when Heineken quit
shipping their beer cold and started pasteurizing it. They used to
be one of the best beers available up until 82, when they dropped
right down to budweiser quality with that single stupid decision.

Coors and Heineken were known for insisting that their beer be
shipped, stored, and sold cold. But apparently the channels
pushed back too hard for them to be able to keep it up. Does
Coors still demand cold handling? Does ANY beer in America
specify proper handling in their contracts?

Carl S. Gutekunst

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Dec 19, 1996, 3:00:00 AM12/19/96
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In article <5984ie$m...@agate.berkeley.edu>,
Steve Pope <s...@ozark.EECS.Berkeley.EDU> wrote:
> There are some true "bottle-conditioned" beers available in the U.K., and
> perhaps also in the U.S. if you are willing to search them out.

There are indeed, although the best are German -- all Franziskaner beers, and
several from Spatan and Ayinger. The Franziskaner is outstanding.

A number of American microbreweries have been producing bottle fermented
beers, but they have mostly been disappointing to me -- weak, unbalanced, and
inconsistent flavor. Oddly, they seem to be as fragile on the shelf as most
kettle-conditioned beers. The German beers are far more shelf stable. Perhaps
someone familiar with beer chemistry can explain why.

<csg>

Ken Papai

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Dec 19, 1996, 3:00:00 AM12/19/96
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Obviously you have never had Sierra Nevada beer or you wouldn't
dare say that. Check out rec.food.drink.beer if
you want beer answers (ignore alt.beer -- its signal
to noise ratio is probably Usenet's worst)

Speaking of Spaten -- you're joking right? Spaten in green bottles
is often skunked big time. Spaten Optimator is a fine beer.
--
Ken Papai Racer 5 / Trek 5000 Dura-Ace equipped
San Rafael, California [$500 Fine if you send me Junk Email]
kpa...@rahul.net Support your local microbrewery. 5+++

Ken Papai

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Dec 19, 1996, 3:00:00 AM12/19/96
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c...@clavinova.eng.sun.com (Carl S. Gutekunst) writes:

>Ken Papai <kpa...@rahul.net> wrote:
>>North Coast Brewing Co. of ft. bragg, calif. carefully selects
>>their USA-wide distributors.

>Likewise Anderson Valley, according to the employees there I talked with. But
>it appears that the mishandling mostly occurs at the retail level. Beverages
>& More and Cost Plus carry North Coast and Anderson Valley beers, shelved in
>nice neat rows at room temperature. And in B&M's case, the spend a sizable
>fraction of the day in sunlight.

Not true (wrt. the Sunlight) at the San Rafael B&m! -- however all B&m's
leave tons of beer out in the open at room temp. It does help
as to which store you're talking about.

B&m! still refers to Anchor as if their name is "Anchor Steam"
and they refer to SNCA as a spiced winter ale. (they need a real
beer expert, at least part-time to help them write ad copy)

The correct answers are "Anchor Brewing Co." and
"SNCA is a classic heavily hopped, IPA style full bodied
winter seasonal."

Steve Pope

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Dec 19, 1996, 3:00:00 AM12/19/96
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Ken Papai <kpa...@rahul.net> writes:

>> A number of American microbreweries have been producing bottle
>> fermented beers, but they have mostly been disappointing to me --
>> weak, unbalanced, and inconsistent flavor. Oddly, they seem to
>> be as fragile on the shelf as most kettle-conditioned beers.

Not sure why this should be "odd" -- the whole reason for
*not* producing bottle-conditioned beer, or cask-conditioned
beer for that matter, is that it is less stable and less
consistent than its bulk-processed counterpart. Since American
consumers and bar staff cannot handle a bit of inconsistency
in a quest for a better product, these forms are of limited
popularity here.

>> German beers are far more shelf stable. Perhaps someone familiar
>> with beer chemistry can explain why.

> Obviously you have never had Sierra Nevada beer or you wouldn't
> dare say that.

Ken, are you saying that Sierran Nevada bottle-conditioned,
or bottle-fermented in some respect? Could you elaborate on
this?

I've always rather assumed bottled Sierra is fermented in
bulk, and then bottled under artificial pressure like
most bottled beer in the world. I will go along with
a statement that it has not been pasteurized, but I don't think any
biological processes are occuring in your bottles of Sierra....

S.

Joel_Plutchak

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Dec 19, 1996, 3:00:00 AM12/19/96
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In article <59c3ms$b...@agate.berkeley.edu> s...@ozark.EECS.Berkeley.EDU (Steve Pope) writes:
>Ken, are you saying that Sierran Nevada bottle-conditioned,
>or bottle-fermented in some respect? Could you elaborate on
>this?
>
>I've always rather assumed bottled Sierra is fermented in
>bulk, and then bottled under artificial pressure like
>most bottled beer in the world. I will go along with
>a statement that it has not been pasteurized, but I don't think any
>biological processes are occuring in your bottles of Sierra....

Maybe they just sneak that layer of yeast on the bottom
of the bottles to fool us beer geeks. (Granted, it *is*
pretty tenacious yeast, and it's easy to miss.)
--
Joel Plutchak

Michael Stewart

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Dec 19, 1996, 3:00:00 AM12/19/96
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In article <59c3ms$b...@agate.berkeley.edu> s...@ozark.EECS.Berkeley.EDU (Steve Pope) writes:

Ken Papai <kpa...@rahul.net> writes:

>> A number of American microbreweries have been producing bottle
>> fermented beers, but they have mostly been disappointing to me --
>> weak, unbalanced, and inconsistent flavor. Oddly, they seem to
>> be as fragile on the shelf as most kettle-conditioned beers.

Not sure why this should be "odd" -- the whole reason for *not*
producing bottle-conditioned beer, or cask-conditioned beer for
that matter, is that it is less stable and less consistent than its
bulk-processed counterpart. Since American consumers and bar staff
cannot handle a bit of inconsistency in a quest for a better
product, these forms are of limited popularity here.

This depends on several things. Potentially bottle-conditioned beers
are less stable if the yeast strain is not pure or if there is enough
yeast to produce nasty autolysis flavors. But yeast do scavenge
oxygen. So a bottle-conditioned beer with a small amount of very pure
yeast can avoid oxidation flavors for longer than a bulk-processed,
filtered, pasteurized beer.

It's a tradeoff. If a brewer really trusts his bottling line to not
introduce significant oxygen, then yeast may not improve stability.
Otherwise, a very well made bottle-conditioned beer _can_ keep longer.

>> German beers are far more shelf stable. Perhaps someone familiar
>> with beer chemistry can explain why.

> Obviously you have never had Sierra Nevada beer or you wouldn't
> dare say that.

Ken, are you saying that Sierran Nevada bottle-conditioned, or


bottle-fermented in some respect? Could you elaborate on this?

Sierra Nevada filters and adds back yeast because they believe it
enhances stability. Look in the bottom of the bottle sometime.
You'll see a thin layer of yeast. The SNCA seems to have a pretty
good bit of it.

Whether it can be called bottle conditioned or not is a matter for
debate. I was at our own Tim McNerney's house the other night.
Someone (might have been Tim himself---memory is a bit hazy since he
gave me a long sequence of big beers to drink) said that they
condition mostly in the secondary but let the yeast in the bottle
finish off the process after they've bottled under pressure.

I've always rather assumed bottled Sierra is fermented in bulk, and
then bottled under artificial pressure like most bottled beer in
the world. I will go along with a statement that it has not been
pasteurized, but I don't think any biological processes are
occuring in your bottles of Sierra....

There is live yeast. Plenty of homebrewers have cultured it. And
anytime there is live yeast, there are biological processes going on.

--
Michael Stewart http://www-sccm.stanford.edu/~stewart
"Good people drink good beer." For non-spammers: ste...@sccm.stanford.edu
--Hunter S. Thompson

Tim McNerney

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Dec 19, 1996, 3:00:00 AM12/19/96
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Michael Stewart (ste...@antispam.fake) wrote:

: In article <59c3ms$b...@agate.berkeley.edu> s...@ozark.EECS.Berkeley.EDU (Steve Pope) writes:

: Ken Papai <kpa...@rahul.net> writes:

: > Obviously you have never had Sierra Nevada beer or you wouldn't
: > dare say that.

: Ken, are you saying that Sierran Nevada bottle-conditioned, or
: bottle-fermented in some respect? Could you elaborate on this?

: Sierra Nevada filters and adds back yeast because they believe it
: enhances stability. Look in the bottom of the bottle sometime.
: You'll see a thin layer of yeast. The SNCA seems to have a pretty
: good bit of it.

: Whether it can be called bottle conditioned or not is a matter for
: debate. I was at our own Tim McNerney's house the other night.
: Someone (might have been Tim himself---memory is a bit hazy since he
: gave me a long sequence of big beers to drink) said that they
: condition mostly in the secondary but let the yeast in the bottle
: finish off the process after they've bottled under pressure.

This is currently the way it is done (current being since the last
time I have been on a tour). They ferment the beer and then filter
and carbonate to 90% of their target. They then add a small dose of
fresh yeast and some wort and then bottle. So they do have some
conditioning going on in the beer, though not as much as they once
did (they are able to be a little more precise using their current
method for both carbonation level and amount of yeast left in the
bottle).

: I've always rather assumed bottled Sierra is fermented in bulk, and


: then bottled under artificial pressure like most bottled beer in
: the world. I will go along with a statement that it has not been
: pasteurized, but I don't think any biological processes are
: occuring in your bottles of Sierra....

: There is live yeast. Plenty of homebrewers have cultured it. And
: anytime there is live yeast, there are biological processes going on.

It's as alive as I am, which isn't saying much after the aforemntioned
Big Beer Sequence.


--Tim

eis...@slacvx.slac.stanford.edu

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Dec 19, 1996, 3:00:00 AM12/19/96
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In article <59bujr$o...@samba.rahul.net>, Ken Papai <kpa...@rahul.net> writes:
> c...@clavinova.eng.sun.com (Carl S. Gutekunst) writes:
>
>>Ken Papai <kpa...@rahul.net> wrote:
>>>North Coast Brewing Co. of ft. bragg, calif. carefully selects
>>>their USA-wide distributors.
>
>>Likewise Anderson Valley, according to the employees there I talked with. But
>>it appears that the mishandling mostly occurs at the retail level. Beverages
>>& More and Cost Plus carry North Coast and Anderson Valley beers, shelved in
>>nice neat rows at room temperature. And in B&M's case, the spend a sizable
>>fraction of the day in sunlight.
>
> Not true (wrt. the Sunlight) at the San Rafael B&m! -- however all B&m's
> leave tons of beer out in the open at room temp. It does help
> as to which store you're talking about.
>

Draeger's carries Anderson Valley on their refrigerated shelves. Anyone care
to comment (or guess) on the previous storage history? (They don't have much
room on their shelves, so their supplies of the specialty Christmas beers are
just sitting out on the floor. I'm referring to the Menlo Park store.)

> B&m! still refers to Anchor as if their name is "Anchor Steam"
> and they refer to SNCA as a spiced winter ale. (they need a real
> beer expert, at least part-time to help them write ad copy)
>
> The correct answers are "Anchor Brewing Co." and
> "SNCA is a classic heavily hopped, IPA style full bodied
> winter seasonal."

Gee - would you mind repeating that more slowly so I could copy it down?

Al Eisner
(EIS...@SLAC.Stanford.EDU)
San Mateo County, CA

Carl S. Gutekunst

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Dec 19, 1996, 3:00:00 AM12/19/96
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I'm think I'm going to start regularly hanging around rec.food.drink.beer;
there seems to be a lot of people here who know their stuff.

In article <mumblyE2...@netcom.com>,


Tim McNerney <mum...@netcom.com> wrote:
>: Sierra Nevada filters and adds back yeast because they believe it
>: enhances stability. Look in the bottom of the bottle sometime.

Ah! Thanks for the detail. Nice to confirm that the greater shelf stability
of Sierra Nevada was neither my imagination nor accident.

Are there any other brewers that employ this technique? I would like to try
their beers for comparison.

<csg>

Steve Pope

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Dec 19, 1996, 3:00:00 AM12/19/96
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ste...@antispam.fake (Michael Stewart) writes:

> Not sure why this should be "odd" -- the whole reason for *not*
> producing bottle-conditioned beer, or cask-conditioned beer for
> that matter, is that it is less stable and less consistent than its
> bulk-processed counterpart. Since American consumers and bar staff
> cannot handle a bit of inconsistency in a quest for a better
> product, these forms are of limited popularity here.
>
>This depends on several things. Potentially bottle-conditioned beers
>are less stable if the yeast strain is not pure or if there is enough
>yeast to produce nasty autolysis flavors

Well, I tend to think that any live beer product (cask or bottle
conditioned) has a limited shelf life. Cloudiness and off-flavors
tend to develop after 2 or 3 months. (So states Jeff Evans
in the CAMRA "Good Beer Guide" and I tend to believe him.)

I've noticed most of the U.K. bottle conditioned beers
are on the high alcohol side -- 6.5% or so -- I think
this might be an attempt to add stability.

>It's a tradeoff. If a brewer really trusts his bottling line to not
>introduce significant oxygen, then yeast may not improve stability.
>Otherwise, a very well made bottle-conditioned beer _can_ keep longer.

"Can", yes, but as time progresses the percentage of off bottles
will creep ever upward, true?

>Sierra Nevada filters and adds back yeast because they believe it
>enhances stability. Look in the bottom of the bottle sometime.

>You'll see a thin layer of yeast. The SNCA seems to have a pretty
>good bit of it.
>
>Whether it can be called bottle conditioned or not is a matter for
>debate.

If it hasn't undergone its secondary fermentation in the bottle
and remained undisturbed thereafter; if it's been bottled
under artificial pressure; then it cannot be properly called
bottle conditioned even if they toss in some of their old yeast.
(after all, there's no market for Marmite in this country
so they have to get rid of the yeast somehow. :)

Steve

Michael Stewart

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Dec 19, 1996, 3:00:00 AM12/19/96
to

In article <59cinj$i...@agate.berkeley.edu> s...@ozark.EECS.Berkeley.EDU (Steve Pope) writes:

>This depends on several things. Potentially bottle-conditioned beers
>are less stable if the yeast strain is not pure or if there is enough
>yeast to produce nasty autolysis flavors

Well, I tend to think that any live beer product (cask or bottle
conditioned) has a limited shelf life. Cloudiness and off-flavors
tend to develop after 2 or 3 months. (So states Jeff Evans in the
CAMRA "Good Beer Guide" and I tend to believe him.)

Every beer has a limited shelf life. Pasteurized, filtered beers can
degrade substantially after three months---particularly if not stored
properly.

"Off-flavors" is vague. The only off flavor that I'm aware of that
may be caused by the presence of the yeast is due to autolysis. This
is generally only a problem when large quantities of yeast are
present. I haven't heard of it being a problem in bottle-conditioned
beers. It's not something I can definitely rule out but two or three
months seems like a pretty narrow window.

The main things that cause haze are protein/polyphenol chill haze and
bacterial contaimination. Looking in Greg Noonan's New Brewing Lager
Beer, I see that he also lists oxidation. That last one is a new one
on me and I have no idea how oxidation could cause haze. But none of
these would be the result of leaving a pure yeast culture in the
bottle. In fact the yeast should help prevent the oxidation.

Haze and off flavors could gradually form if there were bacteria
and/or wild yeast present. Some (many?) English breweries still use
open fermentation, so this might be limiting factor in the lifetime of
some English beers. I don't really know about that. I don't think it
applies to modern breweries using closed fermenters.

I've noticed most of the U.K. bottle conditioned beers are on the
high alcohol side -- 6.5% or so -- I think this might be an attempt
to add stability.

Sounds like a reasonable conjecture. I think historically bottled
beers were meant to be kept longer.

>It's a tradeoff. If a brewer really trusts his bottling line to not
>introduce significant oxygen, then yeast may not improve stability.
>Otherwise, a very well made bottle-conditioned beer _can_ keep longer.

"Can", yes, but as time progresses the percentage of off bottles
will creep ever upward, true?

I don't think that percentage of off bottles is a reasonable measure.
In my experience oxidation is the chief limiting factor in the
lifetime of most beers, whether they are bottle conditioned or not.
And it tends to occur rather uniformly across bottles of the same beer
stored in the same manner. In this regard bottle conditioned beers
fare slightly better.

>Sierra Nevada filters and adds back yeast because they believe it
>enhances stability. Look in the bottom of the bottle sometime.
>You'll see a thin layer of yeast. The SNCA seems to have a pretty
>good bit of it.
>
>Whether it can be called bottle conditioned or not is a matter for
>debate.

If it hasn't undergone its secondary fermentation in the bottle and
remained undisturbed thereafter; if it's been bottled under
artificial pressure; then it cannot be properly called bottle
conditioned even if they toss in some of their old yeast. (after
all, there's no market for Marmite in this country so they have to
get rid of the yeast somehow. :)

As Tim McNerney has pointed out Sierra Nevada is conditioned partly in
the secondary, bottled under pressure and then conditioned the rest of
the way in the bottle. Thus it is partly bottle conditioned and
partly tank conditioned.

And part of the point in filtering and adding fresh yeast is that the
yeast is _fresh_. It's fresher than the yeast which is used to bottle
condition beers more conventionally.

Robert Lauriston

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Dec 19, 1996, 3:00:00 AM12/19/96
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I was very impressed by Cooper's Sparkling Ale, from Australia.

Steve Pope wrote:
>
> Unfortunately, I've been a bit disappointed in the
> "bottle-conditioned" British beers I've had so far (e.g.
> Fuller's Traditional Ale).

Steve Pope

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Dec 20, 1996, 3:00:00 AM12/20/96
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ste...@antispam.fake (Michael Stewart) writes:

| I don't think that percentage of off bottles is a reasonable measure.

I don't think it is either, but the U.S. beer industry probably
thinks differently.

| >Sierra Nevada filters and adds back yeast because they believe it
| >enhances stability. Look in the bottom of the bottle sometime.
| >You'll see a thin layer of yeast. The SNCA seems to have a pretty
| >good bit of it.
| >
| >Whether it can be called bottle conditioned or not is a matter for
| >debate.
|
| If it hasn't undergone its secondary fermentation in the bottle and
| remained undisturbed thereafter; if it's been bottled under
| artificial pressure; then it cannot be properly called bottle
| conditioned even if they toss in some of their old yeast. (after
| all, there's no market for Marmite in this country so they have to
| get rid of the yeast somehow. :)
|
|As Tim McNerney has pointed out Sierra Nevada is conditioned partly in
|the secondary, bottled under pressure and then conditioned the rest of
|the way in the bottle. Thus it is partly bottle conditioned and
|partly tank conditioned.

Right. If there's some deliberate attempt to do the last little
bit of fermentation in the bottle, then that is a fair description.

Steve

Will Borgeson

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Dec 20, 1996, 3:00:00 AM12/20/96
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Ken Papai (kpa...@rahul.net) wrote:
: Speaking of Spaten -- you're joking right? Spaten in green bottles

: is often skunked big time. Spaten Optimator is a fine beer.

There are a whole bunch of Spaten beers imported to the US. Many
have brown bottles, some have green. As Ken says the green are often real
skunky. Those in the brown bottles tend to be excellent. Our household
is very fond of several of them, and they often show up at very good
prices in large stores such as Safeway, usually kept cold.

Will

Pete Fraser

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Dec 20, 1996, 3:00:00 AM12/20/96
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In article <59cinj$i...@agate.berkeley.edu>, s...@ozark.EECS.Berkeley.EDU
(Steve Pope) wrote:

[snip]


>
>I've noticed most of the U.K. bottle conditioned beers
>are on the high alcohol side -- 6.5% or so -- I think
>this might be an attempt to add stability.

An interesting vision of a bunch of Brits staggering around
liquor stores in search of beer with the highest alcohol
content (in order to maximize shelf life.)

[snip]

--
Pete Fraser

Geoff Miller

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Dec 21, 1996, 3:00:00 AM12/21/96
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ste...@antispam.fake (Michael Stewart) writes:

> Sierra Nevada filters and adds back yeast because they believe it
> enhances stability. Look in the bottom of the bottle sometime.
> You'll see a thin layer of yeast. The SNCA seems to have a pretty
> good bit of it.


I seldom, if ever, see any yeast anymore in the SNPA that I buy.
A couple of years ago, there was a thick layer of the stuff in
the bottom of every bottle, but it's been ages since I've seen
any. Since SNPA is my favorite beer, I have ample opportunity
to check. :)

I assumed that the brewery started removing all the yeast in
order to prevent homebrewers from recovering it.

Geoff

--
"It's all right, stewardess -- I speak Ebonics." -- Danny Clark


Bernhard B. Adalem

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Dec 21, 1996, 3:00:00 AM12/21/96
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Ken Papai wrote:
>
> c...@clavinova.eng.sun.com (Carl S. Gutekunst) writes:
> >Steve Pope <s...@ozark.EECS.Berkeley.EDU> wrote:
> >> There are some true "bottle-conditioned" beers available in the U.K., and
> >> perhaps also in the U.S. if you are willing to search them out.
>
> >There are indeed, although the best are German -- all Franziskaner beers, and
> >several from Spatan and Ayinger. The Franziskaner is outstanding.
[snip]

> Speaking of Spaten -- you're joking right? Spaten in green bottles
> is often skunked big time. Spaten Optimator is a fine beer.
> --

Not all Spaten, Ken, only the 12oz commercial holdover from the 70's.
The rest in the .5liter brown bottles hold up well. However none of
these are bottle conditioned except the "Hefe Weitzen" styles. AND
since 1987 or so all Munich's bottle beers except the Hefe Weitzen
are dead pasturized weak approximations of what they were before the
change -- Including Optimator, which disappointed me royally this year
compared to what we used to get rip roaring on while dancing through
the cold slushy streets of Munich during Fasching. Even the stuff
there on my last few visits has been nowhere near what it was 20-30
years ago since that infamous change to artificially carbonated
pastuerized mass market product. Fortunately, this is spawning both
a micro-brew re-birth after the shakeout of the small village brewers
in the 70's and 80's as well as a re-discovery of the small breweries
from the former "East" -- such as Koestritzer Black Beer.
In all I've been more impressed with the local stuff, which, while
it is true that there are some very mediocre to awful brews, have
some wonderful unique and world class examples such as Sierra Nevada,
Anchor (even though flash pastuerized) Anderson Valley, Golden Bear,
St. Stans, New Belgium (Boulder Co), Mendicino Brewing Co. and
Devil's Mountain to name my favorites. The only other available
bottle conditioned beers are from Belgium -- particularly the
"triples" and "Abbey" beers and the beautiful small brown ales.
As to where to buy, many stores including even the corner Ma'n'Pa
and big chains like Safeway, Luckys and even the local Foods Co
Warehouse stores have surprisingly good selections.

(alt.beer, noise, newsgroup, glad to hear that, haven't been there in
years;)

John S. Watson - FSC

unread,
Dec 22, 1996, 3:00:00 AM12/22/96
to

In article <geoffmE2...@netcom.com> geo...@netcom.com (Geoff Miller) writes:
>ste...@antispam.fake (Michael Stewart) writes:
> > Sierra Nevada filters and adds back yeast because they believe it
> > enhances stability. Look in the bottom of the bottle sometime.
> > You'll see a thin layer of yeast. The SNCA seems to have a pretty
> > good bit of it.
>
> I seldom, if ever, see any yeast anymore in the SNPA that I buy.
> A couple of years ago, there was a thick layer of the stuff in
> the bottom of every bottle, but it's been ages since I've seen
> any. Since SNPA is my favorite beer, I have ample opportunity
> to check. :)

I've noticed that the amount of yeast in SNPA is a lot
less than it used to be, but it is still there.

> I assumed that the brewery started removing all the yeast in
> order to prevent homebrewers from recovering it.

Probably more like marketing found they could sell more bottles
if there wasn't a messy layer of yeast on the bottem of the bottle.

I was reading some statistics on the samual adams web page
which said something like the amount of beer sold by microbreweries
is about 0.5% of the US market. Although I haven't seen any figures,
I bet the amount of homebrew produced in the US is much less than
that. And the number of those that culture their own yeast has
got to be far less than that. So it is unlikely that they'd
change their production line just for a handfull of us.

In the past I cultured their yeast a couple of times.
But in the haphazard way I did it, it lead to a few bad batches.
So I stopped because one can get pure SNPA yeast from brewery stores
for a few bucks.

John S. Watson
NASA Ames Research Center
http://ccf.arc.nasa.gov/~watson

HOMEBREW NAKED!

Will Borgeson

unread,
Dec 23, 1996, 3:00:00 AM12/23/96
to

John S. Watson - FSC (wat...@pioneer.arc.nasa.gov) wrote:
: I was reading some statistics on the samual adams web page

: which said something like the amount of beer sold by microbreweries
: is about 0.5% of the US market.

I hope Sam Adams & Co isn't still posing as a microbrewery!

Will

Carl S. Gutekunst

unread,
Dec 24, 1996, 3:00:00 AM12/24/96
to

>Draeger's carries Anderson Valley on their refrigerated shelves. Anyone care
>to comment (or guess) on the previous storage history?

Based on a sampling done a year ago or so, I'd be happy to comment: as far as
I can tell, they sit out on the loading dock in the sun for a few weeks until
the stockers get around to moving them into the refrigerator case. And of
course Draeger's charges a lot more for their beer than anywhere I've seen.

Based on several positive comments about the Cosentino's in Santa Clara, I
checked their new Los Altos store. First thing I noticed was end-aisle
displays of Anchor beers at room temp. I picked out four 6-packs from three
breweries. Each pack contained several bottles that were skunky, and several
that were in near perfect condition. Almost seems like they were somewhere in
sunlight at an angle, so that the bottles in front shielded those in the back.
A pity I didn't note which bottles were in which position in the six pack; but
then, I already found out what I wanted to know; this is not a store where
I'll be back. Next stop is the Santa Clara store. *SIGH*

<csg>

Carl S. Gutekunst

unread,
Dec 26, 1996, 3:00:00 AM12/26/96
to

In article <59np3n$e...@engnews1.Eng.Sun.COM>, I wrote:
>Based on several positive comments about the Cosentino's in Santa Clara, I
>checked their new Los Altos store.... this is not a store where I'll be back.

Aaarrgghh. The new supermarket in Los Altos that I checked out is Andronico's,
not Cosentino's. Obviously there is no relationship between the two. I just
got the names mixed up.

Sorry for the confusion. Kids kill brain cells, I swear.

<csg>

Phil Clark

unread,
Dec 26, 1996, 3:00:00 AM12/26/96
to

> I've noticed most of the U.K. bottle conditioned beers are on the
> high alcohol side -- 6.5% or so -- I think this might be an attempt
> to add stability.
>

I'm not sure this is the case: it's probably that the 4%-5% beers
don't get exported to the States. On the other hand, strong beers do
have a long shelf-life: King & Barnes Xmas Ale (8.5%) says drink by
Xmas Eve 2000.

I've got some bottle-conditioned beers in the kitchen that have
drink-by dates between Oct-Dec 97. I've never had too much problem
with skunked beer in the UK, despite the fact that supermarkets and
off-licences store beer at room temperature. Does this mean you have
a very slow distribution system in the States, or my palate's just not
up to noticing the off flavours? Or am I used to cask-conditioned
unpasteurised & unfiltered beer meaning (a) bottled beer varies less
in quality and flavour than I am used to, so I'm happy, or (b) I just
don't expect bottled beer to taste the same, so again I'm happy.

Phil Clark

============================================================
Hige sceal the heardra, heorte the cenre, mod sceal the mare,
the ure maegen lytlath
The Battle of Maldon, 312-3

Steve Pope

unread,
Dec 26, 1996, 3:00:00 AM12/26/96
to

pjc...@enterprise.net (Phil Clark) writes:

>> I've noticed most of the U.K. bottle conditioned beers are on the
>> high alcohol side -- 6.5% or so -- I think this might be an attempt
>> to add stability.
>>
>I'm not sure this is the case: it's probably that the 4%-5% beers
>don't get exported to the States.

Just to clarify, I have not seen any U.K. bottle-conditioned beers
in the states, only in the U.K.

To my knowledge, the only time I have ever had any real ale from
the U.K. while here in the states was quite some time ago,
when Thames America shipped over a few polypins of Fuller's ESB.
(And purists might complain that since the beer was transferred
from cask to polypin, after a couple weeks it's no longer "real ale".)
That must have been in 1985 or so. It was wonderful.

The keg ESB we get here in the states is really dismal stuff
compared to the real thing. But I digress. :)

>I've got some bottle-conditioned beers in the kitchen that have
>drink-by dates between Oct-Dec 97. I've never had too much problem
>with skunked beer in the UK, despite the fact that supermarkets and
>off-licences store beer at room temperature.

I've always assumed the "drink by" date is one year after bottling,
and that therefore to get the optimum drinking date, subtract one
year from the "drink by" date then add about 3-4 weeks.

> Does this mean you have a very slow distribution system in the
> States,

We have no distribution in the states, that I'm aware of, of
these beers.

> or my palate's just not up to noticing the off flavours? Or am
> I used to cask-conditioned unpasteurised & unfiltered beer
> meaning (a) bottled beer varies less in quality and flavour than
> I am used to, so I'm happy, or (b) I just don't expect bottled
> beer to taste the same, so again I'm happy.

I've had few enough of the bottle-conditioned beers that
I may have had a poorer-than-statistical sample. The
"Fuller's Traditional Ale" reminded me .. well.. more than
anything else, it reminded me of "brew in the bag" beer
from TJ's. The texture is right on target -- just like gravity-fed
real ale -- but the combination of flavors and overpowering
alcoholic strength was not that appealing.

(To be fair, one of my very favorite ales -- Abbot -- is also
high alcohol, at 6%, but somehow they get it exactly right.)

It remains true that us here in the states are very deprived when
it comes to real ale. I have had pleasing cask-conditioned ale
at brewpubs in Salt Lake City, and occassionally in Burlingame,
but for the most part the brewers here do not attempt it,
and when they do attempt it, it does not come out right.
Probably most of the good, real ale in the U.S. is produced and
consumed by homebrewers.

Steve

Ray Shea

unread,
Dec 27, 1996, 3:00:00 AM12/27/96
to

In article <59uvje$q...@agate.berkeley.edu>,

Steve Pope <s...@ozark.EECS.Berkeley.EDU> wrote:
>pjc...@enterprise.net (Phil Clark) writes:
>>I'm not sure this is the case: it's probably that the 4%-5% beers
>>don't get exported to the States.
>
>Just to clarify, I have not seen any U.K. bottle-conditioned beers
>in the states, only in the U.K.

We just started getting some King & Barnes bottle-conditioned ales in
Austin: the Christmas ale, Festival, and Porter.

It was all I could do to convince my sister not to drink it straight out
of the bottle, until I pointed out the yeast. After that, she went back
to drinking Shiner.

--
Ray Shea
sh...@eden.com


Michael Stewart

unread,
Dec 28, 1996, 3:00:00 AM12/28/96
to

In article <59uvje$q...@agate.berkeley.edu> s...@ozark.EECS.Berkeley.EDU (Steve Pope) writes:

pjc...@enterprise.net (Phil Clark) writes:

>I've got some bottle-conditioned beers in the kitchen that have
>drink-by dates between Oct-Dec 97. I've never had too much problem
>with skunked beer in the UK, despite the fact that supermarkets and
>off-licences store beer at room temperature.

I've always assumed the "drink by" date is one year after bottling,
and that therefore to get the optimum drinking date, subtract one
year from the "drink by" date then add about 3-4 weeks.

I liked this last comment so much I'm responding to say not much
more than "me too!" Fresh beer is a very, very good thing.

But I think the drink by dates are less than 6 months from bottling.
A year would be way too long, especially if the beer isn't stored very
well. (note the discussion about Sam Adams dates in another thread)

It remains true that us here in the states are very deprived when
it comes to real ale. I have had pleasing cask-conditioned ale
at brewpubs in Salt Lake City, and occassionally in Burlingame,
but for the most part the brewers here do not attempt it,
and when they do attempt it, it does not come out right.
Probably most of the good, real ale in the U.S. is produced and
consumed by homebrewers.

My experience has been that on the rare ocassions when breweries care
enough to attempt it, they usually manage to do a decent job. But
it's not always British-style beer: the hops are usually different and
often much stronger. And it's becoming more common in the US every
day (which probably means that people will jump on the band-wagon and
there will be a lot of lousy cask conditioned ale in the next five
years).

Phil Clark

unread,
Dec 29, 1996, 3:00:00 AM12/29/96
to

> It remains true that us here in the states are very deprived when
> it comes to real ale. I have had pleasing cask-conditioned ale
> at brewpubs in Salt Lake City, and occassionally in Burlingame,
> but for the most part the brewers here do not attempt it,
> and when they do attempt it, it does not come out right.
> Probably most of the good, real ale in the U.S. is produced and
> consumed by homebrewers.
>
>My experience has been that on the rare ocassions when breweries care
>enough to attempt it, they usually manage to do a decent job. But
>it's not always British-style beer: the hops are usually different and
>often much stronger. And it's becoming more common in the US every
>day (which probably means that people will jump on the band-wagon and
>there will be a lot of lousy cask conditioned ale in the next five
>years).
>

The problem with real ale is that the quality depends on the way it's
cellered & served, which in most cases is beyond the brewer's control.
And it does have a greater potental to be really shite... and IMHO a
greater potential to be absolutely superb as well. The UK brewers
used the quality argument when they first brought out the fizzy keg
stuff. The argument's pretty bogus. All it takes is a little bit of
skill to serve & stoe it right, and to make sure you match stocks to
demand & get a decent turnover. In short, just a teeny weeny bit of
training for pub staff.

Michael Stewart

unread,
Dec 29, 1996, 3:00:00 AM12/29/96
to

In article <32c6b5cc...@news.enterprise.net> pjc...@enterprise.net (Phil Clark) writes:

I (Mike Stewart) wrote:

>My experience has been that on the rare ocassions when breweries care
>enough to attempt it, they usually manage to do a decent job. But
>it's not always British-style beer: the hops are usually different and
>often much stronger. And it's becoming more common in the US every
>day (which probably means that people will jump on the band-wagon and
>there will be a lot of lousy cask conditioned ale in the next five
>years).
>
The problem with real ale is that the quality depends on the way it's
cellered & served, which in most cases is beyond the brewer's control.
And it does have a greater potental to be really shite... and IMHO a
greater potential to be absolutely superb as well. The UK brewers
used the quality argument when they first brought out the fizzy keg
stuff. The argument's pretty bogus. All it takes is a little bit of
skill to serve & stoe it right, and to make sure you match stocks to
demand & get a decent turnover. In short, just a teeny weeny bit of
training for pub staff.

Right. I should have added that my general experience with cask ales
in the US has been in brewpubs where the brewer _does_ have some
control over how the beer is cellared and served.

Steven Scharf

unread,
Jan 8, 2021, 12:20:59 PMJan 8
to
On Thursday, December 12, 1996 at 12:00:00 AM UTC-8, Will Borgeson wrote:
> John S. Watson - FSC (wat...@pioneer.arc.nasa.gov) wrote:
> : The only other thing I can advise you do it learn to make you own.
> Another fun way to go is the 16 oz cans of Guinness, Murphy's, and
> one other brew whose name escapes me (it is a British pale ale with a nice
> flavor). These have a very draft-like effect, and light can't get to
> them.
> Will

Some Costco stores have good bottled beer. I have been buying Trumer, brewed in Berkeley, in bottles, at the airport Costco. See <https://www.beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/11017/12679/>. But it's only available at a limited number of Costco stores, and I don't get up near the San Francisco airport much now due to the pandemic.

Julian Macassey

unread,
Jan 10, 2021, 4:39:20 PMJan 10
to
Dear Will, Do yu think that the guy posting from the
wat(buggered by google)...@pioneer.arc.nasa.gov has found a good
source of bottled beer in the intervening twenty-four years?

I hope so.

--
The modern web is a crumbling edifice of unspeakable horror -
Jamie Zawinski <j...@jwz.org>

Ciccio

unread,
Jan 10, 2021, 7:17:25 PMJan 10
to
I have only a vague recollection of John Watson. I, however, have
distinct recollections of the late(died about 20 years ago) Will
Borgeson being quite eloquent with an entetainig wit. I say this without
finding the necesity of qualifying it with:"for a scientist."

Ciccio

Mark Lipton

unread,
Jan 11, 2021, 12:01:54 AMJan 11
to
Beat me to it. Will, also a poster to alt.food.wine, died in 2002:
https://www.legacy.com/obituaries/name/will-borgeson-obituary?pid=223578

Mark Lipton

Al Eisner

unread,
Jan 14, 2021, 3:01:18 PMJan 14
to
I check here occasionally to see if anything has been posted at all,
much less something of relevance and interest, so I am pleased to
see this recollection. Will was my favorite poster here during the
first years of my participation: in addition to Ciccio's accolades
I would add that he was always even-tempered, convincing, andd I dare
say right in his recommendations. Sorely missed.

And of course anyone meeting such descriptions would have to be
a scientist. :)
--
Al Eisner

Ciccio

unread,
Jan 14, 2021, 10:54:09 PMJan 14
to
On 1/14/2021 12:01 PM, Al Eisner wrote:

> I check here occasionally to see if anything has been posted at all,
> much less something of relevance and interest, so I am pleased to
> see this recollection.  Will was my favorite poster here during the
> first years of my participation:  in addition to Ciccio's accolades
> I would add that he was always even-tempered, convincing, andd I dare
> say right in his recommendations.  Sorely missed.
>
> And of course anyone meeting such descriptions would have to be
> a scientist.  :)

Why, of course, as Tim May was a scientist after all.

Irony aside, coincidentally I briefly thought of Will several months ago
when a friend told me Negri's in Occidental was still going. One of the
first posts I had with Will 30ish years ago, was about how Negri's had
gone down hill compared to it 30ish years before then.

Ciccio






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