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Off Flavours & Aromas

We are all familiar with the flavours and aromas we love from a beer; grapefruit, pineapple, melon, bubblegum, pine, coconut, biscuit, toffee, raisin, chocolate, coffee, the list goes on and on.  But what about those that when you get a whiff, or the liquid touches your tongue you think twice about finishing your pint (yes, unfortunately it does happen)?  Today we’re chatting the not-so-wonderful world of off flavours & aromas. These come from a multitude of sources both in and out of the brewhouse.  Whether you’re brewing, working in a bar or bottleshop, or a consumer having a basic understanding of these little nasties allows you to both care for and asses a beer more fully.  We’ve chosen a few...

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Napa Made Me Do It

I have appreciated wine for as long as I have legally been allowed to consume it. An appreciation that sprung from my father’s own respect and intrigue for what was in his glass. He has this knack for knowledge, something I have always admired and adored about him, so while sipping on a glass he would impart a little of his wisdom about what's in it upon me. Little did I know that he had kick-started, what would be, one of the greatest passions of my life and a focus of my career. For about the first decade of my drinking years, wine was my tipple of choice, I would only drink beers at house parties, considered Stella the golden...

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Gin, Neutral Spirit & The Basic Process

Gin is one of our favourite spirits, which explains why we have dedicated a club to it. With so many possibilities, and so many fabulous producers, what is not to love?! But what is gin exactly? The words you will always hear around gin (and vodka) is that it is a ‘neutral spirit’. An accurate name but not one sparks the imagination. It sounds more like an indie band we would listen to in school while doodling love hearts all over our notebooks. Neutral spirits offer neutral flavour, and a jumping off point for gin distillers.  For the most part you will hear that gin is created from a neutral spirit derived from neutral grains (barley, wheat, corn, rye etc.)....

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Alcohol in Art

Alcohol’s history is looong, many of the records that have informed us of our favourite beverages’ past pre-date the written word and are, therefore, expressed through pictures. From ancient civilizations through to modern times, art and alcohol have tightly coexisted with one another. Ancient Egyptian wall paintings depicted both wine and beer consumption and production, while the ancient Greeks and Romans often portrayed alcohol in a relationship to the Gods. Roman God, Bacchus (aka Dionysus), is the God of wine and agriculture and is often portrayed throughout classical paintings. Baroque artist Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio painted two portraits of Bacchus in the late 1500, Bacchus (c. 1595) and Young Sick Bacchus (c. 1593). Both are pictures of a young, muscular...

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Climate Change and Alcohol

Earlier this year we received a handful of 2019 German Rieslings; a vintage being praised by critics around the globe as one of Germany’s finest. Older vintages have occasionally struggled with underripe grapes and have required added sugars for balance, for 2019 this is not an issue. German Riesling is ‘benefitting’ from global warming and the grapes are gaining more sun exposure leading to the production of more sugars to balance out the high acidity of the variety. The resulting wines are complex, concentrated, bright, fresh, and delicate. We are lucky to experience a stand-out vintage like this, but it did not come about without complications. Along with the increase in warmer days came tumultuous weather patterns with frosts in May...

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