Adrian Tierney-Jones specialises in beer, pubs, food and travel and how they all go together. His work has appeared in the likes of the Daily Telegraph, Sunday Times Travel Magazine, Daily Mail, All About Beer (USA), Imbibe, Original Gravity and Beer Magazine amongst many others. He is the editor of 1001 Beers to Enjoy Before You Die and has written at least 10 other books on beer and pubs. He is an experienced speaker on beer, talking and tasting at a variety of events including the odd literary festival. He is also a long-standing beer judge in the UK, Belgium and Italy and chairman of judges for the World Beer Awards. Finally, he has crossed over onto the brewing floor and produced collaboration beers with Brains, Sharp’s, Otley and BrewDog. He started as a rock journalist and was in a band once upon a time, guitarist and singer, trying to be Ian Curtis, Jim Morrison and Joe Strummer all at the same time. In Biertalk we talk about his history and the current state of the British beer world, but also about the everyday life of a beer maniac…
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Zusammenfassung auf Deutsch:
Adrian Tierney-Jones hat sich auf Bier, Pubs, Essen und Reisen spezialisiert und wie sie alle zusammenpassen. Er hat für verschiedene Publikationen wie den Daily Telegraph und das Sunday Times Travel Magazine geschrieben und ist der Herausgeber des Buches „1001 Beers to Enjoy Before You Die“. Zudem hat er mindestens zehn weitere Bücher über Bier und Pubs verfasst. Adrian ist ein erfahrener Redner und Bierverkoster bei zahlreichen Veranstaltungen und dient als langjähriger Bier-Richter in Großbritannien, Belgien und Italien. Er ist auch Vorsitzender der Richter bei den World Beer Awards. Zusätzlich hat er Erfahrungen in der Bierherstellung gesammelt und Kollaborationsbiere mit Brauereien wie Brains, Sharp’s, Otley und BrewDog produziert.
Adrian begann seine Karriere als Journalist in den 1980er Jahren und schrieb ursprünglich über Rockmusik. Sein Interesse für Bier entstand Ende der 80er Jahre, als er anfing, sich für Essen und Wein zu interessieren. Den Anstoß gab ihm das Buch „The New World Guide to Beer“ von Michael Jackson, das er als Weihnachtsgeschenk erhielt. Sein erster Artikel über Bier wurde 1996 im CAMRA-Magazin „What’s Brewing“ veröffentlicht. Seitdem hat er regelmäßig für verschiedene Magazine und Zeitungen geschrieben und mehrere Bücher veröffentlicht. Eines seiner bekanntesten Werke ist „1001 Beers You Must Try Before You Die“, das er 2009 herausgab. Er hat auch Erfahrungen als Bier-Richter gesammelt und saß bereits bei seinem ersten Bierwettbewerb in London neben Michael Jackson.
Adrian betonte die Wichtigkeit, Bier nicht nur nach seinem Geschmack, sondern auch nach seiner Geschichte, Tradition und Kultur zu bewerten. Er kritisiert die moderne Craft-Beer-Bewegung dafür, dass sie sich zu sehr auf extreme Bierstile konzentriert und dabei die Brauerei, den Brauer, die Geschichte und die Tradition vernachlässigt. Er plädiert dafür, Bier in seinem Gesamtkontext zu sehen und zu genießen.
Zuletzt sprach Adrian über seine Zusammenarbeit mit der Brauerei Utopian in der Nähe von Exeter. Der Braumeister von Utopian, Jeremy, ist ein Befürworter der Dekoktionsmaischung und setzt auf die Lagerung der Biere. Adrian probierte ein Altbier, das in Zusammenarbeit mit der Londoner Brauerei Orbit entstand und beschrieb es als ein klares Bier mit bernsteinfarbener Tönung und einem Geschmack, der an Keksmalz mit einem Hauch von Zitrusfrüchten erinnert.
Markus Raupach: Hello, and welcome to our podcast BierTalk. Today we have another episode of our English version and we are going to the British Islands to the origin of beer more or less, and to a very dear friend of mine, also a well-known beer writer, an expert and a beer judge. So we meet Adrian Tierney-Jones. So Adrian, it’s wonderful to have you here and maybe you introduce yourself a little bit to the listeners, too.
Adrian Tierney-Jones: Okay. Well, thanks for having me on, Markus. That’s brilliant. Thank you. By the way, one little thing. I’m Welsh not English. But you know what we’re like in this country.
Markus Raupach: It’s a little bit like being Franconian in Bitburg.
Adrian Tierney-Jones: Well, I’m a journalist, I’ve been a journalist for several decades. I write about beer pubs, travel and food, and sometimes how they all go together. I’m also a beer judge, as you know. We judged together the World Beer Awards and other competitions. I also write books, write for magazines, newspapers and generally, I write and I also do talks, talks and tastings. You know, stand at a bar and try and sell my books to people as I talk. So yeah, I’ve been in journalism since the 1980s. I started off as a music journalist, you know, rock music. Also, I am a sub-editor as well. So I am pretty much embedded in journalism.
Markus Raupach: Music and beer is always quite close, at least here in Germany, but I think it’s the same in England. How did it come from drinking to writing and talking about beer?
Adrian Tierney-Jones: Well, I think what it was in the 80s, towards the end of the 80s, I was getting interested in food writing. I’d always enjoyed cooking since I was really young, you know, since I was about 12. Because I worked out if I cooked something at home, I got more. So and I was interested in food writers, then I started getting interested in wine writers, and then I think I was given – and I’m looking at it on the shelves now – I was given the New World Guide to Beer by Michael Jackson, by a girlfriend at the time. It was her mother gave me a Christmas present of this New World Guide to Beer and it was Michael’s book. I started reading it and I also had a friend who worked in the Netherlands and he was coming back to Britain and saying, you know, he was talking about wheat beers, he was talking about Kölsch, he was talking about alt and I was always interested in European beers. Even when I just drank lagers, you know, when it was like Beck’s or something. I mean, I always used to think, well, at least it’s German, or at least it’s Czech or something. So roll on a few years and I thought I could do this, I could write about this. I think it was about 1996 I had my first ever article published in the CAMRA campaign for Real Ale magazine, What’s Brewing, and it was about a brewery, a rural brewery in Somerset, which is where I lived at the time. It just went from there. I worked, I mean, I just had a lot of lucky breaks over the next several years where people said, oh, yeah, they put me in touch with magazines and I enjoyed doing what I was doing. There was that feeling of adventure when I was writing because I’d lost interest in writing about music several years back. I was just quite happily working on a, believe it or not, a TV listings magazine, which is actually owned by a German company, Bauer, I don’t know if you know them, called TV Quick, Bauer Publishing. It just really grabbed me, you know. I started doing talks, I started meeting brewers, I was judging my first competition, judging in London. It was 22 years ago and I sat down and I looked to the right, or it might have been my left, but I look to my side, and it was Michael Jackson. It’s like, “Oh, hello.”
Markus Raupach: Wow.
Adrian Tierney-Jones: Mike, and during the judging, I turned to Michael, I went, “I’m sure this is Timothy Taylor’s landlord.” He looked at me over his glasses and he said, he didn’t say young man, but he did say, “I’ve never tried to guess a beer when judging,” and I’ve always said that to younger judges. I sort of, you know, in the World Beer Awards and the Brussels Beer Challenge, I’ve always said, you know, this is what Michael said to me, “I try not to guess.” I think there’s only two beers I seem to know. I don’t need guessing. There’s two beers. I’m not going to name them. But when you get them you think, yeah, this is this beer, because half the time they enter a lot of competitions. But so yeah, I just went through and I met, you know, I started going to events and I did my first book 20 years ago, called West Country Ales and I went around the western counties of Devon and Cornwall and visited all the breweries. Then I, you know, I was writing regularly at the time, I also had another journalist job on this TV Magazine I mentioned and it just went from there. I did more books and then I suppose the big event for me was when I was asked to edit 1001 Beers You Must Try Before You Die. I think that was about 2009 and by then, you know, I won awards, and I felt that I could go to a brewery and I got to know people like John Keeling at Fuller’s and the legendary Mark Dauber, who ran the white horse in Parsons green at the time, and people like Roger Protz and before he died, I got to know Michael Jackson a bit as well. And then there were new young beer writers coming on the scene. Well they were young then, Melissa Cole and Pete Brown. We were like a gang in a sense, we used to discuss how we wanted to write, how we would write about beer and everything. So it just went on from there, really. I was also involved with the British Guild of Beer Writers, I was the secretary. So yeah, so it’s been an interesting journey and I’m not ready to stop the journey yet, either.
Markus Raupach: That’s really fantastic and I simply cannot believe that you sat next to Michael Jackson and had your first tasting experience with him.
Adrian Tierney-Jones: I know, it was incredible.
Markus Raupach: That’s really great. You mentioned that you wrote this book, 1001 Beers You Have To Try Before You Die. Did you make all of them?
Adrian Tierney-Jones: No, I didn’t. I didn’t try them. I was actually the editor. So I had writers from all over the world. I wish I’d known you at the time, Markus, because I’d have got you in to write some of them. But no, I had about 40 writers. I had obviously people like Pete Brown, Melissa Cole, Randy Mosher in America, Lisa Morrison, who you probably know, and Steven Beaumont. Excuse me. I wrote about 200 of the beers. It was hard work, shall we say, especially when some writers who knew what they were on about couldn’t write. Excuse me a second. (coughing)
Markus Raupach: Maybe you get thirsty?
Adrian Tierney-Jones: I think so.
Markus Raupach: Maybe you should open a beer.
Adrian Tierney-Jones: As I told you, I’m very organised. I had it open already. So yeah, so 1001 was … I suppose there were great moments. I went into a brewery in Portland and the owner, Christian Ettinger said, “Right, come here,” and he wanted me to sign the book first. They had several of his beers in the book and you know, things like that are great. You know, I’ve been in bars in Flanders and also in the Czech Republic and the books on the bar and, you know, I do remember in Michelin, I think it was, I said to the owner of the bar, I said, “That’s my book that is and you’ve got to sign it.” You know, it was, I think it was in Dutch or Flemish or whatever, but it’s great. I’ve been into Italian craft beer bars and you know, it’s like, “Can you sign this book, please?” So, you know, we all like a bit of ego, don’t we? We all like to know that people like what we do. So that was a fantastic experience. You know, working with people like Randy Mosher, I’ve yet to meet him. But, you know, I’m looking at a couple of his books on the shelves, Radical Brewing and Tasting Beer. Oh three of his books actually, there’s another one there about Seasonal Drinking. I just thought, you know, I’ve always wanted to meet, I still want to meet him because Radical Brewing is just such a – I don’t know if you’ve got it, it’s such a – I mean, I’m not a homebrewer, but it’s such an excellent book.
Markus Raupach: It’s perfect. It’s wonderful. I really can also say that it’s quite interesting, because the beer world is quite small and I also have lots of books on my shelf. Also, your books and Randy’s books and whatever, and it’s totally nice that from time to time, more and more of these books, I get to know the authors.
Adrian Tierney-Jones: That’s great, yeah.
Markus Raupach: That’s really great and for example, last year, I had Pete Slosberg here and he signed me his book. Which was in my shelf for years and that’s really a great experience. That’s also good I think also, when we meet in the British guild of beer writers that it’s all a community and it’s not these very famous guys and these quite new small ones. So it’s more a community and that’s really a nice crowd.
Adrian Tierney-Jones: Oh yeah, that’s fantastic. Because another book I’m looking at, at the moment 20 odd years ago, signed for me by Garrett Oliver, The Brewmaster’s Table and I’ve gotten to know Garrett now. I know him. I saw him at an event before Christmas and yeah, you’re right, it’s fantastic. I’ve got a lot of books signed by Pete Brown, but then he’s a friend of mine, so he usually puts something silly in the book, you know, writes something silly.
Markus Raupach: He wrote many books.
Adrian Tierney-Jones: He has written a few, yeah. I mean the oldest beer books I’ve got, I don’t know if you’ve heard of them. It’s by Alfred Barnaby, no, Bernard, Alfred Bernard and it’s from the 1880s. The Noted Breweries of Great Britain and Ireland.
Markus Raupach: I have a reprint of that, yes.
Adrian Tierney-Jones: I’ve got the originals.
Markus Raupach: Wow, very good.
Adrian Tierney-Jones: I got them as a leaving present when I stepped down from the secretary as being secretary of the British Guild of Beer Writers. I’ve got the reprints somewhere on a PDF. But I mean, have you actually managed to read some of his profiles of the breweries?
Markus Raupach: Some, some, yes.
Adrian Tierney-Jones: He goes on a bit, doesn’t he? He’s like one of them when he went to Tadcaster in Yorkshire, you know, the great brewing town, he talks more about Tadcaster and York more than anything else. He hardly ever mentions about the beer does he. Sometimes he will say, you know, “We did try the sparkling barley wine” or something. But I did come across an entry reading it the other week, and he said, “Not being a beer drinker myself.” Right, okay.
Markus Raupach: But on the other hand, I think it’s always good to combine beers and history and places and tradition and culture. It’s a mix of everything.
Adrian Tierney-Jones: Oh exactly.
Markus Raupach: That’s something strange with the modern craft beer guys and they only look for what style is it and is it as extreme as possible. They don’t think about the brewery, the brewer, the history, the tradition, or what’s behind the beer.
Adrian Tierney-Jones: That’s always been my thing. You know, beer writing is just not about what’s in the glass, it’s about the people, it’s about the history, it’s about the traditions, it’s about the future, it’s about now, it’s about the pubs, it’s about where people drink, people have all sorts of crazy, you know, not traditions, but you know, for instance, in the Czech Republic, if you don’t put a beer mat over your glass, the barman will keep bringing you beer, won’t they? It’s, and also in Cologne.
Markus Raupach: Cologne or Düsseldorf.
Adrian Tierney-Jones: Where they mark every beer you have on the beer mat, don’t they? I did hear this, I don’t know if this is true or not. But there was someone out drinking some Kölsch and he had his little, you know, had either his son or his daughter with them and they had a pen. They saw these marks on the beer mat and they started putting their own marks. So when it came to pay … So yeah, but you know, all these things about beer, it’s a world. It’s a world and you can’t just limit yourself to say, “Well, is it to style?” But then, you know, presumably we’re talking about the untapped generation where people want to keep trying new stuff all the time, don’t they? They want to try a Leipziger Gose with half a pound of bananas in it or something or their grandfather’s slippers or something like that. Really it’s just, I noticed you had Matthias on the other week from Leipzig. I spent an afternoon with him about 2010, now this is going to be, I’m going to mangle your wonderful language, Bayerische Bahnhof.
Markus Raupach: Oh, quite good. Bayerischer Bahnhof. Quite good.
Adrian Tierney-Jones: Bayerischer Bahnhof, yeah. He told me you know, all about, because I was always fascinated by Leipziger Gose since I first read about it and one of Michael’s books and you know, it was this beer with salt and coriander, a wheat beer and it was great being able to talk to him. I mean, I’ve gone off on a tangent slightly. But now if a brewery does a Leipziger Gose, I’ve got one downstairs and it’s got celery in it. I mean, really? I mean, you know.
Markus Raupach: I was in Brazil and there they had also dozens of variations of Gose, and they were from mixed pickles to strangers to fruits to whatever.
Adrian Tierney-Jones: I just want a proper one like Matthias makes. It’s the same with Berliner Weisse. I want a Berliner Weisse like, oh, I’m trying to think of that woman in Berlin.
Markus Raupach: Schneeeule. Ulrike Genz.
Adrian Tierney-Jones: That’s it, like she makes. She makes them. I’ve only tasted one, but it was wonderful, yeah. So but anyway, I digress. We were talking about, where were we? I do this a lot.
Markus Raupach: That’s totally normal and that’s also the funny thing and the good thing about our beer talk. So but maybe, maybe you just let us participate in what beer you chose and why and maybe you can also taste it with us.
Adrian Tierney-Jones: It’s basically, it’s a brewery called Utopian and they are based about 10 miles North of me in Exeter. The head brewer, Jeremy, is a friend of mine. He lives a couple of streets away. He trained, his first job in brewing was at Bolten, near Düsseldorf, an alt brewery, and then he went to, is it in Munich?
Markus Raupach: Yes, south of Munich.
Adrian Tierney-Jones: He did a training there and then he came to the UK. He grew up in Canada, but he’s got an English father and he went to Camden Town Brewery in London, and then he and his partner Micah, who comes from around Hamburg, I think, they decided to move to the countryside. So they joined this new brewery called Utopian and Utopian, sort of what they make, what they are becoming very well-known for, is they make lagered beers. They make beers from the family of lagers. But what they do is they use English hops and English malts, but Jeremy is a massive advocate of decoction mashing. So all his beers are decoction mashed and he lagers for at least 31 days for his unfiltered pilsner, and then he’s made at the moment in my local pub, which I’ll probably pop to later on this afternoon, there’s a doppelbock. He’s made out and also, I’ve got in my fridge, a Harvest Fest beer, which he calls a rustic Augsburg lager, and for that he went back, because he can read German and he can read ancient, old German as well. He went back to the brewing records in Augsburg in the 19th century and he found a beer that had a boiling mash. I don’t know if you’ve heard of this. So basically, he brewed this beer using a boiling mash, obviously, probably decocting, and all that sort of stuff. I actually went there for part of the day, it was a very long day, he was exhausted at the end of it and I wrote up a little piece in Good Beer Hunting on it about how, you know, he was really, really keeping to the traditions of Central European brewing. So what I have here is a collaboration with a London brewery called Orbit. The reason I’ve picked it is because my son works at Orbit. He works on the oh, not the brewing side, but operation side and it was his idea. He was back in Exeter for the weekend. He’s 23. You know, came out of university a couple of years ago, didn’t know what he wanted to do and all of a sudden he thinks, “I might have a go in the brewing industry.” He said to me, we’re out in the pub, and he said, “Do you think Jeremy, you know, the head brewer would like to do a collaboration with us?” I said, “Let’s ask him.” So we got him out, went for a drink, then I left it all to James. I didn’t have any hand in it and they decided on doing an Altbier. So what I have is, it’s called an olicana and this is an English hop, it’s a relatively new English hop, and it’s single hops this Altbier and it’s 5% and obviously it’s been double decoction, lagered for six weeks and it was, it’s these olicana hops. It’s, you know, in the glass, and I’ve even got a Utopian branded glass as well. So it shows you how dedicated I am.
Markus Raupach: I’m totally jealous now.
Adrian Tierney-Jones: You have to come over here.
Markus Raupach: I would love to and I’m so much looking forward to come back to the island. It’s so unbelievable and I was last time in Great Britain, I think 2019.
Adrian Tierney-Jones: For the World Beer Awards.
Markus Raupach: For the World Beer Awards and I had, I think two trips with groups and where we also met Desde Moore, and he took us to the Bermondsey Breweries and I think he mentioned Orbit, but it’s a bit south of it, I think.
Adrian Tierney-Jones: It’s still, I think is about a mile and a half away. It’s still South London and it’s, they’re very interested in European beer styles. So they make an, they’ve made an Altbier, they’ve made a stick, an altstick, is it? Sticker?
Markus Raupach: Sticke is the bock version of an Altbier.
Adrian Tierney-Jones: They do a Kölsch-style beer called Nico, named after the singer, Nico, whose family, you know, she was with the Velvet Underground, her family were related to one of the big brewing Kölsch breweries, apparently. Obviously they do, you know, pilsners, and they do sours as well. But they’re a very good little operation. Well, they’re not that little, they’re expanding, and I think James found they’re very good people to work with. Really, you know, nice. So yeah, so this is what I have. Now I’ll tell you what it tastes like and when I hold it up to the glass first and got it, it’s clear as anything. The clarity is fabulous. Colour-wise, I would say it is amber, sort of veering towards darkish amber, maybe with a hint of copper in it. It’s got a firm head of foam and on the nose, you’ve got, you know, you’ve got that biscuity malt you’d expect from an Altbier. But also almost like, in the background, I’m getting a nuttiness which could be suggestive of maybe crushed up hazelnuts or something. Very light, you know, not a big biff of hazelnuts. Then there’s also a suggestion, a very small suggestion of citrus there, just to give it that balance. Because you know, so you’ve got that lovely sway between the malt character and the sort of citrusy hoppiness. On the palate, I’ll just take a swig, make sure it’s very quiet.
Markus Raupach: Cheers.
Adrian Tierney-Jones: Cheers. Again, you’ve got that biscuity malt from you know, you expect from it, and there’s an underlay of a light citrus fruit, very light. Then the bitterness that this is probably where it may be not true to style, totally true to style, I think Jeremy has mentioned that to me. It’s got a nice, bracing bitterness in the finish which is, it is lasting. It is lasting. It’s almost, the bitterness, oh yeah. It’s it’s still there. It’s almost Wagnerian in its bitterness. It’s a great beer, it really is. I mean, it’s making me think, I haven’t been to Dusseldorf for years. You know, but they do make, I mean, again, another PR for myself, in Good Beer Hunting, I wrote a very big article on Utopia last year in Good Beer Hunting. So if you wanted to read it, it’s on Good Beer Hunting. You know, Good Beer Hunting. You go there, search and search either for my name or Utopian brewery and you can find it. The theme of it was the landscape of lager, and how, you know, I’ve been to places in Bohemia and it’s almost like where lagered beers are brewed, it’s like, you know, Franconia, Bohemia, and here in Devon, which is normally you know, there is beer also. There is a beer tradition here, but it’s also cider as well. It’s very much, because it’s a rural county apart from where I am, you know, Exeter and Plymouth further down south, which is a navy town. So it’s a great beer, great breweries and I’m always asking Jeremy, what are you doing next as a special, you know. Last year he did a maibock and this year, I said he’s got the doppelbock. They’ve done, I think they did a rauchbock, yeah and there’s the Augsburg one and oh yeah, they do a 10 degrees Czech pale as well. They do a 6%, which is often on in my local pub, which is then spells ruin for me because I love it, they’ve done a Cerne Specialni which is a … it’s not a tmave, it’s a dark 6% Czech lager. It’s absolutely gorgeous. So they’re one of my favourite breweries at the moment.
Markus Raupach: It sounds very interesting. So I really have to put that on my list.
Adrian Tierney-Jones: Definitely and they are, they are making waves. People are, you know, saying, “Oh, yeah, I really want to try their beer and everything.” Because Jeremy is a fantastic brewer. I mean, you know, someone working in a British brewery and going by, you know, decoction mashing and all these various things, and lagering, is quite rare. But it’s happening more and more. You’re getting, I mean, I’m actually writing, researching an article on it at the moment, that breweries, there are a handful of breweries in the UK that are using decoction mashing, which is basically comes from your part of the world, doesn’t it?
Markus Raupach: Yeah. What I experienced when I was in England last time is that there are breweries who say they make lagers, but they are more or less cold fermented ales. Also at Fuller’s, I think they do something like that.
Adrian Tierney-Jones: Frontier, that’s right, yeah.
Markus Raupach: So that’s an interesting approach that they now also go to the lager yeast and also try real lagers I would say.
Adrian Tierney-Jones: The techniques, yeah, the techniques. Also, for instance, I went to see, I don’t know if you’ve heard of Saint Mars of the Desert in Sheffield Brewery. There used to be Pretty Things in America, do you remember them? Excuse me. They do a beer which is a Belgium style blonde, down in Martha. Anyway, I went to see them on Monday in Sheffield and they have a coolship, but not for making lambic. They actually use it for, I mean, they’re quite good friends with Andreas Gänstaller.
Markus Raupach: Andreas Gänstaller.
Adrian Tierney-Jones: You must know him.
Markus Raupach: A good friend of mine.
Adrian Tierney-Jones: Well, they’ve been over there and their coolship operates on the same principle as he uses it. So they brew all their beers using this coolship for, I think they have about a 40-minute DMS rest and all that sort of stuff. Because I’ve seen, I went to Andreas’ brewery about three years ago with Joe Stange, the beer writer, and we were there when the coolship was in use with the handful of pellet hops at the one end, isn’t it, it’s amazing.
Markus Raupach: It’s fantastic.
Adrian Tierney-Jones: It is yeah. So these are great traditions. This is what keeps me writing. I’ll be honest. This is what keeps my interest. I don’t want to go like I did with music and I lost interest after about ten years because it was like, I’ve had enough of this, bands doing the same thing and everything. I feel when you go to see, I mean, I haven’t travelled for over two years. So there’s plenty for me to say still, you know.
Markus Raupach: Maybe one question about the Altbier you have. How close is it to a brown ale?
Adrian Tierney-Jones: Oh, you mean an English brown ale?
Markus Raupach: Yes, I mean, a typical English like a new box.
Adrian Tierney-Jones: Flavour-wise, flavour.
Markus Raupach: Maybe in general.
Adrian Tierney-Jones: No I mean, I haven’t had a Newcastle Brown for a long time. But from what I remember about Newcastle Brown, it was very sweet. There’s no crystal in this. There’s no crystal malt in this. So there’s no toffee notes. It’s cleaner as well, because it’s been lagered. To be honest, I’m not the greatest fan of Newcastle Brown ale. I used to find it very sweet and that toffee note you get from the crystal used to make it quite cloying for me, you know. So, colour-wise, yeah you could, I don’t know, I think the amber, still I think it’s obvious more towards amber than brown. So I mean, I’ve got one of those colour things on my desk somewhere, you know. We use them in judging, don’t we?
Markus Raupach: But in general, I think and now, because when we are talking Altbiers here in the beer sommelier training for example, I think more or less the first European beers everywhere were brown ales, something like that. So maybe a different mix of grains, somewhere they had wheat, some were not. But in general, it was more or less this and that it developed from this to all the other beer styles we know today and I think the original brown beer or brown ale was more or less a basic style in Great Britain and the Altbier is more or less also a very basic style here in Germany.
Adrian Tierney-Jones: Well, the thing is, I mean, it wasn’t until the beginning of the 19th century, really when you had changes in malting that enabled brewers to get lighter malts, didn’t they? They didn’t have that great sort of smoky char note to them. I’ve been reading about, I’ve been reading Krennmair, Berlin wrote a book on Vienna lager. Is it Andreas Krennmair?
Markus Raupach: I have a book here, but I don’t remember the name. But yes. I think maybe it’s …
Adrian Tierney-Jones: I know, I read his book. I’ve read it twice now because I might be working, I’m working on a project to do with Vienna lager and I find it fascinating. Dreher, Dreher came to England to find out how British brewers were getting their beers lighter, using malting techniques and everything. So it was really, up until then, yeah, all beers would have been. I mean, they were like, I remember reading in Martin Canal’s book or his blog once that there were light ales, pale ales in the 17th and 18th century, before technology started to change brewing in the 19th century. But I don’t know. I mean, I suppose you can just lightly kiln it, don’t they?
Markus Raupach: I think they, in Germany, we call it air malt. So malt that’s dried on the open air and there were very few days where you could do that because of the temperature, and so it was a quite expensive beer.
Adrian Tierney-Jones: Right, yeah. No again, it’s going back to what keeps me fascinated with beer. You know, it would be, you know, there have been dispiriting times in a 25-year-old career when you think, “I’m fed up with this.” You know, it’s usually with, it’s usually because of marketing people. I know, some good marketing people. You know, it’s just occasionally, you know, you’d ask a question in a brewery, like, “Why have you decided to make this beer?” Then the answer would be, “Because the marketing department said we needed a 4.7 beer.” Right, okay. But now, you know, in the last ten years, you talk to brewers, craft brewers especially, you know, “Why did you make this beer?” “Well, I had a dream.” You know, I remember this guy, I’ve forgotten his name, but he used to be at Siren Brewery in England and now he’s in America. He’s an American and he’s gone back to America a few years back. I asked him, “What motivates you to make beers?” He said, “Meals I’ve had, colours I see, dreams I have.” I think, you know, as a journalist, you want stories to be good. You’d know that. You know, you want those great stories. You don’t want people just saying, “Well, I don’t know, I thought I’d do it,” whatever.
Markus Raupach: Storytelling is the most important part and it gets more and more important and I think that’s something brewers learn today, or have learned in the last maybe ten years, that they really can find stories. Especially here in Germany, where we have quite old breweries with decades or hundreds of years age with lots of generations and stories of places and the beers and so you find always something you can talk about. Then it’s not only a helles or a pilsner or a dunkel, then it’s a special beer with a special name and a special history, and then it comes to life. Then it’s different from other beers and if you tell these stories to the customers, they can stick to the beer and to the brewery and it gets personal and that’s a good thing. So I just opened also my beer.
Adrian Tierney-Jones: What have you got then?
Markus Raupach: I have just also taken a British beer. But as it’s not so easy for us, it’s maybe for you a quite common beer. But I decided to have a Ruby beer from the Hobgoblin brewery.
Adrian Tierney-Jones: Oh, right. Okay.
Markus Raupach: Hobgoblin is the name and it’s a fantastic brown colour. It’s like chestnut, I would say. Quite clear. A nice also quite dark brown foam and beautiful in the glass and has a nice caramelly toffee, Swedish note, though also, maybe oat, oat flakes. Very nice. Also nutty, some nutty.
Adrian Tierney-Jones: I think they use quite a bit of crystal in that, crystal malt. I think their recipe includes quite a bit of crystal malt.
Markus Raupach: So I take a sip. Very, very creamy, very nice mouthfeel. It starts quite sweet, but then it gets dry. We have lots of toffee again, also a bitterness and a quite strong bitterness. Also in the aftertaste. It stays for a long time and then you also have some red berry notes, maybe like cherries, a little bit of chocolate, also. Dark chocolate, but only a hint, and nutty again. Quite balanced and refreshing. It’s interesting.
Adrian Tierney-Jones: I think it’s quite a popular beer here. I haven’t had one for quite a while. I went to the brewery a few years ago and quite some time ago, actually. But yeah, it is, because I’m not entirely sure which company it’s part of now. It says, is it Wychwood it says.
Markus Raupach: It’s Wychwood.
Adrian Tierney-Jones: I don’t know if they’re owned by Marston’s now or, you know, because they were … I think they might be Marston’s now, I think. You know, which is itself is part of Carlsberg.
Markus Raupach: Maybe that’s the reason why I got it because it’s not so easy to get British beers here now. But via Carlsberg and Marston’s and this connection, it’s quite probably that it’s come from that way.
Adrian Tierney-Jones: They’ve got a specific style of branding, Hobgoblin, because they also have Hobgoblin Gold, and Hobgoblin IPA and also I think they have King Goblin, which is a stronger version of Hobgoblin. What strength is it? Is it 5%? It used to be stronger, I think.
Markus Raupach: It’s 5.2.
Adrian Tierney-Jones: Oh it’s still 5.2, right, okay.
Markus Raupach: But for a British beer that’s quite a little bit more than normal, I think.
Adrian Tierney-Jones: I mean, well, I never said, I mean, I drink quite a lot of strong beer. But yeah, there’s still this tradition in the UK, brewers talk about it sometimes, you know, especially in like traditional pubs, where people say, “Oh, it’s 4%, oh, I’m not drinking that, not on a school night,” you know, or whatever. But then craft beer is pretty strong. You know, my local pub, when I go to my local pub later, I’m sure there will be, well, there will be an eight, there’ll be a seven and a half per cent beer there and a lot of the beers will be 4.8 onwards in the fives, because that’s what craft brewers are doing. But then there are also looking at non-alcoholic and table beers as well, aren’t they now? I don’t know if it’s happening in Germany, because we’ve got quite a strong non-alcoholic sector at the moment.
Markus Raupach: It’s also happening here. Here maybe it started with the idea to have a beer for people who didn’t, or had to drive. So they were allowed to drink and because that wasn’t in the beginning in the 70s, and then maybe in the 90s, they discovered that alcohol-free wheat ale can be a very healthy drink, isotonic for sportspeople and like this.
Adrian Tierney-Jones: I’ve seen that, yeah.
Markus Raupach: Now it changes to the alcohol-free sector to be a sector of its own. So that it’s not only that you say, “Okay, I have a pilsner and I have the alcohol free version of that. Now I have an alcohol-free beer with an own history, own idea, own style, which is not, that’s not the weak sister or something. It’s a separate thing. Now we have also a huge variety of styles inspired maybe by British breweries like Big Drop, for example. Rob is a friend of mine also. He does a fantastic job, I think. There are also other breweries in Great Britain, which are really making a good job in non-alcoholic beers.
Adrian Tierney-Jones: I mean, Big Drop brewed not far from me at another brewery called Powder Keg, because they haven’t got their own brewery. So they work with Powder Keg, who are just about I’d say, about six miles away from where I am. Because I know them, I know, you know, the people at the brewery. Because they brew their … Powder Keg brew their own non-alcoholic, well low-alcohol beer as well, which I think won an award at the World Beer Awards a couple of years ago. Because that sector in judging has just grown as well, hasn’t it? You know, the non-alcoholic, low-alcohol sector. They’re much better than they used to be. God, I remember I never even touched them, you know. They were terrible.
Markus Raupach: At the beginning, it was terrible, totally, because of the methods they used. The beers themselves, they were quite sweet and then they had to put lot of hops into is and it was totally out of balance and some strange thing. But now with methods of de-alcoholising or using special yeasts, and then mixing these ways of making it so that at the end you have a balanced, interesting drink.
Adrian Tierney-Jones: I think it can only be like, I’ve got a new book coming out next week actually called United Kingdom of Beer, and this wouldn’t have happened four years ago. I’ve actually, one of the chapters is a selection of non-alcoholic and low-alcohol beers. You know, I’ve got about 15 in it. As far as I can remember, I don’t think there are any no-alcohol, low-alcohol beers in 1001 beers. If I did another edition, there would be a lot more. But no, I’ve edited three editions and I don’t think there are any with, you know, no alcohol in them.
Markus Raupach: For me, that’s the thing. I talk a lot with brewers, especially here in Franconia, because here’s still the non-alcoholic beer has an image that it’s, for a brewer, it’s like a sacrilege to do that. So you don’t do that. It’s not beer, it’s bad and something like that. But on the other hand, if you look in the statistics, you see that the young people, maybe now between 14 and 25, or 30, maybe half of them don’t want to drink alcohol anymore. They want to have healthy and good drinks and especially with, if you talk about the German beer, with the Reinheitsgebot thing, we really have a, if it’s non-alcoholic, we have a healthy drink with a lot of good ingredients. We have low calories, it’s only made of pure natural things, no artificial colours, no artificial aroma. So very, very much different from a Coke or something like that. So I think if they do it right, they can have a new market share. On the other hand, they are losing in the alcohol part because people are drinking less and less. You have to find a solution for that.
Adrian Tierney-Jones: A balance though, because I think, you know, I’ll be honest, I’ve written about non-alcoholic beers several times and I’ve tried a few and I quite enjoyed some. But when I go out, I don’t have one. I will, you know, unless I’m driving, on a rare occasion I’m driving in which case. But the thing is, if I’m driving it’s usually in the countryside. You know, we’ve gone out for a drive, take the dog with us and you know, for a walk somewhere. The non-alcoholic beers seem to be, well from my experience, they’re still in almost like your craft beer bars. Big Drop, for instance. I mean, my local pub, which is a brewpub as well as having a lot of great craft beer on it and down on the Exeter Quay by the river, it has Big Drop on draft. But to be honest, I don’t have to drive, I don’t drive that much thankfully anymore, because petrol’s too expensive for a start. But you know, I live in a city and it’s relatively flat, so I can use my bicycle to get around and that keeps me healthy. So, but yeah, I think it’s great. I think the more choice for everyone the better.
Markus Raupach: Maybe if you look at your town and where you live today, you also told that you are Welsh-born. What would you say is the difference between a Welsh and an English man and a beer?
Adrian Tierney-Jones: I’ve lived in England since I was 18. So, you know, I went to university and I go back to Wales. I’m going back next week to see my mother. I’ve got family. Welsh, I mean, you see, the thing is, everyone, you know, with the craft beer, I was going to say revolution, but it’s such a throwaway phrase. But basically, you know, I go to my hometown in North Wales, which is near Snowdonia, you know, all the mountains and it’s very Welsh out there. You know, in some of the towns that you hear lots of Welsh being spoken.
Markus Raupach: It’s a national park there, I think.
Adrian Tierney-Jones: National park, yeah. So I grew up there and I’ve written a story about it for Pellicle actually. I don’t if you know, Pellicle Online, and I grew up, where I grew up in fact, it’s called Llandudno, the beer when I started drinking beer, it was either lager or bitters from you know, breweries from Manchester and everything. Like Robinsons and Lee’s, JW Lees who I do like actually. But now, there is this fantastic craft beer brewery in Llandudno called Wild Horse. I’ve written about them several times, they make great beers. But if you were going to ask me what’s the difference, is that a Welsh beer or an English beer? You know, to be honest, they’re making beers, they’re making pale hazy juicy NEPAs and lagers. So, you know, you couldn’t say this is a specific Welsh beer. But then there’s another brewery in Wales and I can’t remember the name at the moment, but I think they are making beers, wild fermentation, etc. So then you could argue, well, this is the terriwa of this Welsh landscape and this beer is more authentically Welsh, than say, Wild Horse is in Llandudno, my hometown. But there used to be differences between Welsh beers and English beers. You know, they used to say that the Welsh beers are sweeter and they were lower in gravity, especially in the mining areas, you know, in South Wales. Because, you know, the miners would come out of the coal mines and they’d need a lot of liquid and the last thing they wanted to do was drink 5% beers. So they’d be drinking mild and you know, very low gravity beers, but they were sweeter. While English, I mean, funny enough, are you a member of CAMRA?
Markus Raupach: Yes, I am.
Adrian Tierney-Jones: Oh, have you had your latest beer magazine?
Markus Raupach: Yes, I think I have. But I’m quite lazy in reading all that.
Adrian Tierney-Jones: No, no, what I was going to say was, if you want to, following on from what I’m talking about, we’re talking about regional differences really, aren’t we, in the UK or national differences in beer. I have an article in it about how regional beer styles disappeared in the UK. Because, you know, you read Michael Jackson in the early days and he talks about, you know, Midlands, you know, around Birmingham is about mild, you know, London and the Southeast was more about hoppy beers using, you know, the Kentish hops, you know, and then Norfolk was obviously the malt grown there. So, really good deep malt character and Wales were sweeter beers as was in the west country where I am, you know, there was sweeter beers. Up north there were different beers, you know, like Timothy Tucker. But then have they vanished? I think they’re still there to an extent but nothing like they used to be. So going back to your original question about how would I tell the difference between a Welsh and an English beer. I don’t think I could. You know, if someone gave me a blind tasting of Wild Horse, this is a Welsh beer, of Wild Horse, one of their NEPAs and I blind tasted it against I don’t know another, a brewery from England who’d done a NEPA, I would probably tell the difference between the beers because they would have their different ways but I couldn’t say this is a Welsh NEPA, this is an English NEPA.
Markus Raupach: The only thing I can remember is that I had some Tiny Rebel beers and they had so many letters on the cans. That was maybe a difference.
Adrian Tierney-Jones: Also Tiny Rebels seem to be very much going the pastry stouts and you know, adjunct way, don’t they? They seem to be, all their cans I see in the supermarket.
Markus Raupach: Maybe nowadays. They had them maybe now ten years ago?
Adrian Tierney-Jones: Right, yeah. I must admit, I mean, yeah, I’ve met the, you know, the guys that set them up a couple of times and you know, I got on well with him. I mean, these days I don’t want a beer that tastes like a sweet shop. You know? There is a lot of that. But then if it’s making people drink beer, that’s great. Because I remember talking to, I don’t know if you know, Jaega Wise, Wildcard Brewery in London. She did a beer, I can’t remember what she said it was, but it was one of these, you know, weird things. But she said it was served, like, you’d serve an ice cream soft serve, as they say. You know, an ice cream when it comes out all soft and everything? She saw me look at her like, yeah. You know what she said? “You might not like it, but there are people coming in and saying they don’t like beer. They have this and they like it. So we’ve got them to drink beer.”
Markus Raupach: That’s a quite an important thing and also, something I teach our beer sommeliers that there’s a big difference between their personal like and dislike, and what is on the market. So and I say also, if people drink a beer, it’s always better than they drink no beer, no matter if I like the beer or not.
Adrian Tierney-Jones: But then it’s got to stay, sometimes you go in this, I mean, I tried to use bottle shops, you know, for my beers. But sometimes I buy from supermarkets, you know, if they’ve got Thornbridge, you know, because I love Thornbridge. But you go into a supermarket and you think, is this what we thought the craft beer was for? Like the shelf after shelf and half of it’s taken up by BrewDog, you know, loads of BrewDog. I looked at a supermarket yesterday and it was like, you know, is this what it was all about just so we can have lots and lots of beers that taste the same?
Markus Raupach: It’s also a little bit like, if you look at the States that you have these early craft breweries, which grew so much, like Sierra Nevada or other ones which are now dominating somehow. With BrewDog it’s a little bit the same, besides all the stories you have about James Watts and whatever.
Adrian Tierney-Jones: The allegations, from journalists, the allegations.
Markus Raupach: Early allegations, yeah, okay. Maybe we put a link in the show notes of the podcast if some people are interested. But on the other hand, I’m shareowner of BrewDog so former times I supported them a lot. It was really great to see and also to see that they, 90% of what they produced is only punk IPA. But in general, it’s not good if they are dominating in such a way that the stores how old them is just BrewDog.
Adrian Tierney-Jones: A lot of them are pastry stouts you know, and stuff like that. Like, you know, this tastes like a cake or something, you know. I mean, I’ve been up to BrewDog three times. I brewed a collaboration beer with them with Johnny Guerra and Brad from Craft Beer Boys and Matt Curtis. We did a collaboration beer about four years ago up there, and I’ve written about, I went, last time I went three years ago, I went to see their sour beer facility and I also went to their American, I went on a trip to their American brewery as well three years ago. So you know, I believed that what they were doing was good in the past. But it just seems to have become, they’ve become what they set out to destroy. It reminds me of punk music, how it ended up becoming, it’s a bit like I see. The best one is, the best analogy is George Orwell in Animal Farm where the animals look at, the animals you know, stage a revolution against the owners, drive the owners off and then some animals are more equal than other animals. At the end, you know, the downtrodden animals look at the boss animals and they all look like humans. You know, they’ve become like the people they tried to get away, you know, put away. So, I mean, I’ve always had, I mean, it is sad in certain ways. I mean, one thing, one of my favourite BrewDog beers, which hadn’t been made for years, was, what was it called? Hardcore IPA, which was the eight and a half per cent dipper. I used to love that. I haven’t seen it around for a long time. I used to absolutely love that. I remember drinking far too much of it in a bar in London once. You know, eight and a half per cent and thinking oh you know getting my train back up here to the West Country and hoping I didn’t fall asleep and end up right in Cornwall, right at the very end or something, you know. But yeah, it’s a shame the way it’s gone. But there are better people than me who can write better things about it. I tend not to write about the business of beer to be honest.
Markus Raupach: No, that’s a good decision. I also can say I experienced it in Germany, I think maybe up to three, four years ago, they were really the good guys and when they opened their BrewDog bars, they normally always had maybe at least a third of all their beers from guest breweries, from small breweries, and they promoted these beers the same way as they promoted their own. For us, it was quite noticeable when they took over the Stone Brewery in Berlin how they treated the people which were working there. Because when there was the shift from Stone to BrewDog, all the workers said, “Oh, very good. Now we are BrewDog, so all is good.” Also the communication at the beginning was, “Okay, you can stay here and it’s all good.” Then from one day to the other, they kicked out, hobbled them, and really, it was not a good thing and also these guest beers almost vanished from the bars. So it’s only BrewDog now mostly, and so you see there is a shift in the chain.
Adrian Tierney-Jones: I think that’s the same here at the BrewDog here in Exeter. I mean, I’ve gone past it and I have a look what’s up on the board, you know. It’s like, right, I remember times when you’d see Modern Times Brewery, people like that, and American breweries and everything, and it just felt, you know. I mean, I don’t know if they still stock Mikkeller because I know he, you know, if we’re talking about things that have been going wrong in the industry, Mikkeller has been another name in the frame, hasn’t it? I’ve never been a big fan of Mikkeller’s beers. I don’t want to, I mean, you know, a lot of their beers do not appeal to me. Never have. Because I always tell the story when I was in Copenhagen for the first time about ten years ago, nine years ago, and I really fancied an Imperial stout and I thought, “Oh I’ll go to the Mikkeller bar, they must have one on.” Oh yeah, they had Imperial stouts on. One was brewed with a Sahti, how do you say it? Sahti yeast? You know, the Finnish …
Markus Raupach: Sahti, yes, Sahti.
Adrian Tierney-Jones: Sahti yeast, and the other was brewed with cake mixture, you know. I think it was it was like biscotti blah, blah, blah. I was like, I just want an Imperial stout, like Harvey’s Russian Imperial Stout or something. You know, I think these were like, what we then came to be known as pastry stouts. That was my first encounter with them and it wasn’t very impressive. I wasn’t very impressed.
Markus Raupach: I had his sour beers first, which were quite good. So like cherry lambics and things like that and then I came across this 1000 IBU beer, which was a strange thing. So I learned that water has a limit to how much bitterness it can take up. No matter how much hops you put in, it won’t get more bitterness. Then I came again across the company, I think now two years ago, when they contacted me because they wanted to have contact to a Franconian brewery to do a proper lager and a proper kellerbier. I was last weekend in Denmark at the competition and there we talked about Mikkeller and they told me he is now more or less totally into lagers, and does pils and all these things. So and it’s an interesting name, and he really changed the Danish beer culture quite.
Adrian Tierney-Jones: Oh God, yeah. Well, it’s the same as BrewDog. But then, you know, everyone goes on about BrewDog, how they changed English beer or British beer. To be honest the godfathers of British craft beer is Thornbridge. Thornbridge are the ones who came before. They were 2005. Also Martin Dickie, who co-founded BrewDog with James Watt was originally a brewer at Thornbridge and along with Stefano Cosi, he developed Jaipur, the two of them developed Jaipur. So you know, and Thornbridge is still making great beers. There’s nothing, you know, there’s been no controversy about anything happening there. You know, I was in one of their pubs in Sheffield last week and, you know, and I mean, I know them personally, some of the people that are brewers and also the people that own the place. They are great people to get on with. There’s no airs and graces, as we say. So Thornbridge to me, are one of the most crucial breweries in Britain in the last three decades really. You know, and BrewDog obviously have their place. BrewDog went more noisy you know? They were the noisy ones, weren’t they? They were the stunts and everything. Thornbridge just continued to make great beer and to, you know, just become part of the community in a sense, like in the beer community.
Markus Raupach: Sometimes that can be a quite unfair feeling because you have brewers who just do a good job but they are not noisy. Then you have the other ones which are more or less, maybe mediocre brewers, but they are loud and they are good in all these marketing things, and they make crazy stuff. So they are in all the newspapers and things and so it can be hard for the normal brewers.
Adrian Tierney-Jones: But I think beer writers, I think there’s a new, you know, beer writers, even myself, we’re finding it easier to find the good ones amongst the noise. Especially this newer generation of beer writers in the last ten years, who haven’t got that background that maybe, you know, when I started writing about beer, it was CAMRA. It was all about CAMRA and you know, CAMRA, you know, they weren’t, when they, you know, people like Matt Curtis, and all that, I mean, they are members of CAMRA now and written books for CAMRA. But they started off and they had their own ideas about how beer should be, you know? So people, you can see through, you can always see through con artists, to be honest.
Markus Raupach: But before that, I think you need a lot of experience and that’s something I have at the moment, I quite often see here in Germany that we have new beer writers or bloggers who more or less, they just had ten IPAs, and then they know the beer world. That can be quite hard to get into a discussion. Also, if you say the term beer writer, if you look in Germany, that’s more or less, almost disparaging words. So we are …
Adrian Tierney-Jones: Really?
Markus Raupach: Yes, yes, it’s not really good to name yourself I’m a beer writer. So yes, yes, yes. But in the UK, that’s quite an honourable thing, I think.
Adrian Tierney-Jones: You still get people thinking though, “Oh, you’re a beer writer. Do you sit with a beer at your table all day?” No. I mean, obviously, I’ve got a beer at my table now. But I’m going to be, I mean, I’m a journalist, you know, and I happen to, beer is one of my subjects. It’s always been the way and I drink, you know, I have water on my desk all day long, not beer. You know, and we do know, people like you and I do know so much about beer, it’s probably not healthy. We know far too much about beer, you know. But as I said earlier on, I find it fascinating, you know, I still find it fascinating. I mean, I’m looking at row after row, I’m looking at bookshelves of row after row of beer books on them and I think, you know, yeah, I mean, there’s still stuff there that I want to, you know, there’s still places I want to go to.
Markus Raupach: Still things to write about.
Adrian Tierney-Jones: Oh yeah. Because I’m off to Brno in Moravia in like, with my son, and I don’t know that part of the world at all. I know Bohemia really well. The breweries there, I know them quite well. But Brno, Moravia. I mean, I know the malt came from you know, for Pilsner, the malt comes from Moravia, but I’m really looking forward to investigating the beer culture in Brno. So am I saying that right, by the way, would you know?
Markus Raupach: Yes, it sounds good. I haven’t been there too, or close to it, but some friend of mine are brewers in Czech Republic and we were already talking a lot about the Moravian and Slovakian and Czech beer cultures. That’s an interesting country with vivid scene of brewers and homebrewers and very interesting and what they all do with their beer. They break a lot of traditional laws and things. So for example, in Germany, it’s unbelievable that they mix a pale and a dark beer and make half and half. Or you can drink just the mega foam.
Adrian Tierney-Jones: Yes, I’ve heard that. Mliko.
Markus Raupach: Mliko, yes, Mliko.
Adrian Tierney-Jones: I’ve done, have you been able to do it in one though?
Markus Raupach: No.
Adrian Tierney-Jones: I have. I was with a couple of beer writers and also Adam Matuska, you know, from Pivovar Matuska? We were at one of those Pilsner Urquell bars, I think they’re called Lokal and in Prague, and this guy, forgotten his name, he was like champion Pilsner Urquell server and he poured me a Mliko. He said, “You’ve got to drink it in one.” It was me, Tim Hampson and Carl Kins, you know Carl, don’t you?
Markus Raupach: Yes.
Adrian Tierney-Jones: I was the only one that could finish it. I was very proud of myself.
Markus Raupach: Not bad. Okay. So we’re kind of coming to the end of the time for our episode, but I think we could keep on talking maybe for more or less five, six hours. But maybe we make some day a next episode and keep on talking. Maybe a last question because you are on the island, you know all these British beers. How is the actual situation of Real Ale especially after Brexit and Covid and all these times? So is it still there and are there still the traditional beer styles like mild.
Adrian Tierney-Jones: Real Ale cask beer, it really suffered during the pandemic because it couldn’t, you can’t, you can only drink it in the pub and all the pubs were closed for … the pubs were closed. We had three different lockdowns and the pubs were closed during them. So cask beer really suffered. Sales of cask beer really suffered. But I am noticing this on Twitter, amongst a lot of people, there is this desire to drink cask beer. There is also mild is making a bit of a comeback. Whether it’s just the beer bubble on Twitter, or whether it will be, you know, you’ve got smaller breweries such as, they’re in London, I can’t remember, I can’t remember the call. But anyway, there’s this very trendy brewery and they’re making mild and you know, people like marble beer are making great cask beers. When I was in Sheffield over the weekend, last week, I went over to the indie beer feast and I did some pop up tastings and talks with brewers and I drank more cask beer last weekend than I have in 12 months. Because you’ve got, the pubs I went to had quite a big turnover. So you’re getting, you know, you go, there’s at Sheffield station, there’s the Sheffield Tap which is partly run by Thornbridge and they have about ten cask beers on as well as lots of keg. Three days on the row I went in and they had a different you know, beers were going out in a day, they were selling out in a day. So you had this real fresh cask beer and we also went to, I went, I met my friend Pete Brown and his wife Liz, and another friend Chris in Barnsley, which is, you know, one of those former mining towns outside Sheffield in Yorkshire, and we went to this breweries tap, Acorn Brewery, and I rank their bitter, Barnsley Bitter, at 3.8%. So yes, cask is struggling. I think the elephant in the room is dispensation quality. You know, if people aren’t looking after the beer, because it’s a living product in some ways. You know, they say it’s because you know, there’s still conditioning going on in the cask in the cellar. If people aren’t looking after the beer, then you’re going to get stale beer, you’re going to get oxidised beer, you’re going to get beer full of DMS, diacetone, all those faults that we wrote down when we’re judging. So I think at the moment, it’s crucial. I don’t think it’s on life support yet, but I do think it is in danger. But I don’t think it’ll ever vanish, because it is … but it’s never going to come back to what it used to be 50 years ago or something like that. I don’t think anyway. But then if you get good cask beers, like my son always disliked it. I remember when he was about 19, I took him to a pub in Exeter and bought him a beer, and he was like, “Oh God, dad, this is horrible.” But now he sort of texts me, he’s, you know, in London out with some friends. He said, “Oh, we’re in the so and so Arms and I’m drinking Burning Sky on casket, it’s wonderful.” You know, so I think it will survive, but it’s always going to be one of these, it’s not a beer style, but it’s a style of dispense, you know? It’s always going to be one of these styles of dispense which struggle, because you know … But I think mild will survive. It’s very low, you know. I mean, 20 years ago, I was writing an article on milds and I got in touch with a beer brewing industry group, you know, that used to give you statistics and everything. I was like saying, “Do you know how much mild is sold every year?” They said, “No, we don’t. It’s so small, we haven’t even got a record of it.” So you know, but these are great beer styles and as you have in your country as well. You know, we’ve got, you know, barley wine is still there, mild is still there golden ales, bitters whether they’re best or strong bitters, old ales. You know, there’s a whole range of beers there. So I think you know, beer sales are down, The pandemic didn’t help and as you said earlier, young people, a lot of young people aren’t drinking beer. You know, hard seltzer hasn’t been the big success here as it has been in America though which I find quite interesting.
Markus Raupach: That’s the same here. It was here or is here but it doesn’t get ground.
Adrian Tierney-Jones: I don’t see the point of it myself. But there you go.
Markus Raupach: So thanks a lot for your time. Thanks a lot for the information, for the story, and I wish you all the best of luck and we will put links to all your books in the show notes. I’m very much looking forward to seeing you in person as soon as possible.
Adrian Tierney-Jones: Oh yeah, definitely. All right then, thank you. Cheers to this, cheers.
Markus Raupach: Cheers.
Adrian Tierney-Jones: Bye. Cheers.
BierTalk – Der Podcast rund ums Bier. Alle Folgen unter www.biertalk.de