So...finally have these things going...hopefully I'm using them correctly
English Beer! Ya know, from England...
February 16, 2014
This post is going to need a little background (let’s get the heavy stuff out of the way early for this one, yeah?) When 2014 started I was full of hope for a year that would see many of the previous year’s struggles put to rest. I was so hopeful in fact, that I was even making plans for the future thinking that things would be getting back to normal in my life. One such plan was to finally take a spring break trip to England, something that I’ve needed to do for years now. I didn’t anticipate that after making all these plans my whole world would fall apart; causing a great many of those things to be either cancelled or put on indefinite hold. While that is still the case for allot of my future plans, I’ve decided that this trip isn’t something I can put off, for far too many reasons. So on Sunday March 16th, the week of spring break for several colleges here in Denver, I plan to board a plane to London. As allot of the motivations for making this trip in the first place are still in limbo, I’m not sure about what I will do during my week there save one thing: have as many great pints as possible.
Everyone knows that England is the birthplace of allot of beer styles and brands that are prominent the world over. Ales in particular are a strong suit of the Brit’s, and most breweries in the States (and certainly in Denver) pay homage to this by have at least one variant of a British ale in their lineup. I am a very big fan of imported beers from across the pond, especially those that have been recommended to me by proper British folks (cheers John and Andy). In preparation for my tentative journey I plan on having allot of practice pints brewed in England. Some of these beers are a little easier to find than others, but I’m going to recommend a few that you can find in the US that are worth hunting down.
I can’t write a post about English beer without giving allot of love to Old Speckled Hen (take a big drink if you also think that’s the most awesome name ever for a beer). This beer is flat out one of my favorites, particularly when I can find it on draught. When I come across that rare offering in a bar, it is usually a nitro pour (if you’re not sure what I mean it’s the same thing that makes a Guinness so fun to watch after it’s been poured). Old Speckled Hen has an almost rosy color and a unique malty flavor that is difficult to describe with any accuracy. The one place in Denver that I know always has it on tap is World of Beer on Alameda and Colorado ( I just gave you directions, are you really not going to go now? Come on buddy).
One of the more well known breweries out of England these days is Fullers. Most people will know them for either their London Pride or ESB, the latter of which is also high on my list and a regular in my house when I am in the mood for something extra good. I also strongly recommend 1845, the Fullers Strong Ale, which is particularly good when you get a hand pulled pint (it also kind of makes you feel like you should be wearing a bowler cap and tweed while playing checkers, all of which I would totally be into doing) For the full gamut of Fullers brews in Denver, I highly recommend Three Lions on Colfax. That place is all about beer and football (Soccer to most of us here in ‘Murka). Specifically this is an arsenal bar so expect it to get rowdy during game day in the best kind of way.
A more obscure beer from England that I have made a point of buying whenever I come across it is Wychwood Hobgoblin. This is a proper English Bitter, which means that its going to be one of the most tasty beers that you’ve ever had (plus it’s just fun to be able to say “Oi!, pint of bitter please”) Again, this is another prime example of how a good English beer defies description so you will need to have it for yourself to understand why its worthy of mention. I have only ever found it on tap once and it was ridiculously expensive, so be content with this from a bottle if given the opportunity. Some of the larger liquor stores in Town will have it on a rotating basis, I know Argonauts and the nice King Sooper’s in Glendale have both had it in stock at certain points (If you are not in Denver, that probably doesn’t help you much….)
Obviously there are many more British beers that I won’t be mentioning in this post, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go on your own beer exploration to find the ones that you like the most. I welcome any suggestions for English beers or taking trips there or anything else British via the messaging tool on the “About” page or the tweeters (yes I caved and signed up for the twitter, you win social media’s). Alright enough blabbing, let’s have a pint and pop on some footie.
What I was drinking during this post: Oatmeal Stout from Samuel Smith’s