Bottle conditioned?

I'm a relative youngster in real ale drinking terms, and I don't know much about beer but I know what I like - variety, character, and a willingness to experiment with tastes that may not cater to the mainstream.
I have heard of bottle-conditioned beer, which (correct me if I'm wrong) is beer which undergoes secondary fermentation in the bottle and so contains yeast sediments; but I've never seen it on sale anywhere. Is it still on sale to any great extent, and if so where could I get some in the South or Central London area?
Also, is bottle-conditioned beer really any better than plain old bottled beer?
Phil
Reply to
Philip Potter
In article , snipped-for-privacy@doc.ic.ac.uk says...
Market during Friday/Saturday market hours.
Whether it's any better is a matter of personal taste however.
Reply to
Jim Brittin
youngster in real ale drinking terms, and I don't know
if Boro Mkt is tricky to get to, most supermarkets, some off-licences & ssome smaller stores (e.g. Co-op) have some bottle-conditioned beers (aka bottled "real ale") - I've not tried all of them recently, but good bets in my mind - Hopback 'Summer Lightning', Freeminer 'Goldminer (Coop exclusive?), Fuller's '1845', Young's 'Special London' (now brewed in Bedford!?), Brakspear's 'Triple' & 'Live Organic', Worthington 'White Shield'.
Additionally (1) there's a list of brewers who've signed up to CAMRA's "real ale in bottle" logo scheme here -
formatting link
(it links to a PDF file)
Additionally (2) bars, shops & supermarkets often have a few Belgian bottle-conditioned beers.
I'd certainly say it's not as simple as "all RAIB is better than all filtered bottled beers" - it's very much a case by case (punintended) thing - I've had some superb bottle conditioned beers & some undrinkable as well as fountainous!
If I'm honest, I've probably had more truly awful beers in BCA form than filtered ones. That's why I'd recommend getting a few of the above BCAs, as IMO they're consistently well brewed & bottled. good luck & let ys know what you think. cheers MikeMcG
Reply to
MikeMcG
Sainsbury's do 75mcl bottles of Meantime stout and IPA, plus you can get 750cl bottles of Duvel, and some other Belgian beers. M&S now have a range of BCAs (bottle conditioned ale), and Tesco has recently released their own "finest" BCA.
It can be, but you have to be careful how you store it - and pour it!
--
Brian
Reply to
BrianW

Hey, I want one of those 750cl bottles! Seriously, the wine-style bottles with corks are great for laying down if you can find them... just remember to swill 'em round and stand them up again at least a month before you want to drink them, unless you are skilled in uncorking a bottle on its side without disturbing the sediment [which some Belgian cellarmen have made an art in itself].
Some beers have a jelly-like yeast which is almost impossible to disturb, while others cloud up at the slightest nudge and take weeks to drop bright again. You can see if the sediment has settled by holding the bottle up to the light, just don't tip or knock the bottle or you'll be back to square 1. I decant the big bottles into a jug in one go so as not to stir up the sediment, and then serve, because I don't want to run the risk of cocking the process up when switching glasses. Even then you need a steady hand, don't tip up the bottle too far, let the beer level in the bottle drop slowly as you reach the horizontal and be ready to stop pouring as the sediment finally creeps up to the neck of the bottle [it won't do you any harm if your beer ends up cloudy, but you may spoil the taste a bit]. Warming the glass or the jug beforehand will reduce foaming when you pour - this can be a real problem if you don't have enough space to pour the bottle into and it froths up to four times its original volume - Duvel can be like that. 75cl bottles are quite common [and amazingly cheap compared to UK prices] in Belgium if you ever get the chance to pop into a beer warehouse or supermarket over there.
IME, Morrisons own brand is a gusher and best avoided. :{ I like the Hop Back beers and the Coniston Bluebird. Also Guinness Foreign Export stout at 8% abv.
As much as I love a good BCA, I have to say that there are plenty of filtered beers with enough character to get them over the finish line. Like the Batemans range, and a lot of the Marstons hoppier beers too [not so much the cooking bitter, which is a bit lame]. Cheap at Aldi! Don't be afraid to try as many as take your fancy, Philip, and don't be afraid to prefer what you like, rather than what you think people think you ought to like. There are hundreds of character ales on the market now, you have never had a better time for picking and choosing!
All that said, there is nothing to beat a good ale from the cask in peak condition. The only problem is finding a reliable outlet.
Reply to
4208fm
On Mon, 14 Jan 2008 14:05:12 +0000, Jim Brittin wrote (in message ):
UTOBEER at Borough Market is undoubtably the place to go - I strongly recommend going on a Thursday afternoon when they're good for a chat. Friday and Saturday they're too busy for anything but brief recommendations.
Reply to
Tim
In a senior moment I said stout when I actually meant porter! Great beer whatever the style though.
--
Brian
Reply to
BrianW
Thanks for all the advice! I'll try to get to Borough Market on a Thursday sometime. Seems if I buy now, I won't be trying them til mid-February though in order to let them settle :S
I was a little surprised (though I probably shouldn't be) that the general sentiment of bottle-conditioned versus filtered is "whatever tastes good", and I've certainly been through most of the filtered beer that my local Tesco's sells.
Phil
Reply to
Philip Potter
My husband and I have drank our way through about 60 bottled beers, differing between BCA and "normal" bottled beer this Crimble. I have to say my absolute favourite was the Hobgoblin, closely followed by Marstons Oyster Stout, neither of which are BCA. Personally (committing heresy here I know) I'm not really bothered whether a bottle contains BCA or not - I ask a question before - is it from a craft or traditional brewer, and then a question after - was that nice?
--
Christine Pampling
Reply to
Christine
I wondered where they had gone, because (obviously) I rarely have a drop touch my lips. :-)
It has to be said though that it was an effort to recover from the shock of being side swiped by a 17 tonner on the M40. (have I annoyed my Great British Beer Festival transport "pals" perhaps?)
--

Steve Pampling
Reply to
Steven Pampling
I agree - filtration strips out flavour & colour, which can perhaps be added to, in order to counteract the loss?
But I do find it a bit odd that CAMRA turn a blind eye to this when promoting the 'Real Ale In Bottle' logo, or awarding 'Champion Bottle- conditioned Beer Of Britain' - I can't think of a non-filtered BCA that's won CBOB?
If it was common knowledge that a brewery filtered & reseeded its cask beer, I think there'd be a big stink (no, not literally - I'm sure it would smell OK) - incidentally the only time I've known a brewery to do this was at Brakspear's trying to brew a veggie cask beer by rough- filtering & reseeding with a small amount of yeast.
I really am in 2 minds about this, though & I strongly suspect that (like my experiences) by far, the vast majority of really bad BCAs haven't been filtered & how much damage does that do to a company's reputation or that of real ale as a whole? cheers, MikeMcG.
Reply to
MikeMcG

DrinksForum website is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.