I've just bought some bottled ales from Sainsbury's, which were being
promoted as part of a "beer and wine festival". Some interesting choices
among them - the ones I bought were Titanic Stout, Dorothy Goodbody's
Golden Ale, Brain's Dark and Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale.
The three British beers bore a stamp on the label with the Camra logo
and the words "Camra says this is real ale". Interesting. Is this a new
development? I've certainly not seen it before. Seems like an excellent
move to me - both as a promotional gimmick for Camra and as an aid to
the consumer (ie to get it into people's heads that most bottled beer is
/not/ real ale).
Interestingly, both the DG's and the Brain's had the words "bottle
conditioned ale" on the label but the Titanic didn't. What it did have
was another stamp declaring it to be "Champion Bottled Beer of Britain
2004" (and you could see the sediment in the bottom of the bottle, of
I guess the Camra logo would be considered less ambiguous from the point
of view of the average consumer, who wouldn't necessarily know what
"bottle-conditioned" meant, but I was still slightly surprised that they
didn't include the words. What do others think? Is it important?
Anyway, top marks to Sainsbury's - I hadn't gone in there with the
intention of buying beer, but I couldn't resist when faced with such an
This is a Camra campaign in association with the brewing industry to
promote bottle conditioned beer. It has caused some controversy given
the variablility of some micro BC beers, and the very limited amount
of bottle conditioning which sometimes actually goes on.
Yes, Titanic Stout is BC, so I don't know why they don't say so on the
label. AFAIK only BC beers should have the 'Camra says' logo on them.
Best regards, Paul
Paul Sherwin Consulting
Whilst I'm not the official spokesperson for the campaign, I think I can
give you an answer.
Some brewers may of course still use "bottle-conditioned" on their labels,
but what you have picked up on is that CAMRA have decided to drop the
expression "bottle-conditioned" in favour of promoting "real ale in a
bottle". Which can admittedly be a bit tricky for those of us who have got
used to referring to BCA's.
It shouldn't make any difference to the contents :-)
I'm looking forward to tasting it but I'm saving it for later.
Interestingly, the GBBG says Titanic's beers are neither filtered nor
reseeded when bottled.
I've just opened the Sierra Nevada and it is gorgeous - intense
grapefruity hop bitterness, but balanced by rich, complex malt flavours
(a nice background nuttiness and a touch of burnt caramel) so the hops
aren't too overwhelming (as they are in some American beers I've tried
Keep up at the back, COOP Gold Miner [my beer] has had the logo etc for over
18 months, AFAIK it was the first. Same as the Isinglass spuff about
Sainsbury beers - again, the COOP was first with Gold Miner [and we took
loads of flak over it too] .
Now when will the others follow the COOP with its extensive use of Braille
on its own labels - or will SainsCo Take the credit for that too? Give them
credit where its due, the COOP are often at the forefront of food issues,
but rarely get the accolades the others do eg - Organics, Fair trade,
ethical banking/sourcing, cutting out additives and excessive salt/sugar,
informative food labeling, local sourcing. All are and have been for some
time COOP initiatives.
Interesting. I've been drinking Gold Miner all this time (a fine beer,
by the way) and not managed to notice that.
Yes, but us bleeding-heart liberal Guardianista types don't shop in the
Co-op if we can help it - we prefer Waitrose and Sainsbury's. I only
ever go in there because it's at the end of my road, but it is generally
so poorly stocked (Gold Miner is the only drinkable beer they offer)
that I often make the effort to go a bit further to a different shop.
And while their policies on all these food issues are laudable indeed,
they could do with paying a bit more attention to quality and taste.
My local Co-op always makes me think of stores in Communist Russia.
The shelves are rarely stocked, and what is there is surprisingly
expensive given the lousy range and questionable quality.
If you actually manage to find anything to buy, you can be assured of
a long queue. Why they have a half dozen checkouts and then not open
*any* of them (leaving people to use the tobacco counter) remains a
mystery. And no, I don't want a bloody loyalty card.
Since it's virtually impossible to even get, say, a pint of milk and a
loaf of bread in there, you would be right in guessing that I don't
even bother looking down the booze aisle, in case I get tangled up in
a bit of tumbleweed.
Haha ! Mine too, lost most of the 1st bottle to the kitchen floor ;-o
I think it *has* to stand for a day after transportation (and the
bottle suggests fridging it for about 1/2 hour before use too)
Cheers - Neil
In article , "Neil Smith
[MVP Digital Media]" writes
(re; Gold Miner)
Mine had stood for about a fortnight ( I was temporarily 'on the wagon'
due to incompatible medication).
I'll try that and see if it helps, though I don't want it too cold.
Have a look at the neck label - the pilot wording is 1/ the Camra logo, 2/
wording below the label "Supports real ale in a bottle. Please pour with
Yes as stated on here, it can be a bit lively if the store has kept it warm,
chill in the fridge (it stands up to a chill rather well) and then pur into
a pre-rinsed [wet] pint glass, enjoy!
If you know about it in advance, you can pour the bottle into a jug
and let it settle. IMO this degassing improves the drinkability of
many bottled beers anyway.
Best regards, Paul
Paul Sherwin Consulting
re Titanic's beers being unfiltered before bottling, I doubt that what
is in the GBBG is correct, but may have been in the past?
AFAIK they now bottled with Hepworth's (i.e. still brewed in Stoke) &
use sterile filtration before reseeding with clean yeast. I may be
wrong, but that's what I had heard, as to do otherwise (e.g. to not
filter at all) can't ensure the shelf-life demanded by supermarkets (up
to 15months, which is daft anyway).
re SNPA (as our beery Yankily chums call it) yes, a truly fantastic
beer, stunning and powerfully flavoured, but as you say, beautifully
balanced, unlike some US brews IMO.
I think part of the trouble with the Co-op is that AFAIK some/all of
the stores run as franchises, i.e. are only as good as their managers &
I had an amazingly annoying thing happen in a local Co-op last year - I
was paying by Switch (for some Goldminer!) & the EPOS machine told the
assistant to pick up the attached phone to do a manual verification of
the purchase (a random security thing IIRC).
Instead of doing this, I was told that my card was rejected & did I
have some other form of payment, I asked to see the manager & he said
the same bleeding thing! He was about to snatch my card (to claim the
c.£50 that retailers get if they hang onto a stolen/unauthorised card)
so I asked him if the machine was telling him to do that (I could see
that it wasn't!) so he backed down & gave me my card.
I had no cash with me, so had to walk out, fuming, without the beer. I
went home, rang my bank to find out what was going on, they said yes, I
had money in the account & that it was just a security check, so if I
went back to the shop & explained, all should be OK. I did & it wasn't
- same response!
I should have taken it to Co-op HQ, but I forgot about it, suffice to
say, I've not been back to the shop.
I accept the advice above from Paul & Don, but the trouble is, the beer
seems to be *so* carbonated that when it's opened, the carbonation
takes all of the yeast up into the beer with it (as it shoots out of
the top of the bottle!)
Lovely as it has been when I've got to try it, IMO Goldminer is more
carbonated than almost any other beer I've ever had, and the soakings
that myself & the waiter in a BYO CurryHouse got recently are testament
to that (I kid you not).
I'm not looking for the dry-cleaning bill, Don :~) but I hope next
batch you & Marston's are going to sort this out? IMO I think BCA/RAIBs
should be a bit less carbonated than other beers, to get closer to a