THE BREWSKI REPORT Tommy Brewski: My Beer. My Life.

December 30, 2009

Greene King’s Old Speckled Hen English Pale Ale Beer Review 12.30.09

The Beer Named After a Car  - Moreland's Old Speckled Hen.

The Beer Named After a Car - Moreland's Old Speckled Hen.

The Brewski Report Reviews Greene King’s Old Speckled Hen and the President’s Popularity Slide.
File Date: 12.30.09

File Name:  A New Paint Job Doesn’t Make Something New Again.
The Beer: Old Speckled Hen
Type: English Pale Ale
Serving: Clear Bottle
Stats: 5.2% ABV
Brewer:  Greene King / Moreland Brewery
Country of Origin: UK (England)
Brewer Info: Morland was a brewery in Abingdon in the English county of Oxfordshire (formerly Berkshire). They first brewed in West Ilsley in 1711. It was purchased and closed by Greene King in 2000; and production of the Morland beers was moved to their brewery in Bury St. Edmunds in Suffolk.

Greene King has operated pubs and brewing for over 200 years. Combining successful traditional ale brands with modern forward thinking, Greene King has grown steadily from its base in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk to become a leading pub retailer and brewer.  Greene King brews all of its beers in Bury St Edmunds, where ale has been a feature of life since at least as far back as 1086. But we’ve taken the traditional art of brewing to new heights, producing what is arguably the finest range of cask ales in the country. Our beers are as much at home in city centre nightspots as they are in the cosy lounge of the village pub; we’ve taken the traditional craft of brewing and turned it into an art form. No other UK brewer is as committed to cask ale.

greene-king-tavern-plaque1Brewer Brand Hype: “Old Speckled Hen” was first brewed to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the MG car factory in Abingdon, Oxfordshire. Named after an old MG car which was used as the factory run around, they would park the old MG Featherweight Fabric Saloon outside the paint shop where it would normally get spattered in paint and so it became known as the ‘Owld Speckl’d Un’. This turned into “Old Speckled Hen” when the beer was unveiled. Since then the finely balanced beer with a distinctive rich malty taste and fruity aroma has attracted many fans, including the fox, who is always on the hunt for his Hen.

The Run-Around Car That Spawned the Name....

The Run-Around Car That Spawned the Name....

Label:  Named after an unusual speckled vintage MG car, Old Speckled Hen is a Pale Ale which owes it’s distinctive character and dry taste to a unique strain of yeast first used in 1896.  The complex flavour reflects skills developed across more than 280 years of independent brewing history.


The Brewski Review:  Here is an interesting, yet unqualified factoid I heard the other day: President Obama’s popularity has been declining due to FOX News’ use of attractive women commentators.  I found this comment to be rather interesting.  Now, I’m not sure if the gentleman who made the statement actually believed  what he said or if he was searching for any ammunition he could fire in a conversation he was quickly loosing regarding the correlation of the rise of FOX News and the freefall of the President’s popularity.  FOX News, as you may know, has been trouncing all the other news media outlets of late.  I have watched FOX News and yes, there are attractive women commentators on the show.  I will also agree that guys are visual creatures and wanting to watch attractive women wouldn’t be a big stretch.  But, a guy being swayed to switch his political affiliation while watching and listening to attractive women IS a stretch.  Either he’s of weak constitution or the women are VERY convincing.  That said, I do see a correlation: there is a rising discontent to what’s been happening in the country lately and those concerned individuals would rather opt to gather information from an outlet that doesn’t lean to the left.  FOX News isn’t accelerating the President’s popularity slide.  That blame rests squarely on the President and those decision makers he elected to surround himself with.  Speaking of FOX, the mascot for Moreland’s Old Speckled Hen is in fact a fox.  Their ads promo a fox in search of the ‘Hen’.  Ironic isn’t it.  I thought so.  Overall, the beer was average.  Poured with a nice head and maintained a nice amber color.  Taste was mildly bitter but not too much.  The ‘Hen’ didn’t grab my taste buds and surely didn’t leave them screaming for more.   

Drinkability: Offered a choice, I’d probably try something else.
Appearance: Medium amber in color.
The Buds:  Crisp taste with medium bitterness.
TBR Cap Rating:  3.5 out of 5 caps.

December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas From the Brewski Family. 12.25.09

Santa Has Been Good To Me This Year!

Santa Has Been Good To Me This Year!

The Brewski Report Files One For The Family Christmas
File Date: 12.25.09

File Name:  Santa Knows That I’ve Been A Good Boy.

The Brewski Report:  Santa went out of his way this year to bring me a VERY handy 12 pack carrying case filled with an assortment of beverages.  If you have the means I suggest you purchase one of these convenient totes.  They’re made by Stanley and I’m sure I’ll get my fair share of use from it.  What really makes me wonder is how he knows I like beer? 

Tommy Brewski and the family wishes everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

December 23, 2009

Fuller’s London Pride English Pale Ale Review 12.23.09

Fuller, Smith & Turner's London Pride English Pale Ale.

Fuller, Smith & Turner's London Pride English Pale Ale.

The Brewski Report Reviews Fuller’s London Pride English Pale Ale and My Pumpkin Problems.
File Date: 12.23.09

File Name:  Roadside Litter Has It’s Place.
The Beer: London Pride
Type: English Pale Ale
Serving: Bottle
Stats: 4.7% ABV
Brewer: Fuller, Smith & Turner P.L.C.
Country of Origin: UK (England)
Brewer Info: London’s only remaining traditional family brewer. Based at the historic Griffin Brewery in Chiswick, between the serenity of the River Thames and the hustle and bustle of the Hogarth Roundabout, Fuller’s has been brewing quality beers and running excellent pubs since 1845.  At the heart of everything we do, you will find quality, service and pride – in equal measure. We aim to brew the best beers and run the best pubs. Our beers are brewed to the highest standards and have won a myriad of global awards. From our flagship London Pride to the exclusive Vintage Ale, they are crafted with pride and passion. We have an estate of over 360 pubs across the South of England offering outstanding cask conditioned ales, delicious food, great wines and exemplary service.  If you are looking for quality, service and pride – or just the best pint in the best pub – you have come to the right place.tbr-fullers-cartouche

Brewer Brand Hype: Fuller’s London Pride is the UK’s leading premium ale. Known and loved for its distinctive, rounded flavour, London Pride is the award-winning beer for which Fuller’s is most famous. In recent years its popularity has grown to the extent that it is now Britain’s leading premium ale: a welcome fixture in many pubs and off licences around the country, and now winning new friends abroad.  To the beer afficiando looking for the classic English pint, we say this: Whatever you do, take Pride.

Label: Fuller’s London Pride is an award-winning English classic pale ale, rich and smooth, with a good malty base and well-developed hop notes in the finish.  The Griffin Brewery in Chiswick, London, has been brewing fine ales since 1654.  The Fuller, Smith & Turner partnership, dating back to 1845, brews an excellent range of award-winning ales, many of which are available in the USA, including London Pride pale ale and the world’s original ESB.  I hope you will enjoy trying all our fine ales. 

The Brewski Review: I have a Halloween mat at my front doorstep and pumpkins on the porch.  Oh, and the Christmas decorations are now up.  Great combo huh?  On the way out the door to work the other day I took action.  Since my wonderful city solid waste department won’t pick them up that didn’t leave me with many options.  So I decided to do a little punkin’ chunkin’.  Not the trebuchet variety.  But a drive down a rural road and a quick heave-ho out the window (we’re not talking huge pumkins here).  I figure the best place for them to rot would be in a field.  Some may disagree with me and that’s okay – the world needs nay-sayers too – but my position is that they’d decay much quicker on the side of the road than in a landfill.  Now, I am a staunch supporter of litter laws but I do bend them on occasion.  I limit my road trash to apple cores and bannana peels – quick biodegradable items.  I burst a blood vessel in my forehead everytime I see someone throw a cig butt out the window or a fistfull of fast food wrappers.  Pop cans?  I’m on the fence.  These may get picked up and recycled faster on the side of the road than in a landfill but I generally don’t do this (I don’t usually drink soda anyhow).  All said, let me set the record straight – I’M NO GREEN FREAK.  I don’t track my carbon footprint.  I recycle because I think it’s the right thing to do and if it saves me money…it has my support.  The climate change theory is an amped up hoax that will create excessive taxes and eliminate thousands of jobs in this country.  Cap and Trade will be the G-man’s tour de force for generating money and controlling business.  But, back to business….Fuller, Smith & Turner sounds more akin to a law firm than a brewery but a brewery it is.  The London Pride pale ale is a decent beverage.  As with most English pale ales this one was mildly bitter but that in itself is one of the reasons you drink pale ale.  Anyway, this one was an enjoyable drink.  Try one yourself.

Drinkability:  Would drink another.
Appearance: Medium amber in color.
The Buds: Crisp taste with medium bitterness.
TBR Cap Rating: 4.25 caps out of 5.

December 7, 2009

Brooklyn Brewery’s Winter Ale Beer Review 12.6.09

Brooklyn Brewery's Winter Ale In Hand

Brooklyn Brewery's Winter Ale In Hand

The Brewski Report reviews Brooklyn Brewery’s Winter Ale And The Local Deer Cuisine.
File Date: 12.06.09

File Name: Police Arrest Crazed Drunk Man In His Front Yard.
The Beer:  Winter Ale
Type: Scottish Ale
Serving: Bottle
Stats: 6.0% ABV
Brewer: Brooklyn Brewery
Country (State) of Origin: NY, USA
Brewer Info: Brooklyn Brewery was started in 1987 by former Associated Press correspondent Steve Hindy and former Chemical Bank lending officer Tom Potter. Hindy learned to brew beer during a six year stay in various Middle Eastern nations such as Saudi Arabia and Syria, where possession and consumption of alcoholic beverages were forbidden. Upon his return to his home in Brooklyn in 1984, he and Potter, his downstairs neighbor, quit their jobs and founded the brewery.  Originally all their beer was brewed by contract by Matt Brewing Company, and the pair started their own distribution company and personally transported and marketed their beer to bars and retailers around New York City. Later, they acquired a former matzo ball factory in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and converted it into a functional brewery. Although the brewery is looking to expand its brewing capacity in the City, at present most of the production, including all Brooklyn Lager and all bottled products, are brewed by contract in the upstate New York city of Utica, due to the limited ability to meet demand at the Williamsburg brewery, its lack of a bottling line, and the cost benefits of contract brewing.

bb-logo-revBrewer Brand Hype: When the days grow short and the beach recedes into our dreams, we need a very nice beer to get us through the long winter.  Based on the satisfying malty ales of blustery Scotland, Brooklyn Winter Ale will have you looking on the bright side of things.  Rich Scottish malts bring deep bready flavors to a beer with a full copper color, a round, smooth palete and brisk hopping that pulls the sweet malt into balance.  See – things are looking up already.

Label: We brew Brooklyn Winter Ale from heirloom Maris Otter malts to create a beer with roots in blustery Scotland.  Brooklyn Winter Ale is richly malty, aromatic, full-bodied and perfect with stews, roasts and holiday dishes.

The Brewski Review:  What you may notice about this post is the lack of my ubiquitous bottle and glass photo at the top of the post.  I had just come back from the store to purchase deer netting and this bottle fell out of the back of my aging, large carbon footprint SUV.  Amazingly, the bottle didn’t break.  But, the cap became damaged and it started to spew it’s contents all over my frozen driveway.  I went inside to get a bottle opener where I told my wife what had happened.  She immediately thought it was some lame excuse to have a beer.  ‘No.  Really.’ I told here.  I’m not sure if she believed me or not but I drank it nonetheless.  I did this outdoors in the cold, blustery winter while I wrapped a few arborvitae around my house.  It did a nice job keeping my warm while I looked like a complete fool trying to unwrap the nearly invisible deer netting.  We had a record snowfall last winter and my normally safe trees in my backyard were attacked by throngs of deer who had to forage for new feeding grounds.  Take a look at what was once full, bushy trees.  This year, I thought, the deer will have to work for their grub.  No freebie meals on my dime.  Maybe I’ll ask Santa to bring me a high powered paint gun for Christmas.  Bonus: I could use it to track the coons who have the unnatural ability to open the same garbage cans I have a problem with when I use both my opposing thumbs. 

Deer Food In My Backyard

Deer Food In My Backyard

Drinkability:  Goes down nicely on a cold winter day.
Appearance: Couldn’t tell on this one. Straight from the bottle to my mouth.
The Buds:  Good.  Smooth, mild taste. 
TBR Cap Rating: 4.0 caps out of 5.

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