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BEER NEWS - October 2009

Say hello to Roger!

   Our very own and devilishly handsome Roger Protz (shurely shome mishtake? - Ed) will be talking about his new book, A Life on the Hop, at 6.30pm on 15 October at Booksmarks, 1 Bloomsbury Street, London WC1. Enty ro the talk is free, and, would you believe it, a glass or two of beer will be provided. Roger's journey into beer started outside a pub in east London, nursing a ginger beer while his father and uncle enjoyed pints inside. The young Mr Protz observed: 'As customers arrived and left, I would glimpse through the briefly open doors the secret, all-male world of the pub. These were utilitarian times. There were few creature comforts. The customers stood and drank. The floor was composed of bare boards and the air was wreathed in cigarette smoke. But I could hear laughter and conversation. It was a world I wanted to join.' Do pop along on the 15th to hear more, straight from the Protz's mouth.

15th October, 6:30, 1 Bloomsbury St, London WC1

Fuller's pieces of eight

Congratulation's to Fuller's which has announced that it has been awarded a record eight medals at this year's International Beer Challenge (IBC) competition, more than any other UK brewer. The haul includes a gold medal for Golden Pride, and medals for Discovery, ESB, London Porter, Gales HSB, London Pride, 1845 and
Organic Honey Dew. John Roberts, managing director of The Fuller's Beer Company, said; "The IBC is the world's largest packaged beer competition and I'm delighted that so many of our terrific bottled ales have been recognised in this way. 2009 has been a great year so far for us, and we are extremely proud to have such a fine range of award winning brands."

Two-thirds? Women say yes!

   "Introduction of new pint measure will appeal to women and help increase sales of beer in the UK," says Kristy McCready of the BitterSweet Partnership. News of government plans to introduce the two-third pint measure has been welcomed by BitterSweet,, the business set up by Molson Coors to change the image of beer among women in the UK. The proposal for the new imperial glass size aims to offer more choice for consumers and the pub trade in serving draught beer.
Kristy McCready went on to say, "We hope the new pint measures are approved. For a long time the industry has ignored women, but the new two-third pint measure is definitely a step in the right direction. "Currently women account for just 13% of beer sales in the UK, significantly lower than in the US and other European countries, but providing more choice in UK pubs and bars should help redress this. Research tells us that a quarter of them would consider beer if the glassware was changed. But it's not just the size of pints that puts women off, it's the whole design. As well as new measures we'd like to see manufacturers starting to take cue from the Continent, where different shaped glasses are used to serve beer. Interesting to know that, while many women don't like to drink beer in the UK, a fifth do opt for beer on holiday."

BrewDog's new beer - 1.1% Nanny State

It's time for the monthly BrewDog story (do those boys do good PR or what?). But who can ignore the launch of a 1.1% beer called Nanny State, brewed in direct response to the outcry caused last month after launching Tokyo*, the UK's strongest beer at 18.2% ABV. The brewery has come under fire from Members of the Scottish Parliament and the Portman Group - who have both commenced official movements to ban the sale of Tokyo* in the UK. Through Nanny State, the founders of BrewDog, James Watt and Martin Dickie say they "want to prove we're committed to making the highest quality hand crafted ales full of flavour with
contemporary innovative twists - no matter what the ABV." Nanny State is mild imperial ale containing more hops per barrel than any other beer ever brewed in the UK. "It is an extraordinary little ale jammed full of all the brewer's favorite hops giving it as much body and mouthy feel as possible, ensuring that low strength does not translate into reduced flavour," say BrewDog.

Sainsbury's Beery Winners

   Last month we filed a little tasting report on many of the beers that made it into the finals of the Sainsbury's Beer Competition 2009. Now, Sainsbury's have announced that Bath Ales and Hambleton Ales have scooped the top prize, which guarantees them a six month listing in Sainsbury's stores. Golden Hare from Bath Ales in Bristol is 4.4%ABV and is described as "Bursting with flavour, smooth yet dry, wonderfully fresh and delightfully zesty". Taylor's Tipple from Hambleton Ales in North Yorkshire is 4.5%ABV and is described as "A chestnut malty ale with uplifting citrus
and berry aroma". The 2009 Sainsbury's Beer Competition which is in its second year, was launched in November 2008 and attracted an exceptional 115 entries from 57 brewers. The Preliminary Judging was held in April 2009 and the 115 beers were whittled down to the Final 15. The Finalists were on sale in over 400 Sainsbury's Stores across the Country for a three week period during August and September. Each Finalist received a guaranteed order of 40,000 bottles from Sainsbury's. The two Winners were decided by Sainsbury's customers in store and the two beers which sold out the fastest won

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