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The Party Seven's Over

My first ‘proper’ encounter with beer was getting blotto on Worthington E with my friends in our local ‘schoolboy friendly’ hostelry some 35 years ago. While this particular brew and other contemporaries have long since disappeared from my consciousness, they must still hold a place in some people’s hearts.

We regularly check our website’s ‘Search’ facility to see which beers our customers are looking for. We obviously get a huge amount of interest in the best sellers e.g. Salopian Brewery, Cheddar Ales and George Wright, but now and again we get people looking for some real old school classics.

In addition to searches for ‘Worthys’, people have been looking to buy Breaker Malt Liquor, Ind Coope’s Long Life and Colt 45 from our site. I’m not quite sure about the motivation of buying beer that was popular when David Cameron was in short trousers, but I guess in some parallel universe, they are planning one hell of a party with lashings of Cherry B for the ladies and wall to wall Twiglets.

While our stocks of these beers are obviously non-existent, I will need to seek advice from my elders so I can redirect our customers to a modern day equivalent, if indeed there is a modern day equivalent for a Watney’s Party 7 !

Cupid's bow or poisoned arrow?

I hope my wife doesn’t read this as I’m not sure she is exempt from criticism, but speaking as a bloke who has received a fair number of Valentines gifts over the years*, I feel I must complain about the overall standard of tokens of affection I’ve been given. At this point I should make it clear that I’ve never been a huge fan of ‘expected spontaneity’ and I usually don’t bother with such things, indeed, I consider myself an incurable romantic 24/7.

I’ve lost count of the pairs of humorous boxer shorts; cufflinks engraved with supposedly important messages and monogramed socks that I’ve unwrapped with trepidation on February 14th. You would have thought that I had perfected my ‘Aah that’s great – thanks ever so much’ look that my partner’s heart would melt. While I may do a passable impression on the outside, inside I’m thinking ‘Oh for goodness sake, couldn’t you have just got me some beer?

So on behalf of the male population of this country, can I please appeal to their wives, girlfriends, fiancés, lovers or sweethearts to visit our website and get them something they will be genuinely glad to receive – the finest British beer in bottles. 

A glass above the rest

Having just got back from a City Break in Budapest, I feel a little bit cheated about my overall experience. Don’t get me wrong, the Hungarian capital ticks loads of boxes –

I)                    Authentic foreign language that you cannot make head nor tail of – TICK

II)                  Great sounding Police cars with a real foreign nee nah sound – TICK

III)                Mad local soups served in huge bread roll bowls - TICK

IV)               Geo-thermal swimming baths with the obligatory large hairy chaps – TICK

V)                 Complicated public transport system with pre cold war trams - TICK

But when it came to reviewing the standard of beers and breweries -

I)                    A fantastic selection of local bottled beers with branded glassware – NO CHANCE

While it may be a little unfair to compare Budapest with other popular European destinations, the local brewing industry cannot hold a candle to the likes of Amsterdam, Prague and Berlin. We did manage to find a couple of decent bars in Hungary and it was no surprise to us that they were serving imported beers such as Kwak and Delirium from Belgium and Germany’s DAB. Not only are these brews far superior to the standard European fayre on offer, but the exquisite shape and styling of the glassware enhances both the appearance and taste of the product.

We looked at a whole variety of different shaped glasses for Best of British Beer before deciding on our current style. Unlike standard pub glasses, we chose a model that holds just under a pint, giving you the chance to pour most of the beer, take your first sip, then top it up again – hey presto a magic pint ! As a number of our beers are bottle conditioned, our glasses will also help you retain the fine sediment as opposed to pouring it into your ale.

While some traditionalists will maintain that beer should be served in a tankard, or a glass with a handle, we think our glasses are very tactile and show more than a touch of class, thus appealing to our ever growing number of female drinkers. We’re offering a FREE Best of British Beer glass with every case of our Award Winners beers until the end of January.

The Bitter End?

Despite the drop in temperature over the last few days, we still seem to have a huge amount of slugs in our garden – easily enough for a large family of hungry hedgehogs to consider it an ‘all you can eat buffet’. While our closest relatives in the animal kingdom might be chimpanzees, we do share a few traits with the common or garden slug; one of these is a fondness for a glass of beer.

At Best of British Beer, we are always keen to promote responsible drinking; however we don’t extend this advice to gastropods and we’re glad their liking for a beer can get them into a lot of trouble. The beer trap has to be the simplest way of keeping the slimy characters off your cabbages. To make your own Slug Pub, simply bury a glass jar in the soil and half fill it with beer. The slugs will sniff the brew, slither over to it and plop into the liquid, never to be seen again. At least they will die happy !

Inspired by a recent conversation with Kieran, our chemistry graduate Warehouse Manager, I thought I would try a little experiment with a few bottled beers.  I didn’t really associate slugs with having a sense of taste, so I wasn’t sure if giving them a choice of beers in which to meet their maker was worthwhile. In Jar A I poured half a pint of a well-known refreshing Dutch lager. To Jar B I added a generous measure of cheap, mass produced no nonsense bitter. As I was drinking my new favourite bottled beer, Cleric’s Cure from The 3 Tuns Brewery in Shropshire, I decided to spare a (very) small amount for Jar C.

I declared my Slug Pubs open before retiring to the lounge with what was left of my Cleric’s Cure to let nature take its course overnight. In the morning I checked to see which beer had been the most popular amongst our slimy clientele and to see if I could apply for a grant for further chemical research. The scores were 5 for the foreign lager, 2 for the pasteurised bitter and not a single visitor to my real ale pub. My conclusion therefore is that while slugs have not woken up to the quality of British beer, foreign mass produced lager does indeed refresh the pests other beers cannot reach.