Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Two old beer stories

1) That 1998 Thomas Hardy Ale in my cellar is positively green compared to this stuff.

A century and a half ago, their dark-brown contents would have tasted something like a barley wine. Today, however, they have changed beyond recognition, entrancing beer lovers and biotechnologists alike.

A stash of ancient beer was recently found in a vault under the streets of Burton upon Trent. The bottles were cool and still had corks and wax seals in place. "It was always rumoured that there were some vintage beers on site, but uncovering such an interesting collection is fantastic," says Steve Wellington, head brewer of Worthington White Shield, of the find.

Read the entire article, including tasting notes, at

2) How Piast beer got its name, and what happened to the man who named it.

He was searching for anchovies.

A friend had told Jerry Rawicki about a market that carries dried, headless anchovies called sprats, a delicacy when he was a boy in prewar Poland.

But when he got to the market that day, Rawicki saw something that eclipsed even anchovies.

In a cooler beside the cash register, the retired optician spied a brown beer bottle that took him back 60 years.

He pulled one out. The oval label was red, rimmed in gold, just like he remembered. A man who looked like the king of spades was peering from a shield-shaped crest.

Rawicki, 79, bought four pints and hurried home.

Read the entire article at

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