As I became established as a beer blogger my name moved up the list of respected industry commentators (if there is such a thing) and I started receiving occasional goodies through the post. Usually breweries with a new beer seeking a shout-out to a targeted audience. I always tried to share my opinions on-line - particularly if I liked the beer or its presentation. I would always try to share my opinion with the brewery if I did not. As my blogging lapsed my name quickly dropped off the lists - as new bloggers came on the scene and after all it is expensive to mail out beer samples if all you are going to see is a couple of 140 character tweets to a couple of thousand maximum audience which was all I could really offer.
Now my blogging mojo is back, hopefully I can share my opinion on new beers as and when they cross my path.
Windsor & Eton Brewery and Shepherd Neame have stayed loyal to me and continue to send me great beers.
One favourite from last year was from "son of" Windsor & Eton that is Uprising Brewery set up by Kieran Johnson (son of W&E Paddy). Kieran, who works at W&E, showing the spontaneity of youth, wanted to push the boundaries of brewing, and has been given the opportunity by the oldies at W&E to set up another brewery brand and spend a few hours of his week coming up with something a little more edgy and different to the core Windsor beers.
The first beer, Treason, a 5/8% West Coast IPA, landed on my doorstep with no elaborate packaging at all, simply a plastic bottle of decanted keg beer, mailed out in the usual cardboard tube.
However once opened and poured into a pint glass, after savouring the powerful aroma of tropical fruits, it really did not touch the sides. It was one of the most memorable beers of last year. Mighty tasty !
I was fortunate enough to bump into Kieran at the recent London Brewers Market at Spitalfields and it was good to see that Treason was still being brewed and that it was just as enjoyable as that first plastic bottle. I believe it is now packaged in bottle and keg.
There are exciting things in store for Uprising Brewery, a summer offering coming soon and some exciting plans for an unbelievable Christmas trial (honestly, as "edgy" as craft beer can get) which I am very much looking forward to. Hopefully more soon !