Thursday, 16 April 2015

Beer Review (and Random Thoughts): Waggle Dance from Wells


Oh ye Mighty Gods of Malty Fermentation! Why hast thou abandoned me!!! It truly was a week of bad beer. And as I said on Monday rather than NOT posting reviews this week I have decided that I am going to give honest reviews about bad beer. For Science!  

Share It!

Oh noes! I just totally realised that I probably chose the wrong beer for the mid-week special because I have just remembered that I had a quirky little brew on Saturday that maybe was not the greatest thing ever but was sure a bit different!   

This is Waggle Dance from Charles Wells (or Youngs or Wells and Youngs or whateverthefuck they call themselves now. See more on this at the end of the post.)

 Quirky and special because it is a beer brewed with honey. 

 It isn't mead. It isn't a honey fermentation. It is beer that, like many other beers incorporate fruit or other strange flavourings, is flavoured with honey. And you can kind of tell from the bubbles in the bottle and the sort of silky foamy head in the glass that is has a bit of body to it which is caused by the honey in it. Very interesting.

 And you can taste the honey as well. As you would imagine this is a sweetish beer but it has a mild flavour. The honey isn't a strong flavour it is just sort of there as something your taste buds sort of navigate without really figuring out what it is until after a few swigs. Like if you sat me down in front of this and didn't tell me what it was or what was in it I would  not have said right away after the first taste  "oh! There is totally honey in here!"

 Anyways it was something new to try. Probably wouldn't have it again. In fact I would probably go for the 6X if those were the only choices. I can see how people with a different taste in beer would go for this.

 Also don't take its Thursday appearance as being indicative of BotW runner up status. I don't think we really have a runner up this week. At the end of the day every turd in a box of turds is still just a turd.

 Macro vs Micro and the Future of Beer

Charles Wells is another example of what I call a macro-brew. This is the sort of brewery that you see real ales from in bottles in the big supermarkets. Many also own pubs and pub real estate which they lease and where the leasee must sell their beer on tap.  

This is a contentious subject in the UK. It has a huge sad history behind it if you care to do some research,  pubco or brewery pub is what you are looking for. Not to be confused with a BREW PUB which is totally different. I might write more about that some other time.

 CW are a sort of conglomerate of several breweries where those names and brands have been retained because people like familiar things. If you have ever had McEwans or Courage beers those are now all made by CW. They actually even make Estrella. 

Yup. Sorry about that. Your fancy fucking Spanish tapas beer is made in England. Like there are tons of beers that you would not even suspect would be made all by the same company.

This doesn't make their beers bad. I have had some VERY good beers from CW brands and lately they have, like many other macros getting on the micro bandwagon, started doing more craft type stuff. Only it's on a macro scale. You might remember the DNA I posted about a while ago. That is a CW collaboration with an American craft brewery.

 I don't think this is unusual. I know in the US where there is a bigger "craft" sort of culture, big breweries like Anhauser Bush buy up micros and keep the branding and the brewer sort of keeps a bit of autonomy. I don't know if this is a good thing. It seems like it would stifle good competition and innovation.

 What do you think? Tell me on twitter: @even_star

I am even-star and this is The Review in Beer. I post craft beer reviews usually five days a week. Be sure to check in on Fridays when I reveal the BEER. OF THE. WEEK.

Check out my pottery animals and cross stitch charts at Hancock's House of Happy