Blog: Barley wine... is it fine?
James Wilmore | 8 August 2012
Barley wine. I have to admit, it's a beer style I'm not that familiar with, despite originating from the ancient Greeks, but yesterday in London I got the chance to sup a sample. It wasn't just any old barley wine though. It was the Campaign for Real Ale's (CAMRA) newly-crowned Champion Beer of Britain 2012.
The brew in question was 'No.9 Barley Wine', from Cumbria-based brewery Coniston. Coming in at an abv of 8.5%, which is actually on the weaker side for this style, a third of a pint was plenty. The judges at the Great British Beer Festival said it was "reminiscent of a fine Cognac". It was certainly full-bodied, but perhaps a bit on the sweet side for me.
It was also CAMRA's Champion Winter Beer of Britain, which perhaps tells its own story.
Who knows, it may spark a resurgence in barley wines? Or, it may not.
But, in this Olympic year, it's fitting that CAMRA has again chosen a non-mainstream English beer style as its champion. Perhaps, it's also a two-fingered salute to the mass-produced brews the organisation rails against.
After all, we here in the UK love an underdog.
Here's a round-up of the top stories on just-drinks last week, featuring Pernod Ricard, soft drinks NPD, the Champagne category and international beer brands....
Heavy metal legend Bruce Dickinson - lead singer of the band Iron Maiden, for the unitiated - is clearly a man not afraid to get his hands dirty. ...
The homebrewing revival continues in the UK - and evidence has come that even the supermarket chains are taking it semi-seriously. ...
Does Pernod Ricard have something to hide? In a press conference after the release of full-year results today, only a quarter of the 100 minutes were given over to questions from journalists....
- Allegro: The shape of things to come at Pernod?
- Pernod Ricard's Allegro cost-saving programme
- Comment - Diageo's Distill Ventures: One Year On
- The End of the Road for International Beer Brands?
- Pernod Ricard's FY Performance by Region, Brand
- Pernod Ricard set for CMO switch
- ASA bans Jägermeister TV ad
- Wine Australia reports death of UK, Europe boss
- Pernod bemoans tough FY as sales, profits drop
- Diageo takes Haig Club to Singapore airport