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.


BLOG

How a visit to the dentist helped Muthar Kent get ahead in business

Want to know how to make it to the top of the beverage business? According to Muhtar Kent, it's all about the networking....

BLOG

What's on offer in the UK off-trade?

A red sticker to a shopper is like a red rag to a bull. And as the masses charge at the deals, UK off licences and supermarkets are finding new and novel ways to entice the herd. ...

BLOG

Hennessy's time capsule is for the ages

To celebrate its 250th anniversary, Cognac brand Hennessy is trumpeting a virtual time capsule, making a parallel between it and a barrel of Cognac....

BLOG

Monster Beverage Corp backs the right horse

Rarely do sponsorship deals pay off so quickly. ...

just-drinks homepage



Forgot your password?