An artisanally crafted blog curated by Cooking Lager for discerning readers of beer bloggery

Friday, 27 August 2010


More free beer. Wayhay! Beer blogging is great. Lovely nice people sending you free beer. I salute you Stuart Howe, Head Brewer at Sharps Brewery for being the gentleman and scholar you quite obviously are. The giving of free beer is the very gift of life. Is there a finer thing you can possibly do than give a poor cheap lout drinker some free grog to neck? I suspect not.

As you can see from the picture, some nice grog and some interesting bottles with yellow labels on. This promised to be a recreation and taste of the legendary cooking lager that is Hofmeister, a dead cooking lager killed off in 2003, see here. I’m ashamed to say I have never drunk Hofmeister. Us kids never had the pleasure of tasting the finer beers of days of yore, showing the dangers of not having a CAMRA equivalent for cooking lager enthusiasts, and the need to protect and treasure the cooking lagers we have now, like Foster’s & Carling.

I chilled the beer for 24 hours and for a whole day was eager with anticipation at trying some cooking lager history. I opened the bottle. It smelled sweet. I’m sure I detected a slight hint of red wine. Only slight. Maybe I didn’t. It poured out with a fizz, no froth. A slight haze. Ah, bottle conditioning. I should have left it for a few days. Still, grog is grog, not going to let that stop me. Time for a swig.

Stuart had warned me of the following

I hope you enjoy it (apart from the Hoff which is truly pisswater of highest order)”

Was he correct? He knows his stuff, does Stuart. Absolute watery piss. Slight taste of beer, but mainly water. Superb cooking lager of the highest order. I commend it. I liked it so much I drank the second bottle, hazy or not.

A fine example of bringing back to life something that never ought to have been lost. If I had a brewery I’d do the same. Bring back all those beers that died a death, presumably because people didn’t like them much. Red Barrel, Double Diamond, Colt 45. All the stuff I never got to try. I’d probably go bust mind. There is presumably a reason why brands die, so whether there is a market is debatable.

However I applaud Stuart Howe & Sharps brewery for services to cooking lager in recreating a fine drop of lout. Well done Sir.

Wednesday, 25 August 2010


Been away for a while getting a bit of sun, lager and dare I say it a bit of how’s your father (with the lovely squeeze) on a combination of travels, business & pleasure. There is something satisfying about returning to Blighty and finding that it is raining cats and dogs. Satisfying in the type of way that makes we want to do 180 degrees, head back into the airport and ask “any cheap flights to somewhere nice?” However I’m stony broke till pay day, so back to work.

I'll be a tart and direct you to my guest blog on the Badger site, which I discovered on my return.

Upon my return I put the obligatory bag of foreign sweets in the office for colleagues (a whopping 1.99 Euros) to find myself shamed. Another returning colleague had put a can of lovely lager on my desk from China, alongside expensive quality chocolates for the office. Knowing my love of the lout, he’d brought me back a present. Top stuff.

Tsingtao. China’s well known Trademark beer brand Est. 1903. Finest quality hops and barley malted (I’m reading the can) to produce an award winning beer. No indication of ABV, as that was the only English writing. The rest was Chinese script, barring a logo for the American NBA, baseball league. It was mentioned by another colleague that the beer is available in Chinese restaurants up and down the land, but I didn’t let that spoil my enjoyment of a genuine exotic can of lout brought over from China by a work mate I now quite like (at least more than before). The beer? Light, slightly sweet, low on hops. Lovely. Tasteless but lovely because tasteless is lovely. Ideal with a bag of prawn crackers.

Proof if ever it were needed that lout is universal. The world loves and appreciates high quality cheap lager. I would go as far to say that cheap lager is a feature of humanity that brings people of different race, religion & language together. When you know your fellow man likes a drop of cheap lout you cannot see that man as an enemy. You can recognise a feature of their culture that is worthy of admiration and respect. Your fellow man becomes brothers in the love of cheap lager, and world peace becomes inevitable. There can never be conflict between nations with a love of cheap lager. I’m guessing this lout might be stronger than it tastes. Pity I only had the one.

Tuesday, 10 August 2010


Beer blogging is a competition, and it’s time to up the stakes and take it seriously. Time to write a world beating blog post that wins guild awards. Here goes. I got given some nice beer. I necked it. It was very nice. Jobs a good ‘un.

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Celilidh lager. Top Lout.

A whole week and not a drop of cheap cooking lager has passed my lips. A whole week of fine craft beer. In some ways I feel like a traitor to the cause of cheap lager. I see stuff like this on the internet and realise that the cause of cheap lager is a noble one. In many ways there is no cause nobler. The right of free born Englishmen to drink lovely cheap lout is part of what it means to be English. For every commodity there are differing products and price positions. My perspective has never been that craft beer was a poor quality product, but that cheap lager was also a quality product with a more appealing price/value ratio.

When you see stuff like this on t’internet, you see that that defence of the cause of cheap lout must be every present. Can you see a company marketing fine wine taking the effort to slag off a £2.99 bottle of Bulgarian plonk? Or would it more likely spend its marketing effort extolling the virtues of its own product with the view of making a £20 bottle of plonk appear a sophisticated and desirable product?

Luckily not all brewers are Brewdog and another Scottish brewery appears to be taking a far more appealing approach to the marketing of their quality offer. Namely handing out free grog to the likes of me. The lovely chaps at Williams Bros brewing are the nice people who have distracted me from lovely cheap lout. They sent me a box of grog to go at, and go at it I did.

The Celilidh lager (how the hell you pronounce that I don’t know) combines Czech hop, Belgian malt, German yeast & Scottish water to brew a delicious palatable and wonderfully neck able bottle of lout. Top stuff. I had 2 bottles to go at and they slipped down like a dream. Delicious lagery goodness. It has a crisp citrusy quality, light on the hops with a dominate malt sweetness. Not bad at all. 4.7% and hit the spot. A quality lout.

Lager truly is the ambrosia of the Gods, and it would appear our Scottish cousins know how to make a decent one.

I like the fact that many of these craft micro brewers make a decent lout. It provides a stepping stone to get people off the pongy ale and on to decent cheap fizzy cooking lager. Many beer geeks cannot make the transition to cheap cooking lager in one swift move. A stepping stone is the ideal route. Well done fellas and nice grog.