Is this the final nail?

headbeerhead Beer, News, Opinion 4 Comments

I read, with a shudder, the news story from the Morning Advertiser‘s website that a Morrisons supermarket in Guiseley, West Yorkshire, has just installed a bar serving draught cask and craft beers. I have long since said that the only advantage that pubs have over supermarkets is that they sell draught beer and that the only reason that supermarkets don’t is that nobody has yet thought about it. Sadly, this is no longer the case. Supermarkets have a lot to answer for. They have all but destroyed the high street, closing local independent businesses such as butchers and green grocers and decimating traditional market stalls across the country. They happily sell absurdly cheap alcohol which is then drunk at home, on the street, or by pre-loaders before their visits to the pubs and clubs, but do not have to deal …

American bar at GBBF

GBBF should change.

headbeerhead Beer, Festivals Leave a Comment

Well, the curtain closes on another hugely successful Great British Beer Festival, which ended yesterday. But whilst I enjoyed it and think it’s an incredibly well-run event and one that CAMRA should justifiably be proud of, I can’t help thinking that it’s not what it should be. Sure, there were 900-odd beers showcased. Sure, the beer (certainly the ones I sampled) was in top nick, but there is something big missing. GBBF, as CAMRA’s showcase event, should be highlighting the very best of the British beer industry. They should be presenting the pioneering breweries that are producing fantastic beers using cutting-edge techniques to brew exciting and innovative, world-class beers.  These breweries were almost totally absent (with less than a handful of exceptions – Tiny Rebel and Vocation to name a couple) and the beer choice was, in the main (and …

Brewtopia guys

BeerHeadZ meets Brewtopia.

headbeerhead Beer, Festivals, News Leave a Comment

At this week’s BeerHeadZ research (yes, honest!) trip to the excellently organised Leicester CAMRA beer festival, BeerHead Phil ran into old acquaintance Owen Ogletree, renowned American beer blogger, BJCP beer judge and founder of both the Brewtopia website and Classic City Brew Fest which is held in Athens, Georgia, USA. When he’s not drinking, judging or writing about beer, Owen still finds time to organise beer tours around Europe for like-minded folk, taking in some of the best beer destinations in the world. It was on his latest organised jaunt to the UK that I bumped into him again with three of his colleagues – Mark Hall, Ian Meents and Daniel Pittard. These guys are serious drinking machines! It was their second visit to the festival in as many days and they were sharing and ticking off beers from the …

Beer engines

How much would you pay to keep cask alive?

headbeerhead Beer, News, Pubs Leave a Comment

There has been much comment on the recent announcement by Cloudwater that they are discontinuing cask beer, due to economics of the business and the fact that cask just isn’t kept well in general. A couple of days after Cloudwater’s post, Beer Nouveau gave a very honest response on their blog about the relative costs of producing cask, KeyKeg and bottled beers. It all makes grim reading if you’re a cask beer fan. Whilst I don’t agree with everything in either post, I don’t feel qualified enough to argue against individual points. It is quite evident though, that cask beer has been far too cheap for far too long and if you, the consumer don’t accept higher prices for it, cask may all but disappear over the next few years. It’s a difficult situation for pubs too. If we pass …

Craft beer at BeerHeadZ

Countdown to Craft Beer Launch at BeerHeadZ Retford.

headbeerhead Announcements, Beer, News 1 Comment

BeerHeadZ Retford is doing its bit to help this November 5th go off with a bang as we launch our much-requested craft beer offering on the bar. We have installed four KeyKeg lines and lined up for you on this coming Saturday will be: Beavertown – Gamma Ray 5.4% Described on their website as ‘A brew you can sit on and drink all day, rammed with juicy malts and huge tropical aromas of mango and grapefruit. Massive additions of whole leaf American hops are added in ever increasing numbers at the end of the boil giving huge hop flavour. The beer is then dry hopped for days, driving the punchy aromas so you can smell it from miles away!’ Brewed by Numbers – 11 | 18 3.7% A highly-drinkable session IPA. American classic Chinook hop brings its distinctive oily, bitter, …

Next Stop Hop City Beerfest II

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This weekend sees our second ‘Next Stop Hop City’ beer fest at BeerHeadZ Retford, which compliments the Retford Beer Festival which runs Fri 7th – Sun 9th October. BeerHeadZ Retford will be featuring, over the weekend: Atom (Hull: 2013) – Singularity 3.5% The Atom twist on a mild: Big chunky body, and infused with oak smoked wheat and vanilla, aged on oak. Tons of flavour in a small package. BlackJack (Manchester: 2012) – Shuffled Deck 3.9% Golden/Blond Ale. Aromas of citrus, light floral hops. Taste is light bitter, faint malt. Bitter finish. By the Horns (Merton: 2011) – Hop Air Balloon 4.2% Aroma and taste combines sweet bready malts, light citrus accents of lemon, straw, some grassy and floral hoppy action. By the Horns (Merton: 2011) – Stiff Upper Lip 3.8% A well-balanced mellow malt gives the beer a clear …