Williams Bros Impale IPA

Not can conditioned
Williams Bros Impale IPA [baron rating 5/5] - 5.5% gold ale,orange lime pineapple smell,fruity sweet citrus bitter taste,clean bitter finish
Listen to what Chris and the Baron have to say about it

Subscribe in iTunes
Thank you to @WilliamsBrewery from Williams Bros. for sending this through for a 'baron rating'!

Buy Williams Bros ales direct

Adnams Ease Up IPA

Not bottle conditioned
Adnams Ease Up IPA [baron rating 5/5] - 4.6% copper ale,earthy biscuity tropical smell,grapefruit bitter taste,piney bittersweet finish

Duvel Tripel Hop Citra

Bottle conditioned with perfect carbonation
Duvel Tripel Hop Citra [baron rating 5/5] - 9.5% gold ale,yeasty green apple smell,aggressive grapefruit taste,grapefruit funky finish
Listen to what Chris and the Baron have to say about it

Subscribe in iTunes
Thank you to Emanuele from R&R Teamwork for sending this through for a baron rating!

Williams Bros Iconic

Not bottle conditioned
Williams Bros Iconic [baron rating 4/5] - 4.4% copper ale,biscuity peppery citrus smell,leafy bittersweet taste,bittersweet mid piney finish
Listen to what Chris and the Baron have to say about it

Subscribe in iTunes
Thank you to @WilliamsBrewery from Williams Bros. for sending this through for a 'baron rating'!

Buy Williams Bros ales direct

Looking forward to baron rating Duvel Tripel Hop Citra

Duvel's Tripel Hop is a very special beer, one that I seek out each year and try (they have experimented with different hops over the past few years). Last summer they put out a six pack of unlabelled Duvel Tripel Hops, asking for people to record what they thought and to feedback the results. The overall winner by quite a way was the 2012 version, using Citra hops. So they have rebrewed that version and made it a regular line-up in their beer portfolio.

It "trounced the four American and one Japanese candidates"
Duvel Moortgat Brewery

  • Duvel Tripel Hop Citra -9.5% Belguim beer super charged with Citra, an American hop from the Yakima Valley in Washington, used for its aromatic, grapefruit and tropical fruit notes
Thank you to Emanuele from R&R Teamwork for sending this through for a baron rating!

Twisted Barrel I Was Made For Lovin'

Bottle conditioned with perfect carbonation
Twisted Barrel I Was Made For Lovin' [baron rating 5/5] - 8% black ale,burnt choc smell,oily dark choc vanilla taste,dark choc bitter finish
Listen to what Chris and the Baron have to say about it

Subscribe in iTunes
Thank you to Twisted Barrel Ale (@TwistBarrelAle) for handing this over for a baron rating!

Buy Twisted Barrel Ale beers direct

Hardknott Rheged Fjall

Not bottle conditioned
Hardknott Rheged Fjall [baron rating 3/5] - 4.5% gold ale,sharp apple wood smoke smell,herbal very bitter taste,dry methol bitter finish
Listen to what Chris and the Baron have to say about it

Subscribe in iTunes
Thank you to Dave (@hardknottdave) from Hardknott Brewery for handing this over for a baron rating!

Buy Hardknott ales direct

Guinness Nitro IPA

Not can conditioned
Guinness Nitro IPA [baron rating 1/5] - 5.8% amber ale,sawdust fresh cream smell,think creamy strange mouthfeel,harsh metallic bitter finish
Listen to what Chris and the Baron have to say about it

Subscribe in iTunes
Buy Guinness ales from Morrisons

Ilkley Alpha Beta

Not can conditioned
Ilkley Alpha Beta [baron rating 4/5] - 4.5% gold ale,sweet resinous smell,mild candied rounded bitter taste,dry bittersweet finish
Listen to what Chris and the Baron have to say about it

Subscribe in iTunes

Twisted Barrel Soup Dragon

Bottle conditioned with lively carbonation!
Twisted Barrel Soup Dragon [baron rating 5/5] - 5.8% copper ale,tingly firey smell,lime saison smoky meat taste,chilli heat & lime finish
Listen to what Chris and the Baron have to say about it

Subscribe in iTunes
Thank you to Twisted Barrel Ale (@TwistBarrelAle) for handing this over for a baron rating!

Buy Twisted Barrel Ale beers direct

Sharp's Pilsner

Bottle conditioned with perfect carbonation
Sharp's Pilsner [baron rating 3/5] - 5.2% pale gold beer,grassy lemongrass smell,buttery cereal slight toffee taste,very smooth finish
Listen to what Chris and the Baron have to say about it

Subscribe in iTunes

Abbeydale Heathen

Not can conditioned
Abbeydale Heathen [baron rating 5/5] - 4.1% gold ale,tropical piney sulphur smell,resinous fruity piney very bitter taste,dry bitter finish
Listen to what Chris and the Baron have to say about it

Subscribe in iTunes

Boon Oude Geuze 2013-2014

Bottle conditioned with perfect carbonation
Boon Oude Geuze 2013-2014 [baron rating 5/5] - 7% gold beer,fresh hay cut grass smell,so balanced tart sour taste,juicy fruity tart finish
Listen to what Chris and the Baron have to say about it

Subscribe in iTunes
Thank you to Chris for bringing this round for a baron rating!

Buy Boon ales from Source Deli

Twisted Barrel Ale It's Aliiive!!

Bottle conditioned with perfect carbonation
Twisted Barrel Ale It's Aliiive!! [baron rating 5/5] - 6.3% copper ale,piney hop smell,very bitter grapefruit taste,grapefruit bitter finish
Listen to what Chris and the Baron have to say about it

Subscribe in iTunes
Thank you to Twisted Barrel Ale (@TwistBarrelAle) for handing this over for a baron rating!

Buy Twisted Barrel Ale beers direct

Vedett Extra White

Bottle conditioned with perfect carbonation
Vedett Extra White [baron rating 5/5] - 4.7% hazy pale gold beer,lime coriander smell,zingy creamy lemon taste,vanilla ice cream lime finish
Listen to what Chris and the Baron have to say about it

Subscribe in iTunes
Thank you to Emanuele from R&R Teamwork for sending this through for a baron rating!

Looking forward to baron rating Williams Bros ales



Williams Brothers have been one of my longest supporting breweries, having first sent samples through back in 2010. They are one of the breweries that brew a consistent 'solid' range of ales as well as loads of one offs and stronger more specialist beers. They have supported a number of the Beer Blogger Conferences including sponsoring one of the evening meals.

I bumped into them again this year at BeerX and we got talking about what they were up to (as well as watching them win yet another SIBA Gold award for their "Williams Black".

This was the contents of their latest "care package" for the Baron:

Smart looking cans
Williams Bros. Brewery
  • Caesar Augustus - 4% Lager IPA hybri, crisp clean notes of the finest lager, but with the discret, bitter finish of a well balanced IPA
  • Double Joker IPA - 8.3% bitter sweet, with a big US hop punch, a bold Scottish style Imperial IPA
  • Joker IPA - 5% fresh citrus aroma and bittersweet, full flavour
  • Impale IPA - 5.5% hoppy insurrection, through biting bitterness and big tropical fruit aromas
  • The Scorpion & The Frog - 8.9% mid-atlantic brown ale,a mistake during a brew of Double Joker IPA where dark malts found their way into the brew

Some really nice labels
Williams Bros. Brewery
  • Iconic - 4.4% American Pale Ale, brewed with a blend of Scottish golden & crystal malts, the hops are all-American
  • Paradigm Shift - 6.2% Enhanced Red Ale, brewed with a large amount of Crystal malt,this generously hopped red ale might be best described as a red IPA. Big, citrusy hop aromas and a bitter, malty-caramel flavour
  • Perfect Storm - 4.5% epic IPA, delicious light IPA, full bodied with a striking bitterness and intense fruity hop character
  • Re#Dial - 4% cold fermented craft lager, delivering a crisp & refreshing citrus taste
  • Redact - 4.4% red lager/IPA hybrid, notes of sweet toffee & molasses, and the aromatic punch of Citra & Calypso hops
  • Stravaigin - 6.4%  Scottish craft ale, a floral, light malt ale with a refreshing fruit & herbal finish
Thank you to Williams Bros. for sending these through for a 'baron rating'!

Buy Williams Bros ales direct



Hardknott Long Drop

Not bottle conditioned
Hardknott Long Drop [baron rating 5/5] - 4.8% gold ale,clean minty citrus smell,big bitter citrus taste,very bitter grapefruit lemon finish
Listen to what Chris and the Baron have to say about it

Subscribe in iTunes

Edinburgh Beer Factory Paolozzi

Not bottle conditioned
Edinburgh Beer Factory Paolozzi [baron rating 4/5] - 5.2% gold lager,sweet grainy solvent smell,slick slight honey taste,honey bitter finish
Listen to what Chris and the Baron have to say about it

Subscribe in iTunes
Thank you to Emanuele from R&R Teamwork for sending this through for a baron rating!

Looking forward to trying these #BeerNow17 ales

I was at the beer bloggers conference last weekend, which was rebadged the Beer Now conference. I had a great time meeting brewers, beer bloggers and tweeters as well as trying a load of new beers. As always I went collecting samples for review, here are the bottles that will be receiving the 'baron rating' treatment over the coming weeks:


  • Abbeydale Heathen - 4.1% pale ale, wonderfully refreshing American-style pale ale showcasing the marvellous Mosaic hop. Light and sessionable, bursting with tropical fruit flavours and a pleasant citrus bitterness
  • Hardknott Long Drop - 4.8% exhilarating session IPA, great flavours, mouthfeel and huge satisfaction
  • Hardknott Rheged Fjall - 4.5% pale ale
  • Ilkley Alpha Beta - 4.5% rye session IPA, distinctive American hop character. Body and depth from the rye. A little beer that's big and bold
  • Lost Industry Black Licorice Gose - 3.9%
  • Lost Industry Serie Saison Le Pays Noir - 7.3% dry-hopped black saison


  • Sharp's Cornish Pilsner - 5.2% bottle conditioned pilsner, fermented with Czech yeast then lagered on a bed of Saaz hops to create stunning, zesty herbal notes and a delicious clean, citrus flavour
  • Twisted Barrel I was made for lovin' - 8% imperial stout
  • Twisted Barrel It's Aliiive!! - 6.3% hazy IPA
  • Twisted Barrel Soup Dragon - 5.8% lime and chipotle saison

Look out for 'baron ratings' of these beers soon, and a big thank you to all the breweries for handing them over to me!

Live beer blogging: Ilkley Lotus

Ilkley Lotus 5.9% IPA copper coloured ale, thick musky hoppy resinous aroma, tropical grapefruit piney bitter taste, dry bitter piney finish

Live beer blogging: Sentinel RRG

Sentinel RRG 3.4% rhubarb raspberry gose. Cloudy gold colour, rhubarb smell, sweetish refreshing raspberry balanced fruity taste with a slightly salty start. Fruity finish

Live beer blogging: Twisted Barrel Soup Dragon

Twisted Barrel Soup Dragon 5.8% lime and chipotle saison. Copper coloured beer with a nice thick white head. Smokey lemongrass smell, fresh spicy lime citrus chilli heat taste, long chilli finish

Live beer blogging: Abbeydale Heathen

Abbeydale Heathen 4.1% gold ale, huge fresh green hop aroma (Mosaic), fresh clean slight honey big hoppy bitterness taste but balanced. Dry bitter finish

Live beer blogging: Sharp Boscawen

Sharp's Boscawen 6% smoked beer (via mini cask) amber colour, nice smokey aroma but not over-powering. Much stronger smokiness on the taste, some caramel/toffee sweetness in the taste. Slight herbal note in the finish.

Live beer blogging: Lost Industry and Steel City Peach Melba Yogurt Sour

Lost Industry and Steel City Peach Melba Yogurt Sour - 5.7% hazy copper ale, sour peach smell, very fruity, zingy sour taste, really juicy and sweet (like a fruit juice rather than sugary). Finish is a gentle fading one.

Live beer blogging: Thornbridge Eldon

Thornbridge Eldon - 8% bourbon oak imperial stout, black beer with a dark creamy head. Massive bourbon plummy smell, big rich roasted malt & vanilla taste, boozy warming finish with an edge of toffee.

Email Marketing by Neil Walker

Four key areas
* build an audience
* what's the aim
* distributing your message
* measure, improve, measure, improve
Build and audience
The emails are people, not just an address. Make sure your email list contains people who will be interested in what you have to say. Add a simple signup form to your website, request a few basic details, not just the email address. Use Facebook and customise the page to fit your product or event.
Work with your existing busines contacts to build collective audiences, collaborate with pubs, suppliers, etc.
What's the aim?
* Buy something
* What do you think of us
* News
* Follow us on Twitter
* Come to our event
Who are you talking to?
Examples:
CAMRA - very large consumer audience, mixed knowledge levels & interests
SIBA - trade audience, highly knowledgeable brewers, commercially minded
Give before you take - offer value to customers through engaging, original content or a genuinely special offer
Distributing your message
Deliver great content, easily - use existing platforms: MailChimp, GetResponse, ConstantContact, SparkPost, ActiveCampaign
Visual, bitesize content driving at clear aims. SIBA sends a focused newsletter several times of year.
Measure, improve, measure, improve
Measuring is key here to see what is clicked and what's not, follow the numbers, let them guide the content. Move content around until it starts to follow the click patterns.
Perform A/B testing using alternative subject lines, try content in different places, try rewording various phrases to see which ones hit the audience. Measure the response rate when you send emails at different times of day.

Beer Tourism - a case study - BELGIUM

Belgium & Beer

199 breweries in Belgium, nearly 8 million hectolitres consumed per year, with a per capita consumption of 71 litres, but 20 million are produced, most of which are exported. 66% of production is exported.

Belgium has more than 1,500 beers, producing 1% of the world beer production, but brews  10x it's demographic weight - small country but great beer.

New Reality & Economy

"Drink less, taste more" - the speciality market has really taken off in Belgium and therefore as an exported product, around the world.

Not only deepen the understanding about beer but also broaden the availablity and accessibility of the beer. It's not just about drinking a great beer, but about the moment of that experience of trying the beer. 

"We now live in an experience economy where people have shifted from passive consumption to active participation."

Beer Tourism

Beer as the primary motivation (old school):
* beer routes
* beer weekends
* beer themed lunch
* beer tasting
* other

Place as a primary motivation (old school):
* Festivals, events
* Beer museum
* Visiting breweries, brew houses
* Obtaining beer related items
* Visiting brasseries
* Other

Beer Tourism Logic (modern way)
* Must live
* Must see
* Must taste
* Must understand

Beer as an enabler, brewery as a facilitator.

BeerNow Conference 2017

I'm here in Sheffield for the Beer Blogger Conference, now rebranded "BeerNow". It's in IceSheffield, the same place as the SIBA BeerX exhibition, plus next door is the Beer Alive beer festival. So far we've collected our conference badges and wandered around BeerX, mostly catching up with people that we know from the beery world: Colin Stronge from Buxton, Dave & Ann Bailey from Hardknott, Matt from Hawkshead, Charlie from Farams and Sophie from Muntons.

Really looking forward to the start of the conference sessions...

Valencia Saison

Not bottle conditioned
Valencia Saison [baron rating 1/5] - 7% cloudy gold ale,solventy smell,creamy sweet taste,powdery rose-like finish
Listen to what Chris and the Baron have to say about it

Subscribe in iTunes

Looking forward to baron rating Edinburgh Beer Factory's Paolozzi



An amazing gift pack arrived a couple of weeks ago, a beautifully branded blue box, with design on all sides of it.

The box was sent through from R & R Teamwork who are the PR agency for Edinburgh Beer Factory's recently launched Paolozzi lager

The contents of the box was just as lovely the outside, a glossy booklet explaining about the origins of the Munich-style lager, some colourful beer mats as well as three bottles of the said lager and a lovely branded glass.

A very pleasant looking gift pack indeed!

A very smart looking bottle
Edinburgh Beer Factory
  • Paolozzi - 5.2% full-bodied, unpasteurised 'Helles' lager, lusciously malty with a low bitterness. Brewed with Lager Pils & Caramalt barley malts and subtly hopped with Saaz & Hallertau
Look out for a 'baron rating' for this beer soon, and a big thank you to Emanuele from R&R Teamwork for sending it through to me!

Buxton King Maker

Bottle conditioned with perfect carbonation
Buxton King Maker [baron rating 4/5] - 10.5% copper ale,sugary peachy smell,thick syrupy fruity peppery taste,long hot peppery finish
Buy Buxton ales from Holborn Ales

Hillside Pinnacle

Bottle conditioned with perfect carbonation
Hillside Pinnacle [baron rating 4/5] - 3.8% gold ale,oaty cereal smell,tangy citrus mineral bitter taste,big bitter mineral finish
Listen to what Chris and the Baron have to say about it

Subscribe in iTunes
Thank you to Paul (@Hillsidebrewery) from Hillside Brewery for sending this through for a baron rating!

Buy Hillside ales direct

Flying Dog K-9

Not bottle conditioned
Flying Dog K-9 [baron rating 4/5] - 7.4% dark amber ale,bready dark brown sugar smell,sweet fruitcake toffee taste,earthy finish

Exeter Avocet

Bottle conditioned with perfect carbonation
Exeter Avocet [baron rating 4/5] - 3.9% pale gold ale,mild satsuma smell,biscuit orange squash taste,refreshing slight peppery finish
Listen to what Chris and the Baron have to say about it

Subscribe in iTunes
Thank you to @bob_beer from Best of British Beer for sending this through for a 'baron rating'!

Buy Exeter ales from Best Of British Beer

Harviestoun IPA

Not bottle conditioned
Harviestoun IPA [baron rating 2/5] - 5.8% gold ale,savoury herbal smell,pepper savoury herbal bitter taste,sweet caramel finish

Magic Rock Salty Kiss

Can conditioned with perfect carbonation
Magic Rock Salty Kiss [baron rating 5/5] - 4.1% hazy gold ale,soapy sour smell,rounded tart gooseberry taste,long smooth mild tart finish
Listen to what Chris and the Baron have to say about it

Subscribe in iTunes
Thank you to Paul Kruzycki from Ales By Mail for sending this through for a baron rating!

Buy Magic Rock ales from Ales By Mail

Hillside Legless Cow

Not bottle conditioned
Hillside Legless Cow [baron rating 4/5] - 4.2% amber ale,candied fruit smell,juicy fruity bittersweet taste,sweetish long candied finish
Listen to what Chris and the Baron have to say about it

Subscribe in iTunes
Thank you to Paul (@Hillsidebrewery) from Hillside Brewery for sending this through for a baron rating!

Buy Hillside ales direct

La Virgen Jamonera

Not bottle conditioned
La Virgen Jamonera [baron rating 4/5] - 5% copper ale,mild sweetish smell,earthy plum mild caramel taste,clean refreshing finish
Listen to what Chris and the Baron have to say about it

Subscribe in iTunes
Thank you to @BascoFineFoods from BASCO for sending this through for a baron rating!

Buy La Virgen ales from BASCO

Crate Pale

Not bottle conditioned
Crate Pale [baron rating 4/5] - 4.5% gold ale,pineapple smell,frothy bittersweet fruity bite taste,sticky long bitter finish
Listen to what Chris and the Baron have to say about it

Subscribe in iTunes
Thank you to @bob_beer from Best of British Beer for sending this through for a 'baron rating'!

Buy Crate ales from Best Of British Beer