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Now THAT is serious beer!

There is beer… and then there is Tactical Nuclear Penguin (what an exquisite name for a beer).

I must confess I have a soft spot for any company that can also make a low alcohol beer called Nanny State… and as ‘Goat in the Machine‘ pointed out (what an exquisite name for a blog), any outfit that can outrage an arch-statist lobby like ‘Alcohol Focus Scotland‘ is certainly going to get my business once I am no longer sick as a parrot (being ill for coming on a week has allowed my blood/alcoholic levels to fall to zero… the horror, the horror).

18 comments to Now THAT is serious beer!

  • ‘How very odd’? I’d say ‘How very cool!’ Get well:-)

  • Tomas

    Ha! We Czechs think we’ve created the Stradivarius beer (Pilsen) and nothing can ever come close, but apparently innovation *is* possible here.

    Now how do I import that?

    PS Wish you’ll get better soon, Perry, and become able to return to healthy blood alcohol levels

  • Just a question for you Tomas.

    There are three Czech beers that are well known internationally. Pilsner Urquell, Staropramen, and Budvar. How do Czechs rate the three relatively?

    (Right now I am in a bar in Cluj-Napoca in Romania, and I am drinking Bergenbier, which I think I would regard as a good solid beer. Not at all bad, particularly given the ridiculously small sums of money I am paying for it).

  • Philip Scott Thomas

    Genius labelling on the beer, too:

    “This is an extremely strong beer, it should be enjoyed in small servings and with an air of aristocratic nonchalance. In exactly the same manner that you would enjoy a fine whisky, a Frank Zappa album or a visit from a friendly yet anxious ghost.”

    Gotta love ‘em for that if nothing else.

  • Kim du Toit

    “being ill for coming on a week has allowed my blood/alcoholic levels to fall to zero”

    Somebody give that man a quart of gin, stat.

  • Tomas

    Michael: Pilsner would come on top but the camps are clearly segregated and you’d get 3 different answers from 3 different people. Methinks Pilsner is great, Budvar is solid, and Staropramen is cat-piss.

    Trouble is, except for Budvar which is a state-run enterprise, other major breweries are owned by Big Beer (wink, wink) that is producing something we call “Euro-beer”. I do worry about the future of the major Czech beer brands.

    Fortunately, small breweries blossom and unless the EU imposes draconian beer taxes, our legacy shall continue. It’s quite possible that in 20 years time, the 3 brands known internationally will have 1-2 new players.

  • Sunfish

    As the beer got colder BrewDog Chief Engineer, Steven Sutherland decanted the beer periodically, only ice was left in the container, creating more intensity of flavours and a stronger concentration of alcohol for the next phase of freezing. The process was repeated until it reached 32%.

    Distillation is cheating.

  • Pedant

    Sunfish:

    Distillation is cheating.

    It’s not “cheating”, it is just simple science.
    “Fractional distillation” is the conventional method for distilling alcohol, and “fractional crystalisation” (freezing) is a less conventional but actually far safer method for distilling alcohol.

    Both methods are outlawed by the UK’s HM Customs & Excise if you don’t have a licence to distill (which means that you pay a tax on the product).

    Regardless, long experience indicates that “fractional crystalisation” is a far safer method of distilling, and it avoids causing moonshine blindness/death.

  • Well, cheers, Perry, and good health indeed! I’d raise a glass of TNP to your recovery, but must settle at present for a Red Stripe. It may not invoke Bacchus’s blessing quite as powerfully, yet it is not to be despised.

    (Red Stripe is Jamaica’s contribution to the world of lager, and to my mind the big German brands have a lot to learn from it. It was rare outside the most strongly West Indian areas of London in my salad days, but now has deservedly penetrated even to the little one-goat towns off the main drag from Llanfairsesgwipedalllliangogogoch. Well worth a quaff from lager-lovers who have yet to encounter it!)

  • Ooh now I haven’t had a Red Stripe for a while! I may have to remedy that tonight….

  • I don’t drink beer, but I always enjoyed the Red Stripe “Hooray Beer!” commercials. ;-)

  • Sunfish

    Distillation is cheating.

    It’s not “cheating”, it is just simple science.
    “Fractional distillation” is the conventional method for distilling alcohol, and “fractional crystalisation” (freezing) is a less conventional but actually far safer method for distilling alcohol.

    However, it’s not ‘beer’ anymore. Once it’s distilled, it’s whiskey.

  • Pedant

    Sunfish:

    However, it’s not ‘beer’ anymore. Once it’s distilled, it’s whiskey.

    OIC what you mean. Well, yes, I suppose you could call it that.

    Trouble is, yeast (which causes fermentation and produces alcohol) is itself killed by the alcohol when the alcohol level gets to about 5% or so (from memory) by volume, even after secondary fermentation. That’s why for centuries brewers have been fortifying beer by adding distilled alcohol, and still calling it “beer” or “ale”. I don’t think there’s any trade descriptions rule that says that “beer” must only be the product of a single naturally fermented mix. Mind you, the EU fascists might be working on that one even as I write this.

  • Pedant

    Or maybe the alcohol max is 13% or so? I think most wines can get up to that without being fortified by adding distilled alcohol, so I guess beer yeast would have similar limits.

    As a result of reading this post, I am going to try and get my hands on some of this s Tactical Nuclear Penguin stuff. I lurve real ale, and I like very strong beers, but cannot drink too much of the strong beers (makes me feel sick – too much sugar and alcohol).

  • I’ll have to look out for that next time I go back to England. Generally, beer in Taiwan is just third-rate lager and imported Guiness, Budweiser and other nonsense but there is one good Japanese lager. For some strange reason though, the pubs and restaurants refuse to stock it and thus it can only be bought from convenience stores and supermarkets. It is always my first choice when thirsty, tired and the clock is getting on; I think it would be one of those small things I would occassionally miss if I couldn’t get it anymore.

  • Sunfish

    13% is a good ballpark top end for beer yeast. It depends upon the strain, but a so-called ‘barleywine’ yeast or Belgian abbey ale yeast (or a very large starter made from most ale yeasts) may make it there.

    Doesn’t look like the TNP will be offered in the US. Unfortunate.

  • perlhaqr

    Pedant: There are champagne yeasts which will let you get to 18% or so without “cheating”. That is, straight brewed beverages.

    I just wish BrewDog didn’t use Scotch casks. Blech.

  • Pedant

    Ah, thanks perlhaqr. I had forgotten that about champagne yeasts. Yes, good champagnes do that – brew to 18% – “in this bottle”, don’t they?

    Ahh, brings back memories of Halcyon college days, Hook Norton bitter and Brakspears XXX, and a 10% proof Wrexham Lager that we French speakers used to call “Le Gopener” – for obvious reasons.