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Beers of the World author Nigel Huddleston

Nigel Huddleston visits Zatec, a brewery dedicated to reviving the Czech brewing tradition.

There are scars down the copper kettles in the brewhouse at the Czech Republic’s Zatec brewery. The lines mark where the kettles were welded back together at the end of the Second World War, having been chopped up and stored in a nearby cellar to stop the metal falling into German hands and being re...

from Issue 16 published on 25/01/2008

Some people love it, some people hate it, but what’s the deal with bottle conditioning? Nigel Huddleston reports

It might not seem like much, but when British retailer Marks & Spencer decided to launch four bottleconditioned beers from various small-scale producers around the United Kingdom, it marked a significant step forward for the fortunes of what the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) calls “real ale in a bot...

Beer Trends from Issue 15 published on 01/12/2007

What is it with all these extra-cold beers popping up everywhere at the moment? And how cold are they, anyway? Nigel Huddleston reports

American readers who’ve visited the United Kingdom recently might have noticed something odd about the way Brits are taking their drinks these days. A gin and tonic will often come in a tall glass crammed with chunks of ice, while convenience stores have banks of chillers displaying ice cold cans o...

Beer Trends from Issue 12 published on 25/05/2007

Beer as a cocktail ingredient might not sound very appealing, but anyone who has tried a Shandy or a Black Velvet has had one. Nigel Huddleston reports

As if beer wasn’t brilliant enough already, increasing numbers of bars in the United States are using beer as a cocktail ingredient. If you’re feeling a bit adventurous you can have a Skip & Go Naked, which turns out not to be a bar room game but a mix of lager, lemon juice and gin, with a dash of ...

Beer Trends from Issue 11 published on 23/03/2007

We've all thought about it...Nigel Huddleston shows us the way

Hundreds of beer-mad individuals in Britain and the States have jacked it all in to pursue the dream of owning their own brewery. But how exactly did they get where they are today and what’s the best way to go about it if you want to follow in their footsteps? We offer some basic pointers on the pat...

from Issue 10 published on 26/01/2007

Nigel Huddlestone gets to grips with Joseph Holt of Manchester

Head clockwise around the Manchester inner ring road and eventually you’ll come to the ghost of the Boddingtons brewery, unloved and abandoned, a sorry contrast to the sparkling Manchester Evening News Arena that stands opposite. While the former “cream of Manchester” awaits the developer’s ball an...

Spotlight from Issue 9 published on 22/11/2006

In recent years there has been a surge of mid-strength beers, occupying the space somewhere between low
alcohol and regular strength pints. But are they any good? Nigel Huddleston reports

What’s green and promises not to get you too drunk? Were the question from the British tradition of rubbish not funny jokes the answer might be something like “a frog that’s left its wallet at home,” but actually it’s a bottle of Beck’s Green Lemon. Unless you’ve been to Germany in the last year a...

Beer Trends from Issue 9 published on 22/11/2006

Nigel Huddleston visits the smallest beer bar in London

London’s Borough Market has found a new lease of life in the past decade with visitors attracted from across the city and beyond by the fine produce on sale from small producers. So when the first new pub within the confines of the market for more than a century opened its doors in the summer, it w...

Spotlight from Issue 8 published on 27/09/2006

Dark Star is a British micro brewery with a difference. Nigel Huddleston reports

They say variety is the spice of life but it’s the other way round at Sussex brewer Dark Star. The micro uses cinnamon, coriander and ginger, among other exotic ingredients, in producing a range of ales with depth and quirkiness. As well as going down the spice route, the brewer has been winning pl...

Spotlight from Issue 8 published on 27/09/2006

This issue, Nigel Huddleston looks at the history of the humble can

It all started for the can, as you might expect, in America. Brewer Gottfried Kreuger, of Newark, New Jersey, made a major breakthrough in packaging two beers in metal cans on January 24, 1935. The American Can Company supplied the packs but had actually started working on trying to package beer in...

from Issue 8 published on 27/09/2006

The Ring o’ Bells Brewery in Launceston was born almost by default. Nigel Huddleston reports on how it’s now flourishing

When Adrian Carter and his family moved from the north of England to Cornwall in the south west retirement was the thing uppermost on his mind. The family settled into a cottage called Ring o’ Bells because of its proximity to the parish church at North Hill, on the edge of Bodmin Moor. Digging ...

Spotlight from Issue 7 published on 28/07/2006

In the latest in our series Nigel Huddleston considers grains other than barley that can be used in beer

Lest we should start mired in confusion, what we’re talking about here is the raw ingredients that provide the nuances of some of the world’s great beers (and some of the less-acclaimed ones) rather than cornflakes or Weetabix. Malted barley is the predominant cereal type used in making beer and ha...

from Issue 7 published on 28/07/2006

Does it make any difference to taste if a beer is brewed under licence in a country rather than imported? Nigel Huddleston finds out

What do the five best-selling beer brands in the United Kingdom have in common? Well, no surprise that they are all lagers, but more than that, they’re all beers that started out as overseas brands that were imported to the UK, only to end up being brewed there under licence once their popularity r...

from Issue 7 published on 28/07/2006

Beer is continuing to win acceptance at the dining table. Nigel Huddleston reports on how beer is being introduced at the very best

If you’re the sort of person who can afford to dine out in the sorts of restaurants where three courses set you back upwards of £50 a head you no longer have to put up with dreary first growth clarets or grands cru Burgundy to go with it. Beer has gatecrashed the fine dining party, with Michelin-st...

Beer Trends from Issue 7 published on 28/07/2006

North in Leeds is a beer mecca. Nigel Huddleston reports

When British Sunday newspaper the Observer named North in Leeds at the Best Place to Drink in the United Kingdom, there was no one more stunned than its manager Christian Townsley. Four months on, Townsley still seems unable to believe that nine years of hard work had earned a prestigious top place...

Spotlight from Issue 7 published on 28/07/2006

In the latest in our series Nigel Huddleston looks at the role of the cask in production

Speak to fans of British beer and they’ll tell you that cask conditioning produces beers with finer aromas, fuller flavours and deeper character than those that aren’t, but what nobody ever bothers to explain very often is why. Conditioning is the process a beer goes through after fermentation to m...

from Issue 6 published on 18/05/2006

Norfolk boasts some of the best barley and the best golden ale in Britain. But the county’s Iceni Brewery is offering much
more. Nigel Huddleston reports

If the alchemist’s art was to turn base metals into gold, then the modern brewing equivalent seems to be the desire of brewmasters to turn hops and barley into golden ales. But if you’re tiring of barrel-detectable shades of amber in your pint glass then the Iceni Brewery in the English country of ...

Spotlight from Issue 6 published on 18/05/2006

In the latest in our series Nigel Huddleston looks at the role fruit can play in the production of quality beers from around the world

Why do brewers use fruit? Normally we’d kick-off with ‘what are hops?’ (or whatever it is you need to know everything about this month), but if we do that with fruit it’s going to end up like one of those soul-sapping pub conversations along the lines of “but is the tomato a fruit?” and we could pr...

from Issue 5 published on 24/03/2006

Rutland is Britain’s smallest county but it is responsible for what was one of the country’s greatest beers. Now the former head brewer is making waves again. Nigel Huddleston reports

It doesn’t take much to be the biggest brewer in England’s smallest county. The Grainstore Brewery occupies a Victorian building that once acted as warehousing for vital supplies coming into and out of Oakham station in Rutland’s county town. Co-owner and head brewer Tony Davis is used to his role...

Spotlight from Issue 5 published on 24/03/2006

Cotswold is a microbrewery with a difference – it makes lager. Nigel Huddlestone reports

Richard Keene takes a call from a pub in the Oxfordshire village of Churchill. It has run out of the beer he brews as a cottage industry microbrewer in a rented barn. Keene bundles a barrel into the back of his Volvo and drives it round to the pub himself. It’s a scene that will be recognisable to...

Spotlight from Issue 4 published on 27/01/2006

Nigel Huddleston investigates how brewers get the perfect pint from the brewery to the discerning beer lover

No matter how carefully the brewer exercises his craft, you are not going to get a decent pint or bottle of beer unless it arrives in front of you in tip-top condition. But how many beer drinkers know, or actually care, when the beer they’re drinking was brewed or packaged. One of the most forward...

from Issue 3 published on 12/01/2006

Two Fat Cats – one a long time real ale mecca, the other CAMRA’s champion pub of Great Britain and the only pub to win the honour twice. Nigel Huddleston reports from Sheffield, Rob Allanson from Norwich

The night when the Fat Cat first opened its doors in 1981 there were people queuing outside to get in. The Sheffield public had been fed a diet of keg Stone’s and Ward’s by two of what were then the big six brewers and the notion of a pub dedicated to serving quality cask beer was as revolutionary ...

Spotlight from Issue 3 published on 12/01/2006

In the latest in his series on the ingredients of beer Nigel Huddleston looks at the role of malted barley

What is malt? Malt is shorthand for barley that has undergone a process called malting. Malted barley is the main cereal used in brewing beer and the only one that falls within the German purity laws – the Rheinsheitgebot – under which most of the famous beer producing country’s beer is made, and t...

from Issue 3 published on 12/01/2006

Cobra has turned the reputation of Indian beer upside down – but it’s taken the strangest route to do so. Nigel Huddleston reports

The year is 1989 and as a junior reporter on a British drinks trade paper I’m dispatched to talk to a bloke who’s about to launch a new bottled lager in the United Kingdom. The country’s in the grip of Sol fever – complete with wedge of lime stuffed in the top of the bottle – and hundreds of one-ma...

Beer Trends from Issue 2 published on 16/11/2005

In the latest in our series Nigel Huddleston looks at the role yeast plays

What is yeast? While the tangible nature of barley and hops makes their contribution to beer easier to comprehend, the role of yeast is more mysterious. Yeast is a single-celled fungal organism which can be cultivated in laboratories but which also occurs naturally. Aside from brewing it’s a key e...

from Issue 2 published on 16/11/2005

Theakston’s has gone from hero to zero and back again. Will the real Theakston’s please stand up? Nigel Huddlestone reports

When four Theakston brothers got together in 2003 to buy back the brewery with the family name from the mighty Scottish & Newcastle, it completed one of the biggest turnarounds in British brewing history. Twenty years earlier, an acrimonious family rift had set off a chain of events which ended up ...

from Issue 1 published on 26/08/2005

Belgo Restaurants have played a key role in helping to promote the concept of food with quality beer. Nigel Huddleston reports

Interest in speciality beers has spawned dozens of pubs where you can sample authentic Belgian lambics and fruit beers, but if you want to experience the Full Monty of Belgian cuisine and beer then London’s Belgo restaurant group is still up there as one of the main places to go. Despite being imme...

from Issue 1 published on 26/08/2005

In the first of a series on the brewing of beer Nigel Huddleston looks at the role of the hop

What is a hop? The hop is a wild, sprawling plant – humulus lupulus in Latin, meaning wolf plant, so-named because the Romans said it grew wild among willow trees like a wolf among sheep – tamed by hop farmers by training it round poles to give it the best access to the light. The hop flower, or co...

from Issue 1 published on 26/08/2005


 
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