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Thread: Disappearing Winter Ales

  1. #1

    Default Disappearing Winter Ales

    I've noticed over the last week or two in my regular haunts that the Winter Ales, which were so welcome pre Christmas, have all but disappeared and been replaced by the more ubiquitous lighter range. Not that this is a massive problem as I tend to enjoy lighter beers but with the chilly weather we've had I have found the darker ales comforting.
    This isn't just limited to festive Christmas Ales but anything that could be classed as a Winter Beer, including standard stouts etc., seems to have all but disappeared. I don't know if this is simply demand outstripping supply, in which case that's probably a high quality problem which ought to change in the next week or two, or that the places I tend to frequent have all had a policy change.
    Anyone else finding the same?

  2. #2
    Real Ale Drinker Brewguru's Avatar
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    I have noticed a resurgence in paler beers as well.
    I think the very cold weather before and during Christmas encouraged Landlords to get some darker beers in. Together with seasonal Christmassy beers tending to the dark side gave us a nice spell of rich maltier brews. Now temperatures are back to normal and pubs are quieter they are stocking paler brews as these are seen as less of a risk. The trend for pale continues I'm afraid, especially if dark is your bag. The dark ones are still around, they just need a little searching for.

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    This Space For Hire Rex_Rattus's Avatar
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    I hadn't given this much thought, but I visited a couple of Young's pubs yesterday, neither of which had on their classic Winter Warmer, whereas the Young's pubs I visited before Christmas did have it on. Could just be a coincidence of course and it may be that the pubs I visited yesterday had never stocked it.

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    Official PG MILD tester Soup Dragon's Avatar
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    Yes, i have seen Hopback Summer Lightning and Everard's Sunchaser recently!
    MILD:

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    This Space For Hire aleandhearty's Avatar
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    Certainly the big hitters, over 6%, seem to have disappeared. However, still coming across dark beers amongst the tide of golden ales.
    'And where he supped the past lived still. And where he sipped the glass brimmed full' John Barleycorn, Carol Ann Duffy.

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    It's what they do. Marketing departments have fixed seasons for things which bear no relationship to reality. The main point of winter for them is to sell Christmas stuff. Winter ales/Christmas ales are interchangeable in their minds. Winter ends on 1st Jan and the shops open on 2nd Jan to the first day of their spring, whose function is to sell Easter stuff, hence the shops are now full of Easter eggs, golden 'spring' ales abound and no doubt there'll be a few beers around with daft hoppy Easter bunny names. And we'll have to endure various royal wedding shenanigans from the brewers too.

  7. #7
    Roving RAT ROBCamra's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NickDavies View Post
    And we'll have to endure various royal wedding shenanigans from the brewers too.
    Given that KM's nickname for William is apparently "Big Willie" that should allow the brewers a bit of fun really.
    A pub is for life not just for Christmas

  8. #8
    I'll stay on me own Alesonly's Avatar
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    I have noticed lighter and lower Alcoholic strength Ales in a lot of Pubs as well recently.
    Could this be a Tax decision by some brewery's so as too off set Tax & Vat rise by Selling weaker Beers now and gradually increasing strengths and Prices over the next few months.
    Don't You just hate Pubs that say
    ( We don't stock any Real Ales as theres Just no call for it.)

  9. #9
    Roving RAT ROBCamra's Avatar
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    I haven't noticed any difference around here. TT Ram Tam & Sadlers Winter Spice available in The Baum.

    Acorn Gorlovka Stout in the Regal Moon.
    A pub is for life not just for Christmas

  10. #10
    This Space For Hire aleandhearty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ROBCamra View Post
    Given that KM's nickname for William is apparently "Big Willie" that should allow the brewers a bit of fun really.
    Hopefully, any beers with that name will have good length....
    'And where he supped the past lived still. And where he sipped the glass brimmed full' John Barleycorn, Carol Ann Duffy.

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