Thursday, 10 September 2009

Alloa, Alloa

I like Williams Bros Ceilidh. They call it a lager. Now I don’t know whether it has been lagered and if so for how long, but it certainly tastes and feels more like a Munchen Pilsner than any member of that oxymoron of British craft brewing cask-conditioned lager. It’s the colour of Welsh gold — I hold my wedding ring up to it and the colours match. The nose is sweet and fragrant, gently toasted bread with a slight scent of elderflower and lemon in the background — the beer equivalent of that old Victorian standard Come into the garden Maud; sweetish and soft on the palate, then it becomes lemony midway through the palate; it has a gorgeous rounded mouthfeel before its dry, tantalisingly grainy finish. This is a very good approximation of a Munich Pils (too forthright to be a Helles and not floral enough to be Bohemian) — how wonderful it is to see another British brewer take on lager and produce something creditable. The label says ‘brewed in Alloa’, which if I seem to remember correctly was often seen as a Scottish equivalent of Burton-on-Trent; it was also a place noted for its lagers, so hence the legend on the label.


  1. Very true. Graham's Golden Lager (later Skol) was first brewed in Alloa.

  2. Skol, one of those names like Hofmeister and Carling Black Label that fill one with fear and loathing.

  3. I was fascinated to read about Alloa in Pete Brown's Hops & Glory having tasted Ceilidh a couple of weeks earlier. Definitely a characterful lagerbier.

  4. I heard a good story about "the Hofmeister tank" recently - the home for bad batches of Fosters.

    Similar to the one about Alloa Sweetheart Stout - yes, the one in Michael Jacksons "Great Beer Guide" - being made from duff batches of anything you care to name, with a hearty dosing of dark caramel.

    Tchah, brewers eh?