Beer Nostalgia: 1950 Double Diamond

Another week, another old beer advertisement.

This week I selected a Double Diamond magazine ad from 1950. The main purpose this time was because my dad is currently at home, forced to elevate his foot after having a toe nail removed… so this image seemed a perfect fit for this week:


Puts you on your feet

Double diamond is not a beer I’ve tried before, however it’s not surprising considering Carlsberg UK discontinued off trade sales of the brand in April 2003.



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Beer Nostalgia: 1952 Mackeson Stout

This week I am starting my Beer Nostalgia series – something which I hope will turn into a weekly feature, looking back at beer over the decades – particularly the advertising.

There is an almost endless supply of old-timey pictures floating around the internet of old beer adverts and I find most of them fascinating. Perhaps that comes from being born at the tale-end of the 80’s, so I have really only seen the nectar of the gods advertised on the TV.

Anyhow, to kick of the inaugural Beer Nostalgia series I have gone with this ad for Mackeson Stout from 1952:

Mackeson Stout 1952

Nice, simple and effective wording

Why this one? For starters I really like the wording – the two main featured sentences work seamlessly for me, “A stout that really revives you – and it’s not bitter!” followed by the half rhyme – “Mackeson’s… you’ll like it better”.

I also chose this because I tried to brew a Mackeson inspired beer earlier this year, and plan to revisit it for my next home brew – keen to avoid the mistakes that occurred in the last batch.

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Beer In Scotland: Interactive Beer Map

Yesterday I came across an interesting, well fairly interesting, tool thanks to a post from the Brookston Beer Bulletin blog – an Interactive Beer Map.

What the maps shows you, according to the company’s own sales pitch, is “the most popular beer in over 15000 cities across the US, Canada, the UK, and Ireland.”

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New Zealand Beers: Honeymoon Drinking

At the end of last month I got married and the next day we boarded a flight destined for New Zealand.

Whilst we travelled through the country, starting in Auckland and finishing in Christchurch, I managed to get my hands on – and more importantly – drink a few of the beers brewed in New Zealand.

Given that I have nothing new to write about, regarding my own home brew adventures, I thought I would whip up this quick post detailing the beers and my hazily remembered thoughts – I didn’t take any notes at the time, so memory will have to do in this instance I’m afraid!

Mac’s Sassy Red

Mac's Sassy Red

Mac’s Sassy Red

This turned out to be the beer I drank the most when we were out in restaurants, or when I popped out to buy a six-pack from the local shop (my way of avoiding the extortionate mini bar charges!).

It was definitely my favourite beer over there. Brewed with a combo of 5 different malts, the beer was a real pleasure to drink.  A nice amber colour with a nutty, almost biscuit-like flavour. I couldn’t get enough of it once started.

I also tried Mac’s Gold and Mac’s Black but this was the jewel in Mac’s crown for me.

Black Duck Porter

Black Duck Porter

Black Duck Porter

Whilst in Napier we stumbled, completely by accident, into the best restaurant we visited in New Zealand – Pacifica. If you are ever in Napier then I couldn’t recommend the place enough.

Spotting a local beer on the menu I opted to try the Black Duck Porter. Being in a wine region, I believe that the brewery has done an interesting thing with their bottle design. It almost looks as if it should be holding champagne, not beer.

Anyway, this porter was fantastic. Nice and dark with a strong malty presence. I remember being very impressed with the subtle balance of coffee and burnt caramel flavours.

I’ve often found with porters that they can sometimes lean, taste wise, too far towards chocolate but this one was perfectly balanced. A definite must-try if you ever see it on a shelf.

TuaTara London Porter

TuaTara London Porter

TuaTara London Porter

Another Porter. I prefer darker, richer beers and this again did not disappoint.

I don’t have a very strong recollection of my thoughts on this beer. Compared to the previous two. It was definitely enjoyable with a nice dark colour with the trademark dark roast malts, chocolate and coffee flavourings of a Porter.

However, nothing really sticks out in my mind. This isn’t because the beer was poor, but more that it did not surprise and excite me in the way that the previous beers mentioned in this post did.

In the battles of the Porters, the Black Duck won it for me.

So that’s that. I did try others, but I can’t for the life of me remember what they were. Also, these were the only 3 that I thought to take a picture of.

Perhaps, if I had some visual stimulus to help, I would remember what else I tried!

All in all, I do not remember once having a bad beer over in New Zealand. I’ll need to go back to try some more!

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How To Homebrew Beer: Temperature

Measure Homebrew Temperature

Measure Homebrew Temperature

I’m not going to lie to you – I’m no expert in homebrewing and still learning the ropes myself.

However, I do want to blog a bit more often and recently I’ve been thinking and reading up on the importance that maintaining the right temperature during fermentation has on beer. In particular the direct impact it has on yeast performance.

It’s no secret that yeast is an exceptionally important, nay vital, part of the brewing process. Ensuring that the yeast that you use is “comfortable” plays a major role in getting the best results from the microorganisms.

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Extract Brew #3: Leftovers – Bottle Day


Bottles – post sanitisation

Yesterday I bottled my latest batch of home brew.

I think, if I wasn’t up against the clock (want it to serve it in 3 1/2 weeks), then I would have left the beer in the bin for another few days – possibly even another week.

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