Thursday, January 14, 2010

No better Mann

Brewing beer with low alcohol content and therefore utilising small quantities of malt during the brew, but still managing to make the beer satisfying is quite a challenge. English brewers are rather good at it, knocking out any number of moreish ales at 3.5% abv. However most of these beers are at their best on cask and do not take well to being captured in a bottle. Young's Bitter comes to mind - gorgeous on cask but thin and gassy in the bottle. So, how have brewers of Manns Brown Ale managed to produce an ale of a mere 2.8% abv that is very satisfying despite being shoved in  a bottle? It's a trick I would like to learn. I don't like the way that the label seems to push the beer as a mere cooking ingredient because it holds its own very well as a stand alone drink. There is surprisingly rich roasted notes, but more importantly the malt satisfies, and this is often the big let down in beer of this strength. What am I saying, 'this strength'? This stuff is far weaker than the average pint of session ale on offer in Britain which makes its drinkability all the more surprising.

9 comments:

Barry M said...

Totally unrelated, but my son has the very same piggy bank. Well, with his name on it of course...

Thom said...

How much has he got in it? My one's full of 2 euro coins. Might have to crack it soon.

Barry M said...

Just gave it a shake now, and it's empty! My wife clearly emptied it to feed her gin habit.

The Beer Nut said...

Hooray for Mann's! Having only ever seen the half-litre chef-pitched bottles before, I was fascinated by the 33cl ones I saw in pubs in Liverpool last year, presumably for topping up your pint of bitter with. It has since become one of my ambitions to try that.

zythophile said...

No, no, BN, Brown and MILD, please - not brown and bitter (unless you're making a black-and-tan - and I can't see any Irishman wanting to do THAT …)

The Beer Nut said...

"Half-and-half", I think they were called here.

Pub didn't have a mild on. Five-odd bitters and Fuller's London Porter (on cask): what was the Mann's for?

MicMac said...

@BeerNut & Zytho - in my uncle's Merseyside pub, they still get the occasional drinker of "brown over bitter" (one is a guy only in his 40s). Mann's Brown & John Smith's Smooth. I've never tried it, so shouldn't knock it, I guess.

I always thought a black & tan was bitter & stout?

I've never seen it oop North, but in Southern England, some drinkers 'pep up' a flat bitter with a fizzier bottle of Light Ale. (ditto on the 'not tried it yet')

The Beer Nut said...

Behold! A black-and-tan made entirely by an Irishman.

Chris said...

In Manchester, brown ale and bitter is called a "brown split". I learned that watching an episode of Life on Mars.