Beer is for sharing

Do you remember your first time?

It may have been a mate, a colleague, a brewer, a toper, a complete stranger.

They were quietly enthusiastic about a beer. They wanted you to share the joy. And so they gave you a bottle of it. All they wanted in return was your honest opinion.

How good did that feel?

So imagine how much better it feels to be the one who gives the beer away.

Those jolly decent chaps at are kind enough to bung me their 52 week beer club mixed selection, so I decided to dish this quarter's offerings out amongst my day-job colleagues. Some of them dabble in whatever bottle is on offer at the supermarket, some are lager lads, others are ambivalent about beer. What would they make of a random selection?

I pranced round the office like some bacchanalian fairy godmother, dishing out bottles without forethought or planning. Willing volunteers were easy to find and most were happy to feedback their thoughts to me. So, in no apparent order, the results:

"smells like cool, fresh country air.. surprisingly light" - Cornish Buccaneer, Wooden Hand

"punctured through my curry... a perfect dinner companion" - Thin Ice, Windsor Castle

"fruity but overly distinctive" - Midsummer Madness, Best Mates

"citric but not overbearing... I'd buy it but I wouldn't have picked it off the shelf, the label wasn't eye-catching" - Game Keeper, Wensleydale

"it was rank" - Original, Old Bear

"I usually drink lager but I'd drink more of this, it's really tasty" - Lakeland Golden, Bitter End

"wasn't keen.... just didn't like the flavour. Had to leave half of it" - Aviator, Dent

"one of the highlights of the year, really impressed" - Raglan Sleeve, Leyden

"lively, tastes very hoppy, would try it on draught" - Wandle, Sambrooks

I tried a couple too;

"thin, scratchy hops with an under-attenuated sweetness" - Blonde, Quartz

"robust fruity malts veneered with dusty spice and nutty edges" - Red, Atlantic

So, it was great to introduce people to beers that - quite possibly - may change their drinking habits. Make them eager to seek out ales both on the shop shelf and in the pub. And it makes me want to give away more beer - writing's one thing, but there's nothing more powerful than putting a product into someone's hands in order to persuade them of its merits.

Thanks again to for allowing me to play beer fairy. And thanks to Stu, Sean, Phil, Neil, Mark, Mandy, Andy, Leigh, Craig and Yvonne for their feedback.


  1. "It was rank" - a comment I hear quite a lot, and to be fair there certainly are some rank beers out there. Are you not tempted to cheat a little by giving people beers you know are good? ;-)

  2. I'd never tasted any of these before so had no idea - apart from an inkling of brewery track records - of what my willing volunteers had let themselves in for!