I love the watching the Olympics.  The only thing I love more than watching the Olympics is watching them while drinking a cold beer.  With the imminent arrival of the London Opening Ceremony I wanted to take this opportunity to highlight two of my favorite beers from the British Isles.

Fuller’s ESB is a three time CAMRA Beer of the Year award winner is exceptionally well crafted and balanced Bitter that comes in at 5.5%abv (cask) and 5.9%abv (bottle).  I have not had the luxury of drinking this beer on cask so if you are over at the Olympics make sure you try it from the cask.  It pours a clear mahogony color with a dense head with an aroma fruit notes coming to your nose.  This beer is not for hop heads.  I love the strong malt backbone to this beer and did not find it overly sweet.  I plan on watching the Dream Team while drinking this bitter.  Hopefully watching the Dream Team decimate the rest of the world will erase the “bitter”ness I still feel over USA getting cheated out of gold in the ’72 games in Munich.

Fuller’s ESB on Cask. Yum.

I am still trying to figure out whether I am late getting in on the Innis & Gunn bandwagon or if I am an early adopter.  Who cares, it is all about the beer and this is some great beer.  Ale which was formerly tossed after seasoning barrels for Ale Cask Reserve Whiskey is now being bottled into gloriously smooth and flavorful ale.  Here is a video of how Innis & Gunn created their “born by accident” ales.  If you are a whiskey person you will like most of their beers.  I am deciding to go with the deep red colored Rum Cask Ale aged in oak.  Fruit notes dominate with a strong spicy finish.  The appropriate Olympic event to watch while drinking the Rum Cask Ale is the 100m sprint.  I figure that a potential showdown between Jamaican sprinters Usian Bolt and Yohan Blake is the perfect time for a rum tinged beer.

Love the color on the Innis & Gunn beers.

Clearly this is not an exhaustive list just enough to get you started as we spend the next few weeks glued to the tele hopefully watching American athletes embarrass the rest of the world in a variety of sports.  The Brits may not dominate many sports (at least many that Americans care about) but they can sure make a beer.  God save the Queen and Drink Better!      Pat



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