Tuesday, December 31, 2013

13/14 Beer List ---by Kennhyn--Part 2 of 2

in part 2, Kennhyn continues to share his list of memorable beers for 2013, as well as some beers he can't wait to sample...

 Nogne #100

Victory Hop Devil

Lagunitas Dogtown Pale Ale

Mikeller USAlive

De Molen Vuur & Vlam

De Struise Ignis & Flama

Brewdog Paradox Grain

Looking ahead, with some regional beer festivals and special beer trip planned in 2014, with so many new beers to sample in the next 12 months, Kennhyn has listed a few bottles as his wish list:-

Adam by Hair of the Dog

Fred by Hair of the Dog
Pennepot Grand Reserva

also, bottles from The Lost Abbey

#展望2014年,除了会参与一些区域性啤酒节尝试新酒,他也安排了一趟赏味之旅。那么多瓶子选择之中,他挑了上面三瓶分别来自美国和比利时盛名鼎鼎不过较难找的瓶子为14年必试啤酒。也想试来自THE LOST ABBEY 的瓶子(有兴趣了解Adam, Fred,Lost Abbey瓶子赏味经验的朋友可以回看本BLOG之前的帖文)

NEXT UP---beer list from Manu, a belgian based in KL for the past few years.

Monday, December 30, 2013

2013/14 Beer List--- by Kennhyn---Part 1 of 2

Kennhyn, founding blogger of the very early beer dedicated blog "beer beer.org" in Malaysia some 5, 6 years ago. Now the owner of Ales & Lagers, by far the only dedicated craft beer bottle shop in KL. Kennhyn can also be seen at regional beer festivals trying what else but BEERS...

这次分享2013/14尝味瓶子心得的有两位本地人,KENNHYN是其中一位。作为本地很早期就开始写啤酒BLOG,参加区域啤酒节的先行者,现在的身份多了一项,就是吉隆坡目前来说唯一的CRAFT BEER瓶子专卖店老板。以下是他的记忆单子:-

Kennhyn will be the first of two Malaysian craft beer lovers who share his list for 2013/14...which of course is NOT a top 10 list but just memorable beers enjoyed in the past 12 months.
There shall be no tasting note on the beers but just a list to keep it simple.....so here we go...

Stone’s wootstout

De Struise Black Albert

To OL----by udder mean
Ninkasi Oatis Oatmeal Stout

Ninkasi Tricerahops

Brewdog Dead Pony Club

Harviestoun Old Engine Oil
#同样来自苏格兰,不同人酿的可口微苦旧式黑麦酒to be

to be continued....in part 2 Kennhyn will share some more memorable beers tasted in 2013, as well as naming some of the bottles he wishes for 2014....

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Beer List 13/14--by NEIL---part 3 of 3

This is the last part of Neil's beer list write up, in which he would share his thoughts and outlook for the new year....

As for my want list, I have to say I don't really have one. I have always drank what is available rather than frantically seeking big name beers. Occasionally I get drawn into it, but to be honest, I don't really know how to go about getting these exciting beers (aside from paying lots of money for them). 

So, my want list is instead a list of beer-related things that I want to do or trends I hope to follow.


Low alcohol 
It is easy to be seduced by a high alcohol content. There are some amazing beers that have a lot of alcohol in them. In my rush to sample as many as possible of these beers I feel I have neglected lower strength beers. This may be in part due to my preference of Belgian beers, generally much stronger compared to the traditional beers from where I am from, which have never really got me particularly excited. 

However, in recent years I have started to enjoy drinking beers that I can repeatedly drink all evening. This even extends to my recent Belgian beer preferences. 
The De La Senne brewery make amazingly tasty beers at lower strengths. If I ever become a millionaire somehow, I want a permanent Zinnebir tap in my house. A lot of the lambic beers are also around 5%, as are many Japanese craft beers and this is becoming my new preference. I want to continue drinking lots of beers like this. Although there is still definitely a place for higher strength beers in my schedule too.
#享受低酒精度啤酒。很多“厉害”的啤酒都是高酒精度的瓶子,包括很多NEIL喜欢的比利时瓶子。不过,近年NEIL开始找回可以慢慢喝整晚的低酒精度啤酒乐趣。比如比利时的酿酒大师DE LA SENNE就有蛮多低酒精的佳酿,包括自然酸酿法的LAMBIC有的只是5%酒精度,以及好多日本酿制的啤酒。在享受低度酒的时候,当然,高酒精度瓶子还是有位置的。

Give money to people who deserve it 
This is a recent policy of mine. Given that there is now a massive choice of places to drink in Tokyo with a big range of prices too, it is too easy to settle for whoever can give you good beer for the lowest price. 

However, a recent bar opening with satisfyingly low prices has caused me to consider who I am giving my money to. It is definitely a personal thing, but the previous business venture of the owners of this new bar made me feel uncomfortable about me giving them my money. This was compounded by visiting a small bar in Shinjuku with a small selection compared to many places around that just felt nice and was run by a really nice guy.

I will no longer chase cheap beers and large tap lists (well not exclusively anyway…) and I will try to give my money to those who I feel deserve it. 
Enjoy things a second time 
As I may have mentioned above, one of the good things about Japan having a relatively small scene at the moment is that I am starting to catch up with a lot of breweries' beers. I can't help my beer ticker personality, but I do feel that I am approaching a time where I can start enjoying beers that I know like more often, rather than always trying new things.. I hope to find a happy balance in 2014.

I will still go for new beers, but hopefully not at the expense of having things that I actually like and want to drink. I guess this also touches on the point above about giving money to people who deserve it. I will endeavour to do my best to support breweries and bars that I like as much as I can. There will still be place for new places and new beers, but I hope to focus on things that I already know I like.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Beer list 13/14---by Neil----Part 2 of 3

part 2 of Neil's beer list 2013/14...

Tazawako Pilsner - http://www.ratebeer.com/beer/tazawako-pilsner/34805/
This one was a real surprise, and reflects what I have written above about tending towards more simple styles recently. I was going to a new place to add it to my blog. It is one of the new trend of lower priced locations which sometimes have less exciting beers. In the interests of ticking, I ordered this but it completely blew me away. Maybe it was the right beer at the right time but it tasted so refreshing, and so delicious that I still think about how great it was a few months on. Need to try it again, to see if it was a freak occurrence. But if this the outcome of me gravitating towards simpler beers, I am delighted that's the way I am going.

At the Ratebeer Japan gathering I had my first taste of a New Glarus beer, an apple lager if I remember correctly. Recently one of my friends came back from a trip to the US with this and it was amazing. I don't like Rhubarb, but this beer was beautiful. Really fruity, but with a touch of sourness to keep it interesting. I was disappointed to find that they don't sell their beer outside of Wisconsin. Guess that means I should go to Wisconsin. 
When we went to the original Mikkeller bar in Copenhagen a few years ago, this was a real standout. Back in London for my Summer holiday, I spotted it on the bottle menu at Cask in Pimlico. To be honest, it was a bit of an extravagance. Before I left London I think I would have had trouble with paying £25 for a 750ml bottle of beer, but after living in Japan, it doesn't seem so expensive. It tasted different from when we previously had it, but was still great and worth every penny. One for a special occasion I guess. 

My recent trips to London have been dominated by starting drinking ridiculously early on a Saturday morning in a railway arch (Kernel). On my last trip there were a couple of new breweries in the same area for me to try. This was the highlight from Partizan (although actually, thinking about it, I think I might have actually drunk it somewhere else). In any case, Partizan are now a brewery that I am very interested in. The other new brewery, Brew By Numbers didn't excite me so much. The Kernel was as excellent as it has always been, and I will be going back there as many times as possible on my next trip. 

I am including Zinnebir to represent all the beers that I love that I have revisited this year. I am a Belgian beer lover at heart and a Zinnebir was always one of the best things about going to Brussels. So in this entry, Zinnebir stands for De Dolle's regular beers, the Cantillons on tap at Moeder Lambic, all the great Kernel versions I have drunk and many many more things too. Maybe I am getting old, but I am enjoying spending time with 'old friends' much more recently.
#Zinnerbir是由比利时名师de la senne酿制。吉隆坡能找到包括同门的另外几瓶不同类型啤酒。

to be continued...Part 3 of 3 will be some thoughts from Neil about beer drinking in the coming months ahead...

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Beer List 2013/14----by Neil....Part 1 of 3


以CRAFT BEER的方式做回望前瞻会是不错的方式。邀请了5位朋友来聊聊他们2013喝过让人回味的啤酒,也顺便聊下2014年可能对什么瓶子有期望,想法。

As we step closer to the new year, thought this is the craft beer way of saying goodbye to 2013, welcoming 2014, by inviting some of my friends to write about memorable beers they have had in 2013, as well as some wishes or thoughts about what beers ahead...


今天开始的第一位就是来自英国的NEIL。他是音乐人,也写关于东京CRAFT BEER的BLOG,更是喝过很多佳酿,特别是比利时啤酒。

There will be 5 different friends, each with different back ground, as well some what different taste in beers providing their list, out of the 5 friends, 4 are from KL( 2 locals, 1 American, 1 Belgian), and 1 from Tokyo(an Englishman).

The list is NOT a top of the chart or top ten kind of thing, it is just a way of recalling some beers, as well as looking forward to drinking some new/same beers again in the next 12 months.
First up is Neil from Tokyo.

Neil is a Blogger, Musician & beer lover particularly the Belgium brews. An Englishman based in Tokyo where craft beer scene is booming. Prior to moving east, Neil was savouring lots of good beers in London where he originated, as well travelling regularly to many parts of Belgium for what else but awesome Belgium beers.

here's the list from Neil in his own words:-

This was something I had wanted to drink for a long time, but due to the fact that it is only available in one shop in Denmark and for a very short time each year, I suspected that I would never get the chance. Thankfully, at the Ratebeer Japan Gathering 2 earlier this year one of the Danish attendees brought a bottle (thanks Sune!). So, it was a small serving, on the same day as many other beers, and a day which I started with a hangover, but it was glorious. Everything I had hoped for. Unfortunately, that will probably be the only chance I ever have to drink it. 

#这是比利时啤酒特有的酸口味特酿,以果酸为主,统称Lambic beer。本地能找到为数不多的类似啤酒。
One of the surprising highlights of my summer trip to Belgium. An old fashioned beer style being made by some young new brewers. I was sharing a bottle with my friend, and after we finished we decided that the perfect follow up beer was another bottle of the same thing. That is something of a rarity for me, as I usually like to try as many different things as possible, but this beer at that time was just perfect. I hope I can try it again on my next trip in January.


As CT has said, this beer really stood out on a night of very special and heavy beers. I think it would have really stood out on an evening of Saisons too, as it was really something quite special. I am a big Saison fan, whether they are traditional Belgian ones, like Saison Dupont, or some of the more experimental stuff coming from the US or Denmark. We could do with a few more breweries in Japan making them I think. 

#Saison是旧时欧洲农场在冷天季节酿来准备夏天解暑喝的啤酒。一般都是以清凉爽口为主,有些会口感比较单薄。不过LOST ABBEY的这瓶子感觉很圆满。

A beer that many people have been saying is not as good this year, although there are also those who say it is just as good as last year. I am in a third category. I drank this last year and liked it. I drank it this year and thought it was amazing. One of the best Japanese beers I have ever drunk. The only problem is that it is a big DIPA, so I can't drink loads of it. People mentioned stinky tropical fruits, and I know what they are saying, but I really liked that aspect. Looking forward to next years version already.

#日本CRAFT BEER近年很活跃,好多地方都有酿酒师制作新味。志贺高原的这支IPA根据NEIL的说法是很好味的一瓶。

As I referred to above, as a bit of a beer ticker on Ratebeer I like to try new things as much as I can. I also fall into the usual Ratebeer cliche of really liking Imperial Stouts and IPAs. However, recently I think I may have been changing my mind about this. The Japanese beer scene is exploding, but is still relatively small compared to other countries and finally I am kind of catching up with it, so now I can enjoy beers that I have drunk before without feeling like I am missing out on new ticks. Koenji Bakushu Kobo and their newly opened branch Ogikubo Bakushu Dojo are brewpubs on the Chuo line in Tokyo. There is also a branch in Asagaya, but I haven't enjoyed their beers as much, although they are still nice. They do not brew crazy high alcohol stouts or ultra hoppy IPAs. What they do brew is good tasty beers that I want to drink over and over. They are normally around 5% and the prices are pretty good for Tokyo. This is one of the places I have been to most this year. I don't want to pick a particular beer as they are always tweaking the recipes. It's just an all round good place. 


to be continued.......more beers and thoughts from Neil in part 2 & part 3.

Monday, December 23, 2013




不过,在等待比利时的Zinnerbir圣诞特酿到手之前,这支2 liter大瓶装的HOPUS是很不错的选择。

HOPUS也是来自比利时,因为本地有比利时人代理,所以除了Craft beer bar/shop, 也可以在一些比较UP的超市买到。比如BANGSAR就有。





HOPUS ratebeer link:-

I had a 2 liter Hopus opened much earlier.

Yes, this is not yet a hohoho Xmas brew that i am waiting for(that would be a Zinnerbir 2013 Xmas special bottle) but since that bottle has still yet to be in my hands, thought Hopus would be a nice bottle to open for a Xmas party especially since it is readily available in KL not just at Taps bar KL, ales & lagers publika, but also selected super market in town(like Bangsar...)

The much heavier 2 liter bottle cannot be poured as shown, where the golden color beer and the slightly murky color of beers with good volume of yeast down the bottom can be poured into two glasses and drink alternatively, giving two quite different taste of freshness and yeasty bittersweet.
While it is interesting separating the top and bottom part of the beer, it is no less tasty drinking as it is, i.e. all mixed up in one pour.

In case you been having most of the super market stock of "factory beers" all along, or say been started to drink some German brews, Hopus can be a nice choice for your next step to the world of craft beers.

Merry Xmas and have some good good beers....

Next up---Beer list 2013/14(basically memorable beers had in 2013, and thoughts, wishes for beers in 2014, list provided by different craft beer friends)

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Danish Delight...

在吉隆坡这个CRAFT BEER沙漠能不时喝到来自北欧的佳酿,还真的是件很不错的事。


今天说的是TO OL 和 MIKELLER这两个同样来自丹麦魔术师的金黄色饮料。


先说TO OL的瓶子。喝的那天是和朋友分享,最先开的是适合夏天消暑酿的SNOWBALL SAISON。 和一些口感比较单调的SAISON不同,这瓶子的层次比较深,有爽口的果子清新也有些微的甘苦涩,作为开场或收尾啤酒都不错。

这瓶之后间中有喝了SAN DIEGO SCOTCH ALE(详文请看之前BLOG 文)转换口味。

作为当天的“收尾酒”,选择了同样来自TO OL的FINAL FRONTIER DOUBLE IPA。 酒单上的介绍文字很直白的说“这是很适合作为结束选择的瓶子”。




技术上这两个瓶子都被归类为“麦芽酒”(BARLEY WINE)。虽然称呼上有一个WINE字,不过这完全不影响作为啤酒的本质。(wine字眼只是用来表示这类酒一般都有和葡萄酒那样高的酒精成分)

那天开了六瓶不同的啤酒,BOOGOOP是在喝完NELSON SAUVIGNON(介绍请看之前BLOG文)之后开的,作为荞麦酿的啤酒,入口感觉是有比较浓厚的“粮食植物”特有的味道,口感属于甘甜微苦并存,不过完全不是“横行霸道”的重味道,属于可口的中度浓啤酒。

BOOGOOP之后间中有喝了几瓶不同风格啤酒,包括重咖啡味的BEER GEEK BRUNCH WEASAL(之前BLOG文介绍过)。


因为间中隔开了,虽然两者属于同类型啤酒,酒精度一样是10.4%。 不过,显然的,RISGOOP的喝起来就是属于比较“轻型”的麦芽酒,口感比较清新,果香味和些微的焦糖甜味让这瓶酒显得轻松易喝。

TO OL Snowball Saison ratebeer link:-

To OL Final Frontier Double IPA ratebeer link:-

Mikeller/Three Floyd  Boogoop ratebeer link:-

Mikeller/ Three Flyod Risgoop ratebeer link:-

for a craft beer desert like KL, it is indeed quite blessed that some nice beers from Scandinavia countries can be had here, some on taps, some by the bottles...

my recent "liaison" with the "brighter side" side of beers continues..this time with some gold color beers from Denmark.

it was on two separate evenings that I tasted brews from TO OL and Mikeller, two of the very best craft brewers from Denmark.
First up, bottles from TO OL, the evening started with TO OL Snowball Saison, probably because of spicy and sour tom yam soup with rice earlier, decided to start with something light and refreshing.

a 750ml bottle at 8% ABV, this is a nice stater, good for sharing with a friend or two. A balanced Saison, not too light nor sweet, with nice combination of hops bitterness & fruity freshness as well as some crisp feeling after taste.

The second To OL of the evening came in the form of  Final Frontier Double IPA----"good for final beer of the evening" as written on the beer menu. 
it was the third and last beer of the evening.

**Note:- in between Saison & Double IPA, a scotch ale came & gone( please see earlier post on San Diego scotch ale by Brewdog)

as the "end beer" of the evening, Final Frontier did not disappoint, Taste is bittersweet, citrusy, hoppy and yeasty after taste. a pleasant beer to say the least.

On to the Mikeller/Three Flyod collaboration bottles, Boogoop & Risgoop. It was a few weeks prior to the TO OL bottles.

Both are barley wine. Though Boogoop is more of buck wheat infused. The term "wine"( referring to higher alcohol content similar to wine) is only a technical term, both are definitely BEERS. 

Because of the close association of beer styles and names, each ending with the word 'goop", they sound like cousins.
Boogoop came first(in fact the second bottle of the evening after the champagne wine beer of nelson sauvignon). The richness of this buckwheat infused beer immediately took over the mouth feel, it's thick but not overpowering, mix of grain, sweetness, hops.... feels a little bit like a bubbly rice/grain wine.

Risgoop comparatively taste slightly "lighter"( in a pleasant way) though both with the same 10.4% ABV and same style.

It could be partly due to beer geek brunch weasal prior to opening Risgoop, but it just taste pleasantly lighter, certainly more of fruity freshness with slight hints of hops, malty, a smooth barley wine indeed.

**Note:-it was a rare big evening with a few friends, where quite a few different styles of beers were tasted, including mikeller beer geek weasal, To OL #500, mikeller nelson sauvignon, old engine ooil by Harviestoun in between the Mikeller/Three Flyod collaboration bottles of Boogoop & Risgoop.