Sunday 9 November 2008

Beer of the Week - Nov 9 - Fuller's 1845

500 mL bottle Price: $ 3.50
6.3% Alcohol/Vol
Sugar Content : 5

Made in: England, United Kingdom
By: Fuller Smith & Turner P.L.C.

For Full Tasting Note from Fuller's website, please click here.

Fuller's 1845 was originally brewed in 1995 to celebrate Fuller's 150th anniversary of the partnership of John Bird Fuller, Henry Smith and John Turner in 1845, operating out of the Griffin Brewery in Chiswick, West London. According to the Fullers website, “The inaugural beer's hops were added to the copper by none other than HRH Prince of Wales, during a royal visit to Fuller's!”

The brewery itself has been producing beer since 1654. This is a photo of the brewery circa 1960.

Owned by two other brewers who needed an injection of cash, John Fuller (John Bird Fuller's dad) was approached and bought into the partnership in 1829 but the partnership was dissolved in 1841 with Fuller remaining the sole owner. John’s son realized that he needed help and was joined by an experienced brewer, Henry Smith, and his brother in-law, a head brewer John Turner. Members of all three founding families are still involved in the business today.

Currently Fuller's 1845 is the market leader among all bottle-conditioned beers in Britain.

Carbonation is necessary in beer to help preserve it. Usually carbon dioxide is injected into a beer to carbonate the beer. According to The Craft Brewing Organization in Britain, "Carbon dioxide is a natural product of yeast fermentation. It is very soluble in beer, colourless, odourless and heavier than air. It forms a layer over the surface of fermenting beer, preventing oxygen from spoiling your brew."

Bottle conditioning puts carbonation in the beer naturally, by either not filtering the beer, which will leave it cloudy, or by filtering the brew, then adding a small amount of yeast.

Bottle-conditioned beer is said to mature over the next few months and will keep much longer than a regular beer. The "best before date" on my bottle is 20/05/2010, which is far longer than the shelf life of any regular bottled beer.

I know, I know ... enough talk ... what about the beer?

This “strong beer” comes in an attractive bottle with raised lettering. The label states that it is “bottle-conditioned ale matured to perfection for 100 days”.

The beer pours with a nice head and a dark red colour with a full aroma. It has a deep, full strong taste with a pleasant bitterness which stays with you. You know you are drinking a quality beer when you take your first sip.

Unfortunately, the LCBO classifies this as a seasonal beer and has only limited quantities. I will need to take another run down to stock up before they run out as I almost went into a mild depression realizing that I may not be able to have another one of these wonderful brews for another full year.

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