"Buy my book about the Roussillon region on Amazon UK in colour paperback and eBook or black & white version, and Amazon USA: colour paperback and eBook or black & white. Also available in the US from Barnes & Noble in hardcover, paperback or eBook. For other countries, tap on the link below above the cover image." Richard Mark James

Craft beer, real ale and cider: Kinnegar, Franciscan Well, Ireland; Fat Tire, USA; Belgium and Netherlands: Bruges, Gent, Rotterdam, Haarlem; Harviestoun, Scotland; Shepherd Neame, Aspall, England; Whitewater, McCann's, Northern Ireland; Duché de Longueville, Fischer, France.

This 'malt, hops and apples' page features an introductory paragraph from all blog posts and articles about craft beers, real ale and ciders, each with a link to the full piece. So far, it's mostly about brewers and cideries in England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Belgium, the Netherlands and USA; but should slowly become even more international with bottle age.


"Originally set up in a farmhouse in Rathmullan Co. Donegal, the Kinnegar (named after a nearby beach apparently) operation moved into a new 'state-of-the-art' brewery in Letterkenny in 2017. The 'core range' comprises six beers (plus an intriguingly wide variety of seasonal 'specials'): pictured above is the absolutely delicious Rustbucket Rye Ale (5.1 % abv), very fruity and tangy and rather different; and below their equally tasty Devil's Backbone Amber Ale (4.9% abv) with characteristic chocolate notes..." Plus Franciscan Well ale from Cork. Click on the title above.

New Belgium Brewing Company, Colorado, USA.
Click on the link above (included in a feature on New York State wines and restaurants).


22.09.2019. "Besides being one of the most awesome (and alas touristy) old cities in Europe, Bruges is home to three (according to belgium.beertourism.com/cities/bruges) tasty breweries as well. The Bourgogne des Flandres brewery backs on to the Dijver river on the south side of the old centre. On the website, their beer is described as a 'red-brown ale' (the English translation obviously), although I remember it being fairly dark but not at all heavy - alcohol content is 5% - with a lovely tangy finish to the richer darker malty side. It's made in the traditional Flemish lambic way, where 'young beer (brewed on site) is blended with a little older (aged for a year in barrels) lambic from Timmermans Brewery' (the parent company in Brussels)..." Click on the title above to read this article.


"A warmly welcome trip down memory lane lightened my weary path after a long day's (wine) tasting at the not-so-long-ago London Wine Fair (yes, there was beer there too). Back in another life in the hazy mid 80s, when I was president of the St. Andrews Uni Real Ale Society (without long hair or beard I hasten to add: more in the floppy fringed goth style actually), we organised a wee day trip to a small unheard-of independent (sorry, touchy word at the mo in a Scottish context) start-up 'brewery' lost somewhere in the hills near Dollar, Clackmannanshire. Not easy to find, and when we did, we weren't sure we were there, as it was just a shack in the middle of nowhere from memory..." Click on the title above to read the full post.

Beers of the moment: Whitewater vs Whitechapel 14.11.2013
"Or Dobbin vs Porter, Kilkeel vs Kent, Ireland vs England if you like..." (Click on the link above to view full post). Whitewater Brewery's Clotworthy Dobbin and Shepherd Neame's Whitechapel Porter Ale.

3.06.2013. "Another post in my occasional series on quality ciders that have crossed my apple-strewn path (see link at the bottom for more), which brings us to the curious Gros Oeillet variety mentioned in the title that I'm told makes up at least 90% of this "naturally sparkling craft cider." Funny enough, this means either 'big eyelet' in French, as in curtain rings, or 'large carnation', as in oversized buttonhole filler. Must be the shape of it I guess. Still, not quite as amusing a name as a Devon cider apple variety called 'Slack my Girdle' apparently! Bet you're glad you know that now..." Click on the title above.

15.06.2012. "Tried a bottle of these two quite different ciders recently (when it was hot a couple of weeks ago...), both available at Asda stores. Aspall in Suffolk prefers ye oldie spelling of cyder, as this indeed old-fashioned style is pretty full-on with 7% alcohol and intensely appley yeasty flavour, crisp and dry vs fair body as I said. Made from organic apples too. Definitely a food cider I'd say, pork being the obvious dish that springs to mind although should also go well with mature or blue cheeses. £1.50 on offer. More @ www.aspall.co.uk.
Northern Ireland apple and pear growers and juice and cider maker P McCann and Sons are based in rural Co. Armagh: "the apple county of Ireland," according their website mccannapples.co.uk. This 6% alcohol "traditional country cider" is softer and 'fruitier' than Aspall's, nicely refreshing with again lovely appley flavour but has 'sweeter' edges (it's still quite dry though). £2 for a larger bottle..." Click above to view the works.

Alsace, France.

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