View Full Version : it's beer TWO decades

02-03-2009, 16:21:43
Last weekend we had to make room in our basement (cave, cellar, what do you call it)
it's just a ~2x4m room crammed with shelves, we live in a condominium, and each one of the 20 families has their small room
We got rid of several empty bottles (my parents used to buy their home region white wine in 20-30 liters containers [demijohn? jerrycan?] and siphon it into those bottles).
Shoved in the back I found an old dusty carton, which turned out to be heavier than expected.

Inside there were
- two 1l bottles of Cornish Lager® (no further brand specification, produced in Redruth)
- two .5l bottles of Newquay Stout Real Steam Beer

IIRC there must have been a beer promotion at our supermarket during one of the past Football World Cups.
I had built up a little stock, and those bottles got left behind and forgotten.



I am talking about.....

ITALY '90 World Cup

Those bottles had an expiration date of ~ 20 years ago!

I decided to take a risk, out of sheer curiosity.
I chilled them, and dared to taste them

They were still drinkable!!!

Of course most of the alcohol vanished.
But probably being stored in the dark at a constant cool temperature avoided it to turn sour.

The lager tasted just like a double or triple malt. Incredibly it had no bad flavors, no excess sweetness, not "sticky", it even retained traces of hop bitterness.

The stout became just a dark syrup, not murky or tarty nor acid, a bit on the thin side indeed. Much less interesting, so I flushed it down the sink, but definitely not something you'd spit out.

I got to like the unique flavor of the vintage lager, I wonder whether the brewery still exists!
Alas, even if I ccould still find it, it would take 20 more years to reproduce that taste!


02-03-2009, 16:25:58

02-03-2009, 16:27:17

by 1980 there were only three left - Devenish (Redruth), St. Austell, and the Blue Anchor brew-pub in Helston. Then Devenish fell under the Whitbread axe and the subsequent arrival of asset-strippers, its pubs being sold off mostly to the national pubcos, and eventually leaving St. Austell to fly the principal flag of Cornish brewing around the county.

Probably Devenish then.

02-03-2009, 16:28:19
hey, I found this:

I remember Newquay Steam Bitter and Steam lager were quite popular in the mid 80s.
Sadly, not a recommendation (unless you really do like licking the inside of buckets)
that review wasn't all that enthusiatic, was it?

Advantages: Quite cheap
Disadvantages: Taste

Well, he failed to realise that they were intended for AGING!

I doubt this other one is the same firm, instead

maybe this one?
hard to tell

02-03-2009, 16:28:26
any bizarre and amusing flatulence?

02-03-2009, 16:28:39
Of current crop, Sharps is absolutely fantastic.


Love the Atlantic IPA and Doom Bar... and Eden actually, haven't tried Chalkys. My brother says they sell out faster than any other beer when he gets them in too.

02-03-2009, 16:44:13
thanks Funko.

The Lager must have been originally a cheap mass consumption export one, the unusual 1 liter format hints to it, screw cap, plastic label wrapping the whole bottle, all yellow with the Union Jack

the Stout had a more classic label (which I might strip and keep), and swing-top cap

must have been Devenish indeed
"The brewing side was called the Cornish Brewery Company while JA Devenish dealt with the pub estate
During this period the brewery became well known for its Newquay Steam Beers, a range of bottled pasteurised beers which were advertised as ‘pure and natural’. They were available in Grolsch style bottles with stoppers"

02-03-2009, 16:47:41
Originally posted by protein
any bizarre and amusing flatulence?

no, not bizarrer than usual


The Mad Monk
02-03-2009, 19:24:35
If you have any unopened bottles left, you might consider ebaying them.

Come to think of it, the opened bottles might be worth something, too.

03-03-2009, 09:05:47
I had some Doom Bar the other day. Very enjoyable.

03-03-2009, 09:17:53
The most important thing about Sharps is that when I went to the British Beer festival at Earls Court, late on a friday evening, most of the brewerys were shutting up shop for the night ages before the place closed, but Sharps staff stayed completely open 'till closing and made a lot of friends. I think they wanted to sell out as fast as possible so they could get back to Cornwall but hey, still good for us.

03-03-2009, 11:49:58
Originally posted by The Mad Monk
If you have any unopened bottles left, you might consider ebaying them.

Come to think of it, the opened bottles might be worth something, too.


Frankly, don't want the hassle to register as a seller and bother with the shipment

I still have one Newquay Stout Real Steam Beer closed, although with the swing-top cap the only seal of guaranteee is a thin strip of label over the metal thingy, and I'm afraid it got scraped away when I dusted/washed the bottle.

I also found a single 750ml St.Sebastiaan Dark of the same age
but it's a "marbled" bottle like the little one, not a glass bottle like in this link
also, I think it has just a crown cap

That started as a Dark Double Malt, so I think it must have aged much worse than the other two

03-03-2009, 12:12:37
And go figure that I spent a month in Cornwall (Falmouth), but I was 13, don't think I even was into beer yet.

...and with the face devastated with a nasty early form of acne I had little success with local girls either

I only remember I kept arguing with the English Teacher as I was convinced that some words had actually different meanings...


To cross-check the date I also looked up a movie I watched there, it was the first one I saw in English.
Well, IMBD claims it didn't even got out in UK theaters, only in DVD in 2001!
But I can witness I watched it in Falmouth in September 1976.
Unless Cornwall didn't count as UK then

03-03-2009, 14:19:43

03-03-2009, 15:16:47
MoSe... Damn you're old :p

03-03-2009, 15:35:49
Moses didn't invent wine, but beer - FACT!

05-03-2009, 10:00:10

from the remotest corner of the lowest shelf, a 33cl Samuel Smith Taddy Porter emerged too, expired 1990 as well




now I wonder:
if this beer gets recommended with Oysters on the half shell,
is a 20 years old bottle recommended with 20 years old oysters as well?





:lol: :beer:

05-03-2009, 10:05:26
For Oysters and beer we should be able to investigate the difference between best before and use by dates.

05-03-2009, 10:22:11
I wonder too:
how fast do oysters reproduce?

I mean, how many oysters can we get after 20 years, from a single breeding couple (and their descendance)?
For sure a single bottle wold be hugely far from enough to sprinkle generations and generations of appetisers!

Too bad bottled beer does not breed!!!!

05-03-2009, 10:24:58

05-03-2009, 10:25:20
I don't know if I could keep a breeding pair of beers alive long enough to actually breed them.

05-03-2009, 12:11:14
maybe, if you kept them in cans?

Provost Harrison
06-03-2009, 12:50:46
I don't like the sound of inbred oysters. Oysters are nasty enough at the best of times :p