|Photo: Corey Harmon|
Here at Vinspire, we endeavour to bring you the best in booze. We won't rest until we know that you are drinking the best that you possibly can, or until we've fallen over from too much 'research'.
This is our passion and this is something we share with you. In the process of doing so, however, we often shun the bigger names in favour of small batch producers who put the utmost love and care into their product.
The Craft Beer Movement that's been happening for the last few years and is still happening the world over is one of the most exciting things to be a part of in this industry. What makes it so exhilarating is the knowledge that around the corner there is another new brew just waiting to be sampled.
The sheer variety in style, producer and even regional differences make it just as exciting as wine discovery.
So what about the everyday? What about minding the budget? There are days when, to be perfectly honest, I can't be bothered with a Porter from Greenland that's been made with the tears of the near extinct Siberian Tiger. I just want a nice beer and to not be a militant craft beer hipster.
Well, believe it or not, there are some big name beers out there that are available in nearly every supermarket and they're bloody good.
Here are my top 3:
Sam Adams Boston Lager
You've seen that cheery 18th Century fella sitting on a supermarket shelf before, but have you ever actually tried it? It's brilliant! It's a touch darker than most lagers with a more amber hue to it.
The nose is sweet with tropical fruit and a slight smokiness. It has a nice creamy texture and follows up with a delicately smoky finish. And this isn't even the imported stuff!
Available from Tesco for £5.49 a 4 pack.
Asahi Super Dry
Originally from Japan, this is another adornment of the shelf that may have previously passed you by, but no more!
A stark contrast to the richness of Sam Adams, the nose is citrus like with malty undertones.
On the palate the first thing of note is the slightly sweet malt which is immediately followed up with clean cutting citrus and an almost bone dry bitter finish.
Get it from Waitrose for £4.99 a 4 pack.
Vedett Extra Blond
This is a name that you may not have heard of. However it is made by Duvel, one of the biggest Belgian Beer producers with the exception of Leffe.
This a rather fun little lager, with Vedett themselves offering to put pictures of punters on the beer bottles!
It has the classic hallmark of rich Belgian malt but them gives way to citrus fruit, floral notes and a delicately bitter finish.
Currently on offer at Majestic for £9.99 a six pack.
I'm not saying to stop supporting your local brewer - far from it! I just think we can get a bit caught up in the whirlwind of artisanal production and fail to realise that while it may be mass-produced, some bigger brand beer can still be decent.
I'll still be crafting it up with the rest of them every week - but this is just a little advice for getting the most bang from a tight budget. Enjoy!