Blackrock Cider

Fermenting: 01/10/2004 Bottled: 13/10/2004

A very dry cider, made with 4L of apple juice and 3 pears. Could maybe have used some lactose to sweeten it, but for those who like it dry, this was very pleasing. Some bottles were overgassed. This improved with age, too.

6/10

Coopers Stout

Fermenting: 09/09/2004 Bottled: 20/09/2004

Coopers Stout

Made this one with body brew, extra malt, a cinnamon stick and some cocoa, and left it alone for 6 months with only the occasional try. A very dry stout which has matured into a somewhat smoother drink, though it still takes a long time to get through a bottle.

6/10

Tasting notes: After 15 months, this is almost gone. Has developed into a complex, spicy, dry stout. Great for spending a cool evening with – if you can keep the bottle all to yourself and have no one to kiss later. 8/10

Thomas Cooper’s Heritage Lager

Fermenting: 01/09/2004 Bottled: 07/09/2004

Thomas Coopers Heritage Lager

From the “Thomas Coopers Premium” series, this was a stunner. I made it with an ultrabrew, and 2 sachets of hersbrucker hops. This was a wonderfully complex beer, with a great spicy aroma, and a taste utterly unlike modern beers. It was rich in flavour, delighting many different portions of the tongue. If you’ve never tried a beer from this series, do it now!

9/10

Extra Smooth Bitter

Fermenting: 22/08/2004 Bottled: 30/08/2004

Coopers Bitter

This was made with a tin of Coopers Bitter, Body Brew, and some molasses. Maybe it was the molasses that ruined it, but this was not great. Overly dark and sugary, this was too rich and overpowering to be a good beer. One for the not great column.

3/10

Blackrock Export Pilsener

Fermenting: 06/08/2004 Bottled: 22/08/2004

Blackrock Export Pilsener

My first effort at cold temperature brewing. Took 2 and a 1/2 weeks, but produced an excellent beer – my best yet. The saaz hops I added gave it a brilliant floral nose, and a freshness in flavour not usually encountered amongst commercial beers.

6.2% alc/vol.

8/10

Brewiser Ginger Beer

Fermenting: 31/07/2004 Bottled: 06/08/2004

Bottle Cap

A little disappointing – but maybe standard for an alcoholic ginger beer. Light on taste, but strong on the nose (in a good way). Made for Dad, really. Improved with age.

3/10

Coopers Australian Pale Ale

Fermenting: 10/07/2004 Bottled: 17/07/2004

Coopers Pale Ale

Better than my first attempt. Quite a light, fruity ale with plenty of flavour. Easy to drink for all levels of beer drinkers. Worth making again – a great baseline beer.

6/10

Coopers Lager

Fermenting: 03/07/2004 Bottled: 10/07/2004

Coopers Lager

This turned out pretty good, for my first ever attempt at home-brewing. A bit cidery, which was due to the sucrose/maltodextrin mix Coopers included in the microbrew kit, and the fact they included ale yeast, not lager.

5/10