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Sell by Dates
12/11/2017 4:17:13 PM
I've been wanting to wrtie about this subject for some time as I think that there are many preconceptions about sell by dates, or best before dates. 

Modern packaging, beer bottles included, is extremely sophisticated and keeps the product in tip top condition. However, food safety rules dictate that there has to be a date before which the product is declared optimal. For many food products this is well in advance of the date at which the food starts to develop off flavours or to deteriorate, unless of course the packaging is compromised in some way. I'm not going to write at length about other types of food as my main focus for this piece is beer.

Beer comes to you in a sterilised bottle and in many cases with a pastuerised product, once it's inside the bottle it is in a pretty sterlie environment, unless of course the beer is bottle conditioned, which means that it containes live yeast and continues to mature inside the bottle - effectively like a real ale does in the barrel. Beer sell by dates are largely governed by the fact that a lot of beers are sold in clear bottles under the harsh neon lights of modern supermarkets and these lights can affect the product in the bottle, creating off flavours. This is the reason many brewers prefer brown bottles as they are more effective at keeping out artifical light.

Beer kept in cool dark conditions will not go off anytime soon, regardless of the best before date. I keep all my beers in these conditions and I am drinking beer that is over two years 'out of date' but is still as delicious as the day I first received them. I even have beer that is over 10 years old in a bottle conditioned format and they are still good to drink. 

I am often asked how I can sell the beer that is supposedly past its best and the simple answer is that if I can guarantee the quality of what's inside the bottle then I can still sell it. So don't be put off by the best before labels and keep your beer in the right conditions to ensure that it avoids strong light that can have a detrimental effect on whats inside the bottle. 

For the record, I currently have some excellent bottle conditioned beers from Wooha, (in brown bottles), with a 2 year shelf life. I think that these can be laid down for 2 - 3 years and the beer will be as good as it is now - but time will tell.....

In the meantime, enjoy your beer!


For further reading on this subject, have a  look at the link below to the Amstein website as they have a very good piece on this subject.
Bier Arena, Murten
10/23/2017 11:16:27 AM
On Saturday morning I took a drive down to the beautfiul lake side town of Murten to deliver some of the range to the Bier Arena shop. 

They are quite centrally located between Zurich and Geneva and close to Bern. Their shop is a treasure trove of great beers and I am hopeful that mine will sell well for them as they are unique to The British Beer Shop and can't be found anywhere else in Switzerland.

I am now posting what I hope will become regular food and beer pairing ideas and recipes on my Facebook page, so keep an eye out there for new posts.

Winter is coming and the robust ales of Wooha and the fantastic Spey Valley Stout are great beers to enjoy when the nights draw in and the temperature starts to fall. I love winter and enjoying good food and beer in front of the fire, or after a bracing walk to work up that essential thirst!

Ch, ch, ch, changes!
4/27/2017 1:58:31 PM
With apologies to David Bowie, but I have made a number of changes recently to the website and the shop. Hopefully they will be well received, but I think that they look quite good.....I also hope that they are easier to navigate.

With summer coming it seemed like a good idea to have a newer, fresher feel to things and I also have some exciting beers in the pipeline as well as an old out for details.

Anheuser InBev / SAB Miller - Comment
9/28/2016 1:52:52 PM

The following press announcement was made this morning:

'Budweiser owner Anheuser-Busch InBev's £79bn takeover of rival SAB Miller is set to go ahead after the shareholders of both firms approved the mega-deal.

The deal is expected to be completed on 10 October and will create the world's largest beer firm.

Global regulators have already approved the deal, which AB InBev says will create "the first truly global brewer".

The enlarged group - which will produce almost a third of the world's beer - will take the AB InBev name.'

I think that this will be a disaster for beer drinkers as the quality of some of their products is at the very least questionable.

I remain committed to buying beer from independent and craft brewers, where I can speak to individuals and the brewers who produce quality products made with passion and which are full of character and flavour.

If like me, you are not comfortable with this type of mega-deal and you are tired of drinking tasteless cold fizz, then vote with your feet and wallets and support your national and local brewers. You will have a better drinking experience and they will benefit from the increased revenues. 

BREXIT thoughts
7/7/2016 2:02:04 PM
For the record, I would have voted to stay in the EU but unfortunately myself and a considerable number of other ex-pats were not allowed to vote. As yet we don't what the implications are for UK nationals living overseas and I suspect that this will take sometime to resolve.

Switzerland is in a similar position so it will be interesting to see if the result affects the rights of UK nationals living in the country. My feeling is that as there is nothing we can do to affect the result and whilst there are still a whole host of variables surrounding the exit, the country must simply roll its sleeves up and get on with the job in hand. Who knows, this may be the collective kick up the seat of the pants that the UK needs....

Of more immediate concern is how this may impact on the export market and will it make importing beer more difficult? It certainly lowers the costs associated with doing so which means that I can still pass on great and unusual beers at a reasonable price. 

I will shortly be receiving new stock from Badger Ales in Dorset and whilst I have had to include that old favourite, Tanglefoot, I have tried to vary the selection so that it provides a good cross section of styles and tastes. I am especially looking forward to trying the amber ale, Daring Diver and enjoying a glass of Morning Glory in the afternoon sunshine. This ale has a wonderful peachy flavour and aromatic nose that makes it a great summer beer.

These should help banish the Brexit blues and enliven the enjoyment of summer - now that it has finally arrived!


P.S. Anyone who knows me, knows that I hate the term Brexit which I have only used here as everyone understands it!

'You can't be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline. It helps if you have some kind of football team and some nuclear weapons, but at the very least you need a beer' - Frank Zappa

Perhaps there is hope after all.........
Monday's Anzeiger Uster Interview
1/29/2016 2:39:35 PM
Burns Night
1/17/2016 3:17:47 PM
With Burn's night almost here, I will be ending my 3 weeks dry January on Friday night when I will be piping at the British Swiss Chamber of Commerce's annual Burn's night. If you are passing the Zunfthaus zur Meisen on Friday evening you might just hear me... If you can't attend an event, don't like whisky and can't lay your hands on a haggis, then why not grab a good bottle of Valhalla or Wooha Ales and toast the immortal memory of Rabbie!

Due to an undelivered order, I now have a few bottles of Fursty Ferret at CHf 1- per bottle. They may not be around for long so grab one whilst you can.

In the coming weeks I'm going to be sharing some recipes and ideas for using beer that will compliment and hopefully enhance your drinking this space.

Seasonal thoughts
12/18/2015 12:14:07 PM
As Christmas approaches I find that there is nothing better than sitting down by the fire and opening a good bottle of ale to savour and enjoy. It was with this thought in mind, as I idly picked at a box of celebrations, that I realised it might be a good idea to offer a selection box of 6 beers, randomly selected from stock.

I have now implemented this and they are available to order through the shop. Go on spoil yourself and drink something of quality over the Christmas period. You may even be surprised how well some of the beers compliment the Christmas dinner.

With very best wishes for Christmas and the New Year.


Rugby and beer tasting
9/28/2015 11:13:36 AM
Many thanks to John and the team at the Lion Pub in Zurich for hosting me for a beer tasting and sales during yesterday's rugby matches.

If you haven't looked in yet, the pub has had a makeover and is now under new management. The menu has also had a few changes and there will be more to come in the weeks ahead.

I'm hopeful that we will be able to collaborate on a few things in the future, but watch my breaking news for more details.

Great win for Scotland in the rugby, looking forward to the Boks next Saturday!!

5/25/2015 1:53:18 PM
New stock will be arriving in the coming weeks, but in order to accomodate it I need to clear some of the existing stock. As such, all stock will be on a 20% discount, including existing clearance items, until such time as the stock is sufficiently depleted!
Happy drinking,
Commonwealth Day
3/12/2015 8:00:49 PM
I would like to extend my sincerest apologies to anyone who turned up to the British Swiss Chamber of Commerce Commonwealth Day expecting to find a beer tasting. Unfortunately, I succumbed to a flu virus whilst travelling in South Africa the previous week and was incapable of attending the event. I hope to re-organise something with the Chamber in the near future. Ray
Out & About
2/8/2015 5:57:16 PM
I am pleased and excited to announce that I will be exhibiting, selling and offering tastings of all beers at the Expat Expo in Cham (Zug) on 22nd March from 11h00 - 17h00. I hope to see you there. In the meantime, I will alos be offering a tasting in conjunction with the British Swiss Chamber of Commerce at their Commonwealth Day celebrations in the Lion Pub on 9th March. Unfortunately, I won't be able to offer any beers for sale at this event.
I am currently enjoying some of the darker beers during this wintry and cold weather, with Poachers Choice, Black Gold, Blessed Thistle and Nessie's Monster Mash all proving to be good Winter Warmers. Blessed Thistle is currently on saleas it has a sell by date of the end of March, but will keep longer if kept cool and out of drect sunlight.
That's all for now, hope to see you soon.
The British Beer Shop - Expat Expo
1/19/2015 2:07:27 PM
The British Beer Shop wll be exhibiting at the Expat Expo in Zug on the 22nd March, 2015.

I will be there with all of the beers currently in stock and will be offering tastings. Come along and try something new, you might be surprised. 

The event take place from 11h00 to 17h00 at the Lorzensaal, Dorfplatz 3, Cham and i will be situated at table no. 22, just look out for the Union Jack! I hope to see you there.



Burns Night and all things Scottish!
1/8/2015 8:48:32 PM
Okay, so Christmas is over and many of you will have started January wanting to de-tox....well Burn's night, the celebration of Scotland's national bard, falls conveniently one month after Christmas Day! Why not celebrate with a pint or two of genuine Scottish Ale such as Nessie's Monster Mash, Trade Winds or Blessed Thistle. All of which I'm sure would have been approved by the man himself. 
Remember, the Cairngorm beers are all suitable for vegetarians, so even if you're not a fan of haggis, you can still sample an authentic beer.
I'll be piping in the guests and the haggis at the BSCC Burns night in the Zunfthaus zur Meisen on the 23rd, so I might see you there.
Don't forget, please pass the word around to anyone you know who might be interested, you are all my eyes and ears!
Slainthe Mhath,

P.S. Contact me if you would like to organise a tasting or to drop by and sample a few here.
Christmas Silliness....
12/12/2014 9:49:17 AM

A Beery Christmas (t)Ale 

Christmas is coming,

Give thanks, the beers not flat,

It's time to put some zest,

Under poor old Santa's Hat!


He's visited the British Beer Shop,

With innocent intent,

But they all tuck in with gusto,

Before the night's half spent,


Landlord's the one for Santa,

As he feels that he's the boss,

But Santa's merry disposition,

Could be the children's loss,


Rudolf's getting merry,

His antlers are in a twist,

'It mush have been zat Tanglefoot',

'I'm fleeing rather p***ed'!


The sleigh is getting rowdy,

And the party's in full swing,

Presents flying everywhere,

That's really not the thing,


We won't disclose which greedy elf,

Drank all the Sheepshagger,

Suffice to say he's paid the price,

Santa's put him on the lager!


The elves are getting feisty,

Throwing Blessed Thistle down their throats,

They've gone and missed out Aberdeen,

And are heading for John O'Groats,


The beer is nearly finished,

Thankfully just in time,

Disaster’s been averted,

Before the clock’s struck nine,


The sleigh is flying faster,

The cold winds blowing snow,

At least they'll soon be sober,

Before the day begins to show,


The run has all been finished,

The Elves tucked up in bed,

But Santa’s skulking down below

In the reindeer shed,




He calls up the his favourite reindeer,

The one whose nose is always red,

‘Sorry Rudolf my old friend, no rest for us I fear,

 No bed for us, we’re in a rush, we’re not quite finished yet’,


‘The fridge is bare, we’re out of booze,

We’ve got to make one more stop,

I fear there’s nothing left to lose,

It’s to the British Beer Shop'


They both sneak quietly out,

Santa hooks up Rudolf to the sleigh,

Post haste they fly to Uster,

Before the break of day,


Fursty Ferret, Monster Mash,

Trade Winds and Landlord too,

Cairngorm Black Gold and Poacher's Choice,

Now there's a fine old brew,


Blessed Thistle, Tanglefoot and of course First Call,

They’re really cooking up, a cheery, beery, Christmas ball,

Hey! Santa don’t forget, the cases of Sheepshagger's,

The elves will only riot, if they’re forced to drink cheap lagers,


Santa's loaded up the sleigh,

And they take off in first light,

‘Merry Christmas one and all,

And have a festive, fun-filled night!’


Winter approaching
10/22/2014 9:32:27 AM
With winter approaching, what better way to relax than with a warming dark beer in front of the fire. Black Gold, Poacher's Choice, Blessed Thistle and Nessie's Monster Mash all fit into this category and are an excellent accompanyment to winter stews and game. They also complement a strong cheese fondue.
Online Shop Completed
8/31/2014 8:30:23 PM
After a longer delay than I would have liked and lots of frustration, the shop has finally been completed and will be available for orders from Tuesday of this week. All of the beers are in stock and waiting to be drunk. There are some really great beers here, including the multiple award winning Timothy Taylors and Badger Ales Poacher's Choice. Both Badger Ales and Timothy Taylors have never been imported into Switzerland, as far as I am aware. From Scotland we have some of the great range from Cairngorm Brewery and I am currently in discussions with another Scottish Brewery which will be very exciting if it happens! Watch this space for more information. 
List of beers arriving soon
8/3/2014 4:10:04 PM
Here is the list of beers that will be arriving soon:

Cairngorm Brewery

- Nessie's Monster Mash

- Trade Winds

- Blessed Thistle

- Black Gold

- Sheepshaggers Gold

Badger Ales

- Fursty Ferret

- Tanglefoor

- Poacher's Choice

- First Call

Timothy Taylors

- Landlord



Good News!
7/27/2014 1:19:00 PM
The first beer orders have been placed and I am expecting delivery around mid-August. The confirmed beers so far are:

- Timothy Taylor's Landlord

From Badger Ales in Dorset:

- Tanglefoot
- Fursty Ferret
- Poacher's Choice
- First Call.

Cairngorm Brewery will be confirming their order this week, so watch  this space for further details.

If there are beers that you might like please let me know and I will try to order some for future deliveries.

Almost at Nirvana!
6/8/2014 12:33:14 PM
A slight hold-up due to an operation on my shoulder, but otherwise things are progressing as hoped. The first beer orders are in and very shortly I will have a selection of beers from Badger Brewery, Cairngorm Brewery and for the first time in Switzerland, (I'm open to challenge on this one!), Timothy Taylor's Landlord. 

This multiple award winning beer is a delight to drink and I am very exctied at the prospects of having it in stock.

Keep watching this space beer lover's, more news soon!
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