25
APR
2017

New Woodfordes Bure Gold

Muntons are pleased to announce the new addition of Bure Gold to the Woodfordes brewery beer kit range.

This new 3kg beer kit brews 40 pints of pale, sweet and malty aromatic golden ale. This kit includes American aroma hops to tantalise the palate.  Developed by Muntons and tested and approved by the Head Brewer, Belinda Jennings, at Woodfordes Brewery this is a perfect addition to the range.

Bure Gold was launched commercially by Woodfordes in 2013, and has proved to be an exceptionally popular golden ale with their real ale drinkers.  Woodfordes Bure Gold real ale kit perfectly complements the current Woodfordes beer kit range and we know this will be well received by homebrewers across the globe.  Woodfordes continues to be one of our strongest brands and with the success of Woodfordes Sundew and more recently Tinsel Toes, now is the time to release it to the market.

This is the perfect beer kit to make and enjoy this summer. Kits are now on sale. Check our homebrew stockist finder for your local retailer. http://www.muntonshomebrew.com/stockists-finder/

11
MAY
2016

Introducing Cwtch beer kit – A Champion Welsh Red Ale

Muntons are pleased to announce the new addition of Cwtch (pronounced ‘Kuh-utch’ for those of us from across the Welsh border!) from the Tiny Rebel Brewing Company to our range of beer making kits. This new brewery-branded beer kit makes 36 pints of the champion Cwtch red ale, a full bodied beer with a wonderful balance of citrus and tropical fruit notes, backed up with caramel and roasted malt flavours. This balanced and moderately bitter ale is an ideal session ale with a strength of approximately 4.6% ABV.

Now you can brew and enjoy a Champion Beer of Britain brewed by your own fair hand from this simple beer making kit. Working in conjunction with Brad and Gazz at the Tiny Rebel Brewery, we have replicated with this kit their award winning champion Welsh red ale Cwtch.  The brewer’s wort used in this beer kit is totally unique and is based on the original brewer’s recipe

Give yourself a heart-warming hug with a pint of your very own Cwtch – nothing beats a true Welsh cuddle*!

Kits are now on sale. Check our homebrew stockist finder for your local retailer. http://www.muntonshomebrew.com/stockists-finder/

The Tiny Rebel Story

It all began in a garage back in 2008 where Brad and Gazz homebrewed on weekends. They got pretty good at it and as beer geeks at heart, always took things

that one step further. In 2010 the idea for Tiny Rebel was born, with the result being their official launch in February 2012.

Only a year after opening, Tiny Rebel took the Great Welsh Beer Festival by storm and won Gold (Dirty Stop Out), Silver (FUBAR) and Bronze (Urban IPA) in the Champion Beer of Wales competition.

…And only four months after that, opened Cardiff’s first-ever, fully-devoted craft beer bar called Urban Tap House. It’s a beer drinkers haven, go check it out.

Tiny Rebel won Champion Beer of Wales 2014 with FUBAR taking the crown.

2015 saw their much-loved Welsh red ale Cwtch declared Champion Beer of Britain at the Great British Beer Festival.

 

*Cwtch means a cuddle or hug in Welsh

10
NOV
2015

Rugby World Cup 2015

Well there it is. The pre-tournament favourites New Zealand are world champions again. The best team in the world. Deserving winners of what’s being hailed as the greatest world cup ever. Record attendances, record TV audiences (25million Japanese viewers watched their team beat Samoa!) Nearly 2.5 million tickets sold, representing 98% of total availability. £80 million into the coffers of World Rugby which will help to develop the game world wide. A profit of £15 million for the English Rugby Football Union. Off the pitch the story was one of success and, more importantly, on the pitch the tournament was a real firecracker. The tone was set on the opening weekend with Japan’s epic victory over the Springboks and it’s been the contribution of the ‘tier two’ nations which has made this world cup so enjoyable. Throughout the pool stages the majority of teams were prepared to throw caution to the wind in pursuit of victory and that is why the rugby has been so enjoyable. Inevitably, quality told in the end and an Australia, New Zealand final paired the tournament’s two most impressive sides.

Friday night saw the defeated semi-finalists, Argentina and South Africa play off for third and fourth place. After defeat in the semi-final it is extremely hard for the teams involved to raise genuine enthusiasm for this game. It was the final match for South African stalwarts Victor Matfield and Schalk Burger and perhaps a desire to see their team mates retire with a win gave the Springboks a little extra determination. They dominated the game from first to last and finished with a 24 – 13 victory.

That was the curtain raiser and on Saturday was the final. The finalists are not only the two most skilfull sides in the world they are also the two most intelligent sides in world rugby. Australia have two of the best back row forwards in the game in Pocock and Hooper and their speciality is quickly stealing, or ‘jackaling’ in rugby parlance, the ball from players who have been tackled to the ground. The All Blacks countered this threat by trying to keep the ball off the ground as much as they could. Rather than allow themselves to be dragged down with the ball they constantly passed and ‘off-loaded’ from the tackle, before they went to ground. By keeping the ball moving they limited the chances of having the ball stolen. Australia tackled as though their lives depended on it but a team of New Zealand’s ability will always make the most of the slightest of opportunities and in spite of the Aussies courageous defence, wave after wave of All Black attacks was rewarded when they took a 21- 3 lead minutes into the second half. It seemed that it was all over, but not a bit of it. When a yellow card for a tip tackle reduced New Zealand to 14 men for 10 minutes the Wallabies sensed a chance. Two converted tries while they had a man advantage saw them right back in the game at 17 – 21.

In such a tight game at this exalted standard, experience is invaluable. Dan Carter was playing his last game for the All Blacks. The world record points scorer, and one of the game’s all time greats, kept his nerve to kick a dropped goal and push the lead back to 7 points. It calmed his team mates, focussed minds and when he kicked a penalty a few minutes later Australia were suddenly 10 points, at least two scores, behind.

The Wallabies threw everything into attack but a dropped ball was grabbed by New Zealand full back Ben Smith. Most players would have just booted the ball to safety but he ran with it, and when the defenders closed in on him he kicked ahead for Beauden Barrett to chase and score the decisive try. As ever, with the maelstrom swirling all around, it was a calm head and clear thinking which won the day.

21
OCT
2015

St Peters Honey Porter

Developed by Muntons, tested and approved by the head brewer at the St Peter’s Brewery. Honey Porter is the fifth beer kit in the popular St Peters brewery kit range. This 3kg kit brews 40 pints of traditional English porter with a sweet honey taste and aroma. The kit is based on the bronze award winning recipe of the St Peter’s brewery Honey Porter. This 40 pint kit brews a rich and sweet porter with a final strength of about 4.5 % ABV.

13
OCT
2015

Introducing Our Blogger – Andrew Cook

Muntons are proud sponsors of the first IV rugby team at the Stowmarket Rugby Club.  We have been very lucky to have on board our blogging team, Andrew Cook.

Andrew currently is the U15s coach at Stowmarket. What we know about Andrew, in his own words;

“I’ve been coaching since the late 1980s. Unfortunately I had to stop playing at the age of about 25 due to injuries from a motorbike crash – Oh the follies of youth! Previously I’d captained UWIST (Cardiff University) with a side which contained the then captain of Fiji and eight or nine players who played for Wales at junior level. That experience and the knowledge I gained set me in good stead and I coached the senior Stowmarket side for a number of years and now I coach youngsters on a Sunday morning (currently the under 15 age group).”

 It has been great to Andrew’s analysis of the world cup so far and will continue to do so for the rest of the competition. You will also be able to read Andrew’s commentary during the 6 Nations 2016 too.

Link to Stowmarket Rugby Club, along with logo.

http://www.pitchero.com/clubs/stowmarketrufc 
Twitter: https://twitter.com/stowmarketrufc
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Stowmarket-Rugby-Club/112058758860336?fref=ts

 

13
OCT
2015

Rugby World Cup 2015 – End of the Pool Stage.

The pool stage of the world cup ended amidst tears, songs and medical bulletins. The fantastic crowds who have turned up to watch the matches featuring the tournament’s less fancied sides have been treated to some thrilling matches and a genuine rugby party. This was epitomized once more by the glorious Japanese side. The first side in world cup history to be eliminated in spite of winning three of their four pool matches, including toppling the giants of South Africa. They have brought a delight to the event and demonstrated, as you would expect of the Japanese, that team work, mastery of the basic skills, intelligence and efficiency can overcome sheer physical power. A fact which seems to have been lost on the European sides.

Wales were beaten by Australia in a physically charged contest, but were the architects of their own downfall. During a crucial eight minute passage of play, Australia were reduced to thirteen players after they’d had two men sent to the sin bin. Logic dictates that in this situation the team with the superior numbers makes a series of drives at the heart of their opponents’ defence, forcing them to commit ‘all hands’ to stop the charge. Once the defence has been thus ‘sucked in’ you suddenly pass the ball out to the flanks where you should now outnumber the defenders and have a simple task of passing to somebody unmarked who can just stroll in for a try. Not Wales! They seemed to think that as Australia only had thirteen players on the pitch it meant that there were fewer to bash through! For eight minutes they charged headlong at Australian defenders instead of trying to find the gaps where there weren’t any. As a result Australia held out, won the match 15 – 6, topped the group and earned a quarter final against Scotland next Sunday. Wales will face the physical onslaught of the Springboks on Saturday.

Scotland’s game against Samoa was an even clearer indication of this different approach. Once again Scotland rode a veritable four lane motorway of luck to win this game. While the Samoans played fast attacking rugby and scored some great tries, the Scots looked to the bulk and power of their forwards to keep them in the game and ground out their scores through driving lineouts and heaving scrums. In the end a huge slice of good fortune with refereeing decisions saw them win 36 -33 and qualify at Japan’s expense.

Ireland and France contested a brutal encounter to decide the winner of pool D. Ireland won 24 – 9, but it was a pyrrhic victory with captain Paul O’Connell, flankers O’Mahony and O’Brien, and fly half Sexton, all possible casualties for their quarter final against Argentina next Sunday. The Argentinian side looks very accomplished and has clearly benefitted from competing in the annual Rugby Championship against South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. With such important players missing from the team Ireland might well find them a very tough opponent indeed. The French, meanwhile will be served up to the All Blacks next Saturday. On their day we all know that the French can produce brilliant rugby but the Kiwis will start the match as favourites.

Next weekend’s results could well demonstrate how far off the pace the northern nations really are. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see a last four of Argentina, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. It’s brains, not just brawn, that matters.

08
OCT
2015

Rugby World Cup 2015 Mid Week Maul

Now we come to the business end of the pool matches. The top sides are playing to decide who finishes first or second in their group and thus who their quarter final opponents will be. Below the ‘top tier’ sides, the smaller rugby nations are getting the chance to take home a win from the tournament. Sides like Georgia and Namibia stood no chance against the might of the All Blacks or the Argentinians, but in facing each other they had a chance to be heroes and one day tell their grandchildren all about the game they won at the England world cup. For Georgia there was a little more at stake. Having already beaten Tonga, a win would see them finish third in their group and thus qualify for the next world cup in Japan.

The match was played at a frenetic pace and with tension high Georgia made mistake after mistake. When they needed composure they hurried and fumbled and had two ‘tries’ chalked off in the first half for forward passes. The Namibians kept to a simple game plan, kicking ahead and then rushing up like men possessed to try and tackle their opponents and win the ball back or force errors and win penalties in kicking range. It paid off to an extent. They led 6 -0 at half time but had two players sent to the sin bin in the final minutes of the half after a series of scrum infringements. As the second half got underway Georgia took advantage of their numerical advantage. They scored two tries and kicked a penalty to gain, what seemed to be a commanding 17 – 6 lead. However Namibia had different ideas and with a full complement back on the pitch they cranked up the pace and went hell for leather for a win. Another penalty and a converted try saw the score at 17 -16 for the last few minutes but try as they might the South West Africans couldn’t force the issue and Georgia hung on.

Elsewhere Fiji had a comfortable 47 -15 win over the semi-pro Uruguayans. Uruguay’s two tries were the first they had scored at the world cup since 2003, a cause of great delight for them and their voluble supporters. South Africa ran out easy 64- 0 winners over the USA. The Americans selected a second string side for this fixture. They reasoned that they were going to lose anyway and wanted to save the legs of their better players for their game against the Japanese at the weekend. Time will tell if the ploy works. It’s possible that the blow to morale from a defeat like this might outweigh any physical advantages which might have been gained.

Finally the most disappointed side at this world cup must be Canada. They have played fast, dynamic rugby throughout and delighted the crowds with their approach. They should have beaten Italy but a lack of composure saw chances wasted and the game slipped away from them. Their final group game was against Romania and they took the same approach into the match. They played with a pace and intensity which saw them 15 – 0 ahead early in the second half but then it all started to go wrong again. Players charged off without support and lost the ball. Passes were hurled at each other at 100mph, balls were dropped, good possession kicked away and Romania clawed their way back in. As they closed the gap, the Canadians crumbled, and with 17 unanswered points in the last half hour the Romanians stole what had seemed a most unlikely victory.

So to the weekend. Wales face Australia for the top two spots in group A the winner will face either Scotland or Japan, the loser gets the Springboks in the quarter final. Scotland must beat Samoa to qualify. Ireland and France battle it out to discover whether they will face the All Blacks, or Argentina. Things are starting to warm up!

08
OCT
2015

Rugby World Cup Update 2015 – England Out

With one round of pool matches to go, the shape of the quarter finals is starting to appear through the smoke and lasers of the pre-match build ups! Sadly, for European rugby, the shape is depressingly familiar. On Friday night the All Blacks put in a very disjointed performance and still saw off the challenge of Georgia by 43 – 10. The tournament favourites had a relatively straight forward pool and have been able to rest key players in the easier games meaning that they should be fresh for the knock-out stages. On Saturday Japan continued their upward trajectory with an excellent 26 – 5 victory over Samoa. The Pacific islanders had been tipped as one of the ‘dark horses’ of the tournament but Japan, once again the epitome of teamwork, swept them aside with relative ease. Sadly for the Japanese it seems that, unless the Samoans can raise themselves to beat Scotland next week, the defeat that they suffered at Scottish hands, after a short turnaround of only four days following their stunning defeat of South Africa, will see them eliminated. The Scots were unable to cope with the brutal physicality of the Springboks who ran out comfortable 34 -16 winners at St James’ Park, Newcastle. On paper they should beat the Samoans and continue to the quarter finals but with their pride severely bruised, who knows what mood the Samoans will be in when they walk out for their final game of the tournament. There could still be a sting in the tail.

On Sunday, Argentine overcame Tonga in a highly entertaining, fast-paced match. The final score of 45 – 16 showed how far the Pumas have come from their traditional power based scrum, drive and kick game since joining the Southern hemisphere’s rugby championship and playing the All Blacks, Springboks and wallabies on an annual basis. It’s a regular menagerie down there! In one of the tournament’s duller encounters, Ireland saw off a robust Italian challenge 16 – 9.

The big talking point of the weekend was England’s 33 – 13 humbling at the hands of the Australians. The Australians are usually the rapier to England’s broadsword, all nimble footwork and agile thinking. On this occasion they outmuscled their hosts as well as leading them a merry dance in the brain department, a total annihilation. The Aussies had done their homework and knew exactly where, when, and how to hurt the men in white. England, on the other hand, having had equal time to study and prepare, apparently hadn’t taken any steps whatsoever to counter Australian strengths. In fact they looked like a team who had only met each other for the first time on the way to the ground. Passes were dropped, runs were mis-timed, and the ideas cupboard was bare after the first couple of phases. It seems that the home ‘game plan’ more or less amounted to ‘trying really, really hard at pushing and stuff’. Oh well, there’s always next time.

The fact is that it looks increasingly as though the winner will be one of Australia, New Zealand, or South Africa. Of the remaining European challengers Wales only have half a team left standing, Ireland’s game-plan relies more on their opponents being pressurised into errors so that Jonny Sexton can kick penalties, than on any real ambition on their part to score tries. Seeing as any of the southern hemisphere giants will almost certainly score two, and possibly three, tries against them and knock over a few penalties, that’s an awful lot of errors that the Irish will need them to make in return, in order to stand any hope of winning. The French are capable of beating any of the ‘big three’ in a ‘one off’ game, but unlikely to manage it on consecutive weekends to win a quarter final, semi- final and final. Les Bleus are ridiculously inconsistent, they will give ferocity unbounded one week, and a Gallic shrug the next. So I’m off to find my bush hat, G’Day.