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Good Beer Hunting

Mar 11, 2022

JW Lees’ Harvest Ale is not a beer to drink casually, and it’s not one to speak casually about, either. As an icon of British brewing, this Barley Wine is described by journalist Adrian Tierney-Jones as elegant, eloquent, and contemplative in his piece titled “The Arrow of Time — How JW Lees’ Harvest Ale Has Defined British Brewing for Decades”, which was published on February 16, 2022.

As a longtime freelancer who writes about beer, pubs, and travel, Adrian has a unique perspective on Harvest Ale, in that he’s had a front-row seat to this beer’s evolution over the decades. He’s also been witness to how it’s stayed the same—a paradox we discuss in today’s podcast. We talk a lot about time: How flavors deepen, how appreciation for history changes, and why there may never be another beer like Harvest Ale, thanks to FOMO beer culture and social media. He walks listeners through the JW Lees vertical tasting he attended while researching this story, which featured bottles dating back to the ’90s, and reminisces about the styles and beers of bygone days that have influenced today’s craft beer culture.

There’s a time and a place to hold onto beer, but it’s always a good day to savor one. I recommend taking a look at your stash right now and selecting something special to pair with this podcast. As Adrian says, “Beer is fascinating.”