Brains SA ExportNovember 1, 2000 Cardiff, Wales
S.A. Brain and Co.
Imported by: Manneken-Brussel Imports, Inc
The Old Brewery was established in the heart of Cardiff in 1713, and purchased by Samuel Arthur Brain in 1882. Brains is the largest independent brewery in Wales. Brains SA, brewed with pale crystal malts and Fuggles and Golding hops, is an amber Welsh ale.
Original gravity: n/a
A great beer for the summer doldrums⎯wonderful aromatics and a very nice malt-hop balance. The beautiful kiss of hops lingers on the tail, trailing off to dry, with a delicate touch of tartness at the end, calling for another sip, and then another. A very inviting session beer.
- Fred Eckhardt
The samples sent to me were hazy to the point of opacity with a heavy sediment. The aroma was of malt and damp cardboard. The beer was thin on the palate and had a strong cardboard aroma, a sure sign of oxidation. Brains S.A. is normally a very pleasant beer with a full-bodied, malty palate. Not this time. A good reminder that even the best beers must be fresh (unless they’re meant to age) and be stored properly to be enjoyable. When you buy beer, look at it for a second. If a filtered beer looks hazy or has a fluffy sediment at the bottom of the bottle, move on to something else.
- Garrett Oliver
Some argue that the name, SA, derives from the initials of the founder of the brewery, Samuel Arthur Brain; in fact, it originally stood for Special Ale. This beer is always known simply by its initials in its home city, where it is regarded with great affection and loyalty. It has a full, amber color, and⎯like many Welsh beers⎯is accented toward maltiness. This was not the freshest sample I have ever tasted, but it still had lots of flavor⎯a peppery, spicy aroma; a faintly almondy, syrupy palate; and a Seville orange bitterness in the finish.
- Michael Jackson
Fred Eckhardt lives, writes about and drinks beer in Portland, OR. He is the author of The Essentials of Beer Style and Saké.
Internationally recognized brewer and expert on traditional beer, Garrett Oliver is the brewmaster of the Brooklyn Brewery and the author of The Brewmaster's Table.
Author of Ultimate Beer, the Simon & Schuster Guide to Beer and numerous other works on drinks, Jackson has created legions of converts to fine beer.