Monday, 31 May 2010

Bank Holiday Weekend

It has been a lovely weekend for both good company and good beer so far.

Firstly I have now tried Darkstar's Victorian Ruby Mild which I was hoping to find, lovely delicate flavour, not quite Sarah Hughes' Ruby Mild but very good in it's own right and well worth hunting down. However the star of the day was their Imperial Stout which I spotted on the shelf at the Traf in South Wimbledon. Wonderfully morish treacly texture and taste with a dangerous untasteable abv of 10.5
It pours beautifully with a fine creamy head with tapers off to a fine lacing half way though the pint. The treacly liquorice flavour comes though on the nose too, making it a highly satifying drink. I won't say pint as it available in dinky bottles not pints but that is for good reasons.
Sunday was spend in Putney mainly at the Bricklayer's Arms enjoying the good selection of Timothy Taylor beers and the guest beers which included Skinner's Betty Sloggs, FFF Brewery's Pressed Rat & Warthog and Alton's Pride and there was the Sambrook's Wandle.
Ram Tam was in great form as was the Dark Mild both lovely pints for a Warm Spring day. Golden Best was enjoyable but I think it would be nicer on a Summer's evening as a refreshing pint, but this one is rarely seen outside Tim Taylor's own pubs. Landlord is one of finest beers (and a favour of mine) but I do find it a shame that it is the only one you see about especially when they do other really cracking beers.
Even though I personally don't like the Sambrook's beers I have to admit they are doing really well at expanding. My partner enjoys a pint of their beers and for him it is nice to see them widely available in more pubs rather than the select one or two. Which reminds me I will have to book a brewery tour at some stage for him.

Saturday, 15 May 2010

Due South

Paul Heaton from the Beautiful South is doing a three week 1,000-mile bicycle tour for the Pedals & Beer Pumps Tour 2010. This tour was created partly for Heaton's love of cycling and to highlight the decline of the pub.

The full article from the Times is here:

Interestingly this also may show the difficulties involved in paying in pubs nowadays thanks to certain rules as I am sure during this tour he will meet other musicians and landlords who will discuss the problems of being able to have live music in their pub.

The article does show that far from a publicity stunt this guy does know what he is talking about, I admit I wasn't keen on the Beautiful South nor it's singer but he doesn't seem the idiot I thought he was.

If the Pedals & Beer Pumps Tour 2010 achieves anything, it will be “just to get a spark going. How are we gonna outwit Tesco’s or Sainsbury’s? Well, they can’t have a band playing in there. But the Three Horseshoes in Radnage can have me.”

Pubs do not have to be a cheap supermarket to attract customers back from cheap deals but places that are relaxing and interesting for people to go too. I enjoy a quiet pint but I also enjoy sitting in a pub with a pint watching/listening to a band or singer, variety is the key here.

Thursday, 6 May 2010

What the Heck have I done?

A friend of mine has been running for some time and I admire this, especially the get and go required for early morning runs in rain, sleet and snow. So on her suggestion about about running I thought I would have a go.

Well 5am is a very peaceful time, just you and the odd cat and fox are around, plus side to this is that foxes and cats don't tend to point and laughter at a very unfit runner heaving herself around the estate. Downside.... well it is 5am in the morning.

Emboldened by the relative success of my run (ie I managed to run half a mile) I promptly signed up for the Adidas Women's Challenge in September. So I have to get from half a mile coughing and spluttering to running just over three miles in what I hope will be a smooth effortless style by then.

Oh dear.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

May's Marvels

Thanks to CAMRA this month is Mild May, where hopefully more pubs will have at least one mild available for folks to try. I do like milds so I am looking forward to trying some new ones. However they do vary in ABV so be warned, for example Darkstar’s one which is noted below and Sarah Hugh’s Ruby Mild are 6%-ers. So remember to check the pump clip!

This is my usual small round up of some of the monthly offerings that are available this month;

Little Valley Brewery’s Queen Bee 4.5%
Harvey’s Knots of May 3.0%
Brakspears’ Pavilion Ale 4.0%
Loddon Brewery’s Wilfred’s Mild 3.6%
Darkstar’s Victorian Ruby Mild 6.0%
Cotleigh Brewery’s Nutcracker 3.4%

Hopefully Mild May will encourage the brewing of different beers with varying abv's rather than everything sticking at the 5% mark.