Thursday, 28 October 2010

Advertising or the lack of.......

As a member of the Fullers' Real Ale Club I did get the email telling me all about their new TV campaign but it was only last night I actually saw one of the adverts. I'll be honest as well as being a beer drinker, I read a lot and listen to music rather than watch TV. In my opinion there is barely anything on TV worth the license fee and I'm not yet old enough to be a grumpy old sod or whatever the female equal is.

As adverts go, it wasn't loud, annoying or irritating but it showed the product and was mildly amusing. So I was impressed and it got me thinking that part of the reason why beer has a old bloke's image is that fact that there are very few breweries who advertise in popular media forms. When I look at Beer in the Evening website, no adverts for beer pop up, instead the pop ups are all for either travel or laser eye surgery. Hardly the type of advertising one is interested in when looking for a pub to go to that weekend or evening is it?

Papers do have beer adverts on the odd occasion but magazines don't. Small hint if you want women to look at beer, how about a good quality advert campaign in magazines? The wine industry do it after all, Cosmo and similar have full page wine adverts.

I know partly the lack of advertising is down to money, campaigns do cost a lot. But advertising in my experience is like a ball, takes effort to start it rolling but once it's going the costs do become cheaper so the product is better known.

And yes before someone comments, I do happen to like James May.

Monday, 25 October 2010

Fullers’ Trafalgar Ale

5.0% ABV

Fullers’ late October seasonal ale which I was lucky to find on pump at a otherwise rather dull birthday drinks on Saturday. According to the Fullers website this ale is brewed with molasses for sweetness and it certainly very syrupy feeling pint. It coats the mouth in a lovely lingering way with the sweetness giving way to the marmalade bitter.

This ale does remind me a lot of ESB, which as one of my favourite beers is a winner for me. It is a sweeter pint than most but not cloying as some molasses brewed beers can be. It doesn’t really keep it’s head at all but it is such an attractive colour the appearance doesn’t suffer from this.

I would recommend this seasonal to everyone whilst it is around and I certainly will be enjoying it myself.

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Hook Norton’s Double Stout

4.8% ABV

I always find the wording on Hook Norton’s bottles weird, mainly because they all state progress there is measured in pints, yet the bottles themselves are 500ml so the bottling line can't really progress as fast as the rest of the brewery?

Anyway… I really needed this beer; I called into work yesterday to help with a stocktake which meant I spent the day in a garage counting sundry car parts. Not what I call a good way to spend a whole Saturday.

Thankfully I had one of these beers waiting for me at home, it’s been sitting there for a week so the sentiment had settled. The tasting notes on the back of the bottle state the colour as Black!, and they are spot on. It pours a totally opaque black into the glass with a lovely coffee foam colour head. The smell of chocolatey toasty-ness was gorgeous and the taste does follow up the rich scent of this beer.

This beer held it’s own against a combination of stilton and biscuits with the chocolate notes complimenting the cheese really well. Not my usual choice of beverage to go with stilton but it works well. It was a great end to a very meh day.

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Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Eat, Drink & Take Responsibility

Apparently according to our hard working researchers, real ale is better than red wine for you. With it not affecting levels of homocysteine (a chemical linked to heart disease) whilst red wine raising the levels by 8%. And for us ladies half a pint of real ale contains a quarter of our daily intake of silicon which could help prevent osteoporosis.

Great news for now, but with all research be it dieticians doing it or scientists this is only current for the moment. Like the good news over red wine or certain vegetable benefits it won’t be long before another study (possibly funded by a wine company or by a government misery group) will put the downers on these possible health benefits.

Personally I take these studies with a big pinch of salt, figures can mean anything you want them too. I should know working in the accounting field myself this small fact of life.

Health benefits are great but like many health benefits doing them to excess doesn’t mean they do you any better usually the opposite. Too much exercise can be worse than no exercise sometimes and this is the same with food and drink benefits. Eat and drink what you want but always take responsibility for your own actions and decisions.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

October’s Outstandings

Yes, I know terrible title for a post but not much goes with October…..

I didn’t do a brief round up of beers to attempt to try for September as far as I can see, probably due to the wedding preparations but here a short one for this month;

Loddon’s Boozy Floozy 4.5%
Darkstar’s Oktoberfest 5.2%
Allgates’ Shimla IPA 5.5%
Blindmans Brewery’s Merlin Magic 4.2%
Fuller’s Trafalgar Ale 5.0%

I use these round-ups as a small possible list of beers to try and now I am in a position to spend a small fortune on other things I can try and get a few more in. However my liver and salary don’t allow me to get that many so these lists will remain quite small to maximise my chances.

Friday, 1 October 2010

Cask Pub & Kitchen - Pimlico

Now last Saturday we had a second wedding ceremony and as such we wanted to take out the twenty folks at the event for a meal and drinks. Unfortunately our first choice of eating venue couldn’t do the time we wanted so instead I had been looking at the Riverside at Vauxhall but they are crap at answering emails asking if we could reserve an area. Admittedly we have bowled up before and managed to secure areas before without booking but even so an email or phone call from them would have been nice.

It was with luck that we happened upon the Cask as we wandered from the local Tesco. We’ve heard about it for quite awhile but never managed to go there but this time we managed to track it down and enjoy a nice meal which included properly done blue steak! Yay! And of course we tried various beers including the Bourbon County Stout that I saw on Boak & Bailey’s blog, which I would say is definitely worth £16 a bottle. Gorgeous with the steak and afterwards instead of coffee.

At this point we had a quick discussion and then asked the bar manager if he could fit us in on the Saturday for food and drinks. Like his staff he was friendly and helpful and couldn’t help us more unlike the Riverside. So table booked!

We duly arrived in two groups on the Saturday and our table was ready, everyone enjoyed the food and the drink. People enjoyed trying various types of beer including folks who normally would only drink wine. I’m pretty sure some of the sneaky guests paid for their own drinks even though I had set up a tab for everyone as my bill for the night was below £400. Nice thing about this sort of social gathering is you get offers from friends to try their beers and vice versa which is a good way of selecting your next drink although a few of us picked drinks by what glasses we could see on show.

One thing I didn’t understand and still don’t is the reviews on Beer in the Evening and others which state the place is in a dodgy council estate and the pub itself is a horrible building. I happen to live in Essex and where I live even the staffs go around in packs of five and this area is nothing like the estates near me. The building itself is apparently a grade listed property and is pleasant with a good use of space inside. Not a traditional pub certainly but not horrible by any stretch, I quite liked the under seat heating and it is needed with such large windows.

I think this a great place for folks wanting a casual but superb afternoon or evening drinks with friends and for great food to go with great beers.

More information: