Wednesday, 14 December 2011

The Draft House - Northcote

Thanks to the new shiny pub guide book I was given we decided to try out this one which neither myself or my partner actually knew about. Usually when we are in the area we head to the Falcon near Clapham Junction station for a drink, fantastic pub with well kept and regularly changing beers. But the temptation of a different bottle range of beers plus American & Belgium beers on tap proved quite a draw for us to wander further up Northcote Road than we would normally.

According to the blurb in the book The Draft House opened back in 2009, it is one of a small chain of three bars. It is a small place, if you know the Harp in Charing Cross then think along those lines but without the upstairs part. Luckily we arrived early enough on Saturday evening to bag a table in the window and after adjusting the curtain so cut out the cold December wind when the door opened it was a snug warm seat.

The staff are friendly and knowledgeable on their beer range and also will point out prices to you so you don’t get a surprise when you come to pay. The bottle range is good although small; it doesn’t have anything particularly unusual or rare. Well, not if you are used to hunting out the weird and unusual from the Rake or Cask. I tried Left Hand’s Milk Stout which was a lovely sweet beer whilst my partner tried a Ginger Tom which was good although I couldn’t tell the difference between it and Fentiman’s Ginger Beer which is one of the ingredients to this beer. The milk stout was a new style for me and I enjoyed it, Left Hand beers are really worth trying if you see them.

The beers on cask and keg do tend towards the pale, IPA and lagerly beers with a couple of porters. All are very well kept; indeed the selection seemed to sell very well as the place soon became packed with lots of people after varying beers. Sadly the only dark beers on the bar were Porterhouse’s Plain Porter, which I found to be bland; by bland I mean it was exactly like Guinness and Meantime’s London which is ok, better than the other but still not one I would willingly go for. But given at least they had two dark beers on its better than what a lot of other pubs do.

We didn’t eat here but the food from the kitchen did smell gorgeous, this is definitely a place I would come back to for a drink with friends or with my husband for a quiet drink and chat.

The pub guide did us proud for this trip and I have talked (badgered) the husband to trying a few trips out to other parts of London in search of the others held within this book. It’s a doable task to tick off all the pubs held in this book I am sure!

The Draft House
94 Northcote Road
SW11 6QW

Sunday, 11 December 2011

London's Best Pubs

By Peter Haydon &Tim Hampson

As a surprise pressie I received a copy of this book from my husband this weekend. Strangely despite my drinking habits and enjoyment of pubs I don't buy beer or pub guides although I do have a copy of the Good Beer Guide on my iPad but again that was the other half loading it on before giving me the thing. However it is a very very good book to get a bit of history of the pub you are currently sitting in or thinking of getting to. The maps that head each section are clear and useful, which should make the process of finding some of them easier.

For each pub there are a couple of pictures, a brief mention of typical beers served and it's history. No critical remarks on beer quality though, one of the pubs mentioned I know from trying it a couple of times that it serves beer in appalling state knowing that people head to it because it is a historic pub not for a drink. Local office workers drink wine rather than beers so why bother keeping the beer in a good state is the attitude. Oh well.

If you are beer drinker and you know London you may differ in opinion to the writers on the best pubs in each area, I was surprised that the Falcon near Clapham Junction wasn't there for example but we all have our own favourites in places. Good book, not pocket sized but definitely handbag sized.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Only ONE To Say.....

Alan Moore and I'm at the London talk........


Sunday, 6 November 2011

Cask's Norwegian Fest

In my first ( maybe last ) live blogging attempt we have headed to the Cask Pub & Kitchen for their Norwegian beer festival. Before now I haven' t really tried that many foreign beers, there was the Japanese sweepstake beers and mainly American beers but not many from elsewhere, so the Cask provides an excellent opportunity to correct this glaring missed phase in my beer drinking.

First up is Aegir's Sumbel Porter, and this almost wants to make me weep. A light full flavoured dark beer that whilst lively when pours drinks like a dream and I know that I have almost no chance of seeing this again on a bar in this country. Unlike most porters in this country there are no red flashes glistening in the glass when lifted to the light but chocolate ones instead. The flavours of chocolate are similar to Saltaire's chocolatic beer but follow though with a light sherry note instead. Served cold from keg it is delightful but even better when the beer warms slightly and the Christmassy boozy taste comes though in spades. Beautiful beer and one I will remember with great fondness.

So far the Norwegians are proving to be as good as UK brewers.

Second round and now I have my partner in on the game so he has one of these beers too allowing more beer trying. Hubby opts for Rallar Amber ale it is a very pleasant bitter with a sour mashed banana note to it for me although he says "I'm getting fruity notes with a tart chocolate undertone" channelling his inner food and drink critic. I actually opt for a lager namely the Brime Red wish more lagers were like this. Malty carmelly goodness in a glass! These two conclude our delve in Aegir's beers as I don't fancy the IPA but still have Haand beers to try. :)

We decide to only go for two mainly due to percentage and also because I have to get up at 5am tomorrow for a run. Hubby's tipple is the Menno &Jens which is a wheat beer. Judging from excited squeaks it is a good wheat beer for me I dislike it as I do all wheat beers. Mine is the sublime Bestefar a dark barley wine affair of a beer, again another beer I will think of with a fond tear in my eye. Smooth, sweet with an alcoholic kick of a mule yet dangerously drinkable.

I'm glad we headed here today for these beers, truly not something to miss. The prices for these beers are not cheap but given this is a rare chance to try such unusual beers in this country it is a price well worth paying. Also it is worth noting that these beers wouldn't be much cheaper in their own country. Money aside these beers have influenced my taste buds to look for the qualities I tasted in here in beers from both this country and others. Excellent stuff.

Typical Happenings in My World

My husband took great glee in yesterday, he had in my all his loveliness brought me an iPad after numerous hints from me on how much I wanted one. I was presented with my new toy with lots of laughter on how I could do live beer blogging with it due to it's lightweight nature and being able to fit into my handbag.

Of course I promptly went out without it as I didn't want to damage it and stumbled onto a beer festival at the Falcon in Clapham Junction. Oh how he laughed.


Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Tap East At Westfields Stratford

Sunday shopping, what other thing could cause fear and dread to leap into my heart? Well, Christmas shopping but that's changing the subject. The husband wanted to have a look at the Apple store so we also got the chance to go to the new Tap East as my treat for actually walking though the shopping centre doors.

It is in the markety bit of the centre so it feels calmer than the main drag of Westfields which is full of people taking their offspring around GAP and Boots. The neighbours of the Tap are some rather nice eateries, Lebanese cuisine instead of McDonalds, Indian instead of Pizza Hut so all good. The Tap itself is rather nicely designed open format bar, with a clear wall section to allow you to see the microbrewery set-up.

For those of us who have been to the Rake in Borough Market, imagine that but bigger and you have it. It is a good well run bar with lots of staff for when it gets busy and also importantly knowledgeable staff that aren't afraid to say 'I don't know but bare with me whilst I ask for you'. Thumbs up for these guys. The beer is well kept and the prices are very reasonable for this part of London.

We enjoyed a couple of good pints before and after shopping, Thornbridge's Seaforth being very quaffable indeed and so was Windsor & Eton's Conqueror. Whilst I still dislike shopping at least the husband has a place he can leave me when shopping in this neck of the woods.

According to the upcoming events the tapping of the first Tap East Microbrewery beer will be on the 9Th November at 4pm for those in the area. :)

Friday, 14 October 2011

Badger Brewery's First Gold

This was the beer that I got as part of my goody bag from the Half Marathon on Sunday. I do rather like the new labels for the Badger beers although I'm sure that the Blandford Flyer was just Blandford Fly before.

The beer itself is a nice light bitter with a smooth citrus finish, at 4% it would make a nice session bitter. It pours quite lively with a fluffy white head which does last until the end, very attractive drink indeed. This would have been a nice bottle to open on that hot Sunday after the race had I not been so knocked about. Maybe next year.

For more information:

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Surrey Badger Half Marathon Report

The beer review will be up tomorrow, wasn't able to taste the beer before now due to being sensible after my fall. I do sit here with the glow of achievement and the colour of my various bruises however.

This Half Marathon is one of the best regarded according to the Runners World reports and it is a lovely route of the scenic countryside that is in the Mole valley in Surrey. Dorking main station is only ten minutes by foot but I was lucky enough to get a lift from a friend so could save my legs for the race.

Once I had booked in and got my chip and number (with the usual attempt to pin the number onto skin rather than clothing) I was ready for the off albeit at the back of the track I hate starting near the front as I get overtaken by most folks! There was a really great atmosphere and I could also see the crates of beer being readied for our return!

The route out of Denbies Estate leads onto the A24 which provides a fast track and I did the three miles to Sawmill Hill in 10.30 minute miles which I thought was rather good and so was feeling great until I looked to my left and saw the that the faster runners were heading up. Seriously the information when I joined did say hilly, so I did practise hills such as they are around my neck of the woods but nothing prepared me for the Hill of Doom.

I managed to run halfway before realising my walking pace was faster so I ascended the dizzy heights (without oxygen I may add) by walking and then there was a brief dip so I cheerfully headed on my way, not quite as fast as this was now trail with tree roots and leaves. Now into the Surrey countryside I could see why people call it a scenic route, the smell of leaves on the ground and the sounds of woodland life around me made the next 3 mile stretch of the route a pleasure despite the sharp upwards bits. The course photographer managed to snap some shots of me running, in which I look...mmmm...least said.

Now I have to admit I am not built for hills nor speed but I hit mile 6 at 1 hour and 9 miles so I was still feeling good and I saw two buzzards starting a slow climb in the air which was magical to see. I knew I wasn’t going to hit the magical 2hours 15 for the whole thing but I knew that when I saw the Hill of Doom but I was still on for a good time. The next mile and a bit was fine but before mile 8 there was what I can only describe as a tree root ladder, I scrambled up this with about as much dignity as a womble chasing a crisp packet in the wind but I did make it and started my way back on the return journey.

At mile 9, saw the cheering party with the tiny spaniel puppy and entered the trail to the Hill of Doom but luckily I would be going down rather than up this time. This Half Marathon has the best support around the route I have ever had, friendly folk who do make you feel like you are flying along rather than plodding despite what the course photographs try and tell you.

However, disaster! A discarded gel packet in amongst the leafy trail sent me flying, after breaking my fall with my hands I rolled to one side. Luckily my head hit last so was more a knock than a full bang. After checking I was ok, I tried on unfortunately in tears but I still carried on. Warned the marshall at the top of the hill about the gel packets being discarded but as I was in the last lot of runners no-one else took the same trip thankfully.

The last three and bit miles were done in a combo of run and walking, due to pain and I suspect a little bit of ‘I want to go home wahh’ however as I entered the Denbies Estate the runners who finished way before me and were heading to their cars were really encouraging with cheers of you are nearly there and clapping I made it to the end in a time of 2hours 46 minutes, 31 minutes slower than I wanted but I did do it even with falls and mountains involved. And I got my lovely t-shirt and a bottle of Badger Beer!

But I will be back next year though, I will get that time I wanted… You hear me Hill I will beat you!

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Any Ideas?

Ok, twitter had no suggestions on what beer to have after my first half marathon to celebrate so I'm throwing it open to you good folks. Review will be posted up with a long winded prose on my running. :)

Of course I do have a wish for Goose Island's Night Stalker or Bourbon County but since I can't find any where that seems to stock them to buy I'm on the market for a tasty (preferably dark) beer.

What beer would you pick for me to celebrate a great achievement?

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Happy 3rd Birthday Sambrooks!

Yesterday was the birthday bash for one of London's newer breweries. It was a great day for it, sun was shining and all was right with the world. We got there early for the 12pm opening thanks to a winning combination of the cream of London bus rally drivers association otherwise known as Nigel the number 44 driver and a lack of traffic.

As one of the first 20 though the door we got a free t-shirt which even better included a woman's fit option. Rather nice touch, I have numberous t-shirts in trible xl that I can't wear other than as a dress, this one I can wear! :) The whole organisation of the day was smooth, tables with water jugs, friendly staff and live music. It was one of the best laid back events I have gone too.

It was on this day that Sambrooks introduced their membership scheme as seen by the photo of the extra special Pink Floyd edition postcard on this post. There are details on their website and it is a nice way of supporting a local brewery. The husband excitedly went and got his Silver membership, Gold was considered but we just can't guarentee being able to make two events in one year to go for it with our busy diary.

A new beer from Sambrooks was on offer, the Pale Ale (4.2% abv) is a cracking beer, one that went well with the hot temperatures and was indeed very thirst quenching. Another nice touch was the beer playing card size tasting notes that were on each table with the usual food suggestions and cyclops notes. My favourite beer is still the Powerhouse Porter (4.9% abv) and whilst I did try the others it was this one I returned to regularly.

Fantastic day, just hope they hold another event that we can get to again.

For more details on the beers, brewery or the membership scheme:

Friday, 30 September 2011

Do You Know What Your 'Child' Is Up To?

Those who read this and are parents... well do you?

This is meant in an aggressive manner. I run and having a half marathon next week means I needed to get in a 10 mile run last night. What is a hard run for me was made harder by the feral brats that live on my estate in Essex.

Name calling I can ignore, you think I haven't hear taunts about my glasses or size before? Maybe I would prefer the comments to be more witty but as their favourite pastimes seem to be abusing others I guess education is at the bottom of their list.

However shoving and attempting to trip a runner... seriously where do they get off? I note their bravery in doing this to a SINGLE FEMALE runner was not so tough when it came to two men running. Combined with name calling this is called bullying, something that if it happened to them their parents who be first to yell and scream about.

The fact is my run ended at 9pm last night and children as young as 4 years old were still out and being encouraged by the morons from earlier to yell out abuse including c***, and yet no parent came out to get their children in or to challenge this behaviour just tells me that if they can't hear their child over the TV then it doesn't matter what the heck they are up to in my town in Essex.

Thanks to these little bullies I had to run a weird route in an dim lit industrial estate instead, not something any woman would do especially after dark but somehow that was safer than running in a well-lit housing estate.

Monday, 26 September 2011

Windsor 8K & The Bricklayers Arms Beer Festival

Firstly I achieved a fairly respectable 54 minute time for my 8K (or 5 miles), despite the blistering heat of the midday sun on the day. My shoulders were pink come the afternoon which didn't go well with the blue ESB running vest but you can't have anything. Nor was I put off by the hilly course which included a few very nasty inclines to go up and now I am a proud owner of my first 8K medal. :)

The course was hilly as said but well organised race apart from the starting time and water stations, only one on this race at 3K when another at 6K would have been good due to the temperature. Personally I do prefer races that start earlier in the day so you can have lunch and still have your afternoon to yourself and more important miss the hottest part of the day if it is sunny.

After the race we all hotfooted it back so we could shower and change (it's not nice sitting on a train realising the rank smell is you) and head back out to Putney and the Derbyshire Beer fesitval. After the race you need carbs and beer contains them plus we felt the beer had been earnt. We arrived missing the morris men dancing although we still got to hear the 'merry' singing from them inside the pub.

If you fancy is good well run beer festival that is busy but not stupidly so then I really recommend you head to the Bricklayers when they do these. Food on the evening was hot pasties and they were superb to match the beer too. Sadly a few of the more interesting titled beers had already gone but with both morris men and Camra members around this was not a surprise.

Falstaff brewery was the winner for us with all of their beers being judged fantastic by our group. Lockwood and Assassin being personal favourites of mine. It was a nice end to a good day sitting munching pasties and drinking good beer after a long race.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Running On Empty

Not a lot of beer at the moment sadly.......

Time it grows short to my first (maybe only) ever half marathon. Due to injury, holiday and general fannying about on my part I am running up to the wire on my training this week is my first long run of 9-10 miles then I have only one more long run of 12 before I start tapering for the big day.

It's not all doom and gloom though whilst my run will be days away I get to experience 'carb loading' which is pretty much the runners excuse for nomming on jaffa cakes all day. However I have been informed that beer doesn't count despite the carbs it contains, shame really the idea of sitting watching a film whilst partaking of jaffas and beer was a rather nice one.

The only bad news is I don't get a medal for my half marathon but I do get a t-shirt and a bottle of beer so it's not all bad. :)

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Great Northern Beer Festival

Every year I have been a blogger, I see posts about this beer festival and how great it is. One day I will head further north than York* and go to this festival, probably next year as this year's meagre holiday allowance has been booked up with trips with the other half.

This makes two beer festivals up the other end of the country I want to get to, this means I must steel my girders to face the most trying of experience known to bloggers....... The national rail system..... Oh gods.

Note: I was emailed to ask if I wouldn't mind posting the poster on my blog, I have no problems with this, as said I have never seen a bad review of this festival so it must be good. Just jealous that it's up north and I can't make it this year. :(

* Just been told York is further north than Manchester, I have no directional sense apart from being able to find a open pub anywhere.

Friday, 26 August 2011

New Brewery Launch

London Fields Brewery are holding their launch for the whole of this coming Bank Holiday weekend which will include 3 new beers and a lager, so if you around and are looking for something different then head along to Hackey.

I should be heading along on Sunday, personally I can't wait to try 'Love not War' which was apparently brewed when they were locked in against the riots.

For more details:

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Brighton Rocks!

Not sure what happened at this pub to get this sign;

But I wasn't going to ask..... :)

I have always loved Brighton, always a new surprise each time we head down to the coast. Shops are the biggest indicator with some steady regulars but the rest changing with each visit, individual independent shops that provoke window shopping and unusual purchases. This time around I found more places taking up the beer flag and running with it from a cocktail bar (called the Black Dove) which now has an impressive bottled beer list to the old haunts that sell more variety to tempt drinkers to stay a bit longer.

When we arrived we headed straight for the Evening Star despite numerous visits to Brighton we have never managed to get in a visit to this pub, and we didn’t on the Friday either as it was shut until Saturday for a refurb. Oh bottoms! Still we did get to have a couple of drinks in there on the Sunday before we got the train home. It is very close to the train station but just on the other side of the island heading down to the shops, I think we have mainly missed it because usually on heading out of the station we head left to go straight to the Lanes, won’t be doing that from now on though.

Darkstar have a charming pub on their hands in Brighton, plain but designed well so I should imagine even when it is busy that you aren’t going to have too much trouble getting to the bar. Both pints I had were top notch and well worth the wait for the pub to open, as we were early and spend twenty minutes sitting on one of the tables out the front chatting. They do takeout which I would loved to do for the Original I was drinking but unfortunately with the heavy bags I had with me the best I could carry was the two bottles of Imperial Stout which I also love and have difficulty finding.

We stayed in Kemptown in a lovely B&B which is near the always brilliant Hand in Hand pub and brewery whilst the Sussex drinker mentions that they are still brewing we haven’t seen their own beers in the pub for the last couple of visits. We really do hope they are still going but unfortunately haven’t had a chance to try their beers in a long time. However I did enjoy a half of Young Tom on the Friday after we booked in and dumped the bags, as usually we ended up standing outside as the pub was packed out when we got there!

Whilst the pub didn’t have any of their own beers on, they did have a bigger selection of different beers from around the country and Belgium both on cask and keg plus a good bottled selection which has been expanded nicely, this could be down to other local (can’t remember the name as it changes each time we are down there) now serving real beer. Provided they both keep good standards then this is a good thing for locals and visitors alike!

We had a terrific time in Brighton, the Saturday was spent chatting to friends old and new at a conference and the evening in the Marlborough putting the world to rights over a few drinks. As always with Brighton we can’t wait to go back and should that lottery win happen…..

Monday, 22 August 2011

Eye of the Beholder

No, not a post about Dungeons and Dragons but on photography. I often borrow or nab my partner's iphone for the purposes of taking a photograph of the beer I'm about to drink but the pictures never seem to make the blog.

Yet they are one of the things I enjoy looking at on other people's blogs, so I'm going to attempt to remember to actually download my efforts and put them up on the blog... starting here!

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Beer & Gender

Again, I know I posted on this before but as it still is going around.

Yet again marketing research from big companies assume that we need female beers or ales to get us to drink the stuff. Why?

Seriously, why on earth would you do that?

I cannot understand about marketing departments is this need to give a drink that can (and is) enjoyed by both sexes a defined gender for a brand of it. Let's face it, partly the reason for women not drinking beer is down to gender stereotyping, beer is seen as a man's drink. This can be enforced by advertising or social rules, so why not make all your products from the stables appealing to both women and men? You know be edgy and break the mould rather than steel girdering it?

Some wines used have these labels. Yes, most men have tried and do enjoy drinking certain wines which due some advertising were seen as feminine. Because a lot of wine advertising now alternates between the sexes instead of focusing on one of them. This has made wine come back into a drink for everyone to enjoy in that wind-down after work drink. Beer markerting could do this and yet often doesn't.

A drink which is lower in alcohol for us ladies, again why? We drink spirits and wines which are at the lowest end are often 9% and go easily upto 40% depending on what it is you are drinking. I just hope these female beer products actually taste of something rather than an unexciting bubbly mehness of bland.

All you are doing by having female 'friendly' drinks is building up a wall that doesn't need to be there, make your marketing and product appeal to everyone.

Athough a pretty bottle... and you have me on that one, I love a good bottle label and if it has a matching glass I'm there.

Monday, 15 August 2011

1648 Brewing Co

At the end of July we ended up in Eastbourne for the Lammas Festival which is held yearly, nice weekend out with gorgeous weather on the coast so far so good. Even better was the beer tent which was next to the stage, mainly serving 1648's beers with a couple of other breweries such as Darkstar. :)

Very nice brewery with a good selection of styles of beer, Bee-Head (4.6%) was a lovely soft tasting beer with a hint of honey coming though on the end. I liked this style of honey beer as it never tended to the beewax taste that so many do such as Waggledance.

Other great beers were Ginger No1 (4.2%), warming but light. Rather like a gentle Crabbies Ginger Beer, more refreshing in my eyes. However it was Warrant (4.8%) the porter which really caught my tastebuds to be honest. It packed a nice punch with it's intense nutty coffee flavour, despite the heat of the day it didn't overwhelm the tastebuds but just matured nicely.

Of course we could sample these without trying their Lammas Ale (4.2%) which is brewed for this festival, fantastic and I just wish we got their beers up here in London/Essex! We had a great time sitting listening to music and drinking good beer over the sunny Saturday and Sunday just a shame the weekend had to end so quickly.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Pirates of Penzance

On the first Sunday we were in Penzance they held a World Record beating attempt to get the most pirates in one place, so in a way I'm a record beater (Woohoo!). They did beat Hastings, the old holder of the title as they managed to get over 8000 folks dressed as pirates along the seafront. It was brilliant, the effort some folks went to was very impressive in the extreme. There are some photographs online of this attempt and luckily I avoided those photographers.

The best pirate I saw was a bloke dressed pretty much as Captain Jack, bottle of wine in hand who walked along the seafront trying to buy various items from other tourists for 5 gold pieces. Maybe it was the booze but he had the swagger and right accent for the part and was extremely good natured.

Spingo, a local brewery had a beer tent on the harbour side which showcased nearly all of their beers. All of which were lovely, just a shame I doubt I'm going to see them up here as most Cornish pubs didn't stock them either. Ben's Stout at 4.8% was superb, thirst quenching and very morish as was their 'Special' although that one was 6.6% and Easter Special was higher at 7.6%ish mark. Fantastic beers to end the evening on, smooth and rich.

Apart from Skinners, St Austell and Otter breweries, the only different brewery was Spingo. All of them do very good beers and we didn't see one London Pride pump clip!

For more information on Spingo beers:

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Ahhhh Cornwall

It was a lovely holiday and like all good holidays it had to come to an end. Not nice to think this time last week I was wandering around the Eden Project without a care in the world and today I'm stuck at my desk dealing with accounts difference and cursing salesmen. If it wasn't for the 6 and half hour train journey I would head back Cornwall..... although I doubt I would be paid, so back to accounts after lunch it is.

We arrived on Mazey Day which is a big festival in Penzance held each year (for the last 11 years) to celebrate Midsummer. The town was busy especially so when you ended towards the harboury bit, welding a wheely suitcase in desperate need for a drink my husband had no choice but to follow me to the first pub I saw that we had half a hope in getting to the bar to order a drink. Dolphin Pub and Dock Inn were packed out but the Yacht Inn around the corner was better and that first drink was lovely.

Normally I don't tend to drink Tribute, the other half likes it but I usually go for something else. However this time it was a lovely pint, better kept than I have had in London and very refreshing. Lovely way to start to unwind from a journey which started at 8.30am from Clapham Junction and ended up with the child from Hell kicking the back of my seat each time he wanted to get up.

As well as having some gorgeous St Austell beers this week, we also discovered Spingo beers thanks to a beer tent with nearly all their beers. Which I will write more about dreakly* this week. Strangely I found after a few days of drinking Tribute or Spingo's Middle that Proper Job was just too hoppy for me, normally I would say that it was gently hopped so maybe my tastebuds do need more of a change more often.

* New favourite word, means 'soon' in a Cornish way.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Oooo! Grrr!

And general gnashing of teeth... Blogger is playing up and whilst I can post an entry, I can't reply to people's comments. I have reported the error and I'm not ignoring people's very valid points, I just can't reply.

Correction, I can reply but only as a Name/URL posting. Grrr.

Monday, 20 June 2011

Nowhere To Hide

A lot has been said on the smoking ban and how it has affected pubs, and now we are having a similar situation with the economic downturn affecting them. One thing though I have found after two local pub closures is that these things have reduced the hiding place for crap pubs.

One of them had a brilliant sitting area with large windows to capture the light and warmth but the staff were always rude and the beer and wine were often 'off'so more often you would be drinking bottled products the staff couldn't wreak. For some reason you could overlook the crap bits for the nice place to sit and chat to your mates but when you couldn't enjoy that area because your mates smoked so you were more often than not in the awful garden complete with household waste the owners couldn't be bothered to chuck in the bins then all of a sudden those higher prices and crap service began to annoy.

The other one was always rough but with the ill behaviour spreading to the street instead of being contained indoors with a fug that would make a pea-souper look like a bit of mist, the pub really let it's true nature to be known. After the landlords tried to establish a 11am 'Happy Hour' for their regulars, people actually noticed and got together to get the pub closed. Before the smoking ban people would say it was awful and something should be done but as it didn't directly affect them nothing was done. As soon as the regulars of that pub were now lolling on the public benchs outside, fag and drink in hand and swearing loudly in the high street, it was shut quickly. For this reason I think the ban has done drinkers a favor in that the hiding places for these types of places is disappearing.

I know that there have been good pubs that have been forced to shut and there are bad pubs still going but hopefully one good side to some of the problems we have had is that the weak and poorly run ones may finally disappear. Whilst I don't agree on the ban and would have preferred pubs to have smoking and non-smoking bars again, it isn't going to be changed so this is one way of looking on the bright side.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

It's All in the Name!

Think you can do better than some of the breweries in naming a beer? Well here is your chance, McMullen’s are running a competition to name their August seasonal. All you have to do is buy a pint of their beer and fill in the entry form, this offer seems to be pretty much everywhere in their pubs. I spotted the posters for it in my local on Sunday.

There are tasting notes on the form so you know what the beer will be like for your naming process and this makes for a fun game with a group of friends. Easy enough to come up with a name you may think but we sat there for a long time thinking and then checking the names we came up with weren’t already being used by another brewery. Guess that is the problem with being a beer drinker, still we came up with a couple of ideas. So whilst any reader who does do this I wish them all the best but I’m sure my name is the winner. ;)

The winner gets a cash prize and other goodies but the competition ends on the 24th of June so not long to go. Get your skates on and you may very well have a beer out there with your choice of name on the pumpclip!

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Power of Blogging

I have been reading some (not all) of the whole CAMRA vs the bloggers thing, which just seems slightly bizarre although I can see where both sides are coming from.

However what I'm thinking is that some folks don't realise just how important blogging or bloggers opinions are worth. I'm going to say that the beauty industry also is only just now figuring out that women actually take more notice of another women's opinion from her blog about an product than what an article in a magazine. I read both perfume and beauty blogs, I know that blogger's general likes and dislikes and so if they review a product I'm interested in, their opinion can (and usually does) influence whether I buy something or not. For years beauty bloggers were sidelined until a few newer companies suddenly realised the reason for their growth was the bloggers yelling about brillant products they have found. Now companies do launch to independent bloggers knowing this is a good way of getting word out there.

Same with beer bloggers, if I see a blog I know and enjoy reading mentioning an event or beer as really good then I will be influenced by that. The point is I know from reading that blog that we roughly like similar things so the chances are I will also enjoy the event/beer. So confident I will be that I have regularly brought six bottles of beer I haven't tried before thanks to someone's post, so far this tactic works well. I have had interesting beer I may not have tried and been to pubs/events that I have thoroughly enjoyed myself.

Blogging is a powerful and free tool, yes some do get freebies but good bloggers will say that they got it free in their review. No hidden agenda as if you read something regularly you spot those quickly and can judge your reaction to their posts accordingly. Blogs by companies and their links are good to follow for news and offers but an individual's view freely given is a godsend to many new companies or services.

What are you thoughts on the power of blogs? Do you see them as powerful or not?

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Recommendations Folks!

At the end of June me and the other half are heading to Cornwall for a holiday and wonder if anyone has any must haves for pubs down the Penzance way?

Star Inn is already one of the pubs we will end up in after seeing it on Boak and Bailey's blog, but any others?

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Super Injunctions

and how long before someone uses one as part of an advertising campaign.

Let's face it for free publicity it is an amazing resource and many do believe the no publicity is bad publicity nonsense. The Twitter, Facebook and so forth posts that would spring up could be worth it.

Just a thought....

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Getting Caught Out

Trouble with having a blog, twitter account and FB is the fact your nearest and dearest know what you are up to without the helpful shield of PR. Not that I'm ever up to anything bad but being allowed to put forward my own version of events is better than someone adding 2 and 2 together and unfortunately coming up with 15.

Thanks to twitter my partner now knows about me trying of arranging a brewery tour for him and our friends to celebrate his birthday. (I drove him to drink you see) He also knows I am designing special invitations for said event, the artful question of 'Are the invites you mentioned on Twitter for your birthday party/drinks?' should have been met with 'No Darling, you techically arrange that one or are you admitting I do all the work?' instead of the sheepish 'No, your one' that I bleeted whilst kicking myself.

Thankfully my Mum doesn't use a computer and can't understand why we have the internet so at least I have that.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Darkside of Guest Beers

Normally I am a big fan of guest beers especially in my local area but there is always a dark side to the coin and that is namely when you are away on holiday. The amount of times we have arrived at our destination, unpacked, had a cup of tea and shower then headed out to find a pub for a snack and a pint only to find that they only have guest beers on. The cheerful barperson who exclaims we are lucky they have four guests on this week, and you will easily guess which ones;

London Pride
Youngs Bitter/Winter Warmer (depending on season)
And last but not least Broadside

All lovely beers but not usually local to where we are, but in the interest of fairness I guess regulars in that pub/area don’t normally drink them and they are going to keep the pub afloat not us on holiday. LocAle hasn’t spread to other parts of the UK yet it seems, I just wish that with the guests that there would be one pump on with a local brewery’s beer.

Even more ironic was a mini beer festival we happened on, with all London beers in Oxford. Oh well, had to partake otherwise it would be rude!

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Free W(h)ine

I really don't understand breweries or pub chains that only do the 'free wine' with a dinner offer. Youngs do it and now I see Nicholsons are doing it too, ironically I saw the Nicholson's offer in the London Drinker of all places.

Surely they would be better off to do the offer as either a pint of beer or glass of wine, unless of course the main aim is to get you buy more wine after the freebie and I'm guessing there may be more mark-up on the wine. However when it is a brewery pub that runs these offers I can't see that. Surely you want to promote your wares not a vineyard?

Come on Guys, if I go to a pub there is a good chance I will be drinking beer rather than wine. So why limit your audience for the deal?

Thursday, 12 May 2011

Old Favourites

As much as I like discovering new breweries and beers I do love going back to my old favourites. Maybe not the most ‘fashionable’ of beers but ones I know that when I see them at the bar I will enjoy sitting back with and drinking. They don’t necessarily challenge my taste buds but they always leave a wonderful taste memory after they are gone.

My favourites (in no real order) are;

Fuller’s London Porter – I was grimly waiting for the taste of other black pint which I tried this at a pub the first time and was knocked over by how different it was. This beer did also inspire me to try other stouts and porters but it remains a firm favourite whenever I see it.

McMullen’s Cask – My local brewery and this is probably the beer I drink the most of. Lovely subtle pint which can be warming on a cold day or refreshing on a hot one. Perfect in nearly any occasion.

Timothy Taylor’s Ram Tam – Yes, I know this is Landlord with caramel but it is a gorgeous pint.

Fuller’s ESB – Remains my favourite bitter despite numerous other attempts to the title by others. Gorgeous marmalade flavours mingling with the bitter depths.

Those are mine, so what are yours?

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

The Week Drags ON!

It's doesn't take long for you to get used to short working weeks does it?

This week looked like a long one at the start of the week but now seems even longer this Wednesday lunchtime, we have another 2.5 days to go until the weekend. To think on Sunday I was sitting in a warm pub garden overlooking the Thames with a half in my hand and watching the world pass by, just makes me want to weep now I'm stuck at this desk.

Nothing is better in my mind than sitting in a nice pub either on my own with a book or with my partner or friends. Last weekend's visit to Kingston upon Thames was great, we went to Boaters for lunch, which was the pub on the river. Lovely food and beer was consumed, fat chips with a massive lump of fish and freshly made tartre sauce all washed down with some good beers from the Dorking Brewery and Twickenham Brewery.

One thing I enjoy from pubs is the people watching you can do, and if you are anything like me that will involve making up background stories for them. Perhaps I should have gone into script writing rather than accounts? However the weekend is a short fleeting thing and now I'm at work again. Not only I'm at work but at work for five days rather than the lovely four I was too quickly getting used to!

Still, at least I can look forward to my holiday in June and the lovely things I will be doing, none of which involve accounts or spreadsheets or annoying colleagues.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

More a Cask than a Bottle

At the moment anyways.

A bit tongue in cheek really, I was thinking about all the folks that run in costumes for various marathons. Many friends who watched the Virgin London Marathon commented that it was amusing to see the Fuller's bottle sprint ahead of the Lucozade bottle. Unfortunately my googling skills have deserted me this morning so I still don't know what times either of them got.

It was nice to go out running in the Dorset countryside last week knowing as I sat down to a delish pub lunch that I had burnt off most of it by running. Other pluses included running with wonderful scenery rather than the views I currently have locally which are groups of feral children smoking in the local park nor was I treated to people who think it funny to blow smoke into my face as I run past. Folks in Dorset seem more adult about running and just let you past without comment. The smell of the countryside some mornings was a bit much but who can control a herd of cows who wish to trumpet in the dawn?

I only managed a couple of runs though due to a achy knee but it's getting better now for next week when the running resumes, not before time either, the smell of Deep Heat is getting to me.

Thinking ahead though I did manage to enter the ballot for a place in next years VLM, but I won't know if I am successful until October. Sadly even though I am losing weight I don't think a bottle costume would work, if any brewer has a cask costume then I could currently be more suitable for that. Obviously the aim is to be in a dinky 330ml can of beer costume by the end of the year.

Monday, 2 May 2011

Brodie's Bunny Basher Festival

I meant to write about this yesterday but due to dodgy internet connection (damn you BT) I am posting today instead. We went on the Saturday, for me this meant just a couple of buses but my other half who was staying in South West London had a longer journey so I waited for him in the pub with a pint of Mild (3.6% ABV). It was a good way to sit back and enjoy my first moments of the festival as I arrived as they were opening and I could watch the first few beer tickers at the bar, good natured toshing about the lack of new beers on and buying a new beer magazine to read whilst I waited.

The beers turned over fast on the day, as soon as one beer was gone another was quickly brought on. I realised halfway though that the good natured beer tickers had disappeared early on and came back in the late afternoon to try the newer beers. Sneaky! :)

From my notes here are a few of the highlights for me of this brilliant festival;

Mild 3.6% ABV, lovely flavoursome mild with a smoky aftetaste.
Cherry popper 4.0% ABV, interesting take on fruit beer almost a cherry lager in taste than a cherry beer.
Old Ardour 5.0% ABV, iron-tanged bitter, very smooth.
Romanov 12.1% ABV, I have had this in bottle form and on cask it is just as gorgeous, I love stouts like this.
Triple 13.3% ABV, strawberry tasting belgium style beer, surprisingly I really liked it as it is not my normal style of beer.
Elizabethan 22.0% ABV, this is gorgeous, smells of sherry and coffee which follow though on the mouth as you drink it. This is rather special indeed.
Summer Berry 3.5% ABV, one of my partner's favourites from this festival, soft berry flavour with a nice tang to it at the end to lift the sweetness.

The festival was very busy and also a very friendly festival too, I would use this festival to introduce newer drinkers to beer. The food was good too, didn't have the bunny burgers but we did try the other options which were rather good indeed. We had a lovely day and we can't wait to go back again.

Friday, 29 April 2011

Badger Brewery's Firkin Fox

4.3% ABV

We have been in Dorset for the last week, it has been a lovely break. Not much to do apart from seeing places, long walks and gorgeous pub lunches.

The Fox is the newest seasonal beer from Hall & Woodhouse, a foxy auburn beer with a fluffy foamy head which lasts to the bottom of the glass. Well named, as it does remind me of Mr Tod from Beatrix Potter books in beer form although it would have been more perfect if the pub had been serving bunny pie as well.

It is has a biscuityness to balance the bitter flavour and goes well with food. Lovely smooth drinking pint and I hope to see more of it should it make it to London.

Thursday, 14 April 2011

London Marathon

It's nearly here, this Sunday is the Virgin London Marathon.

Hopefully it will be nice weather but not the boiling temperatures that last Sunday's Brighton Marathon had. It is a great race to cheer folks on and watch the bizarre and unusual costumes that some mad people are running in.

Like last year Fullers' London Pride is supporting the VLM and will have places along the route for folks to try a sample of this stunning beer. Click here for details:

If you are running then Good Luck and I hope you have a great experience on the day, all your training will now pay off especially when you pass the finish line and get that prized finishers medal.

In a related note you can buy the London Pride running vests from or in my case I have brought the ESB one for my running. I'm going to imagine in my head that one day I will be running this great race!

Friday, 8 April 2011

Royal Wedding Beers

Brewer’s love a wedding as much as the rest of us and so with the upcoming nuptials they have been busy bees in the brewery. Surprisingly given some of the weird and dodgy names that brewers come up with so far the ones I have found advertised on the internet have been quite tasteful and refined, so far so good! Here are a the few I have found;

Windsor & Eton Brewery’s Windsor Knot 4%
Adnam’s Royal Wedding Ale 4.1%
McMullen Brewery’s Royal Celebration Ale 4%
Wadworth Brewery’s Better Half 4%
Castle Rock Brewery’s Kiss Me Kate 5%
Wold Top Brewery’s I Will 4.8%
Same name as Chiltern Brewery’s I Will 3.6% although Chiltern’s beer will be in numbered bottles.

I hope to see if I can try a couple of these although I will be travelling that day so I doubt I will see the wedding it’s self unless the train happens to develop TVs and license.

Some folks have mocked the breweries for producing these beers saying that people won’t want to celebrate with beer, personally I would rather have a beer at a outdoor celebration than wine which is normally served too warm and it’s too much. Whereas beer is more easily drinkable.

Any others people would like to mention or any thoughts on have wedding beers in this day and age?

Thursday, 7 April 2011


For some reason Blogger won't let me put in paragraphs and lumps them together. My last post is a tad difficult to read because of this. Sorry.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Beer & Running Folks

Surprisingly I have kept on running since last year and it has been a great way to get to know the youth in my area, if by know we mean having abuse yelled at you and the highly amusing 'Run Fatty' which they seem to enjoy yelling to any female out for a run. Still it is easy to ignore the buggers especially as any attempt for them to run means they are bend double hacking a lung out after two minutes. I have no excuse not to run as I have paid my hard earned money for a place in a half marathon, I will be up to the running of 13.1 miles by October by hook or crook!

One thing I have realised is by and large runners are a friendly bunch who are more than happy to smile or give a thumbs up as you pass on the pavement but like the world of beer you get ones who don't. Mainly as I shockingly discovered overhearing a conversation between two blokes at the bus stop because they view those who don't spend their weeks clocking up miles you would expect a rep in a car then you aren't a runner. If you walk for a couple of minutes in a long run then some get get snotty about you labelling yourself a runner as well. You get folks like this at beer festivals as well, if you don't go miles for a pint of the rare beer or etc. You get my point, there are folks who have funny ideas about almost anything.

For me running has allowed me to so far get beyond thirty minutes of running without collapsing on the floor screaming and to enjoy the first sip of a pint after a race with a smug glow of achievement. Not bad for someone who as a child would find any excuse to avoid PE at school!

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Wandsworth Common Beer Festival Spring 2011

On the spur of the moment we decided last night to head out to this beer festival, it was busy and got busier as the night got on but hardly any beers were off on this friday night so perhaps we have cracked the way to success for this lovely festival. Sadly I don't get many days holiday (just the legal minimum *sniff*) so taking a day off just to go to a beer festival isn't going to happen but turning up at 7pm on a friday works well.

Again the lovely Royal Victoria Patriotic Building was the setting, it truely is a beautiful building and on a warm night it is nice to stand in the garden with a drink. Seats were in short supply but that didn't bother folks at all, this festival is popular with all age groups from 18 to 80-odd and has the same mix of the sexes that you get in any pub around here.

We decided to pretty much stick to breweries we hadn't tried before or beers we just hadn't had luck in trying before. Andwell Brewing Company is a new one for both of us and both the beers we tried were top notch, King John 4.6% is a rich fruity beer with very hoppy overtones and the Ruddy Darter 4.6% was a lot like Sarah Hughes Mild but more abv friendly, we will be looking out for their beers in future. From Ascots Ales we tried the Ascot Cob 4.5% which worked although I wasn't initally sure of the idea, it was a soft hazelnutlyness to porter flavours and it worked really well. I tried their Anastasia's Sloe Stout 5.0% which smelt strongly of sloes but taste wise was very subtle, not bitter at all which as anyone who tried made sloe gin will know what I mean by that.

My partner couldn't resist Dark Side of the Moose 4.6% mainly because of the name I suspect, I loved the fact this brewery's barrels were a purple colour. Neither of us had heard of the Purple Moose Brewery in Wales but the beer was nice and again we will look out for them in future, in my case because I would be interested in seeing what their pumpclips are like! Redemption Brewery's Fellowship Porter 5.1% was the best of the porters I tried last night, gorgeous coffee fruitiness that slipped down easily.

The only duff notes of the night for me were that Sarah Hughes Dark Ruby Mild wasn't in good condition, cloudy and a bit socky (end of the barrel maybe, it looked like they had been rocking it) and the Brodies' Romanov Empress Stout had run out but these are minor duff notes and happens at any event.

The beers we had and the atmosphere last night was fantastic so if anyone is free today and is looking for a friendly beer festival, get yourself here.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Hare Raiser – McMullen

ABV 4.0%

This is the latest in seasonals for the McMullen brewery, it is a lovely golden bitter which slips down nicely on a warm spring day. This would be a great pint for a balmy summer’s evening too come to think of it. It’s made according to the McMullen website with one hundred per cent Styrian Golding hops which are the reason for its citrus notes but it is citrusly without being astringent unlike a lot of the lighter beers I have had before in spring.

These lighter beers are not normally my taste at all and usually I just end up avoiding them but so far all the ones I have tried this year have been lighter and less in your face than last year’s versions. While I don’t mind being challenged there is a point where enough is enough, I drink beer generally in a relaxed atmosphere with either a book or with friends. I enjoy the flavour and taste of beer and it doesn’t need to slap me in the face to get my attention. So this type of beer with it’s soft easy going charm is wonderful.

It is a cracker of a beer which I heartily recommend folks try whilst it’s around before like the crème eggs it disappears for the year.

Monday, 14 March 2011

Victoria Tavern – Loughton

This is the best pub as far as I am aware of in Loughton, just nearly bordering Epping Forest. I remember vaguely going to this pub with my parents when years ago we lived around here; it was no children allowed in the bar back then too.

The Victoria Tavern is lovely old fashioned looking pub with a small bar in the middle of a long narrow room. There are five hand pumps offering a selection of beers, on this occasion it was Adnams’ Bitter, Green King IPA, Doombar, Taylor’s Landlord and Black Sheep. The beers we tried were well kept and enjoyable after our long walk in the forest to find Loughton Camp an Iron Age fort. The Black Sheep was especially gorgeous here. They don’t accept cards here which is unusual now but as Loughton High Street with its numerous banks is only a short walk away it’s not a problem. It surprised us how peaceful the pub is despite being very busy and only a five minute walk from the very busy high street.

Food at the Victoria Tavern is outstanding, all the food we saw coming out of the kitchen looked amazing. The hubby had bangers and mash whilst I went for the steak and ale pie with mash however we both saw other dishes we would like to come back here to try. The meals were large enough for our heightened appetite after the 4 mile walk though the forest yet not to large that you would feel intimidated by the portion size.

Good food and beer by the forest, what more could you want on a sunny spring day?

You do have to put up with some daft folks in Loughton and for a very good description there is a great review here on the 20th Feb 2011:

Victoria Tavern
165 Smarts Lane
IG10 4BP

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Why I Like Pubs

By Meer for Beer aged 30-odd years old

Just thought I would write about the good things about pubs instead of reading about pubs closing or going downhill. Pubs are great places when the balance is right, with good management from the landlord who is backed up by a good brewery or just a good landlord in his own freehold.

I like the way that they all have their own personality stamps, well all the nice ones do. Yes, some breweries are ‘upgrading’ their pubs into wine bar type affairs but the ones which are busy day in and day out I have seen are ones that have that independent feel to them. For example The Harp or the Cask Pub & Kitchen in London both have a unique and independent vibe despite being totally different pubs. The Crown in Waltham Abbey is brewery owned but is a more relaxed pub which is different to the other same brewery pubs in the area.

Pubs I go to on a regular basis have good staff and rarely have a duff moment, I like the smile hello you get when you come in the door even if you aren’t a regular and the fact that I can if I want have a coffee in peace without someone’s child under my feet unlike the local cafes. I love being able to sit with a pint and a good book and be left in my own world.

Beer is always served in good condition without any input from me other than asking and paying for it, no storing bottles carefully because of sediment and pouring carefully, just a foaming pint of beer in my hand ready to drink. Brilliant.

Just a few reasons why I like pubs.

Monday, 7 March 2011

Don't Just Think25 but Think!

Flattering as it was on Friday night to be asked for ID to prove I was at least 25 (I'm a good 6 years older than that), it highlights some major problems for the system if you don't carry the correct ID with your date of birth on it.

It is difficult out there for businesses with councils and police using very deceptive traps to catch places serving to underage folks. I understand this but... seriously I don't get asked for ID normally and as such I don't carry my passport around nor a driving licence. The passport is safely hidden away at home for when I need for a holiday and my driving licence is also at home because I only have a learners one which is kept with my folder for lessons.

I was paying with a credit card, it is not a form of ID but to have credit card at still proves I'm old enough to legally drink in this country. If it's not my credit card then there are more serious problems here than underage drinking.

All I ask is that a bit of common sense is applied to the Think25 campaign, which I do consider a good idea in general but it has been reduced to two forms of ID for most places. It appears others have had serious problems with Sainsburys, folks with national ID cards (italian and portguese cards) with photos and date of birth are not accepted, if you don't have a passport or driving licence it's tough.

Last of all, I was the only person stopped with my single bottle of wine. Everyone else was buying multipacks of lager/cider I note none of them were asked on the other tills. I feel sorry for the cashier who had to ask but Friday night is felt like I was a tick box to make sure that she asked someone for ID that night.

On the other hand it did give my partner a bloody good laugh when I told him. He laughed for a solid five minutes.......

Monday, 7 February 2011

A Break Does You Good

After a mammoth session one Saturday I decided to go dry for a couple of weeks, it's been a nice break and it's kick started my running to more serious level.

Breaking my 'fast' was a lovely pint of McMullen's IPA, just the treat after a heavy morning's shopping. We have a new second hand bookshop near where I live and after spending time trawling though the new arrivals our throats were dry and dusty. No good secondhand book shop is well dusted after all.

Lovely to sip and chat about the type of things couples do in a warm pub.

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Thank You

The wonderful staff and customers at The Harp in Covent Garden who found my partner's annual rail ticket and didn't even accept a reward.

Thank you, it's nice to know there are honest people out there.

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Longer Hours?

After the calls of binge drinking britain hitting the newspapers and the governments thoughts on how they are going to deal with it, again the government has done a u-turn and are considering letting opening hours to be increased to 1am for the Friday of the royal wedding and the Saturday afterwards.

Upside is the fact there will be a nice party atmosphere in the pubs I go to, possiblity of food being put on and happy customers make a pub to be a perfect place to watch something like this on a TV. The chance of celebration beers from the breweries to go with the wedding as you watch it would be nice too.

Downside is the folks who will use this as a chance to get wreaked for longer, no doubt it will be this lot that get on the covers of the newspapers. Sad but this sells more news than shots of folks enjoying themselves without getting drunk and stupid.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Whining Won't Work

It didn't work with your parents when you were young and it won't work with the government now you're bigger.

Pubs will raise their prices as the brewery does, raises in tax/duty on fuel to transport the beer will be much a part of the price increase as the increase in duty. It is time to face facts, the government will put up duty and taxes on beer because it does bring in the money, hopefully to pay off the debt the country is in and not for duck houses but we shall see.

Of course we all could step out our houses and hold a revolution, in the words of V 'People shouldn't be afraid of their government, the government should be afraid of their people.' But lets face it, unlikely.

Thursday, 6 January 2011

January’s Jolly Offerings

I sit here smugly knowing I didn’t gain any weight over the festive period, mainly thanks to going to work for three days of it. Whilst people pitied me for having to go in I knew better, I was always from the cheese board and biscuits and thus weight gain though stilton mountains was not going to occur.

However as per many a person I do want to continue to lose weight this year so running shoes are firmly on in the evenings and many a cutback of cheese delight has happened this month already. As we all know everything in moderation is fine so…this leads us onto more seasonal beers;

Allgates Brewery’s Mad Monk 7.1%
Rebellion Brewery’s Overdraft 4.3%
Loddon Brewery’s Firsty The Snowman 4.2%
Oakleaf Brewing Co’s Stokers Stout 5.0%
Ossett Brewery’s South Pacific IPA 5.0%
Sharps Brewery’s Winter Cornish Stout 4.3%
Darkstar Brewery’s Hophead Amarillo 3.8%

Cheese and beer matching won’t happen here though.

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Great British Beer

Well it is great, but it's not the actual liquid I'm thinking about here but a rather nifty little booklet I found on Sunday in the Bricklayers Arms in Putney.

It is a Camra publication and I wish I had this when I first started drinking beer, it's clear and easy to read. One of the first of it's kind I have read that advertises beer without slagging of other alcoholic beverages. It explains about handpumps and real beer as per Camra guidelines with a light section on beer ingredients which is informative but not boring and then the bulk of the booklet is about the different beer styles. Brilliant piece of work.

And even better, it is free where pubs have them on display so you have something to read when you are sitting there with your drink. Thumbs up!

Saturday, 1 January 2011

Happy New Year!

Hope everyone had a brilliant time and heads are not too sore this morning.