Wednesday, 16 May 2012

What's The Longest?

That you have ever searched for a beer that has gone into mythical status in your mind?

Just curious...

Monday, 14 May 2012

Countdown to the London Bupa10K

It seems like there are a fair few beer bloggers and writers running at the moment, I'm curious as to whether they are all doing a race I haven't heard of to be honest!

But my getting up early at Stupid o'clock to go running is still happening after a break where I was fighting off a cold/sniffel/flu. Actually running in the morning sets you up for the day, much more alert at my desk pouncing on purchase invoices before they can escape my grasp. Although by lunchtime I am ready to eat my calculator if I have to wait much beyond 1pm for my food.

This weekend was a joy of going out early for a run, leisurely breakfast, banging my head against a brick wall or phoning BT helpdesk and then heading out to a Cucumber Festival in town and apint in my local. Lovely, shame the weekend and the nice weather had to disappear but I did get one more run in the sunhsine this morning before it turns to grey and drizzle so can't moan too much.

Now, my running is mainly because I actually quite enjoy running along, I'm improving slowly but improving but because I have a couple of races paid for and in the diary. Bupa being the first one, first city race I have done too, I'll be in running gear with no pockets for cash so any slow times will not be due to me popping in a pub for 'just one pint'...ahem.

So anyone else running at the moment and why?

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Isle of Wight Steam Railway's Beer Festival

Phew, a bit of a mouthful that title!
Last years glass which I got this year because I thought it was nicer than this years!
This festival combined both steam trains and beer, fantastic.

Onto the festival, it was rather wet this last weekend however the folks at both the steam railway and the beer tent were the cheerful sort who put a smile on your face regardless of the terrible weather.

First up for me was a mild from the Pot Belly Brewery in Kettering called Beijing Black Mild (4.4% abv)lovely warming beer it was too ideal for the drizzly damp temperatures that we faced getting to the festival. It had lovely toasty burnt coffee notes with a nice smooth marmiteque finish, really enjoyed this beer and returned to it later in the day.

Unfortunately I didn't really get on with any of Yates beers, being a IoW brewery there were quite a few of them, shame but that happens. However both Goddards and the IoW Brewery beers were fine for me, two out of three breweries ain't bad. From Goddards a special mention should be made for Fuggle-Dee-Dum (4.8% abv) this wonderfully malty beer is a real cracker and I hope to see it on the mainland, if not I may have to come back for it! My other favourite beer from this brewery was their Winter Warmer (5.2% abv - strongest beer at the festival), a nice fruity winter beer similar to Young's (when it was Youngs and not Wells!) Winter Warmer just a bit more fruity and malty. Quite lovely.

IoW Brewery did well too for me, with their Earls RDA Stout (5% abv). Classic stout, full flavoured and highly quaffable. Vectis Venom (4.8%abv) also fell into the quaffable section and on a hot summer's day I can see you would need to be careful with it! Bisculty smooth beer.

The mainland beers for this festival were all Midlands beers, we guessed because a lot of folks from the Midlands do settle on the Isle of Wight. My favourite was The Leveller (4.8%abv) from Springhead Brewery in Notts, a belgium trappist inspired beer which was brilliant, it had the belgiumy taste without the things I dislike from them normally. Eye opening for me, looking forward to trying some others from these guys.

All in all it was a fantastic festival, the only downers were due to a lack of food only cold rolls or hot pasties which ran out. The regulars to this festival take pack lunches and by 2pm we could see why. But we had a great day, riding out on the steam trains there and back and a cracking beer festival between journeys, whats not to like?

I do note that third class back in the days of steam are better than our so called first these days!

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Greenwich Raspberry Wheat Beer

5% ABV

If you like Meantime's raspberry beer than M&S have made it easier for you to get hold of.

Personally I couldn't detect any difference between the Meantime offical version and their version for M&S, possibly as tad less sharper but that could be my imagination. This wasn't one of the beers I drank abit from a sip as I brought them for the husband who enjoyed them...

At least I believe so by the way he clutched the bottle.

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Sandringham Diamond Ale

5% ABV

Brewed by the Elgoods Brewery with Barley grown on the Sandringham Estate and hops that were planted to mark Queen Elizabeth's Golden Jubilee. This is one of the beers that I was glad to see on the shleves of my Marks & Sparks, and now after tasting I am looking forward to a couple of them on the tea table for watching the boat parade down the Thames.

First thing that strikes me is how creamy the beer is, the toffee taste is more like fudge. It is light and clean tasting but the fudge notes fade away slowly. It is a very fizzy beer as seen by this photograph;

Looks a bit like some commerical lagers apart from the fact it has a crisp hoppy scent and a smooth fudge taste. The hops and barley provide lovely counterpoints to the main taste, the barley flavours seem to me to be almost burnt in a very pleasant way.

Lovely beer to be celebrating with. Food wise I'm sure it is going to work well with the tea spread that we have planned. Lots of sandwiches, cakes and treats. :)