Saturday, 26 August 2017

Urban Gold

Having had the wonderful Pit Pony in a bottle (see here) and the equally good, but less delectable for me, Bantam with my father (see here) it was a no brainer that I would pick up the Urban Gold from Urban Chicken Ale when I saw it in my local bottle shop. Furthermore, it had to be had on the Bank Holiday because it screamed Bank Holiday ale!

If you were to go to ancient Rhodes and sail into the harbour you may be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of a giant statue that is supposed to have stood astride the channel under which triremes sailed and plied their trade. This was the Colossus and it was supposed to have been something of a sight to behold, in much the same way I suspect that the Urban Gold stands astride my Bank Holiday ales (and I had a few) in a fashion that means I have to actually get on and review it above all others.

If you'll forgive the obvious self-referential flourish, this is an epic beer. Would you like to know more?

Thursday, 24 August 2017

Epic Beer

A friend and I had been trying to get together for a bit of pub crawl in Ilson for some time. See, last year about this time he had taken me around Derby and I, like the capricious soul I am, have never got round to writing up the experience. However, I had promised him a tour of my gaffe and some of the pubs that are to be had. Since then we have had some new pubs open, including the bottle shop, and it was time. Thankfully, our wives were also in need of meeting up and thus organised us into a night on the pubs.

We set out into the warm summer's evening and found that my usual was shut, it being Wednesday, and so had to quickly take that into consideration. A recce earlier in the day had identified some decent ales on and so it was that we ventured into town in high spirits and with some gung-ho spirit! Would you like to know more?

Tuesday, 22 August 2017


A long time ago now, I made a special trip to my local micro-pub, the Burnt Pig, to get me some Cwtch (see here) because I heard they had it in and I wanted to try it. At that point I did not know that I would ever be able to get the kind of canned and bottled ales that many of the people that I know online were having. Since then, of course, there has been a bottle shop open in my area and it has some fantastic ales on offer pretty regularly. So it was that, when they got Cwtch in, I bought some. And, today, I review it.

Obviously, with sunshine, I had it in the garden. And, equally obviously, that was not today because today has been rather grim and more usual wet summer from Britain. Still, a sunny day is when I had it and a sunny afternoon is when I did the review, would you like to know more?

Sunday, 20 August 2017


It's been a long day and I have been bombarded a little with events - football in the morning (not playing, you understand, watching my children play, exhausting enough) through to a centenary in our local park and then an arduous slog to the Crafty One bottle shop in Ilson with a small child to try and get them to sleep. I tell you, it's a hard life being a parent and harder still buying and drinking all these beers. Honestly, it's like I get no rest. So it is that, tonight, on a dark and slightly cooler evening than the rest of the week I am compelled to try a bit of brewed summer in a can from those rather clever folks at Verdant Brewing Co. again. Tonight's effort is called Headband and comes in a rather delightful orange labelled can. I got it in to have down at my father's back on Tuesday but we never got round to it. You can find out what we did get round to by clicking here. In the meantime, time to get down with this can.

I've already opened it and poured and, as as spoiler, I just said 'wow' even though there is no one in the room to hear me. Make of that what you will. Would you like to know more?

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Day in London

Following the success of the Tuesday night (see this finely crafted link) and the sharing of some lighter ales, my father and I did indeed get the train the following day to London to see the exhibition and share some meals. We stopped off for breakfast in Carluccio's in St Pancras (we agreed that this was easily the nicest of all the stations with rail links north) where I had a lovely mushrooms with scrambled egg on toast, hit the exhibition and then I took him on the longest walk you can really manage in London to The Harp - because I would be remiss not to. It was a lovely warm day, my father and I got to share our observations about architecture in the capital and ruminate on the effects of Modernism and Gerogian-style buildings mingling due to the gaps left by the Blitz and other such human disasters, all the while looking in at the occasional park and discussing the Russian Revolution because, frankly, why wouldn't you?

Surprised to meet Gandhi here but only snapped

This is very much a truncated story of pubbing about London primarily due to the fact that I needed to have the time to get the alcohol out of my system before driving back home in the evening. A feat that I managed (with suitably long gap twixt drink and drive of around five or so hours) and got home at a late enough point that Willow, Hooty and Girlie were asleep, but the Boy was awake. Would you like to know more?

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Down me Dad's

My father arranged some tickets to go and see Russia in London, and you don't turn down an offer like that, so I travelled down to his house the night before because it would be easier to get an early train. Being me, I took down some ales to try and compare notes on. As this is me, I took down a selection from which we chose what to have and then discussed the finer points of sours and pales because, well, I took down a sour and a pale.

The sour was Sur Simcoe by To Ol and the pale was an American Pale from the inimitable local brewery Urban Chicken being their Bantam. It sort of had to be done, you see, it wouldn't have been fair otherwise. Mind you, I set off from home quite late so it was properly dark by the time I got round to opening some of the delights and I very nearly forgot pictures, hence the picture of Daventry, because that's where the beers were had.

Near to where my father lives, but this is spring. It'll do.

Now that the preamble is out of the way, it's time to get to the beer. Would you like to know more?

Sunday, 13 August 2017

New England IPA V2

It was a while ago now, but we had a lovely friend come to stay and visit. You may remember her as the Belgian with whom I drank some beer back in 2014 (find that by clicking the word clicking). However, all of this is mere prelude as I wanted to share something a bit special and had picked this up from my local bottle shop with the exhortation to 'savour it'. I'd picked it up on a whim as I'd missed that they had any in, but seeing a collaboration between the giants of the craft scene, BrewDog  and Cloudwater meant that I really had to part with a sizeable fee to see what happened.

Before getting down to this I have seen many opinions expressed on this ale and I should point out that I did not have those in mind when having this. I had intended to follow it up with other ales but, for reasons that will become obvious, I did not. Would you like to know more?