Sunday, 31 August 2014

Beer Review: Titanic Stout

Back on the stout as it's been a while. Well, okay, not that long but long enough methinks to try another. Also, because I am capricious and strange, I thought I'd have it out in the garden. See, look, you can see the carrots flowering in the background of the picture. Also for a windy day, it was lovely and warm. So there.

Yes, today in my garden I have been mostly drinking Stout. But, wait a minute, I hear you say, you called it Titanic Stout in the title. Why, yes, I did you observant person, you; but it lacks some distinction to call it just Stout so I added the brewery name as well. Makers of the rather nice Iceberg (link).

Okay, now that introductions are out of the way it's time to get to know one another better, don't you think?

Would you like to know more?

Friday, 29 August 2014

One Lovely Blog

Normally I don't do this sort of thing. But, in this instance, I shall make an exception. There's a blog hop thing happening called "One Lovely Blog" where one gets nominated by a blogger and the idea is you share seven things about yourself and link to fifteen other blogs and the one that nominated you. I'm not sure I read fifteen other blogs, but I thought I'd try. It goes without saying that I get so little traffic that I'm sure the blogs I recommend won't even notice that I linked them, but should they do so, they ought to feel zero compunction to join in. I suspect I am the blog sharing equivalent of a dead end to be honest.

If this isn't your bag, there's my usual line break coming up. Before that, I was nominated by Willow C Winsham over at Latimer's Library, which is lovely. I think. Now, if you do not wish to know anything about the person that reviews beers and things (and God knows, they will tell you more than you probably wanted to know about me anyway) you can forget you saw this and move on. At least check out the linked blog though.

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Beer Review: Hip Hop

I'm down with it, I know my rap artists and my RnB and my softcore. And, of course, tonight I am reviewing the delights of Hip Hop by the Langham Brewery supplied to me by Willow's parents. I am guessing that this is pretty freely available down in Surrey as it boasts being traditional Sussex ale but I can say that I haven't seen it about up here, so, onward!

I apologise for the poor quality image taken with my phone. I really do look like the porn version of a beer blog at this point, all low quality blurred images and some panting commentary. Maybe I ought to shave the beard and only have a big bushy moustasche. What's that you say? Your beer is behaving strangely? You must come down to see me in my pantry and have a closer look at my barrel, no? I show you some mmm good beers, yes? Okay, I'm done now, you may proceed safely from here.

Would you like to know more?

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Three Men in a Boat

It cannot have escaped your notice that I have not been working all these holidays and that I went on a short holiday recently. Or, you know, maybe it can, I know I'm not the most important thing in your life or anything. Whatever your reason for reading my musings (or not, you cruel people that read synopses on social media and then don't hit the link) I'm sure you would like to know about one of the books I have managed to read. Because I don't get to read many books on account of being lazy and clumsy (I stabbed myself with a can lid today). Today, I shall be reviewing Three Men in a Boat because I read it.

Part of me wants to try writing a review in the style of Jerome K. Jerome, but I lack the ability to do his style justice. Instead, I shall probably just review it as I saw it and let you make the discoveries for yourself, because the discoveries are definitely worth it.

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Major Oaks

It's a cultural exchange... sort of. I visited a friend of mine who lives close to the Major Oak in Sherwood Forest and took along some of what I considered to be the best the local breweries could offer and some cheap offer beer from a local supermarket. We watched Doctor Who, YouTube videos, Commando and went walking in the woods. Not in remotely that order. By dint of having halves we demolished quite an ensemble of ale. I should point out that my companion for the evening, having served at numerous beer festivals, now tends to make pronouncements like "that's good beer" when pressed for opinions and not a lot else. He likes to frustrate reviewers and pedants. I fall under both categories.

So, journey with me now into the evening of men lost to fate. We left mainstream politics and entered the Sherwood Zone. Ahem, I mean, yes, click to read further of the evening!

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Beer Review: Proper Job

Tonight I had been doing some extra work (because Lord knows I don't do enough otherwise) and I was feeling like I needed some brew. Now, I'm not complaining about the extra work (and I'm not) because it made me fully appreciate the joy of stopping for beer. I have, however, been reminded of the generosity of family (thank you to Anna's parents for this one among others) and the joy of beer.

What has me waxing so lyrical? Cornwall. For the remainder of the post imagine me speaking in a West Country accent. Why not? It's Proper Job from St Austell, whose Tribute I have had before and enjoyed very much but have failed (twice now) to review.


Would you like to know more?

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Fountains of Beer

An update on the brewing situation follows. I'll bet you all though you were safe because of the fact that the SG reading was being strange, didn't you? Well, have no fear, things have moved on apace and I have caused Willow to literally cry with laughter and go white with fear, all within a minute! Yes, it has been an interesting time with the brewing...

Would you like to know more?

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Beer Review: Hop Bomb

Following on from the American craft beer last week, the inimitable Blue Fin Stout (link), I decided I'd stick with small bottles for the Sunday reviews. Today, in my garden, I had something from T. A. Sadler's, a brewery I can see me having more from as they keep turning up locally, and it gave me an earworm, which I shall share with you: Hop Bomb.

Hop Bomb, Hop Bomb, you're mah hop bomb...

Read on, fair traveller, the worst is past!

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Beer Review: Venus

On a tour of the local ales I found this stocked in the local farm that has a shop and it came from another local brewery, who am I to argue with that? It was very much the one that leapt out to me though there are plenty more from this particular stable, all Roman themed. So, tonight it is the turn of the lovely titled Venus from the Latinate inspired, one assumes, Derventio Brewery.

Would you like to know more?

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Beer Review: Blue Fin Stout

There's nothing for it, tonight I must be reviewing the beer I had in my garden once more. Can you tell the extra work of marking is officially over and I have free time once more? Probably.

Tonight it is the turn of Blue Fin Stout from the Americas to feel the potency of my lacklustre and vaguely unsettling reviews. Yes, this is from Shipyard Brewing Co. and gosh-darn if I don't feel the urge to do the entire review in the style of a pirate. Yarr. Also, the fact that it is called 'Blue Fin' has me battling the urge to add tuna to the title. Not helped by the fact that there's a picture of a Blue Fin Tuna on the bottle. Curse you, Shipyard Brewing Co., curse you!

And yah boo suck to you, you pretend hurricane/tropical depression/massive rain shower, Bertha! You failed to ruin the sunshine enough for me not to have a beer outdoors. Sucks to be you! No, wait, don't anthropologise the rain, that's crazy talk. Yaaargh.

Anyway, would ye like to be knowen more?

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Beer with a Belgian

It's another multiple beer review which, despite the title, will focus on beers brewed locally and picked up at the local farm with a shop that sells beer. It includes the Nutbrook stable from which I have enjoyed rather a few brews of late (Perfect Fifth linky, Mild Side linkity, and Black Beauty link) and another apparently local brewery by the name of Brampton Brewery. The title, instead, comes from the fact that one of Anna's friends, our Boy's goblin, is over from Belgium and enthusiastically agreed to join in some beer tasting. Yay! She also brought me some Duvel which I shall have to review later (along with the rather delectable Westmaller that I drank after we moved and then didn't review because, well, moving and drinking...). Aaaanyway.

Yes, this could be interesting, only two brews in this but with a tripartite review in full swing they will get a rather good seeing to.

Would you like to know more?

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Um... Flat

Which is the unfortunate reaction to my brewing. I tested the S.G. reading today, it was below 0.995. I have no idea what that means but it would appear to be a little overdone on the tasting - that is, there is a head that is vigorous and huge but it dissipates quickly. One shot-glass of it was enough to send me a bit funny and I suspect it to be rather strong.

I'm fairly certain that SG readings don't increase over time and so I think I may have killed this one. We shall see, I shall bottle some and distribute as last time and see if anyone like it. If not, well, chalk it up to experience and don't try brewing in a heatwave in a house without a cellar. In other words, the exact opposite problem that I faced last time. Too much heat and not transferring to a barrel quickly enough will, apparently, kill a beer rather than not.

Monday, 4 August 2014

We Remember...?

As a historian and given the date I ought to be saying something. As an historian of the First World War in particular and given the fact that it's the centenary of that conflict kicking off it would be rude of me not to say something or comment upon it. I have already written about my own attempts to fictionalise the conflict and the work of people such as Frederic Manning and Siegfried Sassoon in this blog. Indeed, I have probably also made known the fact that I have a greater respect for the poetry and message of Sassoon over that of Owen (in part influenced and inspired in equal measure by my own University lecturer on the subject, a Dr Warburton).

And now it is the centenary and everyone will be posting poppies on social media and bleating the same tired phrases about memory and how 'most people' won't share a picture of a poppy and isn't it so sad how the younger generations don't have a clue about the sacrifice that was made in their name in nationalist terms and sponsored by bloody neo-Nazis and aaaaaaargh!

Taken in 2007, this shows students from West Yorks at the
monument to the KOYLIs erected in Bus-les-Artois with some
French veterans (not of the FWW) and villagers.

Be warned, I have bile for this. Read on at your peril!