Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Home Brew Review: Milestone IPA

I have been looking forward to trying this particular home brew properly since my trip to Leeds. It was very much over-shadowed by the power and quality of the first home-brew, Bubba's APA, being a dry-hopped and fruity little number. Therefore I was anxious to let this one have a bit of space and time to breathe and work though it in splendid isolation, as I feel it suffered a bit unfairly.

I refer, of course, to Milestone IPA, brewed by m'colleague.

Would you like to know more? I think you should, even if this is beyond your reach, it says something for brewing generally and is a chance for me to capture something that will not oft be repeated, the ultimate in exclusive ale!

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Beer Review: Lancaster Red

As hinted earlier in the week, I am very much indebted to Steve for these beers, and have been itching to get at them without obstacle. With so much going on and so many beers stacked up, this means it has rather a taken a while. However, the second of these ales is upon us! And I am looking forward to it.

Of course, tonight, and I know it's a Sunday and not in my garden, I think I've probably killed that already, it's Lancaster Brewery's Lancaster Red. Lovely evocative bottle and label - easily my preferred of the two offerings, hence the almost indecent haste to get it reviewed after Mr. Trotter's (here's that link again).

Would you like to know more?

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Beer Review: Mr. Trotter's

Something a bit special tonight, as the nights draw in, a gift from a friend of mine from University from a brewery that is local to him, Lancaster Brewery in, well, Lancaster. He actually gifted a brace and this, a chestnut ale, is the first to be reviewed.

It is, oddly enough, called Mr. Trotter's Great British Chestnut Ale but the blurb makes the shortening to Mr. Trotter's which is how I shall refer to it from here on in.

Would you like to read more?

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Cultural Exchange - A Night in Leeds

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I have ventured north once more to the fine and fair city of Leeds, there to meet with two erstwhile colleagues who remain good friends. I was shown the pinnacle of hospitality (and I'm not randomly exaggerating that at all!) and had a really good night. I managed to play the hand I was dealt rather poorly but we still had some fantastic beer, good conversation and a reet good night. Also, Leeds happened.

And it goes a little something like this...

In the process I was treated to not one but TWO home brews by my host and, the following day, a much needed romp in the woods. through an old and almost unknown POW camp from the Second World War. His girls were much enamoured of the toilet block (what remained of it) and I loved the references to 1996 that were spray painted on listing the X-Files that may have happened there. All in all, a great weekend (albeit last weekend) and one that deserves a blog post. So, here it is.

For the faint of heart and those with medical conditions, there is a line break here as a salve and shield for your sanity. Would you like to know more?

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Beer Review: Infinity

I should be clear here, when I found and bought this beer in Matlock Bath I did not know that it was also brewed with Citra hops. I just liked the fact that it was pink and vaguely local to Matlock (15 miles up the road according to the lovely fellow in the General Store that sold it to me).

Anyway, tonight I shall be incurring the ire of strangers with a review of Infinity by a littler brewery by the name of Blue Monkey Brewery. I saw four ales made by them today when I bought the one I am now having and intend to one day try them all.

Now that that's out of the way would you like to know more?

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Beer Review: Citra

This one has been sitting in the kitchen for quite some time. I picked it up because Oakham Ales is a good brewery and most people I know who drink beers and drink good beers tell me they are a brewery to watch. Anyway, it looked intriguing, what with the Green Man as art on the bottle, and I thought it would neatly fit the general milieu of this here blog that occasionally covers topics other than beer.

Tonight I shall be wordily and verbosely setting out the virtues and pitfalls of Citra. It is a good looking ale.

Yes, that is another bottle of Blue Fin Stout (link) in the background. They were on offer locally for less than a quid and, you know, it would be rude not to. There's a Double IPA there too if you look hard enough.

Would you like to know more?

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Books that have stayed with me

I was nominated by Steve for this one. I listed but did not explain.

I know, it's a click-bait list article thing, and I can't really rank the books that I like easily. However, I think I can give you ten books that have stayed with me for "some reason" and briefly explain why. I can't promise any order to the list, any rhyme or reason to the inclusion of books or any great themes that I shall be exploring. Equally, there will be books that are missing simply by dint of me having read them too recently for them to have stayed with me yet, like How to be a Woman by Caitlin Moran and Kazuo Ishiguro's Remains of the Day, which are both brilliant books in their own rights and will no doubt make me think for a long while yet but, having only been read in the last few weeks, can't really qualify for the list.

Then there's the influential books that shaped who I am today: Bernard Cornwell's Sharpe series, Tom Clancy's books, Colin Dann's Animals of Farthing Wood series or pretty much anything by John Wyndham (his short story Consider Her Ways was very much part of making me who I am, as was The Trouble with Lichen and, of course, Chocky). Obviously not all of those can make a list of ten books that have stayed with me, so the list will be culled and will be pretty random. Without any further ado then, the list continues after the line break.

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Beer Review: Doom Bar

This one has been a long time in coming. I keep seeing the bottles in the shops and virtually every pub that has ales from the cask and claims of 'real ale' have this as one of their headliners. As a consequence I was quite chuffed to see it as part of a gift from Willow's parents. So, thank you.

It is, of course, Sharp's Doom Bar and the fact that I see it everywhere probably means that it's been reviewed pretty much everywhere. However, none of those people were me on a dark summer's evening, so there!

Would you like to know more?

Tuesday, 2 September 2014


Mainly, this is a book review of part of my summer reading, Hereward by James Wilde, loaned to me by a colleague with a warning that it was probably historically suspect. It is a thriller, set in history, and follows a pretty formulaic pattern through a poorly understood and poorly known period in English history. Heck, in British history. No, World history. Anyway, I shall be attempting to plumb the depths of that here.

Would you like to know more?