Thursday, 30 October 2014

Hallowe'en Showdown!

It's All Hallow's Eve and there are plenty of themed offerings about. I realise that the actual day/evening isn't until tomorrow and that there are plenty of other names for this particular thing (Samhain springs to mind, but was lunar, so not on the same date every year) but I digress. Themed brews means a good excuse to crack open some beer and have a review, doncha think? Also, if I review tonight you may just have time to pick some of this up for yourselves should you so wish.

For reasons that aren't entirely clear to me, this all means that I am pitting Moorhouse's and Wychwood against one another in a kind of battle royale. But, you know, without the Japanese schoolchildren trying to kill each other with a variety of weapons. Oh, and Hunger Games which is the sanitised and slightly badly plotted western film version (no, I haven't read the books).

Now that I have alienated some of my audience of three, would you like to know more?

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Beer Review: Red Stripe

This is a tipple that my father used to have, I know he did because I can recall seeing the tiny little bottles in the garage and, once, under the stairs. I always wondered what it was, whether it was like coke or something and so, naturally, on seeing this in my local supermarket at an insanely cheap price for 300ml I had to try it. It is Red Stripe, being sold as lager, Jamaican Lager Beer no less. Well, thought I, I have to try me some of that.

Would you like to know more?

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Beer Review: Dr. Hardwicke's Double IPA

Only last week I was complaining about beer with long titles and, here, we have a beer with an incredibly long title. Still, I mustn't complain, for I have dined most exquisitely upon cous cous with roasted Mediterranean vegetables, bacon and balsamic vinegar and the remnants of our children's evening meal. All to the lovely soundtrack of Trains Formers 1-5 on youtube and the squeals of pure delight by both cherubic children upon their choice being pre-empted by an even better choice from the other. Invariably this is followed, as one would expect, by the laughter that accompanies being smacked hard by one's sibling and much merriment was had by all.

So, it is without too much ill-will toward the long name that I turn my attentions to the reviewing of Dr. Hardwicke's Double IPA from T. A. Sadler's (told you they'd be coming back), and attempt to ignore the sweet serenade of the Boy complaining that lying down makes him bored and sleepy and gives him bags under his eyes and how not tired he is. Of course.

Yes, that's some Flipside you can see there...
And Bateman's BPA too. They'll come soon enough.

Would you like to delve deeper into this beer-swilling swell's life of pure pleasure as we review together this rather fine US-style ale, all in its Statesian size pint of 330ml (give or take)?

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Home Brew Review: Bubba's APA

This was the second bottle of home brew I was gifted back when I was in Leeds, here, and, alas, the last. It was the nicer of the two brews on the night as I recall and so I was saving it. However, I was also terribly impatient because I drank it when there was nothing special happening beyond the fact that it was the weekend and I fancied a beer.

I refer, of course, to Bubba's American Pale Ale.

This being a home brew, you can't get any more, but I am given to understand that there is a stronger variant being brewed (7% ABV actually) and that if you are very nice to the brewer there is a chance of gaining some to try yourself. So, on that note, would you like to know more?

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Beer Review: Original

Hi-de-hi! Yes, it's another night for reviewing of the brewed stuff and I've gone all the way round back to the mainstream because now the mainstream is pretty darn good when it comes to beers. Not that it beats the littler known stuff (it doesn't) but because the situation with beer is much improved since I was a young warth- no, wait, that was the Lion King. No, it's better than when my Dad drank Red Stripe and called it beer.

Tonight, then, I am drinking Thwaites (or Twats as their sign says after they sacked a bunch of people who were upset about the way they handled it and were still doing basic maintenance before they left - bad show, Twats, bad show) and their Original Best Bitter. Yes, I know that the title is shortened. I don't like long titles and mouthfuls when enjoying a beer.

So, if my combative tone hasn't put you off, you can join me in my mission to review this here ale and learn all the secrets that my tastebuds can unea- no, wait, that's Time Team. Never mind, I shall delve into this brew of Twats... that came out wrong.

Would you like to know more?

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Default Man and Me

In which I analyse my own behaviour in light of all that I have read, watched and learned since making my last post on Grayson Perry. Not least the fact that there is so much more to the man than his transvestism and the fact that I am now teaching Sociology properly. It behooves me to do some sociology. After all, I teach History by dint of doing some actual historian things now and again.

So, would you like to know more?

Sunday, 12 October 2014

A Birthday Bevy of Beers

No, not my birthday. But there was a birthday bash round our way and it happened to be in our house. Naturally, I bought in ales, and at a cheap price too. They seem relatively new and this seemed as good an excuse as any to have more than one ale on an evening and then to blog about them afterward. A new brewery for me to try too! Box Steam Brewery, as it happens, which was quite disappointing to some of the party guests who were hoping that the BSB proudly displayed on the bottles was a reference to Back Street Boys, whom I believe were back, alright?

From our living room come morning.

Obviously, with a selection known as Criminales I was going to pick them up (and at 89p a pop!) but I'll confess to being a middle-class snob of the highest order as I pronounced it like it was hispanic. On reflection, it's less 'crim-in-ah-lez' and more 'crim-in-ails', I'll probably be hard pushed not to refer to them as the former in my head however.

Would you like to know more?

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Beer Review: Bishop's Finger

It's been a while since I declared, perhaps rather rashly, that my favourite brewery was Shepherd Neame and nary a beer from their stable has made me sit up and shout about them since Dragonfire (link) in June! Indeed, it's been a while since I reviewed anything of them, the last being the rugby themed Up and Under (link) in July. In partial rectification of this, and also to see if they withstand the onslaught of locally brewed beer since I've moved.

Tonight, then, it is the time to have Bishop's Finger and see how we go. Mind how you go, sir, it is a strong ale, sir. And yes, I just said the last sentence in the Cockney accent I remember from things like On the Buses or Up Pompeii.

Would you like to know more?

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Grayson Perry

I'm not sure whether or not I've spoken of Grayson Perry, the transvestite artist who won the Turner prize and got a CBE from Prince Charles (who, admirably, did not look the least bit startled or abashed in presenting it), before. In introducing him thus, however, I am falling for one of the simplest and most galling tendencies in popular British culture at the moment and, at the same time, being frightfully binary in my discussion of gender.

Perry wins the Turner prize.

Yes, it's going to be one of those posts in which I muse aloud on things such as Feminism and society, so if this is not your bag you maybe want to look away now and hit the 'Beer Review' tag to your right!

Would you like to know more?

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Ender's Game

We watched Ender's Game last night. I was surprised how well the book translated to the big screen, if truth be told. I missed reading the book when I first had a chance back in GCSE English and I wish I could turn back the clock and fix that. I read the book just after University and then, unusually for me, I read it again in my first year of teaching. Why? It was apposite and reminded me that, in schools, often the perception is that the adults are the enemy and that this is totally for valid reasons. I also loved the pace and the immediacy of the book. So, how could they condense all that into a single film that was less than two hours long and maintain any sense of the source material?

The truest depiction of the motif of the
book in a film poster I could find.

Would you like to know more?

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Beer Review: JHB

I was actually rather pleased to have spotted this in my local beer store after being inspired to try it by a review elsewhere on the internets (here). Still, I do rather like Oakham Ales and so it was no personal tragedy to be having tonight JHB (or, to give it the full name: Jeffrey Hudson Bitter). Jeffrey Hudson, by the by, was a three foot tall bruiser in the employ of Charles I apparently.

So, the background is well established, the stage is set and the players are ready to give you their tale. Shall we read on together or wilt thy courage fail and have thee walk, defeated, from the field where the beer is reviewed?