Sunday, 28 December 2014

Artesian Ales: a double header

More ales, this time a brace, to review and it would appear that they are joined somehow. It would be wrong not to review them as the pair that they are. I picked them up for a pound apiece down at a supermarket I don't get to much - they have a good selection of real ales without being expensive. However, they remain an evil empire, not the Evil Empire, but an evil empire nonetheless. Even so, I was intrigued enough to pick these up as part of my ale-inspired Christmas present from Anna.

It was only after I got them home that I realised the horrible truth: they were both brewed by Shepherd Neame who seem to stalk my every move in beer reviews! Not that I'm complaining, they do appear to be one of my favourite brewers, but it is slightly annoying the way that they turn up without me even looking for them!

Rare, but I know where I stole this from:

And so, tonight, I am reviewing Artesian Dark Ale and Artesian Light Ale - why not - and thus face you with two paths. One will lead back to sanity and normalcy as you click on the address bar and type in a new place to visit, the other, the dangerous path, is to click below and read more. So, what is your choice fair traveller?

Saturday, 27 December 2014

Christmas Ale: OMG!

I know, I know, I usually only post reviews on a Thursday and a Sunday. But, this year, I thought I'd try and review more than my usual amounts of ale. Plus, this is another specifically Christmas ale and so it would be churlish not to review it over the Christmas season. I refer, of course, to the other offering by Thwaites of Old Miserable Git. I saw someone reviewing it as being a good ale last night on the intertubes and thought I would also partake, having seen it locally.

Thus, despite snow and ice on the roads, I went out to pick it up and promptly had it in order to review. Also, to try and balance the disappointment of the Snowman's Revenge (here). Would you like to know more?

Thursday, 25 December 2014

Christmas Review: Beers!

After the morning of frenetic unwrapping and playing on a carousel system (the Boy) or manically changing the dresses on magic clip dolls over and over and over (and over), that would be the Girlie, the wife (Willow) and I sat down to watch an old DVD (Dylan Moran, Monster) and snuggle up. I got out my Christmas ale (yes, I have only the two) and decided to imbibe them during the showing. Originally in scrawled notes and now written up to post online!


I have had Yule Love It (again) by Thwaites and Snowman's Revenge by Wentworth, though this may be a bad batch, we'll see.

Would you like to build a snowman? No? Okay, then read my reviews instead!

Sunday, 21 December 2014

A Trip to Carlisle

So we progressed Oop North recently as part of the Christmas rounds. This was before Anna had spent three days in hospital and had the kidney infection rear it's ugly head for a second and third time. She's home now, as I write up this review, but she's still in pain and not fully well. However, this is not a personal blog, it is a beer blog. And, to that end, I had two ales whilst up where I used to live and they were almost local. Well, one was local. The other was a princely £1.50, which I thought good value. Except I saw it today for 89p. Damn.

Anyway, yes, I shall be reviewing Corby Noir by Cumberland (Carlisle) and Bumblebee by Ballistic Beers as these were the ones I had that rainy, cold evening whilst trying to get the children to bed in my mother's house.

Would ye like to ken meir about the ales? Then travel wimme doon the road at the edge of the Batable Lands an' schott any meetings ye may ha' instead of bidin' wimme a while.

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Beer Review: Aile

It is late in the year, it is dark and the cold is drawing in upon both the landscape and the people. As the night turns black so people turn inward, toward the warmth of hearth and family, huddled against the darkness without in small spaces. Blankets, coats and pyjamas used 'gainst the freeze about lest the fire draw the attention of the eyes of others not of our kith or kin. It is time for beer, time for ealu.

And tonight's guest to the rug before the fire is Aile, being the Manx Celtic for 'fire' or 'flame', which seemed oddly fitting. It is brewed by Okell's in the Isle of Mann and I have a few of theirs hanging around so expect to see them again.

Okay, okay, so I had it at lunch...

Bad poetry aside, this bills itself as a Porter and so I was expecting something heavy and stout-like, if that's not your bag, desist! Otherwise, you know, feel free to dive right in by clicking on this not-at-all ominous and significant link in order to plunge through the dread and eldritch portal.

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Beer Review: Rye Pale Ale

I've been beaten to this ale by another competent reviewer but, being me, I am not deterred. The tree is up, the children and Anna erected it on Friday, and today has been spent running about sorting Christmas stuffs. The Boy.exe stopped working, crashed and failed to reboot from start - we suspect an ear infection - meaning that he has vacillated between running around like a hellion and falling asleep leaning against one or other of his parents. For those keeping track, Willow is feeling better than she was but not out of the woods yet.

The scene was thus set for a proper ale of an evening to help me into the next week of running around and sorting yet more stuffs. Therefore I did not feel quite so bad going for another ale from the evil empire of Tesco, I refer, of course, to Revisionist (this time running cover for Marston's) Rye Pale Ale. Well, why not?

On a cold day, where the sun barely managed to beat the frost and melt the ice on the paths about town (and the frost formed after the break of dawn, I watched it happen to the rooves opposite) I lacked stout in the kitchen, but this pale has been waiting a while. An end, then, to waiting! Would you like to come with me further?

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Beer Review: Premier Bitter

Not the first choice for the beginning of winter, I know, but I thought an interesting one and, you know, the fact that the brewery is in Lancashire will mean that it always holds a place close to my heart. Tonight, I am reviewing the rather straight-forwardly named Premier Bitter from Moorhouse's who were introduced to me by my wife a long time ago around a birthday without me quite realising what they were about and then featured heavily at Hallowe'en (here), because reasons. This is now, in part, rectified.

So, yet another jaunt begins into the world of a man who can wax far too lyrical about ales but who, nevertheless, does not care and does it anyway. When I die, this will no doubt make as good an epitaph as any. In the meantime, dare you follow beyond the link?

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Beer Review: Barry Island IPA

This has waited a long time, as it was part of the gift from when I was last in Leeds (link) and something of the powerfully hopped variety. So, on this rather bright day, I decided to actually have it with some food. It was poorly chosen food (that frozen chicken and mushrooms thing I did ages back) but food nevertheless. I refer, of course, to the ale that is referenced in the title up there: Barry Island IPA from Brains who, I suspect, are different to S. A. Brains as I can find no reference to the initials. However, by the same token, one assumes that there is some link. And I have been watching some Monty Python involving long rants so that may be affecting my writing style.

No pubbing again this week due to the fact that it is close to Christmas and so we've been oop North to see people and have only just got home. As I was driving it seemed a bad idea to drink round other people's houses and so I've fallen back on this lovely little number to make good the shortfall.

Without further ado, not adieu, I shall therefore continue on with my beer review what it is mine and this is what it is. A beer review, one of many on this site, what are mine, and this is one of them.

Yes, ahem, would you like to know more?

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Beer Review: Dark Denomination

Tonight it is the time of something dark and eldrich. And forgiveness. Yes, tonight I am attempting to rehabilitate Flipside from Random Toss (here) fame with another go at them (mainly because the local micro-brewery has them at a much reduced rate than where Anna got their last offering). So, it is the turn of Dark Denomination for which I have our friendly Belgian to thank as she paid for it! The choice is entirely my fault though!

It's been a busy week too, last night Anna and I got to go and see a film together - which is the first time since the abysmal (well, no, not that bad) Amazing Grace back in the day, what, 2007? And there are House Plays on and there are reports, deadlines, marking, parents' evenings and all sorts. In this maelstrom of activity and welter of travel plans it made sense to try something heavy and stout-like. What, with saying nice things about students, it also seemed like the best time to try and get Flipside into a position where I could recommend them.

Would you like to scry through the whirling clouds of dark and twisted space now into the depths of the realms of beer? Well, would you? One must simply click below and be transported hence to that world. Mwuhahahahahaaaa!