Thursday, 29 January 2015

Beer Review: Red Ale

I know, I know, I'm supporting the Evil Empire, well, one of the evil empires, that is Tesco. And I am drinking one of the ales that is exclusive to them. In my defence, it was on offer and I was looking for something a little hoppy and different from the usual assortment of hops that I have grown accustomed to over the last year or so. Besides, how often do I taste and review ruby ales (answer: not much) and so here I shall be mostly tasting and reviewing Red Ale from Revisionist and with a hint of Marston's too for good measure. I know, I know, this is becoming habit after Rye Pale Ale (here) and I have another on standby for later too...

It claims to be Pacific hops and, to its credit, it includes New Zealand in the Pacific, so that's better than a lot of the things I read these days. Would you like to know more?

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Beer Review: Galloway Gold

This is the first, and much-anticipated on my part, ale from my Christmas present from my mother and her husband. Brewed locally to them, near Carlisle (Castle Douglas as it happens), by Sulwath. I started with this one for a Sunday lunch review simply because it bills itself as a lager rather than an ale, which I thought was something different. Mind you, there are no hops that I can find, so perhaps that's not unexpected. In that, however, I am struck by the fact that this is less, well, boring than the last one I had (Red Stripe click here) or the Steven's Point Lager that I've had, but elected not to review.

Maybe it's because it is from the Scottish Borders (in a historical and poetic sense, not Galashiels!) that it seems to do more than these, or maybe I have a soft-spot for all the wrong reasons, but I thought that Galloway Gold would go well with my meal of last night's takeaway. Oh, we know how to live here in the Towers!

Would ye like t'ken mair?

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Beer Review: MacLir

Off to the Isle of Mann again this time with a review of a wheat beer, such that it is, from Okell's called MacLir, taking inspiration from the magician and folky sounding Manannan MacLir apparently. And I was interested because they were on offer and I thought that I could do with some of that. Also, been down to another supermarket and they had even more ales at a reasonable price than my local bargains store. Colour me surprised. I shall be making a specific trip there to gain more ales for the tasting.

I digress. Tonight is the turn of MacLir and I hope to review it well. I've only been to the Isle of Mann once, a long time ago, and yet I have had two ales, as of tonight, from there. Coincidence? Actually, no, it's not. There's nothing here that speaks of a link but my own diseased mind.

Would you like to know more?

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Beer Review: New World

Now, I've heard and agreed with quite a lot of criticism for the Marston's range over the last month or so, but I still had this in from ages back. Being the sort that I am, I thought I ought to give it a chance and, you know, I'm glad that I did. Welcome, one and all, to a Sunday lunchtime ale from New World.

Would you like to know more?

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Beer Review: Crafty Dan

Ah, have I mentioned how much I remember this brewery? Tonight I shall be reviewing Thwaites's Crafty Dan, named after part of their brewery, and why not. We have had a lovely chickpea and spinach curry (I know that spinach in a curry is saag, but I cannot for the life of me remember what chickpeas are) home-cooked and with a late late crop of carrots from our garden (I know!). So, yes, nice enough day for a craft ale of an evening.

This is an odd fish and not one for the faint-hearted! Care to delve deeper into the madness?

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Beer Review: Nanny State

Not sure if this counts as a beer review in one sense, but it is by Brewdog and they are usually anything but normal and expected and so I feel that it is fine to be reviewing it as an ale. Besides, the Christmas season was full of heavy ales and big sessions so it is perhaps more fitting that I try something a little less heavy in order to recover. You never know, as we pootle about this New Year in which we find ourselves, you may find yourself needing a slow down.

So it is that I am reviewing Nanny State for lunch. Hence the odd picture of my DVD collection below (they are stacked next to my chair). Actually, some of those... most of those are Anna's.

Would you like to know more?

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Beer Review: Blitzen

Ah well, my Christmas has come to an end and I have one last Christmas themed ale to consider. It may not exactly be in the 'season' but it is close enough, I feel, and this will be the last word on the subject until Christmas 2015. Also, there are other people out there who had waaaaay more Christmas themed ales than I and I am in no way jealous. What can I say? I'm back at work, marking has hit and so there will be a period of mania. In the meantime, it is the turn of Black Sheep's Blitzen.

By now you've probably read/imbibed more ales than is strictly healthy. I have yet to adopt a year-review of posts and ales. Mind you, I could do so later in the year, just to be different. Would you like to know more?

Sunday, 4 January 2015


Company was over! Huzzah! I had hoped to play a game or two of Settlers of Catan and get the ales in whilst that was ongoing, but instead we were besieged by our children and so the time came to get in food, that Chinese again, and we eschewed gaming in favour of chatting and sharing youtube videos. Anyone would think that I'm set in my ways or something. Anyway, the point is that we did not really get to the ales until after the first two visitors had left. My Sherwood Forest dwelling friend and I then got down to some serious golden ales.

Which, of course, meant that I had Spandau Ballet in my head after the evening rather than a hangover. Alas, such was the lateness of the hour and the tension in the youtube videos, I failed to take pictures on the night and had to take them in the morning. You may recall some of these ales from previous frolics and so they were to be.

Would you like to travel still further?

Thursday, 1 January 2015

Hoppy New Beer for 2015!

Yes, yes, I already used this title back last year. And, I think, last year there was no beer review in it but a promise to brew more ale in 2014. I have singularly failed in that regard, brewing only a raspberry effort that was either passably nice or evil consigned to the sink depending on who you spoke to.

However, there is a beer review this time around as we had company up and I shared a few ales. Only three (ha, only) but they were good and I am glad that I had them with company. Before I get to them and the inevitable line-break though, may I offer all you readers a happy New Year? I hope that the blank pages of the year ahead are well and truly taken to use by your good selves, that you mar, mark, stain and scribble all over them with some abandon and happiness. We are never entitled to be happy or even ever have it guaranteed, but we can seek it out and enjoy it. Sucking the marrow from the bones of life. Whatever your religious flavour (mine is Church of England) or lack thereof may you have a year that is worthy of you. The kind of year that you will look back on with some satisfaction even if living it can sometimes be difficult and hard.

Now, onto the reviews. It was an odd mix of ales that were tried as Willow's cousin and husband were up. He's tasted ales with me before, here, and it seemed to make an impression. Much discussion of ales has followed and they were good enough to bring some of the ales that they knew I liked, that they had enjoyed and that I had raved about. So it was that we tried two of those and something that I've spotted about the communities I frequent.

Would you like to know more?