Sunday, 29 March 2015

Beer Review: Mad Goose

Ah, Goose, we hardly knew ye; taken in your prime by a spin-out in an F-14A Tomcat A after playing the most homo-erotic game of beach volleyball ever committed to film. Such a loss. Now, I'll bet that the soul of Goose was pretty mad at Maverick (see what they did there?) and Iceman - who wouldn't be? And thus closes my reason for why this little brewing number was called Mad Goose, pay no attention to the image of an angry goose on the label, that clearly has nothing to do with it! It's another brew from the rather mad, but strangely likable, Purity brewery. This one I picked up at a US-owned giant supermarket chain that has an unhealthy fascination with the derriere.

Would you like to know more?

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Beer Review: Red IPA

I was planning on doing a host of marking, but a good friend and ex-colleague of mine had got a new job and so I decided to sack everything off and have an ale to toast his success and just have a bit of time to myself after a busy few days. Don't get me wrong, the last few days have been absolutely lovely, if manically busy, and I do enjoy the adrenaline rush. So, tonight I have turned to Red IPA from T. A. Sadler's that has been sitting in the kitchen waiting for this moment.

This picture does not capture how red this is

It is time for a review too, would you like to know more?

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Works' Do!

This is a first for the new epoch that this blog represents. This was the weekend of a works' do, a night foraging through multitudinous drinking establishments along a pre-arranged route with colleagues from the current place of work in search of some nice ales and some decent conversation. Naturally, I spoke much but the search continued - I think there's a lesson lurking there somewhere about the efficacy of my conversation but I'll be blown down by a feather if I can work it out.

Basically, there was a barcrawl around a locale with some lovely cask ale, real ale and people on its route through the afternoon, the fields and into the late evening. It was capped off by a decent clutch of pizzas and Drop Dead Fred, though not a complete viewing due to the lateness of the hour - we are all, still, at heart consummate professionals.

It was a good evening, and I, being me, did aim to take a snapshot of each of the ales sampled and a quick review. Would you like to know more?

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Beer Review: Rare Oak Pale Ale

Tonight I fancy me something a bit different, something a bit rarer than your standard ale. Naturally, with my newfound fetish for all things Scots ale, I turn to Innis & Gunn to provide the backdrop and, naturally, I turn to their seasonal edition of Rare Oak Pale Ale. This could be an interesting one as the bottle tells me that, instead of using hops, this brew is flavoured using Sweet Gale! Whatever that is.

Join me, won't you, for another trip into the realms of madness surrounding a beer review by a beardy man who is too boring to just drink the ale! Would you like to know more?

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Star Wars II and VI

This is another look at the strange aspects of watching these films with my children. After my last post I was determined to hold off and use the machete order to my advantage, that my children's experience would be the best possible introduction to the series, and that I would simply rewatch A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back until the VHS for Episode II arrived and we would watch that - giving me time to sort out the fact that I didn't want to spend £15 on a VHS copy of Episode III and that it was a 12, with Episode II a PG, whilst the original trilogy are all U rated.

It was not to be, of course, as the Boy had already seen the third video in the box and had decided on his own plans. The night we were due to go back to reading stories rather than watching films he decided to up the ante by putting the VHS in himself and being very excited. It was his face that did it. How could I possibly refuse his earnest visage when he looked up at me and asked to watch the next video? So, I have failed, no machete order, we have watched Return of the Jedi, easily my favourite film of the lot, and it was two nights later that Attack of the Clones arrived.

Would you like to know more?

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Beer Review: Gold

Always believe in your soul / You've got the power to know: / You're indestructible / Always believin' / That you are Gold. Wychwood Hobgoblin Gold. Left at the house by a friend of mine over the Christmas holidays and sadly neglected ever since. However, it was a sunny day, it was lunchtime, I was looking after the Boy and he wanted to go on the trampoline. Obviously it was time for me to have a decent ale in my garden because it's been a while since I did that and I wasn't going to waste a lovely sunny afternoon with an exuberant Boy.

Full disclosure: the Boy lasted but two minutes on the trampoline before abandoning it and running inside because, and I quote, there were "too many medium-sized flies". Thus I stayed out a little while, enough to take a few sips, and then it was back indoors to supervise the Boy playing with cars and racing them around the dining room.

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Thursday, 12 March 2015

Beer Review: Scottish Ale

Tonight is a bad night to be posting anything like this as it is the day that Sir Pratchett died. I enjoyed his work, recognised what he was doing with it, didn't always see what he saw. But I did get his jokes. I did see his humanity. I did concede that he often had better arguments than I did, or do. He was important in a way that few people can claim to be and humble in a way that few important people truly are. Greatest respect to the man, condolences to the family in a place no one connected to them will ever read. Here.

But I never knew Pratchett personally. I do not know anyone who knew him. So this blog will continue as it always has, because... well, that's the point isn't it?

I'll be honest, I got this ale because I hadn't had it before, it was cheap (on offer) and it was in a small bottle. At the time I was looking for brews that were cheap and cheerful, good for an evening after a long day at work. So it is that, tonight, I find myself having Belhaven Scottish Ale. But why the delay? I got this in months ago! It's stronger than I thought, is the answer, and I have to confess that I found it worthy of a review.

Without further ado, then, it's time to begin. Would you like to know more?

Monday, 9 March 2015

Star Wars IV and V

Being a geek and a sci-fi nerd, I always expected to share Star Wars with my children. I had, however, assumed that I would do so quite late on, as it was done with me, and that I would have plenty of time to get in the DVDs that I want, make sure Han shoots first, that kind of thing. Imagine my surprise when the Boy decided that he wanted to watch some Lego Star Wars things on youtube. This rapidly progressed to reading some of the books. Given that he is no fan of films with people in them or live action I figured it was good, but still a way off the actual films. Then he decided to get a Lego New Hope and Empire Strikes Back pack with two story books.

Suffice to say, he wanted to see these stories in video. I found some of the Lego stuff but it relied a lot on already knowing the story. I showed him the trailer of A New Hope from 1977 and he wanted to see more. I have no DVDs, I haven't bought the first trilogy yet either - I always reasoned I would buy the whole lot but then kept putting it off. I dug out my old VHS boxset from 1997ish and the old combi TV-VHS that Anna had lurking in the spare room, plugged it all together and we've watched the first two films. What follows are my thoughts.

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Sunday, 8 March 2015

Beer Review: Canadian Cherrywood

Oh look, it's an update on a Sunday and I'm drinking another Innis & Gunn offering. This is becoming a real thing. Maybe I should just make a tag that combines the brewery with Sunday and have done with it... On second thought, I'm not getting paid and they're not offering me any inducements and I'm not a blog with a big enough readership that they would anyway and... who am I kidding, I'll just leave it the way it is!

Yes, tonight I shall be reviewing the Canadian Cherrywood stablemate of the Treacle Porter (here) because I have got round to it on my list and because why not. Busy weeks and lots of work can't stop me having an ale of an evening, right?

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Thursday, 5 March 2015

Beer Review: West Indies Porter

Another beer review, another wet evening waiting for spring and we're out of the longest haul of the year. Still, there's always marking and job-related things but there's also season 4 of Game of Thrones and lessons to plan and trips to grow ever more worried about getting sorted on time. In short, I can't complain and I shan't, because tonight I am mostly reviewing a porter, Guinness West Indies Porter to be precise, and I picked it up on offer - ever the cheapskate that I am!

This is a dark horse and a dark porter, some of the heavier stuff that I seem to be attracted to lately, so be wary and read on if you dare!

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Die Welle

I do a lesson. I call it my Nazi lesson. It's powerful. And I never feel altogether clean afterwards.

When I teach History I often find that, however enthusiastic the students, they never quite see the immediacy of what we discuss, the never join the dots between what we study and what we live. People who know me well-ish, outside of the classroom, know of my fascination with human nature and my fears about the power and the intoxication of things like Fascism - the power of image over substance. They know that I can talk with big words and get engrossed and lose my sense of time on things like this. Those people know better than to read on.

This is a film review, certainly, but with a difference. I'm not going to talk much about the film. But I am. If you want to know, read further. You may prefer not to.

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Beer Review: 617 Ale

I have made no secret of my lack of patriotism, I hope, and I even wore that as a badge, of sorts, when reviewing London Glory (here) back before, or around, the 2012 Olympics. I mean, I did see the opening ceremony of those Olympics, finally, earlier this year thanks to a colleague of mine and I was wrong not to watch them at the time, but, still, I am proud of the NHS (now that I contribute to it via tax) and I am proud of not a lot else. Accident of birth and all that. Anyway, I was late to latch on to this tribute to the Dambusters in the form of 617 Ale by Batemans as a consequence - it was brewed for the 70th Anniversary of the raid in 2013. So, yeah, quite late.

I found it on offer and I think that my review may be a little late if anyone actually wants to, you know, drink this themselves, but so be it! Maybe people who have had it can compare notes and declare my prattlings to be, well, prattling. I don't think anyone would have trouble denouncing my blog as being too verbose.

Would you like to know more?