Sunday, 28 June 2015

Beer Review: Rat Arsed

For tonight I have a good friend to thank for picking this up and bringing it over aaaaages back when they came to visit. If they are reading this then they need to know that the Boy still mentions the visit and the fact that he didn't get to share a room all night. You are, of course, welcome back whenever. However, that's not what most people are here for, you are here to read a review about an ale. This ale is called Rat Arsed and is from Beer Direct and so I am ready to drift along a sea of ale to talk softly about what this does. Big promises from an ale that prides itself on the strength of its offering and trades on the effects that it will have on the unwary. And I am a bit of a lightweight!

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Thursday, 25 June 2015

Beer Review: Bourbon Stout

It's time, I suppose, to return to that lovely set of ales that I seem to have a lot and finally finish off the gift box that I bought for myself all that time ago by having the bottle of Innis & Gunn's (who still aren't paying me) Bourbon Stout. I'll confess that I had deliberately left this offering until last as I was rather looking forward to trying it and seeing what it did. After all, it stated that it was a stout and I like stouts (evidence here, here and here, if t'were needed!) and it was from a brewer that I do rather like. They don't make many varieties, they keep to their core and they brew in small batches. Also, I have very much enjoyed their Treacle Porter (here) in the past.

Not my image! I have deleted it by accident!

You know, I maybe ought to have seen this coming given that build. Perhaps you will! In any case, would you like to know more?

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Father's Day

It's not often that I get sentimental on this blog but today is as good a day as any to do so. Now, a couple of caveats: I don't hold with Father's Day because it's a bit like celebrating Men's Day to go with Women's Day - fathers get more media attention, more positive support and more societal benefits than mothers already so that pretty much every day is father's day already. The second thing, I do not believe for one moment that the day is about fathers if done right - it ought to be about sons and daughters doing things with their family and father-figure present. In that second point we had our day today as a family and, due to a snafu on my marking, I had a free day to spend on it for the first time in ages.

So my children know me very well. Apparently our eldest, on learning that Father's Day was approaching, suggested to Willow that something needed to be bought for Daddy. And, she reasoned, "Daddy likes beer" so they got me a couple of ales and some money to spend on my own ales. I am not complaining. However, I haven't managed to partake of the ales bought for me yet, they will come later. Instead we went out for a meal and on a whim for me to show Willow and the children the two local micro-pubs of which I have become rather enamoured.

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Thursday, 18 June 2015

Beer Review: 1215

After my last effort (here) and the fact that this week appears to be all about the Magna Carta on the news and in the papers and all around the country, it seemed fitting to try out and review something I picked up from Lincoln. I was lucky to get it, they had just three bottles left when I rolled in and they had just one on display when I left (and I didn't buy the other). So, it is with some trepidation and apprehension, but the good kind, that I embark upon this 1215 by Lincolnshire Brewing Co.

There's clearly a good deal of pride in the city of Lincoln for their connection to one of the four oldest copies of the Magna Carta and they have embraced the opportunity to go a bit ape for the 800th anniversary of the document. Given that the battle of Lincoln came as the climax to the struggle to get the rights outlined in the Carta into English Law that is somewhat understandable. And the place has surely benefited a great deal from the increased tourism that this latest big round number has afforded.

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Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Beer Review: Magna Carta

It was Sunday but the anniversary for the sealing of the Magna Carta was, apparently, this Monday. I know this because I was in Lincoln that day and there was cake. 800 slices. For free. All of which was in celebration of the sealing of the Magna Carta. Now, as a History teacher, this sort of thing shouldn't surprise me. But, as a me, it does. I'm rubbish with dates.

On a slightly related note, I was at the open farm at Oakfield Farm and the home of the Nutbrook Brewery (here) on Sunday and happened to try one of their ales on pull. There was still plenty to choose from but I had a hankering after their Magna Carta because... uh... history!

It was a lovely warm day, plenty of sunshine, the kids enjoyed the bouncy castle and watched a sheep get sheared. I got talking to a couple who make mead and am strongly considering adding it as a batch to my summer brewing plans, if I can gather the funds to make it happen with local honey (because why would anyone do it with non-local?) but, in the meantime, I am reviewing the ale.

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Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Mad Max: Fury Road

The internet is awash with reviews and thoughts about this film from many people better qualified and more thoughtful than I, but it is a film that I have seen and so I felt that I had to at least show willing and offer a review of it. After all, this is the sort of film that I usually avoid - I have seen The Road Warrior and enjoyed it (it used to form part of a unit I taught on the Cold War, of all things) but was never one to recommend it to others and, despite the humour of Lord Humongous, it was never something that touched me the same way as, say, Star Wars (here).

However, reading some of the reviews online and some of the thoughts about this film made me reassess my thoughts and convinced me that it was worth seeing. I refer, of course, to the oddity that is Mad Max: Fury Road. I was not disappointed. It was, not to put too fine a point on it, far from "MEDIOCRE!" and very likely to ride into Valhalla, shiny and chrome.

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Sunday, 7 June 2015

Home Brew Review: Bubba's IPA

I was lucky enough to enjoy some good weather with this one. An oasis of further calm amidst quite a calm, if busy, week. My good friend from Leeds had gifted me some of his home brew that was brewed a while ago and this one had been held back some time, so I was looking forward to this - nicely aged, very ready and bottle conditioned. I don't know that any more exists but some people who know my good friend and occasional host in Leeds may wish to get in touch and see what they can coax out!

I refer, in this case, to the Bubba's IPA that acts as a companion to Bubba's APA (here) and a development from that too.

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Thursday, 4 June 2015

Pub Review: An unexpected night out

Last Saturday I decided that I would make good on threats and promises with myself and pop out for a quick half of an evening. Of course, being me, I decided to make it a thing and ended up visiting three local public houses and, naturally, decided to compare my impressions as well as sampling some of the ales on offer.

This is very much a local effort and I may well do something similar with more pubs locally as I think I quite enjoyed the contrasts and comparisons. I ended up visiting The Poacher, The Burnt Pig (previous review here) and The Brewery Taps (previous review link). Twas a good evening and I still managed to get some work done at the end of the night.

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