Sunday, 30 August 2015

Beer Review: Ilkley Pale

Back when I was up in Leeds (link) I was given some excellent ales by my good friend there, including some fine examples of his home brew. I confess that I didn't review my final bottle of that (which I aged in the pantry) because I couldn't remember which brew it was. What I can say is that it was very nice and welcome on the hot day at the centre of the heatwave earlier this year. One of the other brews he kindly passed on was from Ilkley Brewery and was something he'd tried on tap even further back (when I was on anarchist beers) when I'd visited (here). It was sunny again, some rain, and we've recently finished an extended 24 hour (as in, it was longer than that) test drive of an EV, more on that another time, so I felt the need to have me some golden ale.

Ilkley Pale fit the bill, despite not being golden, and stepped in to do its duty as ale. That is, allowing me to ignore the rising note of panic as I approach having to be a teacher in a classroom again (aaaaaa!) and enjoy the fact that it has been good weather and I have actually been helping Willow proactively. Yay! Not in the garden though, as there were sporadic showers.

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Thursday, 27 August 2015

Beer Review: Crystal Rye IPA

It's still summer, honest. The longer I say it the longer it shall continue to be so! Also, it has been a sunny day with occasional big showers of rain and so, despite the sudden sharpness on the breeze, I can make believe that the Great British summer continues unabated. To that end, an ale must be had, and for the time being I'm going to stick to the lighter in colour and the fizzier in nature pales. Except that this is an IPA, says so on the bottle, and so I'm lying already. It is, of course, Crystal Rye IPA by Adnam's that I picked up a few of on account of them being so cheap. Then I saw them in virtually every pub we passed over the summer for considerably more and thought that I must get round to them. Which I did, in my new mug from Sherwood Forest, and so that didn't work for reviewing (plus it was a particularly warm day that day). The long and the short of it is that now I am going to review it.

Are you absolutely certain that you would like to know more?

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Over The Top

Well, that was an experience. For the first time ever I have got two batches of ale on at the same time and I can't shake the idea that I may have killed one. Still, I have said this before about my brewing efforts and been proven wrong so let's hope that this is a similar panic.

What can I say? Grenade is now onto secondary fermentation and I have Bayonet started - which is going to be a pretty sharp IPA if all things go according to plan.

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Saturday, 22 August 2015

Here's hopping...

Ongoing adventures in beer brewing, if adventures be the right word, following a lovely night out that just proved that, actually, I am a lightweight. Just eight halves and now I have a headache - ridiculous. Mind you, I visited a bunch of places locally that I'd never been to before so that was nice.

Anyway, yes, today was the fifth day since starting the brewing of Grenade and so a good point to add my hops.

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Thursday, 20 August 2015

Beer Review: Rip Snorter

In case you missed it, today was the day of the results for thousands of sixteen-ish year olds. In solidarity with that generation of callow youth I, of course, decided to have an ale and raise a glass to all those who have worked hard and deserved their final grade, whatever it may be. The governments successive, of all political stripes, have denuded the actual tests of meaning beyond shaming but still they whip the profession and the children subsumed by it into a frenzy of stress. And seriously these exams are taken. Cheers, fellow toilers! I plucked the Rip Snorter from my shelf of goodliness brewed by the lovely people at Hog's Back Brewery because it looked like the sort of ale that could do the job asked of it in my overlong introduction.

I have not been disappointed and this is definitely an ale that I could have again. Would you like to know precisely why?

Monday, 17 August 2015

The Grenade

Ready yourselves and get in some protective clothing, for I have embarked on the next brewing adventure (and a long time coming it has been too!). Further to my boasts (carefully placed with people so that I couldn't back out) I have now started the next batch of brewing this morning on my return from our progress down south, beyond London even. So, yes, there's that.

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Sunday, 16 August 2015

Beer Review: Montezuma's Chocolate Lager

Whilst on holiday last year I tried a brew local to where we were from Hog's Back Brewing Company, T.E.A. and wasn't hugely impressed. I mean, it wasn't bad, but it was nothing for me to write home about - except for the fact that I totally did though and you can see the result here. Well, we were down that part of the country again on holiday and I got the shock of my life when nipping out for some nappies ("nappies? Do you mean napkins?" Agh!) and drove past the actual brewery. Being fickle and easily impressed I arranged to bob back the following day but, believing it shut, bought some ales from the brewery in the nearby local shop, assuming the prices would be the same as the brewery.

I was wrong. I am glad that I popped into the brewery shop, alas too light in money to really make much of it, and I shall be going back. Because on this sojourn I picked up, for just over a pound, some lager. Except that it wasn't really lager. I mean, it was, because there were no hops. But it was very nice indeed and came with local chocolate. Intrigued, I bought it and tried it. Now I shall review it. It is, of course, Montezuma's Chocolate Lager.

Alas, the picture was attempted on a hot night in the hotel in which we were staying and was a bad idea - I should have waited and tried to take a better picture in the conservatory where I ended up reading Idle Thoughts by Jerome K. Jerome whilst drinking contentedly. Would you like to know more?

Thursday, 13 August 2015

Beer Review: More

I have been looking out for this since I saw it as one of the 'other' ales when I first discovered the local micro-brewery that is Nutbrook. I was rather made up when I found it in stock when I popped in at the beginning of their beer festival back at the start of summer and promptly bought the last bottle they had - or I would have bought two. I then sat on it for a while and now it has come time to review and drink it. It is, of course, the rather cleverly titled More (drink more, see) and you may be able to tell that I am looking forward to it!

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Sunday, 9 August 2015

Beer Review: Lancaster Black

This was picked up in Booth's in Keswick and billed as local. I have my doubts as to how local Lancaster can be to the centre of the Lake District, well, the northern bit, but I am not complaining. This was the good stuff and you know how much I like my stouts. Well, if you don't you do now, and Lancaster Black very much looked the part. I am indebted to a good friend (see here) for knowing to look out for these brewers and I was happy to have this alone and savour it. It is an ale to savour and enjoy.

Would you like to dive deep beneath the dark waters of the mere of stout to see what lurks beneath that smooth and featureless shore?

Thursday, 6 August 2015

Beer Review: Night Porter

I saw this and it was one of my buys on impulse because, let's face it, you see something brewed by Madness and you just know it's going to be rather good. Also, being a Porter, you know that it's nice and London-centric. Also, I needed something to make up the offer from the supermarket and this seemed like a good bet all round. So it is that tonight I introduce and review Night Porter by Madness because you haven't already guessed that, obviously.

It was had whilst on holiday in the North, obviously, hence the fact that the picture below was not taken in my house (because I know that you all secretly stalking my life through beer reviews... or not). Anyway, we're back home now and this review is due.

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Sunday, 2 August 2015

Beer Review: Azimuth & Code Black

Whilst still away in Carlisle I chanced on finding what turned out to be a semi-local brewery and a couple of their ales that appeared to specialise in being IPAs of various variations. Of course I took these in and had them because, well, why not? So, tonight, I thought that I would tell you a little about these IPAs - nicely contrasting as they were light and dark - as well as tell you a bit about our trip out to Keswick because, well, I can and this is a beer blog and I bought an ale whilst we were out that will appear on a future review. Yes, tonight, I am reviewing Azimuth IPA and Code Black IPA - no prizes for guessing which one is light and which is dark from the names.

The day has also been rather unexpectedly warm and sunny and bright so I am somewhat exhausted from it, but in a good way. Who knew the Lake District could be so hot and busy? I remember going during the off-season and being happy if it weren't raining. A lot less busy then. Much has changed for me though despite the fact that we had excellent company.

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