Thursday, 29 September 2016

Citrusy Wit

When I went up to Leeds (see that experience on this link) earlier in the year I was gifted a number of interesting brews by my host for which I am very grateful. And, tonight, I thought it high time I drank one and selected the Citrusy Wit of Stone, which had been intended as a nightcap when I was up in Leeds but was foregone on account of us both being a wee bit too far gone. That and the fact that we were unable to sample the delights of Sink the Bismark may also give a hint of how precarious things were.

I've also taken the decision to shorten my post titles: I am no longer sure that adding 'beer review' to them does any good to man nor beast, if it ever did. So here's to shorter post titles! No, wait, I haven't started the review nor drinking!

This makes grandiose claims about orange and kaffir lime and coriander, so it's going to be a fruity experience regardless of what I do, would you like to know more?

Sunday, 25 September 2016

A Weekend of Ales

This week is the time I can make it official - we are getting another addition to the family in the form of a small human some time in April. Scan at the beginning of the week confirmed that it was not a Velociraptor (which is a shame if you ask me) and that it had the normal expected complement of limbs and features for a 12 week old foetus. Announcement of this garnered ales from my colleague and friend at work who shall remain nameless but awesome and thus I had some Yorkshire love in the form of light and frothy beer. Add in a swift trip to my favourite local (the Burnt Pig, you can find many references to them by clicking here) and you have the makings of a good weekend with much ale, why not? I even have an excuse.

As usual, there is still time to bail out, and much of this entry consists of re-reviews rather than new ales, so there's a dash of Midlands and the South thrown in for good measure. Would you like to know more?

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Beer Review: Elvis Juice

Once again, I am very late to the party. Saw this in my local supermarket and decided that I had to get it in to try because, well, why not? A lot of people I know and respect in beer-reviewing circles have had this and already reviewed it and I thought I'd join in. Only much later than they did. Because I'm so cool and hip and 'with it'. Anyway, it will surprise no one to learn that I am having Elvis Juice from Brewdog and that I am looking forward to trying it. I took the photo in front of our newly opened fireplace. Well, I say 'newly', it was done at the beginning of August but this is the first time you'll have seen it on here. It's the same room as I took many other ale pictures but my how it has changed.

You didn't come here for a treatise on the rooms in my house though, you came here to read what I think about beer (or maybe just out of pity, either way, my ego is supported by your visit - thank you) so the big question is now: would you like to know more (about the beer, not the fireplace)?

Sunday, 18 September 2016

Beer Review: Tunnel Vision

There comes a time in every man's life when, owning his own lawnmower, he finds that he must cut the grass a second time in a season. For me, that time was today and I can't say it was anywhere near as tiring and complicated as the first time. For a start I did it almost in a single load and for a second the mower didn't need a clean when I was done. Colour me surprised! Still, after that and some heavy lifting (including taking an old TV unit down to the tip) I felt like the weather deserved an ale with tea, because it was 24 degrees centigrade and very sunny. Of course I had been chilling my bottle of Tunnel Vision by Box Steam Brewery for the best part of a week now having simply not getting round to it and so this was the perfect time to have it. So I did.

Look at that lovely fence colour! All the handiwork of my Good Lady Wife from last year. I may have already shown it in other photos, who knows, so would you like to know more?

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Leeds International Beer Festival

Been a while in writing this. I was invited up to Leeds by some good friends ages back and the first time I could actually get along was for the Leeds International Beer Festival. My previous and continuing host provided tickets and a place to stay, because he's great like that, and we left it to percolate a while, this being back in July. Alas, my brain is bad at these things and so the weekend crept up on me somewhat. And then, on the Thursday, my cable that I use to charge my electric car (because I have one) broke and stopped charging the car.

It was fine, I charged at work (with permission) on the Friday and then reasoned that I could charge at the other end. The journey was thus begun on Saturday morning, bright and early, but on the way my car told me I had a puncture. I pulled in, charged and checked the wheel. No sign of any damage. I pumped the tyre a bit, more because I felt I had to do something, and drove on. The light remained resolutely on. I stopped and checked pressures a few more times but no difference. Thus it was that I turned up to Leeds just in time to drop the car off outside my host's house, scaring him with its sleek silence, and jump onto the bus into town. Stressful journey much?

All of which is to serve as prelude. We met our final member of the trio and promptly entered the wonderful world of the Town Hall and the beers on offer. Would you like to know more?

Sunday, 11 September 2016

Beer Review: Daura Damm

Funny story. No, actually, I'm wrong, it's funny if you're me. I was in my local supermarket and saw a four pack of these on offer at half their original price. The reason? The cardboard holder was ripped. Seriously, I could, and can, find nothing else wrong with the bottles. I even checked to see if they'd been monkeyed with or shaken and could find nothing. Also, I had been wondering about this ale for a while as I do find myself drawn to gluten free ale - not because I need gluten free ale but because it seems like an interesting experiment and one worth chronicling.

My last sojourn down this particular alleyway was the peerless Against the Grain by Wold Top (you find the review here) but I still need to try Vagabond Pale Ale by Brewdog. In the meantime, and because they were on offer, I am trying Estrella's Daura Damm. Nice bottle, if I say so myself, and a windy and wild day couldn't stop me trying it in my garden. Though it did manage to stop me drinking it there because the Boy was insistent that we went to the park instead.

Would you like to know more?

Thursday, 8 September 2016

Beer Review: Jet Black Heart

Stout time! It seems that every year I get all contrary and, despite the fact that it's not winter, go mad and have something that is a little stout-y and wintry. Let the records show that this year was going to be no exception by dint of the fact that I have just unearthed, disinterred and poured an oatmeal milk stout from Brewdog by the name of Jet Black Heart.

This has been waiting for quite some time and now seemed like a good time to liberate and try it after the adventure of the small Boy's brush with a wooden beam. So it was and came to pass that I opened the bottle and damn' well drank the ale that I have been teasing about for all of four or five sentences. I'm no good at this setting up tension malarkey, that may be why I'm writing beer reviews rather than best selling thriller novels.

With all of that rather pointless preamble out of the way, and I bet you're glad to hear it, would you like to know more?

Sunday, 4 September 2016

Beer Review: 1643 Leveller Bitter

Fresh from my trip this one. I picked it up in the lovely beer shop at Hog's Back Brewery after seeing them there the last two times I was down - a bunch of ales with feathers in the label and in good strong looking deep brown bottles and with a good range. Mindful of the fact that other people that drink ale have been having ales that can be aged and are a bit special I thought I would splash out and buy a couple of these. I am saving the stout, but the weather was clear and sunny enough for me to try the 1643 Leveller Bitter in the garden.

This is from Two Cocks Brewery in Berkshire which, as the bottle proudly proclaims, was featured on Grand Designs and was set up as a sustainable farm with a brewery side by a couple from London seeking countryside idyll. From a quick trawl on the intertubes they seem to have done a good job business wise and I shall certainly be looking into visiting in person to see if I can nab any of their smaller batch brews in person next year. Would you like to know more?

Thursday, 1 September 2016

Home Brew: Trench Warfare

This is quite the post. I'm breaking my self-imposed moratorium on reviewing my own creations, that is, I am actually going to review my own ale. Sorry. However, I can feel partly justified in that it was this time last year that I bottled it and so it's been left alone, I mean, it's been conditioned for that long and now deserves some airtime. I refer to the second of the brews that I concocted last year, the one that was mostly a beer kit with some alterations. New World hops, one set of malt extract and my own, ah, take on brewing sugars in an attempt to stop the thing going flat. It's the less than sharp Trench Warfare that had, originally, going to be called Bayonet but the hops were too mellow.

Would you like to know more?