Sunday, 27 November 2016

Hell Fire

Ending the evening with a pale ale after the success of Atlantic Pale Ale on my trip away (see here) and because it stands in perfect contrast to the fact that it is very dark outside. I am nothing if I am not contrary when drinking ales. Also, I would drink some of my stash of stouts but decent stouts are hard to find and they always taste better after storage. My pales and IPAs, on the other hand, tend to go out of date and taste bad after a while. I have been buying too much ale. I may be addicted to buying it rather than drinking it. Damn.

Anyway, tonight I shall be reviewing and enjoying, hopefully, the rather nicely named Hell Fire from Leeds Brewery who have come a long way since I pooh-poohed their initial bottled effort that I picked up in ASDA. Because, yes, I am the only blogger that they brew for. Obviously. Enough, my hubris knows no bounds and I am a busy blogger: would you like to know more?

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Black Ram Stout

After a lovely day out to Crich Tramway Museum (well worth a visit) and some wintery weather where one could hear the leaves falling from the trees as we passed and I checked the pub there (why wouldn't you?) I am pleased to be home and having a stout. Indeed, of our day one might say: "that Wentwell" because I bought two bottles of their ale from the pub and brought them home. I think I may be addicted to buying, rather than drinking, ale. Tonight I am drinking the Black Ram Stout being, well, a stout from Wentwell Brewery. Dark evening, coolness on the air and a crisp edge that led to mist and fog across the region. Lovely. Even my car is charged.

New bulbs bought and a dark house with a hint of heating on, curses. Would you like to venture forth through the peaty darkness of the winter's night leering forth and stretching shadowy clawed hands into heart and hearth?

Sunday, 20 November 2016

Duffield Amber

There's a new pub in a village and it does bottled ales. It's too far for me to drink there, I'd have to drive home, and so bottled ales seem the way to go. It's in Duffield. It seemed fitting, therefore, to purchase a Duffield Amber to have of an evening. the photograph below shows what happens when you accidentally knock the bottle over before pouring - you get a massive head. Whoops. This is from Tollgate Brewery and I have a stout of theirs on standby.

Relatively little to say in preamble to this but where have all the stouts gone? Ah well, would you like to know more?

Thursday, 17 November 2016

Land of Liberty

Apparently something happened in American politics last week and it has a lot of people worried and scared. I remember well those days, when there was hope. Anyway, I've been a bit quiet because I was out with my father down Hinckley way - he wanted to show me around the new Crescent development of which he is quite proud, having played a role in the creation and construction of the place. There was a lovely micro-pub there called The Elbow Room and I had a nice half of Bath Ales stout in the place we ate.

I digress, tonight I plan to regale you with something almost topical being an American IPA by the name of Land of Liberty brewed by T. A. Sadler's for the Aldi imprint Great British Brewing Co. and I confess that I'm looking forward to it with my home made chow mein (well, almost, I used a packet sauce).

Would you like to know more?

Sunday, 13 November 2016

Down Kettering

We were tempted down Kettering way to attend a christening. It was just far enough to have us stopping over the night before at a Premier Inn, because we know how to push the boat out as a family, and that had a cafe attached. Say no more, says I, and we're down there having tea with me trying out the ales. Now, warning be made, it was a Brewer's Fayre and the selection was far from being decent, I mean, they had Tribute on but had run out. No chance of a delivery that night. In the end I settled for a half with my meal and then went back again later for a second half and a bottle of pale whilst I read my book for the evening - Broken Homes by Ben Aaronovitch in case you were wondering - and then retired to bed.

The christening was a lovely occasion but I am a poor judge of social situations and so I shall leave it at that, after all, this here's a beer blog and what you're really here for is some noodling on the ales and some thoughts on the selection. What I will say is this: if your lager is cheaper to the tune of almost a pound for a pint versus a half of real ale, there's something wrong. Mind you, I've wondered before if real ale is the gentrification of drinking and thus deliberately slanted 'gainst the working classes, this pricing structure would seem to suggest that at least some big companies think so.

Still, the staff were quite lovely and helpful to this rather odd beer bore and let me get on with my reading with some ale in the evening so I really can't complain. Would you like to know more?

Thursday, 10 November 2016

Traquair House Ale

This has been sitting in the pantry since last year and I do rather feel that I may have jumped the gun a little in opening it so early. Let me explain, this is a proper ale of the sort that one ought to leave a long time (like the couple of bottles I have lurking to be opened some time in the next six years) but I didn't know that until I opened it. However, far be it from me to let such things go unsaid in a beer review. It's been a long and tiring day with much to vex, much to celebrate and much to mull over. Cold, wet and miserable weather but are we down-hearted? No! What better way to relax at the end of all of that than by having some of the venerable Traquair House Ale brewed in the oldest inhabited house in Scotland?

Seriously, is there a better way? I'm not sure that there is, truth be told, though I do still have some of that Sink the Bismarck (here) hanging around so maybe that can come afterwards. In the meantime, I am having me some of this here dark and treacle-textured ale because that's just how I roll, would you like to know more, laddie?

Sunday, 6 November 2016

Brooklands Goldstar

Well, summer may well be over, but the memories can live on in beer reviews and a bit of warm sunshine from the August Bank Holiday weekend allowed me to have a beer in the garden and so it gets published on a Sunday, as is traditional, with a revolving picture. Which is less traditional. Also, I publish it later than the summer because, of course, it all got a bit busy and I had many many beers and not much time to post reviews. Instead I post this in November(!) because I have space and this is an ale that deserves a review, dammit!

However, I wrote the review itself (as shall become apparent in the next sentence) all that time ago in summer. Today I ruminate on a good day out with some family friends at Wicksteed Park, and sit in the sunny, warm garden with an ale brewed for a motoring museum that I have never visited for a lunchtime tipple (and why wouldn't you?).

Apparently I suck at animated photos. Observe the dancing glass!

Won't you join me for a further and fuller investigation into the merits and otherwise of the Brooklands Goldstar I picked up from my trip to the Hog's Back Brewery back in the holidays? I promise I won't keep you long!

Saturday, 5 November 2016

Blending in

Over on Twitter, where I have an account, there is a hashtag called HopGodFriday which I have found myself taking part in from time to time. Now and again I even get to join in with the theme of the evening. It so happened that, a couple of weeks ago, it was announced that Petrus would be hosting the evening between 8 and 10 on last Friday. They contacted me and offered to send me free samples to be involved. Who am I to say no to that?

They arrived. Aged PaleOud Bruin and Aged Red in a parcel delivered during the Thursday and I looked forward to their plans on the Friday. Thus is formed my review of the evening. A great hosting by Petrus Sour Beers on Twitter - and I'm not saying that because they sent me free stuff (though they sent me free stuff) - I felt very much part of the affair and it was a lot of fun.

They also told us a lot about brewing in foeders and the history of the brewery in Belgium. I'm afraid all I can really tell you (because it's all I really remember) are the tasting notes. Would you like to know more?

Thursday, 3 November 2016


Picked up from my local supermarket during a beer festival that they had the cheek to spring on me at the end of the summer and on the cusp of autumn, this little saison was a must-have and try. It is raining, I've had to unplug the EV early (it's fine, I got the charge I wanted, but I like getting extra) and I am avoiding doing actual work (like always). It's time in the dark of the evening whilst candles burn in the salt rock holders by the new fireplace (well, I say new, it's been a couple of months now) to have something a bit different. This different is Ilkley Brewery's Siberia, a rhubarb saison in a funky looking bottle.

There's not a lot I can add to that description so if that intrigues you then you can continue beyond the line break into the sunlit uplands of ale review. Alternatively you can find yourself a darkened room in which to recover from my murdering of the mother tongue. Would you like to know more?