Saturday, 26 August 2017

Urban Gold

Having had the wonderful Pit Pony in a bottle (see here) and the equally good, but less delectable for me, Bantam with my father (see here) it was a no brainer that I would pick up the Urban Gold from Urban Chicken Ale when I saw it in my local bottle shop. Furthermore, it had to be had on the Bank Holiday because it screamed Bank Holiday ale!

If you were to go to ancient Rhodes and sail into the harbour you may be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of a giant statue that is supposed to have stood astride the channel under which triremes sailed and plied their trade. This was the Colossus and it was supposed to have been something of a sight to behold, in much the same way I suspect that the Urban Gold stands astride my Bank Holiday ales (and I had a few) in a fashion that means I have to actually get on and review it above all others.

If you'll forgive the obvious self-referential flourish, this is an epic beer. Would you like to know more?

Thursday, 24 August 2017

Epic Beer

A friend and I had been trying to get together for a bit of pub crawl in Ilson for some time. See, last year about this time he had taken me around Derby and I, like the capricious soul I am, have never got round to writing up the experience. However, I had promised him a tour of my gaffe and some of the pubs that are to be had. Since then we have had some new pubs open, including the bottle shop, and it was time. Thankfully, our wives were also in need of meeting up and thus organised us into a night on the pubs.

We set out into the warm summer's evening and found that my usual was shut, it being Wednesday, and so had to quickly take that into consideration. A recce earlier in the day had identified some decent ales on and so it was that we ventured into town in high spirits and with some gung-ho spirit! Would you like to know more?

Tuesday, 22 August 2017


A long time ago now, I made a special trip to my local micro-pub, the Burnt Pig, to get me some Cwtch (see here) because I heard they had it in and I wanted to try it. At that point I did not know that I would ever be able to get the kind of canned and bottled ales that many of the people that I know online were having. Since then, of course, there has been a bottle shop open in my area and it has some fantastic ales on offer pretty regularly. So it was that, when they got Cwtch in, I bought some. And, today, I review it.

Obviously, with sunshine, I had it in the garden. And, equally obviously, that was not today because today has been rather grim and more usual wet summer from Britain. Still, a sunny day is when I had it and a sunny afternoon is when I did the review, would you like to know more?

Sunday, 20 August 2017


It's been a long day and I have been bombarded a little with events - football in the morning (not playing, you understand, watching my children play, exhausting enough) through to a centenary in our local park and then an arduous slog to the Crafty One bottle shop in Ilson with a small child to try and get them to sleep. I tell you, it's a hard life being a parent and harder still buying and drinking all these beers. Honestly, it's like I get no rest. So it is that, tonight, on a dark and slightly cooler evening than the rest of the week I am compelled to try a bit of brewed summer in a can from those rather clever folks at Verdant Brewing Co. again. Tonight's effort is called Headband and comes in a rather delightful orange labelled can. I got it in to have down at my father's back on Tuesday but we never got round to it. You can find out what we did get round to by clicking here. In the meantime, time to get down with this can.

I've already opened it and poured and, as as spoiler, I just said 'wow' even though there is no one in the room to hear me. Make of that what you will. Would you like to know more?

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Day in London

Following the success of the Tuesday night (see this finely crafted link) and the sharing of some lighter ales, my father and I did indeed get the train the following day to London to see the exhibition and share some meals. We stopped off for breakfast in Carluccio's in St Pancras (we agreed that this was easily the nicest of all the stations with rail links north) where I had a lovely mushrooms with scrambled egg on toast, hit the exhibition and then I took him on the longest walk you can really manage in London to The Harp - because I would be remiss not to. It was a lovely warm day, my father and I got to share our observations about architecture in the capital and ruminate on the effects of Modernism and Gerogian-style buildings mingling due to the gaps left by the Blitz and other such human disasters, all the while looking in at the occasional park and discussing the Russian Revolution because, frankly, why wouldn't you?

Surprised to meet Gandhi here but only snapped

This is very much a truncated story of pubbing about London primarily due to the fact that I needed to have the time to get the alcohol out of my system before driving back home in the evening. A feat that I managed (with suitably long gap twixt drink and drive of around five or so hours) and got home at a late enough point that Willow, Hooty and Girlie were asleep, but the Boy was awake. Would you like to know more?

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Down me Dad's

My father arranged some tickets to go and see Russia in London, and you don't turn down an offer like that, so I travelled down to his house the night before because it would be easier to get an early train. Being me, I took down some ales to try and compare notes on. As this is me, I took down a selection from which we chose what to have and then discussed the finer points of sours and pales because, well, I took down a sour and a pale.

The sour was Sur Simcoe by To Ol and the pale was an American Pale from the inimitable local brewery Urban Chicken being their Bantam. It sort of had to be done, you see, it wouldn't have been fair otherwise. Mind you, I set off from home quite late so it was properly dark by the time I got round to opening some of the delights and I very nearly forgot pictures, hence the picture of Daventry, because that's where the beers were had.

Near to where my father lives, but this is spring. It'll do.

Now that the preamble is out of the way, it's time to get to the beer. Would you like to know more?

Sunday, 13 August 2017

New England IPA V2

It was a while ago now, but we had a lovely friend come to stay and visit. You may remember her as the Belgian with whom I drank some beer back in 2014 (find that by clicking the word clicking). However, all of this is mere prelude as I wanted to share something a bit special and had picked this up from my local bottle shop with the exhortation to 'savour it'. I'd picked it up on a whim as I'd missed that they had any in, but seeing a collaboration between the giants of the craft scene, BrewDog  and Cloudwater meant that I really had to part with a sizeable fee to see what happened.

Before getting down to this I have seen many opinions expressed on this ale and I should point out that I did not have those in mind when having this. I had intended to follow it up with other ales but, for reasons that will become obvious, I did not. Would you like to know more?

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Breakfast of Champignons

Not long after the end of the school term I was being all smug about buying in a large amount of quality ale and a colleague of mine, who knows who they are, shared the fact that they had bought in a large order of Millionaire (see this link) from Wild Beer Co. because, let's face it, why wouldn't you. Clearly I couldn't let this provocation lie and, as I said, why wouldn't you? I got myself on my pedal-powered internet connection (disclaimer, nothing is pedal-powered) and promptly ordered my own booty from their online beer emporium. The most curious of their ales, to my mind, was the rather clever-titled Breakfast of Champignons and that was the first bottle to get drunk. It thus forms the first of the reviews from that particular shipment.

Let's face it, something made with wild mushrooms as well as yeast is intriguing to say the least. I think I was expecting something that tasted not a little like a Sunday morning fry up with absolutely no reason to harbour this feeling. However, I have now tasted and reviewed this rather strange little brew so that others may make up their own minds. Would you like to learn more?

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Tied in Notts

We'd planned a day out at the beach in Nottingham. Yes, I know, and it had been raining for a while. We checked the weather and it said that it would stay cloudy and we figured that would mean that the crowds would stay away for fear of more rain, so that was good. Hitting an early bus, the entire family trekked on down to the centre of Nottingham and had our way with a virtually empty mock beach in the square. then, because we could, we headed up to the castle and made merry with the playpark and the telescopes there. I took my chance and, while Willow had a shufti at the gift shop with children in tow, I chanced to visit two pubs: Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem and The Crafty Crow because it would have been rude not to.

Would you like to know more?

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Chatsworth Gold

Not long ago we were given a bit of a gift, that is, my father took our two eldest for a day at Chatsworth House. I'm not complaining! They thoroughly enjoyed their time away, playing on an adventure play park and climbing walls and such, and Willow and I sort of bodded about the house actually having the time and space to do... nothing. And it was glorious. I digress, the point is that when they returned they brought a lovely ale for me: Chatsworth Gold from Peak Ales and now is the time that I get to have and review that ale on this here blog.

More to the point, I've not really been on the golden ales as much as I was this time last year and so this is a hole that needed to be filled. Again, not a bad thing, I have been having lots more stouts and porters instead, but goldens are, I believe, a necessary part of a balanced beer diet in the summer. Would you like to know more?

Monday, 7 August 2017

Pit Pony

I have been meaning to get round to reviewing this for a long time. I heard, through the Book of Faces, that there were to be bottles of Pit Pony available and then waited with bated breath for them to be dropped. I've had this already, on draught, and thoroughly enjoyed it as it is a fine example of an oatmeal stout. You can find my thoughts about it by clicking these words. So it was, when it was in the local bottle shop, I rushed out with the exhortations of my long-suffering wife to get some in. I managed to bag two bottles, intending to share, as there was limited stock. Then life sort of intervened, I had intended to share it with a visitor but ended up trying something a little hoppier and murkier instead. Then I finally got round to having it and thus, tonight, can review the whole experience!

Look at it! The day had been windy and cool with occasional sunshine, we went out with some friends, but by the evening it was cooler and with rain threatening so there was no chance to have it out in the garden. Instead, I had it in the kitchen whilst cooking and then eating an omelette, because I know how much my eating habits feature. Would you like to join me on a journey through Urban Chicken Ale's Pit Pony oatmeal stout? You would? Wonderful!

Sunday, 6 August 2017

Shakespeare Oatmeal Stout

This has been sitting around under the stairs since that crate of beer around Easter, I figured it was high time that I got round to it and had it of an evening. Darkness outside, lit by the glow of one of the last sodium burning lamps on the road, with a decidedly cool feeling in the air from a day of rain, the perfect time, one might suggest, for a stout. To be fair, though, nearly every time is the perfect time for a stout so that may not be indicative. Anyway, with no ABV (but I was told as I drank it by some nice people online) and no Best Before this was always going to be interesting. I present to you Shakespeare Oatmeal Stout from Rogue Ales based on Oregon.

It's a crap picture, for which I apologise, the light was bad and I wasn't anticipating getting a better shot. I was already a bit late in getting a photo and the head had gone so I was in a hurry. And, sometimes, I am just that bad at taking a photo. Would you like to know more?

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Some Fifty Summers

At the end of work and marking I went into the local bottle shop, the Crafty One in Ilson, and made sure to take my credit card. I was after some very local ale indeed brewed by the rather delectable Urban Chicken Ale but that can wait until I am reviewing their beer! Whilst I was there I noted that they had in some ales from breweries I have heard a lot about but not often seen in the wild. Naturally I bought them all and nigh bankrupted myself in the process. One of the cans that I got in was this rather lovely looking one from Verdant Brewing Co. from down in Cornwall, who seem to produce a number of craft breweries, by the name of Some Fifty Summers. Well, I thought, that's a lovely looking can and I've heard good things. And I bought it.

That was a true story. It's almost like you were there with me, right? Anyway, this evening, after having friends round, getting into an unexpected but positive meeting at the bank and running around in the sun it started to rain, quite heavily, and I thought it the perfect moment to have a proper summer pale ale. Because I am contrary like that (I'm sure I've mentioned this before). Would you like to know more?

Tuesday, 1 August 2017


For my birthday earlier in the year I picked out and bought two ales that I would not ordinarily get. Obviously, with the memory of last year's Sink the Bismarck (see here) I decided that I would go big and enjoy something utterly insane again this year. So it was that I bought me a can of Wild Weather Ales' Skadoosh because it was a mental 11% ABV DIPA with a panda on the can and what more could anyone reasonably ask for? It's been chilling for the best part of two weeks now and the sun is shining and warm in the garden, though it's been a warm and dull day so there are few flowers out, and the perfect weather for such a mad ale.

A long day with the family doing not a lot but with a chance to have a haircut and even buy me some electric clippers to try and control the mess that is what I call a beard. Time to kick back in the sunshine that has threatened through the cloud cover all day, enough to keep things uncomfortably warm, and enjoy a can, right? Would you like to know more?

Sunday, 30 July 2017


I picked this one up sometime in March,I think, because I was so keen to get hold of one and it was the first time I'd really seen one in the wild. Well, at least at a time I could get my grubby mitts on it. Then circumstances and me being busy at work meant that I really didn't have the time to get round to drinking it. So it was stored in the dark of the understairs cupboard for a while then moved into the pantry in expectation of actually drinking it and there it stayed through the heatwave before being returned to the cupboard. Then we had a few moments, my Boy and I got back from the park and I had the time and inclination to have a beer in my garden.

I refer, of course, to that mighty ale from Belgium, in advance of having our favourite Belgian over to stay, from Huyghe that comes in the form of Delirium with all the elephants on it. Alas, not a stoneware bottle but a glass one painted to look the same. Not being stoneware may well have led to the experience, but that may just be me. Would you like to know more?

Thursday, 27 July 2017

Orange 'n' Basil

Something of a trend seems to be emerging this summer, that is, the trend of having sour ales when it is warm and sunny because they seem to help. This trend is not helped by such wonders as the sours that are on offer and, today, I ventured into the garden again to enjoy me a sour IPA from Mad Hatter Brewing Co., that is aptly named Orange 'n' Basil. The chap at the bottle shop recommended it highly when I was picking up the Tzatziki Sour (see here) from the same people and so I naturally picked one up the next time I was in. Combined with a quick lunch of noodles with extra spice and a feeling of invincibility, this was already shaping up to be rather nice.

Being at home more does rather allow me to branch out and try different things. And I may have been in to work to do some tidying up and I may have been stupid and spent some time doing extra marking for a pittance in order to have some money to spend rashly later in the year. However, this is not the time nor the place to be discussing any of that, it is a place to discuss beer and so would you like to join me in learning more?

Tuesday, 25 July 2017


An enclosed kingdom in Tibet, cut off from the outside world, maybe based on a valley in modern-day Pakistan and culturally equivalent to some Chinese echoes about such places, with denizens that live far beyond what the rest of the world would consider normal. The name of a made-up place that has come to represent the concept of a paradise on Earth and, now, applied to a large bottle of IPA from Arbor that I have had waiting for a good long time. It was one of the first bottles I picked up from my local bottle shop and has been patiently waiting for the summer. It struck me as a summer ale, you see.

Now is that time, now it is summer and I have the time to tackle it and I am looking forward to Shangri-La by the computer to watch some TV because I can. You can tell by the picture that it has been in warm places, almost eight months waiting, and that I could have chilled it. I did not chill it. Would you like to know more?

Sunday, 23 July 2017


I shall be honest, I got this in as I misread the label and thought it was the amazing Subluminal stout, but I'm not complaining. Buxton make a fantastic range and they've yet to put a foot wrong for me, so I was actually looking forward to this. A sort of birthday present and it's been sat in my fridge for what feels like an incredibly long time. However, the official marking period is now over, and I've broken up from work, time to surface with style!

Hot and humid weather, dark and grey outside, brooding and ready to rain. It is obviously the time to break out the big summer ale guns with this IPA and a sour touch. The last sour I had, Waimea Sour, in London did a great job with the humidity, so I have high hopes for this, Buxton Brewery's Superluminal sour IPA. Would you like to know more?

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Smokey Bacon and Banana

In the deep dark reaches of time there was a legend of a brew so mental and odd-tasting that one would have to try it just to see if it lived up to the billing. Spoken about in only whispers, passed by word of mouth, a brew that would taste of bacon because that was what the internet craved above all else, that and excluding people that don't eat pork, but mainly bacon. And then, one day, I happened to be travelling through the furthest reaches of the local bottle shop down the road from where I live and stumbled upon it, the bottle that would potentially rock my world, Smokey Bacon and Banana by Mad Hatter who were clearly living up (down?) to the their name when they conceived of this rather odd selection of tastes. Obviously I had to grease the proprietor's palm with me plastic for to own such a bauble and then to taste it when the opportunity presented itself.

Which opportunity did when my father was round to see us and I could coerce him into trying it with me because it was so totally strange. Thus, clad only in our clothes and lit only by the glowing orb burning down from the blue dome (it's the sun) we did open the bottle and partake of the strange contents therein. Would you like to know more?

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Damn Dead Strawberry

It was a while ago when everyone online was having some Wild Weather Ales but, clearly, the brewery name stayed with me because when I saw some at the local bottle shop I had to try some. I had a good gander and I rather like strawberries and so it was that I found myself in possession of Damn Dead Strawberry, a lactose sour in a can. I have no idea what I was expecting except the fact that I have been on the sour a lot lately and clearly thought that it was worth a try. By way of preamble, I rather like the artwork on the can and the combination of that, being a sour and the fact that it has strawberries were the full and frank reason I bought the can. And now you know.

A sunny and hot day, which is becoming something of a feature of this summertime, in the garden and it was time to find out exactly what was going to become of what I had purchased. Would you like to know more?

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Southville Hop

This one was sent to me by someone I know on the Twitter and I had it and enjoyed it and promised a review. Alas, I had it before the marking began and so was rapidly snowed under with work until I could no more type a review than I could raise my head at the end of evening before going to bed and starting the whole marathon once more in the morning. What I'm trying to say is that this review has waited a criminally long time to be produced! No matter, it is here now, and I am pleased to be reviewing the rather excellent Southville Hop, an American IPA from Bristol Beer Factory in rather a delectable bottle.

Of course I took the opportunity to have this in my garden as it is the summer and it was in the stirrings of the recent heatwave (which I seem to be mentioning in every review at the moment) and I sat with it in the purple seat by the lovely painted fence, all courtesy of Willow, assailed by the smells of the flowers in the deep bed and the wildflowers spilling into the lawn. Which, now as I think of it, probably needs to be mown again. Because of course it does. Enough of this, would you like to know more?

Thursday, 6 July 2017

Tzatziki Sour

I was actually after a whole bunch of other ales but then the Mad Hatter job lot had come in and this little number was high on the list of wants in terms of wanting to try it. Having a good bottle shop so close by is going to bankrupt me. It's not going to kill me, I don't drink quite enough ale, but it very well may cause me to lose all of my money. Maybe it would be quicker just to transfer a couple of hundred a month? Anyway, I'm not complaining because having quality ales on hand is always a good thing. And back to the point, I got me some Mad Hatter Tzatziki Sour because it was a fun label and it was green and it was a sour.

It appears that I am drinking more sours these days. I would love to know why but maybe that's just how the wind is blowing for now. This one promises some Greek cuisine along with the murk and the orange hue, would you like to find out how true that is? I thought you might!

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Stay Puft

Back around Easter (yes, I know, I am slow) I got a big crate of ales in that I was looking forward to diving into. I have said before that there were many substitutions made (9 of the 15!) and one of these was replacing the Tiny Rebel Dirty Stop Out with Tiny Rebel Stay Puft. Now, I've had the Dirty Stop Out before, at the Leeds International Beer Festival (click here), and so the replacement for something I'd not already had was something of a welcome one. And it sounds like the sort of sweet and ridiculoous ale that could pass as a dessert. I've just eaten a tea, oven roasted chicken fried with its own juices, garlic, onion and cherry tomatoes and chips. What could go wrong?

Well, plenty, of course. To say anything else would be to tempt fate. So, let us not tarry too long at this juncture and get into the drinking and the reviewing. Would you like to know more?

Thursday, 29 June 2017

Five O'Clock Shadow

When I saw this in the bottle shop I kinda knew that I would be buying it soon and lo, it was so. I'm attempting to cook at the same time as drinking, which is always fun, but tonight I cook for many people all at once with different meals, including using butter to cook me some fried eggs whilst attempting not to set the smoke alarm off in the hallway as I apparently like a challenge. Indeed, tonight is the night I drink Weird Beard's Five O'Clock Shadow being an IPA of estimable character - by which I refer to its ability to gain esteem rather than being within finite probabilities - and apparently best served with Tex-Mex food.

So, of course, I'm having it with ham, eggs and chips because I am contrary and all that. Also, as I am a heathen, I have left it chilled only to the temperature of the cupboard under the stairs. Would you like to know more?

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

KeTo RePorter

This was one of the surprises from my crate of porters and stouts, a replacement, and my does it come in an interesting bottle. The use of the brown leaf as a motif makes me think that this is designed for the autumn but here I am having it in in the Summer, because I am different doncha know! Also, it is late in the evening and it is the sort of time that is ripe for something a bit darker and heavier regardless of weather or situation. I am reviewing the rather interesting looking KeTo RePorter by Birra del Borgo and rather looking forward to it.

Anyone would think that I have a thing for stouts that I am finally getting to indulge. Well, anyone would be right about that. Would you like to know more?

Thursday, 22 June 2017


Hard to categorise the offering tonight, it describes itself as Koln-style beer that is brewed like ale and then matured like lager. I have no real idea what to define this as in terms of my tags and I have decided to go with lager and pale, which is the best I can do I guess. Looking forward to it and I must point out that this was a gift from a student of mine saying goodbye to start exams. Thank you that student, you know who you are, for this rather nice looking Tzara from Thornbridge.

Now that scene has been well and truly set and my food is well and truly made to have with this bad boy, being soup from a can and some tortilla and dip, would you like to know more?

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Milk Stout

Willow got me a present, you see, a big crate of porters and stouts for to be having as I love them so much. Which is really nice of her, I thought, and so I finally got round to having some of that bounty this evening as I had the opportunity and thought, well, whyever not? And, frankly, I had no real reason not to. I had a quick squiz of the ales on offer and went with the Milk Stout from Left Hand Brewing Company, an employee owned brewery in the United States. I mean, if that's not socialist-sounding enough to put the willies up people that aren't enamoured of egalitarianism I don't know what is.

Also, in fairness, it has the words 'milk' and 'stout' on it. And it's a purple can, so I'm already sold. Would you like to know more?

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Raindrops on Roses

It is getting a bit brighter and warmer, so I should probably see about interspersing my lovely stouts and porters with other styles before I get (even more) boring. I picked this up from the local bottle shop ages back on a whim, mainly because I liked the look of it and I'd seen people enjoying it on the Twitters and I had some spare cash, hoping that it would be a decent little ale to pass the time between my new passion for stouts. I refer, of course, to the earworm that is Raindrops on Roses from Thornbridge and the winner of a homebrew competition in 2016.

Not sure I can really relate to whiskers on kittens or even brown paper packages all tied up with string, give me the full throated roar of a thunderstorm any day of the week. Would you like to know more?

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Bourbon Coffee Broken Dream

After getting hold of these two sisters from Siren Craft Brew I was hoping to review them side-by-side but life doesn't always let you work that way. So it was that I had the Broken Dream original last week, and you can read that by clicking here, and this week I am reviewing the slightly more powerful sister brew Bourbon Coffee Broken Dream - but the power is not in the ABV, for that is the same, but in the flavour. I have heard only good things about this particular ale and so I hope that I am not in for a disappointment, we shall see!

There's plenty to be wary about at the moment, obviously, but I shall ignore all of that and simply get down to the ale, I've waited a long time and it would be rude not to. Would you like to know more?

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Modus Operandi

I am looking forward to tonight's review, I had been seeking it when I saw it at the bottle shop long before the bloke there tried to convince me to buy it, he continued in his patois anyway because I'm not sure many people are looking out for a Modus Operandi from Wild Beer Co. in the local area! This is the 2016 version and it's been sitting about in my understairs cupboard for a bit of a while. No time like the present!

As ever, mania may well be afoot, would you like to know more?

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Broken Dream

Got this in a big crate of beer from a seller online and I've been waiting for it a good long while. Back in March I found its sister ale in the local bottle shop but wondered about whether I should have it or not, then I found this crate and decided to wait to maybe do a side-by-side but one thing or another got in the way. However, I can do them in the right order. Tonight I am reviewing Broken Dream - a breakfast stout from the lovely Siren Craft Brew Co.

In case it wasn't obvious, I have rather built this up in my head and there has been precious little time to be having multiple ales as I drown myself at work. So, some pent up beer geekery may well be afoot soon. Would you like to know more? You can't say you weren't warned!

Sunday, 4 June 2017

Windrush Stout

Time for a cherry pie of an evening after a day of sunshine and the melodious sound of children's laughter. Or, at least, as close as one can ever actually get in reality that is not based on selected shots from those odd placeholder photo images you can get on the internet these days. As it is a cherry pie that we have before us I was rooting in the cupboard to find something suitable and decided upon the Brixton Brewery Windrush Stout that I got in a while back. Dry stout, chocolate malt and a sweet cheery cherry pie, what could be better?

There is also the fact that I am awash with ale at the moment and need to clear some space for the summer holidays, so any excuse is a good excuse, right? Would you like to know more?

Thursday, 1 June 2017


Trolltunga, the bottle tells me, is a rocky outcrop in Norway that, well, looks like a troll's tongue in stone. And Buxton Brewery, for it is they, decided that it would make a great name for a gooseberry sour IPA. I, for my part, decided that the afternoon would be the best time to have this. A changeable day of weather and some bright but dull garden photos, despite the fact that now the sun is shining in full strength, made it a decent enough time to pour and so I did.

I have been enjoying my half term. Plenty of work to do, plenty of politics to make me fearful and give me a headache but also plenty of ale to make me too relaxed to care too much. Would you like to know more?

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Clwb Tropicana

I was given to understand that the drinks would be free but that was a lie and I am a little not bothered by it. After my ravings on Sunday (you can access them via this quick link if you like) it fell to me to remember the price of this offering and so I did - being £3 from my local. It was something that I had seen about online, again, and I wanted in on the action. Had it the best part of a week before venturing into the warm garden to crack it open as the sun sank below the houses opposite, lighting the tree but leaving much of the garden in shadow. I am referring, of course, to the Clwb Tropicana produced by those clever people over at Tiny Rebel Brewing Co. and I am rather looking forward to trying it.

So, with my tea far behind me and an evening stretching out ahead of me, would you like to join me in the journey along the path blazed by this? In essence, would you like to know more?

Sunday, 28 May 2017

Session IPA Simcoe Mosaic

I have seen this brewery all over the online craft drinking circles and never heard a bad word about them, back last year I saw a chance to get hold of their DIPA from a micro-pub that my father took me to visit for a fiver and turned it down. Well, my local bottle shop announced that they had a crate of Cloudwater's Session IPA Simcoe Mosaic in and so I had to bob down and get some in. I don't even remember the price, I'm sure it was pricey, but I was keen to try it.

It was a sunny day too so, with lunch in hand, I was able to get out and sit in the garden on the picnic bench to enjoy it amid the sunshine and warmth. Would you like to know more?

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Wild Boar

It's another beer review that is accompanied by tasks other than drinking beers. Tonight I reminisce over doing the garden and think about how warm the sunshine was whilst drinking the rather lovely Wild Boar by Buxton Brewery. I also rather show my lack of beer tasting chops here by having this as the first offering from the brewery despite how often I see them being touted as excellent by other beer drinkers and bloggers!

It's been a while in coming too, having bought this in way back before the third child was born, so this is much awaited and an IPA for the changing season. Also mowing the lawn and watching the slightly emotional Song of the Sea. Just saying. Would you like to know more?

Tuesday, 23 May 2017


Tonight's review was done on a sunny afternoon in the garden with the bees lazily buzzing through the budding flowers and the sound of buses plying the road outside my house far off and gentle on the breeze. It is also of an ale that I have been itching to get hold of for well over two years now after reading about it on another beer blog (now sadly no longer posting from what I can gather). I refer, in this instance, to Treason, a West Coast IPA brewed by a small brewery named Uprising Craft Brewery who seem to be operating out of the Windsor and Eton Brewery. I may be wrong.

I managed to pick this up from my local bottle shop after the proprietor had nipped down south for a bit and stopped off at the Windsor and Eton Brewery, indicating that there is significant overlap here. Anyway, the sun is currently high and the air is warm, would you like to know more?

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Innis & None

Ah the weekend. What a time to be alive and to be finally at the end of one load of toil. Of course, there's more on the way because I am a glutton for punishment and mark extra every year. I get paid, mind you, so I can't complain. A mixed day weather-wise, scattered showers and occasional sunny patches. I almost risked shorts but then recoiled from the cold. Today, for it is not the evening, I am planning to have the rather nice looking Innis&None by, well, Innis & Gunn. I have had this lurking for the best part of a week - how hard is having non-alcoholic beer anyway?

Apparently quite hard. I know, right? I blame the new child. Would you like to know more?

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Hitachino Nest: White Ale

There I was, in the bottle shop, buying my latest haul and I had collected some ales that I was keen to try. I was also trying to keep my weekly spend down (sad confessional fact here: since the shop opened I have never spent less than a tenner each week) and satisfied that I had what I wanted. The owner then mentioned this little number and how much he had enjoyed it. I realised at that moment two things: 1. I am such an easy mark; 2. I was going to buy it anyway. So I added Hitachino Nest to my haul and bought it, taking me over a tenner once again. I can't complain, ale is ale, right?

Anyway, it's a Japanese ale from Kiuchi Brewery and imported from the brewery itself. Of course I went for maximum casual racism and had it whilst cooking a Chinese-cuisine inspired meal. Would you like to know more?

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Kofra Stout

This was one of those evenings that needed a stout, you know, one of those days that, however nice, just required something to give it pep and spring. So it was that I turned to a can that I picked up from the newly extended craft beer range in the evil Empire that is Tesco. I can't complain too much, their new range is a pretty good one even if I haven't yet sampled all of it. Anyway, all that aside, it was a sunny day and time to try the Redwell stout effort: Kofra Stout. It promises coffee and unicorn tears and I, for one, can't wait to see what difference that would make.

I mean, unicorn tears. It's... different to say the least. Would you like to know more?

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Ease Up IPA

Long long day. Extra work. I'm not complaining, I am being paid for that, but it is worth noting. Also been a long drive. Time for a beer methinks and what better ale companion than one that was bought as a Christmas present (I know, I know) because it is the time of year when I can be realistically having the lighter ales. Don't get me wrong, I still like the stouts, but the IPAs I've been having of late along with the odd pale have made their mark.

Tonight I shall be sampling the potential delights of the garishly decorated Ease Up IPA from Adnams that was on at the Burnt Pig (click here) rather recently too. I didn't have it on tap, will I regret that decision? In the meantime, let us continue with the review. Would you like to know more?

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Ruby Red Ale

Tonight is another ale review and this time of a lovely brew that I have been saving in my pantry since the summer because it was part of the haul that first brought me Elvis Juice (click here) all that time ago, giving you some indication of how long it's been hanging around. I refer to St. Peter's Ruby Red Ale and I shall be having it in my much under-used Nutbrook Brewery glass because why the heck not.

Long day, nothing good or bad, but a long day. I'm looking forward to a pint and drowning some of those things that have been left undone, at least until they are rescued come morning and are slightly soggy but have more gumption to be done. Would you like to know more?

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Premium Fresh

I am very excited to introduce a new thing to my blog today, a guest review! A friend of mine (Bettiboots) has discovered a rich cache of non-alcoholic beverages that also try to be ales. After my own foray there through Brewdog's Nanny State (click here), still a staple where I can't risk actually having alcohol, I naturally jumped at the chance to have a review of some other examples of this most difficult of crafts to get right where ale is concerned. The first of these reviews is of Premium Fresh from Warsteiner and I shall confess that I was looking forward to seeing what would transpire.

I even got a photo to put up. Are you as excited as I am? Well, then, all you have to do is click below to find out more!

Thursday, 4 May 2017

Neck Oil Session IPA

Sunny days are here again, even if there are one or two showers about, and I am feeling on a bit of a health kick, so it stands to reason that I shall be buying in some veg and trying to make myself that most healthy of meals: a stir fry. With some sauce in a jar. Oh, wait, there's more than 5% of this bottled sauce that's sugar, you say? Around 5% salt? Oh, right. Bugger. Nice though. And, as I'm into the whole matching food with ale (or vice versa) then I shall be having the Neck Oil from Beavertown because I've been meaning to have it and review it for a while and it seems like the best time to be doing it.

Would you like to know more?

Tuesday, 2 May 2017


A sunnier and warmer day called for something a bit special this evening to celebrate. I plumbed for cooking some grilled salmon with thyme and parsley, a bit of cous cous with coriander, lime and tobasco sauce coupled with some florets of broccoli. As a member of the bourgeoisie I know just how to roll and, as a beardy tosser with a gut, I know how to drink ale with that melange. This evening's ale therefore is the rather cleverly named Tart - Bakewell Sour from Thornbridge.

Astute readers will note that this is on a Tuesday, because I am switching my review days to Tuesdays from Sundays. Why? Well, it better reflects when I actually drink ale and it leaves the weekends free for occasional special posts. Now that that part that no one cares about is over, would you like to know more?

Sunday, 30 April 2017


It's time for an APA from a local-ish brewer. And it's another ale that I got in for an attempt to create some local action for a thing ages back and then got interrupted. I'm not complaining, you understanding, that's just how it worked out. So, tonight, allow me to regale you with my review of Chiron from the Thornbridge stable, being based in Bakewell and thus local-ish if you count about 40-odd miles as local.

All that and a shot from the garden, goodness me, it's almost like I'm getting used to this beer blogging lark or something. Would you like to know more?

Thursday, 27 April 2017

"Old Crafty Hen"

This was actually a Christmas present (I know, I know, there's been so many lovely ales though) and so it feels like I ought to try some and there is the ever-present memory of the cold of winter meaning that I'm going to enjoy the strength a little. Mainly I'm casting about for an excuse and finding as many as I would like to find. Because, tonight, I shall be reviewing the rather strangely titled "Old Crafty Hen", I say strangely because the speech marks are right there on the bottle, by Morland Brewing and that's no bad thing. Oak-aged, you see, and so in a posher labelled bottle and has stood some long storage beneath the stairs.

It's not my usual fayre and relatively hard to find in supermarkets from what I can gather but it is a more mainstream ale than some of the ones I have been having and so I feel an affinity for it. Would you like to know more?

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Vermont Tea Party

Having finished a study task, as in a task set to study stuff, I charged the car and ensured that things were in order. Then I got bored and decided that reviewing an ale would be a good way to alleviate that feeling. Naturally I decided to go for something a little bit special and settled upon this Vermont Tea Party from Siren Craft Brewing because what's not intriguing about Earl Grey Tea in a beer? Okay, maybe that last part is just me. However, this brewery has not yet hit a false note and all the people I see drinking their stuff give positive views. I must assume they know what they're doing!

It's grey skies out and the dark is gathering, I predict more rain before bedtime. A pale will do a good job of conjuring some sunshine methinks. Would you like to know more?

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Island Records Session IPA

This can came with music recommendations, how could I not try it? I'll be honest though, I am pants at finding the music they suggested. I did find Slave the Rhythm by Grace Jones though and that was the third of the options presented on the can to accompany this Island Records can of Session IPA from Two Tribes Ltd and that will just have to do for the evening. Ah, no, they are play lists, here I go, going for the party version...

It's an odd one as I'm actually having this as an illicit treat. Would you like to know more?

Sunday, 16 April 2017

New Inn Restoration Ale

Happy Easter everyone! He is risen indeed. And so it is that I am reviewing this ale in my garden on the garden furniture in the sunshine. And it is, I think, a golden ale too, which is always nice. This ale was brewed by Chiltern Brewery in Bucks and was bought for me by my father, to whom I am grateful, from Stowe. I shall be honest, I have no idea where Stowe is nor any idea of its historical significance. But it must have some because there's this ale that has been brewed specifically to allow National Trust to make money and use it to restore the New Inn, hence the name: New Inn Restoration Ale.

I, for one, am looking forward to it. Would you like to know more?