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?

Friday, 14 April 2017

Red 'n' Black

I know, I know, it's Good Friday now and it's all darkness and mourning and sorrow. Dulled gongs, bells with no ringers and what have you. It is fitting therefore, I think, to review a porter (being a dark ale) from a brewery that is craft-ish without being a full craft brewery. I speak of course of the Red'n'Black limited edition porter from Robinson's from whom I've yet to have a clanger. I picked up this bottle from the local low-cost supermarket on offer, and it is the limited edition, not even a bad batch. I'm not complaining, they did me the Mocha too and that still ranks as one of the best ales I've had.

So, to remember the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross (or just to celebrate the fact that there are chocolate eggs over the weekend), would you join me in the review of this version of a porter?

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Middle Aged Spread

This was acquired through a beer swap with someone online and I am beyond excited. It is Maunday Thursday on the Easter calendar and the Last Supper is about to be held. Treachery threatens but, then, one could argue that the actions of Judas were necessary because of what had to happen next. Not a brave man nor a bad man, but a man, simple and nothing more or less. The blackness of the day that is to follow and the chasm that was opened, albeit briefly, was something borne of no more and no less than the actions of mankind. Much like this beer review and swap, which is far more edifying and cheerful. Perhaps a little too cheerful for the Easter story. No matter, I am very excited to try Appleby Brewery's Middle Aged Spread of a stout.

Allusions to Easter aside, would you like to know more?

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

LocAle Stout

On the countdown to Easter we are officially at Wednesday. Time for me to regale you with aborted efforts to join in last Friday with an effort online to sample local ales, that is, ales brewed in the local area. As it was, I was required to drive a bit so there was no drinking for me. However, I have been keeping an eye out for locally brewed stuff and this took me to the local Wetherspoons - The Observatory - and my favourite local being the Burnt Pig. In these places I did discover two locally brewed stouts and, well, you know me and stout lately. So here's a review of some of those!

In truth, this is all the local ale that I have had in local hostelries. Local ale for local people, there's nothing for you here, unless you're local. Also, Ilson, because. Would you like to know more?

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Gamma Ray

It's been too long that I have had this in storage and my last review reminded me that I really needed to get on and have this. An American Pale Ale, a tag I ought to use more often, from the all-conquering Beavertown Brewery by the name of Gamma Ray. Alas, I was much too slow to get my hands on a can of the Tropigamma and I suspect that I have rather missed out there. Still, as for the New Year resolution to have more quality ales following that awesome 12 day stretch of Christmas ales, it looks I remain mostly on track some four months in. Good.

This is not a trip for the faint-hearted, would you like to know more?

Monday, 10 April 2017


Got this can in ages ago and really need to get round to it. The weather is slowly turning to the kind that allows me to sit in the garden but, you know, it's tea time and I'm not sure I can be bothered. Besides, I did plenty of that this last weekend! Anyway, I have some fish and chips for tea so I'm staying resolutely indoors for my next pale ale treat from Magic Rock Brewing Co. by the name of Inhaler. It promises me that this will be a juicy pale ale, so I am all up for that after the last two triumphs. Time to embrace the juice!

If there's juice, loose, aboot this hoose, would you like to know more?

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Lupuloid IPA

I heard these were on in my local bottle shop and carefully planned my route going shopping to ensure that I would accidentally pass the shop with enough money to get some in. I've seen these things flash by on the beer feeds and felt left out as everyone said how good it was. Well, tonight I get to try it for myself and find out what I've been missing.

It's Lupuloid IPA from Beavertown Brewery and I am well-pleased to have it in my possession. Look at that can! I'm itching to get to the drinking and reviewing so would you like to join me by pressing the read more below frantically? Yes? Then do so!

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Mountain Livin'

Sunny afternoon, threatening rain, lawn still without sight nor sound of a lawn mower, and I'm in the mood to sit at our garden bench thing and have me some ale. I picked up this Mountain Livin' back when my drinking partner was up for a weekend of ales (see here) and he insisted on buying me a bottle at my local bottle shop - having already sampled the delights of the Burnt Pig - and who was I to argue. I'm not usually a fan of pales but I saw that this was a Statesian brew and at 355ml and thought, why not. And why not indeed. Brewed by Crazy Mountain Brewing Co. up in Colorado (I think). So I sat near the cat-scarer and poured me a glass.

Some big pigeons dropped by to wish me well as I poured and there were wasps out and about near the rather beach-coloured fence panels. Would you like to know more?

Sunday, 2 April 2017

Breakfast Stout

I am painfully aware that I haven't made it out into the garden this year. And today I was given opportunity to do just that. Equally, I am aware that today's ale is not one that is easily available. I am indebted to a friend on Twitter who asked to remain anonymous for today's stout, all that and they asked no payment - so I owe them, big time! Anyway, the subject of the review on this crisp sunny spring day is Breakfast Stout from Founder's who so impressed me back in the summer at Leeds International Beer Festival (see here).

My garden is some disarray, the lawn is unmown and the various beds are all a bit of a mess, in short it is a garden in need of TLC but that's no bad thing when there is a slight breeze, warm sunshine and a brightness that makes me narrow my eyes. Would you like to know more?

Thursday, 30 March 2017

Tramway Mild

A fair while ago now, possibly even last summer, we went to visit the Tramway Museum at Crich and I was on the lookout for some different ales. One of the bottles I picked up on finding out that they did some ales that were local in bottles, was the Black Ram Stout (click here) that was really rather nice and a welcome return to stouts for me after something of a long absence. However, also from Wentwell, I picked up the mild that had been brewed specifically for the museum, as that is also one of my things (see the Brooklands Goldstar as evidence by clicking here, though I haven't been to that museum). So it is that, tonight, I am having the rather nice and plain looking Tramway Mild from Wentwell.

I shall resist the pun this time however, even if I do take a photo of our tidier but still rather messy kitchen in the background.

I have a thing for milds and I never really see them about, or else I am somewhat blind, either way, this is a rare style for me to try and I'm really quite looking forward to it. Would you like to know more?

Sunday, 26 March 2017


I have been warned about this by other beer drinkers and reviewers. Which was a shame as I was ageing it at first and looking forward to having it. Still, here we are at the end of a long winter in a new year that has delivered the promise (if that is the right word) of that which has preceded it. In short, I am in a mood to contemplate ale and disappointment. So, bring it on! It's time for another speciality Sunday and tonight I am reviewing the much-reviled Eldon from Thornbridge because I can and because I would like to.

The warnings are that this is saccharine sweet and a bit too fizzy, not befitting an Imperial Stout, but let's test that assumption. Would you like to be delving deeper?

Thursday, 23 March 2017


I picked this up because the Boy told me that he liked the bear on the front and it was that or some Beat Box. I'll likely pick that up another time. In the meantime, I am sampling the delights of Tiny Rebel's Fubar because there's a grenade on it and some small soldiers. Also, and I'll be honest, I regretted not having it back in 2016 at my first beer festival and despaired of ever seeing it bottled. So, here it is, bottled and ready for my eager tastebuds to attack it.

It's a pale ale, so clearly in-keeping with my current rhythm, and it's Tiny Rebel. What's not to like? Also, another attempt at animated photo that is either long overdue or a sad reminder of a crap set of past efforts. I'm not clear yet. Would you like to know more?

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Weekend Ales

Wait, what is this? I'm posting about ale not on a Sunday or Thursday, which is odd enough, but also the post is entitled weekend ales and I'm not drinking. What is going on? Well, actually, it's simple, I had some visitors up a few weekends back and we had some seriously nice ale that I am itching to review but I already had two ales that I wanted to review and so it fell by the wayside. Then I was busy for ages and now I get round to writing up my experiences of some quite nice ales that I had on a weekend. Problem solved.

Contained herein are reviews of three rather lovely stouts, because I really like stouts and I need to share how much with people who may be able to get hold of these stouts. They were all on tap rather than in bottles so I can't vouch for their availability but they're all worth seeking out. Would you like to know more?

Sunday, 19 March 2017


Sadly, this is not a speciality Sunday because the stout that I'm plumbing for tonight is the core range stout from the rather lovely Shiny brewery that I picked up from my friendly bottle shop. It's the sort of thing that seems like it will fit neatly into a dark evening with the car fully charged and the meals long behind me, for it is late to be having an ale. We shall see.

Also, it's a stout and it's been on the beer shelf for long enough now for me to be having it. Yes, I am that sad about my ale. I hope it isn't ruined by the fact that the Billionaire (click here) exists and continues to be a fantastic ale that just appreciates with age - I may have bought a few more of those. Anyway, this review. Would you like to know more?

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Wild Goose Chase

Last night I dreamt of San- no, I mean, last night Willow and a visiting friend went out for a curry and ordered too much food. Luckily, they know that I not only have an iron constitution, I also have hollow legs and a desire to eat all of the things. So they brought back a doggy bag of all the things they could not eat. This means that, with this ale, I was able to have chicken tikka biryani, chicken satay and some aloo Gobi. Basically, I've had a proper curry in a huge melange for lunch and then chased it with... well, it had to be something pale and light and preferably zingy to combat the high spice taste from the lunch. This means the job fell to the Wild Beer Co. Wild Goose Chase. This is a Gose with a bit of sediment and sounds lovely.

I even took a picture in the kitchen, so that's how special it is! Oh, and had at a lunch time in case I hadn't made that obvious. Would you like to know more?

Sunday, 12 March 2017


I may be having these the wrong way round. I have decided that the Billionaire (click here) has pretty much ruined beers for me because it was so good that it is hard now to have another stout that can even get close. It even made me wait a while before daring to chance tonight's guest to be reviewed, that being the rather respected and sought after Millionaire. This is also by Wild Beer and is the sort of poorer cousin, one would assume from the names.

Anyway, it is a stout after a busy week of hard graft and little sleep. Mainly because I am lazy. Yeah, like a fox! Would you like to know more?

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Butty Bach

I felt like something a bit Welsh again, because they have been rather good to me in the past, and so I had this lurking in the pantry. I'd picked it up in the summer as part of a batch to make buying the Elvis Juice a little less desperate and more economically viable. Because buying more ales is always good. Being a pale this couldn't be stored too long and so it just had to be drunk, didn't it? It's Butty Bach from Wye Valley Brewery and I rather like the simplicity of the label. And, yes, pales seem to be my tipple after the stouts on a Sunday so...

This should be a decent look at a decent pale, would you like to know more?

Sunday, 5 March 2017

Chocolate Porter

Another speciality Sunday that is supported by my patronage of the Crafty One Bottle Shop in my locale of Ilson. I can't claim that it is supported in any way beyond the fact that I popped in and got me some chocolate ales and heavy stouts and porters for this dark part of the year. The window resounds with rain, the night with cold. It's a night for some porter and some chocolate to make me feel a bit better. Tonight it's the return of the rather maligned Meantime who sold out and I first encountered back last summer on holiday at Center Parcs. It's their Chocolate Porter because I didn't telegraph that at all!

I do rather like the shape of their bottles, if truth be known, and if I ever get a bottle capper I suspect I I shall hoard these for to use with my own brewing. Would you like to know more?

Thursday, 2 March 2017

Three Hop

This is instead of a pale and has been sat around a while, being out of date by two months at this point, and so I thought I ought to be trying it. I have no idea what happens to a lager when it is past the Best Before date and now is a good time to be finding out I suppose. Maybe it shall spontaneously combust or perhaps it will turn into a chicken upon pouring. It is Three Hop and bills itself as Craft Lager from the Caledonian Brewery in Edinburgh.

I know, I know, it's another lager and I should be on the qualitative pales and IPAs. But, it promises mint and lemon! Would you like to know more?

Sunday, 26 February 2017


I've been looking forward to this. I had intended to have it on the same night as the Saint Petersburg (click here) but then didn't due to a combination of indolence and light-weightedness. Thus it has waited a week, coldly rejected on the shelf, and eyeing me carefully and suspiciously as one would a potentially useful contact in the black market. However, a long week and an odd morning, all self-induced, mean that a strong one ("it's a bit pokey" warned the nice man in the bottle shop) is just what I fancy now.

I refer to the Billionaire from Wild Beer Co. and it promises a great deal in the chocolate stout department, enough to tempt me out to the bottle shop to get the Millionaire as a potential after, but we'll see. Would you like to know more?

Thursday, 23 February 2017


I was up in Leeds when I first heard about Siren Craft Brew and was able to try their rather odd sounding Fire Alarm - at least, I think that was what it was called. They seemed insistent on the day that it was Five Alarm which, the more I think about it, didn't make much sense. You can find my brush with them by clicking here. Anyway, on the basis of that I got myself some of their ale from my local bottle shop when I saw it. Alas, not the Broken Dream that I have been hankering after but, nonetheless, a decent looking pale: Undercurrent. Oatmeal pale ale. Time to have an ale with my meal!

I'm not good at drinking with food, apparently, as I sit to write the review I've had but one sip and eaten all of my food. I suck at this game. Would you like to know more?

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Winter Ales Festival

My first ever beer festival was at the Roundhouse around this time last year. It was the Saturday session and it was packed - I was alone and without a guide beyond a friend of mine telling me a few years ago that I should start small and work my way up to the big guns. I got a bit lost, did not enjoy a lot of the pales that I did find, and then went all out on what remained of the stouts. I mean, I can't complain, I got free entry and the time to spend there.

This year things are a little different. The National Winter Ales Festival has moved to Norwich and is later in the year, I have been to two other beer festivals and have an inkling that I prefer the stouts and the milds and the porters so I know what I'm going in and looking for. Also, my Dad had agreed to join me on this one. So it was that I went down to the lunchtime session at Derby Winter Ales Festival on Thursday and made myself entirely too tipsy to be writing that up for the evening.

It was a good time and I had plenty of decent heavy stout action, would you like to know more?

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Effra Ale

This was picked up at my local bottle shop too, this will become something of a theme methinks, and had to be bought because I saw it and instantly thought of the Peter Grant series by Ben Aaronovitch. Because, you see, it's Effra Ale and one of the Rivers of London, being the title of the first book, is the Effra, which is why the ale is called Effra Ale too by the bye. Basically, it's an in-joke that only I get and so I bought the ale. Sometimes I'm not very funny. It's by Brixton Brewery which is in Brixton, a place I only know because of the Brixton Riots. Which also shows my lack of knowledge. Anyway, all that aside, I thought it time to have and review it.

I was pairing it with my middle-class salmon dish for tea because I am so achingly middle-class and I thought I was going to try and be clever with my food matching. Would you like to know more?

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

vALEntine's Day

It's that time of year again when people feel a mandatory urge to proclaim their relationship status to the world and the corporate world is happy to help us do so by charging us for the privilege of buying our saccharine sweet affectional gifts. Because gifts is a thing. I am happy to report that here in the household we avoided most of the awful extremes and stuck to having an evening, ish. I plumbed for having ales that I had been collecting for a while.

Basically, I bought in some Thornbridge ales with the idea that there ought to be a floral scented IPA, a strawberry flavour thing and then some chocolate to enjoy afterwards because what is Valentine's Day without something chocolate-y to enjoy and indulge in? I would wager it is nothing. To that end I purchased and stored three likely looking ales.

My intention is to have them all and review them briefly as I go to see if I can create the perfect date night, so I'm told, in a single set of beer reviews. I am nothing if not up for pointless challenges that I set for myself involving the reviewing of ale and so I accepted my own challenge. Would you like to know more?

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Saint Petersburg

I miss speciality Sundays. But, wait, what's this? I have an imperial stout from Thornbridge Brewery that I picked up from the local bottle shop just sitting around and begging to be drunk. And, you know, when you see one of these it's just rude not to buy and imbibe as soon as possible. So, I suppose I ought to mind my manners and turn straight to the tasting of Saint Petersburg, an imperial Russian stout that ought to bring all kinds of love and happiness into the room and my proceedings.

I do have a bit of a fondness for Imperial Russian Stouts, it would appear, and I am an historian of Russia generally, so I guess what I'm saying is, chto delat?

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Asahi Super Dry

Tonight I am reviewing something that Willow got me for our anniversary last year (yeah, I know) and that I finally got round to having. Only the best part of a year later, I think I'm doing well. The story behind why she bought me this particular bottle is that she had been reading the Song of Ice and Fire series and one of the characters keeps banging on about the city of 'Ashai' and this reminded her of that. I think that makes sense. It's the Japanese Asahi 'Superdry' lager. But I noted that this actually brewed in the UK by Shepherd Neame, whom I seem incapable of avoiding. Not that this is a bad thing.

It's a 660ml bottle, so this ought to be fun! Would you like to know more?