Sunday, 29 January 2017

Station Porter

Dark and gloomy is the night, late is the hour and I though me chanced to catch an apparition as it floated beyond the crackle of the flames in the other room, as though watching me watching it and lo, did it disappear, leaving naught in its wake but the bottle of ale that I now feast upon as part of my trying new brewers thing this month. The last one, alas, of yet another meme into which I have bought. Still, it can't be too bad and certainly won't affect me as much as did the Christmas ale shenanigans!

Tonight I refer to Station Porter, the apparition according to the label on the neck of the bottle, hence my rather strange opening sentences. Or not, interpret them as you will. And I'm sure you will! Anyway, yes, this was brewed by Wickwar Wessex Brewing Co. and comes to me courtesy of the local bargain store so I cannot complain.

The night is dark, so they say, and full of terrors. Personally, living as a middle class beer bore in a post-industrial town in the heart of the Western World I find that the night isn't even all that dark these days and the most terrifying thing in it is the news of the day on Radio 4. I digress, would you like to know more?

Thursday, 26 January 2017

Session Ale

Time for another can and, as luck would have it, I am on the pale ale again. Which is fine, because sometimes it can help enlighten a pretty dark day. No, not that kind of dark, just long enough that I left before sunrise and got home long after sunset. It has been a very long day with many demands on my time, so obviously it is a good time to crack open a can of Fourpure's finest in the form of Session IPA which, I am reliably informed by the can, is inspired by New York.

Leaving aside the rather dubious assertion of similarity twixt a city and an ale (and I'm a fine one to talk) I shall endeavour to do my best to describe the ale in a review. Would you like to know more?

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Burns Nicht

It isn't actually Burns Nicht yet, of course, (it's 25th January) but I thought that if I were to review ales to be having (which is something of a grey area as it's supposed to be whiskey) with your neeps and tatties and haggis then I ought to really review them in enough time for people to make a decision and get them in. Well, assuming anyone buys beer based on the reviews of a beer blogger that is. I have some in for the night itself too. In the meantime, time to settle in for a cultural exchange (there have been too few of these lately) and have me some ales.

Also, it's the time of year to be trying some stuff that is brewed in Scotland where the winter is deeper and longer and colder. I am nevertheless surprised that the ales on offer are mainly light and airy rather than deep and dark. Must be a desire to see the winter end. I'm not going to argue. Would ye like tae ken muir?

Thursday, 19 January 2017


I'm not very good at rock and roll. I'm sorry, but it's true. I'm much more a fan of the electronic bleeps and programming that could be described (and once was by a wise man known as Scroobius Pip) as generic repetitive music - in that case I know that I am something of a charlatan in beer-drinking circles. And so it came to pass that the arch-idiot of musical taste came to try Marshall by Rock'n'Roll Craft Beer. I can't complain, it's been a while since I had a blonde.

This has been stockpiled since the end of last summer, when I saw it in Morrison's on offer and I wanted to buy more Elvis Juice (see this link) without looking completely stupid. Yes, it's been hanging around for a while. Would you like to know more?

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Dark Arts

What better meal is there to have on a Sunday than leftovers? Specifically, the kind of leftovers that you can monkey around with and add different herbs and spices to in order to make something quite lip-smackingly good. And, of course, what better accompaniment in the depths of January when trying out new brewers than some stout from a can? There is no answer because there is nothing better. As a consequence I should like to introduce you to tonight's delectable offering, admittedly drunk around lunchtime, from Magic Rock Brewing Co. about whom I have heard nothing but good things.

I refer, of course, to their rather nice looking can of Dark Arts, a 'Surreal Stout' in their words, and in a frightfully clever black and silver can. It seems like the sort of thing to suit a mainly cold set of days and the treadmill of getting through coursework and mock marking whilst having rushed to complete reports.

Enough about the context, we want to be getting on to the ale itself. Would you like to know more?

Thursday, 12 January 2017

American Pale

What ho! Time for another evening now that there is less rain and it's been a long day (when isn't it a long day?). No matter, the night has drawn in and the car is charged, work has been done, sometimes having to do things twice because I have a memory like a sieve. Also because I am inefficient and my room is far from tidy, but I digress. Tonight I am continuing with my ignorance of the time of year and my apparent obsession with beer that comes in 330ml cans for reasons. It is, of course, the turn of Fourpure Brewing Co.'s American Pale in a lovely green can.

All that and we have a wood-burning stove (not currently fired) and furniture has been moved around to be better used. It is a disjointed look at my home life and make no mistake. Another addition to Tryanuary. Would you like to know more?

Sunday, 8 January 2017


Now that the Christmas ale is all gone it's time to get back to the more usual posting of two ales a week. Also, to return to my utter lack of keeping my ales matched to the time of year. Tonight we're having salmon and cous cous for tea because we're proper posh like and achingly middle class. Something like this needs a pale to go with it in my opinion. Also, there's a new bottle shop in town called the Crafty One just down from the Burnt Pig. Been in a few times but only yesterday did I bring actual cash. Lucky I did too as there was 20% off!

All of which means that, tonight, I'm having the rather nice looking Wild Beer Co. Bibble for my ale. The can, for it is from a can, tells me there's mosaic and Amarillo hops added. Can't go wrong there!

Right then, time is a-wasting and there's still marking to be done so on to the review! This is the first review concocted entirely on my mobile too, so that's auspicious, or something, still, a first for a New Year and all that jazz. Would you like to know more?

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Very Bad Elf

The time has come for me to end my voyage of discovery having proper ales in quick succession. It has changed the way I view ales, it really has, having so many qualitative brews so close to one another. It's... offered another perspective and made me think that maybe I should focus on having decent ales in the year ahead somehow. That's not to say I shan't still have the occasional ales of randomness, that's half the fun, but I shall be seeking more difficult to acquire ales.

In honour of the occasion, I shall be having the final Christmas ale: Very Bad Elf from Ridgeway. A suitably old sounding brewery name for this auspicious moment.

Yes, I am photographing it with all the work I've marked. Why not? Would you like to know more?

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Christmas on the Beach

A night in with some Indian take-out and the last vestiges of the Christmas tree before dismantling on the morrow. Still hard at the grindstone, trusting that this not an augur for the New Year as a whole as it is bloody hard work. However, much firing off in my brain about how to shape and mould things so that, locally at least, 2017 is better than 2016 was. Truth be told, last year had ennui setting in about now and this year is already better than that.

I'm having a lamb moni puri from our excellent local Indian takeaway with some mushroom rice. Very spicy and very strong flavours and I thought, in the absence of fish and chips, it would be the perfect accompaniment to Christmas on the Beach because it is a lager and full of summer freshness, or at least that is what the label promised. It's a lager so it can't be too bad with something so highly flavoured, right?

Great curry and a lovely little lager. Would you like to know more?

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Festive Star

Next on my list, as I mark my way through the next load of papers to get sorted and there is a fire on in the other room. So, to join the warmth and leave the pile of marking behind, to relax and to ruminate on the start of the new year and to take stock of this madness where I'm drinking twelve ales in twelve evenings. I suspect I'm mad. Which is why I'm cracking open the Festive Star from Northern Monk Brewing Company and their fine stable of ales.

I really ought to get back to Leeds and sample their brewery taps in the centre again, it was a lovely place and great company. Would you like to know more?

Monday, 2 January 2017

Black Christmas

I've been holding off on the stouts because I like them so much. But, today, as I mark all of the stuff I need to get marked (and struggle to get it all done) it seemed a good point to crack open the black stuff. I am referring, of course, to Weird Beard's Black Christmas being a lovely looking cranberry stout.

Of course, this all brings to mind the Black Celebration by Depeche Mode (or that may just be me) so hit the link and then listen to the song as you read.

Would you like to know more?

Sunday, 1 January 2017

Bob Sleigh

Hoppy New Beer!

In the absence of a proper New Year post this year (and last) may I extend to all of you who read this good wishes for the year ahead and the hope that you will find opportunities to stand for what you believe in, grasp the experiences on offer and be blessed in the year ahead. Also, ales, I hope that you all have access to some decent ales and get to try many of them. Speaking of which, I'm cooking my own tea of awful battered chicken bits and chips (because I am so healthy) and having some Bob Sleigh by Bishop Nick. It's a limited edition ale from my Christmas present because the twelve days of Christmas aren't over yet and nor am I finished with the ales. That's just how it goes.

Foggy day with a quick trip to the park with our friends and their little one, punctuated by the acquisition of an engineering toy aimed at girls first and foremost that has prompted our daughter to declaim that she wants to be an engineer when she grows up. I'd say job's a good'un. Anyway, you don't come here for updates on my family or New Year wishes, so let's get on to the ale itself. Would you like to know more?