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?

Sunday, 5 February 2017

1643 Puritan Stout

This is a brew I have been sitting on for a while. I didn't have it in the summer because I thought it a more wintry ale and in the heat of the summer that we had I opted to have the 'punt' in the garden first. What I found with that one, the 1643 Leveller Bitter (click here) was a thing of beauty and power. An ale that had me wishing I had bought more when I had the chance, which is not an accolade that I bestow often. So, with some trepidation, I decided to open and imbibe the stout, the 1643 Puritan Stout by Two Cocks Brewery tonight. It has big shoes to fill and a huge reputation to live up to in my mind.

There's no animated image this time, I went with simple and dark for a change... Would you like to know more?

Thursday, 2 February 2017

Old Rasputin Stout

I thought it high time to break out the stouts and the darks that have been living in my understairs cupboard being horded for winter since the summer. Which is simply to say that I finally got round to actually drinking some of the beer I have stashed about the place. Tonight I shall be sampling the striking looking Old Rasputin Stout from Tollgate Brewery that I have had lurking about since September, when I bought it with the Duffield Amber (see here) so it's been waiting a while is what I'm saying.

Dark night, fire burning instead of having the heating on and free, for a moment, of the pressure of marking and planning. Time then to delve deep into a style of ale that is associated with Imperial Russia and likely is apocryphal. Not that I care, I like the modern style of Imperial Stouts and I feel that I haven't had nearly enough of them recently given that they regularly top my lists when I go out or spend time at a beer festival.

Would you like to know more?