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?