Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Saturday Kitchen Complaint

I submitted my complaint of OfCom this evening regarding Saturday Kitchen. I wrote it as a member of The British Guild of Beer Writers and I urge other guild members and indeed non-members, to do the same. Thanks to Dave Bailey for leading the fight!

I am complaining about the above program(Saturday Kitchen, BBC1, 10am, 25th June 2011), one that I happen to enjoy from time to time. I have become increasingly frustrated though with the lack of representation of our national indigenous drink, Beer!
Although wine has it's merits it is almost always imported into this country and beer is our national drink and it has had no representation at all on Saturday kitchen. I find this insulting to the programs viewers who should be informed that beer can be paired more easily than wine with any meal.
The BBC, our national broadcasting authority, which is paid for by a tax on television ownership, is deliberately and recklessly damaging the UK economy by its unreasonable and deliberate rejection of beer as a beverage to drink with food. The vast majority of beer consumed in the UK is brewed in the UK using British grown ingredients.
Promoting brands of wine in named supermarkets without also giving air time to quality British beer brands is unacceptable bias for a public funded organisation.
Wouldn’t it be nice if we started celebrating our national beverage instead of ignoring it!
I complain as one member of The British Guild of Beer Writers, not for them.

Yes I did copy and paste some of Dave's words but frankly he wrote them so eloquently I couldn't do any better!

You can put your complaint on the OfCom website here. Please join in!

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Unhelpful or Not Working?

Ranty Mc-Fucking-Rant is back. 
Why is it people contact me when they're in my bar and clearly I'm not, then ask me what's good?
Then they get a sulk on and call me unhelpful when I'm on my day off and don't bother racking my brains to figure out what may or may not be in the fridge when they're probably standing in front of the bloody thing!
It's one of the few things I really hate about my job. Surely it would be easier and quicker to ask the member of staff who is standing right in front of them? 
Seriously, would you like it if you got called unhelpful on your day off?!

*got the pic from sourceblogger.com

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Pizza Dood!

The pepperoni is strong with this one

The lack bacon in our abode this morning meant that my hangover had to be fought off with pizza this morning. Not the one pictured(I just love that pic).
This is however, why I am such a fat bastard.
Pizza for brekkie? It Works. Now all I need is a beer.

Isn't 40 a bit Old to Start Playing Games?

After booking my flights and room for the Great American Beer Festival I've been thinking. Never a good thing, me thinking. Always seems to create some sort of hoo ha, thinking. People take beer so seriously nowadays!
With The Rake turning 5 years old this year over GBBF I've been wanting to find a different kind of festival. I've had aspirations to organise a 'craft beer festival' myself but there's just no way I'll ever have enough time, anyway, Shock, horror, splutter, craft, keg! Aye keg dispense, and you know what, I don't apologise for liking keg dispense, why should I? After all, some of the best beers on the planet are served from kegs(what's the matter beardies? afraid you're going to taste something?).
I personally think that the UK is screaming for this sort of festival, i.e, one that celebrates all forms of dispense and gives you a greater range of beers to choose from(oh yes he did!).
What the USA does really well is give all forms of dispense, yes keg. bottle, can and cask a great forum to show off their beers. We really don't do that very well at all. What I mean is that if you want to find a great festival you have to go to a small scale festival which doesn't have anywhere near enough budget to throw at advertising.
After all, with CAMRA doing things like this from The Morning Advertiser, what do the rest of the craft beer world have to do to get noticed. Maybe something like GBBF? (Just a suggestion), without the shite, crap, marketing gimmicks like Mascots. After all, if you need a mascot to sell your beer, is it really good enough? And considering how seriously these people supposedly take 'real ale', are you kidding me?
Would you buy a beer from this Penguin?
Tony Jerome as you can see from the piece was quoted as saying 'In CAMRA's 40th year, we are all about raising a toast to the brewing industrys most celebrated figureheads'. Really? By getting them to bring along a mascot? Surley the industry's most celebrated figureheads are worth more than a used Penguin suit? No? Ok then.
Seriously, after 40 years, isn't it time to shake off the jokey, stereotyped image of 'What's the Matter Lagerboy' T-Shirts, socks, sandals and long scruffy beards?

Isn't life supposed to begin at 40?

Sunday, 19 June 2011

RIP Big Man

I need a beer. I'm not sure I can do this. I'm not sure I can do the 'Big Man' justice, but I need to try.
Just read the news that Clarence Clemons died yesterday, the man was an absolute legend and he's going to be sorely missed by all that knew him and all that felt they knew him through listening to his music.
Without that Saxophone sound, I'm not sure I would have been such a passionate fan of the E Street Band. Clarence was a vital part of that sound and helped create a different kind of rock. A rock sound that had never been heard before.
One of my all time favourite tunes is Jungleland of the Born to Run album because of that sax solo.
Pic courtesy of Backstreets.com

This link is Jungleland at Hyde Park in 2009, I have enjoyed this tune for 25-odd years now and I hope you do too.

RIP Big Man, I'm gonna miss you.

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Beer and F1

So I'm watching the Canadian Grand Prix this evening whilst I wait for our roast chicken to cook. So what beer to have whilst watching a full on sport?

Stone Ruination is my beer of choice for this one, it might have been something by Brewdog but I've only got the 32% Tactical Nuclear Penguin at home and I'm ageing that as an experiment. It's a beer that is as full on as an F1 race and has on many occasions lived up to it's name!

As Murray would say 'and we're GO GO GO!'

Ok bit of a let down in as much as the race started behind the safety car but the beer is fucking awesome!

Nose : Orange, tiny bit of aniseed, quite a lot of sweet candy too.
Look : Bright orange, cloudy, the look of an IPA that needs to be drunk!
Taste : Bitter, with some malty sweetness at the end. More balanced than I was expecting to be honest, maybe it's because it's not as fresh as it should be but I still absolutely love this beer. It reminds me of San Francisco, somewhere I need to go back to soon! Not before Denver though!

Which beer for which sport people? Ideas?

Beer Circus Coming to London

Brewdog and CAMRA?
Oooooh, Brewdog are going to have a bar at CAMRA's Great British Beer Festival this year. I'm looking forward to it. There's something about these two organisations that seems to get peoples creative juices flowing. It's because one stands for tradition and one stands for progression in whatever form. They are the polar opposites, night and day, Laurel and Hardy, Jay and Silent Bob.
I'm no different, CAMRA can infuriate me like a grumpy old git complaining about the price of beer* and Brewdog can annoy me like a screaming child on the bus to work when I have a bastard behind the eyes.
There's an irony that both of them feed off each other so easily, controversy it seems does create odd bedfellows.

Both have been in our insular beery headlines recently with their respective antics/quotes, not for the first time and certainly not for the last time. Brewdog with their cask ale is boring blah blah blah and CAMRAs Chairman Shirley Valentine getting all upetty about bloggers and our perpetual need to drink only the next beer**. Brewdogs stance is interesting this time though because they have publicly slammed CAMRA and cask conditioned ale whilst at the same time getting a stall at GBBF. The posturing and grandstanding is all getting a bit blurred now with both parties accusing each other of our popular sport of naval gazing. It's all about the beer in the end though, isn't it?

Brewdog will serving kegged beer at GBBF, I believe it's going to be Keykegged which I think suits CAMRAs 'no extraneous CO2 rule as no gas touches the beer. I was half expecting Brewdog to do something stupid like sneak a keg in but now they have clarified the Keykeg issue I'm just expecting Penguin suits and a shit load of Ratebeer fan boys dribbling over the Brewdog bar. We shall see, I'm too old to be a fan-boy and too young to be a beardy so you'll be able to find me watching from the sidelines with interest seeing how this one plays out.
The Beer Monkey has covered this too, you can read his blog here.

*That's a whole other argument though.
** If that was actually true we'd either 1) never drink any beer, or 2) be dead from liver failure.

Friday, 10 June 2011

Fire at Camden

Evening all,

just a quickie this evening. Heard the news an hour or so ago that Camden Town Brewery has had a fire in site.
Apparently everyone is ok and the worst is a delay in production.

My thoughts are with Jasper and his team at the moment, the sooner they get brewing again, the better!

All the best folks!


Sunday, 5 June 2011

The Session #52 Collectibles & Breweriana

I would say I've been inspired by The Beer Monkey's confession on his *ahem* collection of beer mat but since there's only one of them, it doesn't really count. Fear not though, I have many for the venerable Mr Monkey that I get given without solicitation.
You all know about my fetish for baseball caps? Well my collection grew a bit more this week with the purchase of my new Lovibonds 69 IPA baseball cap(see below).
Great new cap, shame about the model
So here's what I got so far :

Russian River  - Pliny the Elder.(Blue)
Lovibonds - 69 IPA (Black)
Dark Star Brewing - DRK STR (Khaki)
The Pike Brewing Co - I like Pike (Grey)
21st Amendment - 21A (Black)
Left Hand Brewing Co. (Dark Green)
Brooklyn - Lager (Black)
Deschutes - Black Butte Porter (Black and Yellow)
Odells - 90 Shilling (Blue)
Anchor - Steam Beer (Red)
Toronado Bar (Black)
Rogue Brewing (Blue and White)
Brewdog - Beer for Punks (Black and White)
Rogue Brewing Co. (Khaki)
GABF 2009 (White)
GABF 2010 (Black)
Brodies - Fabulous Beers (Navy Blue)

That makes 21 by my count - and there are another eleven that aren't beer, bar or brewery related.

I'm really sad, I know by it's my session confession.

This months session is being hosted by... All over beer.

If you feel like donating a baseball cap to my collection you'll get a mention on the blog, a beer if you go into The Rake and my sincere thanks!
Happy collecting, Geeks!

Take Outs

So those crafty keg upstarts at Brewdog are going the way of Russian River and Lovibonds and have started producing Thermos flasks...sorry, Growlers!
I've always been one for take aways (Kebabs mainly) so I think they're an excellent idea and if I had the space at The Rake I'd probably stock Thermos's sorry....Growlers too!
Have a look.
very sleek looking thermos..sorry Growler!
They look not unlike the fonts that Brewdog have in their bars so the branding is at least consistent. I quite like these thermos flasks...sorry, growlers and might get myself one! I have to say that I do prefer the look of the Russian River and Lovibonds growlers though, I think they have a more classical look.

Call me old fashioned by this is my kind of growler!

Now the Brewdog Fan-Boys can take their favourite Brewdog tipples home for ageing/freeze distilling/worshipping!
Good on Brewdog though, finally they have their fingers on the pulse! Thermos...sorry, Growler of Tokyo anyone?

Sorry tickers but it beats a Panda Pop bottle hands down!