Sunday 25 October 2009

Rotten to the Core

Happy Apple Day. There was a parade, people dressed up like apple trees, wearing all manner of food on themselves. There was Barry at the cider stall 4 deep all day.

I have never been to apple day before, this was the first year that The Rake had opened because the event was mainly happening in the Jubilee market. Not much point to us opening really but we had fun, wrote a poem in honour of the day and met a very nice brewer from Telluride Colorado who signed the 'Brewers Wall'.

The icing on this particular day was possibly the stupidest customer I have ever come accross, didn't this guy know that it's bad form to sip from a pint then ask for a top up? Stay in The Wenlock mate.

With all the happiness we were feeling from the customers we decided to write a poem about Apple Day, here it is, a collaborative effort from three staff and one customer, hope you enjoy it.

The apples are crapples,

The rotten apples rule the mar't,

They're pretty on the outside,

But inside smells of fart,

So, just don't bobbin' go there!

The beer is the gear,

Drink lots of it, don't fear,

It's more fun than a sack of big shiny cox,

And next week we're selling lambics from a box!

The liver is evil and must be punished,

but not by filthy cider,

So ingnore the parade outside,

And get some beer inside ya!

Burn all the tickers,

in big giant wickers,

Especially the cheesus,

Which cheese goes with apple?

We don't care, it's all Crapple!

So that's apple day, bring on next sunday when we have a Beer Festival to open for, I for one am very excited about this even though I have a dead tongue (Cheers Boggle!).

Hopefully see you all there, even if you don't like lambics there'll be something for you, so continuing the poetry theme....

Don't be Shy,

Give Lambics a try!

Sunday 18 October 2009

Good Times, I'll drink to that!

Here I am basking at home on my one day off this week, Jensen Button is F1 World Champion, I've just done the rota for The Rake so that it's one less job to do this week.

Exciting? Nah not for me, the excitement is from the general state of the brewing industry at the moment. Yes there are doom and gloom stories about 40 or so pubs closing a week but I do tend to look at the bright side. I work for a progressive company that's on the verge of expansion in the middle of a recession.

Lets look at what's coming up for me then. Brewdog are apparently changing the world on Tuesday, on Sunday 1st of November The Rake is having it's Lambic Festival, something that we don't think has been done in the UK before now. Next week on the 27th & 28th October I will be going to Pontypridd in South Wales to brew with Nick Otley and the guys at Otley Brewing.

I've started to look at the next Welsh Beer Festival for 2010 and we're looking at opening the Utobeer Brewery in January where we're going to let the unrelentingly witty Eddie Baines do the brewing, good times. I'll drink to that!

Tuesday 13 October 2009

What the F*?k do I know?

On monday night I was about to meander off home after a hard days work and a couple of pints of Moonlights Reality Czeck Pils when Nick and Nathan from Otley Brewing company walk in with a couple of their mates. My liver instantly starts aching. They are in London for the restaurant show, where they are showcasing a couple of new bottled ales.

We have a couple of beers, shoot the breeze and the topic of my going to brew with them in Pontypridd comes up again, this is something we have been talking about for quite a while now and i've always thought great idea and one I really want to do, probably never get round to it though.

This time though, my deputy manager, Tom, is away, I'm already tired and frankly a bit pissed and I'm like, fuck yeah man, i'm there next week! Now it's real, fucking awesome!! We sort out the details of where i'm staying etc.. and all of a sudden I'm in Wales next weekend.

So what am I going to brew? My favourite style is big and Hoppy IPA's, but what about a Doubled IPA? as far as I know Nick and his team have never done a double ipa. I'm to decide what the name will be, which hops we're going to use and the style of the beer, so much power, such a small man, I think I feel like Hitler, he was a short arsee on a power trip wasn't he?

So anyway I'm now really excited about this, I'm also shit scared, I've been in the trade for most of my working life and yet I know fuck all about brewing. Bugger. Time for the research and so I wikipedia'd it and found this...

So, theoretically I now know how to brew. Theoretically.

My next instalment of this tale will come after I have actually done the brewing and we shall ALL see how i've fared. Have I fallen on my arse or have I made a triumphant debut to brewing? Log in to find out...

Sunday 4 October 2009

Shout out to the responsible drinker!

I have often read on various websites that The Rake is full of city boys and should be given a wide berth on a Thursday and Friday. Whilst I think these are unconstructive comments, these bloggers do have a point. One recent incident (Friday afternoon, 3pm) I threw out three city boys who decided that they wanted to act like children, they ordered a bottle of Tokyo* and another couple of bottles and against my advice decided to treat the Tokyo* like a shot of Sambucca! Twats. I told them that would be their only round and they started to try and argue with me to stay in the bar. Anyone that knows me knows this is will never work and they eventually left to go and act like children somewhere else.
What's your point? I hear you ask...
My point is that whilst there are stupid, childish people who come and drink in my bar, most of the clientele are responsible people who only come for the beer. Yes the bar is small and on a Thursday, Friday and Saturday it does get packed but what pub doesn't? Yes there have been service issues in the past but myself and Tom are working hard to make sure the customer always comes first, this includes throwing out irresponsible drinkers who ruin the night for everyone else. We have specialist beer nights, tastings and festivals where people come to enjoy the beer and are still winning awards for the job we're doing so give the bar another chance, yes it's busier than ever but we're working to keep it for you, the responsible drinker.

Thursday 1 October 2009

I'd like to thank the academy...

So there I am, minding my own business, having dinner with a few hundred friends, most of whom I've never met and never heard of, and someone shouts the name of my bar out, off I go to the stage, get given something that looks like one of the new monstrous buildings that are springing up all over London, smile for the camera and off I go back to my table to be plied with Bottles of Asahi and vials of black sambucca(it's a hard life).
Seriously though, I wasn't overwhelmed at having to go to the Theme Bar Awards but that was mainly because I'd been averaging 2 hours sleep a night for the previous week and all I wanted to do was sleep!
It is another award that The Rake has won but it also reflects on how hard the whole team at Utobeer works, all year long right from Mike and Rich down to my part-time member of staff who only works one day a week. It is a great honour to be named Best Beer Venue and we'll continue to work as hard as possible to keep the newest and best products coming in for your enjoyment.
See you soon and I'd like to thank the academy.....