Monday 30 May 2011


Morning all,

can't get to the computer at work right now so decided to rattle off a few tired old phrases, just for shits and giggles.

CAMRA are old and sucky and wear sandles and have beards and beer bellies.

Brewdog are new and sucky and have less beer beliies but more fan-boys.

Long live craft beer it's AWESOME!!!!

All Cask is Brown and dull and women will never enjoy it.

All Lager is fizzy piss and only louts drink 10 pints of it before kicking the shit out of someone at the footy.

All new beer is AWESOME!!!

All bloggers are noisesome.

All beer blogs are introspective, self indulgent dribblings of spotty geeks who can't get girlfriends/boyfriends.


Kinda bored now, RBF.

Sunday 29 May 2011

He Ain't My Valentine

This video(courtesy of Alcofrolichap) of the CAMRA AGM has really shown it's chairman Colin Valentine(from now to be called Shirley on this blog) in his true light, a small minded member of the old guard who, instead of championing cask conditioned ale, which CAMRA have been doing well for 40 years now, slags off the so called 'bloggerati'(his words) for only liking 'the next beer'.

Does Shirley realise that beer bloggers help promote cask conditioned ale?
This speech has already spawned tonnes of debate on Martyn's blog and there's a new blogger in town here who has kicked off his blog with his opinion, they are both CAMRA members and both now part of the bloggerati.
My main beef with this rant from Shirley is that he uses the phrase bloggerati in a demeaning way, now I myself have used this phrase as just a name for a group of bloggers together(it's as good as any other description). The other beef with Shirley is that he's practically labelled us all as beer fashionista's who only chase 'the next beer'! What a pile of absolute tosh! Does anyone else think that Shirley is just slagging off that which he doesn't understand?

Does he include the Tandlemans, Zytophiles, Real Ale Girls and Reluctant Scoopers of this world in his childish rant? I name these few because I know they are CAMRA members and bloggers and they are all very eloquent at shouting about the good points of cask conditioned beer too, unlike Shirley it seems.
I'm NOT a member of CAMRA, I won't be as long as people like Shirley are in charge.
I'm not calling for CAMRA to change it's focus, I'm not calling for CAMRA to champion keg beer, I'm calling for CAMRA to elect a less small minded leadership and embrace the future because surely leadership like this is a thing of the past?
Call me bloggerati, call me adventurous, call me a wind-up merchant, just don't call me Shirley.

Wednesday 25 May 2011

Can It Already!

So have brewers stateside finally lost the plot? Is it a reaction to Goose Island being bought out and not exporting any more kegs this year ? That bit of news certainly sent me bonkers, but this is on a whole other level of crazy.

Plain old can or all-new super-dooper Nano Keg??

I noticed at the start of the week that craft brewery, Six Point, from Brooklyn in New Yoik is canning their beer 'Sweet Action' but instead of calling a can a can, a spade a spade and wot-not, they have called their cans 'Nano Kegs'. Crazy talk.
But hey, I can see what Six Point are doing, there is a sense of irony here that you don't usually get stateside and me being a right cynical bastard, kind of like it, as well as thinking it's tosh at the same time.

If Brewdog start calling cans Nano-Kegs, I think I'm going to hurt someone.

Monday 23 May 2011

Beer and Football

Well we did it, IT ONLY TOOK 9 YEARS! we all bellowed at the end of the penalty shoot out. I planned to do a sort of diary style thing for the day, keeping up with what I had imbibed but that idea fell over straight after leaving the house at 6.30am when I realised I'd left me note pad at home! Epic Fail, right there!
I did however, remember to pack some beer for the train up to Manchester! Epic Win, right there!
So about halfway into our journey(9am) I took out the first of our beers. A gift from Mark Dredge, it was a can of 21st Amendment's Back in Black, the beer that inspired Evin(O'Riordan, Kernel Brewery Owner) and I to do a Black IPA.
There's a couple of reasons why I like this beer. Firstly, before you even taste the beer the packaging in superb, great art work on the can and only 330mls to boot. Secondly of course, there's the beer itself, now although this can tasted just a wee bit sour, it was still really drinkable and I necked mine just fine.
Even if it was a little sour it still  beat the slops Virgin trains were serving in a can.

Next up we had the third version  of the Kernel Black IPA, just goes to show this beer and it's style are so popular that Evin keeps on having to produce it! God I fucking love this beer and I've found out that it's great for calming the nerves on the way to play-off finals!

Third up was another bottle of Black IPA from Kernel, only without a label as it was so new when Evin gave it to me that it hadn't reached labelling stage. The hops were different and forgive me but I can't remember which hops were used in this one, Summit and something else (Mt Hood?). Still a great beer and I'm looking forward to getting it in The Rake soon!

So with the decent beer finished it was time to get off the train and find a pub that was open at 10am! It was highly unlikely but we eventually stumbled upon the Old Devonshire for a couple before heading to the Marble Arch. I went for a pint of Kelham Island Best to start with, very good nick it was in too, I like Kelham Island, they brew good beer. When I went up for another pint, the Kelham Island was gone so I went for a Thwaites Original(I think), not quite on the same level as the Kelham Island but still a decent beer in good nick.

Then it was off to the Marble Arch pub to meet up with Tandleman for a couple of beers before he went off to his CAMRA meeting(Am I the only one imagining silly handshakes and stand up confessions?).
The Marble Arch has good points and bad points, there are more good points than bad but the really niggling point was the service. One of the main things that I had to sort out at The Rake was service, and it always will be, it's one of the things you can't take for granted, so when I get bad service, I try and give people a second chance but was informed that it was standard practice at the Marble Arch to keep their backs to the customers. It's a pity because in my two experiences of the Marble Arch are ones that speak volumes about the quality of the brewery and the beer it produces.
Then it was time to get to Eastlands.
I can't remember if I drank anything at the actual stadium (maybe a lager, definitley a coke), I think I was concentrating too much on the game at the time to remember little things like pints of beer!
So we won on penalties, got promoted to the league and off we went to find a pub in Manchester to celebrate in. We spotted Mr Thomas Chop House, which has a good reputation for beer and food. So off we trotted towards that. By the time we got there, I was so thirsty only apples would do and so I opted for a pint of some refreshing fizzy cider and out into the beer garden we went. Pint of something else I don't remember afterwards(what? you want me to remember everything??) and it was time to find alcoholic supplies for the trip home.
Champagne and G&T's all round then! And I was nicely blotto by the time we got back to Euston 45-odd minutes later due to some incident or other(probably due to the fact that the police had de-classified the whole train, so even if you booked a first class ticket, you we're fucked if someone was sitting in your seat). It didn't ruin my day though, we got into the league and justice is almost done. Now if only Milton Keynes had been destroyed in our Rapture!

Thursday 19 May 2011

Beer and Football Plan

Morning all,

I'm off to Manchester on Saturday morning for the Blue Square Premier Play-off final between AFC Wimbledon and Luton Town. I'm going to try and keep a diary of events / beer consumed on the day. Let's see if Eastlands is better than Kingsmeadow for beer!

I trust all of you that like football will be following Wimbledon on the day, I'll try and post it Sunday morning before I start celebrating my wedding anniversary.
Watch this space!

Come on the Dons!

Wednesday 18 May 2011

The Tramp Juice Trio

Been wanting to do this since we launched Brewdog's Avery, Brown, Dredge at The Rake. I'm going to be comparing the ABD with Tennants Super and Carslberg Special Brew!
The things I do to my liver.
I spot the blurb on the side of the can of Special Brew 'best shared well chilled' - Shared? When was the last time you saw a tramp sharing a can of Spesh? I can just see it now, one tramp pours into another tramps fluted tasting glass, tramp 2 swills it around, takes a sniff, and sips it back gently, savouring every intricate flavour profile in the glass! The substitution of the word served with shared is just cynical marketing bullshit, not fooling anyone methinks!
Avery celebrates buying Beer Ritz.
It must be noted that I'm not the first person to write about these beers, on Ratebeer both the Spesh and the Super T of these beers have over a hundred ratings even with someone rating the Spesh 3.1! Wtf!!!
We're going to start with the Brewdog because I'm fairly certain that my tastebuds may never recover from the shock of the trampagne!
Named after the three bigwigs that brewed this monster, Avery, Brown, Dredge is a 7.5% 'Imperious Pilsner' which is an homage to everything that inspires these three flowery wordsmiths!
On the nose there's caramel, slightly floral but hard to pin down, maybe rose? The look is a slightly darker than most lagers as you might expect for an 'Imperious' style.
Dredge working, we think he might have broken a nail,
 if you find it in your bottle you win a prize!
Now when we launched it at The Rake I felt it was slightly too sweet and I have to say, for me it still is although there's a lovely boozy after-glow going on in the throat after you swallow.
Not sure about the guff on the bottle though - aren't these guys supposed to be writers? If you like strong pilsners you'll love this stuff - I'm dubbing it Special Brew(Dog).
Which brings us nicely onto the next beer in this little tramp juice trio is Carlsberg's Special Brew....
For this part I go and get a bucket, I may vomit, I was thinking about videoing this post but I don't think you lot want to see me chunder!
We knew that Brown would get sick of IPA's
 one day.
Well, it's 9% abv and pours clear, same colour as the ABD, on the nose there's a bit of sulphur, this stuff is going to hurt me but at least I didn't need a bottle opener to get it open, hehe. Nowhere near any of the subtle aromas that the ABD has, getting scared. It's sickly sweet, all malt and no hops to speak of and I can feel my mouth being stripped away layer by layer with every sip. Foul. Nothing nice here, I have no idea how the tramps drink this stuff and it's time to move on to the final can of the evening, Tennent's Super.
This is such fine stuff that Tennent's advise that you serve it 'ice cold', probably to take away any taste you might be unfortunate enough to experience. Now before we start there's something I have to just have a chuckle at....'Please drink responsibly' on the can! Nice to see the people at Tennent's doing such stirling work with their customer profiling! For all you pedants out there yes I know it's a legal requirement but is anyone naive enough to believe this will ever happen?
To the notes! Same as the Special Brew on colour and aroma, sickly, eggy sulphur (same stuff in a blue can, anyone?). Bit sweeter than the SB and there's more booze on the mouth feel, I'm about to be arrested for crimes against tastebuds so I'll leave it there. Go for the Special Brew(Dog) folks, it's craft, innit!

Sunday 15 May 2011


It's an odd thing, I was complaining in my last post that I hadn't written anything in a while due to being too busy to get any inspiration. Luckily I just read another post that riled me enough to get the creative juices flowing again!
Apparently the old guard haven't died off yet. Apparently if it's new it must be shit. Apparently if you think smoking in pubs is a bad thing then there must be something wrong with you.
To be honest I'm so sick of these 'in my day' spouting old gits that I may have to just punch myself in the face over and over until they go away.
Let's be clear for a second, change is not always a bad thing, change can sometimes be an incredibly good thing. Just because you can't smoke in a pub anymore doesn't mean the atmosphere has been lost. Just because you can't drink and drive anymore doesn't mean the governments are being asshole killjoys(even if they are most of the time).
Seriously! What is the resistance to change that rears it's butt-ugly head every time something someone doesn't like happens. Pubs close every day, and they also open every day too, personally I think the resistance is all about fear, fear that maybe people think they're going to be left behind, fear that they might be right. Fear of the unknown.
It's a shame really because some of the beers on offer in these shit new pubs and bars are really quite exceptional. Wake up crumblies!
*Punches self in face repeatedly*

Thursday 12 May 2011

Have a read.

All's been very quiet on the beery blog front recently, as some of you will be aware I've been busy(beer festivals to plan, holidays to take) and I try not to blog about work on here*. 
This has meant that I've not had a hell of a lot to bang on about recently as you've probably noticed.
What I have been doing though is a lot of reading as there has been a lot of great blogs being written recently.
Here are a few of them...

Reluctant Scooper : What I did on my Holidays I just love his writing. Top bloke too!

Cooking Lager :  Choice Cookies Back with a bang!

Tombstoned Paladin : Negativity and Not Much Else Great first post from one of my staff. Puts me to shame.

Ghost Drinker : Story Telling - Continue!

The Beer Monkey : Should CAMRA Promote All 'Craft' Beer? Good healthy debate? In the beer world?

Tandleman : Some Bottle - Clearly Peter knows what he's talking about! ;-)

Hope you enjoyed reading them as much as I did! It proves that there are great people writing great stuff#.

*too often
#I'm just not one of them.

Saturday 7 May 2011

Beer is Fun 2!

You've probably all seen this as it's had over 18,000 hits on YouTube and that's about the whole of the worlds craft brewing community but I wanted to share it on here anyway.
Why do some people take their beer far too seriously?


This is work of evil genius, love it.


Beer is Fun!

Some cheeky bastard (actually a top bloke) just posted this one Facebook saying he thought of me when he saw it. So I thought I'd share it with you!
It's actually a musical celebration of the wonder of beer, written by comedy duo ElbowSkin for The Crafty Pint in honour of Australia's first ever Good Beer Week.

Beer Song by ElbowSkin from Alister Robbie on Vimeo.

Fucking love it!