Saturday 31 December 2011

Can't Sleep....

99 bottles of beer on a wall, 99 bottles of beer! One falls down me neck 98 bottles of beer on the wall!
98 bottles of beer on a wall, 98 bottles of beer! One falls down me neck 97 bottles of beer on the wall!
97 bottles of beer on a wall, 97 bottles of beer! One falls down me neck 96 bottles of beer on the wall!
96 bottles of beer on a wall, 96 bottles of beer! One falls down me neck 95 bottles of beer on the wall!....

Well, you get the point......

Stop counting them....saddos!

Thursday 29 December 2011

Rabid's 2011 Quiz - The Winners

Morning folks!

Well with the deluge of answers that I had to choose from (2) the winners of the nice beer are Simon Johnson and Ian McCann.

Well done chaps. See folks, winners drink beer, losers don't.

Twitter DM or email me your addresses chaps and I'll forward on the beer!


Saturday 24 December 2011

Rabid's 2011 Quiz!

In a shameless effort to get more hits on the site, here's a 10 question quiz all based on posts I have published this calendar year. Now, you can do one of three things....
Firstly, trawl through all the posts and find the correct answers. Secondly you could just make up any old bollocks or thirdly, not take part and be a Christmas grinch!

The winners will win prizes, I do after all, have a lot of beer at home! There are two prizes - First prize goes to correct answers(picked at random), and the runner up prize goes to the most creative load of old tosh(also picked at random) that you can be bothered to make up!
Answer in the comments box! All judgements are final as it's my blog, so nuurrr.

Question One.
What was the highest number in units of alcohol I consumed in January?
Question Two.
Who is the British Guild of Beer Writers, Writer of the Year?
Question Three.
On what date was International IPA day?
Question Four.
The session #52 was based on beery collectibles, what is beery stuff do I collect?
Question Five.
Which celebrity's name did I suggest Chunk use to help him get more hits on his blog?
Question Six.
How many hours were there until opening Tap East when I posted my 'still to do list' in September?
Question Seven.
What is the name of the brewery in Mexico that brewed a beer specifically aimed at the Gay community?
Question Eight.
What was my April fools joke?
Question Nine.
What were the 'Tramp Juice Trio?
Question Ten.
In my IPA a Day series, which beer was number nine?

Good luck if you choose to take part in this bit of silliness, and remember it is just a bit of silliness.....
Winner will be announced before the new year!

Have a fantastic Christmas folks!

Monday 19 December 2011

I Can do Cheap Marketing Too.

Oops they did it again. Just as I was starting to warm up to them again, James goes and pulls another stunt. Lets not for a minute be naive enough to think he thought it was a harmless bit of fun, he knows exactly what he's doing, after all, he's built his business doing these sorts of things.

Good luck with the latest one James. Here's my response.

Tap Easts Marketing Budget went further than expected.

Wednesday 14 December 2011

I Can See the Future

Can people really learn from their mistakes?

Back in the eighties and nineties there was the trendy wine bar phenomenon which saw a lot of old banks and pubs closed down and refurbed into aforementioned Trendy Wine Bars.

Tap East Craft Beer bar and Brewery
Now in the early part of this century, we have had an explosion of craft beer bars all over the UK, including the two I currently oversee.

A lot of those wine bars are now closed or became part of chains run by big drinks companies.

Are we in danger of becoming the next fad for the newly rich? After all craft beers, some of which are quite strong do tend to be sold at a premium because of the Govt's ridiculous duty rates on beers over 7.5% abv. Let's not forget all the tax we have to pay getting the beer into the country and the VAT rises that we're currently seeing.

I'd like to think that we can learn from our mistakes and that the current trend for Craft Beer isn't just a fad but who knows? Will people become bored with craft beer? Will it, in the words of Tap East brewer, Eddie Baines, become as 'passe as a three cornered hat?'

Will the Geek inherit the Earth?


Young and Old

Last Saturday night some friends of mine were playing a gig in a pub that we all used to drink in as teenagers. It brought back a lot of memories for me, some great and some pretty horrific imagery for me! As far as I remember I was never really one for the ladies, I was just an ordinary kid with ordinary problems (spots, bad dress sense, average all round) but I remember copping off with what I remember to be some of the most gorgeous girls that hung out in our group - how the fuck I managed this, I'll never know - indeed if I did know I'd probably be a Hugh Hefner style gazillionaire by now.
Every Friday night we would gather at The Rose and Crown in Tooting to go and get hammered, dance to the cheesy DJ that was on and hopefully pull a bird that you're mates would approve of. Young, dumb, full of know.
Last night the DJ's crowd was all growed up and the DJ and the band were part of the crowd from 18/19 years ago.
In these perilous times customers come and go, as to breweries and pubs so it's nice to see my old local is still there, still open and still run by the same person!
Last time I saw Bernie was about the last time I was in his pub, so, 18/19 years ago. The softly spoken Irishman is a natural landlord, a true character in the pub trade. Someone the punters respect, someone the staff can count on and someone who can run a business!

But looking back at my 'yute' inspired me to compare two very different but very good breweries and their stouts.

Kernel Export Stout, 7.1% abv.
Aroma - roasted coffee and chocolate, there's also some hop aromas there too, well it is a beer by Evin after all! Over all it's a beautifully well rounded beer that I think the unusual amount of hops for a stout really make the beer taste fresher and at 7.1% abv is far too easy to drink!

Worthingtons P2 Imperial Stout, 8% abv.
Lovely looking stout, blacker than a black thing with a nice creamy laced head on the top! Thinner and less bitter than I expected. Have to say I'm a little* disappointed at the lack of body and viscocity of the beer, after all I've heard amazing things about this beer. I guess I was believing the hype!

I may well compare their IPA's next... White Shield vs Kernel IPA anyone?

*only a little though.

Images taken from Leighs blog because they were the nicest I could find, hope he doesn't mind too much!

Citizen Blogger? I think not!

Morning all.

I've been reading about the European Beer Bloggers Conference next year in Leeds. Whilst I may well go this time I keep seeing a phrase that annoys me.

Citizen Blogger.

For some reason this really irks me. I couldn't really tell you why but it does and I'm going to try!

Movember started in 1984
Indeed for me the phrase 'Citizen Blogger' conjures images of 1984*, a booming, echo-y, God-like voice calling you 'citizen' instead of your name.

Now, I know I'm sounding a bit curmudgeonly and that but frankly this moan isn't much better than the 'calling craft beer, craft beer' argument but why not just say 'bloggers', where did the citizen come from? Is blogger not an amateur enough title for us?

Now before you all jump down my through for being thick, I realise that 'citizen blogger' is meant to tell us apart from the 'professionals' amongst us but why not brand the professionals instead. How about 'professional computer moaner'? 'paid moaner'? or 'Pete Brown Wannabe'?**

Don't brand me! I'm not one of the herd!

*I want to re-read this now
**before you say it, yes I'm well aware Pete does not get paid for his blog, I am merely using him as an example of a successful writer.


Friday 9 December 2011

Golden Pint Awards

I wasn't going to do this but Ghostie made me(by making me a runner up in the blog category) - What I do of course mean is that Ghostie inspired me to stop feeling sorry for myself - cheers buddy.

Best UK draught :
Winner : Thornbridge - Chiron. - pretty much spot on for me.
Runner Up : Brodies - Black IPA(keg) - no matter what Queally says, I like this version.
Best UK bottled or canned:
Winner : Kernel - Imperial Brown Stout
Runner up : Brewdog - Chaos Theory - Oi Brewdog! - make more!
Best overseas draught:
Winner : Maui - Imperial Coconut Porter
Runner Up : Russian River - Pliny the Elder
Best Overseas Bottled or canned:
Winner : Firehouse - Hops on Rye
Runner Up : Epic - Hop Zombie
Best Overall Beer 
Winner : Firehouse - Hops on Rye. - Steven Donohue is a legend, thanks for this beer, it's truly amazing.
Best pumpclip or Label :
Winner : Magic Rock Cannonball - The artwork is superb.
Runner Up : Kernel (anything) - The lack of artwork is superb.
Best UK Brewery:
Winner : Otley (Pontypridd) - Home from home.
Runner Up: Summer Wine Brewery (West Yorkshire) - For Northerners they really do making fucking great beer! ;)
Best Overseas Brewery :
Winner : Russian River - Sourz!
Runner Up : 21st Amendment. - Love these guys, and their beer!
Pub/bar or the Year
Winner : Southampton Arms - London
Runner Up : Falling Rock - Denver
Beer Festival of the Year
Winner : GABF
Runner Up : GBBF
Supermarket of the Year
Winner : Lidl - yeah, like I buy beer from supermarkets.
Runner Up : Aldi - Ditto above.
Independent Retailer of the Year
Winner : Beer Ritz - I'll never vote for a company I work for but really glad Zak and the team brought this business back from the brink!
Runner Up : Utobeer - My local, what can I say but 700 + beers can be pretty hard to chose from.
Online Retailer of the Year
Winner : BeerMerchants
Runner Up : Ales by Mail
Best Beer Book or Magazine
Winner : Pete Brown - Man Walks Into a Pub - laughing out load on holiday in Spain can be quite embarrassing.
Runner Up : ATJ - 1001 Beers to try before you Die - Awesome reference book.
Best Blog or Website - I have picked joint winners because these two cannot be separated and they rock equally.
Joint Winner : Ghost Drinker - he might be a northerner but he's cool and his writing is second to none.
Joint Winner : The Beer Monkey - Might be a spurs fan but he knows about beer.
Best Beer Twitterer 
Winner : @SWBrewery - James, Andy, just keep doing what you're doing, never stop!
Runner Up : @Simonhjohnson - Merkin tastic my friend Simon is.
Best Online Brewery Presence
Winner : Summer Wine Brewery - Never short of an opinion or two, or a Kevin or 6.
Runner Up : Lovibonds - close run thing between these guys and Epic(NZ)
Best Food and Beer Pairing of the Year
Winner : My spicy chicken and any hoppy as fuck beer pairing.
Runner Up : Shit loads of beer and a kebab.
In 2012 I would Like to
Be taken seriously for a change. This does of course mean getting a complete personality transplant but who knows what medical marvels will happen in 2012.
Open Category
Best beer experience - Watching the guys behind the bar at Falling Rock strut their stuff during GABF. Legends all.

So there it is, we still have 21 days to go and my golden pints are in, cheers for the beers, opinions and general friendship guys, you have all made my year better!

Friday 2 December 2011

Guild Dinner 2011

I had quite a nice evening in the end last last. I was persuaded to attend the British Guild of Beer Writers annual dinner by a mate and beery fun was had all round.
There was the good, the better and the extraordinary of the beer world all stuck in one rather large room.

With me.


Whilst I was 'interested' in most of the awards, I was most interested in the first one, partly because I think I was the first to suggest the recipient of the Brewer of the Year Award. Evin O'Riordan. As it happened Guild Chairman, Tim Hampson very graciously informed me that he used the couple of paragraphs I sent in the email recommending Evin, I'm proud as punch for Evin, I have helped brew at The Kernel Brewery twice now and it's a great day full of collaboration and hard work. Here is an article about the evening, see paragraphs 8 and 9(on brewer of the year) for my contribution, every word meant then and still mean as much today, I'm very grateful to Tim for using my words actually, it gives me a minuscule sense of achievement even though I didn't put anything forward for any of the categories.

Well done Evin, Ben, Marverine, Mark, Des, Glynn, ATJ, Gavin, Martyn, Pete, Chunk and Will (in no particular order in case you all start squabbling like the divas you are!).

Oh and the food weren't half bad either!.

Best beer of the evening - first one, something by Sharps, I forget what, some new IPA Stuart has concocted. Worst - sorry Thwaites - Lancaster Bomber, average in every way.

Good time had, now hopefully all these posh writers will start writing about Tap East! ;) You know you want to peeps.

Maybe next year i'll actually write something half decent and enter it.