Monday 31 December 2012

Hoppy New Beer Everyone!

Morning all,

Just thought I'd say a quick Happy New Year and I hope that 2013 is a prosperous one for all of you. 2012 has been a very interesting year and I haven't had nearly enough time to blog about it. I have, however enjoyed reading the following blogs in the last 12 months...

Always interesting and thought provoking. Although I still hate that I don't know who they are!

He's over a thousand posts and he's still going - it must be all in the wrist or something ;)

Creatively and knowledgeably written blog about beer & food matching. Bloody nice bloke n'all!

Nate might seem like an angry young man to many, but he's also an honest & talented blogger. We need more of that!

Don't be put off by his flowery writing style, he might wear crocs but it's never been proven!

Last but by no means least there's Melissa. Knowledgeable about beer, knowledgeable about food and mixes the two perfectly.

There are many more but alas time is never on my side. Happy new year peeps and thanks for reading! Here's to 2013 being a mighty fine vintage!

Tuesday 11 December 2012

Pete Brown's, Shakespeare's Local

Concerning Hobbits.....not really, I've just always wanted to start a blog like that!

Shakespeare's Lo-cal, the perfect diet guide this Christmas

This book is about 600 years of history of The George, currently a Greene King managed house just off Borough High Street and the area of London surrounding it. From the very first chapter Pete Brown manages to trap your interest and you know that until the final page you will be engrossed. To start with he paints the imagery of time travel with such conviction that when you get to one of the notes about blowing the budget on the CGI for that scene you almost believe him. The description on the Shard going up so quickly that it takes your eye out is wonderful, I've always considered the thing to be akin to Sauron's Tower in the Lord of the Rings. Every time I look at it I expect to see a blazing eye in right at the top!
I think what Pete does best, is capture the imagination so that you can see things happening very realistically in your mind. Describing Borough High Street through the years, the people, the buildings, the businesses, even from two or three hundred years ago, you get the sense that Pete might have been around during those days, so vivid is the description.
I read pretty much the whole book on the bus, travelling to and from work each day and so each time I stopped at Maria's Cafe in Borough Market for my artery hardening Bacon Roll on the way in, I took a moment to look around. You can tell the market has changed over the years but you still get a sense of grandeur mixed with working class chic when you look at the buildings, it's hard not to take it for granted when you're trying to elbow your way through the crowds of grazing tourists during the day. Pete managed to make me stop and take a look with every chapter in the book, I cannot help but imagine Borough High Street evolving over the years when I get off the bus now.

The point is made very early on that Pete can't prove that Shakespeare ever actually drank in The George, but then you can't prove he didn't either! Once you read that, you'll do either of two things, 1) Go and try and get a refund because what a swindle! Or, 2) Keep reading and discover some of the best described history about London I have ever had the fortune to read.
One of the things I really like about Pete's writing is that the way he describes things. It's like visiting a mate in a town or city you don't live in or know very well and having them be your guide around all the best places to drink and visit.
I can heartily recommend Shakespeare's Local as a good Crimbo prezzie this year for any of your friends or family that are interested in beer & history.

You can buy it at all the usual places, Amazon are currently doing it for £10.70 (Hardcover) and £7.47 (Kindle edition). Go! Buy!

Monday 10 December 2012

Golden Pointless Awards!

So it's December again, which must mean it's the near enough time to hand out some well deserved recognition which will go completely unnoticed by anyone who's anyone.

So here's my grinchworthy list for 2012.....

Best UK Daft Beer
There's a beer by these two cocks in Knaresbrough, Japseye or something...? It's pretty fucking great...considering they're northern and serve it through sparklers).

Best UK Bottled or Canned Beer
Super T, it's 'super', derrr...

Best Overseas Daft Beer
If we could get it I'd probably vote for it but they're too busy selling beer to Wetherspoons now.

Best Overseas Bottled or Canned beer
Something from Stone, if Wil Wheaton think's they're great then they must be ;)

Best beer in Overalls
Beer comes in overalls? Is that a Brewdog thing?

Best/Worst Dressed Daft Beer Person.
The Krankees of Great Heck. You can decide if they're the best or the worst, I know which I'd pick.

Best Pumpclip or Label
Anything by Schlenkerla, because watching pissed idiots try to pronounce it is a hoot!

Best UK Brewery
Beavertown! What could be better than beer and BBQ, made from Beavers?

Best Overseas Brewery
Titanic....oh wait...

Pub/Bar of the Year
It's on top of a hill in Norf Laandan, it does Wings.

Supermarket of the year 
Borough, the supermarket.

Independant Retailer of the Year
Beer Spritzer...surely it should be called Beer Shandy though, Zak, do you know nothing!?

Online retailer of the year
Whichever one I used the most.

Best book or magazine
Something about Shakespeare on the lash.

Best Beer Blog or Website
Whoever spent the most money on theirs to make it all sparkly and interactive.

Best Beer Twitterer.
Some bellend that think's he's a dog. Mildly amusing that boy.

Best online Brewery Presence
You Tube....They ain't a brewery(Yet) but they were the last thing to pop up on my twitter feed....

Food & Beer Pairing of the Year
Dukes, Beef Ribs and 8 Ball Rye PA, Nuffink better than meat and beer....and pool.

In 2013 I'd most like to.
Win the lottery of course! Who needs this shit!?

Open Category
Biggest Beer Bore : Where do I start...? Form an orderly queue behind me.

So there you have it, Rabidbarfly's Golden Pointless Awards. Congrats to the winners, commiserations losers, there's always next year!

Friday 30 November 2012

Itchy & Scratchy

Thanks to all those that have donated to my just giving page for Movember this year. Here is the reason you've all donated....

Day 30
It's itchy, it's uncomfortable and I may not do this again but it is for Charity.

If you haven't donated yet you can do so by going here : Whilst I don't think we'll get to 500 i'd love to get at least half way so please, please, please, if you can spare a few quid, then it would be much appreciated!

Once again, massive thanks to all those that have donated thus far, I really appreciate it and I will raise a glass to all of you this evening!



Tuesday 6 November 2012

Mitch Steele For President!

Have you ever seen these two men in the same room at the same time? I know I haven't!

Mitch Steele?
Mit Romney?

Mitch will probably set the CIA on me for this but it's just too uncanny.

And Romney says that as a Moron, sorry Mormon, he doesn't drink....Someone's telling fibs!

In all seriousness my US friends(inc Stone Brewing's Brewmaster Mitch) here's to the right man for the job being elected! (For info I'd rather it wasn't the republican...!)

Friday 2 November 2012

Beer Duty Escalator 'Debate'

After all the retweets, all the campaigning for signatures and some borderline bullying of my colleagues until they signed the petition, I spent 2 hours and 27 minutes watching the debate for reviewing the much hated beer duty escalator.

Andrew Griffiths speaks out against the Beer Duty Escalator
It was good to see MPs from all sides of the house coming together to speak up against it and in particular Andrew Griffiths and Greg Mulholland did a superb job of leading the argument.

The most damning fact about the beer duty escalator that I heard yesterday was the fact that Britain pays 40% of the EU's beer tax bill and only 13% of beer in the EU is drunk in the UK! There's something very wrong with that. Other interesting tidbits you might have picked up was that if the escalator was to be scrapped an estimated 5,000(not 500 that I typoed on twatter) would be saved in the first year alone and an estimated 16,000 after 3 years!

It was telling that my local MP Chuka Umunna was not in attendance having responded to me by email saying that he would not argue against the beer duty escalator. He's lost my vote with that email.

Umunna was not the only one who missed the debate though and I was not impressed by the turn out for this clearly divisive issue. So what were the majority of the house of commons doing yesterday morning instead of attending the debate, answers on a postcard?

It begs the question, is there really significant enough opposition to this tax in parliament, I mean, we all know that politicians would sell their own mothers to decrease the national debt so how much impact did this debate have? As much as I would like to say lots, I suspect, not a lot.

What also struck me was the government apparently not taking the debate too seriously at all by sending only Sajid Javid to 'make a statement' saying that the beer duty escalator would remain in place but under review. Hardly the answer any of us were after but given my cynicism for humanity and government, not exactly surprising.

That doesn't mean I stop helping campaign on this subject it just means that I will be overjoyed and frankly stunned if the escalator is scrapped any time before 2015.

Monday 29 October 2012


You may have seen in your Sunday slumbers yesterday that we at Utobeer got pissed on Friday(shocker, I know) and decided to do Movember this year. We know the thought of Mike with a 'tache is just terrifying but it's for a good cause and it's only for a month!

I've set up a just giving page so if you'd like to see me, Mike, Rich and the rest of the Utobeer crew(not excluding the girls!) get our 'taches on just visit my page and please donate a few quid.

We're aiming for £500(hoping for a lot more) and will be very grateful if you are able to donate!

Thanks for your time.

Monday 22 October 2012

Elderly Woman Sitting Behind the Counter in a Small Town

To steal the title of this blog by the master of the Pooper Scoopers. I'm just making a point about the length of the name.
Stuart Howe calls it the 'unspeakable abhorrence from beyond the ninth level of Hades.' As the brewer of this 22.2% abv little monster, he really should know better.

If he'd had the presence of mind to let me name it I'd have called it 'fucking brilliant'. I shared my kindly donated by the brewery, vial of Sharps Turbo Yeast with a mate last night over dinner and it was one of the smoothest beers I've ever tasted!

I may have to snort that little bit in the bottom of the vial there!

More please!

Sunday 21 October 2012

Romulan Ale or Synth Ale?

Been getting my geek on yesterday and today at Destination Star Trek London.

I've lost count of the money I've spent at the event but it seems that autographs and memorabilia are a bit like  craft beer. Each one has it's price and you're never quite sure if the end product is worth the layout.

I came away with 19 autographs.

So lets compare autographs to craft beer....

One picture of William Shatner and Walter Koenig(Kirk and Chekov for the non-trekkies among you) signed by both men.
Me & Chekov!!!!
Comparble (for me, anyway) to a growler of Pliny the Elder direct from the tap at Russian River.

One picture of Sir Patrick Stewart(Picard) signed, rather grumpily, by the man himself compares to a pint of Lovibonds, Sour Grapes.

Avery Brooks(Captain Sisko), by far one of the coolest men on the planet and my personal favourite Captain, was like sitting down with a pint of the first ever beer I helped brew, the now infamous Otley, Motley Brew!

A free(well part of the package fee we paid) unpersonalised signed picture of Ethan Phillips(Neelix) as part of our package - half a pint of Harviestoun Schiehallion - not wanting to either put down Ethan Phillips, who must've spent hours signing pictures before the event or Harviestoun Schiehallion, it's just I don't like getting autographs without meeting the person.

A personalised signed pic of Kate Mulgrew(Janeway) is as good for me as a glass of Cantillon Gueuze at the end of a nights drinking hop monsters.

Rene Auberjonois(Odo) signed a picture AND recited a Dylan Thomas poem when he saw I has a Welsh name, it was as joyful as a Beavertown 8 Ball Rye IPA and as awkward as a mate ordering a pint of Carling in The Rake.

meeting Nana Visitor(Kira) and getting her autograph could be compared to a refreshing bottle of Beaumonts Alcoholic Ginger Beer.

A Crew photo from Enterprise, signed by Anthony Montgomery(Travis Mayweather), Dominic Keating(Malcolm Reed) who greeted me with an 'alrite guvna' and Connor Trineer(Trip Tucker) was like having a session on Redemption Trinity.

A TNG crew photo signed by Brent Spiner(Data), with additional fist bump and Michael Dorn(Worf) is like drinking a couple of pints of Bear Republic Racer 5, at 7% you know you shouldn't but it's too good to not have that 2nd pint!

A signed and personalised photo of Cirroc Lofton(Jake Sisko), all growed up by the way is like an aged bottle of Fullers Vintage!

Getting Andrew Robinsons(Garak) autograph was like a sneaky lunchtime half of JHB.

Getting Denise Crosby(Tasha Yar) who turns up at a lot of these type of events could be compared to finding Sambrooks Wandle on draught at your local.

Having Casey Biggs(Damar) personalise and sign a photo was as good as a pint of Summer Wine Brewery's Diablo after a hard day at work!

My program was also signed by Marc Alaimo(Dukat) and John de Lancie(Q) which you could compare to being able to have the time to order a cheeky 3rd of the beer you've been ashamedly enjoying all night and have a couple of quid spare in your pocket for it!

I did not get Scott Bakula because our timing seemed to be off for both days and you could compare that to standing at the bar at 21st Amendment in San Franciso and watching someone order the last pint of Brew Free or Die IPA - Heartbreaking!

Now if you don't watch/like or give a shit about Star Trek you probably stopped reading if you love Star Trek, like me then let me know who's Autograph you'd like to get and what craft beer you might compare it to.

Friday 19 October 2012

Indy Man Beer Con

So that got your attention. I wasn't there though.

I missed out this time round but I wasn't too fussed because I was on holiday down in Cornwall.

So what did I miss?

The great never ending debate trying to define craft beer?...yawn!

Some craft beer? Well I was drinking St Austell Proper Job most of that weekend and in bloody fine nick it was too! Not to shabby for a Cornish craft beer.

Catching up with mates and talking about beer? didn't miss that either, to be honest I was fucking sick to death of the words 'craft' and 'beer' by the time my holiday started and had I been in Manchester, it's entirely possible that I would have gone on some sort of geek killing spree. I love you guys really but frankly, enough was enough and I needed that break.

But, thinking about it, I think I need another holiday.....

Wednesday 12 September 2012

(Nearly) All About The Beer

So, most of you will know I've been moved upstairs by Utobeer. This means that part of my job is finding new breweries and beers with which to play. The main reason I rarely blog any more.

This means dealing with people we've sometimes never met before. Now, they might be one of the nicest people you've ever met, which includes a lot of people in our industry, but it's all about the product for me(generally).

There are certain ways to go about picking a brewery to sell, it's not as random as you'd think, there are a lot of factors to consider.

Such as...

Price - it sounds funny coming from someone who's sold expensive beers at The Rake and Tap East but price is a big factor in the way we pick beers. Especially with Gideon doing his best to carry on the legacy of  recent politicians fucking the economy.

Availability - Sounds a bit obvious doesn't it but how often have I ordered beer that's supposedly a year round beer and found it unavailable? Too often. Usually the bullshit is, 'it's too in demand'. Usually the truth is 'You forgot you sold it so haven't brewed it recently'.

Taste - Yes, the beer has to be at least drinkable. You can sell any beer once to a customer but you'll never sell a rubbish beer twice. I'd prefer if you just sold me fucking amazing beer though, pretty please.

Customers - Who am I going to sell this beer to? Will it be wholesale? Retail? Both? Know your market, it makes the job of saying no to people quite easy.

Branding - Yes, I'm almost ashamed (not quite but almost) to admit that branding does sell beer. It shouldn't, should it? But it does. For instance I will tend to stay away from labels with photographs, sexist labeling, that would include beers/drinks targeted towards women, as most women I know are not interested in some fluffy branded alcopop. Also breweries that think having a 'giggle-inducing' name will sell the beer, no folks 'Mr Jones, Man-Titties' (for a poor example) will not be getting any orders if you were thinking of naming a beer that.

Blurb - if your label descriptions sound like Brewdog, you're trying too hard. They can get away with it (mostly), you can't (most likely).

Those are the basic rules I go by, I rarely taste fucking amazing beer anymore and the more I buy for wholesale the less beer I drink, I know that may sound outlandish considering this blogs writer but it is actually true.

Of course I could just be getting all responsible in my old age.

Sunday 2 September 2012

Beer Walk - Sponsor Me!

Hello everyone. Just so you know, this is not a beer blog.

On September 8th (Yes, that's next Saturday) I'm doing a pub crawl, this is for charity before any of you pipe up with the 'what's new' comments.....

The charity involved is JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation), their aim is to find new ways of treating type 1 diabetes and its complications, to find ways of preventing type 1 and to find a cure for those people that already have the condition. They also help to educate those affected by the condition such as health care professionals and the general public.

Type 1 diabetes is not about lifestyle. It is caused by a problem with the immune system, you cannot prevent it by adopting a healthy diet, exercising regularly or living a healthy lifestyle. There is currently no known cure. JDRF are committed to funding research that will help find a cure.

My mates James and Rose's daughter, Lily was diagnosed with type 1 in 2009 which is why I am getting involved. When Rose put out the call for pubs to visit on the crawl, I instantly volunteered The Rake, also on the crawl are The MayflowerThe Gun, The Narrow and we'll end up at the Antic pub, Pepper St Ontiod on the Isle of Dogs. So 5 pubs, 10 Kilometres and a target of £500.00 which we'd love to beat. So if you have a spare few quid for a good cause, please donate to Team Lily's Page here.

Please give generously, it really is for a good cause.

Thank you for your time.


Bacon, Everyone Loves It.

***DISCLAIMER*** This post may look or sound like a hangover cure. It ain't, if anything it will make it worse.

right, I'm sorted, what are you lot having?

This all started with an innocent Bacon tweet : Not sure there's anything better than a toasted bacon and cheese sandwich for breakfast. Anywhere....ever.

Being twitter that started a worldwide debate on the best ways to serve the Godsend that is fried pig.

Phil Lowry thinks that egg and bacon (with black pudding and mushrooms) is best for bacon top trumps. He's wrong, and loses said bacon top trumps.

In Japan, Martyn Cornell proves that whilst he may be an expert beer historian, he's a bit of an amateur when it comes to bacon : scrap the cheese, add Daddies brown sauce and make sure the bread is wholemeal??? - wtf?

Natedawg reckons Phil's is ok but : leave the mushrooms. Black pudding is apparently necessary though.

Mitch Adams, now turning it into a hangover cure debate - Agrees with me though, wholemeal is all wrong has to be ketchup and clean sliced white bread.

One of my Afc Wimbledon buddies, Bubble is close : Sausage, Bacon and Eggs is a good place to start. Scrap the eggs and we have a winner.

Liberty Bear Steve : Eggy crumpets, crispy bacon and maple syrup....This ain't the States!

Cornell(again, jeez!)  best cure is apparently : Elderflower cordial diluted 5:1 with mineral water. And Coffee. And Bacon. - to be honest Martyn, I wouldn't put all that in a drink, or on a plate for that matter. Messy.

Simon Johnson thinks we're all amateurs without putting a splash on Hendersons relish on it. Bloody norverners.

Thomas Marshall says bacon on cheese in a bagel bap with a bit of hot source - The source of hot what I wonder....?

Right, since you lot turned it into a hangover cure debate, I'll just get onto the best cure for a hangover.....

More Beer. Suffice to say, Sunday will NOT be productive.

Tuesday 14 August 2012

What the Blazes!?

So, a week after the Great British Beer Festival started and there are still only just over 82k of signatures?

What the blazes are you people doing??? Sign it!


Tuesday 7 August 2012

A Very British Beer Festival

Nervous about spending the afternoon in a sweat smelling aircraft hanger.

Liver screaming at me and I haven't even started drinking yet.

 A Mild winning...again!

Making sure I have my ticket.

Making a list of people I want to see today.

Making a list of people I don't.

Horrible beer T-shirts with terrible puns on them.

Fighting my way through ratebeer geeks at the Foreign bar.

Looking forward to my bed this evening already.

That'll be GBBF then.....

.....If found, please return to the pub.

Thursday 2 August 2012

McArthurian IPA Day Message

The Wetherspoons are silent, a great travesty has ended. A great victory has been won. The beer taps no longer rain with macro-brewed beer. The seas bear only containers full of craft beer - Men and women everywhere walk straight into craft beer bars. A cask of craft beer lies quietly in the cellar. The hoppy mission has been completed. And in reporting this to you, the people, I speak for the thousands of thirsty throats, in the cities, in the towns and anywhere else you find a craft beer bar, for we have blazed a trail.

We have known the bitterness of Hops and the exultation of the perfect beer moment and from both we have learned that there can be no going back. We must go forward to preserve the craft beer that we have created in our breweries.
New craft beers are upon us. Even the lesson of crafting beer itself brings with it profound concern, both for our future pints, halves and 3rds and for civilisation itself. The destructiveness of squabbling about cask vs keg does no good but through progressive advances in brewing techniques, humanity has now reached the point where he revises the traditional concepts of making beer.

Men since the beginning of time have sought better beer. Various methods through the ages have been attempted to devise an internationally recognised perfect India Pale Ale which would settle disputes between CAMRA and Brewdog. From the very start, workable methods were found to make great beer in so much as individual brewers were concerned, but the mechanics of making industrial lager on an international scope have never been successful. Macro brewers, the balances of brewing power, leagues of craft brewers have all thus far failed, leaving the only path to be by way of the crucible of cask vs keg arguments. The utter greatness of craft brewed IPA now blocks out these petty squabbles. They have had their chance, if they do not embrace craft beer future and devise some better tasting beers, Armageddon will be at our door!

We stand, where ever we are in the world, reminiscent of our predecessors in days long gone, ready to send the enlightened message of craft beer to the people of the world, by lifting the veil of isolation and drinking alone to the friendship, camaraderie and fun of drinking great beer together. But alas the knowledge we gained of modern brewing techniques was forced into being an instrument of oppression and human enslavement to fizzy piss lager. Freedom of expression, freedom of action, even freedom of thought were denied through advertising and marketing gurus. We are committed by the parody video on you tube of 'I am a craft brewer' to see that the world is liberated from corn and adjuncts products in the beer we drink. Fucking CORN! Today craft brewing is on the offensive, hops are on the march. Today in Asia, as in Europe, America and in the rest of our little corner of the galaxy, unshackled tastebuds are enjoying the full flavoured bitterness, piney resinous-er-ness and citrussy goodness of great craft IPA's and the relief from shitty, sweet, crappy macro beers.

This ain't just another hallmark day! It's fuckin' IPA Day Baby!!

Tuesday 31 July 2012

Don't Say You Weren't Warned

How much is too much?

What would you pay for a beer?

There are different ways of saying it and whether you think craft beer bars are expensive or not, the bar staff have a duty to tell you how much a pint of beer costs if they think it will cause a problem.
For instance, the staff at The Rake and Tap East are instructed to tell customers, especially those who aren't regulars, how much the beer will cost them and generally also ask if that's alright. Regulars usually know when something will be pricey and even they will welcome the warning sometimes.

£7.23 at Olympic venues - don't say you weren't warned.
Now, most customers take this the right way and appreciate that maybe they weren't quite ready for the amount they're paying and having someone give them the choice because of the price is welcomed.

Some people react like tossers and treat the bar staff like servants, waiving them and their warning away.

Usually these idiots are trying to impress someone by flaunting their wealth and try to make the person serving them look small or more pathetic than them. Fools, each one.

So where do you draw the line?

So how much is too much?

How high is the price where you complain you weren't warned about it?

Monday 30 July 2012

Mans Best Friend

A real woman is a mans best friend.

She will never stand him up & never let him down.

She will reassure him when he feels insecure and comfort him after a bad day.

She will inspire him to do things he never thought he could do,

She will enable him to express his deepest emotions and give in to his most intimate desires.

She will make him feel confident and sexy, seductive & invincible, wait....

...I'm thinking of beer....

It's fucking beer that does that,


Thursday 26 July 2012

Olympics Delivery Disruption SHOCKER!!

I saw this article in The Publican's Morning Advertiser this morning and let out a big sigh. Isn't it a bit late to be warning people their deliveries might be disrupted during the games? I was emailing customers months ago warning them about this stuff! The quote from the British Beer and Pub's Association spokesman is also frankly bizzare.
To claim that only pubs on or around the ORN(Olympic Route Network) will have their deliveries affected is just wrong. As someone who works for a beer distribution company I can tell you that deliveries are being affected all over London.
Whoever this spokesman is, please extract head from arse, old chap.

I do agree with most of the article though, particularly the part about customers not talking to their suppliers. There seems to be a lot of reluctance for businesses to move their delivery times and some of these businesses do not seem to realise that they are on the ORN! You really can tell who has done their homework and who has not! For those of you that have, well done, you are on my Christmas card list. For those that haven't, sigh.

Enjoy the games.

Sunday 22 July 2012

Beer Social

How many true friends do you have? People that you can say anything to? Talk about anything with? Share the highs and lows of life with?

***Brighton Beach
When it comes to beer, I have to say, not many. I've met a lot of people through my job but not many of them would I class as a real friend. Don't get me wrong I've met a lot of people that I admire, respect and like but when it comes to talking about anything other than beer or breweries we don't really share very much in common.
I do have a few friends I've met through work, indeed I met my beautiful wife when she was hired at the pub I was working at but in all honesty they(actual friends) are few and far between.

This is probably because I'm not the most social of people*, I find it remarkably hard to get on with people, any of you that follow me on twitter or read this blog regularly will know I can be a bit rude impatient intolerant direct**.

So what's the point? Not sure really, I started out wanting to make the point that I get bored at beery functions because I'm not very social but what you don't see are the four paragraphs that I've deleted off this particular post because they started getting a bit introspective and morose.

I suppose the only thing I'm really trying to say is that I get bored of only talking about beers, breweries, brewers and the like. People who don't get bored of talking about one topic the whole time must be mental. Of course I enjoy it sometimes but let's say, just for shits and giggles, next time you see me, ask me a question that's not about the beer I'm drinking or the name of the brewers pet budgie or whether or not the beer would taste better served from cask, keg, can, bottle or witches tit because at this moment, I really don't care.

This probably sounds quite churlish to you but isn't there more to people than beer?

*cue sarcastic or snide remarks.
**cue more sarcastic or snide remarks or just plain name-calling.
*** Brighton Beach, 2007 and no we didn't care what mass produced shite we were drinking, it was all about the laffs.

Tuesday 17 July 2012

Guest Blogging

Not being content with simply blogging about beer, I've guest blogged on NateDawg's Booze, Beats and Bites Blog.


Photo from :

Tuesday 3 July 2012

Get a Life

In the interests of clarity, this is a 'No trolling' blog. My last post on NateDawg seems to have brought out some rather uninteresting and frankly unsavoury characters.

I have deleted every message myself because frankly that was abuse and this blog has no place for it.

Keep it to your late night forums, douche bags.

Get a life.

Saturday 30 June 2012

Meet the Blogger - NateDawg27

Awesome personified?
So, I've been thinking that I should do some proper writing. You know, hard hitting journalism that really gets down to the nitty gritty of the subject. This now being the case, I've interviewed one of the 'New Kids on the Blog' Nathaniel Southwood, AKA @NateDawg27 in the Twitterverse, he writes the blog Booze, Beats and Bites and he is more awesome than you....apparently.

RBF: What made you start blogging?
ND27: I started blogging because I like beer, music and food. I just wanted somewhere to talk about beer music and food. I don't give a shit if people read it or not (surprisingly they do actually read it). I just wanted to write.

RBF: Who's your inspiration when it comes to blogging?
ND27: Brewers, food producers and musical artists. Bloggers who make me want to write, however, are purely beery ones - Mark Dredge, Zak Avery and Pete Brown always have interesting blogs. They were the first beer bloggers whom I really paid attention to.

RBF: What do you want to be when you grow up?
ND27: When I grow up? Bitch please. Nate Dawg is already grown up. I would like to work in the beer or music industry though. Someone told me the other day that I could be a lawyer because I'm a bit of an arsehole, so there's always that.

RBF: What does 'craft beer' mean to you?
ND27: Craft beer is something I drink. It is almost always highly priced, barrel aged and limited to 50 bottles.

RBF: Booze, beat and bite. If you could only drink one beer, eat one meal and listen to one song for the rest of eternity, what would they be?
ND27: Carling, McDonalds Double Cheeseburgers and Rick Astley - Never gonna give you up.

RBF: Tell us a secret...
ND27: I enjoy listening to Lady Gaga.

RBF: Carling or Brewdog, rain or shine, glass half empty or glass half full?
ND27: Brewdog. Shine. It depends whether you've poured water into an empty glass or poured half a full glass out...

RBF: Star Trek or Star Wars?
ND27: Neither, I fucking hate sci-fi. Why aren't wizards cool anymore?

RBF: Favourite beer moment, ever.
ND27: Wacken Open Air 2008. It was my 4th time seeing Iron Maiden. I was sick of drinking litres of Becks all day. I found that there was something different on draft, Franziskaner Hefe-Weissbier. I paid for my drink and sat at a table with some other English folk. Then it started. Videos of fighter jets from WWII on the screens, so haunting. Then it progressed. Churchill's speech...

We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; We shall never surrender...

I mouthed the words to Churchill's speech. As soon as I heard "never surrender", I heard the opening riff to Aces High and took a sip. That sip was glory. That was what the British fought for. To drink German beer. In a field in Germany while watching a British band live with people from all around the world - Brits, Germans, Swedes, Danes, Russians, Americans, Aussies and Spaniards; I was drinking beer with people from all backgrounds, religions and races; I was watching my favourite band and drinking beer with like-minded people. We fought for the music and the beer. We fought so the world could be united. We fought so that I could have that beer moment. That is my favourite beer beer moment ever. The Fat Cat in Norwich has Franziskaner on draft permanently and every time I buy a pint I almost have a tear in my eye for that awesome moment. Absolutely phenomenal. You probably can't feel how I felt right then, but here's a recorded example -

That last question seemed to be the hardest. It's hard to write about something so special as it wasn't just about the beer. It was a truly emotional moment for me.

I'd like to thank Nate for taking the time to answer such hard hitting, personal questions, I think we've all learned something today and hopefully you'll go away and take a long hard look at yourselves... ;)

You can follow Nate on Twitter : @NateDawg27. He's well worth it.

Wednesday 20 June 2012

Olympic Qualification

Glyn was unsurprised when Tom Daley beat him in Olympic Qulaifying...

Tuesday 19 June 2012

No Krusovice Fanfare

I got home last night and found this on my doorstep...

Now, ordinarily beery invites don't come in rolled up scrolls so well done to Krusovice for making the effort.

But rather than having the postie dump it on my doorstep, why not go the whole hog and get a traditional messenger on horseback to deliver and read it to my court...

In the old days....

pic borrowed from

No one takes any pride in their work any more, take note Royal Mail/Consignia or whatever you're branded as now!

Friday 15 June 2012

Diary Dates!

Usually I wouldn't post work stuff on here but we've got a couple of events coming up at The Rake which I'm pretty excited about so I'm going to share them here too!

Firstly in a 10 days time - Sunday 24th we have the Tiny Rebel Tap Takeover. You're probably aware that I went and brewed with Newport's only microbrewery about a month ago and true to form/unsurprisingly we brewed a 7.4% IPA which was named Hadouken.
On the 24th you will be able to try the Hadouken from keg or cask dispense and decide which of the two you prefer!
Being a Tap Takeover there will of course be 4 other beers on for us  to sample as well, I say us becuase there are a couple that I still haven't tried myself! Exciting!
Full list
Hadouken - keg & cask
Cwtch - cask
Full Nelson - cask
Chocaholic - keg
Kraftwork - keg.

Imbibing of these awesome Welsh Beers starts at Noon on Sunday 24th June. See you there!

The other exciting event is approximately three weeks later on Monday 16th July when The Rake hosts the post grad Heriot-Watt students launching the beer they have brewed at the Natural Selection Brewery at Heriot-Watt Uni.
I got a phone call from Shane O'Bierne at the beginning of the week asking very nicely if they could do their London Launch (The Edinburgh launch is on 11th at the Stockbridge Tap at 7pm ) at one of the best beer bars in London, well flattery getting you everywhere I said yes almost instantly and we're now gearing up to get a massive hit of students and beer geeks in on a Monday night! *gulps*
Personally I find the fact that these are brewing students launching a beer commercially extremely interesting and exciting but then being an AFC Wimbledon fan I'm a bit of a sucker for the underdog and I really want this beer launch to be a huge success. 
The beer? A 4.8% Wheat Beer with low bitterness but enough citrussy zing to make it perfect for those long British summers we're all so fond of!!
Proceedings start at 7pm on Monday 16th July and if you want a taste get here early before all those students drink it all!

Tuesday 22 May 2012

I Have a Dream!

It's been bugging me for some time now, probably 2 or 3 years. With between 3800 and 7000 pubs(depending on who you believe), numerous craft beer bars popping up here there and everywhere, 23 active breweries(and more to follow) and two active home brewing networks London is coming to the forefront of the craft beer scene in Great Britain.

As we should be.

So why then do we not have something akin to New York Craft Beer Week or as just announced Beijing Craft Beer Week! Beijing!! 

Don't get me wrong, I'm delighted that Beijing is enlightened enough to have a craft beer week but it makes me extremely frustrated that we haven't got something at least similar in the UK.

Yes we have a week where CAMRA puts on the Great British Beer Festival but it's limited in that it won't serve kegged beer and some of London's best brewers only keg beer.

Is the fact that some of us are so preoccupied with just arguing about the meaning of 'craft beer' rather than just enjoying the beer holding us back from hosting such an event?

We have the London Brewers Alliance so we're already halfway there. Should we set up another group for bars, pubs and restaurants? Would it help us get to the stage where we can pool our collective resources and actually market and put on an event which could help get craft beer noticed by the wider public and not just the beer geeks who already know about it?

Is our inherently 'British' or 'Conservative' nature holding us back?

So how do we make this happen? Someone needs to get the ball rolling because otherwise London will once again look like we're stagnating or indeed going backwards again.

Come on London, let's get our act together!

Saturday 19 May 2012

Live Blogging(Circle Jerking) - #EBBC12

So this is the first event where I have tried live blogging with a laptop and not felt like the geekiest  fucker in the room!
The first thing I have to say about it is it's bloody freaky being in the same room as someone reading a post I've just written!

Beer 1. Leeds Hellfire, 5.2%
designed to be drunk out of the bottle! eek! Very light pale ale, lots of citrus, wet dog nose(courtesy of Tandleman). Very nice to taste though, Glad I bought a bottle from Beer Ritz. Sam from Leeds Brewery says they designed it to be drunk from the bottle because they think there's something very 'nice' about that, can't say I agree but it's a very drinklable beer!
Beer 2. Otley, Oxymoron, 5.5%
Black IPA, very big on aroma, one of my favourite Otley beers, less bitter than some Black IPA's and quite a nice light body on it. There's still enough roastiness to give it some oomph though. Everything I love about black beers and then some.
Beer 3. Brains Dark, 4.1%
The Otley has been good enough to give this a bit more flavour than usual but it's definitely a beer I could drink time and time again on Cask.
On the nose I'm getting quite a a lot of fruit. Mild, originally called Red Dragon but the regular customers didn't like the name and renamed it themselves. For me a bit too much carbonation and not sure if the Otley beer hasn't given this beer some wine characteristics.
Beer 4. Marble, Earl Grey IPA, 6.8%
A beer so new they don't have labels for it. Brewed with Emmelisse, Earl Grey tea went into the fermenter. Can I see 'dry tea-bagging' becoming popular? probably not. Lot's of citrus on the palate for me, which is good since it's a single hop (Citra) beer. Very easy to drink. Top drop.
Beer 5. Roosters, Baby Faced Assassin, 6.1%
Another 100% citra beer. Roosters say there's mango, apricot and mandarin on the nose, I get all that, really lovely nose, quite sweet on the palate but has a bitterness at the end that belies the initial sweetness. I'd drink it again!
Beer 6. Great Heck, Stormin' Norman, 6.5%
American influenced style IPA. Not getting anything really on the nose, in fact it's something that smells distinctly ordinary, very light, does not taste 6.5% and it's not one that I'd rush back to but it's not a bad beer. Served by a Krankee.
Beer 7. Slaters, Top Totty, 4%
A blonde beer from a family brewery. Lot's of parliamentry controversy on this one. I am well documented on 'slating' this beer and most others from slaters so I've got to try and be as objective as possible. Have to say I'm not enjoying the beer though, it has a lovely nose but there is  literally nothing on the palate. The chap next to me says, you could choose to swallow it if you want. I agree, you could also swallow the bull I'm hearing from the brewery folks. Pants.
Beer 8, Camden Town, USA Helles, 4.6%
All American hopped helles, unfiltered. I like this London based brewery, I think they're doing the right thing with their beers. Really light, nicely refreshing and clean. Tandleman doesn't like it but he doesn't have tastebuds.
Beer 9. Adnams, Ghost Ship, 4.5% 
I'm not Adnams greatest fan but there are some of their beers that I do enjoy. This is a pale ale(my fave style of beer). Not much on the nose. on the palate I get Jasmin and Apricot, not too much bitterness, very easyto drink and I would definitely buy this if it was on the bar!
Beer 10, Innis & Gunn Scottish Pale Ale,Hate the nose, too sweet with vanilla and grants whiskey(bad memories from a whiskey binge 20 years ago).
Sorry not my bag.

They Thought it was All Over....Psych!

Well not quite but I've currently got a £100 cheque in my pocket courtesy of Molson Coors to write a blog post about the European Beer Bloggers Conference so I guess the old adage of 'Every man having a price' is true.

A lot of people have said to me 'why are you here? you don't blog anymore'...erm no, I said I was taking a break. Anyone remember the line 'I may still post every now and again'? I do, it's there, just look!
My general feeling about beer blogging and in particular, my own has not really changed. What has enthused me (ironically) to break my silence after a week or so is the people here at the European Beer Bloggers Conference not the beer!

Now every conference needs it's sponsors, people gotta pay the bills right? So the beers we've been drinking have been beers I've had many times, some of them might not be the most exciting in the business but they're here and this isn't the craft beer bloggers conference, it's the European Beer Bloggers conference and we have to remember that we're very lucky most of the time in the beers we choose to drink and the pubs we choose to drink them in. Indeed some of them I've also never had before, I was particularly impressed with the Badger Ales Flyer which I really needed at the time because it was so hot in the meeting room at the registration that I was gasping for something cold and refreshing.

We've had some really interesting sessions here at the conference, my personal favourites were Saturday morning with 'Taking it to the next level' with Mark, Zak and Marverine and the session directly after it was also really interesting on the use of social media and marketing your blogs. The other notable session was with Adrian Tierney-Jones and Simon Jenkins about improving your beer writing.

My personal views on my blog is changing and I'm not sure how often I'm going to post anymore. It's never been a regular occurrence and I think if you're doing this as a hobby it should be just that, the minute you start forcing it is the day you should stop.

I am looking at improving the content because I joined the Guild to help improve my writing and if anything, it's gone backwards in my opinion so hopefully it will be the case that less is more from now on. The reactionary bollocks I used to spout will be gone and I will mostly be ignoring people that who only post to get a reaction or look for publicity from their posts.

So still to come is Sharps Head Brewer, Stuart Howe and a beer dinner sponsored by Pilsner Urquell which I'm very much looking forward to!

Quote from Stuart Howe, Head Brewer at Sharps, 'Teetotalers die 10 years earlier than beer drinkers because they're miserable bastards' - Too right. Live blogging next which should be interesting.

Friday 11 May 2012

Taking a Break

As most you, dear readers, may have noticed, I am blogging a lot less nowadays. This is mainly down lack of time and the fact that most of what I write is utter shit.

I've been thinking about stopping this blog for a while now because most of what I read in the blogs just isn't that interesting, including this one. The only time I post a blog now is if something has wound me up enough to have a rant at it and frankly, it's a bit too negative for my liking.

My new job also dictates (although not in my contract) that I have to have some level of discretion or 'self control' when dealing with some customers and suppliers, my 'Bull in a China Shop' style of writing really doesn't suit it and it's probably best I take a break.

I may still post the odd blog now and again because I think that this is still a good form of expression for myself but if I do, it will be sporadic and probably as rubbish as usual so don't go holding your breath.

Thanks for reading & commenting it has been appreciated.

So until next time, dear reader.

See you round.


Thursday 19 April 2012

Have You Seen This Van

Ok, as some of you will know, yesterday, Brodies Brewery had their delivery van stolen.

Stolen, with The Rake's order on board.

So, if any of you happen to see this van around London today, and with all the Brodies branding on the sides, it's not hard to miss, please inform the police. Breweries in Britain have a hard enough time as it is without mindless idiots stealing their property as well!

Monday 16 April 2012

Pitchforks at the Ready!

Bit of over the top Neo-prohibitionism for you to liven up your Monday

This afternoon, Redchurch Brewery in East London, posted this on twitter. It is a petition to stop them being granted a license to sell alcohol offsales.

Now, let's for a minute put aside the fact that whoever typed up this nonsense is barely literate and concentrate on some facts.

Redchurch want the license so they can sell to the public between the hours of ...
11am - 4pm Saturday
9am - 6pm Monday - Friday.

Hardly what I'd call 'late night' or antisocial. And as for talking about abusing children, I don't think that Redchurch have any plans to add that to the license, indeed that's a ridiculous conclusion to come to.

This is the sort of reaction I would expect from an uneducated redneck like Joe McCarthy 50 years ago when communists were everywhere and they were all out to get him! Isn't it ironic that he too, died of alcoholism, just like so many of those innocent underage children are going to. Puurrrrleeesse. 

I can understand that they might think their little darlings will get abused and molested by CAMRA members trying to get their hands on some beer, after all they dress as an homage to Fritzel and wear their beards like Shipman so they can seem a bit scary at times, but really most of them are quite harmless and indeed are very friendly(for the most part), even if they do smell of wee.

I'm also wondering how Redchurch got their hands on this...Any enlightenment, Gary?

Wednesday 4 April 2012

Heineken, Shaken then Shotgunned

Well well well, just found this story on twitter. Possibly the most depressing thing I have ever read.

Apparently the James Bond franchise has signed a 15 year deal with beer giant Heineken that begins with the new film, Skyfall. So 007 will be drinking Lager instead of his legendary Martini, shaken not stirred.

Rubbish. I really cannot fathom how franchised everything is becoming, I find it really depressing. First football(Milton Keynes SCUM), now Britiains most iconic film franchise has been re-franchised.

Awful news. Whilst it depresses me, I am not surprised. Money makes the world go around I guess. *crawls back under rock and slits wrists*


Tonight sees the launch of the Ilkley Brewery/Melissa Cole collaboration Siberia. It's a Saison that's been made with Siberian Rhubarb and personally I can't wait to taste it.
If you feel like joining the fun there will be four pubs doing the launch in London, here they are with the times the Melissa Cole cavalcade will be arriving at them...

The Bull, Highgate, 5.30pm
The Southampton Arms, 6.45pm
Draft House, Tower Bridge, 8.15pm
The Rake, 9.30pm.

The other reason I wanted to try this beer is that with my oncoming 38th birthday this month, i'm going to be in need of some male menopause remedies fairly soon......

Anything you want to tell us Melissa?

Wednesday 21 March 2012

Budget Blues, Twisted News.

So the sly old bastard that is our current Chancellor of the Exchequer has announced that there will be no change to the duty paid on alcohol.

Now, some people, indeed some journalists(who should know better by the way) think this counts as a freeze on the duty.

Don't be daft.

This means that the 2% duty escalator is STILL in place and the duty will rise once again this year. Do not be fooled.

Thanks George, you spineless piece of shit!!

And on that note I'll leave you to the musings of the proper (adult)writers like Pete and ATJ etc...

Wednesday 14 March 2012

Stop the Beer Duty Escalator

Now, it's not often that I get 'all serious' on this blog so when I do, like now, you should ALL really sit up and take notice.

You will probably all have seen the STOP THE BEER DUTY ESCALATOR epetition that is doing the rounds at the moment and frankly unless you want to start paying £5 a pint, you should all sign it!

Pete Brown wrote a very good blog on the subject and like me, is understandably is getting a bit frustrated by the lack of support for this.

FACT : The price of a pint has gone up by 35%in the last 4 years. That in itself should shout at you to support this!

FACT : if the petition gets 100,000 signatures it will force a debate in parliament.

So sign this, get your friends and family to sign it and lets see what people power can actually do in a democratic society.


Friday 9 March 2012

Beery Merchandise!

So a few weeks ago I saw a tweet from Tiny Rebel Brewing co asking people to guess the outcome of the Wales vs England 6 Nations match(no way was it a try by the way).

Tiny Rebel are Wales' newest brewery and I have to say they are making some rather large waves for people that until recently were brewing in their garage! Their Urban IPA is particularly impressive!

Anyway the prize was Tiny Rebel t-shirt sure enough today not one but two t-shirts arrived in the post!

Photo number one is the red t-shirt, now red's not really my colour but this one is different because it's educational n'all that. See it has the ingredients of beer on it!

Picture number two, the black t-shirt, not as educational but with the Tiny Rebel logo emblazoned upon it, still fecking cool!

You can follow the Tiny Rebel guys on Twitter @tinyrebelbrewco or @tinyrebelGAZZ or @tinyrebelBRAD.

I'm going off to Newport in May to brew with Wales newest brewery and then they'll have a tap takeover in the Rake approximately 6 weeks later!

The date for your diary is Sunday 17th June (fathers day), what better way to celebrate with your old man than to bring him to The Rake for a pint or two!

More details will follow on The Rake's blog etc.. but until then I'm going to enjoy wearing my winnings!

Wednesday 7 March 2012

Unfined Beer to be debated

Having just read this article on the Moor beer news page I have to say I completely agree with everything Justin has said.
If you don't want to click the link here are the three motions that Justin has tabled for debate.

  1. That SIBA recognises that historic beer styles and modern beer drinkers do not ALL require clarity in beer.
  2. That SIBA removes clarity as a requirement for beer competitions.
  3. That SIBA proactively markets to and educates the trade and consumers on the potential benefits of hazy beer including :
  • Improved flavour
  • Improved aroma
  • Improved mouthfeel
  • Vegan acceptance(where isinglass is not used)
  • Reduced settling time
  • Reduced wastage/ullage
  • Increased demand from consumers for more natural products.
Now we all know that some cloudy beer is down to the fact that the beer isn't being kept properly but lots of brewers are now producing beer that has a natural haze and a lot of it is bloody good beer. I'm not saying that all unfined beer is great, I'm not saying that all hazy beer is good. But isn't it time that we started trying to educate the Great British public on just how good beer can be, haze or no haze?
We can certainly start by getting an industry body such as SIBA to recognise the above.

I look forward to tales of heated debate and murders from the SIBA AGM today!

Tuesday 6 March 2012

Man V. Beer Challenge 1

Yep, I'm actually going to go ahead with this and I'm starting off on Saturday March 31st at Craft Beer Company in Leather Lane and if you fancy a laff, by all means join me for a few!

I will be attempting to drink a half off of every tap in their not inconsiderable range.
Pic from

This might sound easy but when you consider that Craft has 21 keg pumps and 16 cask pumps I could end up getting er...wrecked!

The challenge is doing this within opening hours and with 37 taps, i'll need to be doing 3.36 halves an hour, doesn't sound like much, does it?

We shall see!

Then of course I have to get home, which may be slightly more of a challenge!

Chin Chin as The Cad would say!

Sunday 4 March 2012

A Man V. Beer series?

So I'm being inspired by the Man v. Food television program to do something similar with beer. So what formats do I need to go with?

Most IBUs in a beer?

Sourest Lambic?

Hoppiest IPA?

Most extreme ingredients?

The most tasteless shit lager I have to force down my throat?

Why not all of them? If you have a challenge you want to see me attempt let me know. If there's anyone that wants to film me doing it let me know, who knows it might even be fun!

What could possibly go wrong?