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!