Thursday, 15 December 2011


As per usual it's taken me far too long to get this blog up, but after being hassled by a friend I've finally collated my notes and memories together! Myself and Christine headed off to Edinburgh in late November for a long weekend of site seeing and of course beer drinking.
Our first experience almost tarnished the whole trip. Aimlessly walking about the old town looking for a good pub for lunch, tiredness got the better of us and so we stumbled in to the nearest place. As soon as our food arrived, we realised the error we'd made! And so the bar was set (albeit low) by The Castle Arms!

But we this wasn't going to a problem to beat, knowing that the Brew Dog bar was only a short walk away. Perfectly positioned just off from the Royal Mile on Cowgate we popped in the next day for a well earned drink after a days site seeing! At the time this was the first time I'd visited a Brew Dog bar and I was fairly intrigued as to what the experience would be. As you walk in you're instantly greeted with the bold statement "No Football! No shots! No Stella!" and that sums Brew Dog up pretty well. The bar's stripped back appearance was great leading to the cosy informal atmosphere and with Biffy Clyro's greatest hits playing in the background, we grabbed a beer. Christine was excited at the chance to reacquaint herself with Tokyo* 18.2% ABV having tasted it around the time of its original hype laden launch. I plumped for the rather disappointing Christmas Porter 6.2% ABV which tasted all too similar to its parent beer Alice Porter and for me offered no seasonal spiced notes that it promised.

We returned to the bar late one evening with the place bustling, full of people. The bar had taken on a completely different vibe, with the draft and guest beers having changed from the day before I tried the prototype beer Hops Kill ? 7.8% ABV as well as treating my self to a expensive bottle of Hitachino Nest Espresso Stout 7.5% ABV.Chatting away to people on other tables about their beers it was great to see the craft beer scene was so popular.

Two off the other fantastic pubs among several we visited both severed Ale in the traditional Scottish method, using tall founts. These use air pressure driven by a water engine to push the beer through the tap instead of the English hand pump method.

One of these; Thomson's was only a few doors down from where we were staying and had a great selection of beers and whiskeys on offer. The cosy wood clad bar based on the designs of the architect Alexander 'Greek' Thomson, was busy when we popped in one night. Offering an extensive array of single malt whiskies as well as Scottish ales from Arran, Fyne, Cairngorm and Caledonian (when we visited). Thomson's is a great pub, full of regulars and those stopping in on their way to Haymarket station!

Bow Bar
Blink and you'd miss Bow Bar hidden on  West Bow a small winding street below the famous Edinburgh Castle and Royal Mile. The single room bar had been voted Edinburgh's best Whiskey bar, but also gave great attention to its ales with 8 taps and well stocked international bottle list to match . Its walls adored with old Brewery Mirrors from Scotland's brewing past. The barman was highly knowledgeable about his whisky, helping and advising the group of tourists humming and haring over the 200 plus Malt's on offer. He also had great passion for the beer and spent a great while explaining the workings of the Scottish tall founts serving the ale. We popped in to Bow Bar several time during our stay in Edinburgh, trying several of the ever changing ales, including: Stewart’s Edinburgh No 3 4.3% ABV (a scotch ale), Darkstar Green Hopped IPA 6.5% ABV, Elland 1872 Porter 6.5% ABV & Fyne Highlander 4.8% ABV. If you're visiting Edinburgh I'd definitely recommend popping in for a wee dram and pint, you wont be disappointed.

The final pub that deserves a mention is The Cafe Royal, based in the New Town off the main shopping precinct Princes Street, The Cafe Royal is a pub like no other, upon entering I was taken aback at the grandeur of the fittings! With a spectacular ornate ceiling, chandeliers, stain glass windows, mirrors and large island bar, (although decked in rather early Christmas decorations). The main feature are the six pictures on the wall of the bar painted by John Eyre and manufactured as tiles by Doultons. Each show inventors, at the moment of their discovery. With 3 or 4 Scottish ales on offer and yet again a wide whisky selection, drinking in The Cafe Royal gives you an opportunity to enjoy a drink in decadence.  

We had a great trip to Edinburgh and managed to do an awful lot in a long weekend. The views from Arthur's Seat were spectacular and the Castle offered a great day out. It was also pleasing to get the chance to sample so many Scottish beers, it's great to see that Scottish pubs and restaurants are proud to sell their countries beers!

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

A Tale of Two Beer Festivals

October was a rather busy month for me on the Beer Festival front, with the JD Wetherspoons self proclaimed "Worlds biggest Real Ale & Cider Festival" running for over 3 weeks. As well two contrasting local festivals; Wallington and Wandsworth.

Wallington Beer Festival in full swing
The differences between the two were vast, first up was Croydon & Sutton CAMRA's 18th beer festival hosted in the slightly dilapidated Wallington Hall. With a emphasis on the LocALE campaign with over 50 real ales on offer from 27 different breweries coming within 30 miles of the venue! I first attended the Wallington festival year and had a great time despite being noticeably the youngest person in attendance and this year was no difference! The festival seemed quieter this year but that meant being served at one of the 3 bars was never going to be a problem.

Perched next to a Sambrooks Powerhouse Porter 4.9% ABV pump-clip and having missed out on this first of Sambrooks seasonal ales last year it seemed wrong not to try it. Sticking to the Porters next up was Botanist Night Porter 5.0% ABV, having never come across the Kew based microbrewery before I was delighted with this traditional porter. With a malty caramel nose and a lovely smokey roasted taste, I'll be sure to look out for more Botanist beers in the future.
Other highlights were Westerham's Little Scotney Green Hop 4.0% ABV brewed from hops from the National Trust's hop farm at Scotney Castle, But the beer that got my taste buds tingling was Brodies Kiwi 3.8% ABV. A wonderful golden ale laced with Nelson Sauvin hops giving a hoppy sweet long bitter after taste.
Although the festival is always friendly, I feel just feel something else is lacking, some entertainment to break things up a bit or maybe just a change of venues would breath more life into the festival.

On the other hand Wandsworth Common's Halloween Beer festival was a different experience. Set in the amazing Royal Victoria Patriotic Building, which has seen a number of uses over its 150 years including a field hospital for the soldiers of the First World War & as a base for the secret services during the Second World War, including the interment of the Nazi politician Rudolf Hess. Although not run by CAMRA, members did receive discount. Offering 90 ales including Darkstar, Thornbridge and Sarah Hughes. However despite the promotional posters listing Brew Dog, a note in the program detailed the organisers choice to not server their beers, due to the fact "Brew Dog in their infinite wisdom have decided to produce their portfolio of beers in bottle and in keg only". This is the downside to Brew Dogs choice but I'll leave that for another blog and another day.

Myself and Tom (again the other one) were pleased to see five Thornbridge beers on offer including the brilliant St. Petersberg Stout, however the new Sequoia American Amber Ale 4.5% ABV was my choice with a citrusy pine flavour and a lovely balanced bitter after-taste.
With two more friends joining us we returned to the bar this time I tried Art Brew - Blackberry Stout 4.6% ABV. I'm still not sure if I actually liked this beer, tasting somewhat like a Guinness and black. The blackcurrant's really over powered the expected smokey taste of stout leaving you with an unexpected sweet after-taste.

As the courtyard started to fill up with people it was clear that the festival had attracted a much more diverse crowd than Wallington, with several groups of younger people quaffing the ales and ciders the bars soon became a free for all and it became increasingly difficult to be served. Maybe it was the Green Jack- Baltic Trader Imperial Stout 10.5% ABV but I didn't seem to mind the wait. This beer packs a punch as you would expect for an Imperial Stout , with a slight mocha after-taste. I'll try to get hold of a bottle as it would be more sorted to a quiet night when it can be sipped leisurely.
The other highlight was Redemption Brewery - Big Chief 5.5% ABV a brilliant IPA packed full of New Zealand hops offering a unmistakable citrus flavour, I love beers like this but it slightly felt out of place on a dark, wet October night!

Overall October has been a great month for trying new beers, with three festivals showcasing some of the countries top breweries. The contrast in the attitude and environment environment of the two events I attended, suggest to me that CAMRA still needs to work on their image, while the beers are starting to speak for themselves.

Friday, 14 October 2011

Grape & Grain Autumn Beer Festival

So I've been living in the threshold of Crystal Palace for over a year now and one of the first events I attended was the Grape and Grains first beer festival. A year on and this now bi annual event has come on leaps and bounds. Offering over 60 Cask Ales including Westerham Rick's Birthday Bitter 4% ABV brewed especially for landlord Rick's birthday on the Sunday of the festival!!

We headed in for last orders on Friday night, knowing that we were set to return with friends for a Saturday evening session.
Art Brew Smokey Bastard 5.5% ABV named after a band of the same name. This beer poured jet black and as the name suggest was beautifully smokey. A deep rich chocolate taste with a lovely silky smokeyness I could have happily drank this all night, but alas final orders were soon called.

Returning the following evening, the festival was already in full swing and after one day already several casks were missing, including to my disappointment Fyne Ales Jarl, but there were still several for us to sample.

Acorn Gorlovka Imperial Stout 6% ABV a rich aroma of chocolate, liquorish and raisin. Tastes fruity with a strong hit of alcohol, synonymous with Imperial Stouts. With the taste lasting for the duration and developing as the beer warms. A great addition to the festival even if it was overlooked by my friends.

Sticking with the dark porters and stouts, Beowulf Brewery Finn's Hall Porter 5.2% ABV has a wonderful smokey aroma with a well balance hoppy taste with hints of vanilla coming through.

And of course several other beers were sampled throughout the night, but as well as the beers the brilliant band The Twilighters delighted the punters with there 60's inspired swing/surf rock which were a delight to watch and got everyone toe tapping! 

I'm lucky to live so close to The Grape & Grain and Rick and co have done an amazing job with building the pubs reputation. The first beer festival had around 30 ales growing to 40 for their spring festival earlier this year, to organise and rake up 60 casks is no mean feat! I can't wait to see how the events develop next year!
If you ever venture into SE19 be sure to drop in for a pint, I'm sure you wont be disappointed.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Summer time and the crap! (belated)

So its been months since I last posted! I've been busy & lazy and a whole other load of excuses, but here is a post I started to write at the end of August and never got round to posting.

Great British Beer Festival:
The start of a very long day
I guess I'm always lucky that the Great British Beer Festival falls on or around my birthday. It makes organising a night out considerably easier when you do the same thing every year!
This year however I attended on both the Thursday and Friday, having found previous years that all the beers I had planned to try had gone.
Heading with Tom (the other one!) after work on the Thursday, we made a b-line straight for the Sans Frontier bar, looking in wonder at the vast array of American and World beers on offer. Seeing as it was International IPA day we started on a beautiful American IPA

Moozying about off to the SIBA stand, which rather surprisingly was mainly staffed by a group of young blond girls! A far cry from every other bar at the festival.

Thornbridge are always firm favourites with us & with Tom having connections at Thornbridge Hall it would clearly be rude not to sample. Raven - a Black IPA having earlier read Rodger Potz attack at the style in CAMRA's Beer Magazine.

Then I stumbled upon Grey Ghost IPA, my beer of the festival. Having tasted and thoroughly enjoyed Dark Peak Stout in the past, I was intrigued about this new brewery. All I can say is from the two beers I've now sampled is wow! Grey Ghost was full of hops sweet citrus flavours

I also finally got to pick up a bottle of Hitachino Nest Japanese Classic Ale as well a few bottles of Mikkeller. After this my notes became a bit bury, and so day one came to a close.

The Friday is always so busy,as such our plan of action was to arrive late afternoon decamp at a table and await our many friends coming to celebrate my birthday. Our plan worked magnificently, perched to the side of the stage, with in spitting distance of the Czech and German beers (which suited my "Ale-phobic" friends)

With a perfect view point for Ade Edmonson's set with his band The Bad Shepherds, the night quickly descended into a drunken blur. Some of the beers I can remember were:

Pivivar Kocour Svetly Lezak 4.6% ABV - a beautiful Traditional Czech lager, golden colour with a full flavoured hoppy aroma and rich foamy head.

Klásterní Pivovar Strahov 16 IPA 6.3% ABV -  half Czech lager half American IPA, amazing sweet hoppy taste with a refreshing carbonation.

Clipper City DIPA Double IPA 10% ABV - amber in colour with a big nose of citrusy hops. Big hoppy flavour with a pleasant sweet aftertaste.

Oh and of course there was Stone Chipotle Smoked Porter 5,9%ABDV!! So hot they were only selling this in halves. Smelt smokey peppered tasted smokey and then the chili hit and simply came on coming. Glad i got to try this one but never again!!

Overall I had a fantastic birthday and a great way to celebrate getting close to a 30 Something Blogger!!!
Oh and thankfully I wasn't purchased and balloon hat this year! (thanks guys)

The final highlight to the "Summer" came the following weekend at LeeFest. 6 years ago our friend Lee was told he couldn't have a house party, while his parents were away on holiday. Being the crafty chap he is, he realised that they didn't ban him form having a festival! 6 years later and now on a farm rather than a suburban
back garden, LeeFest has made it on the the scene. This year spanning two days & featuring headliners including Fenech Solar, British Sea Power & the chat topping DJ Fresh along side a host  local up and coming bands was the best year yet.

A great summer, shame about the weather though!

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Bernard & Bangers

With the weather somewhat improving last weekend I took the chance and invited a few friends over for a BBQ. Ever since we discovered Villagers Sausages in my local high street, BBQs haven't been the same!

No longer do I feel obliged to buy a 50 piece BBQ Family Feast Pack for £5 from Iceland, as Villagers offers a host of different sausages; all made on the premisses, from your traditional Cumberland and Lincolnshire, to the more unusual Kangaroo and Wild Boar sausages.
Buying a random selection and offering them to friends to try some of the more interesting variations on the British classic is slowly becoming a tradition at our BBQs.

Now of course with every good BBQ you'll need beer, My choice of the day however was Bernard Dark 5.1 % ABV a Czech dark lager produced with five types of malt.
I've been a fan of Bernard ever since a Czech friend recommended the "light version", so when I spotted the beautiful swing top bottle on the shelves of my local Tesco, I simply has to oblige.

Pouring a deep and rich dark black, with a caramel, chocolate & roasted malt nose. The taste is predominantly of dark chocolate, caramel and bitter hops as well some roasted coffeeness. Unlike most "lagers" on the market, this beer is actually largered for 40 days after fermenting, which only adds to its unique light bitterness.

I know that Mark from Pencil & Spoon has recently posted about his attempts to pair beer with Sausages, Chips and Beansbut this pairing was for a different environment and a array of sausages. The deep rich flavours perfectly matched a meatier choice in sausage, such as Boreswors or Steak and Guinness (which happen to be my favourite). Several friends also commented how palatable this beer was, even those who don't usually prefer dark beers.

If you're lucky enough to have your local Tesco stock it then, I'd definitely make sure you get your hands on a few bottles and some good sausages too!!

Monday, 6 June 2011


Since pretty much the first Blog I posted was about Brew Dogs AB:04 I felt I might as well briefly write about the next bottle in the Abstrakt range. AB:05 12.5% ABV is a Belgian Imperial Stout aged on toasted coconut and cacao. (The cacao coming from the famous Willie’s Cacao)

The beer pours black as night (completely opaque), with a deep rich sweet chocolate nose and only a light fizz with no head on pour, which was a bit disappointing as other reviews and promo pictures had led me to expect a "coffee brown head so thick you could almost stand on it".

However the proof is in the tasting, silky smooth on the tongue with a strong rich alcoholic flavour with a smoky lingering taste of chocolate. Although there weren't any noticeable coconut flavours coming through, I'm guessing the delicate flavour was easily lost with the punchy alcoholic taste.

Luckily I've got a 2 more bottles and can't wait to try them in a few years time!

Monday, 16 May 2011

Glad All Over!

Selhurst Park
So as previously mentioned last weekend was the first CPFC beer festival. The festival originally started as a small festival with just 500 tickets but ended up having over 1400 in attendance had been spurred on after requests from fans earlier in the season for Real Ale to be sold in the bars around the ground.

With the final list offering over 80 Ales and Ciders, spanning the length and breath of Britain from St Austell to Isle of Arran. (Although the initial beer list had promised 3 casks from Brew Dog, which I had been looking forward to showcasing to some friends and family for the first time had sadly been omitted from the final list) Held in the gangways and bar of our "kop end", The Homesdale Road stand it was a bit strange catching glimpses of an otherwise empty stadium.

For me there was only ever one option for the first beer of the the festival. Neil Morrisey's Palace Blonde 4.2% ABV and it didn't disappoint! I've not been a fan when I've previously tried Neil's beers but Palace Blonde was fantastic! With a beautiful golden colour and a sweet floral nose the taste was well balanced with a pleasant non overpowering bitterness, a perfect summer session beer. I really hope I get to taste this again!

Me and Oz Clarke
Spoilt for choice with Kelham Island Easy Rider 4.3% ABV and Castle Rock Harvest Pale Ale 3.8% ABV, which I had been disappointed with in its stronger bottled version but is proved why its the Champion Beer of Britain on cask. With the FA Cup Final being shown on TVs around the stand I was lucky enough to get a chance chat to Oz Clarke about his future shows with James May, including the hunt for great pork pies! Oh and of course great beer. Oz also agreeing that Palace Blonde was excellent and almost on cue we we're joined by Neil Morrisey, who was both elated and disappointed to discover that all 5 casks of his beer had sold out!

With the match over it was time to try a few more beers, other highlights were Toad M&R Chocolate Stout 4.6% ABV  and Darkstar Festival 5.0%.  However for me the beer of the day for me was local brewery Sambrook's Celebration Ale 4.9% brewed in celebration of Royal Wedding, amber in colour with a strong flora citrusy aroma leading to a lovely sweet taste of lemon and honey with a distinctive floral flavour.

By 7pm a black market in beer tokens was in force, the club having purposely sold enough to cover what was available, so wearily I headed home. The whole day had been brilliant, sampling great beer in view of the pitch of my favorite football team was a great experience, But you didn't have to be a Palace fan to appreciate the day, with local bands providing entertainment throughout the day as well as the now infamous Crystal cheerleaders performing a few of their routines. The debut Beer Festival was a great success so much so that I'm told plans are already a foot for an autumn festival later this year!

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

CPFC Beer Festival

Combining two of my favortie passisons beer and football, My team Crystal Palace are hosting a beer festival this weekend (May 14th)

Offering 40 Ales from the likes of Brew Dog, Darkstar & Oakham, As well as actor and Palace fan Neil Morrissey's "Palace Blond Ale"!  Which he has brewed specially  for the festival. Not only this but the festival is set to be opened by Alcohol connoisseur Oz Clarke!

Co-owner and ale and wine expert Steve Browett has also given an interview to Five Year Plan Fanzine
on the event

The Palace Beer Festival takes place this Saturday (the 14th of May) in the Red and Blue bar at Selhurst Park, from midday until 9pm. Tickets are available from the box office on 08712 00 00 71 or click here to book online.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

My Russian Dynasty

Red Square
So its been a while since I've posted, mostly because I've been obscenely busy and also because I took a ten day trip to Russia over Easter.

My trip was never intended to beer centric, but holidaying or traveling inevitably means you're sure to have a few. My first port of call was St Petersburg, the beautiful baroque city built as a gateway to the West and Europe. Its also the home of Imperial Stout and Baltic Porter (see previous posts) my knowledge of the Russian language was limited to a few phrases which inevitably made ordering drinks at a bar difficult. Exchanging hand gestures for "big" or "small" became a common event. My first night I arrived late and headed for a beer and a bite to eat at Tinkoff. Tinkoff started as a micro brewery in St Petersberg but now is American owned and has brewpubs all over Russia. Sadly I wasn't impressed, with a dodgy wedding esq band playing to a near empty bar and a menu mostly consisting of Sushi (a common theme in Russia) not to mention the pint of Temnoe 6.0% which was sold as a Porter but actually was more of a weak Dunkel. I didn't stay long, heading back for a early night that turned into an all night drinking session with added Vodka.

Baltika 6
Since I was in St Petersburg I wanted to try a Imperial Stout or Baltic Porter. Things didn't look great when the staff in the hostel hadn't even heard of it! Luckily with limited Russian and a bit of luck in a local shop I found a bottle of Baltika 6 a Baltic Porter! This actually was a Porter, although not the best beer I've had, I was simply content on finding something! And for about a pound a bottle I stocked up.

A grueling 10 hour night train took me to Moscow and thanks to the synchronized snoring of the 3 men in my couchette, I got to sample vodka shots at 4am in the buffet car with some other nocturnal types! Moscow was instantly more Soviet, more Russian and overly more complicated!! Navigating across town on the metro was a skill in its self.  The overwhelming size of Red Square and the power hub of the Kremlin will always stick with me, As will my evenings sipping dark beers in some old stolovaya's (cafeterias) eating cheap food and watching sport! Zhiguli was with in spitting distance of my hostel harks back to the Soviet years and has its namesake beer Zhigulevskoe brewed on site.
Capitalism is alive and well in Moscow
CSKA Moscow & Spartak Moscow were playing at the 1980's Olympic stadium whilst I was in town and I was lucky enough to get a ticket the derby. CSKA Moscow play in Red & Blue the same colours as my team Crystal Palace and so I became a honorary fan for the day, getting to sample an atmosphere which was unrivaled on any level compared to a game in England.

To sum up the trip from a beer point of view, I was a bit disappointed hoping to find a bit more varied choice on offer. Local supermarkets were stocked up with English & Czech imports and having the choice of Wychwood Hobgoblin and a previously unheard of Bowman by Wells & Youngs in one bar, finding anything that seemed to be Russian was difficult. I'm guessing since the fall of communism in the early 90's the Russian market has been infiltrated with imported goods from the West. (My farther recalls mile long queues for Mc Donalds when he visited Moscow in '91) You only have to look at some of the cars parked near Red Square or the shops in the previously drab soviet shopping mall GUM, to understand that some Russians are making the most of their wealth.

But this wasn't ever supposed to be a beer holiday, it was a trip to discover and explore a vast and beautiful country! (Although I only took in its two major cities) It's one trip I'll never forget!

Check out some of my pictures here:

Russia Easter 2011

Friday, 1 April 2011

Changing Perceptions

Whilst attending a recent Meet The Brewer event with Mark from Darkstar, I was met with a remark along the lines of "You're far too young for Real Ale, F%&k off back to nursery". Although there was no real menace in this statement, it made me start to think; How old should you be to drink Real Ale? And why do people hold these perceptions?

It was clear from the moment we turned up that myself and the group of friends I was with, were the youngest people taking part in this event. This was met with enthusiasm from the barmaid who commented that it was nice to see some younger faces. So why the ageist remarks? Surely if you're attending a meet the brewer event you're more passionate about beer or that particular brewery than the average drinker and should take pleasure knowing that there are others like you - young and old alike that share that passion for great beer.

Compo & Friends
We all know Ale is often portrayed as an old mans drink, for many the word Ale often conjures up the image of an old man sitting in the corner with a newspaper and a pint. Although there is clearly some evidence for this stereotype (check out your local Wetherspoons!) why can't Ale or Craft beer be a drink for everyone? The American craft beer scene is huge, and on a trip to New York last year I couldn't believe how many bars were filled with people young and old, male and female, trying out great craft beers. Brewers like DogFish Head, Stone, Left Hand Brewing and Brooklyn (to name a few) are spearheading a craft beer revolution, making beer cool again and putting it back into favour with the younger generation. Brooklyn Brewery is a prime example of this, I stumbled into the aptly named Dive 75 not expecting much at all in the way of good beer. What I found was a Brooklyn tasting session matched with different cheeses in a trendy basement bar! Something that I'd rarely find over here in the UK.

Breweries like Brew Dog here in the UK, have clearly taken inspiration from the USA and tried to make beer cool again. Whipping up a storm and controversy with their high percentage beers, no nonsense punk attitude and general mischief, they've opened craft beer and ale to a brand new market. People like me! I've stated before that the press lead me to Brew Dog and inevitably my adventure into beer and ale. Now, because of that I'm a CAMRA member and writing this blog.

Westow House SE19
Local to me is a perfect example of how things are slowly heading in the right direction. The Westow House is a trendy pub catering for a younger crowd. Open to 2am on a weekend, with DJ's retro arcade games, a ping pong table! and most importantly Real Ale on tap. Not only that but they regularly tweet their current ale offerings. I honestly can't think of anywhere else I could be at 1am on a Saturday morning sampling Thornbridge Japuir! If only more places would start coming around and offer a quality experience with a quality range of drinks to go with it. I'm not saying I want some sweaty Shoredich club to start selling ale but bars and club-pubs are missing a trick by not offering a variety of beers to a younger experimenting crowd.

As Mark from Darkstar said at the event, the craft beer world is changing. Drinkers are far better travelled and as such they are becoming familiar with more varied flavours and  thus want more adventurous and unusual tastings beers. It's really encouraging that so many people (and breweries) in the ale and craft beer scene have embraced this and hopefully it means that more people will be tempted to try local or specialist beers in the future, rather than their regular bland fizzy lager's. It's still nonetheless sad though that a small minority are resistant to new ideas, and wary of new faces at 'their' events.

Maybe I'm just a young person in an old persons world? But it certainly doesn't feel like that to me!

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

When in Rome....

So myself and my girlfriend jetted off to Rome last weekend, as well as the sight seeing, culture & great food, I squeezed in some time to sample some of Rome and Italy's finest bars and beers. Having booked the trip a few months ago, I was pleasantly surprised to find Zach Avery's article on Rome's Craft Beer scene in CAMRA's spring edition of BEER magazine.

Rome is a fascinating city, with  thousands of years of history, when standing next to the Colosseum or the Arch of Constantine it's hard to quantify just how old they are. There's simply so much to offer, around every corner there seems to be either a church with hidden grandeur or an ancient ruin to grab your attention and takes you off your route.

Our first day found ourselves walking around the city taking in the sites and generally experiencing Rome's wonder. Walking down Via de Torre Argentina past the ruins of Largo di Torre Argentina (the site where Caesar was assassinated) whilst my girlfriend befriended the local stray cats that have made the ruins there home. It was getting cold and decided it was time for a beer and somewhere warm.  A quick look at the map showed that Open Baladin was around there somewhere! Tucked of a side street off Piazza Benedetto Cairoli, is the Beer Drinkers mecca Open Baladin.

Wall of Bottles
Open is the type of place you could quite easily walk past without ever knowing whats behind its doors. None the less than 12 taps adorn the bar with 3 or 4 hand pumps as well as a wall of beer bottles. Taking a seat at the bar in front of a a Brew Dog Rip Tide pump clip, I was both excited and disappointed that a brand I'm overly familiar was on offer. Asking the advice of the friendly bar staff and trying a beautiful beer made with horse chestnuts, I settled for a Birra del Borgo - Re Ale 6.4% ABV. An Italian take on an American style IPA. While Christine plumped for a  deliciously fruity Peach beer.

Next up was a wonderfully hoppy beer Birra del Borgo - Hoppy Cat.  Getting hungry and with the night well and truly beginning we sampled one of Open's special burgers and home made crisps and like several reviews gone before I was not disappointed a beautiful rare burger oozing with flavour and topped off with Opens home made ketchup!

Making friends with a local who now resides in London we took the offer to catch a bit of live music. Armed with a map drawn on the back of a napkin we headed of in the rough direction. Just as we'd decided to give up I spot a small chalk board sign in the entrance to a book shop. Tucked away in under books was a small bar with 3-4 different beers on tap and there regular Porter House Oyster Stout. With a CAMRA certificate on the wall to accompany it. This time Kwak was on tap and more because I love the glass than anything else decided on a tipple and sat down to check out "Midnight Radio" with their beautiful jazz flute and looped guitar. My girlfriend certainly approved of my choice in beer as the next time I turned round my drink was all but done! With that we set off for our stroll through Rome's street lit Via's.

Bir e Fud
The following evening we headed south of the river to Trastevere looking for a highly recommended pizzeria Da Poeta we stumbled across Bier e Fud (Beer & Food) and Ma Che Siete Venuti a Fa (But What Did You Do?). With Da Poeta heaving, to the extent they have employed a doorman/bouncer who informed us there was an hour wait. We decided to check out Bier e Fud with only a hand written sign on that wall and no pump clips, it was hard to work out what beers were on offer. Once again asking the advice of the staff I had a Birrificio Lambrate - Lambrate 6.8% ABVand beautifully picked Birrificio Rurale - Seta 5% ABV
for my girlfriend. Having a great time we stayed for another this time I tried the wonderful Birra del Borgo Duc Ale 8% ABV a deep rich dark beer, with a lovely coffee chocolate after taste I litrally didn't want to put it down.

After a wonderful meal in Da Poeta we headed back to Via Benedetta to pop in to Ma Che Siete Venuti a Fa. Its walls adored with Football paraphernalia and a Harveys mirror! It really didn't feel like we were in Italy at all. Overwhelmed with the selection on offer I had to try one of the several Danish Beers on tap at the time, Fanø Bryghus - Fanø Vestkyst 5.7% ABV and with Christine trying a Cantillon - Kriek 5% ABV.Ma Che Siete Venuti a Fa is a gem of a bar and by the time we leave the small bar is heaving with most of its customers lining the busier streets.

With that my brief encounter to Rome's craft beer scene was over! Bar a trip to New York I'd never really experienced another countries bar scene and without Zach's article I would have probably overlooked Rome's. It's refreshing to know that other countries are experiencing the same revival that we are in the UK right now and that the same pride and passion lies behind there produce.

Friday, 18 March 2011

Top to Bottom

So those of you that follow Stuart Howes blog, will know that he's set himself the challenge to brew at 12 breweries in 12 months. February's Brewery was London Bridge's - Brew Wharf

The challenge this time was to brew a beer with the most hops possible. Starting with 62 and eventually (after raiding Melissa Cole's cupboard at Lovebeer) 69 different hops

For a list of all the hops click here

Luckily I have to pass Brew Wharf on my way home, so when I spotted on their twitter account that this record breaking 69 hop beer was on tap, I had to drop in.

With 69 different hops this was always going to be a hit or miss beer. The nose was obviously amazingly hoppy with fresh organic notes. The taste however was over overpoweringly bitter. There were some sweet citrus notes to be found but they were quickly subdued by the bitterness.

I'm glad  I got the chance to try this beer, but for me it was just too much. With the everlasting bitterness still playing with my pallet as I headed home for something more balanced!

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Cooking with Beer: Part 1 - Chocolate Guinness Cake

I love cooking, for some reason i find it relaxing, god knows why! So after seeing some similar posts on other blogs, I've decided to start a regular piece. So here is the first post in our "Cooking with Beer" Series.

Chocolate Guinness Cake
Recipe -

Baking isn't really my strong point but in a bid to prove my girlfriend that I can do as good as her I decided to give it a go.With the Carling Cup Final on the carefully positioned speakers around the kitchen, I made sure I didn't miss a bit of the action. Now I'm not really a fan of chocolate cake but this was different, after spotting a tweet from The Kernel Brewery to a blog with this recipe I thought I'd give it a go. Taking my eye off the prize to celebrates Birmingham's opening goal, whilst melting butter into the Guinness wasn't the best start but the deep black beer batter started to come together.

After 30-40 mins in the oven it was ready, an out came a moist deep dark black cake. It even looked like the one in the picture! Result!! But as the saying goes the proof is in the pudding!

After cautiously making the cream cheese icing, trying not to cover the kitchen in cream cheese and icing sugar the cake was done! Slightly resembling the famous image of a pint of Guinness thanks to the pale coloured icing and deep black of the cake. I waited considerably longer than i expected to taste it but it was great! Moist with a smokey, chocolaty taste and perfectly set off against the sour icing.

Nigella describes the recipe as "Gingerbread without the spices" so next up I think is her Gingerbread with Guinness!

Monday, 28 February 2011

Grape & Grain

My favourite local watering hole Grape & Grain  is about to receive the South East London “Pub of the year award” and to celebrate are holding their second beer festival this weekend coming (4th-7th March)

With over 30 Real Ales and Ciders on offer including "Crystal Clear" brewed epically for the festival by new local brewing upstarts The Kent Brewery.

As well as all this for your audible pleasure are:

Friday 4th March  ”The Sax Pastilles”  9pm
Saturday 5th March  The Crystal Palace Community Choir 3pm
Jack Valentine’s ” Tribute to Sinatra”  8.30pm
Sunday 6th March” The Charlotte James Duo” 2pm
The Hugo Simmonds Trio 5pm
Monday 7th March “The Big Beer Band” 9pm

I have to say I'm looking forward to this and thankfully its only a short stumble home!
Hope to see you there!

Sunday, 27 February 2011

IPA Weekend

"Can" you believe it!!
By chance on my way home from work I came across Brew Dog Punk IPA 5.6% ABV in a can!! At the beer drinkers meca of UtoBeer in Borough Market.

I feel I  owe it to the (original) Punk IPA for starting my adventure in to drinking Craft Ales and Beers. I still remember excitingly buying a bottle in Tesco's, after reading an article about Brew Dog and the then UK strongest beer Tokyo* (oh how times and abv's have changed). Drinking it with a respect I'd never given to another beer before. So Punk means a lot to me.

Late last year myself and Tom M attended the battle of the Punks at The Rake, where the original Punk recipe was put up against what was then known as Punk X. Needless to say Punk X won and as such Brew Dog, in a brave decision amended their flagship beer.Adding a lot more hops and more dry-hopping aswell as  reducing the bitterness from 70 to 45 thus giving the beer a bit more balance.

This was the first time I'd had the new Punk since that night at the Rake and my first time for a craft beer in a can! It didn't disappoint all the flavours are still there, grapefruit and lychee with an toned down onslaught of the bitter after taste (due to the lower IBUs). There's something about drinking from a can that makes this beer more crisp and fresh compared to the bottled version and if this means Punk becomes more readily available and reached a wider audience then I'm all for it!

Following on from the excitement I felt like trying and comparing another IPA and had in my collection.This time from Brew Dog's American cohorts The Stone Brewing Company.

Stone Brewing Company - Stone IPA 6.9% ABV - A full bodied IPA, what we've come to expect from the American craft beer revolution. Heavily hopped given a bitter but sweet taste. Has highly herbal flavour from the dry hopping process that leads to a lovely sweet fruity after-taste. The carbonation gives the beer a crisp refreshing zing.

I've had this beer before on tap (see previous posts) and remember it having a much bigger flavour.
It's still a great IPA from one of Americas best Craft brewers, although I feel that Brew Dog's Hardcore IPA or The Kernel's IPA are better beers being bigger and brasher with their flavours.

Also sampled over the weekend was Oakham Ales - Citra 4.2% ABV. a brilliant single hopped beer. Oakham Ales where the first to brew solely with citra hops back in 2009. A crisp fruity beer with the familiar grapefruit and lychee flavours being produced from the Citra hops. A nice dry finish makes this perfect as a session beer.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Imperial Russia

So taking a leap of faith I've booked myself on an 11 day trip to Russia, taking in the cities of St Petersberg and Moscow.

Now beer isn't really what comes to mind when you think of Russia, with estimates of between 3.6 gallons to 7.2 gallons of Vodka being consumed per person per year!! (Source)
However in days gone by one of the UK's biggest exports was in fact Stout. The beer was not only popular in England but in Baltic region where it allegedly became one of the Court of Queen Catherine the Great of Russia favourite tipples, leading to a stronger version of the beer known as Imperial Russian Stout.

Shortly after I return from my own Russian adventure, another begins as a 60 ft sailing clipper sets sail off from Greenwich down the Thames, up through the Baltic to Saint Petersburg. But this boat is also carrying casks of Imperial Stout, the first to attempt such a trip for 200 years!
Holding mini beer festivals on route in Copenhagen, Stockholm, Helsinki & Tallinn on route they aim to arrive in St Peterberg on 17th June 2011. For more information check out

Sorting out flights and my visa have been trying but thankfully that's all sorted now so what better way to celebrate than with a beer!

The Kernel - Imperial Stout 12.5% ABV. Brewed to commemorate the birth of the brewer Evin's son.
The beer pours with a thick, dark jet black appearance and gives off an aroma of rich chocolate & roasted coffee, as well as the alcoholic nose. The first sip is thick and tastes lightly of smokey ash but leads to a beautiful long lasting sweet fruity flavour with a distinctly bitter & heavily alcoholic after taste.

Evin states that he hopes this beer will keep until his son is of age to drink it & wish I had bought two bottles to cellar one too! I'd love to revisit this beer after it had been matured like the Imperial Stout soon back on it's way to Russia!

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

His bark is worse than his bite

With the news that Sharps had been acquired by Molson Coors last week, people on the blogsphere began to wonder if head brewer Stuart Howe's wonderful seasonal & limited batch beers would continue. Thankfully Stuart later posted on his blog "Molson Coors are very happy for me to continue uncensored and the 12 brew project is still very much on track with two brews nearly confirmed for February". Oh if you've not already stumbled across Stuart's blog I highly recommend it.

With this news I felt it time to try out some of Sharps less well known beers...

Late last summer I took trip to Padstow a stones throw away from Sharps brewery and the millionaires play ground of Rock. Padstow has also aptly dubbed "Steinstow" after the TV chef  Rick Stine who seeming owns half of the bustling harbour town, with four restaurants and cafes. 

So when Rick challenged Stuart to create a distinctly English beer with the character, individuality and quality to stand alongside the Belgian greats. It was going to take something special.

First up was Chalky's Bite 6.7 ABV%, named in honour of Rick's dog and with the unusual addition of wild Cornish fennel added to the brew. This beer produces a lovely golden blonde appearance and with the first sip comes a bitterness with intense flavour. There's a smells of fruit & hint of spice from the fennel. Being based on a Belgian beer there's that familiar yeasty after-taste matched to the strong lingering alcohol.
Overall this is a strange beer for me, as I'm not always so keen on Belgian whitbier, but the added spice from the fennel makes this beer different and some how more interesting to drink.

Being so pleased with Bite, Rick again challenged Stuart to create another beer, so up next was Bite's successor Chalky's Bark 4.5% ABV Again with a novel ingredient this time Ginger.

Like the beer its based on it has a golden blonde appearance but this beer is a lot lighter tasting. It offers a sweet citrus flavour and is wonderfully contrasted by the ginger which gives this beer a subtle zest without being over powering like you may expect. This is defiantly a beer with beer with ginger and not a ginger beer.  This is a highly refreshing beer perfect for summer thankfully I've stashed a bottle away for just that!

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Brew Dog Q&A

Whilst out at the weekend we spotted an advert for a "Meet the Brewer" event at The Blackfriar with none other than Brew Dog. Meeting Tom in the pub we started Saturday trail, seemed a bit strange as did sinking a few pints on a Monday evening! But soon all my worries were lost after trying the previously unheard of Camden Town Brewery's Pale Ale 4.5% ABV.

As 8pm approached the bar started to empty out and we began to wonder if the event was going to be taking place. Luckily for us James Watt (Head of Stuff as his business card states) walked in and a tray of Alpha Dog was passed round. Soon realising that we were the only people actually there for the event we introduced our selves.So what was billed as Meet the Brewer became 3 guys discussing beer, football and technology.
As well as this there was the trivial topic of his beers, talking about the soon to be launched Single Hopped IPA range and a possible future release of a chilli beer he comes across a hugely passionate about his beer and the craft beer industry. Upon asking him some of his favourite breweries he lists Stone, Mikkeller & Three Flloyds. Surprisingly none of them are from the UK, not that this is a bad thing but clearly sums up James' opinion on the UK's craft beer market. With further prompting Darkstar and Thornbridge were two English breweries he preferred.

After recommending the previously blogged Rum Porter talk turned to the recently released Alice Porter & its a story. For those of you that don't know a few guys from North Bar in Leeds went to Brew Dogs brewery to make a unique beer for his wedding, naming the brew after his fiancée Alice Porter. Demand for the beer "was phenomenal" and as such Brew Dog decided to make it in limited edition seasonal beer.
James mentioned that the beer was actually on tap over the bridge at Doggetts so with the night coming to a close we headed off to try a pint.

Alice Porter 6.2% ABV slight smoky taste but not long lasting. Huge fruity flavours, dates and blackcurrant really sweeten this Porter. I've mentioned before that there's been an influx of Porters on the market but this manges distances it self from other recipes but is an amazing example of a Porter neither of us wanted to leave our glasses behind.

All in all a great evening and we hope to attend and review some more Meet the Brewer nights soon!

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Nicholson's Ale Trail

The Day Started Out Promising
Finding Tom already sipping a half of Thornbridge's Jaipur was always going to be a good start to a day.
The Blackfriar is a gem of a pub, an Art Nouveau Grade II pub built in 1905 on the site of a Dominican friary.
Unfortunately there was only one ale from the festival on tap, Thornbridge's Wild Holly 5% ABV . Drinking in the extension designed as a "snack room" makes you feel as if you're in the crypt of a cathedral. Mosaiced ceilings and effigies of friars appear all round in the pub.

Diverting from our original plan we headed to the Old Bell Tavern on Fleet Street. Another pub steeped in London's history. Having been a licensed tavern for more than 300 years. Built by Sir Christopher Wren, it housed his masons who were rebuilding St Bride's Church after the Great Fire. Again only one Festival Ale on Tap and one I'd personally been looking forward too Brew Dogs Alpha Dog 4.5% ABV with its hoppy and bitter long lasting taste. Quite a few halves were sunk whilst we waited for Jon to join us. Playing (and losing in my case) a few games of Blackjack to pass the time. Something that is rarely seen in pubs these days, the alien idea of going to a pub to play games or read.

Next up a short walk south of the rivers was Doggetts Coat & Badge, name after Thomas Doggett who issued the winner of a yearly amateur rowing race on the Thames with a coat and badge. Over looking the Thames with four floors we plumped for the bar (obviously) and this time were greeted with 3 festival ales!
Thornbridge's Hark 4.8% ABV a warming winter ale with spiced fruit & Brock 4.1% ABV a very smooth and creamy dark stout. A personal favourite from the day. As well as trying Adnams Oyster Stout 4.3% ABV which sadly wasn't that memorable.

By the time we headed toward The Old Thameside it was already dark, however upon arriving we were greeted with a dark empty pub and apparent construction notices. Luckily enough the next pub was a short walk away. The Mudlark serving another favourite Brew Dog 5am Saint (see previous post) taking advantage of the 2 meals for £10 we scoffed dinner and tried to sober up a bit! With another festival ale on the we tried a seemingly unimpressive half pint of Vale Brewery's New Dawn 4.2% ABV.

Soon we were down to two as Jon & Christine departed, moving on along the river again to The Horniman at Hays over looking  HMS Belfast on the site of an old tea warehouse owned by Frederick Horniman, a famous tea dealer. A packed bar with several festival ales on offer, deciding to sit at that bar. We quickly sought after Jersey Liberation Blonde 3.5% ABV and a disappointing half of Rudgate Jorvik Blonde 3.8% ABV. As well as Saltaire Triple Chocoholic 4.8% ABV which Tom had been recommending to me for a while and it certainly didn't disappoint. With a deep chocolate taste and a smooth finish, definitely one to look out for.
Next up were White Horse's Black Horse Porter 5.0% ABV and my beer of the day Vicious American IPA 6.0% ABV-a wonderfully hopped strong tasting beer. Not too over powering like so many other American IPA's can be.

Unfortunately because I hadn't done my homework our next two pubs turned out to be closed at the weekend!! That's the city for you. Although The Ship in Talbot Court looked like it could be an interesting place to drink. So with that and probably for the best we called it a day.

Friday, 21 January 2011

M&M Special Porter

The Rake can appear busy even when its quiet thanks to its size, but tonight the place was literally rammed. With M&M's scattered on the bar paying homage to their namesake Darkstar M&M Special Porter 6.5% ABV

This beer is brilliant, the Oak ageing of this beer leads to a lovely oaky smell, that conjures up a feeling of age and wisdom to this brew. The oaky smooth taste lingers in the mouth & the alcohol leaves a warming feeling inside. This beer is smokey yet not over powering which other porters don't always manage. With so many breweries at the moment trying to recreate this historic beer, Mark and Melissa have really managed to create something to live up to its name "special".

Also premièring tonight are M&M's "woody cousins" Mocha and Vanilla 

Unfortunately I only managed to try the Mocha -

Soft delicate creamy coffee taste with the usual dark appearance of a porter or stout. Very sweet tasting and smelling. More Porters like this should be made as I'm sure this is beer my girlfriend would love. I'm just hope she gets to try it one day!

Thursday, 20 January 2011

5 A.M. Saints

I love Brew Dog every body knows I love Brew Dog. So for me to walk into a pub and find their beer on tap is heaven for me. So 5 A.M. Saint was a welcomed surprise!

5 A.M Saint was one of the first Brew Dog beers I tried (long before this blog was started) and it tastes like a Brew Dog beer from the start; and by that I mean it packs a punch. Bitter hops mixed with fruity grapefruit but the offset is well balanced. This beer does well on cask, tastes great, layers well & generally goes down a treat. Here's to more Brew Dog's on a bar near you!

Monday, 17 January 2011

Somethings A Brewing.....

This Thursday sees the start of  Nicholsons Cask Ale Festival showcasing 40 of the best British brews available. Over the course of 10 days starting on January 20th, they'll be rotating  a range of 40 of the nation's finest real ales.

Not only this but Nicholson's are offering 2 meals for £10!
So no excuse for not soaking up all that ale!

So with all  this in mind, it'd be wrong not to attempt some sort of crazy Ale Trail.
& with over 15 pubs within a mile of each other, in the Blackfriars and London Bridge area, seems like the perfect part of town to hold it!

Sunday, 16 January 2011


Another weekend and another perfect example of why I've started this blog! Meeting up with Tom at the Market Porter opposite Borough Market on Friday night I sampled possibly the strangest beer I've tasted.

Darkstar's Winter Solstice 4.2%: Sweet smelling with a sweeter taste. Bubblegum. Bitter sweet after-taste that lingers all this but strangely moreish. Looking up the beer later I discovered that the "subtle hints of flavour and aroma come from freshly ground coriander."

We then moved on to infamous Rake around the corner. Squeezing in to the bar to try San Diego's Stone Brewing's Stone IPA 6.9%: I tend to love American IPA's and this beer didn't disappoint. A flora smelling  solid hoppy & citrus IPA.

Giving up on London Bridge we headed to Crystal Palace and my home from home The Grape & Grain. Amongst the ever changing selection on offer was Sharps Cornish Stout 4.2%. Sharp are another one of my favourite brewery's, years spent in the West Country led to Doombar becoming a firm favourite tipple. This is Sharps first commercial Stout, using Coffee Beans sourced from the Eden Project which lend to its smokey chocolate taste.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Why is the Rum gone?

I seem to blogging about every beer at the moment but Kent Brewery's - Rum Porter was just to good to forget about! Weighing in a 6.5% this was a mean porter. From the first taste I was in love, the warming rum flavour with a mild porter aftertaste before the rum came back for a final kick. Think traditional Rum and Raisin flavour and you'll know what I'm talking about.
If you come across this gem of a brew make sure to try it out, as another reviewer stated "Rum Porter 6.5% is the closest thing to Christmas in a glass as I've ever had. Simply beautiful"

Monday, 10 January 2011

The Real Kernel

A brewery that's slowly becoming one of my favourites, The Kernel Brewery based under the arches of London Bridge Station. So far they've release a number of pale ales, IPAs and dark beers since their creation just over a year ago. Other than producing great tasting beers, one thing I love about Kernel's beers is the simplistic labels, simply stating the type of beer, the hop(s) used  and the date of the brew.

This weekend I was lucky enough to sample 4 of their beers:

Having picked up 3 bottles to try on Friday:

IPA Simcoe Citra Columbus Apollo Nelson Sauvin 7.5%  - Heavily hopped, much akin to an American IPA. Bursting with citrus tones! One of the best IPAs I've ever had :)

Pale Ale Centennial / Chinook 5.3% - Pleasantly hoppy with orange & citrus bite yet with a bitter after taste. A perfectly palatable beer.

A London Porter 5.5% Pours jet black with a brown bubbling head. Has that familiar smoked, sweet fruity aroma synonymous with Porter. Flavour of roasted malts and smokey chocolate, with a fruitiness of prunes and raisins also coming through.

I then found their beers on sale at Bar Story in Peckham Rye, whilst out for a friends birthday. This time I pulmped for the:

IPA Citra 6.2%  - hoppy & citrus laden with a taste of pink grapefruit. As a friend proclaimed this is an"amazing one hop beer"

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Proper Job that is!

Having tried and failed (several times) to find the right moment to crack open my bottle of AB:04 (part of Brewdogs Abstrakt range) I finally bit the bullet on new years eve.
I'd been excited about this beer ever since James Watts (Co-Founder of Brew Dog) mentioned it at a beer tasting, an Imperial Strength Stout infused with Chocolate, Coffee & Chilli.

The beer was a hefty 15% and you could certainly feel the lingering alcohol after my first taste. Obviously the chocolate and coffee have a huge impact on this beer improving on the traditional stout flavour. The chilli on the other hand was more subtle and was only really apparent after a sometime, when the familiar tingling of my lips appeared. Overall a great full bodied Stout with some great flavours. Looking forward to trying the bottles of AB:01 & 2 I was given for xmas.

Away with the fancy ales and in line with what's becoming something of a tradition once again the New Year was welcomed with a keg!
Having seen in 2010 with a 72 pint keg of Harveys Sussex Best, 2011 was welcomed with Cornish favourite St Austall's Proper Job a fantastically fresh IPA. With 36 pints resting carefully on my Networking Bible the 36 pints were gone by morning to be replaced by hangovers and Fakeon (Veggie Bacon).
A great way to see in the New Year!
However I think I speak for all of us when I say that this image will most likey haunt me for the rest of the year!!

Saturday, 1 January 2011


So a new year begins along with my need to document my life's events.

After several boozy outings in the later half of 2010, I began a feel an urge to document these outings and the amazing beers I'd forgotten about the next morning.

So here it is: A Twenty Somethings Beer Blog!

Hopefully as the year goes on this site will become a haven for memories of nights out, pubs old a new and the beers consumed.