The Friday Pint 2015 #11 and #12

So, I missed a week.

I’ll try not to do it again, though given how busy my life is likely to be in the upcoming months, I wouldn’t be surprised if I miss a few more weeks.

In terms of beer, last week didn’t really give me much to talk about. I had a few pints at Spoons, but nothing special enough to spend a small part of my Friday talking about.

If I’m honest, without a subject or influence, writing this post each week isn’t easy. Which is, I suppose, the point. I’m supposed to take this, and find something to write about.

I could write about the future. My friend, and soon to be Best Man, turns 30 today. Tomorrow we shall be drinking a few pints to celebrate. In just over a week, it will be my turn to turn 30. As I’ll be working, my celebrations will not be until the Maltings Festival, two weeks later.

I could also write about my upcoming marriage. The time between now and it seems to be shortening rather quickly, and there’s still a lot that needs to be done. I recently did asked around for some quotes to send my possessions over to America. It will be just over £1000 for 55 cubic feet of my stuff, which I won’t see for another 8 weeks.

It’s a situation that prompts the question, what should I keep? There are somethings that are obvious. Photographs, sentimental items that can’t be replaced, and souvenirs of one off events seem obvious.

When it comes to my music, film and TV, and book collection,  I will most likely have to sell or give some of it away. In fact, I already have been taking some of it to exchange shops or charity shops, depending on how much I can get for them. There are some things which will be automatically making it across the ocean. My Manics and They Might Be Giants collections for example. Also, any other records that mean something to me, or I think any future children I have to look after should hear.

As for my beer collection, which still takes up two shelves in my old bedroom back in Southampton, what is left will be staying. There are a few bottles which I will be keeping back for special occasions in the future, but the majority of it will be drunk before I leave. Given the quality and age of some of the beers I have left, it should be a good few months.

So, that is part of the future for me. There are also the small matters of my Dad’s 60th birthday, and the third Birmingham Beer Bash, in July. More on that at a later time.

I will be back next week, I promise.

Until then, have a great weekend.

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The Friday Pint 2015 #10 – The Big Birmingham Beer Bash Brewery Announcement Round Up Bonanza!

Hello Drinkers.

Earlier this week, on the 9th of March, a further nine breweries were added to the list of breweries attending this year’s Birmingham Beer Bash. This is in addition to the nine that were announced a month before on the 9th of February. For those of you who failed basic mathematics at school, this brings the grand total of breweries announced so far to 18.

Some of you may have spotted some sort of pattern forming there, and wondered if there might be a further announcement of another nine breweries to come on the 9th April. The best way of finding out if there is or not, is to follow the @birminghamcubed twitter feed.

If the list below wets your appetite, tickets are now on sale from here. Birmingham Beer Bash runs for four sessions (afternoon and evening) on the 24th and 25th July 2015.

Now, without further ado, and in alphabetical order, the breweries:

Note: The brewery name will link to the brewery’s website where available. Otherwise, it will link to the best available source of information for that brewery.

Atom Beers (@atombeers) – Atom Beers are based in Hull, and have been brewing since January 2014. They have eight beers in their core range. The brewery has a focus on the scientific element of brewing.

Black Iris Brewery (@BlackIrisBrewer) – Black Iris Brewery are based in Nottingham, and from the looks of the photos on their Facebook page, have recently upgraded to some shiny new brewkit.

Blackjack Brewery (@blackjackbeers) – Blackjack Brewery have been around since 2012. 2015 will once again see their beers make the trip from Manchester to Birmingham.

Burning Sky Brewery (@burningskybeer) – Another brewery returning to Digbeth. Burning Sky Brewery is based in Sussex and was established in 2013 by former Dark Star brewer, Mark Tranter.

Chorlton Brewing Co (@ChorltonBrew) – Chorlton Brewing Company are based in Ardwick, due to a lack of suitable spaces in Chorlton. They have a focus on sour beers to “expand the possibilities of what’s possible” using the four main ingredients. The beer list on their website includes an Amarillo Sour. I’m sold.

Cloudwater Brew Co (@cloudwaterbrew) – Another Manchester based brewery (Is there something in the water up north?). Their Brewery Tap launches on my birthday (4th April 2015). Unfortunately, I’ll be working. There’s a bunch of launch dates coming up around the country over the next week or so. Check out their events page for more details.

Five-Oh Brew Co (@Five_Oh_Brew_Co) – Time for a fourth brewery from the home of Corrie, The Smiths, and (so I’ve learned today) the oldest public library in the English speaking world. I can’t say what their beer is like myself, but I trust the judgement of those members of the team in charge of bringing the beer in. The @birminghamcubed tweet announcing Five-Oh’s addition to the list used the phrase “Hop Perversion”. I think that will draw in many people.

Fixed Wheel Brewery (@FixedWheelBrew) – Fixed Wheel are a new brewery based in the Black Country. One of many breweries from the local area that will be making their way to the Beer Bash this year.

Freedom Brewery (@FreedomBrewery) – Staffordshire’s Freedom Brewery return yet again to the Beer Bash. It was thanks in part to sponsorship from Freedom that we were able to put on the first Beer Bash two years ago. It’s a pleasure to welcome them back yet again.

Green Duck Brewery (@greenduckbrew) – Another Midland’s brewery, this time based in Stourbridge. Green Duck are another brewery making a welcome return to Digbeth.

Mad Dog Brewing Co (@MadDogBrewCo) – Mad Dog will be making their way to the Bash from sunny South Wales. The brewery was set up in September of last year, and started selling in October.

Magic Rock Brewing (@MagicRockBrewCo) – A name that will be familiar to attendees of previous Beer Bashes, and to followers of the British beer scene in general. Magic Rock were pretty much an instant success upon their debut and they continue to build upon that today.

Otherton Ales (@OthertonAleman) – Otherton Ales is the brewery of Beer Bash head honcho David Shipman. Those of you local to the area may have already seen some of David’s beers on the bar. As for me, I’m looking forward to being able to try some on cask, having enjoyed the bottles I’ve had.

Runaway Brewery (@runawaybrewery) – Runaway are another brewery who will be joining us from Manchester. It’s almost like Manchester doesn’t have it’s own craft beer festival. (They do. I hear it’s rather good. It takes place in October, which should give you time to recover from the Beer Bash in July)

Sacre Brew (@SacreBrew) – I got to try a couple of Sacre Brew’s beers during and after last year’s Beer Bash. I rather enjoyed what I tried, and even ended up pimping the bottles we had on the bottle bar. I’m looking forward to trying more from the Wolverhampton based brewery this year.

Siren Craft Brew (@SirenCraftBrew) – Berkshire based Siren are another brewery who, like Magic Rock before them, have quickly established themselves as a respected leader of the industry. At last years Beer Bash we had a cask of the rather delicious Odyssey 01. I’m sure there will be something just as good this year too.

Track Brewing Co (@trackbrewco) – Track Brewing are yet another new name to the British (and as it goes, Manchester) brewing scene. They began brewing late last year.

Wharfe Bank Brewery (@Wharfebank) – Wharfe Bank have been brewing since 2010 in Otley, West Yorkshire. I have had at least one beer from Wharfe Bank. It was a lager that didn’t particularly take my fancy at a pub’s beer festival late last year. Not being one to judge on just one beer from a brewery’s range, I shall be seeing what they have to offer in July.

That’s your lot for now. 18 breweries, and still at least four months between now and the festival. That’s not to say you shouldn’t book your tickets, and hotel and trains as soon as you can though. After all, the more money you can save by booking early, the more you can spend on beer when you’re actually at the festival.

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The Friday Pint 2015 #9 – Beers That William Bought Me

Whilst I was on my recent visit to America, my good friend, Will Roesch, gave me three bottles of beer he picked up on a recent visit to Missoula, Montana. The three beers all came from the Big Sky Brewing Company. I took the bottles home with me, and shared them with my dad.

The first, Moose Drool Brown Ale, wasn’t undrinkable, but then again, it wasn’t great either. There was too much carbonation for my liking, with the number of bubbles feeling like hundreds of tiny pin needles on the mouth.

The second beer, a 6.2% IPA, was more to my liking. In my notes for the beer, I wrote down the word “pine”. Unfortunately, I neglected to note down whether this is in relation to the aroma, or the taste. From the fact that I also wrote down “not enough flavour for me”, I’m going to assume it was the aroma that reminded me of pine.

The third and last beer was probably a lost cause for me from the start, given the fact that I don’t like coffee. It was Camp Robber Coffee Porter. The aroma of coffee on the beer was rather strong, as was the taste of coffee within it. I do have it on good authority from those who actually like coffee, that this beer was quite nice.

Whilst none of the beers really made me want to drink more of them, I thank Will for giving me the chance to try them. If he wants to pick me up more from somewhere else on his travels, I certainly won’t turn down the chance to try those.

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