The Friday Pint 2016 #8 – Flying Dog Lucky Sob Irish Red Ale

As I removed the cap from the bottle it occurred to me that I probably should have saved this weeks beer for St Patrick’s Day. As it is, that thought came too late, and I now have Flying Dog’s interpretation of an Irish Red in my glass.

I’m going to come straight out here and say I’m not a fan. I like red ales, and the irish reds are amongst the best I’ve tried. It’s not so bad that I can’t drink it, yet it’s nowhere near what I wanted or hoped for when I bought the six pack.

For a start, it’s not really red enough. In fairness though, colour is irrelevant, as can be seen by the many attempts to challenge perceptions through styles such as black IPAs or white stouts. Next up, it’s too bitter. I expect a red to have more malt based flavours. It does seem to be getting better as it warms up, but first impressions count, and currently I’m not impressed enough to buy another six pack.

This is one of the problems with buying beer in quanity. If you don’t like it, or it doesn’t live up to your expectations, you have the rest to drink. That being said, I can always use a couple of bottles for making beer bread.

Next week I’ll be spending my evening at the Pittsburgh Winter Beer Festival. If signal allows I’ll be live tweeting what I’m drinking, otherwise there won’t be anything from me until Saturday, when I sum up my festival experience.

If you’re reading this back in the UK, next week is birthday week in Southampton, with The Butcher’s Hook entering its third year of business, and The Dancing Man celebrating its first anniversary. Go and pay them both a visit.


The Friday Pint 2016 #7 – The Bash is Back

Just when I thought I’d struggle to have something to write this week, some wonderful news appears on my Facebook feed…

Tickets for the fourth Birmingham Beer Bash went on sale this morning.

This year, the Beer Bash will form the conclusion of the first Birmingham Beer Week. Considering the rather limited choice when it came to beer when I first visited the city some eight years ago, the fact that there is now a week shows how far things have come.

As much as I’d like to be there this year, both time and money (and location) prevent me from being so. I do hope to be able to return at some point in the future though.

This year’s Bash runs from the 21st to the 23rd of July. Tickets can be bought here.

As before, the Birmingham Beer Bash can be liked on Facebook, or followed on Twitter.


The Friday Pint 2016 #6 – The Ever Expanding Pittsburgh Alcohol Scene.

Since moving over to the USA, most of my time has been spent in the apartment, catching up on TV series and podcasts, whilst thinking I should really be putting this time to more productive use. As much as I’d like to be visiting the many breweries and bars I’ve yet to go to, such things take money I don’t have coming in yet, and so such trips are limited.┬áThat being said, I can still read of openings, or soon to be openings, such as Wigle’s expansion into the world of cider (Threadbare Cider), and get somewhat excited.

Which leads me on to this week’s post, a list of places I’m most looking forward to visting (or visting again)…

  1. Wigle Whiskey (Distillery and Barrelhouse)

I have spent a few minutes in the Distillery shop just after Christmas last year. Members of my family┬áhave all been on the tour and told me it’s good. I’ve tried five different products from the distillery, including the award winning Organic Rye Whiskey. I’d like to spend more time there, to try more of the range, and some of the many cocktails they offer, which leads me nicely into…

2. Maggie’s Farm Rum

I’ve visited Maggie’s Farm once, way back in early 2014, whilst I was in the country on a visit. The bar was not yet finished when we popped in to buy a bottle of white rum (at that point the only product they had). The bar has long since been finished. The range has had a spiced rum (which is amongst the best I’ve tried) and queen’s share rum added to it, as well as a Pear Eau De Vie.

3. Insurrection Ale Works

Insurrection opened late last year, and following a number of positive reviews had to close to the public for a week so they could replenish their stock. They had literally been drunk dry.

Personally for me, the pale ales and IPAs didn’t excite me much. They were nice, but they’re not why I want to return to Insurrection. That would be the sour beers. A couple of which were on the menu when we visited earlier this year. From what I’ve seen posted on Facebook from them, there’s a number of beers sat in barrels, waiting for their moment to shine later this year. Hopefully, I’ll be able to try some of them.

4. Rusty Gold Brewing

Situated in Canonsburg, with plans to open by July 4th. Given the rate at which new breweries seem to be opening in the area, I’ll be surprised if this is the only new place I get to this year.

5. Arsenal Cider House

Whilst Threadbare Cider is still some months off yet, Arsenal exists now, and is nicely situated not far from Maggie’s Farm and the Church Brew Works (a brewery and restaurant set in an old church, it looks nice, you should go). I’ve wanted to visit for a while, but have yet to find the time or means.

There are many more places I could add to this list. Every time I look I seem to find a new place to visit. Even as I write this, I’ve thought of Apis Meadery in Carnegie. It feels good to live in an area with such a vast amount of production around.