The Friday Pint 3 #10 – Back Again

I said at the start of the year that this year’s Friday Pint would focus mainly on local beer. As a result, it probably won’t surprise many of you who are regular readers of these posts that I am back in The Platform Tavern.

As I  currently write, I have beside me a half drunken pint of a new beer (to me at least) from the Dancing Man Brewery, a beer named “Respect Your Elders”. It’s not an undrinkable beer. Indeed there are many qualities to it which are rather nice, the tropical fruit aftertaste, for example. As an overall experience though, it’s the first new beer in quite sometime from here which hasn’t made me immediately want another. As I always try to point out whenever I’m not too keen on a beer though, your tastes will be different to mine. You may very well love this beer, so try it yourself and make your own mind up.

Also on the bar today is DNA, a brown ale brewed with marmalade which, along with Big Casino is my go to of the more regular brews when there isn’t a new brew to try.

On the subject of new brews, we are now just five weekends away from the second Birmingham Beer Bash. Tickets are available from the website now, a link to which you can find at the top of the sidebar to the right of this post. I had a quick runthrough of the announcements so far on the first Mixlr show (check the last Friday Pint for that). Over the next few weeks I’ll be aiming to record a few previews, similar to the preview posts I did last year, which I will also be doing again this year. I also hope to be able to do a show live from the Bash itself, talking to as many people as I can in the hour.

I now have a pint of the previously mentioned DNA beside me. It tastes as good as DNA does. In the restaurant part of the pub, a wedding party is going through the cake cutting part of things. It doesn’t seem like a bad place to have a wedding reception, though The Wool House seems like it will be even better.

On the subject of The Wool House, progression is being made. The kit is in storage, ready to be installed, and the end (or the beginning) is almost in sight. As soon as I know the opening date, I shall let you know. Alternatively, you can follow @dancingmanbrew on Twitter for more information.

Next week I shall be returning to Chiswick, for a long overdue return to The Mawson Arms. Until then, have a good weekend. (19851)

The Friday Pint 3 #9 – Wales

A couple of weeks ago (the second May Bank Holiday, if anyone wants me to be more exact), I spent a couple of days in Cardiff with my fiancee. Naturally, I took the opportunity to visit a few bars and in keeping with this year’s Friday Pint focus, drink some local beers. I also picked up a number of bottles, some of which I shall be covering in this post.

The first place we visited for a beer was The City Arms, a pub that I had visited before, though not since it’s redevelopment. When I last visted, The City Arms had (if memory serves right, it probably doesn’t) only around 3 or 4 cask pumps. Now it has at least double, plus a couple of keg lines serving beers from the Brain’s Craft Brewery range.

I like The City Arms for a number of reasons. For starters it has a good beer range, which should always be the case in any good pub, whether they stock one beer, or one hundred beers, if the quality is there, I’m already halfway to being won over. Secondly, it’s in the city centre, but it doesn’t feel like it. If you’re approaching it from the city centre’s main shopping area, the fact it’s situated at the end of a side street makes it feel slightly out of the main “hustle and bustle” (not that Cardiff really has “hustle and bustle”). Thirdly, it feels like a pub.

Which is more than can be said for the Urban Tap House, Tiny Rebel’s Cardiff bar, which is literally just across the road from The City Arms (and I use literally in it’s literal definition there). I like the Urban Tap House, and I really like Tiny Rebel’s beers, but if I had to choose between the two bars to spend an afternoon or evening, The City Arms would be the winner. If money was no object however, I would certainly be spending some of my time working through those fridges in the Urban Tap House.

One place which only came to my attention due to it’s twitter account saying it was playing Manics songs on the day of the band’s Cardiff show back at the end of March is The Gravity Station, a bottle shop/tasting bar not far from the Cineworld and Motopoint Arena.

The Gravity Bar is owned by The Waen Brewery, and has a good selection of Welsh beers available to buy in bottle, alongside some from further afield. There is also around 6 draft beers available to drink in the shop. It was from here that I bought most of the bottles I came home with. A few more were bought from Wally’s Delicatessen.

In Good Morning… tradition, I’m now going to open a few of those bottles and continue writing this post as I go along.

First up into the glass is Waen’s Landmark, a beer which instantly made a good impression as I lifted the glass to my mouth. The aroma is the kind of fruity aroma that I’ve not had from a beer in quite a while. Tastewise, the first thing I got was peach, then sherbert, before finally bitterness. After a few more mouthfuls, that good first impression has been followed by slight disappointment, as none have been as good as that first taste. That being said, Landmark is still a beer that I’d drink again.

Following the Landmark into the glass is another Waen beer, Janner’s Pride, described on the bottle as a “Conker coloured best bitter with hints of ginger and whiskey”. It’s the first time I’ve seen conker used as a colour reference. When held up to the light, I’d argue it’s lighter than a conker, yet without light shining through it, they could be onto something.

Aroma wise it certainly smells “brown”, if that makes sense. It has a mix of burnt and caramel malt aromas that sometimes feature in the more malt focused beers. Tastewise, so far, it is failing to live up to the promise of that bottle label description. I have a suspicion that had I not read that, and was trying this blind, that I might have a differing opinion to the one I have now.

Next I’m moving on to the Brain’s Craft Brewery range. I have two bottles that I’ll be opening, and tried a few more whilst in Cardiff. The first bottle for this post is Brabo, a Belgian style pale ale.

I have to say, I rather like this. It’s not something I’d drink a lot of, butit’s certainly something I’d drink and suggest others try. It’s also a beer that could be used to introduced new drinkers to a wider ranger of beer. There’s a light biscuity sweetness in the taste, which makes the beer rather moorish. (The beer was brewed with beer writer Des de Moor, so I suppose you could say it was Des de Moorish if you wanted to make cheap puns, which I don’t so I won’t, but the option is there).

The second Brain’s Craft Brewery beer is Bragging Rights, a braggat style beer. The beer is brewed with honey, nutmeg, coriander, black pepper, cloves, cinnamon and ginger, all of which combine to give a beer which is by far my favourite of the night so far. The sweetness of the honey makes this a beer that can easily be shared with people who are usually put off by the bitterness of other beers.

The only other braggat style beer I’m aware of, is the one brewed by the Blue Anchor in Helston Cornwall. It’s a style I rather like, and it’s one I’d reccomend to any beer drinker.

To hear what I thought about the last two beers I picked up from Wales (from The Celt Experience), you can listen to the first Mixlr show here

Show links

Birmingham Beer Bash

Boak and Bailey’s Blog

Ronald Pattinson’s Blog (3177)

The Somewhat Late Post Fulfilling A Couple Of Obligations

A while back I was offered (and eventually accepted) free beer, in exchange for a mention in a blog post. A few weeks ago, I wrote the following whilst in a pub, with the intention of posting it when I returned home later in the day.

I bought a bunch of beer from Wales when I was in Cardiff earlier this week, so expect that as a Friday Pint soon. Tickets for the Beer Bash are still on sale, and you should totally buy one, because that’s what awesome people do, and you are awesome, aren’t you?

Anyway, here’s the post…


Beer, the great lubricator of the mind, he types, as he sits, writing about himself whilst sat drinking a pint of Pilgrims Pale Ale in The Platform Tavern. In the near or perhaps distant future, a reader will take in his words, wondering why he has chosen to write the post in this way, and whether or not he’ll be able to continue referring to himself in the third person until the end of the post.

As a narrative voice, in this blog post about the experiences of a man they call Mr. David J, I would like to take you back a couple of months. David was offered a free case of beer, in exchange for mentioning The e-mail sat in his inbox until David also recieved an e-mail offering a free case of beer in exchange for mentioning (That fulfils my obligation right?). David had a thought. He could take both companies up on their offer, and use the experiences of the delivery, communication, and packaging, in s comparative blog post.

To start with, a brief comparison of online beer shops, and high street beer shops. Online Beer Shops can be great. They can offer a great selection of beers that otherwise wouldn’t be available to you. High street beer shops on the other hand, are often more limited in what they can offer, but what they can offer is an opportunity to study the products, and actually talk to people about them, people who could give you reccomendations based on personal experience, rather than the experience of an algorithm that remembers that people who bought Fenwick’s Mousetrapper also bought Perry Tate’s IPA.

One of my main deterrences from using online beer stores is the reliability of delivery companies. This is, some would say, not the fault or responsibility of the online retailer, however, if there were a significant number of issues with deliveries, the retailer would be hard pushed not to consider changing their choice of deliver.

In the case of, Lode seemed like a very nice guy to deal with, and the range and prices of the beers on the website seemed reasonably fair. The one thing that would put me off using the site to order some more beer, is the fact that the UK side of the delivery is handled by Yodel. A company who I have yet to actually recieve a delivery on the day I actually expect it.

Admittedly it would be unfair to place blame on Yodel or Lode due to the confusion that took place over which address to send the package to. Regardless of what mistakes were made, it’s still Yodel, and I still try to avoid Yodel where I can.

Moving onto a physical retailer, Bitter Virtue in Southampton is probably my go to shop for beer these days, especially as it’s a good source for local beers from breweries like Dancing Man, Vibrant Forest, and Bowman’s Ales. Compared to some other physical retailers, some of it’s prices can be slightly higher. This would matter if I was reguarly travelling to where other retailers were anyway, which at the moment, I’m not.

Despite it’s size, Bitter Virtue has an extensive beer list that continues to grow, and as it’s not in a trendy part of the beer world, it can often be possible to still pick up the sought after hyped beers (Unhuman Cannonball for example) without having to be hitting F5 at 8:30 on the day of release.

One shop that can fit into both physical and online retailer is Teign Cellars in Newton Abbot. Prior to heading down there for this years Maltings Festival, I looked at their website to see what they had. The prospect of Wild Beer’s Ninkasi Premier Cru at around £2 a bottle less than I would pay for it at Bitter Virtue appealed to me a lot..

I went to the Teign Cellars pub (on which the bottle shop is located, in fridges, down the steps to your left as you enter), expecting to find some there. I was out of luck. I bought some Modus Operandi and Sourdough anyway and sought about the best way of obtaining the beer I craved. (Ninkasi Premier Cru, for those who have yet to experience it, is like Ninkasi, only ten times better. For those who have yet to experience Ninkasi, it’s like your favourite beer, only ten times better).

I later discovered that I could have preordered what I wanted and collected it at the store, rather than have it delivered to me for the £9.95 (or however much it is, the point is, I could have avoided the delivery charge, making the beer cheaper. As it was, each bottle still worked out around 50p cheaper than Bitter Virtue).

The problem with the Teign Cellars online store, is that there are some bottles that are listed as being in stock, that were actually out of stock. To the companies credit, they did offer me alternatives, and the communication was adequate.

One problem I had with all three retailers, is that none of them offered me a tracking number by default. Lode of did tell me that as my delivery was seperate from the system, I didn’t recieve an e-mail informing me of my tracking number (which he supplied to me). Neither Beer52 or Teign Cellars supplied me with a tracking number.

Did I mention earlier how I’m hesitant to order beer online due to the reliability of some delivery companies?

Onto my fourth and fifth retailers of the post, Stirchley Wines and Cotteridge Wines. Two shops that are within walking (ten minutes) distance of each other, so really, if you’re visiing one, it’d be rude not to visit the other. It would be easy of me to lend bias towards Stirchley WInes and Krishan, given that he is one of the Birmingham Beer Bash team (Tickets to the festival now available from here), but really, I’d be letting you down if I didn’t tell you to visit both.

There are some beers that Cotteridge stock that Stirchley don’t, and vice versa. Likewise, there are some beers that are cheaper at Stirchley than they are at Cotteridge, and vice versa. With the two shops within close proximity, it makes sense to go between the two and try to get the best deal for yourself.

Last but not least, the other company who offered me free beer. Beer 52 isn’t an online store as such. It’s a subscription service that you can cancel at anytime.

I must admit, that I was skeptical when I first recieved the e-mail. Then I read around, and recieved the box, which contained 8 beers that I hadn’t tried before for just £24 including postage. The beers were well packaged, along with an A5 four page guide to each bottle, including details on the beer, the brewery, and what foods to pair it with.

If it wasn’t for the fact that I have to worry about being in when the delivery comes, Beer52’s service would be rather tempting to me. As it is, I probably won’t be subscribing anytime soon, but don’t let that put you off. £24 for a box of 8 beers is a rather reasonable price.

And so there it was. He finished his little review and returned back to the third person, having completely failed to maintain writing the post in the style throughout. Join us next time intrepid reader, when we shall be exploring the world of whatever happens between now and then, or maybe something else. and both sent me free beer in exchange for a mention on this blog. Visit them, don’t visit them, google them to see what others are saying. Have a nice weekend.


Edit: Since writing this post, I’ve been made aware that some people have been unhappy with the way that Beer52 is run, in particular when it comes to cancelling a subscription. As I was not part of the subscription process I can’t comment from personal experience, though it is easy to find other people’s complaints if you search around. (4877)

The Friday Pint 3 #8 – Drinking and Driving on the Kessel Run

I’ve probably misspelt Kessel Run, and you probably “fly the Kessel Run”, rather than drive it. Frankly, I don’t really care. I never did like Star Trek anyway, so quite why there’s a “Star Trek Day” this weekend, I don’t know.

Still, it would be an excuse to drink a can of Vulcan Ale, or Klingon Warnog, if you had one…

Closer to home (for me at least), the South Western Arms in St Denys are holding their beer festival this weekend. I went on Thursday night. There’s nothing quite as exciting as the beers on offer in Copenhagen this weekend, but that doesn’t mean there’s some mighty fine and tasty beers on offer.

I started with Dark Star’s Hophead, as I like Hophead, and finished with Bingham’s Vanilla Stout, as I seemed to recall liking the Vanilla Stout when I drank it from the bottle. Turns out I like it on cask too.

As for future times (assuming you are reading this before the events take place), Tickets for this year’s Birmingham Beer Bash are still on sale, you should go and buy one, or two, or a bunch… (4830)

The Friday Pint 3 #7 – Maltings Fest!

Last weekend, the annual Maltings Festival took place in Newton Abbot. I was there for three of the four sessions. What follows is the unedited text written during the Friday afternoon session…


As I sit here, writing this introduction to the blog post you are now reading, it is just approaching ten minutes past eleven, on Friday the 25th April. The second session of the Maltings Beer Festival in Newton Abbot is underway, and beside me I have two half pint glasses, filled with beers from the Quantock Brewery.

Quantock’s Wills Neck is the beer that recieved the honour of winning overall first prize in the SIBA southwest region competition, which was judged on the Thursday afternoon. As it sold out last night, whilst I was enjoying the beers from Rebel, Art Brew and Bristol Beer Factory, I have to try their beers without trying that.

The Nightjar, which came 3rd in the bitter category, seems like an okay, inoffensive bitter. To me there’s no wow factor, but it’s not undrinkable either. It’s a beer that sits in that vast middle category of existing. It’s a category that contains the beers that I’ll often know I’ve tried, but have no memory of what it’s like.  In comparison, White Hind seems much more like the sort of bitter I enjoy.. There’s a nice caramel note and sweetness that’s complemented well by  the bitterness. It’s unlikely I’ll be going back for more tomorrow, but over a session in a pub, I wouldn’t object to drinking a few.

The last Quantock beer for this session is named Ginger Cockney. It does have a ginger taste to it, though unlike other ginger beers I’ve tried, that taste fades all too quickly, leaving no hint or clue that you’ve just sipped a beer with ginger in it at all. In many ways, this can be seen as a good thing. The Ginger Beer that Brodies made a few years ago was nice, but the ginger was so strong that the beers that followed it were marred by the lingering gingerness.

(As an aside, “The Lingering Gingerness” seems like a good nickname for someone, if only I knew someone with ginger hair who stuck around a bit too long. )

The next brewery for today is the one that has had the least distance to travel, with their beers being brewed on the same site, thus making it perfect for this year’s Friday Pint focus of local beers. Teignworthy Brewery have four beers here today, Reel Ale, Amys Ale, Pippa’s Pint and Imperial Russian Porter, which came 1st in the Premium Strong Beer category.

For those wondering what the time is, it’s just gone ten to twelve. If you’re wondering what the time is where you are right now, I’m afraid I can’t help you with that. Do you not have a clock or watch you can look at? The device you’re using to read this should have the time on, unless someone has printed this out for you, or you have printed it out for yourself, and you are reading it elsewhere.  If you’re reading this in the far future, do they still have printers where you are? Have you cured cancer yet, or are you busy spending your money on developing time travel?

Back to beer, and cheese. Friday is market day in Newton Abbot, and so earlier I bought two pieces of cheese to consume alongside the many beers I’ll be drinking today. What were those cheeses you are probably thinking right now. I can’t remember their names, I would reply to you, but one, the one I am nibbling on right now, is made with ale and mustard.  I’m not a fan if I’m honest. I’ve had much nicer ale based cheeses, and much nicer mustard based ones.

As for the beer, I’ve kicked off the Teignworthys with Reel Ale. Either my nasal receptors have gone or it smells of nothing. The taste isn’t much either. It’s not an awful, undrinkable beer, but it doesn’t really inspire a string of poetic adjectives either.

It’s the turn of the two girls next, Pippa and Amy. Visually, they both look alike (Is there such a thing as a beer equivilent of racism?). Aromawise, they’re both very similar to the Reel Ale. (This isn’t boding well. I don’t mind beers of this style, but I’ve already had a number of bitters today, thankfully, I have the imperial russian stout to come next.).  Tastewise, my receptors are giving off a resounding “meh”. There are differences between the two, but after a string of bitters, be it in best, standard or premium form, I’m ready for something else now.

Whilst I  drink these two beers, I shall give you a description of what’s going on around me. I am in the tent outside, sat down at a table. I am one of those who got here early enough to claim a chair and table. Across from me are a couple who have travelled up from Plymouth. On the table next to us, a group of men, ranging from late 20s/early 30s to late 30s/early 40s have come prepared, with bread, fruit, pies, and crisps adoring the table. A constant flow of people ebb in and out of the tent, returning with beer or sometimes food from one of the two vans adjacent to the tent. A loud mumur fills the tent. Occasionally a laugh is heard. It’s difficult to focus in on one of the many conversations happening simultaneously. As I approach my third hour of my second session, I start to ponder what my third brewery of focus will be. Arbor and Moor are on the hitlist, then there’s Tavy, who’s Porter came 1st in it’s categpory, and 2nd overall.

After “finishing” the bitters, I’ve now moved on the the Imperial Russian Porter. A beer much more to my taste, and one that I’ve decided to accompany with some chocolate drops from Merry Berry Chocolates. The Ecuador and Costa Rica go rather well with a dark 10.5% beer. The beer is my favourite of the day so far. This is probably unsurprising, given that imperial stouts and porters are one of my favourite styles of beer.

Where I am, right now at the time of writing, it’s approaching 13:30. Outside the tent a number of grey clouds are gathering over the festival, and a group of Morris Dancers are Morris Dancing, with crowds of people inexplicably watching them. On the table beside me now is a half of Tavy Best Bitter, and a half of Tavy Ideal Pale Ale. The best doesn’t seem too bad,. At the very least it’s not making me think “oh god, not another best bitter”. The Ideal Pale Ale seems like a nice beer, though the choice of hops clearly aren’t to my liking. It certainly makes a nice change to a run of bitters though. Outside it has started raining. The soft sotherners are all moving inside the tent, making it much more crowded. On the plus side, it will have stopped the morris dancers. It has certainly got a lot darker than it was when I arrived.

Having just stepped outside, I’m going to say it’s actually not that bad. Sure, it is raining, but it’s nowhere near as bad as it sounds. If the rain has done anything, it’s made the festival seem much more busier than it actually is. That murmur that was referred to earlier is somewhat louder. I now sit here drinking a mix of “proper” lemonade and sparkling water. An arguably much needed and required break following the nine beers I’ve just had. I have the porter left to try from Tavy Ales, and then, I think one more brewery before I call it a day at the festival and head towards the Teign Cellars.

Back to now (14:30 for those keeping record), and it’s the turn of Tavy Porter. A rather delightful beer that has provoked the return of the chocolate buttons purchased earlier. Chocolate and stout/porter go well together. Deliciously well. I will say that I’ve enjoyed the dark beers much more than I have the bitters today.

Brewery number seven of the weekend is Moor Beer, and I’ve started with the rather lovely Nor’hop. A beer in the Best category that I’m tempted to go back to. It’s tropical and fruity, but it’s not overtly strong in  flavour or bitterness. Something I found I wasn’t really enjoying last night. If anything, it’s nice to be drinking a pale bitter beer that I don’t feel like disposing of into the grass beside me, as I have done with a couple of the beers mentioned earlier within this post.

Outside it has stopped raining, and things certainly seem a lot brighter now.A number of people have returned to the outside world, making the tent and the maltings much easier to move around in. I’m finishing this session with Moor Beer’s Dark Alliance. A beer that appropriately has coffee in the description, as it also does in the taste. As I’m not a fan of coffee, it is much more likely that I’ll come across a beer like this that I won’t particuarly enjoy than it is one that I will. This is a beer that falls into the former category. For people who do enjoy coffee, I can see this being a beer that they would enjoy, but for a non coffee lover like me, it’s a poor end to a session full of average beers.

As for now I’m going to walk up to the Teign Cellars and load my bag with cheap (compared to Bitter Virtue) Wild Beer Ninkasi and other such beer. I’ll be back here tomorrow, to finish off the Moor and drink whatever else takes my fancy.


So that was Friday. I didn’t end up buying the Ninkasi (I have since mail ordered it though, along with some others).

A few points to note surrounding upcoming events. The Rockstone’s Cider Festival, which was scheduled to be held last weekend is now scheduled to be held at the end of May (30th May – 1st June).

This weekend in Southampton sees the South Western Arms (right next to St Denys station, and about a 10-15 minute walk to/from The Butchers Hook) hold their May Bank Holiday Beer Festival, from Friday 2nd to Sunday 4th May.

That’s your lot for this week. Please return in the future, at some point, even if it’s just as a brain transported into a spiderlike robot. I’d prefer it if it were sooner though.

Thank you for reading. (4835)

The Wool House – Southampton’s Soon-to-be Latest Pub!

Southampton is getting a new pub!

As posted on the Platform Tavern’s Facebook page approximately two hours ago, a panel of six councilors voted unamiously in favour of Dancing Man Brewery’s plans for The Wool House building.

They hope to open doors at some point in July. I’m hoping that it doesn’t clash with the Birmingham Beer Bash. If it does I’ll be making my way down at the first opportunity.

Today is a good day for the people of Southampton. (1972)

The Friday Pint 3 #6 – Festivals Galore

A bit of a different approach to The Friday Pint this week, with me using it to promote a few events happening this weekend, next weekend, and in the future.

Firstly, Happy Easter everybody. As it’s a bank holiday weekend in the UK, there’s a good chance there’s a beer festival of some size somewhere near you (if you’re reading in the UK).  I’m working this weekend, so won’t be able to get to any of them, but here’s what I’d consider if I wasn’t…

The Brodies Bunny Basher festival is worth a visit if you’re in or near (or willing to travel to) the Leytonstone end of London. Chances are this is where a number of the countries beer geeks will be this weekend, so like previous years, it will get busy.

If I’m honest, making the trek to East London from Slough doesn’t really appeal to me, as much as the chance to savour a glass of Elizabethan does, I don’t think I could be bothered with navigating tube trains and buses on an Easter weekend.

The Platform Tavern Easter Cider and Blues Festival, and The Rockstone Easter Beer Festival in Southampton would involve a just as long (timewise) journey, and would probably be enjoyed by myself much more.

Next weekend The Rockstone have a Cider festival of their own, which is possibly where I’ll end up on the Sunday, after spending the previous three days at the Maltings Beer Festival in Newton Abbot.

Last year was the first time I went to the festival, and I was won over by the quality and condition of the beer available (perhaps a result of the festival being SIBA’s South West beer competition). This year I have yet again booked the whole weekend down there, and plan on following a similar approach to last year, where I worked my way through breweries.

As for my tip for the overall competition winner, I’d bet on Rebel Brewery’s Mexi-Cocoa if there was a book running on it.

As for the future, it’s about time I mentioned this year’s Birmingham Beer Bash on here. Tickets for individual sessions are now available here.

Whilst I’m part of the organizing team, I’m not part of the much smaller part of that team in charge of organizing and revealing the exciting line up of beers, food and fringe events that we have this year. There’s some returning favourites from last year, including Wild Beer, Siren, Thornbridge and Magic Rock, alongside some breweries making their beer bash debut. The full list of breweries can be found here.

In terms of food, the only announcement so far has been that of The Original Patty Men. Last year they sold out within the first hour of each session they were serving at, and with good reason. Their burgers were very, very nice. I’m certainly looking forward to getting to have another this year.

As well as great beer and food, the Bash also has some great fringe events lined up, information about which will be revealed via the festival’s social media feeds on Facebook and Twitter.

I’ll be doing a similar preview to the Bash as I did last year closer to the event. As for now, I’m going to try and keep myself awake. Until the next time reader… (2391)

Black and Tan Experiments # something, I’ve absolutely no idea and can’t really be bothered to go back and find out

It’s been a while since I last did one of these. I think this may be number 19 or 20, or even 21. In the grand scheme of things it doesn’t really matter. Unless one of you is keeping score out there, in which case this is the first post of series two, which is actually series one from a new production crew, for budget reasons and such.

I could waffle on for ages, but lets get down to business. Last week, whilst we were at The Platform Tavern, conversation led to Sadler’s Ales Mud City Stout and Bristol Beer Factory’s Southville Hop. Both of them are awesome beers which I absolutely love individually. I can’t remember how they came to be referenced individually, or which one came first, but it wasn’t long before the idea of mixing the two came about.

I have to say that the balance I had as I started writing this post (about half and half), is good, but it isn’t really better than the individual parts. Moving the balance towards the stout end doesn’t really work either, nor does switching the bias towards the Southville Hop.

Some would say that the lesson to be learned here is just because you can try to mix and blend beers doesn’t mean you should. However, if you don’t at least try first, it’s very difficult to know what works and what doesn’t. Mud City Stout and Southville Hop don’t work.

They’re still awesome beers on their own though. I encourage you to track them down and try them. Seriously.


The Friday Pint 3 #5 – Happy Birthday To Me

So, here I am again. To clarify for those who read the post earlier in the week without realising what day it was, it was an April Fool. I am very much still drinking beer, as I’m doing right now (Bingham’s Vanilla Stout), and the last couple of days.

As you might have guessed, or assumed from the title of this post, it’s my birthday this week, today in fact. Unfortunately I have work tomorrow (and don’t want to use holiday I’ll want to use later in the year), and so I’m not able to go out drinking with those I’d normally go drinking with, which is why all of that happened yesterday.

Granted, for the most part of the day, it was just me, progressing through Southampton on a somewhat unintended pub crawl, taking in The Rockstone, The Junction, The South Western Arms, The Butchers Hook, and finally The Platform Tavern. They may be rather spread out, but Southampton actually does have some good pubs in and around it.

The highlights of yesterday’s little adventure were the last two stops. The Butchers Hook was, bar the one customer already in, empty. As a result I was able to take a seat and look around. The ceiling is “tiled” with old (and I mean old, many of them look much older than me) beer mats. It’s the sort of place where you could probably noticed something new each time you go in.

The only real problem I have with The Butchers Hook is that it’s somewhat of a trek for me to visit. It’s a trek that I’ll be making when I can, but it won’t be anywhere near as often as it would be if I lived closer to it. For those wondering, the beer I drank whilst there was Burning Sky’s Aurora. I enjoyed it, but wasn’t bowled over by it. I have seen others say good things about it though, so it’s probably best you try it yourself and make up your own mind.

The final stop, and my favourite, for many reasons, was The Platform Tavern. It was here that I was joined by my good friend Chris. Over the course of our session here, we enjoyed Pilgrim’s Pale Ale on draught, followed by 16 Tonne Stout and Pole Axed in bottle.

Long time readers of this blog may recall me raving about Pole Axed in the past. It’s one of only two Citra hopped beers (the other being a Kernel IPA) that I’ve really enjoyed. Every other Citra hopped beer (that I can remember) has made me feel that the hop is rather overrated. The bottle I had last night rekindled my love affair with the beer, to the point where I’ll be buying several bottles of the stuff when it goes on sale in Bitter Virtue.

I could easily rave about Pole Axed all night, however there are two other beers that need some time. Pilgrim’s Pale Ale tasted the best I’ve had it, possibly ever. It’s not really a beer that gets me excited, but it is a beer that I enjoy that can be drunk as a session beer, something which can’t really be said for Pole Axed. The 16 Tonne Stout (a chilli chocolate stout) also tasted good. The balance was, for me, much more enjoyable that the last time I had it on draught, when the chilli was a bit too strong.

To finish the evening (and this post), the first bottle of Jelly Baby Massacre 2 was opened. In my opinion it is a tad on the sweet side. I definitely over compensated when I was adding jelly babies to the boil. It’s still an enjoyable beer, and thinking about it, would probably make a good basis for an ice cream float.

As for now, I’m still drinking that Bingham’s Vanilla Stout. It’s somewhat disapointing in comparison to Bingham’s regular stout, which I rather enjoyed. It doesn’t really taste of vanilla, not even a hint. Once I finish this it’s a choice of Mud City Stout or Southville Hop. Alternatively, I save those for a mixing experiment and enjoy the Bourbon County I have on the shelf.

It is my birthday after all… (854)

An announcement

Since starting my beery journey I’ve had some great and memorable moments. I’ve made some great friends, tried some great beers, and visited places I wouldn’t have done otherwise because of beer.

The problem is though I’ve become bored of beer. I no longer wish to talk about it, write about it, or even drink it. It is with that in mind that I have considered the future of this blog. It shall remain as is, however I will be handing over the reigns of beer blogging to guest bloggers, whilst I shall be starting a voyage of discovery down the road of non beeryness.

I hope that you will continue to read this blog, and I thank you for the time you have given it in its short life so far. (667)