Thursday, 3 January 2013

Giggly new year.

Rudgate Winter's Ale at 4.0% wins the privilege (dubious I know) of being my first-reviewed beer of 2013. It came as something of a surprise; I was beavering away on another project when, out of the blue, someone who is neither Addie, nor Heath, nor Mr Windy, nor anyone else you know, said: "Let's go for a pint."

Now, as you know I'm not usually one for a drink, but far be it from me to cause anyone offence. I reluctantly pulled on my coat and off we went.

And what a session it was! We worked our way along every pump at the bar (there are six, each with a guest ale ready to spring forth and satiate one's raging thirst). The consequence of this was a hard stare from Mrs Nam when I got home, giggling and needing to visit the men's room. Again.

Rudgate was my favourite of the bunch. A classic winter ale as advertised, medium dark and malty, with some sort of spicy thing going on in the background. Inoffensive and enjoyable, we had two of these. 7 out of 10. Hic! Happy new year!

Now if Addie ever returns, I might even buy him one.


Monday, 31 December 2012

Les Deux Alpes

Sidde for some reason thinks its the end of the year, so there is no time to review any beer. He is, of course, wrong.

So after a day out skiing, we are sat in a bar drinking foreign beer. This is of course lager, as none of the tasty ale is available

In these days of modern technology (Siddie can explain this) I can review this insipid, but no hanger inducing, lager. So due to the fact I had a skin full last night, and this morning I was fine, this scores a 4 out of ten. It's fizzy tasteless and boring. I don't know what it is, apart from foreign lager...

Siddie Reviews the Beer Year

It's been a while, due to other projects, since I've posted anything. I thought I'd better provide an update. Why? Well, while I'm grateful to Addie for holding the fort, it's not easy to continuously tolerate his weird and wonderful application of our Western Germanic Latin-scripted mother tongue. In fact, I doubt if Addie would even know what the last few words of my last sentence mean.

Since I haven't posted for a bit, I thought a beer-fuelled review of 2012 might be in order. Where are the highlights to be found?

The people
To start us off, let's think about who we've met this year. There is myself, of course -- Siddie Nam -- your despairing host and senior editor, determined to uphold standards of literacy and to promote care, attention, knowledge and consistency when reviewing the various beers we've encountered. It's been an utter failure of course, but what can one do? This is why I operate a blog and not a national newspaper.

However, my not-very-trusted lieutenant Addie Stone has to be commended at least for his work-rate. He produces blog after blog of beer fuelled diatribe, so at least there's content for you to read. It's not content you'd want to read, but, well. He tries his best. I should mention that he doesn't believe me that British English speakers pronounce lieutentant as "lef-tenant" -- but that's because his command of our native idiom is drawn primarily from American feature films featuring fighting, explosions and bad sex.

Heath Roe, our third contributor, contrasts nicely with Addie in the sense that he has contributed precisely two articles to the blog in its entire lifetime. Where Addie is a workaholic but illiterate demon, Heath is a literate and poetic scriber, who has mastered the written word. Of course you'll have to to trust me on this, since being one hundred per cent bone idle, I have no evidence to offer you that might back up my argument. Sorry.

Other friends of the blog include Mr Windy, master of his own destiny, and random Guinness drinker, and Nobby Northerner, who likes a real ale but really only visits us in London (home of Siddie and the Beer Monsters) once in a blue moon. All must surely feel like old friends. Or not. It really depends how interested you are in any of this.

The beers of the year
I've been reviewing the year's blogging, and one clear winner in the taste and enjoyment stakes stands out: Let me announce now that the Siddie Nam and the Beer Monsters beer of the year is the Hog's Back's Brewery's TEA (The English Ale). It's just super, and from one of the larger breweries we encounter it's just a standout great beer. If you get it from a decent pub that knows how to look after its ales, you are guaranteed a decent drink and I absolutely recommend it. We've encountered it a fair bit, but for a couple of our musings on it, see HERE and HERE.

TEA is one of the biggies, of course, but it's important to showcase the lesser known delights. I think a standout favourite for the year is Mighty Oak Brewery's Juggernaut. It's one of their "Specials", so might be hard to get, but let me tell you now this was universally appreciated by the well informed crowd of beer swilling reprobates who Addie and I are forced to drink with. And they use Maris Otter malt, too -- technical stuff, so I'll let you look that up for yourself. Silly branding, Mighty Oak -- that's the only real failing with this lovely brew. Here's what we said about it (and HERE too!).

There were loads of other goodies -- but the best way to learn about them, of course, is to read the blog. Obviously!

Brewery of the year
The hands-down winner of this was Sambrook's in London. Why? because they let us visit them, plied us with loads and loads of brilliant beer (Wandle and Junction being just two fine examples from their terrific range), and put up with Heath's nonsense while telling us all about their brewery and the processes involved. We had an awesome time there, and we cannot thank them enough for their excellent hospitality. Nice one guys! We wrote about them HERE and HERE.

Event of the year
Well, you have to love CAMRA's Great British Beer Festival. We went, and drunk gallons of beer, reviewing each as we went along using just five words. Scientific? No. Fun? Oh my word yes! Start HERE and follow along chronologically to read our reviews of the event.

Was it a great beer year? Well, we had a drink didn't we? So... YES! 

Happy 2013 everyone, and to especially all the great breweries and beermakers who've played their part -- keep up the good work.

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Lazy Sunday

It's Sunday, my family are away, so I have no responsibilities today. What should I do? Well visit a good pub and have a couple of beers.

Today I am visiting my brothers bar, I won't mention the name as Siddie and I have agreed not to. But here I am having my favourite beer TEA, and yes my brother has looked after it and it is lovely (unlike the one I had yesterday in a chain pub). No need to score it as I have already done so, but thank you Hogsback brewery for producing a fine well rounded ale.

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Training

I've had a week on a training course with a wee Scotsman. We did manage (after the course) to nip into a bar and try the local beer, along with a friendly chat about the coursework of the day (beer talk is more interesting).

We has a pint of Gravitas by the Vale Brewing company at 4.8%. This was much too zesty for my tastes and even after my first mouthful, I was wishing I had had something else. 4 out of 10 from me.