Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Being at home

While the summer holidays continue for fellow beer blog contributors (which essentially means Addie is continuing his habitual idleness, just in a different place) I thought I'd have a little look at some of the bottled treats now available in most of the big name supermarkets.

These days, there is certainly more on offer than I recall from my more youthful days. It took me a long time to discover I was an ale drinker, and like many a twenty-something I have consumed a great deal of cold, fizzy, big-brand lager; thirst quenching but ultimately unsatisfying. So it's possible that I took less notice of the treasures on offer for home consumption. But a trip into my local Sainsburys these days reveals a selection as rich as I've ever seen. There are bottles from some of the main, well known brewers, but to their credit Sainsburys has been unafraid to present some less well known selections from London and the home counties.

With the Paralympics about to make us proud to be Londoners on the world stage for the second time in just a few weeks, I thought I'd try Greene King's London Glory at 4.0%. Being at home, it meant I could use my Great British Beer Festival glass, and the combination of easy going but flavoursome beer and cheerful glass made me happy. A conventional but enjoyable classic, it gets seven out of ten from me.

So, Addie. Are you getting a nice selection from that little grocers near the beach? PiƱa Coladas ok are they? Lovely. Just like the real thing.

Friday, 24 August 2012

What The Heck Is This?

I am on holiday and enjoying some rather warm weather, most of which I ignore and sit in the shade, else that lobster coloured skin will return.

The hotel serves the local brew, I think is is EFES (because I saw some adverts for this beer on the way here) but have no idea. The pumps say one thing, the bar menu says something else, this one (picture below) is in a Liptons glass - tea.

So I don't know what it is, where it is brewed or how strong it is. It is however nice to drink (cold in this hot weather), although no where near as nice as a real ale.

So why blog a beer I don't know anything about? Well in these days of high tech, I was communication with Siddie last night (using some whizzy technology that Siddie would know all about) and he asked 'where's the blog'. Now last night here was late yesterday, so Siddie was spending his time at work wisely chatting to me, no change there then, Siddie at work, doing anything but work.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Fizzy falls flat

Addie is so exhausted by having to use a keyboard for real English that he has had to take a break, contenting himself with an admirably decadent beer with his breakfast at the airport. He's all class, that man. In his absence, I was invited to join an old friend in a bar I don't usually frequent.

Sadly it was something of a silly modern bar which didn't have any ales at all. It was fizzy lagery stuff. Or Guinness. Don't get me wrong, I have no fundamental objection to any beer, and Guinness can at least boast a proud history. But a bit of choice would be nice.

I was hot, so went for a pint of Peroni. Perfectly nice for a draft lager and I did enjoy it. But it's not an interesting little number in a barrel from a little brewery in the country somewhere is it? Poncey modern pubs take note; get a couple of pumps installed, will you?! Or I'm going to start naming and shaming! Grr!

Monday, 20 August 2012

At the Airport

You may recall that Siddie recently went on holiday, Grimsby or somewhere up north. I however am off to the sunnier climate of Turkey.

This does mean, dear reader, that I will not be posting any real ale blogs for a sort while, but being the professional blogger i am (unlike Siddie who didn't blog at all when he went away, and this blog is his idea), it's 7am in the morning and I've a cracking pint of Stormstay at 5% from O’Hanlon’s brewery. Full on hops flavour, not really my cup of tea for this time of day, but well worth a visit 7 out of 10.

Of course, regardless of all his bluster, one day Siddie will put some effort ino the blog too.

Friday, 17 August 2012

All going swimmingly

While sitting in the pub on the last day of his attendance in the office for a while, Addie was indulging in a spot of phone juggling. He has a work mobile (so that he can be shouted at by editorial colleagues) and a personal mobile (so he can be shouted at by anyone else who knows him).

Watching him weave between the incomings was actually like a strange hypnotic dance. Never before have I seen him exude such skill: "Yes, Boss, I'll be back in the office in around ten minutes," "Yes, Mrs Stone, I won't be home too late tonight..." You get the idea.

There was beer on the table though, and so this was destined to end in tears. How right can one be? I wondered for a moment if Addie was dunking a biscuit, then I realised it was his iPhone he was swirling around in his beer like a Chocolate Hob Nob.

This was all so exciting I've utterly forgotten what beer we had. Sorry about that; here's a picture anyway. As I recall it was very pleasant, and mine didn't taste quite as SIM-cardy as Addie's. Gulp.

Amazingly, after its little swim, the phone still functions. So Addie, get blogging mate. Your attempt at sabotage failed; you don't get off that lightly. Ha ha ha!

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Oh for a Little bit of Sun

My country bumpkin sister has graciously looked after my children for a week, and oh yes down to the coast I went to collect them. Whilst there a stay in the garden and a long chat has caused a little bit of amusement from the office. Red as a lobster, yep my head, with it's decreasing quantity of hair is red as Rudolph's nose.

Surprisingly this didn't hurt, much to Siddie's disappointment, and clearly wasn't as nice as Hogsback Brewery's Summer Ale, at 4.2%. More refreshing than the full flavour of tea, but in my mind not quite as nice. It was good enough for us to have 2 of them, and yes very nice indeed (7 out of 10).

One day Siddie will get his facts right, 4.2% please, not 4.3%


With a colleague flying the nest the polite thing to do, as we all know, is go to the pub with him and drink his beer. Being men who know a bit of protocol and etiquette when the need arises, Addie and I were eager to oblige, so off we went to a local, but less well stocked watering hole.

All I could find was Wells Bombadier, which is perfectly fine for a big brand. I drank it, I was contented, and I give it six out of ten. Addie also swallowed his with little or no complaint.

What a shame he's leaving. Don't forget to meet us for a catchup regularly!

(Right Addie, what's the plan for blagging a beer from someone else?)

Monday, 13 August 2012

Slap! Ooh, that's got to hurt.

On our first real outing post-beer festival, Addie was feeling quite seriously sorry for himself. This was because, last Sunday on a sunny day in the south of England, he decided to enjoy a few hours of sunbathing. In the inexpert fashion Addie generally employs for most activities, he decided to take a chance and not bother with a hat, sunscreen, or any of the other sensible precautions fair-skinned people should normally take.

The result? Monday morning, in the office, glowing. He was amazing; he could have been the aircraft safety beacon one sees on top of a tall tower. You just have to admire an effort like this.

I was so distracted by this wonderful accomplishment I almost forgot to take any notice of the beer. We went for an old favourite, Hogs Back, Summer Ale, at 4.3%. Not quite up there with TEA from the same brewery, but a great beer all the same which is easy to drink and easy to enjoy. 7 out of 10 from me.

Addie must have a bit of sunstroke, surely? Later in the office, I caught him using spellcheck to help him correctly render his own name. This is a fellow blogger, dear reader. Are you sure you're really in safe hands?

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Siddie packs it in.

What a great evening! Addie and I had a brilliant time just chatting with fellow beer lovers and enjoying the atmosphere. Beery, friendly and amazing. See you next year!

Addie @ GBBF signs off

We did make another drink, but it's now time to go home. The GBBF as always has been great. Today There were no beers I wouldn't drink again.

To all those in the uk who can make time and effort to attend then I'd suggest you do this. The atmosphere has been excellent and the company brilliant.

Siddie @ GBBF #10

Brassknocker, by Dawkins, 3.8%.

Addie Stone is very drunk.

Addie @ GBBF #9

St George's Keep Calm and Carry on 4.4%.

Siddie has had too much.

Siddie @ GBBF #9

Keep Calm and Carry On, by St George's 4.4%.

Just beer. Pure and simple.

Addie @ GBBF #8

Evan Evans warrior beer at 4.6%

Good hoppy real ale drink.

Siddienam @ GBBF #8

Evan Evans' Warrior, 4.6%

Starting to get woozy now.

Siddie @ GBBF #7

Devon Ales, Thick Black, 4.1%.

Oh dear. Tastes like Benylin.

Addie @ GBBF #7

Thick black by Devonales at 4.1%

Stout lovely after taste too.

Siddie @ GBBF #6

Facer's, This Splendid Ale 4.3%.

Hmm. Not so good. Hmm.

Addie @ GBBF #6

Facers , this splendid ale at 4.3%

I'm losing count. Nice beer.

Addie @ GBBF not beer

Beer drinkers are all sorts.

Siddie at GBBF #5

Marston's Single Hop Strisselspalt 4%.

Flowery, but light and easy.

Addie @ GBBF #5

Marston's strisselspalt at 4%.

Flowery , weak tasting, session beer

Addie @ GBBF #4

Forge, litehouse at 4.3

Light Bitter sour, not keen

Siddie at GBBF #4

Litehouse, Forge Brewery,

Now we're getting going. Beer!

Siddie @ GBBF #3

Impy Dark by Brampton 4.3%

Coffee chocolate dark noble lovely.

Addie @ GBBF #3

Impy dark by Brampton brewery at 4.3%

Dark, chocolately , hint of coffee.

Siddie @ GBBF #2

Weetwood Best bitter, 3.8%.

A proper ale drinker's bitter.

Addie @ GBBF #2

Weetwood Best Bitter at 3.8%

Slightly nutty quaffable session beer

Addie @ GBBF #1

High and Mighty Brewery, Beer of the Gods. 4.5%.

Sweet, bitter, with strong taste.

Siddie at GBBF #1

High and Mighty Brewery, Beer of the Gods. 4.5%.

Not too bad for starters.

Addie pre GBBF #1

Woodforde's Wherry by Broadland Brewery at 3.8%

Light brown, subtle, hoppy ale

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Great British Beer Festival -- one day to go.

So, with the festival one day away, I thought you, our faithful audience of fellow ale swiller... erm lovers, might like to know what to expect. Well, we'll be drinking beer all evening, so I imagine you're able, dear reader, to make an educated guess. Drunken silliness may be a fair summary.

But on the way, well, we're going to post lots of little beer blogs. Here are the rules:

- One picture per beer (of what? Goodness knows...)
- Beer details (eg Bog Trotter Brewery's Olde Sloppe Paile, 5.4%).
- Exactly five words describing the ale itself ("Oh God, my poor bladder"). No more than five. And no less.

It'll be a blog extravaganza. Or something. Starting tomorrow, Thursday 9 August, from about 18:00 BST, or 17:00 GMT. Look at that -- times carefully detailed for overseas readers. I bet I won't be sober enough to blog carefully for an international audience by the end of tomorrow evening...

Larry #2

Siddie is a nightmare. There he is doing no work, and wishing his life away down the local. Taking the mick because I'm such a professional, keen to have lunch and get back to the daily grind as soon as I can.

This morning was stressful today, I had a meeting I'd been dreading. In the end the meeting went well (at least I think it did) and I needed a break.

So off we trot to the local and we have a pint of Wandle by Sambrooks at 3.8% a delightful light coloured ale that has a hop taste and doesn't overload the taste buds. This is an 8 out of 10 beer. While I enjoyed this particular brew, Siddie was moaning about one thing or another, and the lightweight had only finished half his beer by the time my glass was truly empty. Siddie moaned and then, under protest, got up to get the round in. As we both enjoyed this so much was another pint of Wandle.

BTW the tickets are printed, the plan is afoot, I have a programme, tomorrow is the Great British Beer Festival in London. Yippee

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

What has happened today?

Siddie is back from his holidays and he is already leading me astray. Having not been to the local for 2 weeks this is the second day we have been out.

I have got back into the work ethic, so want a quick trip out for lunch, where as Siddie is still on holiday (you can tell by how much work he has done) and wants to stay in the pub all afternoon.

Either way, I'll blog about the Nicholsons beer, Sharps and others another time. Tonight Mrs Stone and I are out - without the kids - and Mrs Stone has bought me the strongest lager she can find. At 6.6% Peroni Gran Riserva. Now this is lager, so doesn't count, but it is sweet smooth and full flavoured. Very nice but at this strength you can't drink too much of it.

Monday, 6 August 2012

Larry #1

So after a well-earned break away from Heath, and Mr Windy, and most of all Addie, I finally returned to the land of real ales and 3G. It's as if I've never been away, although the local has for some reason removed its coffee machine, and replaced it with a 20 litre box/bag of scrumpy. Why can't you buy such things in Sainsburys?

Addie must have had Sainsburys on his mind, complaining of some desperate hunger and a lack of sandwiches for lunch (it's a lot of fuss about nothing; trust me, if you were to see him, you'd know there was no chance of him wasting away). But, lacking a pre-prepared supermarket sandwich, Addie opted for chicken and ham pie with mash to accompany his pint. Watching him eat it was quite unpleasant, and at times I was really concerned he might bite off one or two of his fingers in his haste.

We never really drink the coffee or the scrumpy, so this change to the pub's facilities was adjudged superficial, and we set about the important matter of assessing the brews on offer. We opted for Castle Rock's Sheriff's Tipple at a very gentle 3.4%. After establishing it wasn't actually a pre-mixed shandy, I was pleased to discover it delivered a proper, enjoyable beer flavour with no nasties, despite its low strength. Very good, 5 out if 10.

Then it was time for our next pint. "Not for me," said Addie, "I'm full". Blown out and full of pie, Addie wimped out and, Larry Lightweight badge fully earned, we trudged back to the office under a cloud, sighing and wondering what might have been.

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Doom Bar

So I'm on a roll. Not only are the kids with their auntie, Mrs Stone is working the night shift. So no ties and consequently another bar another pint.

Doom Bar by Sharp's brewery, a gem of an ale at 4%. Not quite a nice as TEA but what I would think of as a traditional ale. It is sweet which slightly overpowers the taste of hops. Very drinkable session beer.I'd mark as a 6 as it is a little on the sweet side for my taste.

Where are Siddie and Addie?

It's been a while since my last post, and mostly it's because Siddie is the one to lead me astray, and for the last 2 weeks he has been on holiday 'up north'. I'm not sure where, probably near Grimsby.

So my lunch buddy has been away, Mr Windy is off in the Caribbean (getting away from the Olympics) and Heath has been glugging milkshakes like they are going out of fashion. So lunch has been spent in the office working.

Today, however, I've dropped my children off with my country bumpkin sister for the week. Whilst they enjoy the country fayre, Mrs Stone and I have a child free week. Which means I have finally made it to the pub.

When I walk in, what do I see, but T.E.A. by Hogsback brewery. If you have been following this blog, you'll know this is my favourite, so today I am drinking this. With a thank you to the bar I'm at, it's only cost £2.39, not the normal £3.50, sorted.

As always it has that great hoppy taste I associate with a good beer, no undertones of fruit, nuts, smoke, or any other substance. Lovely.