Monday, 26 July 2010

Monkey On My Back

This was going to be a piece on drinking in Nottingham but I became distracted.....

Nottingham has to be one of the most underrated drinking cities In the UK. Possibly second to Sheffield as the best beer destination.

Derby Road itself has 6 pubs if you start from The Falcon and work your way to the Gatehouse. Some good, some not so good, but you're guaranteed to find some excellent beers.

Nottingham CAMRA is responsible for starting the LocAle scheme so expect to find a bucket-load of locally brewed beer in just about every decent pub you visit.

I usually fit in a visit to a pub I've never been to before on each trip, but more often than not I'm happy to stick to Derby Road; the main reason being I know I'm going to end up with something by Blue Monkey.

I first drank Blue Monkey beer (they'd only brewed one then - now known as Original) at the Robin Hood festival in 2008. I enjoyed it so much I went back to their bar and bought another. Fast-forward a year later and I did the same, this time with their fantastic Guerilla Stout.

They seem to be constantly expanding to meet demand after winning a load of awards from SIBA, CAMRA, and for just being popular with thirsty Midlanders because the beer is so tasty. It's obvious from the first sip of one of their pints they're using top-quality ingredients.

My favourite has to be BG Sips. 4% abv and brewed with Brewers Gold (BG, geddit?!) hops.

Blue Monkey beers can always be found in Nottingham in the Hand & Heart (my favourite Derby Road watering hole) and The Roundhouse on St. James Terrace. In Derby you'll find them in the Old Silk Mill. In Leicester you'll often find them at the Swan & Rushes.

Find out more at

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Pollards at the Tap

It seemed like everyone was drinking Pollards Milk Coffee Stout at the Sheffield Tap last Saturday.

Pollards is a 5% abv stout by Thornbridge brewed using whole coffee beans supplied by Pollards Tea & Coffee of Sheffield.

Gorgeous, silky smooth and a pleasure to sink. I'm sure it's a myth that coffee beers sober you up as you get drunk, but can you explain why I awoke the next morning at 4:30am craving a big mug of cappuccino?

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Fat Cat Norwich

I'm sitting in the Fat Cat at Norwich slowly making my way through the extensive beer menu.

I may have to stop soon as there are around 24 ales on handpump and gravity.

What a fantastic pub. Every pint tastes so fresh.

Alcofrolic Chap

Stamford Riverside Festival

The first week in July usually means Stamford Riverside Festival. Live music and beer on the Meadows between the railway station and town.

I'd been going for a number of years and decided to have a break after a couple of years of drinking a ridiculous amount (13 pints) of ale. This year it was time to return.

After a brief visit to the Green Man it was time to head to the festival.

This year I'd promised to myself to be sensible and stick to erm less than previous years.

When I saw the list at the beer tent I decided to stick to about 4 ales. Not four pints, though.

There were 44 ales on but I was only interested in the Oakham and Newby Wyke. The new Tranquility IPA by Oakham was on the list, as was the old faithful Attila. All the ales were £3, so it seemed a good idea to stick with the higher abv ones. Attila at £3 a pint? Bargain!

Beer of the day had to be Tranquility. Gorgeous mouthful of peachyness.

On the way home it's a tradition to stop off at the Swan & Rushes. We had to as Oakham Chinook was fresh on that afternoon. Mmm. Summer is here.

Alcofrolic Chap

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Cheesy Does It

There's nothing like a spot of old fashioned entertainment to brighten up an already pleasant evening whilst sitting outside The Criterion drinking.

Red Leicester Morris were on one of their short crawls raising money for charities like LOROS and Macmillan. They started at The Western, moved onto The Criterion, then onto the Swan & Rushes.

There's not much space outside The Critter for dancing so a couple of the group had to stop the traffic whilst they shook their hankies and cracked their sticks on Millstone Lane.

As it's summer they were performing Cotswold Morris. In winter they perform Border Morris (which I prefer) with their faces painted red.

With Freedom Organic Dark and Anchor Steam on tap I decided to stay until last orders rather than follow the crawl.

There's a list of the whole of their 2010 tour here

YouTube Video

Alcofrolic Chap