Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Return Trip... Supersonic Festival 2011

Supersonic Festival. A music festival where the beer gets better each year.
Until a couple of years back it was the usual mass produced swill, then Purity bottles began to appear.
I gave the festival a miss in 2010 but there were enough bands playing on the Saturday this year to warrant a Return Trip...

Mixing drinks with enormous sonic assault was going to be fun.
First up, Purity UBU from the cask in Space 2 where the grumbling doom of Orthodox warmed up our bowels.
The UBU was a good balance of sticky sweet malt with a dry finish.

Next, Purity UBU again but poured from a bottle in the Boxxed stage. I preferred it from the bottle today. Livelier and easier to quaff. I was struggling with the plastic pint cups though, spilling almost as much as I was drinking over myself.

Bardo Pond were plodding psychedelic tedium. The last time I saw this band was over ten years ago when one of my alter egos was playing on the same bill. I didn't think much of them then, and I wasn't that keen on the Hogan's cider I was drinking whilst I watched them either. The taste was somewhere between sausages and halitosis.

Next in the schedule was Wolves In The Throne Room and a pint of Veltins. I wouldn't describe myself as a Veltins fan but this evening it tasted clean and refreshing after that cider. Cascades of blue-lit fog surrounded the band as they flayed our ears with icy Black Metal.

I fancied another lager, and so it seemed did Electric Wizard, as roadies carried 11 or more pints onto the stage. So, another Veltins as the band crushed us with their heavy satanic sludge. They owned Supersonic and so did the Purity UBU. I had another pint before watching the loudest band at the festival, Monarch.

Tired and soaked in spilt beer, that was it for another year. It was time to leave. Fingers crossed next year for a Burning Witch reunion.

If you're brave enough to watch Electric Wizard's performance of Witchcult Today click on \m/


Friday, 21 October 2011

Scotch Eggs

Suddenly everyone has gone crazy for Scotch Eggs.
They're thee snack of choice in all the best pubs in London town.

It's nothing new. It's not exactly re-inventing the wheel, more a case of re-discovering the cojones. Big spherical breadcrumbed cojones.

In the Guinness guide to profitable snacks (1961) you'll find Scotch Eggs, alongside ham salad sandwiches and cheese and onion pies, in the chapter Farmers' Specials.

Surely the time is right for all pubs to bring back the heated pie cabinet. And more cheese and onion cobs.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

The Brew Company Starburst

I've been missing out on the Galaxy hop. I'd heard whispers it was like an amped up Citra. Whomever uttered those words wasn't far off the mark.

The Brew Company Starburst is a 4.3% pale ale that's like stuffing your mouth with a handful of Roundtrees fruit gums (can you still buy them?) and swigging on grapefruit juice.

It's bloomin' marvellous.
Zingy, sparkling citrus flavours dancing all over my taste buds.

Same again, please.

Location:Butt Close Ln,Leicester,United Kingdom

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

BrewDog: Hops Kill ?

It was worth the wait.

Some of you may be aware of the poor service quite a few BrewDog customers have experienced with Yodel, the last courier firm they used.
Well, to cut a long story short, my undelivered box of Hops Kill ended up in a waste bin at a Yodel service centre.
It's now out of the bin and finally in my house.

An Imperial Red Ale at 7.8% abv. Hopped with centennial and chinook to a mouth-puckering 80 IBUs.
So how is it? Fruity, big, bittersweet and juicy.
Sour cherries and sweet blackcurrant.

It's gorgeous. The best beer they've brewed since the recipe for Hardcore IPA was tweaked.
Let's hope they brew it again.

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Merry Men at Robin Hood Festival

Let's get this straight.
Nottingham's Robin Hood beer festival has become the best British cask ale festival, and with just under a 1000 beers on offer it's got to be the biggest.

It was a smart move a few years back from the Victoria baths in Sneinton to the castle grounds. Suddenly everyone in the city knew that Nottingham had a beer festival. Queues were extending down the street.

Advance tickets for Friday sold out this year. We got there early and enjoyed a gorgeous autumn day wandering around the site with a glass in hand.

Brodies Dalston Black IPA, Buxton Wild Boar, Magic Rock High Wire and Dark Arts all on superb form.
And who can resist a glass or three of Buxton Axe Edge when that's on at a festival?

Reluctant Scooper's alter ego Kevin had a bath in chemicals.

Blue Monkey brewery celebrated their 3rd birthday.

To serve Spyke Golding's whisky aged ale directly in front of the entrance was a great idea, and I hope sales raised a lot of money for the Nottingham hospital radio charity.

Next year I shall definitely be buying advance tickets. I can't risk missing the UK's best beer festival.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Hopfen Schnupf

Hops Snuff. Sometimes one requires that quick hop blast without sticking one's nose in a glass of dry-hopped beer.
That's when I reach for Stammheimer Hopfen Schnupf by McChrystal's.

It's quite a fine snuff so only a little pinch at first or you'll find it flying up your nose and down your throat. If you find it too fine you could always blend it with a more coarse or moist snuff.

There's a definite scent of raw hops this chap finds most enjoyable. One sniff takes me back to BrewDog V2009.

Hopfen Schnupf is available from

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

SMILE! It's Robin Hood Beer Festival

Folks, it's time to smile.
It's Nottingham Robin Hood Beer Festival this week.

From 13 to 15 October you have around 928 ales to get through.

The list is here


Saturday, 8 October 2011

Leicester Pubs - The Western

An Everard's owned pub run by the Steamin' Billy company since October 2007.
Vastly improved from the old days of fluorescent strip lighting and Tiger.

The walls are covered in old breweriana. Signs advertising beers long gone.
Two rooms, a real open fire and plenty of room outside when it's sunny.

Seven cask ales including three from the Steamin' Billy range.
I'll be honest here and say I wasn't paying too much attention to the guest beers. I usually just stick with the house beers. £2.40 for a pint of Tipsy Fisherman with a Billy card.

Another pub in Leicester that serves fresh pizzas.
There's an eclectic mix of drinkers; students, regulars and football fans on match days.

It's only a short walk from here to the Black Horse pub on Braunstone Gate, also worth a visit if you're in the West End of Leicester.

The Western
70 Western Road