Thursday, 23 February 2012

BrewDog Nottingham: Doors Open

BrewDog Nottingham opened its doors on 23 February . We arrived about 7pm and reluctantly hauled ourselves out four hours later.

So tonight Nottingham had a new bar where you could drink draught beer from Japan, the US, Denmark and Scotland plus bottled beers from Belgium, Norway and New Zealand.

The staff here are the kind we appreciate at BrewDog bars; welcoming, chatting with the customers about the beers, offering tasters to those new to BrewDog and slapping temporary tattoos on any exposed parts of skin.

For saying this was a "secret" opening the bar became busy as the night went on. You can't really miss the branding though, can you?

Even Robin Hood likes a can of Punk IPA every now and then.

Oakham Ales: Progressive Drop

Oakham Ales have produced a press leaflet for Oakademy of Excellence members listing some seasonal beers for this year.

I've always thought the artwork on some of the Oakham pumpclips wouldn't look out of place on a 1970s gatefold record sleeve, but this range is really OUT-THERE...

A beer called The Hare And The Hedgehog? You got it.

Water Of Forgetfulness? Unforgettable.

Winter Wraith, surely the stuff of nightmares. I look forward to drinking them.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Did Someone Say Brodie's?

Anyone that made it to Derby Winter Ales Festival this year was lucky enough to find a load of Brodie's beers on all four days.

Hoxton Special IPA
Whitechapel Weizen
Old Street IPA
Dalston Black IPA
American Brown
Superior London Porter
Hackney Red IPA

Four of the above were pouring on the final day, so most of us stuck with them for the session, plus the remaining two Buxton beers, Dark Nights and Black Rocks.

The IPAs, the Weizen and American Brown were all bursting with juicy hops.

Later I overheard a woman say "That's the point with beer festivals, there's no point in going on the last night..."
Well, I reckon we did OK.

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

BrewDog Nottingham: An Introduction

On 21st of December last year James Watt issued the following words on Twitter "BrewDog Nottingham? Why the hell not. Full announcement to follow."
We knew there had been a couple of visits to the city to check out a venue, we just weren't expecting a new bar this soon.

In a little under 2 weeks BrewDog Nottingham should be opening its doors to East Midlanders, thirsty for something a bit different to what the other pubs and bars in the city serve.

Becca, Project Manager that oversaw the development of the bars in Glasgow and Camden, very kindly gave us a look around last week.
The work here has been super-fast. It's already looking very much like a BrewDog bar. So much so that I wish I'd taken along a can of Punk IPA to drink in there. A few finishing touches to the bar and back rooms, a delivery of beer and they're pretty much good to go. Becca's enthusiasm for the project was very infectious, and I have to say I'm quite excited about this myself.

You'll find BrewDog Nottingham on the corner of Broad Street and Highcross Street.
Put 25th February in your diaries.

Twitter: @BrewDogNotts

Tuesday, 14 February 2012


So the brewer gets into work sometimes as early as 5am.
They work a long shift. It's a physical job, when they're not moving sacks of malted barley around they might be digging out spent grain from the Mash tun or washing casks.
They're proud of their finished product. It's alchemy. They've made something special from a few ingredients.

After the beer has fermented then split into casks to condition they're eventually ready to transport to pubs.

Then the cask sits in a pub cellar. It's one of those pubs that might be in the Good Beer Guide, so they like to have a large choice of cask ales on offer. Sometimes it's tricky to guess what amount of beer you'll sell in a week, but you tap those casks. And they sit in the cellar. And sit a little longer. And a little while longer.

And when the beer is finally pulled into the glass it's as flat as a wet fart.
What a shame.

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Brewsters Festival at The Salmon

The Salmon in Leicester currently has a festival of beers brewed by female brewers. I reckon it's the best line-up of cask ales I've seen at a pub festival.

On my visit there were 15 beers on, all on handpull. The pub had installed a second temporary bar supplied by Raw. The small boozer was packed with folk enjoying the great beers on offer.

Some of these were;
Oldershaws Heavenly Blonde
Raw Dark Peak stout
Project Venus Venus Gold
Brewster's Pale
Ashover Hydro
Waen Blackberry stout
Mallinsons JMY 70

My personal favourites were the Raw WeiƟ Geist IPA (a heavily hopped wheat beer), the Venus Gold, Ashover Hydro and the Waen Blackberry stout.

Twitter: @ProjVenusUKEire

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Thornbridge Halcyon: Return Of The Magnificent 7.4% IPA

Halcyon, it's been a while old friend. Do you remember this time two years ago when we drank pints of your Green Hopped version at Leicester Beer Festival? We giggled as we got tipsy, a UK IPA that tasted of pineapple and mango juice. Surely I was daydreaming.
There was the time I drank pints of you with lunch at The Devonshire Cat in Sheffield, 4 inches of snow outside and wondering how the heck I was going to get home as the trains were being cancelled.

Then they bottled you, a case ordered from My Brewery Tap, more bottles snapped up at The Offie, bicycle pannier stuffed full of them. More giggling. Then a cask appeared at The Coopers Tavern in Burton. More pints glugged and a two pint carton taken home.

You're back. I feared I'd not see you as I'd read you were being shipped to the United States.
Fruity bubblegum aroma. The flavour is pears, pineapple, mango, perhaps a touch of tangerine. Alcohol warming. Bitter sweet.

Halcyon days.
Thornbridge Halcyon, you are my super stupor hero.

Monday, 6 February 2012

Leicester Pubs - The Black Horse

The Black Horse can be described as cosy. It's a small two roomed Everards pub in the West End of the city.
I've always had a soft spot for this place, more so since it is now the only remaining traditional boozer on Braunstone Gate. There used to be a few down here years ago, some where you were guaranteed a lock-in until the small hours.

The Black Horse hasn't always been great, for a while it succumbed to that fad of having a pool table in the front room. You risked having your pint knocked over or your eye poked out if anyone was playing. Did I say it was cosy? The snug is so small your knees almost touch the person sitting on the opposite side of the room.

Expect to find up to 7 cask ales here, 3 by Everards plus guests. There's often something by Brunswick on the bar and draught Old Rosie.

The Black Horse
1 Foxton St

Friday, 3 February 2012

The Session #60: Growler Greed

I've got Growler Greed.

Flagons are a flop. You know the plastic type a lot of UK pubs use that leak unless you keep them upright. I've a couple of those but I don't use them.

I own a couple of Lovibonds Growlers, a 1 litre and a 2 litre, and a couple of BrewDog Growlers. None of these leak, this is why I use them.

I use them for fills at brewery taps and I use them for takeouts from pubs. This is where Growler Greed rears its ugly head.

If a local pub gets a cask of beer I'm really enjoying, the Growler is produced and filled. I know the pub only has 9 gallons of this beer and I'm damned if anyone else is going to drink my share. When that cask runs out I know I've got another 2 or 4 pints to enjoy later.

The Session this month is hosted by