Friday, 13 June 2014

Rebel Brewing Co's Other Beers

All in all these beers have been stunning, well-done, and a really pleasure to drink.

Cornish Sunset 
4.0% ABV

This was just as refreshing as Surfbum, with a lovely soft caramel note to it. Again would work well with a BBQ or picnic but also just to sit and enjoy the back garden with.

Eighty Shilling
5.0% ABV

Nice lighter style of Scotch Ale, for me this was the weakest of the bunch but given how fantastic these beers are, its still not a bad thing. It could have have done with being stronger for me with more sweetness to balance the heavy liquorice I got on the taste.

Penryn Pale Ale
4.3% ABV

This was my last beer from Rebel and again a lovely pint. 

Hoping to get some more of these in again soon.

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Coffee and Beer

Whilst I would happily talk about beer brewed with coffee, many of which being some of the best imperial stouts or beers out there, this time it is a different talk or blog. At the moment the easily found beers out there are the hoppy ones, this trend isn't dying off or disappearing. I did find myself at a pop up bar by the Thames wishing for a bitter instead ofthe very similar hoppy choice I had but this is not my point.

The hoppy trend is kind of written about without the consideration that this happens with other areas, one such is coffee. I was shopping yesterday for beans (I have a new grinder so want to use/play with it), but I prefer darker roasts, this sadly cuts Monmouth Coffee out for me at the present as their medium roasts seem more light to me and I'm not alone. London seems to do a lot of light roasts, which in all fairness work well with the milky coffees that are popular, on the odd coffee blog I read this trend for lighter coffees is spreading outside the M25, much to the disgust of northern bloggers and forum commentaters.

I did, thanks to a recommendation online find a shop with a vast selection of coffee, many of the dark or rich roasts available and for a good price. But like finding a good pint of bitter in the hop desert it wasn't easy. In fact I wouldn't have thought about Old Compton Street for coffee without the heads up. So it isn't just beer but I will give you the hop trend is still strong unlike many trends!

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Rebel Brewing Co's Surfbum IPA

3.5% ABV

Not convinced it is an IPA as it is too light in both ABV and hops but what it is to me is a refreshing pint. Sunday was stupidly hot, too hot for my usual darker beers so I wanted a hoppy beer but likewise as it was Sunday I didn't want anything too strong. 

The hops are very much at the forefront but this beer is expertly done with enough hops to be morish and refreshing with a tang of bitterness but not too much. This would be great to drink on the beach with a picnic watching the sunset.

Note, not after surfing... there is no chance of me doing that!

I hadn't heard of this brewery before, it was a lucky find at a off licence near a couple of friends house.

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Chapel Down's Curious Brew

4.7% ABV

We had the brut from Chapel Down for the toasts at our wedding, so when we saw they did a lager it was a given we wanted to see what it was like. This is where Wetherspoons expandion into 'craft' beers was even more useful than just being able to buy Brooklyn lager at a reasonable price on a hot day.

The lager itself is refreshing with a good dose of hops, enough to make it tangy but not resinous. The mouth feel is light, the champagne yeast providing fine bubbles and a smooth texture to the lager. One that would stand up to bbq food or would go well with fish. There is a mussel recipe involving beer and I'm thinking this may also work well. 

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Sweet Action

5.2% ABV

Finally got to try one of the Sixpoint Brewery beers that Wetherspoons are selling in cans. Sweet Action was not going to be my first choice as it is a blend between a pale ale and a wheat beer but on tasting it is very much like Brooklyn lager to me with a strong maltyness to it. 

It was a good beer, I know that some believe that these aren't shifting well and I can see they aren't going to be popular with all but these aren't badly priced and going with the other craft offerings they are doing at reasonable prices I think these will kick off soon enough.

And yes they had a quirk on the can design.

Monday, 26 May 2014

Waltham Abbey Beer Festival

The May Bank Holiday was a mixed bag for weather but for once we could attend the Beer Festival that is held in the town hall on this weekend.

The beer was smaller than we are used to at many London festivals but all were local breweries and so were the ciders. Jack of Clubs was my favourite but the Mild from Brentwood was a close second. The London Glider Dry was indeed dry, extremely dry but that is down to personal taste, the medium/dry is great.

And of course what beer festival is not complete without LARP!

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Canned Summer

Ah cans, yes I have been known to be rather snobby about them and with good cause, over carbonation has ruined more than one nice beer that had been previously enjoyed on cask or from a bottle. However recently I have tried the latest versions from Fullers, Badger, and Adnams, all of which were good.

Ok, I still prefer London Pride on cask but now prefer the can to the bottle, the can having that lovely toffee thing the cask does. Fursty Ferret from Badger was very good too, slighty fizzer but not noticeable plus side to cans is you can quickly cool a can to celler temperature unlike a bottle which is a waiting game. Adnams is a difficult one to judge I enjoyed the can offering more than the times I have had a pint of it outside Southwold and found it to be badly kept and I've never seen a bottle of the bitter.

I'm not fully a fan but I have to say that I won't turn my nose up straight away plus it means a few more options for the store cupboard.

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Post Run Recovery

Now my unfortunate blisters have healed plus I can walk without pain, I have gone back to running. Helped by the fact that in September I will be doing the Edinburgh Half Marathon! This snippet article in one of my running magazines certainly made me laugh, not advisable if you run before work but a relaxing pint after your weekend run could be termed as recovery now.

Although I would personally swop the beer mentioned for a 4% bitter.

Monday, 21 April 2014

Brodie's Bunny Basher Festival 2014

Well, it has been a long time since I last blogged. Mainly due to training for the London Marathon and giving up alcohol for a month and a half plus general laziness on my part.

However, I'm back again and to kick off I went along to the Bunny Basher festival in Leytonstone, I have been to a few of these and they are nice friendly festivals. Staff and customers are enthusiastic plus a nice selection of beers which change over regularly.

Highlights for me were the Elizabethan, the Big Mofo Stout and the Bethnal Green Bitter. Firstly the Elizabethan at the high percentage of 22% abv, again this was as good as previous years, rich and warming like a good sherry. The big Mofo Stout is a collaboration with Mikkeller, normally I am not a fan of this brewery and find their collaborations with Brewdog dull or just undrinkable but here they worked with Brodie's to produce a morish raspberry stout! I didn't get the liquorice notes but the big stout chocolate with the raspberry tang worked very well indeed. The Bethnal Green Bitter was palate cleansing after such big beers and nicely refreshing.

At the festival I wasn't surprised to see the single hop beers although personally I think they are interesting but not really for me. But the various different versions of the Kentish Town brown IPA were lovely and the Nut Brown version just pipped the others to the post of favourite out of them.

I had a lovely afternoon of beer and conversation, perfect for recovering after the marathon the previous weekend.