Wednesday, 22 May 2013

To the Light.

The light that burns twice as bright, burns half as long. And you have burned so very very brightly.

Rest in peace, Scooper. I'm going to miss you brother, you will always be an honorary Womble!

I will be raising a glass of Orval to Simon on Saturday at 5pm at The Rake, I hope those of you in London will join me, lets celebrate someone who was truly a reminder that beer should be fun!

I know the Sheffield Tap are doing something similar, as are a couple of people in North Bar in Leeds so if you're in the vicinity raise a toast to his genius at 5pm and lets be united in being thankful that he was with us at all!

If you're in another part of the world lets hashtag the #scooper at 5pm.

Love, peace and motherfucking chicken grease.

G x

Monday, 20 May 2013

Smile Like You Mean It.

I don't know about you but I'm getting a bit bored of reading about lots of negative experiences that people post online about bars, breweries, staff, service etc...after all, it seems far too easy to bitch and moan about things.

I got a tweet about the staff at The Rake last night that made me smile as it was a positive one and it's got me thinking and what I'd like you to do is share your experiences in the comments box about great experiences you've had recently or ever really and I'll collate them and post on here in a couple of days time.

I'll get us started with an easy one.

Last Thursday Nick Otley and one of his sales guys, Lee were in town and we had a few beers at The Rake before heading off to Dukes Brew and Que for dinner.
I had not booked dinner, I merely gave them a call and asked if they had three seats available, they said come on down so we did.
The service, as ever was impeccable. The food was amazing(as usual) and the beer was great(also as usual). I had a great evening with friends and everyone went home happy. Dukes is one of my most favourite places to eat and drink and I can't wait to go back.

so that's it. Please share your stories, I'd love to hear them and I think we could use a smile every once in a while.

Monday, 13 May 2013

Your Record Is Broken, Listen To Mine.

Every day I read utter nonsense about the beer world and it's various guises. Well, the record needs straightening!

Error 1. If you rate beer, you hate beer.
Fact. Don't hate the player, hate the game.....And some of the other players......

Error 2. All beer writers drink beer, only beer and nothing but the beer.
Fact. I also drink beer.

Error 3. Beer festivals are full of old men that smell of wee.
Fact. Beer festivals 'also have' old men that smell of wee.

Error 4. Craft means .....
Fact. Fuck, what does craft actually mean!

Error 5. Sparkled beer is superior to non-sparkled.
Fact. That's just bollocks.

Error 6. If it ain't barrel-aged, sieved through a whores knickers, gargled by James Watt and bottled by angels, it ain't worth drinking.
Fact. It could be gargled by Jim Jones and NateDawg would drink it!

Error 7. According to big beer companies, women need to have beer specifically brewed for their delicate palates.
Fact. Most women are more likely to down a pint of Imperial Stout and beat the shit out of a brewer for doing that (the ones that I know, anyway).

Error 8. If you drink 10 pints of Stella Artois you are likely to go home beat up your wife.
Fact. Is that before or after pissing yourself, vomiting and/or passing out?

Error 9. There are chemicals in lager.
Fact. Only the mind altering ones I add to make it more fun to drink.

Error 10. CAMRA says this is Real Ale.
Fact. CAMRA says a lot of things.....

Error 11. If you work in the pub/bar trade you party hard all the time.
Fact. If we were that busy partying that hard all the time, do you think we'd bother serving you?

Note from the author : Dear beer world/blogosphere/twittersphere/faecesbookosphere, please get a fucking life or I may just lose interest altogether.

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Just Another Opinion

Well now, that was shit wasn't it.

Last weekends fuck up of a beer festival obviously wasn't what the LBA wanted. There were some very key things that went wrong and these were 'discussed' at a rather heated LBA meeting on Tuesday, to which I might add, the organisers of London's Brewing did not attend.

Not that I was expecting them to.

I'm not going to bother going into what I think was wrong with it, everybody else has already has already voiced their opinions and frankly I want to move forward and try and have us rebuild a bit of credibility as an organisation.

One brewer asked though if we as an organisation really need this sort of event. Personally I think so, not in the same format though. The format that worked better was the brewery bar format, where members of the LBA set up their own bars and sold their own beer. It has to be noted that we all donated our beers and delivered them to the organisers this time, not something I'm keen to repeat again and 2 casks of free beer from a brewery the size of Tap East is a significant donation. I do feel that the brewery bar format will work in the future too(even with 49 breweries now in London!) and whilst nothing has been decided, nor will be any time soon, it's something for people to think about. It is key though, that the LBA learn from this event if there is to be another one so that the same fuck-ups don't happen again.

Watching the event unfold on Twitter on Saturday was like watching a car crash in slow motion and I even think my eyes may have started bleeding at one point!

I do wonder though, just how many people would have gushed about it online had it been a huge success though, not nearly as many I'm guessing.

For it's part, the LBA will be getting the organisers report 'at some point' and it's now trying to move forward and support some of the other events that are going on in and around our capital this year.

Starting with the hop shoot festival next Friday 17th May, that Peter Haydon of the Head in a Hat/Florence Brewery is organising, basically lots of people go and pick hop shoots, take them back to various restaurants and pubs where talented chefs will do amazing things with them. You can follow the London Hop Festival on Twitter @LondonHop for all the news.

Please note : I am not writing this on behalf of the LBA, rather just someone who is involved with it. 

Monday, 6 May 2013

Free Beer : Pure Evil

I've been sent this bottle of beer by the nice peeps at the Sebright Arms in Hackney. They sent me an invite to the beers launch but I was unable to attend due to a prior commitment....

When I told them I couldn't attend they instantly offered to send me a bottle so I could review it for them. 

Well, I'm one who drinks and reviews so here goes.

Pure Evil, Black IPA was 'Hand crafted by Redchurch Brewery in the Sebright Arms homebrew kit, using the finest malted barley and hops' (sic). So not the finest yeast and water then guys? - 

It's a murky brown colour, lots of yeast in the bottle and I was pouring it carefully!

Smells like a black IPA - I know I know you cant smell a colour! What I mean by that is the almost sickly sweet coloured malt mixed with hops aroma. It's quite distinct in my experience and not unpleasant - kinda chocolate and hops and before you ask, I'm not sure which hop type(s) were used and I'm not enough of a beer freak to give a shit.

So time to have a sip....

Really bitter, really boozy. No naked flames please!!! At 8% abv I thought it might be boozy but my already ruby cheeks are now glowing two sips in. It's so bitter I'm having trouble finding flavour in that bitterness, which is a shame because I really wanted it to be amazing. 
Third sip and the hops are starting to come through and massage my palate a bit now but it's still really boozy as hell.

Secondary Aroma
I burp in the privacy of my lounge and the piney aromas hit my nostrils - it heightens and enhances my experience, very nice indeed. You may not agree but you ain't here!

The taste is starting to really hit my palate now and the sweetness of the dark malt is starting to find a way through the bitterness. I can taste tea, I find it odd but there's the fresh pine in there too as i burp again, there's plenty of condition on the bottle but the 'fizz' does strip back the gums somewhat. 

Overall it's a nice beer. I couldn't have two in a row though just down to the bitterness. It's not 'Pure Evil' as it's name suggests but then I didn't have to buy it!

Did any of you go to the launch event?

If you did, what did you think of it?