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Showing posts from April, 2010

Forever Bury

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The 6th annual Forever Bury Beer Festival took place at Gigg Lane last weekend. Apart from Friday, when there was literally blood on the carpet, it passed peacefully and gave punters the chance to sample a range of beers and ciders all for £2 a pint.

Local barmaid legend Rachel became a celebrity overnight by appearing on Granada Reports and is said to be now considering a move to Hollywood. It’s also rumoured that Don Ricardo asked her to autograph his left testicle.

As usual there were winners and losers on the beer front. Oakham JHB was an old friend returned to form and Forge Forged Porter was nice and silky for 4.2%. Holts Lightning Holt was light but underwhelming and Boggart Hole’s 6 VCs Before Breakfast was good-if you like butterscotch in your beer.

Another poor brewery-Bazens-were responsible for the horrible, smoky, mess that was Cuckoo’s Nest. Daleside St Georges was an easy drinking 5.2% blonde ale, as was Liverpool Pale Ale. Brass Monkey from Sowerby Bridge are usually …

The Fool On The Hill

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It’s often said that first they came for the smokers, then the drinkers. Who will be next? The answer, it appears, is cheese eaters. Yes, they’ve sunk to new lows and targeted the most sacred foodstuff on the planet. Cry me a river, for outrage and disgust swells in my breast.

The scene of this heinous act was Westfield Children’s Centre, in Pemberton, Wigan. Two-year old Jack Ormisher was about to tuck into a cheese sandwich that his mother had made for him, when the food police swooped.

Staff refused to allow Jack to eat his sandwich on the grounds that “it was not on its list of recommended foods.” Yes, they really do have a list of “recommended” foods. Recommended in this case meaning like it or lump it. They offered him fruit and vegetables instead. No wonder he burst into tears.

Who are these food Nazis who would crush the basic God given right of every Englishman to enjoy cheese when and where he wants?

A Cheese Nazi apologist said: “The centre has a list of recommended health…

I've Got No Strings

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It all started with Cookie. Acting like some big lady blogger’s blouse, he brought politics into the rarefied atmosphere of beer blogging. Then we had the TV debates and people in the pub stopped talking about proper pub topics-sex and sport and started discussing the economy instead. Now with a raft of leaflets pushed through the door, even I am forced to admit this election malarkey is getting serious.
Now Cookie has made it clear that he won’t be voting on the basis of pubs and beer. It’s always interesting to have an insight into the lout drinker’s way of thinking, but of course for the pongy ale enthusiast, it’s a different matter.
When your best friend is the pint of Old Fart’s XXX Mild you’re nurturing in your hand and the highlight of your week is wondering if the tramp sat next to you in Spoons will share his XL bag of Mini Cheddars; there is no more important issue than pubs and booze.

Consider the worries: Will VAT be increased on pub grub? Meaning I would have to cook some…

Beware The Midnight Pisser

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He's out there. He's had a skinfull. He's desperate and ready to unload his bladder. Coming to an alleyway near you...

Moral Outrage Of The Week

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Bombay Curry Cheddar? And they expect us to pay for it? Never mind meow-meow, I’m calling on the government to immediately ban this morally outrageous piece of filth before any cheese eaters are harmed by it.

Most Truthful Advert Of The Week

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“Because nobody makes pizza like Pizza Hut”. Can’t argue with that. They’re shite.

Bye Bye Love Booze

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I raise my glass tonight in honour of Laura Hall. Ms Hall has become the first person to be barred from all licensed premises in England and Wales under a drinking banning order.

Under the terms of the order imposed at Kidderminster Magistrates' Court in Worcestershire; not only is she prohibited from buying or consuming booze in pubs, but also from drinking in nightclubs, membership clubs or hotels, and from purchasing alcohol in shops and off-licences. Just for good measure, she’s also banned from necking booze in public.
I know what you’re thinking, yes it is an impressive achievement and yes, I also thought that I would be the first to get such a ban. DBOs were introduced by the Home Office in September 2009 as a measure to prevent individuals who are causing alcohol-related disorder from entering specified licensed premises, but this is the first time one has been applied nationally.

Now this is all very good and dandy. But what’s the point of issuing such an unenforceable …

It Never Rains In Southern California London

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The dust has settled. The livers have had time to recover. Yes, the great London Tour of Destruction has come to an end. The mission: show Archimedes and the Whitefield Holts Bandit some of the delights of London in just two days.

Archimedes requirements were as simple as himself-alcohol and food. We did well with the first, but somewhat forgot about the second. The WHB meanwhile wanted bright lights and dancing girls to make him feel at home, but used to beer at £1.60 a pint, what would he make of paying £4 for the same privilege?

Friday began with us waiting impatiently for Wetherspoons to open at 9am-the tension easing as the metal shutters slowly rolled upwards. And it was in Wetherspoons (Liverpool St Station) that we finished some 14 hours later. It’s a classic railway JDW, i.e. a dump, but the customers weren’t as daft as they looked. They had after all drunk them dry of two of the best festival beers-Titanic Tomahawk and Val-Dieu Abbaye Blonde. Still, the Pinot Grigio and Sa…

Those Were The Days

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Passing the Ostrich in Prestwich, I noted that they are offering live entertainment. However, I fear that it will fall short of the delights they were offering way back in 1832. An eating contest of 3ibs of treacle and bread. With the contestants hands tied behind their back? Fantastic. And the Pub Curmudgeon will surely be wiping a nostalgic tear away at the thought of a smoking match between ten old women. One thought though-how is the winner decided?

Spoons A Go-Go

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As already documented by the indefatigable Tandleman, yesterday saw a coach load of freeloaders attempt a massive Spoons festival crawl. Thanks must go to Chris Riley for organising it and letting us in on some JDW secrets, the various staff who served us and the girls/ladies/women that put a buffet on for us.

The plan was to have 35 beers on between the participating venues. This amounts to nearly all the beers that are currently available-about a dozen or so are held back till later in the festival. I wasn’t keeping score, but a quick head count makes me think I tried 27-some of the better ones twice!

First stop was the Regal Moon. An impressive choice here with three rows of festival beers. Theakstons Grouse Beater was thin and unmemorable. Morrells Oxford Blue, despite the bizarre use of a long gone brewery was ok, as was Davenports Beer Hunter.

I found Batemans Hedgerows a refreshing palate cleaner, but the beer of the festival was discovered early on: Titanic Tomahawk. This had…

Stockport Swagger

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If reports have reached you of strange individuals roaming the streets of Stockport, never fear, it was merely a group of thirsty travellers. A motley crew, including such luminaries as Eddie, the eager, legal beagle and Uncle Albert had decided to try several of the local watering holes

First stop was the Nursery in Heaton Norris. This is a classic 1930s multi-roomer and was CAMRA’s National Pub of the Year 2001. And, although we didn’t indulge (old school rules-no eating whilst drinking), the chippy opposite looked very enticing as well.

The Nursery is a Hydes pub selling a good range of their own ales and guest beers as well. Hydes Jekyll’s Gold and Roosters Celtic Corker were both judged as being excellent. You could while away many a happy hour here, but the drinking was just beginning, so off we went.

We managed to fortuitously flag down a passing 364 bus and were soon ensconced in our second stop. The Hope Inn still bears the signage of its original owner-Hardy’s Crown Brewery,…

Disappointment Of The Week

Millstone True Grit. Has the lustre come off this once fine ale?

Pub Of The Week

The Marble Arch. Back to its imperial best with 10 on midweek and all the Marble beers in excellent form. Meanwhile, in a bit of a turnaround, current CAMRA favourite the Angel only had half of its pumps in action.

Money Booze Makes The World Go Round

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It’s been a lesson in economics type week. First I leant that the law of supply and demand has led to (in America), prostitutes earning far less than they did 100 years ago. Now I learn that our cousins across the pond are applying the law of S&D to man’s greatest commodity: booze.
Yes, the Exchange Bar & Grill in Gramercy, New York has modelled itself on the New York Stock Exchange. So they have a ticker showing current drinks prices which fluctuate as customers’ drinking patterns change. They even have a bell that the bartender rings “when the market crashes”. This usually leads to trebles all round.

Levent Cakar, one of the partners in the business, holds a Masters degree in economics and explained the thinking behind it:”We want the atmosphere to be like the stock market. Except, unlike the stock market, nobody is going to have any stress or lose any money”.

So will we be seeing this phenomenon over here? Given the current level of ant-drink paranoia, it seems unlikely. A…

Brendan Goes Belgium

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Bury microbrewer Leyden brew out of the Lord Raglan pub in the scenic hamlet of Nangreaves. Their core beer range is themed around the Crimea with names such as Light Brigade and Sevastopol. They do, however, also turn out seasonal beers and special one-offs.

In recent times they have become more experimental and have looked abroad for inspiration. Their first attempt at a cask version of a foreign beer was the unforgettable Leydenhosen which was launched at the first Hare & Hounds beer festival. Such was the success of this; it was quickly followed by Ramsbottom Reichsnau Gold and Brendan’s Dunkel.

Now they have made their first foray into the bottled Belgium market. Leyden Frambozen Raspberry Brown Ale promises the best of Lancashire married with the delightful taste of a traditional Frambozen. Brendan Leyden explained “We sell a lot of Frambozen in the pub and we also sell a lot of brown ale as. It just seemed natural to try and mix the two and produce a Lancashire Frambozen. T…