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Tuesday, 22 April 2014

A beer festival that's right up my street... ...literally!

This weekend sees the annual Dragon Hall Beer Festival in Norwich. Their blurb suggests:

"The weekend of Friday 25 to Sunday 27 April is definitely one to keep free if you enjoy real ales. And ciders. The delicious, locally produced ciders went down very well last year, so we will be featuring the cider bar again. This will be the fourth year of our incredibly popular Beer Festival. We’ve featured mainly Norfolk beers in the past, but will be bringing some special pocket option ales from further afield this year. As always, there will be delicious food and great bands. Many thanks to our local CAMRA branch, who so generously support the Dragon Hall Beer Festival."

My suggestion is to book a ticket in advance as it quickly becomes full and unless you love the joy of queuing your evening could be a disappointing one.

For more info visit their website.

Monday, 10 February 2014

Whatever you want!

Literally jumping on the band wagon Wychwood and those original darlings of early head-bangers Status Quo have got together to produce an ale to commemorate their 1972 classic album Piledriver.

Brewed to a respectable 4.3%ABV, Piledriver is said to be “a traditional malty amber ale balanced with a bold fruity, hop character”. I wasn’t over impressed with the Iron Maiden ale when I tried it and I suspect it’s mostly gimmick pocket option free download for pc over substance but if I see it about I’d give it a go; I’ve always had a soft spot for the Quo.

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Robinsons launch Hospitality Apprenticeships!

Robinsons has announced plans to launch a series of apprenticeships, in partnership with Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce and quality assured professional training providers Charnwood, to meet the needs of modern retailing. The Cheshire brewery has spent the last 12 months developing the offer with licensees and will aim to have 130 candidates on the programme by the middle of 2014.

Thursday, 10 October 2013




Robinsons Brewery today announced that over ONE MILLION pints of TROOPER have already been exported around the world. Given that the beer was only launched in the UK five months ago on May 9, and only made available to the USA and most other countries less than two months ago, this is a remarkable accomplishment for the Cheshire pocket option copy trading family brewers and takes the total number of TROOPER pints sold globally to over 2 million pints.

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Blondes are more fun

I fell in love with Exmoor Gold right from the very first sip and since the eighties it’s been my favourite beer. Golden ales stand head and shoulders above any other style in my book. But in recent years a newcomer has nuzzled its way into my affections and is now without a shadow of a doubt the very best beer by a long chalk; Thornbridge Jaipur is my new (ish) love. It's what I think of as an 'American IPA'. Yes I know, I know. I love the crispness and the intense flavours along with bags of flowery hoppy bitterness.

These days it’s often available in selected pubs in Norwich but a couple of weeks ago I was fortunate enough to go to Sheffield. Thornbridge seem to run a number of pubs in and around Sheffield and I popped along to Dada; a quirky ‘art’ bar in Trippet Lane. It was early evening, the Jaipur was on top form and I would have loved to have stayed for the music but I needed to find a bite to eat and not get pissed.

Whilst in Sheffield I also paid a visit to the Fat Cat in Kelham Island. A great local boozer. I could live in Sheffield. I could live and drink in Sheffield.

Friday, 14 June 2013

It's an age thing

I try really hard not to be a ‘stick in the mud’ and ‘the world has gone mad’ sort of bloke. And whilst I’m nowhere near the outer limits of sanity on that planet inhabited by Daily Mail reader swivel-eyed UK types, some things do get my goat. And one of those things is being asked my age to follow a brewery on Twitter. It’s just happened to me when I tried to follow Sharp’s Brewery. 

Well Sharp’s brewery can just fuck off! It’s nonsense! 
Can we have a little sanity please?

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Art and craft

I think the penny might have dropped in the USA that the term ‘craft beer’ actually, when it all boils down to it, means absolutely fuck all!

This article ‘Mother Earth wades into craft beer label debate’ highlights the problem that appears to be manifesting itself in the States with bigger breweries trying to muscle in on the craft beer market. And why shouldn’t they? Isn’t America the land of the free market anyway? Surely anything goes?

Of course I’m being a bit mischievous here but it does highlight the problem that a nebulous category like ‘craft beer’ faces. I’m seeing the term ‘craft beer’ used more and more in the UK and whilst I’ve enjoyed a number of beers that might carry that label I have to say that the term ‘craft’ is essentially pretentious bollocks!

Exactly what is a craft beer anyway?

Beer is either real (live) or it is dead. There are good and bad in both kinds. Quite frankly I don’t greatly mind what size the brewery is as long as the beer is of a quality and taste that I enjoy. My preference will always be for real ale when it’s available and of a reasonable quality. I accept that just because a beer is real ale and is from a small brewery it doesn’t necessarily follow that it will be any good. Likewise a beer from a multi-national might not always be bad. Quality is more important than trendy labels. Real ale is relatively easy to define, craft beer means nothing. Craft beer is for the type of people that have an iPhone, shop at Asda or would happily eat out at Nandos; Those that go for image over substance. Craft beer could be a threat to real ale if society continues to head towards a marketing man’s paradise. So expect the return of Watney’s Red Barrel sometime soon!