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 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 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!

Thursday, 30 May 2013

“Bitter race row over Faversham brewery Shepherd Neame's Spitfire beer ad”

Shepherd Neame are not my most favourite brewery and their advertising always manages to offend me greatly, as it should any decent thinking person! 

They do say that there is no such thing as bad publicity but when, in my humble opinion, a brewery brings a quality product like real ale down to the level of the lager lout and swivel-eyed UKIP types it’s a very sad day indeed. 

Shepherd Neame’s jingoistic approach to beer advertising really has no place in the day and age and I’m glad, if this article is to be believed, that an advert for Spitfire has been refused permission to be aired on TV. ‘The sketch, which stars comic duo Armstrong and Miller, makes reference to "Poles" and "Paddies" laying patios.

I have blogged before about their distasteful advertising. I even complained to the Advertising Standards Authority about them. Sadly my complaint was not upheld. I repeat my call now ‘Come on Shepherd Neame clean up your act.’

Perhaps it’s time for beer drinkers to boycott the likes of Shepherd Neame. And while we’re on the subject lets boycott Charles Wells for their somewhat neo-sexist Rik Mayall ads.