Friday, 2 September 2011





Wednesday, 31 August 2011


Dear beery comrades.

Apologies for the lack of posting over the last couple of days or so.
It is due to us slowly moving over to our bespoke website.

Take a look!

Shortly all of this blog will live over there as well as all new posts.
Shouldn't take long.

In the meantime here's the flag of our Republic Of Really Good Beer to raise a toast to.

Maybe we need a National Anthem?
Any ideas?

(Milk And Alcohol by Dr. Feelgood perhaps?)

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Moorhouse's Pendle Witches Brew (5.1%)

Brewing since the mid 1800's, Moorhouse's of Burnley are a stalwart of the North West.
I remember drinking this beer in pubs around Lancashire in the past (and I mean the dim distant past) but I've never tried them bottled before.

Interestingly for us here at CAMRGB, this well established "olde worlde" brewer filters its beers.
No sediment here.
They've decided that filtered bottles are best.

No waste and no mess you see.
I hear your shocked cries of, "But that means this brewer of one hundred and fifty years' beer is not REAL!"
Perhaps in the bottle its a simulacrum of the cask?

Anyway, the beer.
Pendle Witches Brew is a lightish golden ale with delightful honey malts, some good dark woody notes with a hint of spice and a hit of black pepper.
Did I get traces of chocolate orange?
It's certainly in my notes.
This is a fantastic, easy drinking ale. Perfect for a slow drink on a warm evening.

Visit Moorhouse's Brewery.

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Magic Rock Brewing Rapture (4.6%)

Another brewer really going out of their way to have products that look fantastic as well as tasting fantastic.

I've been hearing quite a bit about Magic Rock and so when I saw them on the shelf in The Offie yesterday I just had to pick up a couple.
Rapture is, and I quote, a "Red Hop Ale".
I opened the bottle and out popped a big fat smell of Vimto - All sweet and sticky, it made my mouth water.

The beer sits in the glass all ruby red, looking rich and thick.
But on taking a sip this beer is not the beast you expect.
You are given the floral fizzy pop smell but only just before you have your palate raked with lime juice.
There are hints at red berries that lead you to think the red ale roundness is coming but it's another evil ruse to lure you into a false sense of security before the enormous, fat, brutal hops rips out your tongue and smacks you round the chops with it.
This beer is what red ale is when it's reinvented by the hard case in the pub who nudges you as a "joke" while you're having a wee but always wins you over with a bastard charm.
Truly wonderful beer, though I'm unsure whether I'm excited or terrified at the prospect of my next bottle.

Visit them.

Odell Brewing Co. IPA (7%)

So, my first taste of an Odell beer.
As a friend pointed out last night Odell's branding and artwork are superb - beautifully designed labels and bottle caps that make you want to pick up the bottles and investigate.

So what about the beer?
Well, this is a really complicated India Pale Ale.
On opening and pouring you are given a zippy sherbet pop hit before the rich yankee malts (sorry, but that's the only way to describe that flavour that many American IPAs share) fill your mouth.
Hidden away in there is orange rind, thick oozing caramel and toasted brown bread.
Yes you read right, toasted brown bread.
Just before the incredibly long dry bitter finish you get really resinous hints of maple syrup
Our American friends are very good at India Pale Ales aren't they?
This is super duper.

See for yourself.

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Thwaites Old Dan (7.4%)

Is it just me or is the supermarket big shop much more rewarding if you treat yourself to a couple of ales in the trolley?  (N.B wait until you get home to enjoy them responsibly - drinking and shopping is still frowned upon in some regions of the United Kingdom). Well I always take a look at the beer aisle and on this occasion spotted a name that I had recently read in another blog (Ghost Drinker).  I don't choose all of my beers based on other peoples experiences as this can be a sure-fire way to miss out on great beer, but on this occasion I was happy to take Ghosty's word for it.

This bottle conditioned ale is described by Thwaites as a delicious mellow beer with chestnut hues and a smooth finish.  Its all English malt bill consists of Maris Otter, Pearl and Crystal with the hops keeping to this trend with Fuggles and WGV.  It pours a a deep amber/copper colour as suggested and smells sweet and chewy... that is if a smell can be chewy?  Upon my first taste I found it hard to place the specific flavour I was getting and found it difficult not to accept the 'boozy fruit cake' description on the bottle.  But as the beer warmed a little in the glass I found the flavour easier to place as a sweet muscat pudding wine.  No real bitterness comes through but I'm sure this is true to the style.

Much the same as the Naylor's Premium Brew 1000, Thwaites suggest that this ale will improve over time.  So, if rich sweet and fruity beers are your bag, then you can't go wrong for £1.60 (in Morrisons) and for this price you can get a few for now and a few for the beer cupboard.

The Hogs Back Brewery Shop

In an attempt to discover a viable alternative to buying beer from supermarkets we paid a visit to the Hogs Back Brewery shop in Tongham, part way between Farnham and Guildford in Surrey. And it didn't disappoint. They have an impressive range of own brews, and whatever brews they currently have on the go can be sampled - by dint of the chap disappearing off into an anteroom to fill a small cup. I tasted TEA (Traditional English Ale) and BSA (Burma Star Ale), and there are many other fine brews, some of which aren't even TLAs. Needless to say we bought a gift pack of mixed ales for future tasting.

What was equally impressive was the range of other local, national and international ales on offer. This is where the Hogs Back shop will undoubtedly come into its own as a future beer shopping experience - I was particularly pleased to see both Arran and Fyne ales in stock from our Scottish expedition,along with a grand selection of
European and American beers including Brooklyn Lager, a particular fave from previous visits to the Big Apple.

Some other nice touches included the viewing gallery where you can see part of the brewing process in action (they do brewery tours too, which is surely a pencil-in for a free Saturday afternoon), and a "tasting notes" sheet expounding on what sorts of beers are recommended to go with various meals. I'm much in favour of promoting beers as an accompaniment to meals in the same way that wines are matched - there must be an untapped market for beer somelliers!

All in all a good find, and generous
opening hours too. As a bonus we also popped in to the Shepherd and Flock, located in the middle of a huge roundabout on the edge of Farnham, and opposite the self-proclaimed "best shed display in Britain". They had Hogs Back Summer Ale on tap, so it couldn't be passed up - and it was surprisingly potent for an ostensibly light ale. To use my new favourite interjection, Giddles.