Saturday, 19 July 2014

The Heat is between, Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head

On Sunday the weather was, well at best, unsettled. After weighing up the odds, and an early shift to contend with the following day, we decided to do a spot of shopping. This rewarding interlude in a Beermonster's day off is always a bonus if planned around a hostelry! I am noted for my planning AND manipulation.. After working our way via Sainsbury's, B & M (some good deals there on drinks and soft fluffy stuff, t'other arf says) The Yarborough loomed into view and Kelham Island's "Mind Control" caught my attention.How apt. How nice ? Very. At 6.9% it is not for the faint hearted.A double IPA, the smoothness of this ale was extremely pleasurable and I think the brewers have nailed this one, as they normally do.T'other arf opted for Sadler's JPA (Jack's Pale Ale) a very palid looking bitter. 3.8 % and although not a bad beer, the taste was, in our opinion, a little bland.I also endulged in a pint of the Hull based brewer's Great Newsome, "Line and Length" a 4.1 % bitter which seemed very full flavoured and went down well.This was accompanied by a half for the lady of "Shefford's Old Strong" from Banks and Taylor.A pleasing hopiness to this which was quite floral I thought Another one to be respected at 5%. Both types of retail therapy over, we wandered home, only to be drawn into The Parity. Those damned neon signs just don't allow a man free passage..........I opted for Oakham's offering of "Bishop's Farewell" a 4.6% premium ale. Dark and fruity but quite dry on the palate, a nicely balanced pint indeed.The half FTL (for the lady!) was B & T's "Born Free" Nice Summer beer but nothing exceptional. A 4% ABV would make it a good session beer and the floral taste is not unpleasant. Enough of the beer for today, it was only 2-30 and the sun had poked it's head out, so the lounger in the garden beckoned. Then it rained!!!

The case of the Scotch egg......

What a lovely day dawned on Thursday.As JDW's were hosting their Cider Festival, I had arranged to meet up with work colleague Dave the Rave( pictured left) in the Yarborough. Of course the hope of an early finish at work was scuppered, T'other arf had an appointment she needed dropping off at, and the scheduled meet time ended up 3 hrs later!! I have to admit it was poorly planned so blame someone else is best. Well cider not being my thing, I will use Dave's musings by proxy.Dave was on "Waddlegoose Lane's Woodsprite" 5.8% when I arrived. "It's allright you kid" was the verdict. "I had one of those whisky barrel ones earlier.Not bad. Not bad at all" was the brief synopsis of Thirstly Cross's 6.9% Whisky Cask cider.The taster of the"beetroot one" was "not bad but I don't know,Shag,I wouldn't want much, and the other one(??) was a bit boring" whichever that one was. After an Old Rosie which "wasn't what it usually tastes like" The Waddlegoose Lane had won Dave's tastebuds over.I went for Great Newsome's "Jem's Stout" a lovely stout but not a heavy drink.ABV of 4.3%. One to savour but a noticeable lack of head for this style. My second choice was from the same brewers. "Frothingham Best" 4.3% and a quite dry finish to the subtle aroma. This went down well. I had espied another of the American Craft beers, brewed over here in conjunction with our own brewing fraternaties, and I have become a fan of these styles. This offering was "Enraptured" a brew from "The Alchemist" stable from Vermont. With the assistance of Adnams, this dark IPA at 5.5% is purely delightful. Full flavoured but not overpowering I was certainly impressed and remained on it for the remainder of our session.After meandering down to JDW's other hostelry, "The Ice Barque" and convincing Dave's friends of yore that a) I was in the Ministry and there to save them from themselves and b) "I was picked on at school cos me Mam christened me Elvis. She was a fan. Honest!" for a brief period, we waddled like geese down the lane. Dave offered his hospitality and I accepted and soon we were enjoying the sunshine in his garden.First on offer was a cuppa. Most welcome. Next chicken legs. Now, drinking is drinking and eating is eating.I very rarely mix the two. I know when the take-away fairies are calling and it wasn't now.Still Mein Host is persuasive so I pecked away. Next, the appearance of Scotch Eggs. No. Can't do one. No Way.More persuasion. No thanks.Then a bit of Father Ted-ness "Go on,go on go on go on" OK. I nibbled. Hmm quite nice.I AM partial to savouries.Nibble nibble. Yes, Cheers Dave. Bite through to the whiteness of the egg. Oh yeah, I will enjoy this.As we talked, I relaxed and began to appreciate the sun, surroundings,company and the fact that I had a Scotch Egg when a moistness enveloped my hand. I slowly looked down. My egg,My lovely Scotch Egg. Vanished. All that was visible was the tail end of 2 black Labradors, and I swear one was smirking. "Oh, mate, what did you do that for.You didn't have to feed the dogs!!" Crestfallen at the loss of my Caledonian Ovoid delight I could only apologies at being the victim of Canine muggers! I did feel better after 3 glasses of Monkey Shoulder Whisky though,even if the next day started with a thick head and empty stomach.
Cheers and keep it "Real"

Friday, 11 July 2014

When the sun does shine......

After a hectic day paddling in the rain on Friday, and feeling damp and miserable most of Saturday morning at work, I arrived home to the joys of CBeebies, Minecraft and other associated rackets one enjoys when Grand-children visit. Loom bands and squeaky toys avoided, like a Ninja warrior, I managed to make it to the sanctuary of the sodden (or is that sodding!!) garden. The sun had managed to pop it's well shrouded haze through to the moistened gatherings of plants I humbly look on as our outdoor living area. The heat was slowly building, and soon, it was rumoured, we were to be freed from the cacophony of being beloved. Not long now and we will have this pleasure for a whole seven days on a small boat in Norfolk. Gonna love it. No, We really will.
Well after deciding on a bit of shopping, we headed into town, bedecked in shorts and t-shirts and we were soon finding ourselves in the small beer garden of Wetherspoons' Yarborough hotel. Very conscious of work the following morning,this was just a breather session to relieve the throbbing temples and also to help with the external drying out! I started with "Phoenix West Coast IPA" from Manchester.
At 4.6 % this golden beer was surpisingly smooth. With a long hoppy finish, it certainly quenched the thirst. T'other arf chose the the Butcombe "Yeti". A light coloured Golden ale at 4%, this too was very refreshing. It is probably the most civilised way to wile away a couple of hours on a sunny afternoon. Wine tasters may look down on beer drinkers and scorn, but with so many varied styles in both "hobbies" I think our pallettes need to be mutually admired. I decided to try the "Independence American IPA" next. Brewed in conjunction with Banks, this brew from The Devil's Backbone Brewers was a powerful but moreish ale. At 4.7% it is one to be respected. A good brew from these American craft brewers. The football had just started so we decided to have a last one in The Parity. One does feel for the pubs since the World cup has seen the exit of England.If only. Saying that, I have enjoyed this tounament immensly. It has been full of good football, surprising results and just seems to give you that feelgood factor. I hope the "Friendly Games" in Glagow offers the same "buzz". In the Parity I went for Springhead's "The Leveller". A dark Belgian Trappist styled beer. 4.8% and a real rounded taste to it. A slight burnt toffee aroma adds to the satisfying finish. The "Sunny Daze" from Oldershaw's, a wheat beer at 4.2% was sampled by my partner. Another beer to enjoy in the sun........even though we were drinking inside watching the big screen footie!
Anyway, that was tahat, as they say, so Cheers, and keep it "real"