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Saturday, 22 November 2014

November Rain.


After quite a busy Grimbarian Oktoberfest,( that's Grimsby,North East Lincs, not the fictitious Germanic State of Grimbaria, somewhere near Bavaria, my imagination perceives......hold on. Copyright that name. I may include it in my next novel.OK my first novel......if I ever do write one!! Time to stop daydreaming and concentrate on the blog.)it was decided that I slow down a bit on the Ale intake this coming month, and, for £10 to charity, (Prostate Cancer UK), shave off the “goatee” and grow a moustache only for “Movember”. I don't mind looking a prat for a month, and if anyone else wishes to point and laugh at my attempt, please follow it up with a donation too. The tenth month had seen a few days on the elixir, notably ticking off the JDW's Festival beers. All things beery were not to be off the menu this coming month, &, on Monday I started off my Christmas beer, namely 40 pints of “Wilko's” Velvet Stout home-brew, followed later that day by my first trip out this month, at the outset, just to the local B&M store, primarily for something they didn't have, but on searching through the myriad of shelves and their many and varied wares, it came to pass that I became stood in front of the drinks selection. Not a massive selection, I might add, but certainly sizeable, and sensibly priced. As I was cooking that evening, a spicy little take on a lasagne, but with a ginger and chilli kick, I do like to faff about, I pondered that a splash of cooling beer may compliment it perfectly. I found four different beers, each 330ml bottles, and each on offer at only 89p, purchased said articles, and started to walk back home. On passing The Ice Barque, curiosity wasn't in the throes of murdering felines, but urged me to take a peep inside. Not one to be persuaded against entering a Real Ale establishment, I was soon at the bar and ogling at one of my “missing” Festival Ales. I was obviously steered into here by forces unknown, or maybe my beer radar was tuned in, as usual, but I was pleased that my Ale of choice was the Festival brew, Brew Moon “Antipodean Ale” a 4% Pale Ale, which poured well, with a creamy head, and was quite fruity in body, with a long, long citrus, bitter finish. This, being my 47  th festival ale tried, was quite a pleasing beer, not a “X-Factor” of beer, but certainly one I would have had again, if time and tide would wait a while. Again I started off home, this time achieving my aim of arriving and laid out my wares for inspection. My selection consisted of 3 beers from The Box Steam Brewery, from Holt in the Midlands, were part of their Criminales range. These were “Robber” a 4.9% Pale Ale, “Gangster” Mighty IPA at 5.4% and “Fraudster” Golden Ale of 4.4% ABV. Although good representatives of their styles, they all, whilst refreshing one's palate, had that fizzy, bottled taste to them. Good to savour with a meal, but they lacked the depth of a cask ale. The concept of flashy labels and sharp names is obviously an attempt to persuade younger drinkers to try “ales” , and that is a plus, but most of these gimmicky brews in a bottle fall well short of those beer styles they try, valiantly, to represent. They are beers to enjoy in mixed company (Ale drinkers and Lager swillers alike) at a barbecue, or impromptu gathering. They are not a serious statement of our fine brewing art,. Only my opinion. The 4th bottle was a Greene King Lager by the name of “Noble” which was dry, slightly biscuity and had a slightly tart bitterness. This 5% brew was, again, OK, but certainly lacked a certain “Ding Dong” , as Leslie Phillips would say (No Ding Dong ? No Bell ?? OK, OK, Please yourselves !!!) And so meal over and tasting finished, I volunteered to wash-up, which back fired on me, as T'other 'arf merely responded with “OK, Get on with it”, instead of “Oh No, You've slaved over a hot stove ALL day, after hunter gathering stuff. You put your feet up and relax”. When will I ever learn!

No 47 out of 50.


On Thursday, I decided on knocking up a curry for Dinner. Ingredients sourced, one must have more than a raita to cool and cleanse one's palate. To this end, I had ventured to Morrison's on my way home from work. It made sense, having just one stone and two birds to fell. As always, a good selection was on offer, and I opted for McMullen “Hertford Castle” a 5% late hopped Pale Ale, which was devoured as I prepared our meal. This came across as quite creamy, moderately bitter, with a medium back taste of sweet caramel. I certainly enjoyed this bottle, much better than those “Criminales” of earlier.I also chose “Cascade Pale Ale” a 4.9% brew from Saltaire Brewery. I have had this on cask and bottled before, and it is certainly a mouthfull of flavour either way. Dry, biscuity, citrus and long in the finish, an excellent accompaniment to any “Ruby Murray”. My intrepid co-diner and long suffering Partner, Jane, fresh from her toils, sampled the 3rd bottle in our range, Ilkley's “Ilkley Pale” a 4.2% glass of hoppy refreshment. Floral and quite dry, but extremly refreshing on the palate, again, a really good beer with our meal of choice. Full up and satisfied, we left the table. This time I didn't mention the washing up. Result.

With Grimsby drawing 1-1 away to the mighty Altrincham, (OK, so by the radio commentry, we threw a poor game away) , the uncertain prospects of Eng-er-land in the Euro Qualifiers, following on from my last 2 of my set of 4 early shifts which entailed getting soaked through to the skin on a cold, wet and windy airport apron, I was ready for a “proper” pint. So, after arriving home early afternoon, the bath was filled, salts added and body immersed. Oooh, sooo good. With the radio giving regular disappointments out, in the background, zzzzz zzzz I was soon aware that the room was darker, water colder and time slightly further on than I had imagined. “Oh, bugger” Never mind. I dragged myself out of my watery cocoon, dried, dressed and smiling and groveling, bade T'other arf a cheerfull, “Cheerio” for a couple of hours. My intention was to grab the 2nd half of the game in The Parity, a couple in The Yarborough and then home. I just made it tho The Parity as the whistle sounded for the gladitortorial restart of the second 45 minutes, ordered my Tom Woods “Bomber County”, which I felt was not the best pint of this beer I had ever tasted, but still drinkable, settled down and enjoyed our glorious 3-1 victory against Slovenia, the team ranked 36 in the world.Verdict ? Job done, I suppose.Triumphantly, I skipped out of the pub an ever onwards. In The Yarborough, which was quite busy at both bars, I chose the “American IPA” offered by New Zealand's Fork and Brewer. This 4.2% brew was strong in citrus flavours, grapefruit was very evident, with a long dry finish. I found it OK but, for me, a little too dry and bitter.I would suggest just a little too much going which seemed to detract from the subtleties.Next beer to be sampled was Celtic “Native Storm”. I last tasted this Ale on our return from a recent trip to Kent ( http://fozzy21.blogspot.co.uk/2014/09/take-me-home-country-roads.html) and, on this tasting alone , I found it somewhere between curious and unpleasant, with the spicy/biscuity lingering finish a little too much. Maybe a “Marmite” Ale. You either love it or hate it. Another I quaffed on this trip, I had also tasted on my visit back in September, namely Summerskills “Ninja”. I don't know whether it was me, after a tiring and unpleasant weather affected week, but I felt quite unsatisfied with this 5% Premium Bitter. The finish was quite short lived, and the fruitiness almost sickly. Another job done,and now ready for home, I scanned the pub looking for Likey, Likeys, my childish game of spotting people who look like someone “famous”. Now, I want it to be understood that I have NEVER seen TOWIE or Geordie Shores or the virtual cornucopia of similar reality shows on offer,other than those awful plugs they insist on showing whilst one enjoys one of those thought provoking documentries on The Rise and Fall of the Guatamalan Gumba Bean, or The Shame of the Nun Ticklers Club,on TV but I think I could have spotted dopplegangers for the entire series' casts in here this evening. Anyone with a little money to invest need look no further than the fake tan and bling markets to make a good return in this area of Lincolnshire.I was soon home, helping our Grandson become an Adventure Capitalist (VERY addictive game, try it),and, eventually, trying to catch up on some TV, in between snoring and doing that daft thing were your head falls off your supporting hand and, against all odds and the laws of gravity and the science of anatomy, hits your shoulder, swings pendulum like round across your chest, only to come to a perfect stop, eyes open, staring back at the TV. Goodnight zzzzzzzzzzzz


And so, another day dawns, T'other 'arf was away to work, whilst our Grandson's entertainment was to be provided by me, with the help of Norman Wisdom's “A Stitch in Time” DVD. What a classic. In this high speed, electronicly controlled life that we have virtually created, fixated by texts and demands to buy the latest shoot 'em up, the simplistic writing of these 1960's comedy films is quite humbling. Thanks Norm, and you Mr Grimsdale! I prepared a lovely, warming and spiced, beef stew for dinner and nipped out into town, primarily to do a bit of shopping, but with other intentions at the back of my mind! Meeting up with The Worker, we browsed, bought little and went to The Ice Barque, but you already guessed that.In here, I fancied the Milestone's 3.8% “Lion's Pride”, and was most disappointed at finding our offering was off, but only after settling down away from the bar to enjoy it. Yak. To be fair, it was changed without too much hassle, although after agreeing that the barrel had “gone”, the clip remained on view to the unaware. We had the “Meremaid Red” from Coronado Brewery, another beer previously experienced on this blog.It was a good, well rounded beer, packed with flavour and a lovely long finish to savour. We decided to nip in The Yarborough on the way home before , hopefully, digging in to a hearty plate full of stew. In here, we opted for a pint of Cotleigh's “Commando Hoofing”, a 4% Pale beer and a half of the Golden bitter from RCH,
A Rebelious beer from Weston
Super Mare.
“Pitchfork”. I thought my beer was full and malty in taste,which leads to a fruit finish. Well hopped and well balanced, a refreshing brew.The Pitchfork, named after the Pitchfork Rebellion of 1665, I believe, was, somewhat, smokey in taste, with a long and increasingly dry,finish. Nice. I decided to finish on a pint of the Pitchfork, whilst T'other 'arf went for a soft drink. We had appreciated these little treats on a Sunday afternoon, and as we left, just before 3pm, it had the feel of one of those afternoons BEFORE the licence changes came in. In some ways, I miss that feel.Sunday Drinking between 12 and 3pm and 7-10-30pm only. You knew who was out, and where, at any particular time in the “old” days. Nostalgia ain't what it used to be! Should we go back to this very structured way of drinking? Personally I think not, but at least it gave us a disciplined way of embibing.Anyway that's it for now so.......
Cheers and keep it "Real"