Our Plaice, Coniston, June 2017

A very quick fish’n’chips post. Another lovely day out in the Langdales today, conquering Loft Crag and Pike O’Stickle (proper scrambling required to get to the top of that one). The cottage (ground floor apartment) that we are staying in is overlooked (although hidden by massive trees) by Our Plaice, and sometimes the smell of fish’n’chips drifts over. It’s always tempting.

Tonight, we gave in to temptation and both had fish and chips, putting in the effort required for the 60 second walk to get there 🙂

Lovely fresh fish and chips (cooked to order, so they haven’t been hanging around under heat lamps). Delicious, crisp batter (sign of a nice high temperature in the fryers) and lovely fresh chips. As we have no dishwasher, we opted to eat straight from the carton.

A cracking takeaway fish and chip shop, perfect for all parts of Coniston. You can eat them just outside on picnic benches (lovely views of the A593) or you could take them down to the water’s edge and enjoy them with a proper view.

Recommended!

The Sun Hotel, Coniston, June 2017

A lower and easier walk today. We walked from Coniston over to Tarn Hows, had lunch down by the tarn, and then meandered our way back down in to Coniston again. This left plenty of time in the evening, so we decided to go out for dinner. After perusing a few pubs and their menus we decided to take a short stroll up to the Sun Hotel. We’ve been here before, stopping in for a pint after conquering the Old Man of Coniston a good few years ago. If you want to be precise, 31st May 2009.

No such exertions today, although we are still feeling the effects of Bowfell and Rossett Pike on Sunday, so even climbing the steps up to the hotel/pub was causing us to be reminded of this! Despite being an utterly glorious evening, and the elevated position offering some lovely views, the place was almost deserted, with just a few other couples dining on the terrace outside, and the inside of the pub completely empty. Undeterred, we picked up some menus from the bar, ordered food and drinks and then went to sit outside in the conservatory, which enjoys the same views as the terrace, but with the added protection of being sheltered.

First up for me, a pint of YOLO from Fell Brewery, which last featured here in May 2015, at The Wainwright in Keswick.

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Looking fine again tonight, and still a great golden session ale (although sadly no dimple pot).

Dinner was soon served. Mrs MOFAD had chosen a mushroom stroganoff, which was not bad, a little bit vinegary but an interesting combination of ingredients. I opted for the pan fried salmon with crushed new potatoes, roasted cherry tomatoes, asparagus, mange tout and pesto.

It was lovely. A nice crisp crust on the salmon, lovely potatoes, and the rest of the green and red stuff all worked together well. A really nice meal. This was accompanied by a pint of Red Bull.

No, I’ve not ended up on a stag do in the middle of our holiday, Red Bull Terrier is a superb malty red ale, easy drinking and it went perfectly with the salmon.

I can’t explain why this place was so empty. Lovely food and lots of good ales on, great views. What more do you want? Make the short walk up the hill to check it out.

The Needle & Pin Craft Beer Club – Dark Beer selection box #3 – June 2017

This is the eighth selection box from the N&P, the third from the Dark Beer Club. I’ve now sampled all except one from the first dark beer selection box, and still have four left from the second one. Let’s take a peek into box number three…

Buxton/Stillwater – Subliminal Imperial Stout  – 10%

From Buxton and Stillwater, a downright delicious imperial stout. Pitch black, chewy and unmissable, a collaboration 10% Imperial Stout that scored 99 on Ratebeer, a real rarity. This sold out when it was launched and the N&P have held this back for a few months to give it time to mature…

Dark Star – Espresso – 4.2%

An old favourite, ready for a comeback. A black beer brewed with roasted barley malt and Challenger hops, with freshly ground arabica beans, blended especially for Dark Star, added at the end of the boil to provide a rich and complementary coffee aroma.

Einstök Ă–lgerĂ° – Toasted Porter – 6%

One that I’ve had before (in Suffolk), with clear notes of toffee and dark chocolate, this porter is roasty and rich, offering a medium body that is robust, yet smooth on the palate. Toasted and chocolate malts give it an apparently “sinister” black colour, but its easy-to-drink taste will have you believing that there’s no need to be afraid of the dark. This was tasty with gentle smokiness.

Omnipollo – Noa – 11%

From the genius that is Omnipollo in Sweden, Noa is their 11% Chocolate, Peanut Butter and Toffee Imperial Stout. This came about from the head brewer’s childhood ambition to be a pastry chef, evoking subltle notes of maple syrup and burnt sugar.

Ticketybrew – Tea and Biscuits Mild – 3.5%

This is a recognisable mild, but Ticketybrew have used amber malt for a biscuit taste, without the bitterness that biscuit malt can sometimes bring. They have added lactose for a milk flavour, then literally made a big pot of tea and thrown it in. When using tea you need to avoid steeping the teabags either in a slurry to use in the beer, or by way of “dry hopping” otherwise you’ll get a lot of tannins in the beer.

Tollgate – Old Rasputin Stout – 4.5%

Another local beer, brewed just down the road near Calke Abbey. With a rich caramel and fruity aroma, and mellow toffee and vanilla notes, this is a silky smooth old school stout.

Wollaton Cricket Club – the sixth annual beer festival

A departure from the norm here. An advert. I am not for sale, but when Comrade Chairman (a former colleague) comes calling then the rules can be bent a little bit. Next weekend there is a beer festival occuring. I can’t be there, but maybe you can.

Wollaton Cricket Club would like to invite you to join them for their sixth annual beer festival, at the Wollaton Sports Association Ground from the evening of Thursday 25th May until Bank Holiday Monday 29th May.

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The festival will offer beer and cider drinkers a choice of up to 20 fantastic quality ales and ciders from a wide range of the country’s best breweries.

Prices start from under ÂŁ3.00 a pint, with the bar open from 6.00pm until 11.00pm on Thursday 25th May, 12 noon until 11pm Friday-Sunday, and 12-6pm on Monday 28th May.

There is outdoor seating available, from where you will be able to enjoy your tasty beverage whilst watching the weekend’s cricket at one of the most picturesque grounds in the county.

You can also tuck into some food with your beer. There will be a BBQ on the Friday evening and other delicious snacks such as pasties and samosas, from local suppliers, available during the festival.

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The Wollaton Sports Association Ground is situated on Wollaton Road, NG8 2AN, and is only a two-minute walk away from the NCT 30 and Trent Barton Rainbow bus stops.

Enjoy cricket and beer, a match made in heaven.

Things that go bump in the night

[Update : after a few discussions, I’ve now found out that this has happened to lots of these cans, more details here :- http://wildweatherales.com/news/such-a-bore-cans-trials-tribulations/]

Sometimes things go bump in the night. Something falling off a shelf. A fox knocking a bin over. A squirrel scrabbling around on your roof.

In the early hours of this morning, this can had some kind of an incident where its top part expanded, and ejected a few other cans that were sat on top of it. This made a bit of a noise. We had no idea what had happened until we came down to the cupboard under the stairs to find several cans on the floor, and this one looking innocent still on the shelf.

It is now in quarantine outside, since an explosion in that confined space would have been unthinkable. It’s the first time I’ve seen a can do this!

I don’t think I dare open it now!

[Update : having been in touch with Wild Weather, they are sending out a couple of replacement cans (of something else).]

The Needle & Pin – May 2017 shopping spree

Another N&P post. And another shopping spree. A few of the items pictured appeared in craft beer club boxes, but most of these are “extras”, things that have turned up on the shelves at the Needle & Pin since the last time I was there. The awesome Sean is always happy to put things aside for you, but by the time I got round to collecting this lot it was getting a bit embarrassing. And before you try and stage an intervention, I should point out that they are not all for me. Let’s take a look at some of the highlights. Cans first.

Just look at that lovely lot. Canned beer is not something to be ashamed of. In those cans above are going to be some of the best beers that I will try this year. On the left we have some new offerings from Magic Rock, including this year’s Human Cannonball (Double IPA) and Unhuman Cannonball (that’s a Triple IPA) as well as Tap Type (American Pale) and Psychokinesis (American IPA).

Next to them are new Cloudwater offerings Bergamot Hopfen Weisse, IPA Mosaic Exp 431, Motueka Pilsner, Session IPA Chinook Mosaic and NW DIPA Citra, the next evolution of the Cloudwater DIPA experiments, featuring yeast from one of Manchester’s oldest family brewers and fresh 2016 harvest hops. Citra takes the lead backed up by Simcoe, and JW Lees 4792nd generation yeast.

There are also some cans from recent visitors to #craftbeerhour including Pig & Porter’s Whispering Bob and Erdant’s Light Bulb.

Let’s move on to the bottles next.

We start on the left with No Rest for Dancers, a red ale from Lost and Grounded, three from Gypsy Hill, Hop Candy, a Simcoe forward DIPA from Siren and Astley’s Northern Hop Lager (yes that’s Rick Astley’s first beer brewed by Mikkeller). And please, no more “never gonna give you hop” remarks. On the right hand side you can see Beavertown Tempus Project BrosĂ©, brewed in collaboration with Forty Hall Vineyard, the first commercial scale vineyard in London since the middle ages.

Looking forward to sampling these in the coming weeks and months. Hopefully I’ll get the chance to report back on a few, but given that I’m four months behind on beer of the month and pub of the month posts, I’m making no promises.