#RainbowProject16 – beer #3 – violet – Royal Ale

Another quick Rainbow Project review. I’ve been savouring my way through the box, rather than guzzling them all down in a day or two.

Violet is often associated as the color of nobility so Partizan looked at a few royal or coronation ales from 1953 which were quite varied but essentially barley wine-esque for the most part. To add an extra degree of nobility they boosted the sugar content with some riesling grape juice, riesling being a grape associated with noble rot.

Noble rot is the beneficial form of a grey fungus, Botrytis cinerea, affecting wine grapes. Grapes typically become infected with Botrytis when they are ripe. If they are then exposed to drier conditions and become partially raisined, this form of infection is known as noble rot. Grapes when picked at a certain point during infestation can produce particularly fine and concentrated sweet wines.

This one was an interesting oddity:-


Absolutely no carbonation. Sour, bitter and the riesling comes through quite pleasingly. But it doesn’t quite work as a beer.

Wild Weather Storm in a Teacup Earl Grey IPA

Wild Weather is another of the N&P’s breweries of 2016. Who can forget the wonderful Motorcycle Emptiness, Big Muddy or Stormbringer? Me, because I haven’t had any of them yet! Storm in a Teacup is my first venture into the third Needle & Pin craft beer selection box.

Two things are loved the world over; a warm cup of tea and a cool glass of beer. And it’s with this worldwide love affair firmly in mind that Wild Weather crafted this beer. Using hops from the America, New Zealand & Australia, tea inspired by China and the finest English malt. A true intercontinental behemoth that takes a slightly sweeter approach to bittering, and pairing with hops that will compliment, but not be drowned by, the aromatic bergamot charisma of the Earl Grey.


This was my 19th beer of #Tryanuary, and it does exactly what it says on the tin. “Earl Grey IPA” is what it says on the tin. It is literally that. There are hops. There is tea. A hoppy cup of tea or a tea flavoured beer. Whichever way you look at it, it delivers on its promise.

Sherwin Arms, Bramcote, January 2017, visit 2

Another quick and simple post. You might have deja vu. We do, because we came to this very pub just seven days ago. As with the last visit, another opportunity to catch up with friends presented itself, so we returned to this increasingly familiar pub.

Once again we were just looking for something simple so Mrs MOFAD had the chicken tikka again (always a fan of a pub curry). I opted for the “sizzling” gammon, served on a sizzling platter of onions and mushrooms with chips with peas, and a choice of fried egg or pineapple. This “choice” annoys me. You should be able to have both. If you don’t have one or the other available, fine. If both are available, serve it with both.

The little dish of peas is also an annoyance. Why do they need to be in a separate dish? Just makes them harder to eat! The sizzling gimmick iron thing, I can vaguely understand (although it’s not really necessary), as they do seem to love the drama of trailing a plume of smoke through the pub with a sizzling dish.

Once again Mrs MOFAD liked the curry, and my gammon was reasonable. The gimmicky presentation just gets in the way of things though. Not really the kind of place where you get some decent English mustard to go with your gammon either, but pleasant chain pub grub.

No beer review tonight, because once again I didn’t have one. Still only Greene King “IPA” available, there is another pump that should have some actual beer on it, but seven days later and there’s still nothing on.

As with last week, there was a pub quiz on, but we couldn’t hang around so headed off…

Rainbow Project 2017 preview

Towards the end of last year, the pairings for this year’s Rainbow Project were announced. With lots of Xmas shenanigans going on around that time, it’s quite possible that you’ve missed this news, so I thought I’d do a quick recap.

The Rainbow Project started in 2013, the idea coming from the then Head Brewer at Siren Craft Brew). In 2013, the Rainbow Project brought together seven breweries from the UK, Siren, Magic Rock, Partizan, Hawkshead, Kernel, Brodies and Buxton. Each brewery was asked to brew an IPA loosely based around a colour which was randomly assigned to them and a small launch party was held in London for people to taste these new, limited edition beers. Each year since then, they’ve changed things around, switching breweries and countries to keep things fresh.

On Tuesday 6th December the Rainbow crew gathered at Partizan Brewery to make the official announcements of the 2017 region, breweries, pairings and colours. As ever, they changed things up a bit, by drawing out 2 colours for each pair. The idea behind the second colour is to inspire them to brew a barrel aged beer for the 2018 project, giving enough time for it to age nicely.

To give you an example, here’s what the 2016 teams came up with:-

Beavertown + Parrotdog – Red – Dortmunder Adambier – dark beer aged in Marsala barrels
Burning Sky + Liberty Brewing Co – Orange – Descent into the Maelstrom – “borderless” ale aged in white Burgundy barrels with orange zest & pink grapefruit
Magic Rock + Fork Brewing – Yellow – The Upside Down – Yellow ale – soured tropical fruit witbier
Hawkshead + Yeastie Boys – Green (yet again!) – Kai Moana Gose – salty and fruity gooseberry gose
Wild Beer Co + 8 Wired Brewing Co – Blue – Black & Blue – raw, charred, barrel aged sour
Siren Craft Brew + Garage Project – Indigo – Blacklight Banana – imperial stout with coffee and banana
Partizan Brewing – Violet – Royal Ale – barley wine style, inspired by the coronation ales of 1953

For 2017, the project is returning to the USA for the partnerships. Here’s the full list for 2017 and the 2018 barrel aged entry:

Magic Rock / Casita Cervecería | 2017 – Red | 2018 – Indigo
Partizan / New Belgium | 2017 – Orange | 2018 – Green
Beavertown / Jester King | 2017 – Yellow | 2018 – Blue
Hawkshead / Modern Times | 2017 – Green | 2018 – Yellow
Siren Craft Brew / Sante Adairius | 2017 – Blue | 2018 – Violet
Wild Beer Co / Side Project | 2017 – Indigo | 2018 – Red
Burning Sky / 3 Floyds | 2017 – Violet | 2018 – Orange

Looking forward to seeing what these teams come up with, and hope that the online buying experience improves this year!

Sherwin Arms, Bramcote, January 2017

A quick and simple post this one. Although we’ve been to the pub nearly every day for the last week or so, another opportunity presented itself as we were off to meet some friends near Nottingham and catch up with what everyone has been up to over the Xmas period.

So to this familiar pub we went, a Flaming Grill pub. This is a chain that you’ll find all around the Midlands, the south east and parts of the north west (although none in Cumbria). As with most chains, they always have various deals on, 2 meals for £X or buy this get that for £1 – you know the sort of thing.

Tonight we were just looking for something simple so Mrs MOFAD had the chicken tikka (she is attempting triple curry nirvana – three curries in three nights). I opted for “The Codfather” – cod and chips with peas, tartare sauce and bread and butter for your chip butty – this final ingredient is most important. You should never pass up the opportunity for a chip butty!

Decent enough pub fish’n’chips, Mrs MOFAD liked the curry. Pleasant chain pub grub.

No beer review tonight, because I didn’t have one. I’ve not gone mad and started doing dry January, but with only Greene King “IPA” available, it was a no from me.

There was a pub quiz on, but it started after 9pm and I had to be at work again in the morning so we passed on that and headed off…

Another quick trip to Booths…

I’ve written plenty of times now about Booths. You can find my original paean here. Today was the last day of our Lakes trip so we popped in for a bit of shopping on the way home. We bought some food, but also a few beers. Right now you won’t find Mikkeller beers in any other supermarket, it’s a joy to find some of their range on the shelves alongside some rather less good beers.

There are also a couple of Yeastie Boys beers there (from New Zealand but they started brewing in Scotland in 2015) as well as a Rhubarb Saison from Ilkley Brewery. This is just a tiny selection of what’s on offer, but it is without a doubt the best supermarket for beer.

Lucy’s on a Plate, Ambleside, January 2017

A change to normal procedures. We find ourselves at Lucy’s on the last night of our holiday, instead of the first. This was by design, as we wanted to indulge on our last night, after plenty of walking.

A simple starter tonight, tasty toasted pittas with houmous, olives and sun dried tomatoes. Light and flavoursome.

Eventually some beer arrived. The Coniston brews were all out of stock (a crime given that they are just a short drive down the A593). I ordered a Hawkshead Lakeland Gold and a Red turned up instead. It had been a long enough wait already, so I had that instead.

On to the main event, a nice piece of crispy skinned salmon with saffron mash, tender stem broccoli and roasted tomatoes. Very nice indeed.

Mrs MOFAD had this very nice prosciutto wrapped chicken dish:-

You have to finish things off with a pudding here, and it was sticky toffee pudding and two spoons. Moist and delicious.

A lovely meal at Lucy’s as usual, we shall always be back. It’s just a matter of when. Another great week in the Lakes comes to an end…