Brewdog Fanzine issue 8, July 2018

Yes, we’re diving into another fanzine box, dominated by sequels this time and one new thing, although even that is a resurrection of something brewed for last year’s prototype challenge. Let’s hope it’s better than the prototypes I had last year, because the Prototype Blonde I had in Liverpool was blandness personified.

Pulp Patriot v2 – 9.5% – DDH NE DIPA

This 9.5% milkshake DDH NE DIPA packs mango and peach, while doubling down on the intense hop profile. Milk sugar further sweetens and rounds out the full, juicy flavour.

I’ve still not had v1 yet, I’ve been saving a few of the bigger beasts.

King of Eights v3 – 7.4% – IPA

Three rounds of dry-hopping cranks the fruity, pungent hop aromas through the roof – melon, pine, lemon peel, mango, pineapple; all layered on a smooth, full base that barely registers by bitterness.

Lets hope that they’ve improved on both v1 and v2, the first one was a kind of tribute act NEIPA, and the second one was all Citra and not much more.

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Technicolour Black – 6.5% – Black IPA / Cascadian Dark

An aggressive black IPA with a spicy hit of rye; layers of resinous pine, lime leaf, bitter coffee and dark chocolate. Intense flavours for lovers of bitterness.

My review begs to differ, as it simply says “nothing much to report”.

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Brewdog fanzine issue 7

We are off again into the world of the Brewdog fanzine, I think I’ve tried 8/15 so far, and nothing has set the world on fire yet, although the first of this batch might do that…

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Clown King – 12% – American Barley Wine

Chewy toffee malt, overlaid with a driving bitterness, sticky fruit character, and surprisingly light finale. Lots of hops in here, Magnum, Simcoe, Mosaic and Artanum. This sounds like a perfect blend to me.

Jet Trash v2 – 6.9% – IPA

Double dry-hop edition with Cascade and Columbus in the kettle and Citra, Simcoe, Cascade, Chinook and Mosaic added as dry hops. I should drink v1 before I have this one I suppose.

Zip Code – 4.2% – Lager

Lager with a Franconian accent, Perle and Mittelfruh hops in the kettle and Mandarina Bavaria in the whirlpool. This one has already been sampled and to me this one just tasted like Export 33, transporting me back to 1988.

The Needle & Pin – Craft Beer Club – selection box #12 – July 2018

You all know the score by now. The latest selection from the Craft Beer Club. I’ve actually had 5 out of 6 of the previous selection, 5 out of 6 from March’s box and all of the ones in the previous box to that, so I’m doing a bit better at keeping up with these 🙂

This month’s photo is another one that I’ve borrowed, because I didn’t get time to assemble them together myself…

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Here we go…

Arbor – Dunning Kruger – 4.8%

A great beer from one of the UK’s best breweries. This beer was a real hit when we there was a cask of it on at the N&P. An easy drinking pale ale, brewed with American and Australian hops. It has flavours and aromas of mango, passionfruit and lime. Yes please!

Black Isle – 5 a Day Passion Fruit IPA – 3.5%

You are greeted by an aroma of sweet and tart passion fruit with a hint of fruity hop. In the glass there’s hazy gold and a tight, white foam. The flavour is all about that lively passion fruit. Easy drinking, light bodied and crisp, finishing with a touch of sweet malt

Brewboard – Ripchord – 4.3%

A new brewery for the N&P. Just like me, they like new breweries!

A deep-gold multi-hopped session pale ale. US Cascade, Chinook and Falconer’s Flight work their magic, imparting a beautiful citrus, spicy and grapefruit flavour. Mosaic produces a seriously good tropical tang. Meanwhile, on the malt side of things, Cara Gold and Cara Ruby also do their thing with a rich caramel-sweet aroma and toffee-like flavour. Rhapsodic.

Brick – Peck – 3%

There’s nothing small about Brick’s Table Beer. Each release will pack a wallop of aroma and flavour by using hops that work together to produce low ABV but high hop character. And that’s all I can tell you, because there’s no other information about what is in this release of it!

Five Points/Northern Monk – Birthday IPA – 6.7%

There are countless things to admire about Northern Monk. Not least their accomplishment in weaving together the tradition of old with the progressive
approach of today, always illustrated so well in their bold, hoppy pales and IPAs. For this
collaboration Five Points wanted to celebrate exactly this, and together, they brewed a big, tropical IPA hopped with Mosaic and experimental Bru-1 Hops. Aromas of mango, cantaloupe and pineapple alongside a smooth, rounded mouthfeel and low bitterness.

Salopian – Slipstream – Blood Orange IPA – 5.1%

A juicy IPA with fresh blood orange resonating through hints of candied peel and sparkling orange blossom.

Brewdog fanzine issue 6

Here we go again with the next fanzine. I think I’ve had 6 out of the 12 beers so far, and King of Eights v1, a tribute NEIPA, is about the best yet, although I’ve been saving up some of the imperial/double beers which could turn out to be better (and hopefully nothing will be worse than the small batch English IPA). Here’s what’s in the mix this time…

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Raspberry Rivet – 6.5% – “Speciality Beer”

A cranachan-inspired New England Pale Ale, brewed with the addition of raspberries and a lot of love (whatever that tastes of). Perhaps raspberry, lactose and Citra, Mosaic and Amarillo hops.

Zephyr V3 – Pina Colada – 4.6% – Sour Ale

The latest twist in the Zephyr series, a Pina Colada-inspired summer session sour, made with Perle hops and the addition of coconut, pineapple & lime.

Vinyl Vigilante – 7% – Stout

A coffee milk stout making use of bold espresso and smooth sweet mocha to mix it up, coffee and lactose added to Magnum hops.

 

The Bill Murray, Islington, June 2018

It’s Edinburgh preview season. And fortuitously I’m in London for work, although the fortune comes at a cost, five days of training and two exams, the second of which is two and a half hours long. I keep vowing to stop doing exams, and one day I will eventually keep that vow. This week however, I have a daily cycle of 20 minutes of sweaty tube journey, 90 minutes of learning, 15 minutes for a coffee, 90 minutes of learning, a sandwich in the park, 90 minutes of learning, 15 minutes for a coffee, 90 minutes of learning,  20 minutes of sweaty tube journey.

Anyway, on to the pub for a double bill of Edinburgh previews, a relaxing evening instead of doing mock exam papers. The Bill Murray is somewhere I’ve heard about quite a bit since I’m very much a follower of the live comedy “scene”. It’s a short-ish walk from Angel tube station (home to the UK’s longest escalator – one for you pub quiz fans).

Something that usually happens on these pub comedy nights is that you will bump into one or more of the acts at some point. This was in full effect tonight, as I followed opening act Sofie Hagen into the venue, and Mark Watson was hanging around at the interval before his set, and chatting with the audience. This is a proper preview experience, a small room in a pub, tiny stage, microphone, and a few lights. And the acts walk on from the back of the room, there’s no backstage area behind that curtain on the right hand side.

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On a warm night in London, a beer was needed to keep refreshed during the evening. Beer at comedy venues is generally pretty awful. The Soho Theatre try and break the mould by getting some reasonable cask ales in, but they need a crash course in how to look after cask ale, since it almost always suffers from mistreatment. And the way that the bar staff treat the beer engine, you’d think it was a piece of gym equipment with 50kg on the end of it. And they certainly don’t embrace the sparkler.

So it was a nice surprise to find a St Mungo from Glasgow’s WEST brewery, who produce all of their lagers and wheat beers in accordance with the Reinheitsgebot, the German Purity Law. A Munich style lager with a sweetness to it, and one of the best comedy venue beers that I’ve had. That is damning with faint praise, but it was good.

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As was the comedy. Sofie Hagen is trying out material for her 2019 Edinburgh show (nothing like being prepared), so the set was a proper tour through random bits and pieces that may or may not form a show one day. Mark Watson will be in Edinburgh in August (and likely touring after that), so his show was much more polished, although it got a bit derailed by someone finding a folder for him to balance his wine glass on (you had to be there). The show covers a few topics, but there is much about family and his recent-ish divorce. If I were in Edinburgh I’d be going to see the finished version, and hopefully we will catch it in Leicester or somewhere else local next year.

Soho Theatre, London, June 2018

I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating. Beer at comedy venues is generally pretty awful. The Soho Theatre try and break the mould by getting some reasonable cask ales in, but they need a crash course in how to look after cask ale, since it almost always suffers from mistreatment. And the way that the bar staff treat the beer engine, you’d think it was a piece of gym equipment with 50kg on the end of it. And they certainly don’t embrace the sparkler.

If you have a keg beer (and they have one or two reasonable ones) then you’re fine, but they seem to wreck every cask ale that they touch. This T Drop by Adnams might have been nice, with subtle notes of jasmine, hibiscus and Earl Grey tea.

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However, there was none of that here, and it just tasted a bit beery. At least it was cool on another hot night in the big smoke.

One person who was not cool, was tonight’s entertainment, Robin Ince, trying to fit about 2 and 1/2 hours of material into about an hour, whilst breaking in a new cardigan. Manic doesn’t even begin to describe it, but brilliant does. Try and see the full length version, where Robin’s joy of performing in London doesn’t overtake his ability to perform at least some of the routines. A deranged delight.

Bucks Head, Camden, June 2018

Hot town, summer in the city,
Back of my neck getting dirty and gritty.

Yes, it’s summer and I’m in London. After a lovely weekend away camping, it was back home and then off to the station to catch a train down to that London. I’m here for a week. Five days of 9-5 solid training course on quite a dry subject. With two exams, the second of which is 2 1/2 hours long.

What this does mean is a run of blog posts, because I have to go out and have dinner each night, and to stop myself going insane there are a couple of comedy gigs lined up too, my reward for revising and doing mock exam papers most nights.

I’m staying in Camden again because I’ve stayed here a few times before, the hotel is reasonably priced (for London, and it meets corporate pricing requirements) and the Northern line is handy for travelling for the daytime activities and evening ones (although I hadn’t spotted that the station is exit only in the early evening whilst they are upgrading escalators).

I picked a familiar pub for dinner, The Bucks Head. Nice and close to the hotel, we were here in November for a drink, and the menu had some interesting items on it. And the football was on. The World Cup has had some cracking games this year, and this was my first chance to watch one down the pub.

Drink first, and another “same as last time” beer, LPA – London Pale Ale by Southwark Brewing Co, a simple session ale with a gentle hoppy hint hidden in there somewhere. And some happy Colombian fans (I think Yerry Mina had just scored).

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The super smoked meats pizza was calling me. Pulled pork? Yes please! Slow cooked hickory smoked brisket? Yes please! “Sauce drizzles” of cheese, teryaki and BBQ? Probably. “Superfood side salad” – probably a good idea to have something a bit healthier. Apparently it was the last pizza in the kitchen tonight.

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The pizza didn’t quite live up to its billing. More meat was required, the teryaki didn’t seem to make it on, and the “cheese sauce drizzle” was just weird. It needed some vegetable matter.

The superfood side salad was hardly that. A few slices of cucumber, avocado, tomato, onion, pepper and a few leaves is not exactly the greatest side in the world. Bit of a rip off and lacking super.

The atmosphere inside wasn’t the greatest, so I decided on plan B, and headed off to Brewdog to watch the second half.