Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Worst Beer Related Inventions of the 21st Century

No. 1 - The Lees GAG Glass

Whilst on the proverbial 'Road to Wembley' last Saturday I joined hoards of fellow travellers and locals alike in the Rifle Range, a J W Lees outlet in Oldham, for a little pre-match unction. And very good it was too. Three Lees were available, the bitter, the dark mild and a 4.8% plum beer which I could seriously drone on about for ages 'cos it was all rather splendid - but instead...well just take a look at what we had to sup the stuff out of...

I mean for pity's sakes!!! We've come a long way since descending from the trees (well most of us) and for a mammal our dexterity has pretty much reached it's zenith in evolutionary terms. So why on earth does an established and traditional brewer of fine ales think it necessary to produce this monstrosity in which to serve it's hand-crafted, time-honoured output?

I mean I could half understand those dicks at C**ling coming up with something like this for their addled fan base - they could aim one of these at some one's head much more accurately for one thing - but real ale drinkers are supposed to be the discerning end of the market. Aren't we the ones who don't drink for the sole purpose of getting totally sh*t-faced and consequently much less likely to suddenly go whoops half way through a pint?

I can't remember when I last dropped a glass, other than doing the washing-up, so it surely isn't enough of a problem to warrant this ugly looking piece of crap! Perhaps it's something peculiar to our slippery Red Rose cousins, I don't know, but if I lived in that part of the world and supported this brewery there might be one or two irate letters or perhaps even a placard outside HQ - at the very least a clenched fist of disapproval! Come on Lees - get a grip!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Finally Some Great Ale

Wanted the first real post of the year to be a sumptuously illustrated piece on this pub in Calderdale I'd read about. It'll have to wait though 'cos time's not my mate at the moment and I certainly don't want to rush it.

In the meantime a phone call this afternoon from the beersphere* was enough to warrant a cab to the West Riding in Juiceburg (Dewsbury) where what has been dubbed 'Son of Jaipur' was waiting. Although it's been about a while, Church End's Indian Summer Daze is the sort of mouthwatering IPA that Friday afternoon desk bound office jerks like me can usually only fantasize about. Of course with a hefty 7% abv every pisshead in town would be chasing a piece, so this was an occasion when scoop now ask questions later was the way to go.

Whilst not having the subtleties or complexities of the Thornbridge this was nevertheless a rocking beer with a stupendous hop character that admirably balanced the sweetness, producing a moreish slightly syrupy ale with a sudden and resounding bitter finish - exactly what was needed to banish those winter blues - or should that be blacks! Looks like happy days are back at last!!

* The local rare beer grapevine

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Christmas Drags On

2008's already three days old and I'm still hunting for some favourite ale to celebrate the new year with. All my locals seem saddled with slow selling extra strong festive brews, many of which unfortunately look like being with us for some considerable time to come.

I could stay in and set about the more than usual amount of bottled beer I've received this Christmas, but drinking at home is a rather sad past time and besides, the majority of the stuff looks even blacker and stronger than what's on at the boozer. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy a good winter warmer as much as the next man, but to be honest I've done my fair share of guzzling tar this last couple of weeks and it hasn't even been cold!

So a forward note for landlords - please, please, please don't stock up big time on the heavy duty ales again next festive season - Christmas is over before you know it, we're all back at work sooner than you might guess and it would be nice to be able to think clearly again of a morning before Easter comes around!
Thank you and a Happy New Year!