Showing posts from July, 2011

West Lancs Wander: Revisited

Yesterday saw the ever-hopeful band of ROB Camra venture into the wilds of West Lancashire. A variation of a trip that we last undertook some three years ago, it was interesting to compare and contrast the fortunes of the various hostelries.

First stop was the Original Farmers Arms at Eccleston. I’ve been here before and must admit to finding the Good Beer Guide description annoyingly misleading. It says that:”Up to 6 real ales are available, predominantly sourced from local micros.” They’re not; only two pumps are given over to micros. That aside, the Fuzzy Duck Golden Cascade was an easy start to the day

Our next stop, the designated lunch stop-as last time, was Croston. This proved disappointing on our last visit and I’d heard it had actually got worse. So it proved, at least for most of the party. The ex GBG listed Wheatsheaf was closed-no great loss judging by our previous experience here. The current GBG entry, the Lord Nelson, suffered from appalling service, whilst the nearby Gr…

Lyon Law

There is some debate in these fair lands about whether the on and off-trade should be treated differently. The theory being that preference should be given to the on-trade as it represents the more responsible and better regulated side of alcohol consumption. The off-trade is often regarded as being responsible for cheap booze and subsequent social problems. Well, across la Manche, the authorities in Lyon are about to put that idea into practice. After years of denial, the French are finally admitting that they have a problem with that Anglo-Saxon curse: le binge drinking. And yes, that is what they call it in the land of the smelly cheese. As of Monday this week, shops will be forbidden to sell alcohol between the hours of 10pm and 6am. This is to counter what Lyon officials describe as the “massive and brutal” summer consumption of alcohol in public. The ban will run until the 10th of September and shopkeepers caught breaching the ban could face fines of €750. This sort of social expe…

And What Would The Lady Like?

It was first discussed way back in January and now the wait is finally over. The moment has arrived. Ladies up and down the country can breathe a collective sigh of relief. Yes, after two and a half years and a reported cost of £1M, Molson Coors have unveiled their female-friendly beer: Animee. From the French for “motivated” (could it be any more pretentious), Animee is described as “bloat-resistant”. This apparently means that it’s less gassy and lighter in taste than other beers. And you will be spoilt for choice, as it will be available in 275ml bottles in three varieties; standard, rose and citrus. Not to be left out, Carlsberg, who flopped last year with their female-targeted Eve brand, are set to launch their Copenhagen beer in the UK in 2012. They describe it thus: “Copenhagen is intended for modern women (and men), who appreciate a refreshing taste delivered in a stylish design.” And they go onto say: “The beer has a light, refreshing taste, while the design is rooted in Copenha…

Breakfast Beer Review: Kernel Imperial Brown Stout London 1856

It’s Monday. And in the words of Bob Geldof:”I don’t like Mondays.” So what’s the best way to shake off the Monday morning blues? I don’t know, but I’m going to try and blur the edges with Kernel’s Imperial Brown Stout London 1856.

Basics: This is what we technically refer to as a ‘dick-kicker’. It’s 10.1%. Yes, the breakfast beer review has finally passed the 10% barrier. It comes in the standard 330ml bottle-probably no bad thing-and according to the label was brewed on the 15.2.11.

It was very lively and poured a very dark brown/black with a small mocha foam head. The aroma was a pungent combination of roast malt and coffee.

Taste: Powerful and complex. Initial flavours of dark chocolate, liquorice, roast malt and coffee. This develops into a strong, espresso like, bitterness that puckers on the cheek.

Finish: Long, dry-roasted coffee bitterness.

Conclusion: The powerful flavours successfully mask the high alcohol content, leading to a rich drinking experience.

Can't Give You Anything But My Love

I think it was Elisabeth Barrett Browning who said of the sparkler: “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. I love thee to the depth and breadth and height. My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight.” And I think that pretty well sums up every rational person’s attitude to the sparkler. Never has something so small given so much pleasure to so many.

I was reminded of this with Tandleman’s recent post about a new type of sparkler. Wonderful news indeed. Of course I wanted one, and dropped a heavy hint to that effect. I may be above begging for free beer, but sparklers are a different matter. And lo and behold, one duly arrives at my door. I guess good things do come to those that deserve them. Or sometimes at least.
But before looking at that in detail, let us consider a brief history of the sparkler debate. For, inconceivable as it may seem to any sane person, it does have its detractors. No, honestly it does. The Neo-Luddites would have you believe it’s the work of the Devil. I…

Tandleman Goes POTY*

Last night saw the great and the good of Rochdale, Oldham and Bury CAMRA get together to present its Pub of the Year award. This prestigious award is given to the pub that the branch feels has been truly outstanding during the previous 12 months. Given the scope of the branch, and the number of contenders, winning it is no mean feat.

This year’s recipient is the Hare & Hounds at Holcombe Brook. Situated at the junction of Bolton Road West and Longsight Road, it has been ably overseen (with a brief hiatus) by Andy & Lynne for some 12 years. It has been opened up and sympathetically decorated over that time to give a comfortable, family friendly, vibe. It also boats an impressive two-storey rear drinking area.
However, this is CAMRA, so beer must play a part somewhere. And on that score, the Dogs has it covered. Ten handpumps dispense a wide variety of ales, all cooled and served with sparklers, naturally, and the current range can be viewed by looking at the ale cam on their webp…