Last month i won uk craft beer forum comp on guess the label. A usual 2-3 hour conpetition was solved in 7 mins. Here is my review of the prizes
Thank you Damian Doherty for my ukcbf prizes and as per deal her cometh the review! Now I'm a big old nerd so the name and branding spot on! Beer wise I mostly am an ipa man so apprehensive on the big thick dark styles but had them as a Friday/ Sunday treat and have to admit I was blown away! Black heart had a lovely dense nutty feel to a face f*c of a beautiful aroma that complimented it as it went down with a warm glow! Smoking gun beautiful subtle coffee and tea cake feel was the perfect accompaniment to a Sunday stew and Edgar Wright film that made me proud to be English! As a fellow brewer; a level I hope to achieve one day. Bravo sir! Also apparently beer reviews are better with toys so.....
So last week i went on a beer haul trip with my C.W.B.B (craft w*nker bossom buddy) as he’s been raving about hbb (hop burns and black) and I wanted to measure his taste. It’s important with these kinda things to continue to push and try different things. As a continuation to my last post variety is the point and exploration means you try and appreciate everyone’s tastes, not just what is easy.
He’s spot on (apart from his opinion on sours) and my favourite thing about this place over other shops is
1) Dulwich is a nice drive from where I now work and live
2) The shop stocks pretty much EVERYTHING
3) Knowledgeable and friendly staff
4) You can pre order for free as many times as you like meaning it’s never a wasted journey for those hard to get beers
5) you can pick up a friends order as well so club together for petrol etc.. and all enjoy those limited release
6) it has a corkage options so you can enjoy something on site in a lovely beery environment whilst you browse
Would highly highly recommend.
A Beer for every occasion (aka don’t be a beer snob…)
I get asked a lot if I still drink big beer. Of course, I do. I have nothing against it. I’m always reminded of a phrase a friend once said when talking about going for a Nandos: “Jon, I like good food and I like crap food. Nandos is neither”
Answer honestly; who has cous cous on a hangover? No one unless it’s the only food in the house. What do you want? A fry up? Dirty Maccers cheese burger. Badness to combat the badness.
This philosophy extends to Beer now also. It used to be you couldn’t get a good beer easily. Now it’s getting easier. Doesn’t mean you don’t still have a use for the old habits and never beguile the journey you came on. You wouldn’t know what’s good unless you’d at least tried what’s bad. And it’s for that reason I watched the Twilight films. Now when I slag off those sparkling cliché love triangles it’s from experience. Not assumption.
If I’m on a train to a stag to I want a warm tin of Stella. At a field at a festival any can will do (although still have a hierarchy). Craft beer would be lost in these situations. Sometimes on a night out I want something pleasant but not too pleasant as it should act like a lubricant not a focal point. When catching up with old friends where they are the focus therefore I do not want a lemon and chocolate porter. I want a beer. Probably Pils inspired!
Nothing makes me happier than a good craft beer evening but I’ll always be a man of many hats to achieve more perspective on everything (also I have a short attention span which is why operations and short consultancies are perfect!). Find your balance and appreciate others
It’s important on any journey to get by with a little help from your friends (I try not to quote the Beatles whenever possible. Most over rated band of all time… but that’s beside the point). More mouths and experience to try as well as soundboards are great for any hobby and beer is no exception.
My best friend is my primary adventure partner; my wife. I can’t recommend marrying your best friend enough. Everything is better when they are there. However whilst she is a beer fan she is not as obsessed as me. She occasionally thinks about other things. The heathen. So I go to the new and far away with her but also knew if I was to fully get involved in this world it is important to expand that circle.
I have a once a month beer club with my old local school friends. We call it first Tuesday and is probably my favourite day in the month. We mostly go to the local that is always varying beer but we also like to go on tour to places we’ve heard or visited and want to show off. The wife is allowed to one in 2. LADS. BEER. LADS. FOOTBALL. BEER. LADS. Once there was snuff and usually ends in a regretful hangover.
I also have my old work colleagues about and doing different things from beer to other pursuits who also keep up the craft hobby. I love these guys, they are my beer school colleagues and will always always get their opinion when I can!
But you can’t keep beer journeys to the same people all the time. You’ll default to same styles and routines and never expand your horizons.
The ‘other wife’ is my wife’s bestie. And she is beer obsessed to. So we do breweries together, bottle shops and generally try and find a way to steer group meet ups to a more craft beer ilk.
Bottle shares are also good. Meet strangers who have the same passion. It’s always a difficult balance between bringing something impressive but not over egging if you don’t want to. If you get a good group it can be very rewarding!
Apps are great, there is a very beer obsessed world out there. I used it to keep track of my beers and found some good recommendations and a few pubs as a result! My preference will be to untapped but fill your boots!
A WORD OF CAUTION; some beer obsessed people can get evangelical at times. It can create a bit of a stigma. Trying to hard to be different and over involved can be a dark path. If this is your bag you will find no shortage of people to rant and rave on other people with. I however will always be a listener. A facilitator. A sharer. I get more information that way and can decide what is important to me! All beers exist for a reason and all people are entitled to their opinion so if you wish to exchange ideas play nice please!
It’s the early days of my beer blogging so my assumption is if you are reading this we know each other in some way so what would you like to see from this page? Days out? Bottle shares? How can I turn my private passion into a social revolution whereby we drink more good beer with gusto?
Mother Kellys is probably my favorite beer shop in London, mostly because it has a whole wall of beer fridges, plenty of space 20+ taps always top notch unheard of stuff in a railway arch by Bethnal Green station. Just heard they are opening an new venue in Vaxhaul also so very very excited
One of my favorite stops in London, ususally end my Bermondsey trips here not only because it has the longest opening hours but also as they always have something new and exciting to try. You pay a deposit on the beer glass so don't forget to take it back (or if someone else does forget take it back for them and you are quids in!!!). Nothing like a 9.4% DIPA on a stack of pallets. LONDON BABAY