Archive for February, 2013

You may remember me whinging last year about how crap it can be if we are staying away and the pub next door only has crap beer. Well, this week I’ve been working up near Glasgow and staying at, as usual, a usual Premier Inn. This is probably one of the best Premier Inn’s in the chain. The showers are hot (and powerful enough to knock over an old person), the beds are comfortable, the TV works and most important of all, next door is a proper pub; The Burnbrae.

Six hand pumps, with Old Speckled Hen and Belhaven IPA constantly on, plus up to four other guests. A warm and welcoming atmosphere. Friendly staff.  Traditional Interior. And to cap it all off, Cask Marque accredited, ensuring that the beer is of good quality. The only downside to all of this is that the food is not quite as generous with the portions as I would have hoped, and a little bit pricey.

At the weekend we decided to try a different pub down the road because it was so packed (BOO!), so we walked to a Beefeater where, by some luck, the had Old Hooky and Hobgoblin on hand pumps. I ordered the last pint of Old Hooky and Dad ordered a Hobgoblin, which was off. We decided to forget it and rely on the emergency bottles of beer in the room. Which was a shame, because of this debacle the Burnbrae has become a victim of its own success in my opinion (too expensive and too busy) and we are now contemplating a new hotel. Anyone got any thoughts for a decent place to stay in Glasgow?


The session. Once a month beer bloggers from around the world take five minutes to all discuss a particular topic. This month, the topic is novelty beers. It was suggested by this months host Ryan Newhouse, from Montana Beer Finder. The following quote sums up the brief for this month:

In light of it being about two weeks before Valentine’s Day, I thought it would be a good time to talk about how we love beer. Pay attention now, as I said “how,” not “why.” Much has already been discussed about why we love beer: its creativity, its taste, its social aspect.

To bring that back to beer, I’m not suggesting we need to be thinking of beer all the time, or as much as we think of our partners (though some of us might!), but I’m curious to hear what you beer lovers do to show appreciation for good craft beer.

So where do I begin? What things do I do which shows my appreciation for good beers? Well, I didn’t quote it but Ryan also suggested that the fact that we blog about beer to begin with shows how much beer means to us and, obviously, this is something that I do. I’m not the most avid blogger, I think my average weekly number of posts is only 1.6, which isn’t much, but at least I don make the effort to share when I think of something worthy to say.

Apart from that then what is there? I buy beers, I try and explore different pubs to find something new and different, especially when I am somewhere new. One thing I like to do is make sure that I am expanding by beery horizons as much as possible, if there is a beer available that I haven’t tried before, I’ll always go for that one. Also if there is a special even on I’ll try my best to get to it, even if I don’t always succeed.

My main thing though is that I keep track of what I’ve been drinking. I have many different apps on my phone which I can use to recall beers and remind me where I was and what it was like. The other day I was asked if I had tried a beer from a particular brewery, I was sure that I had but I couldn’t remember for the life of me where, or what, it was. One look on untappd and there it was, I was in the Pilgrim’s Progress, and from that the whole event came back to me. I remembered enjoying the drink, what it was like, the company I was with, I can even picture the guy behind the bar who served us.

I do a lot which people would call  geeky and obsessive and I can see where their coming from, but at the end of the day what I do most of all is enjoy my beer. I appreciate that it tastes good (mostly) and every now and again I just stop and think about that, and smile.

Goodies in the post

When I was in Manchester last weekend I made it to a few pubs which have cask marques. As I’m sure you know, by scanning the certificates which are on display you can win prizes. While in Manchester I tipped over the 25 scans mark, and so, as a reward, I was sent a very nice fridge magnet which doubles up as a bottle opener.

It really is rather fancy, I was expecting a cheap plastic token gesture, but no! This is a proper stainless steel affair! Quality.