Archive for August, 2013

The Beer Ashes: The Fifth Test

We all know England won the Ashes, they won it ages ago and with the series ending 3-0 it was a bit of a disappointment not to get a clear win/lose at the end. This, however, does not happen here, the final score shall be settled and it will be an English victory, the question is, can Australia claw back enough for 3-2 or will it be 4-1?

The final beer Ashes test being played for stouts. For England is Stoodley Valley Stout 4.8%, and for Australia is Cooper’s Stout 6.1% (both £2.29 from Beers of Europe). Both of which are a fine finale for this epic battle of two great nations. This is probably the most evenly matched of all of the beer Ashes series, they are both described as stouts, they both cost exactly the same amount and they are both bottle conditioned.

The Final beer Ashes test:  Stoodley vs. Cooper's

The Final beer Ashes test: Stoodley vs. Cooper’s

My thoughts firstly on Australia’s offering: The beer poured very dark and thick, like you would expect from a stout, there is very little head at all. It tastes slightly fruity, red wine perhaps? It has a very bitter, dark chocolate after-taste. It is much more fizzy that would be suggested by the lack of head. nearer to the end of the drink there fizz wears off slightly, making the beer seem flat and thin in the mouth, although the chocolate notes did become sweeter.

And England: More cocoa on the nose than chocolate.  The bitterness of the chocolate after-taste in the Coopers is more sweet and rounded in the Stoodley, and generally is a more well balanced beer. The effervescence is more pleasing, and kept under control, unlike the Cooper’s as well. The mouth-feel is much thicker, which in my mind is how a stout should be. There is however, a very dry after-taste which I’m not so keen on.

Of all of the five beer Ashes series, this was the most difficult to call. I have noted above some of the differences but truth be told they are both quite similar and it is difficult to make a decision. A decision must be made though (we have no option of a draw based on the weather here!) and I decide in favour of England. I decide this not because I am English and want Englad to win, but because I genuinely think that it is a more balanced and rounded drink. Again I think Australia just think that if they make if fizzy they can get away with it. Well not in my book, sonny! England 4-1!

The Running Horse

I know that when I stay away from home I end up reviewing the pub that I stayed in and all sounds a bit like a crap review on This is one of those posts.


The Running Horse Inn, Littleton, Hampshire

The Running Horse Inn, Littleton, Hampshire

The Running Horse is pub in the village of Littleton, on the outskirts of Winchester and it is without a doubt one of the best pubs I have ever stayed in. Accommodation is in a block to the rear, with the views looking out over the beer garden. Rooms are comfortable and well decorated. This is all good of course but the main attraction is the pub itself.

Recently refurbished by their new owners, Upham Brewery, the pub has a contemporary feel to it, but it does not detract from the country pub atmosphere which is sometimes lost in a modern refurb. Food is excellent, no really I mean it. I had fish and chips for dinner and I can tell you that I have never had as good fish as this. Touches like the homemade tartare sauce make all the difference. The staff were extraordinarily friendly, all of them, smiling and happy to talk, giving the place a very welcoming feel. And finally the beer; Punter (4%) a bitter, Stakes (4.8%) a best bitter, and Tipster (3.8%) a golden ale were all available from hand pumps, all of them were delicious, as was the Orchard Pig cider.

I wish there were more synonyms for ‘bloody great pub’ that I could use to describe The Running Horse. I wish it and its staff all the success.

…oh! and breakfast was quality as well.


Redwell's Beers: Note the lack of a crimson bovine silhouette.

Redwell’s Beers: Note the lack of a crimson bovine silhouette.

I’d just like to add my voice (such that it is), to what is being said by Melissa Cole and Nate Dawg. Small scale Redwell Brewery are being asked by global mass market coma inducing energy pop producing and  fine purveyors of soapbox racing and madmen jumping off cliff top entertainment providers: Red Bull, to withdraw their trademark application because their names are too similar.

The crap excuses Red Bull are coming out with include (and these are quotes from

[Redwell’s Trademark Application] “comprises Red Bull’s earlier trademark ‘red’ as a whole, which is a prima facie for the similarity of signs.

“Moreover, all trademarks consist solely of English words and contain the common element ‘red’. The term ‘well’ is merely descriptive and therefore of no distinctive character at all.

“Furthermore the term ‘bull’ and the term ‘well’ share the same ending and just differ in two letters.

“The ending ‘ll’ is identical and therefore the terms Red Bull and Redwell are confusingly similar from a visual as well from a phonetical point of view.”

“…consumers … will easily consider the sign ‘redwell’ as a line extension under Red Bull, in particular that the goods and services offered under ‘redwell’ and Red Bull are coming from the same undertaking.

“The consumer will thus be confused as to the origin of the services.”

What Bullshit. Melissa Cole is starting the Twitter #RedBullies, which we should all be getting behind and like Nate said, Redwell, we’re all with you.

Find Redwell Brewery online: , and on Twitter:


Edit: An update from Nate on twitter later the same day: