Category: Other


The Session logo

The session, otherwise known as beer blogging Friday (I know, it’s Saturday, I’m late, deal with it), is a once a month gathering of the beer bloggers of the world to get together and talk about beer. Each month there is a specific topic. This month the session is being hosted by Oliver of literatureandlibation.com. He has asked us to all review a beer without actually reviewing it. I know that sounds like a paradoxically illogical piece of nonsense but hear him out. He explains it better:

I know it sounds like the yeast finally got to my brain, but hear me out: I mean that you can’t write about SRM color, or mouthfeel, or head retention. Absolutely no discussion of malt backbones or hop profiles allowed. Lacing and aroma descriptions are right out. Don’t even think about rating the beer out of ten possible points.

But, to balance that, you can literally do anything else you want. I mean it. Go beernuts. Uncap your muse and let the beer guide your creativity.

I want to see something that lets me know what you thought of the beer (good or bad!) without explicitly telling me. Write a short story that incorporates the name, an essay based on an experience you had drinking it, or a silly set of pastoral sonnets expressing your undying love for a certain beer.

The beer which I want to discuss I have already reviewed before on this blog. It is a beer which is brewed locally to me and was just starting to make some headway in breaking into the local supermarkets. The beer was called Shambles and it was made by Potton Brewery. Notice the last sentence is in the past tense. I recently looked up the brewery website after I saw a  ‘reduced to clear’ label on a bottle in Tescos. I have found that the brewery has been taken over and all by a new outfit and is well, except the beer of theirs, for which I can not express my feelings, has been removed from their list of beers.

Now my main ways of expressing myself about beer are either to write about it on this blog or harp on about it to my mates who are probably sick of it all by now. Being creative in a new way is something I have had to think about, hard. Expressing myself through the medium of modern dance is not something I want to do, or indeed any of you want to see. I’m not all that skilled with a paintbrush and a definitely can’t sing. I could think up a song, but I couldn’t play it (owning a ukulele ≠ being a musician).

What I can do is pinch other peoples creativity and so I give you the Shambles 4.3% playlist. I’m sure I won’t be the only one to do something similar. Hopefully the narrative of what I mean will become obvious.

YouTube pranks

I known I haven’t written much lately, but to be honest I havent had anything to say and, as my mother always told me, “if you can’t say anything useful, then don’t say anything at all”. I really still don’t have anything to say, but I have found this video being banded around the internet. I think its quite amusing so I thought I’d share it. Enjoy.

Showdown? Draw!

The Classic Beer Holster

The Classic Beer Holster

This is a review of the Classic Beer Holster by Great Gadgets. From the off I’m going to be clear that I have received a Beer Holster from Great Gadgets for the purposes of this review. Now, I’m no fool, (I heard that!) and I realise what time of year it is and why I’m being asked to write a free advertisement for them. But when I wrote to them I did promise them, and you dear reader, that it will be an honest review of what I really think.

I know that most of the people that buy one of these are going to give them to their beer loving friends and family. It makes for a great stocking filler. The idea is sound. Why wouldn’t you want one? And in any case, even if you never use it, it’s something to open on christmas day that will make someone smile. That got me thinking, why not use it? Where would it be most useful? Would it really work?

This is one of those products which does exactly what it says on the tin. It is a holster which has been designed for keeping drinks in. According to the blurb on the side of the box it is 100% real leather which is great, I’m just not sure how popular this will be with the animal rights groups. Saying that I have to admit that when I first opened the box it did have the reassuring smell of an shoeshop I used to get my school shoes from in Rushden, exactly what you want from leather products.

The beer holster seems to me to be well made, strong stitching and rivets hold it together in a practical and visually stylish way. I have been using the holster now for four days and it still looks brand new, not even a scuff mark.

My belts

My belts

The packaging boasts that it “fits on any belt up to 4 cm wide !”. I have to admit that I was suckered into this one, thinking “hhmm up to 4cm, that’s quite a lot”. Right up to the moment I went to put the holster on. I realised that 4cm isn’t that big for a belt at all, in fact the belt I use most often is 3.9cm. I do have other belts. A quick survey of my belts shows that I have an average belt width of 3.4cm but more crucially than that, none that were 4cm or more. So in truth it will fit nearly all standard belts. TIP: For those who have bought or are planning on buying a beer holster. I have tried the holster with both my smallest and largest belts and can confirm that beer cans stay more secure with a wider belt.

It may surprise you to learn that I don't take many "selfies", and being so out of touch with this modern phenomena I found it bloody difficult to take a picture of my own hip!

It may surprise you to learn that I don’t take many “selfies”, and being so out of touch with this modern phenomena I found it bloody difficult to take a picture of my own hip!

The main claims which really needs testing is that it will hold “regular beer or soda bottles and cans” and that you can “Draw and retract your beer with one hand”. The first of these is easy enough – yes, it does hold beer bottles and cans. I didn’t try it with a soft drinks can, but it did work with a can of beer. The idea, however, that it is an easy, one handed operation, is only half true. I found that it was perfectly fine with the can of beer, but in the case of a bottle of beer, not quite. I was using a bottle of Banks’s Bitter, a fairly standard sized 500ml uk bottle. It does fit into the holster, but it is a very snug fit, and requires two hands to pull the bottle both in and out. Not the easy one handed operation that a can provides.

I was thinking about practical uses for the Beer Holster. The Amazon website suggests a number of things: many of these suggestions could be summed up as parties of different types. I don’t know about you but I have been to many parties and have always managed to find somewhere to put my drink. Another suggestion is for the DIYer. I can see this. Someone half way up a ladder, painting a ceiling and can of something refreshing by their side.

I had my own thoughts as well, picture the scene: a busy pub, bar or club, there’s no where to sit and you don’t want to have to queue every time you want a drink. Now you can order two drinks, hold one and drink the other. Second situation can be summed up in one word. Glastonbury. The worlds greatest rock festival has always let you take your own drinks, drinks that, obviously, you want to keep in your tent. You don’t want to keep going back and forth across the site every time you want a drink, so why not strap an extra tin to your hip? In fact, why not get a few, I’m sure I could have done with half a dozen of these orbiting my hip when I was last there.

One final thing worth pointing out is that when wearing the Beer Holster you can not sit down. Doing so will result in the beer in your holster being spilled all over your lap. Not a good look at a party.

So, what’s the verdict? Well I wouldn’t buy one for myself unless I had a need and I don’t. My house does have a few flat surfaces that I can rest a drink on. That being said I think it can be a good stocking filler gift at christmas for a DIYer or beer lover, or indeed anyone who does a lot of standing based activities. Does birdwatching have to be done standing? Perhaps ramblers would be interested? If you can think of a way of justifying it for the person you love this christmas, then go for it. It does work and will probably last well because as far as I have seen it is well made, I predict that it has some longevity to it.

The Classic beer holster is available from Amazon for £14.90