Saturday, 5 November 2022

Show a license to buy a pint

"Your entitlement card is in order, you may purchase a pint"
Hat Tip to Old Holborn on this gem from Labourlost written by John Cowan the Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for South East Cambridgeshire. Cowan is also a councillor, more by accident than democracy as only 63 people bothered to vote for him. Drinkers' Licences:A radical new way to curb drinking excess? Down in Brighton for Labour Party Conference one thing that was noticeable was the large amounts of alcohol consumed over the weekend - and not just by the conference delegates. Most people are responsible users and are able to have a few drinks and enjoy themselves without causing damage to either others or the local environment. However, not all drinkers and users of other substances are able to handle their use of booze in such a responsible manner. At weekends, most A&E departments house those suffering from alcohol poisoning, assaults and drink related accidents. It takes much needed resources from the NHS which could be used for other purposes. Prohibition of alcohol, like any other drug, does not work. It was tried in the 1920s in the US and resulted in making the likes of Al Capone rich men. One possible solution could be an entitlement card that people would carry and swipe when every time they buy Alcohol or Tobacco and record their usage. Is that too radical? I don't think so. For a long time the Government have controlled motorists with a system of licences where people enjoy the right and freedom to drive - as long as they conform to certain rules. With the card, people who got into trouble for, say, minor crimes or drunk and disorderly conduct in public would receive a fixed penalty notice and 3 points on their entitlement card with points disappearing over time for in the same way works on driving licences. More serious offences would result in endorsements on the entitlement card and the cardholder would not be able to purchase alcohol, tobacco or other drugs available for sale through the entitlement card scheme. The main benefits of the policy would be reduction in the health care and crime costs associated with use of substances hopefully leading for more better functioning society. Have posted the entire article in full, just to show what an authoritarian idiot John Cowan is. Not just an idiot for having these views, but for publishing them on a Labour website. Still a good way to prove to the voters of South East Cambridgeshire that no one in their right mind should vote for an authoritarian lunatic such as this and that the Labour party are totally unelectable. Why doesn't Cowan just put a swastika armband on and declare his true colours? This all goes to prove how far removed the Labour Party have become from the public; the Nanny State has become the Bully State, wishing to control every minutiae of our lives and believing it is for the good of the people. They may have thrown out the idea of National Identity Cards but each of these "entitlement cards" will be issued to an individual, recording where and when you drank, what you drank and who you were with. A Tesco clubcard without the bonuses and all the information going to the Government. Cowan is even talking about restricting healthcare to those who have been involved in alcohol related incidents. What happens if you're the one in hospital on the receiving end of the attack? The medical staff swipe your "entitlement card" only to find you were drinking. Hence you get pushed down the triage list. Police later arrest the attacker but you were the victim and denied or had delayed healthcare due to the information on your "Ent ID Card". This is a very a stupid idea from a very stupid man, obviously having 63 votes in a council election has given him a sense a grandeur. This is the sort of politician who can best serve our country dangling from a lampost. Hell I'd even supply the piano wire. Wonder what happens when the pill-popping Prime Mentalist finds out about his PPC writing this? - duck the Nokia's are flying, quick get his pills and move the laser printer before.....too late. Obo also has his take on this story As does Salted Slug Update: the Devil's Kitchen also runs with this As does the Lone Voice

Wednesday, 2 November 2022

A quick visit to Brussels

 

St Pancras International, looked over by Sir John Betjeman 

St Pancras station was a dreary place some thirty years ago when I first arrived there by train; almost derelict, the station hotel had long since closed under the nationalised British Rail and the magnificent building had been left to ruin, a dark and gloomy reminder of what happens when Governments run things. Thankfully, that is all in the past and today St Pancras is a light, airy, bustling station with plenty of bars including a Wetherspoons, The Barrel Vault  and a Young's pub, the Betjeman Arms, both of which are preferable to the waiting area for the Eurostar, which does have a bar, serving keg Camden Brewery beers. My choice would be the Betjeman Arms, unfortunately, my delayed incoming train prevented more than a couple of pints before I had to check in. 

First pub stop in Brussels after negotiating the North African pickpockets who inhabit  Brussels Zuid/Midi/South was next to Brussels Central

Yes, Brewdog have a bar in the centre of Brussels. This gave me time to look at a few other options so booted up Untappd and looked at where else to visit in the centre of Brussels. On Untappd there were a few recommendations from friends who had sadly passed away, a bit of a shock seeing their names pop up in the digital afterlife and even more unfortunately most of their recommendations had closed. Being a Monday night, not much else was open.
No matter, a wander around central Brussels.  Any pub flying the Union Flag alongside a Belgium Flag with a Chimay canopy outside must be worth visiting and St Nicolas featured Chimay on draught. In addition the late 1960s/70s Greek prog-rock band Aphrodite's Child which featured Vangelis and Demis Roussos, was blasting out from the music system.


Now in the Netherlands, St Nicolas has a helper, Zwarte Pete and there were a few representations to him in this bar. Ah, the PC Brigade in the UK would be going mad over this, whereas in Belgium it is just seen as a normal custom.

Back to the hotel, as the next morning I had a brewery to visit







The breweries, pubs and bars of Bath

Forgot to link to this video I made over the Summer with Simon Martin





Friday, 17 June 2022

Beer bars of Newport

It's ben a few years since I last did a video with You Tube Beer Reviewer Simon Martin so we recently met up in Newport for brief history lesson on the pubs and former breweries of Newport



 

Friday, 27 May 2022

Herefordshire Cidermaker celebrates 30 years of making cider

A Herefordshire cidermaker is celebrating 30 years of making award-winning cider and perry with a launch of a new cider. The cider is a blend of traditional cider apples: Yarlington Mill, Dabinett and Michelin, their juice is fermented with wild yeasts and matured in oak barrels.  The resulting 7% cider is available in bottles, direct from the farm shop in Abbeydore, Herefordshire, or by mail order here

 
As well as celebrating 30 years of cidermaking with a bottle of cider, Gwatkin Cider have opened a tavern at their farm in the Golden Valley of Herefordshire, the Red Cow, named after the farm's historic herd of Herefordshire cattle, will be dishing up locally produced food together with the full range of Gwatkin ciders and perry. 


Thursday, 31 March 2022

Sunday, 27 March 2022

Monday, 14 March 2022

Beer Review: Siren Craft Brewery - Prest to Zest (Coffee & Lemon)

 In this episode, myself and Crafty Beer Guy Tim take a look at Siren Craft Brewery Prest to Zest, a coffee and lemon beer


Saturday, 12 March 2022

Beer Review: Arbor Ales Massive Azzac

 Another beer review with Crafty Beer Guy Tim and myself, another great beer from Arbor Ales


Tuesday, 1 March 2022

Best Beers in Wales

 Time for my annual review of the best beers in Wales, as judged by various online sites

First up, is Ratebeer:

1              Polly's Brew Spectrum QIPA       

2              Mabinogion Mead / Superstition 'Hounds of Annwn' Strawberry vanilla                

3              Polly's Brew DDH Oh My              

4              Polly's Brew Fallow Plans             

5              Tiny Rebel Imperial Puft               

6              Loka Polly Souvenirs      

7              Polly's Brew Farrago      

8              Polly's Brew Lo-Fi            

9              Polly's Brew India Pale Ale El Dorado Deluxe Edition        

10           Polly's Brew DDH Rosa                  

11           Polly’s Brew Every Piece Matters             

12           Tiny Rebel Stay Puft Imperial Chocolate                

13           Loka Polly Rosa

14           Polly's Brew DDH Pines                

15           Polly's Brew Livewire     

16           Tiny Rebel / Siren Dark Cherry & Chocolate Barley Wine

17           Mabinogion Mead Transformation to Eagle        

18           Tiny Rebel Stay Puft Imperial Praline      

19           Polly's Brew Fickle          

20           Loka Polly Double IPA Mosaic Simcoe    

21           Polly's Brew Rock The Bit             

22           Polly's Brew Mylar          

23           Polly's Brew Avery          

24           Polly's Brew Double IPA Azacca Mosaic

25           Polly's Brew What Did You Feel IPA         

26           Tiny Rebel / Arbor Bonsai            

27           Polly's Brew Nada           

28           Tiny Rebel Stay Puft Imperial Irish Cream             

29           Tiny Rebel Stay Puft Imperial Espresso Martini  

30           Polly's Brew Naive Melody         

31           Polly's Brew Wave Mix

32           Polly's Brew Discount Jazz Hour                

33           Polly's Brew Cahb           

34           Tiny Rebel Stay Puft Imperial Salted Caramel      

35           Tiny Rebel Stay Puft Amplified Imperial                

36           Loka Polly Spur

37           Polly's Brew India Pale Ale Simcoe Mosaic 

38           Tiny Rebel / Deya NEIPA              

39           Polly's Brew Ghost Voices           

40           Loka Polly Petal                

41           Polly's Brew Patternist  

42           Polly's Brew An Original Mix       

43           Polly's Brew DDH Spur  

44           Tiny Rebel Dooms Night               

45           Tiny Rebel Chunky          

46           Polly's Brew Surface Edition       

47           Tiny Rebel Dodge, Dip, Duck, Dive and Dulce      

48           Polly's Brew A Late Summer Pale Ale: Idaho 7    

49           Polly's Brew Floating Through the Surface           

50           Polly's Brew High Speed Soul

Okay, well that's a toss up between Polly's and Tiny Rebel, with the Mabinogion Mead cropping up despite the meadery appearing to close some years ago? Looking at the individual scores it appears some made their way to America and were still be drunk in 2021.

Ratebeer also mentions the top places to drink in Wales (based on what their members say)

Over to my favourite beer app, Untappd

NB, a beer must have 150 ratings or more to appear on this list:

  1. Polly's Brew Co. DDH Spur
  2. Polly's Brew Co. DDH Pines
  3. Polly's Brew Co. DDH Patternist
  4. Polly's Brew Co. IPA - Birthday Beer
  5. Polly's Brew Co. DDH Every Piece Matters
  6. Polly's Brew Co. Positively Unattached
  7. Polly's Brew Co. DDH Rosa
  8. Polly's Brew Co. Deep Fake
  9. Polly's Brew Co 58 BPM
  10. Tiny Rebel Brewing Co Super Hero Landing
  11. Polly's Brew Co. Nada
  12. Polly's Brew Co. This Never Happened
  13. Polly's Brew Co. DDH Oh My…
  14. Tiny Rebel Brewing Co Imperial Salted Caramel Stay Puft
  15. Polly's Brew Co. Everything We Dream Of
  16. Polly's Brew Co Acapella
  17. Polly's Brew Co A Fleeting Sound
  18. Polly's Brew Co Fallow Plans
  19. Polly's Brew Co Keeler
  20. Polly's Brew Co Controversy Between Deep
  21. Polly's Brew Co Ghost Voices
  22. Polly's Brew Co Cahb
  23. Polly's Brew Co Spur
  24. Polly's Brew Co Good Nature
  25. Polly's Brew Co Rosa
  26. Polly's Brew Co The New Renassaince
  27. Polly's Brew Co Lo-Fi
  28. Tiny Rebel Brewing Co Imperial Chocolate Stay Puft
  29. Polly's Brew Co. Does It Matter How Far?
  30. Polly's Brew Co. Amateur Dance
  31. Polly's Brew Co. Every Piece Matters
  32. Polly's Brew Co. Floating Through the Surface
  33. Polly's Brew Co. Wallow
  34. Polly's Brew Co. Spectrum TIPA
  35. Polly's Brew Co. Circadian Rhythm
  36. Polly's Brew Co. The Feels Vol. 3
  37. Polly's Brew Co. Hi, Everything’s Great
  38. Tiny Rebel Brewing Co Amplified Imperial Stay Puft 12.8% ABV!
  39. Polly's Brew Co. Farrago
  40. Polly's Brew Co. Mylar
  41. Polly's Brew Co. Naive Melody
  42. Polly's Brew Co. Dream Like Sequence
  43. Polly's Brew Co. Chinook Mosaic Double IPA
  44. Polly's Brew Co. Brand New Only
  45. Polly's Brew Co. Jennasea
  46. Polly's Brew Co. The One You Can’t Control
  47. Polly's Brew Co. Step Inside the Panic Room
  48. Polly's Brew Co. Humble Clairvoyance
  49. Polly's Brew Co. Circle Foam

 Okay, that's quite a list from Untappd, with Polly's Brewery definitely producing the best beers in Wales according to Untappd.

So the Untappd list of Best Brewries in Wales looks like:

  1. Polly's Brew Co., Mold, Flintshire
  2. Dog's Window Brewery, Bridgend, Bridgend
  3. Lucky 7 Beer Co, Hay on Wye, Powys
  4. Crafty Devil Brewing Co, Cardiff,  
  5. Wild Horse Brewing Co, Llandudno, Conwy
  6. BeerRiff Swansea, Swansea
  7. Bragdy Mona Gaerwen, Isle of Anglesey
  8. Wilderness BreweryNewtown, Powys
  9. Tenby Brewing Co, Tenby, Pembrokeshire
  10. Flowerhorn, Cardiff, Cardiff
  11. Tiny Rebel Brewing Co, Newport
  12. PIPES™Cardiff,
  13. Grey Trees Brewery, Aberdare, Rhondda Cynon Taf,
  14. Brew Monster Caerphilly,
  15. Rival Brewing Co.Cardiff,
  16. The Waen Brewery Llanidloes, Powys
  17. Lines Brew Co.Usk, Monmouthshire
  18. Gwynt y Ddraig Pontypridd,
  19. Geipel Brewing Llangwm, Conwy
  20. Cwrw Cader Dolgellau, Gwynedd s
  21. Purple Moose Brewery (Bragdy Mŵs Piws) Porthmadog, Gwynedd
  22. Well Drawn Brewing Company, Caerphilly,
  23. Untapped Brewing Company , Raglan, Monmouthshire
  24.  Mad Dog Brewery Co, Penperlleni, Monmouthshire, Cardiff soon!
  25.  Mantle Cardigan, Ceredigion
  26.  Gower Brewery, Swansea,
  27. Cwrw Llŷn, Ffordd Dewi Sant, Gwynedd
  28. Tenby Harbwr Brewery, Tenby, Pembrokeshire
  29. Wye Valley Meadery, Caldicot, Monmouthshire
  30. Glamorgan Brewing Co, Llantrisant, Rhondda Cynon Taf
  31. Tinworks Brewing Co., Llanelli, Carmarthenshire
  32. Cwrw Iâl Community Brewing Company, Eryrys, Denbighshire
  33. Hafod Brewing Company, Mold, Flintshire
  34. Bragdy Twt Lol / The Trefforest Brewery Pontypridd, Rhondda Cynon Taf
  35. Hallets, Mynedd Maen, Newbridge, Caerphilly
  36. Caffle Brewery, Narberth, Pembrokeshire
  37. Big Hand Brewing, Wrexham, Wales
  38. Lithic Brewing, Brynmenyn, Bridgend
  39. Bragdy Lleu, Penygroes, Gwynedd
  40. Snowdon Craft Beer, Colwyn Bay, Conwy
  41. Kingstone Brewery, Tintern, Monmouthshire
  42. Magic Dragon Brewing, Wrexham,
  43. VOG Brewery, Barry, Vale of Glamorgan
  44. Mumbles Brewery, Swansea,
  45. Cold Black Label, Bridgend,
  46. Coles Family Brewers, Llanddarog, Carmarthenshire
  47. Tomos & Lilford, Llandow, Vale of Glamorgan
  48. Conwy Brewery, Llysfaen, Conwy
  49. Bragdy Nant, Llarwst
  50. Great Orme Brewery, Llandudno, Conwy Wales

 

 Over at Beer Advocate, again, no Welsh beers make it into the top-rated beers beers for the UK, however the Welsh list is rather surprising 

1              Tiny Rebel Brewing Co Stay Puft               

2              Tiny Rebel Brewing Co  Clwb Tropica

3              Purple Moose Brewery Dark Side Of The Moose (Ochr Tywyll Y Mws)    

4              Tiny Rebel Brewing Co. Dutty    

5              Tiny Rebel Brewing Co. Cwtch   

6              Brains Dark

7              Brains Bitter

8              Felinfoel Brewery Co , Thames Welsh ESB (6.5% ABV, Export only?)              

9              Hurns Brewing Co ,Tomos Watkin Old Style Bitter

10           Purple Moose Brewery Snowdonia Ale (Cwrw Eryri)

11           Conwy Brewery Clogwyn Gold

12           Brains The Rev. James

13           Brains SA

14           Brains SA Gold

15           Brains Craft Brewery Barry Island IPA (6% version!)

16           Felinfoel Brewery Co. Double Dragon


A new list to look at this year is the Untappd app copy, Pint Please, which out of it's top twenty UK beers, only one Welsh entry, Tiny Rebel makes an appearance at number 6

No CAMRA awards for real ales brewed last year due to COVID

Once again, beers from the Llandeilo Village Idiot failed to get a mention in any of the lists

Sunday, 27 February 2022

Beer Review: Arbor Ales Zero Zero

Once again, another one of our video beer reviews, this one, number 6, is Abor Ales Zero Zero. I did like the use of American hops in this beer, bitter, orange citrus flavours, my type of beer.



 

Tuesday, 22 February 2022

Beer Review: Arbor Brewery Mosiac

Beer review number 5 and it's over to Arbor Ales in Bristol for their Mosiac  



Monday, 21 February 2022

Beer Review: Brew York Born Under Peaches

The fourth in our series of Beer Reviews, another beer from Brew York
 

Thursday, 17 February 2022

Review: Brew York Cherry Kola

The third in the series of video beer reviews, this time it was part of the Brew York Sweet Shop Range and their Cherry Kola Sour. Not a beer I particularly liked as can be seen in the video below. Hopefully we will be trying a beer that tastes of beer in the next video!




 

Wednesday, 16 February 2022

Beer Review: Verdant - There Will Be No Intervals

Beer review number 2, and myself and Tim tried some Cornish beer this time with Verdant There will be No Intervals. Again this is available from Tim's stall at Monmouth Market on Saturdays.



 

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