Monday, 30 April 2012

Booze: Dragon Hall Beer Festival 2012

I'm pleased to let you all know that I have the final beer lists for Dragon Hall Beer Festival 2012 and I am going to share them with you! Exciting, I know!

Dragon Hall is a unique Grade 1 listed Medieval trading hall dated at around 1430 on King Street in Norwich. It's a wonderful building.

Last year, Dragon Hall in Norwich hosted their first ever beer festival which I volunteered at. It was a great weekend. We had loads of different beers (Including Dragon's Tipple which was brewed especially for us by Tipples brewery in Acle). It was a celebration of Norfolk beer. It was awesome. I'm so happy that it's back for a second year!

This year is going to be bigger and better as we don't just have beers from Norfolk... oh no... we have managed to source draft beers from Van Steenberge Brewery in Belgium too, as well as other bottled Belgian Beers from Van Steenberge, De Proef, De Gruut, Roman & Bavik!

Full confirmed beer lists as of today are below:

Brewery Beer category ABV Region Dispense
Bear Platinum Blonde heavy 5.00% Norfolk Cask
Bees Stripey Jack porter 4.60% Norfolk Cask
Beeston Afternoon Delight light quaffing 3.70% Norfolk Cask
Beeston Squirrel's Nuts dark 3.50% Norfolk Cask
Beeston Worth the Wait best bitter 4.20% Norfolk Cask
Buffys Norwich Terrier light quaffing 3.60% Norfolk Cask
Buffys Mild dark
Norfolk Cask
Chalk Hill Dreadnought best bitter 4.90% Norfolk Cask
Chalk Hill Flintknappers  mild
Norfolk Cask
Chalk Hill CHB best bitter 4.20% Norfolk Cask
Elmtree Golden Pale Ale heavy 5.00% Norfolk Cask
Elmtree Burston's Cuckoo light quaffing 3.80% Norfolk Cask
ENTC (CIDER) Hazydays
6.70% Norfolk Cask
ENTC (CIDER) Haymaker
6.50% Norfolk Cask
Fat Cat Marmalade Cat light quaffing 5.50% Norfolk Cask
Fat Cat Honey Ale Belgian style 4.30% Norfolk Cask
Fat Cat Meow Mild dark 4.30% Norfolk Cask
Grain Porter dark 3.80% Norfolk Cask
Grain Blonde Ash Belgian style 4.00% Norfolk Cask
Humpty Dumpty Nord Atlantic  light quaffing 3.70% Norfolk Cask
Humpty Dumpty Broadland Sunrise
4.20% Norfolk Cask
JoC Norfolk Kiwi Belgian style 3.80% Norfolk Cask
Norfolk Square Sweet Cider
7.00% Norfolk Cask
Ole Slew Foot Dragon Saison Belgian style 4.50% Norfolk Cask
Ole Slew Foot Friend of the Devil Belgian style
Norfolk Cask
Ole Slew Foot White dove Belgian style 3.70% Norfolk Cask
Panther Black Panther dark 4.50% Norfolk Cask
Panther Pink Panther Belgian style 4.00% Norfolk Cask
Panther Ginger Belgian style 3.70% Norfolk Cask
Tipples Sundown light quaffing 3.90% Norfolk Cask
Tipples Hanged Monk mild 3.80% Norfolk Cask
Tipples Indian Hill IPA best bitter 6.50% Norfolk Cask
Whin Hill Medium Perry

Norfolk Cask
Winters Geniuss dark 4.10% Norfolk Cask
Winters Mild mild 3.60% Norfolk Cask
Woodfordes Once Bittern light quaffing 4% Norfolk Cask
Woodefords Norfolk Gem best bitter 4% Norfolk Cask
Mike S? Island Best? best bitter
Norfolk Cask
De Proef Brouwerij Reinaert Grand Cru Belgian Strong Ale 9.5% Abv Belgium Bottle
De Proef Brouwerij Reinaert Tripel Tripel 9.0% Abv Belgium Bottle
De Gruut Gruut Inferno Belgian Strong Ale 9.0% Abv Belgium Bottle
De Gruut Gruut Bruin Abbey Dubbel 8.0% Abv Belgium Bottle
Van Steenberge Piraat Belgian Strong Ale 10.5% Abv Belgium Bottle
Van Steenberge Augustijn Dark Abbey Dubbel 7.0% Abv Belgium Bottle
Van Steenberge GuldenDraak 9000 Quadrupel 10.5% Abv Belgium Keg
Van Steenberge GuldenDraak Belgian Strong Ale 10.5% Abv Belgium Bottle
Van Steenberge Celis Witte Witbier 5.0 % Abv Belgium Keg
Van Steenberge Cherish Framboos Lambic - Fruit 3.8% Abv Belgium Keg
Bavik Wittekerke Rose’ Fruit Beer 4.3% Abv Belgium Bottle
Roman Gentse Strop Belgian Ale 6.9% Abv Belgium Bottle
Van Steenberge for De Hopduval Ghent Gentse Tripel Tripel 8.0% Abv Belgium Bottle

That's the list! There will also be some bottles from Norfolk but that's not as exciting as the cask ale selection!

Dragon Hall Beer Festival is on Friday 4th May to Sunday 6th May at Dragon Hall on King Street in Norwich.

There will be live music as well as food provided by The Belgian Monk!

Opening Times:

Friday 4th: 6pm - 11pm
Saturday 5th: 12pm - 3:30pm & 6pm - 11pm
Sunday: 12pm - 3:30pm

Lunchtime £5 (CAMRA members £4)
Evening £6 (CAMRA members £5)
Includes souvenir glass & £2 beer voucher

It'll be awesome... come down... say hi & sample a beer or six!


Saturday, 28 April 2012

Booze: April Order & Nils Oscar Ctrl Alt Delete

A bit of a double blog post... I'm going to show you my beers and review a beer!

Yeah, so I ordered some badass beers.

Full list:

Beer Merchants:
Evil Twin Before, During and After Christmas (Denmark)
Camden Town Helles (United Kingdom)
Mikkeller American Dream (Denmark)
Mikkeller/Revelation Cat Cream Ale (Denmark/Italy)
Mikkeller Czechet Pilsner (Denmark)
Beer Here Karma Citra (Denmark)
Port Brewing Wipeout IPA (United States of America)

Beers of Europe:
Nils Oscar Ctrl Alt Delete (Sweden)
Nils Oscar God Lager (Sweden)
Nils Oscar Hop Yard IPA (Sweden)
To Øl First Frontier IPA (Denmark)
To Øl Final Frontier DIPA (Denmark)
Weyerbacher Double Simcoe IPA (United States of America)
Bear Republic Racer 5 IPA (United States of America)
Boags Premium (Australia)
Einstök Icelandic Pale Ale (Iceland)
Banks Caribbean Lager (Barbados)
Mikkeller Citra Single Hop IPA

Oh and naturally I was drinking a Brewdog Hardcore IPA that I bought the night before at Sainsbury's. Probably not the best idea at 2:30pm!

Quite an interesting selection I think! 

So, for my first review:

Nils Oscar Ctrl Alt Delete (I bought it purely because of the name. Geek swag)
Sweden (My first ever Swedish beer)
330ml bottle

As you can see, it pours a clear coppery amber colour. Looks quite carbonated.

Aroma is quite malty and fruity. I got bready/yeasty aromas too but not as much as the fruit.

Taste... winter berries. Lots of winter berries and caramel, quite malty too. Low carbonation considering it looks quite fizzy. Also, a bit bitter. I also got this weird salt-like taste too which I probably could've done without.

I like this beer but I don't think I'll be in a rush to order a whole crate of it.

More reviews will come...


Monday, 23 April 2012

Booze: An awesome London adventure in January

27th January 2012.

I decided to take a trip to London. Wendy and I were meant to go on a pub crawl but he had a heavy one the night before so he bailed on me. That left me with a few hours before going to stay on the coldest sofa in the history of sofas to drink awesome beer.

I had quite a few beers on the train which probably wasn’t for the best considering I hadn’t eaten since lunch.

Euston tap had an IPA festival on so naturally I had to stop there.


Williams Brothers Joker IPA on keg; I’d had it in bottles but justice was not done. Kegged it is absolutely brilliant. Hoppy, quite sweet and citrusy.

My first beer by Summer Wine Brewery, Diablo (IPA); again on keg, bloody amazing. Massive tropical flavours... I’m pretty sure I got mango and papaya... and that finishing pine flavour we all love in an IPA.

I then had Summer Wine Diablo on cask. I wish I didn’t. Yeah, it was great but I much preferred it on keg.

Oh and I was sitting across the bar from Tim Anderson, Masterchef winner. I didn’t say hi though. I probably should’ve.

I then went on to Brewdog Camden. My first ever visit there. It had to be done. I bloody love Brewdog.


Punk IPA: C’mon. It had to be done. I bloody love it. Citrusy, toasty, piney. Just yes.

Hops Kill Nazis: A nice dark red ale.  Very hoppy. Caramel-like sweetness with fruity and bready flavours. I could’ve drunk more.

Hardcore IPA: Very dark. Massively hoppy and bitter. I like it. I couldn’t drink it all the time, though.

Final stop of the night was The Black Heart. Because it’s metal.

Just the one beer here:

Brooklyn Lager! It was the first time I’d had this on tap after consuming the Longwater Lane Sainsbury’s entire stock. It’s a Vienna style lager made from a pre-prohibition recipe. It’s quite malty for a lager and tastes a lot darker and bitter than it looks. I bloody love it.

I then retired to Wendy’s house and had a few beers before passing out.

I woke up to find this facebook status:

So yeah; that. I don’t remember.

28th January 2012

Very hungover. Decided that the best cure would be to go to Chinatown and get a buffet. Awesome idea. We went to Little Wu. It was cheap, filling and nice. Cured my hangover at least.


A bottle of Tiger. It’s just simple.

We then decided we wanted to go to Tate Modern. Neither of us had a clue where it is. We got off the tube at London Bridge instead of Southwark. Then walked in the wrong direction.

This led us to:

Draft HouseTower Bridge. I had wanted to go here for a while but never found myself around there.


The best pint of Budvar in my entire life. I’m pretty confident it was Budvar yeast. Simply phenomenal. A revelation.

It was here Wendy looked at me dead in the eye and simply said the words that everyone loves yet dreads: “Fuck it mate. Let’s do a pub crawl.”

We continued walking and found ourselves at a wetherspoons.


A pint of Fuller’s London Pride. I’m sure we’re all familiar with this. It’s a great standard ale.


Continued walking down the river Thames and stopped in some place overlooking the HMS Belfast. That’s a bit ass boat.

Don’t remember what this place was called but it seemed like a chain pub. Filled with families.


Something called Suffolk Blonde. Wasn’t thrilled by it.

I then realised where we were and that the only place to go was The Rake.


Fancied a lager so went with Kaiserdom Pils. The Germans know how to do it.

We then went to Brew Wharf. Another place I had wanted to go to for a while. The first time I tried to go there I failed because it was closed for a private function.


It was here I had my first experience of Camden Pale Ale! Lovely stuff. Citrusy and biscuity.

We also had the best chips ever.

We then met some friends and went to The Market Porter. Lovely pub. Very lively although it looks like a standard old man joint... with a Brewdog tower which is always respectable.


My first Otley beer. Otley O’ Garden. Cask. Very lemony and biscuity. I could drink this all the time.

I then forced everyone to return to a haunt of the previous night: Brewdog Camden.

It was very busy but worth it because...


StoneBrewing Co. Arrogant Bastard Ale! 2/3 of that, please! This was especially awesome as I had tweeted at Neil a couple of days before and was like “BRO! I’m in London this weekend... PLEASE put Stone Arrogant Bastard on!” and he declared it to not be a problem, thankfully. I absolutely love this beer. Sweet caramel, grapefruit and quite bitter but also very drinkable!

The others were a tad too drunken so they decided to go home but I had to make one final stop before I left.

Back to the Euston Tap!


I needed another pint of Williams Brothers Joker IPA. I needed it.

I then ended up talking to a random Slovakian guy and a couple of people who bizarrely also originate from Norwich. How can this be? I get out of Norwich but I can’t escape the people.

This led to more beer:

Summer Wine Lime & Coriander Saison. You can taste the lime and coriander. It’s also quite spicy and yeasty. My problem was that I couldn’t taste the lime enough. I did convey this to Summer Wine on twitter and I completely understand when they replied with “The whole point was for the lime not to be overpowering” fair.

That was the end of my weekend. That day has since been known as “Wendy & Nate try to find the Tate”. We could’ve found it quite easily, had we tried but I guess pub crawls are much more fun than art galleries. Right?

Gruelling journey back to Norwich. Took me 5 bloody hours! Train to Ipswich... wait in Ipswich for an hour (I contemplated suicide. Please never make me go back there) before a coach back to Norwich. ‘Cause yeah, that’s exactly what I pay stupidly expensive train fares for.

All in all, an awesome weekend! So much awesome beer. Awesome company.


Nate Dawg