Showing posts from 2013

#12BeersOfXmas Day 9 - Grain Brewery 3.1.6

Today was meant to be Thwaites Big Ben but only had a chance to drink this before going out yesterday because Big Ben wasn't chilled. Will make sure I do that another day. I've really messed with the program! As you may have seen me mention about 137 times, Grain Brewery, in my opinion is the best Norfolk has to offer (sorry other brewery friends xxx) so I've got Grain 3.1.6, a 3.9% extra pale ale. This has been available on cask for a while but has only just made it into bottles. I believe this was originally brewed to celebrate the new tanks in the brewery and the name 3.1.6 comes from the grade of steel used to make them. It pours a lovely golden colour with a fluffy white head. Immediately on the nose you're struck with the lovely light biscuity lager malt, along with floral hoppy aromas. You then take a sip and you're hit with the biscuity malt, followed by subtle orange flavours and a long floral finish. The mouthfeel is quite carbonated, yet long

#12BeersOfXmas Day 8 - Amstel Bock

So, it's day 8 already. Due to the fact that I'm out of town tomorrow, I'm actually writing this on the evening of Day 7. I'm a big fan of Amstel. If I'm in a Wetherspoons that has a shit cask selection, it's my go-to. Yes I'm aware they sell Carling too, but that's my at home beer. I wouldn't be seen drinking it in public (unless I'm at a football game). So we've got Amstel Bock here, it's 7% and obviously it's from The Netherlands. The aroma give us a lot old malt and caramel, a little banana and a tiny sprinkling of hops. Tasting it, it's basically like drinking Amstel with a shitload of caramel and a bit of chocolate with some banana. Close to what other people had told me before. Mouthfeel is very carbonated, but you'd expect that. Overall, I really like it and at 7% it's fucking good value! Cheers, Nate

#12BeersOfXmas Day 7 - Nomada Humala IPA

So it's Boxing Day and after the excitement of that ridiculously dark and decadent imperial stout yesterday, it's time for an IPA. This is my first beer of the day after shaking my mental hangover from yesterday (16 beers, too much red wine & a slug of Spirit of Broadside) I need to get back on the horse before going for a walk. Today we have Nomada Humala IPA from Spain. It's certainly not weak at 7.3%, but not mental either. As you can see from the photo, head retention is no problem for this chap as it's ridiculously carbonated. On the nose you get a lovely sweet medley of tropical fruits... pineapples, mangoes, grapefruit, blood orange and a tiny hint of caramel and biscuits. When you take a sip, you get EXACTLY what you're expecting... all of that fruit really works well together and it's not overly sweet, the flavours are great, with just that little bit of malt and bitterness holding it all together. The mouthfeel is lovely - incredibly smoo

#12BeersOfXmas Day 6 - Goose Island Bourbon County (2012)

Holy fucking shit. It's Christmas day and I'm doing le writing. Cool. Yeah, I've just had dinner and been drinking since about 10:30am. I've had a lot of beer and now it's time to review the one I'm most looking forward to... the 15% motherfucker that is Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Stout (2012). The Beer O'Clock Show guy Steve and some other chaps & chapettes are doing Magic Rock Strongman today, but I didn't have any of that and thought this was appropriate. That rebel Connor Murphy has decided to join my splinter cell to drink this too... So... what the fuck is it like? The aroma gives you the purest, most goddamn bitter dark chocolate and coffee. My god, it's fucking incredible. Then you fucking taste it. Oh Jesus. Fresh brewed coffee, bitter dark chocolate, a few hops, bourbon and a sweet, creamy finish. The mouthfeel is thick as fuck, like a friji milkshake, as you'd expect from a 15% beast, but it's also kinda dr

#12BeersOfXmas Day 5 - High & Mighty Beer of the Gods

So Day 5 of my #12BeersOfXmas falls on Christmas Eve. Fuck knows why but everyone was so excited about it being Christmas Eve today. What is that even about? Well anyway, today is High & Mighty Beer of the Gods. High and Mighty are from Massachusetts in the USA but apparently this is brewed by the non-existent Ridgeway Brewery somewhere in the UK so fuck knows. Their website doesn't bother telling me what style it is but Ratebeer claims it's a Golden/Blond Ale. So what's it even like bro? Well the first hit on the nose you get is coppery like pennies but then you get mandarins, freshly baked white bread and cloves. Got fresh granny smith apples and digestive biscuits upon first taste, but then you start to get mandarins and a little bit of caramel at the end. Mouthfeel is well carbonated yet smooth. So overall? It's nice but could be punchier and have some more bitterness. I guess this is another of those fucking beers that they send to the USA and make

#12BeersOfXmas Day 4 - Dia De Los Muertos Immortal Beloved

So it's Day 4 and I'm not going to explain myself again. Today we're visiting Mexico with Dia De Los Muertos Immortal Beloved Hefeweizen. The rest of theirs I've had thus far have been shit but I'm hoping they can't fuck up a Hefeweizen. Let's see... Just looking at it, I'm disappointed. No big, thick creamy head like I would like to see in a hefe. The aroma? Blue Moon. Yeah, we've all tried Blue Moon. It's like that. Orange cordial and cloves. Blah. How does it taste? Like a weaker version of Blue Moon. Seriously. I'm fucking disappointed, but I expected to be. Overall... I think Blue Moon is alright. A weaker version of Blue Moon? No. Go away. I'm gonna neck this and get something decent. Hopefully Day 5 will be a success... Cheers, Nate

#12BeersOfXmas Day 3 - Celt Experience Apparition IPA

So it's day 3 and I'm sure you all know the score by now... review a beer a day for 12 days! Well, you lucky people, today brings a Celt Experience (Wales) collaboration with the Mischievous Melissa Cole ... Apparition IPA. A 5.9% organic dry-hopped IPA. So... what's it like? On the nose you're hit by a caramel tidal wave that's playing nicely with some blood orange, white pepper and lemons. Upon taking a sip you're hit with big and fruity blood oranges, caramel and a lot of bitterness to finish. There's also another familiar flavour in there but I can't for the life of me figure out what it is and it's really annoying me! It might be strawberries... I'm not sure, but it's tasty! Mouthfeel has a good bit of carbonation and the bitterness attacks your throat as it goes down. Overall, this is a really enjoyable beer and I would certainly purchase it again. It has the most important thing in an IPA... balance. Also, it's not a

#12BeersOfXmas Day 2 - St Austell Big Job

So yeah, you know the score, a review a day for 12 days with the Beer O'Clock Show chaps. This time it's St Austell Big Job from Cornwall, which weighs in at the same ABV as yesterday's beer - 7.2%. I've been wanting to try this for a while so let's get stuck in... It smells of candied oranges laying on top of digestive biscuit base, along with a few red and white grapes. Smells like it'll be too drinkable! The flavour starts with very dry white wine grapes, leading into a grassy hill with haystacks on top and finishing with a bit of pineapple just laying on there. It's too drinkable and smooth for the ABV due to the lack of bitterness. Mouthfeel is smooth, with mid carbonation. Overall? I really like this BUT it does need some bitterness to sit with the sweet fruitiness. I'd buy another bottle anyway! See you tomorrow for day 3! Cheers, Nate

#12BeersofXmas Day 1 - Brewdog Jackhammer

Well here I am. Sitting at my desk at work on the last Friday before Christmas, getting ready for the Christmas Party, drinking beers. Yes. I'm drinking a beer at work. So this is my first beer of Christmas, in the Beer O'Clock Show's #12BeersofXmas. Brewdog Jackhammer, a 7.2% IPA from Scotland. It was meant to be something else but fuck it. This is better! On the nose you're immediately hit by pine needles, bitter grapefruit, blood oranges and a sea of light caramel and biscuit. The caramel sea continues flowing when you take a sip, but with the pine needles it feels like you're being attacked by a bloated pufferfish that tastes a fruit medly of grapefruit, candied oranges, sharp green apples and pineapple. The mouthfeel is thick and prickly, yet somehow remains smooth - it's like a battle in the ocean. Will you get out alive? It's not my first time having this beer, and I fucking love it so I had to put it in my Christmas order. This is a ful

My #12BeersOfXmas 2013

Looks like the Beer O’Clock Show chaps have been at it again… suggesting another mad scheme that ensures we all drink beer. They have decided to a collaborative review exercise type thing where starting from Friday 20 th December, you drink and review a different beer each day. You can read more about it on their blog because I’m far too lazy to explain: Anyway, they were pressuring me to get involved and after some very serious threats, I complied. Each day I’ll post a different review. Obviously, because that’s the name of the game. As I've got my office Christmas party on Friday, I'll be having my first tonight, but won't post until Friday. I just received a big box of beers from Beers of Europe so here’s my list: Day 1 – Friday 20 th December – Beck’s Ice Lime and Mint (Germany, 2.5%) - Brewdog Jackhammer (Scotland, 7.2%) Day 2 – Saturday 21 st December – St Austell Big J

GUEST POST: Truman's London Keeper Review (Steve at Beers I've Known

Last week both Steve Lamond from Beers I've Known and I each received a bottle of Truman's London Keeper. After having a chat about it on Facebook, Steve came up with the great idea of guest posting our reviews on each others' blogs, which I thought was brilliant! Anyway, Truman's was a legendary brewery in the heart of London on Brick Lane that was first established in 1666. It closed in 1989 and after 24 years they managed to revive the yeast and open a new brewery in August 2013. Steve's review is below: London Keeper is a limited edition release to commemorate the first brew out of the new Truman’s Brewery. It has been 24 years since any beer was brewed under the Truman’s name.  To make something special an export stout from 1880 was selected from the records, unusual because it used American hops, once again showing that nothing is new in the world of beer. It certainly looks the part, 750ml bottle resplendent in its ivory wax cap and lette


Evening. I did a HILARIOUS Golden Pint post last week and thought it was about time I did it FOR REALS YO. Best UK cask beer : Oakham Citra, obviously. It's probably the cask beer I've drunk most of this year because it's just so goddamn good. Best UK keg beer:  Magic Rock Salty Kiss. Basically, all the versions are awesome but if I had to pick a favourite, it'd be the lime one. SIMPLY BITCHIN'. Best UK Bottle/Can:  Adnams Ghost Ship in a goddamn can wins the can department. Bottled would clearly have to be Magic Rock Unhuman Cannonball. Best Overseas Draught Beer:  Lagunitas IPA. By god, I've drank SO GODDAMNED MUCH OF IT. It's being properly imported and is just incredible. Alec and I once drank about 4 pints in an hour. Best Overseas Bottled or Canned Beer:  Oskar Blues Deviant Dale's IPA takes this award. It was absolutely incredible. Thanks to Total Curtis for my first ever can. I have one in the fridge right now too! Best Collaboration

Let There Be Golden Pints 2013

Well, folks, it’s that time of the year again… Golden Pints time! We all get to share our favourite beers of the year. Some difficult decisions had to be made, but I think I’ve done well… Best UK Keg: Boddingtons Best UK Cask: Greene King IPA Best UK Bottled or Canned: Skol (canned) Best overseas draught beer: Carlsberg Export Best overseas bottled or canned beer: Bud Light (canned) Best collaboration brew: Simon Rimmer & Robinsons. BEER WITH FOOD. Best overall beer: Carling Zest Ginger Best branding: Tennent’s Lager Best UK Brewery: Greene King Best overseas brewery: Anheuser-Busch Best new brewery opening 2013: St Edmund’s Brewhouse Pub/Bar of the year: Carling Pub, Alicante airport New pub/bar opening 2013: Beer festival of the year: Greene King Real Beer & Food Festival Supermarket of the year: Asda. Best independent shop: The one near me that does 8 Carlings for £7 Best online retailer:

#TheSession 82: #Dawgocalypse (Beery Yarns)

The Session is a monthly event for the beer blogging community which was started by Stan Hieronymus at  Appellation Beer . On the first Friday of each month, all participating bloggers write about a predetermined topic. Each month a different blog is chosen to host The Session, choose the topic, and post a roundup of all the responses received. For more info on The Session, check out the Brookston Beer Bulletin’s  nice archive page . This month's session is hosted by  Steve  at  Beers I've Known , one of my inspirations for blogging about beer. He asks us to tell a beery tale of past, in the style of Grandpa Simpson. It was the eve of my birthday in the year of 2013. I had planned this epic quest for a while, a quest on the trail of beer in London for my birthday. D-Day was upon us. The army said they'd come, and they came in swarms. Starting off with M&S Oakham Citra on the train with Jay and Alec, the day began. The Earl of Essex came first, whe

CAMRGB Xmas Twissup 2013 - Norwich

Afternoon, I know I've been slack with this post but y'all have known about it for ages anyway. Amongst other things, there has been confusion and debates and such. Planning an event like this is no easy feat when you're trying to work with other people to get cool things arranged. At the end of the day, everyone involved are being champions to help us have an awesome day! It's all good though, The CAMRGB Xmas Twissup will be in Norwich this Saturday 7th December and obviously, this ugly bastard is hosting it since this is MY CITY. The plan is as followed: 1:30pm: Meet at Norwich Train Station 2pm: Redwell Brewery tour, then buy a couple of pints of their delicious beer there. They've been kind enough to host us which is fucking awesome of them! After that, probably 3pm - 3:30 we'll head off on our merry way. Pubs include: Coach & Horses - You may remember this from my article in CAMRA's Beer Magazine. Plenty of their own beers to choos

You can take your craft beer...

Fuck you. Yeah you, the one sitting there nursing your 23% sour barrel aged stout that’s so loaded with hops that you’re gonna shit hops for a week. Oh, it’s a ‘craft beer’ is it? Of course, that word ‘craft’ makes it so much different and better than other beers that don’t have the word ‘craft’ affixed, doesn’t it? No, I thought not. Y’know what? You can take your craft and shove it up your arse, because I just like beer. Fuck that word and fuck you. I’m fucking sick of it, really. Everywhere I look there’s some kind of debate about what’s ‘craft’ and what’s not. Fuck you. I mean, I thought we’d gotten over this at least a year ago and now accept beer for what it is but evidently not. We’ve got Brewdog banging on about the fact that craft needs an actual definition, which it doesn’t. The reason they give is that it’s basically for the drinkers but it’s not, it’s for them because they’re self-important arseholes. Now I’m not from the national office of statistics or an

Norwich Beer Festival 2013 - The Aftermath

Well, Norwich Beer Festival is over for another year and I just kinda felt that being one of these blogger types I should tell you about all of my favourite beers and such. Last week was a pretty mental week... I did Monday evening, Tuesday evening, Thursday evening and both sessions on the Friday because, well, research. Yes, let's use that excuse. It was a long and extensive research trip into the styles of beer and presentation of a beer festival. Hey, I've been taking loads of these this year! So let's get into it, shall we? My favourite beers were as followed: UK Cask (Outside of Norfolk): Arbor Ales Yakima Valley IPA - IT'S A TROPICAL FRUIT FEST! That bitter grapefruit you find in a lot of IPAs merges deliciously with mangoes, lychees and a bit of sweet apricot on top of a soft malty base. This is without a doubt a contender for beer of the year. I have absolutely no idea how this did not win beer of the festival (although the winner, Slaters Haka was well

42 Bud Lights & 10 Dirty Stadium Hot Dogs

There are two types of beer geek... those who will go to an event that has awful beer and not drink... then there are those of us who will drink basically anything. I'm in the latter category. I spent Sunday at Wembley Stadium fulfilling a lifelong dream of seeing San Francisco 49ers play American Football. We played against Jacksonville Jaguars so obviously we were going to win, but the win was massive. 42-10. You probably can't imagine how I felt. I spent the day drinking Bud Light and eating dirty stadium hot dogs, and I loved it. I got to hang out with some awesome people such as the awesome BiereBelle and see the team I've supported for 12 years. I had the best day drinking Bud Light and eating hot dogs that made me feel awful the next day. It was awesome.

Pub Experiment #1 (participation event)

I love pubs. Pubs come in all shapes and sizes. You can get a pub with a great selection of beer that's kept in alright condition and a good atmosphere, you can get a pub that has average selection of beer that's kept so well that you forget that you previously thought it was average. You get pubs with an awesome atmosphere, then you get ones that you wonder why you even bothered going to in the first place. There's a lot of campaigning for pubs to stay open these days and I've been thinking lately whether it's worth campaigning for awful pubs to stay open. They must appeal to some people, but I wonder why. Today, Tony Naylor's article in The Guardian's Word of Mouth really made me think. I posted the link on Facebook, and got a whole host of interesting responses that agreed with what Tony said in his article. The responses I got were great (depending on who you talk to) and I want to feature them in a future blog, and that's where the rest of y

Finntroll, TYR & Skalmold at Epic in Norwich

Monday night I went along to the Finntroll, TYR & Skalmold event at Epic in Norwich. I’d only ever been to Epic once before, for a TV recording so I had absolutely no idea what to expect from it as a live music venue. When the bands play live, the raised seating at the back is taken away, and the stage is higher up, separated by a barrier as expected but with two massive HD Screens either side of the stage so you can see everything clearly, regardless of where you are in the venue. We thought this was an awesome idea. The beer selection at Epic was, well, pretty much a standard gig venue selection. On keg there was a choice of either Stella Artois, Beck’s Vier or Marstons Smooth along with some bottles and cans of yet more crap. Prices were £3.80 a pint, which hits what I was expecting pretty much. Now, onto the music! Skalmold were up first with their haunting brand of Folk Metal playing such an upsettingly short 30 minute set, mostly comprising of stuff from the

8 Foot Sativa - The Shadow Masters review

8 Foot Sativa is a 5 piece heavy metal band from New Zealand and when this album hit my inbox, I thought I knew what to expect as I loved this band years ago. I was expecting pure Nu-Metal, but that's not what I received, and it's definitely not a bad thing. You see, what I've heard from 8 Foot Sativa previously has been quite light. Not exactly chart friendly, lyrically but certainly musically. Again, this is no bad thing. The Shadow Masters brings something new to the table. There's a lot of metalcore in the heaviness of Anatomy of Hate  and Never Abide  with massive crushingness and intense lyrics, yet there are fairly light hearted proggy singalong songs like Shadow Master  and Feeding The Weak . This album is taking a completely different angle, and proving that a band doing something different isn't a bad thing. Lyrically, 8 Foot Sativa were always quite strong and intense but musically and production quality was lacking, and The Shadow Masters  proves j

Norfolk Square Black Widow Imperial Stout review

You know me, I don't usually do beer reviews. I'd rather rant about shit, but I dunno, this has impressed me enough to write. If you've been reading this for a while, or looking at my tweets, you'll know that I haven't always said nice things about Norfolk Square brewery. I've said previously how Crazy Horse American IPA, while being nice, does not taste anywhere close to an IPA. It's more like an English Strong Ale, and Lunatik, again is nice, but not an IPA, to me it tastes more like a Belgian Tripel. Well I've wanted to try Black Widow  for a while and today I managed to buy a bottle from Harper Wells  in Norwich. It's an Imperial Stout aged on Port. So what's it like? Brewery:  Norfolk Square Beer:  Black Widow Style:  Imperial Stout Country:  England ABV:  9% Look: Silky black. Small off white head. Aroma: Bitter black coffee hit, some dark chocolate and a smidge of boozy port. Flavour: Bitter dark chocolate, freshly bre

The Session #79 – USA Vs Old World Beer Culture

The Session is a monthly event for the beer blogging community which was started by Stan Hieronymus at  Appellation Beer . On the first Friday of each month, all participating bloggers write about a predetermined topic. Each month a different blog is chosen to host The Session, choose the topic, and post a roundup of all the responses received. For more info on The Session, check out the Brookston Beer Bulletin’s  nice archive page . This month’s session is hosted by Ding and (I think) it’s about the differences between America’s and Britain’s beer culture… Let’s pretend, just for a moment, that this is actually a guest blog by two people. One of them is an American who knows a little about American craft beer and that’s generally what he buys, and the other is a British chap who just goes down the pub. These guys want to tell you about beer culture in the other person’s country but they’re not very well educated in it… American: “British beer? It sounds

Top 10 Norfolk Beers 2013

I was meant to post something completely different tonight, but I couldn't, because I saw Beerenalia's post on his top 10 Norfolk beers and I just had to post something similar. It'd be rude not to. So what are my top 10 Norfolk beers? 1) Grain Brewery India Pale Ale (6.5%)  - It's a big, hoppy grapefruit and orange tasting IPA. What's not to love? Whenever I see it, I have to drink it. 2) Golden Triangle Black Hops (4.6%) - For me, this is the perfect Black IPA. It retains all of the flavours you want in a regular IPA... grapefruit and orange, but adds red berries and a slight roastiness. Simply phenomenal! 3)   Humpty Dumpty WWIPA (7.4%)  - Alright, another IPA. Sharp gooseberry, floral hops, a bit of orange and grassiness. Brilliant. 4) Ole Slewfoot Dragon Saison (4.5%)  - Lemon acidity and spiciness with the classic funky funky funky saison taste! AWESOME. 5) Norfolk Brewhouse Dewhopper Lager (3.8%)  - Amazing session lager. It's very clea

Redwell/Red Bull? I'm confused

Oh nice... just as Belleville brewing and AB InBev come to an agreement that "Belleville" is absolutely nothing like "Belle Vue" another name dispute comes up, but this time it's personal for me. You would've seen me tweet frequently about how awesome Redwell Brewery from Norwich is, if you haven't you must have been living in a cave. Well I get to work this morning to discover on the EDP website that Red Bull has written to Redwell brewery asking them to withdraw their trademark application as the names "Red Bull" and "Redwell" are too similar so people may get confused. Absolute bullshit. Man walks into a bar and orders a can of Red Bull. Bartender pours him a pint of Redwell IPA. The man says "How the fuck did you even confuse them?". The punchline is that this would never ever happen in a million years. I am so fucking angry about this, I mean, Redwell are just a small brewery based in Norwich brewing awesom

Nekrogoblikon - Power review

Because I could never write anything as awesome as Lisa can, so I'm not even going to tell you about Nekrogoblikon  other that they're from L.A ; I'll let the first part of Lisa's press release do the magic: "Once upon a time there lived a lonely Goblin, confined to a life of solitude and banished by his peers for having a hideous visage. What this goblin wanted more than anything in life was bitches, mountains and mountains of steaming, sweating, thrusting bitches. But that was in a time long passed, when language was more raw and colourful and anyone reading this story in 2013 knows that we can’t say that word, so we’ll proceed onwards by saying the goblin wanted ladies, lots of lovely ladies. One thing the goblin knew, was that to secure the attention of bit…sorry women, he had to become a rock star. Women LOOOOVE rock stars. Having seen that men with similar visages to him such as Rod Stewart, Chad Kroeger, Marilyn Manson and Lars Ulrich could pull so

The Session #78 - My Elevator Pitch

The Session is a monthly event for the beer blogging community which was started by Stan Hieronymus at  Appellation Beer . On the first Friday of each month, all participating bloggers write about a predetermined topic. Each month a different blog is chosen to host The Session, choose the topic, and post a roundup of all the responses received. For more info on The Session, check out the Brookston Beer Bulletin’s  nice archive page . This month’s session is hosted by James of Beer Bar Band and he wants us to write our elevator pitch for beer, so if we only had 30 seconds to tell someone why or why not to drink beer, what would we say? I would say “ Oh you don’t like beer. That’s fair enough. Have a good day!” Because 30 seconds isn’t enough time to tell someone about all of the potential qualities beer has. Nate

Northern Monk BrewCo New World IPA review

Evening, it's been a while since I've done a full on beer review instead of just brief notes from events but I feel that this is worthy... but am I? Northern Monk BrewCo was born around six months ago and after all of the planning, they finally got around to brewing their sole launch beer: New World IPA. A lot of you probably already know David Bishop - or the Broadford Brewer as he's more commonly known. He's one of the first people I started following on twitter when I first started tweeting about beer and as a renowned beer blogger and homebrewer he has given me a lot of insight into beer. Finally, I get to taste his beer and it's not a homebrew... oh no, it's commercial. I've been excited about Northern Monk BrewCo ever since I first heard of it. As you can see, the branding is fucking awesome... but how is the beer?

Urban Sessions - the place to be this summer!

For quite some time now, Melissa Cole has been hinting about an exciting project that she was involved in but was sworn to secrecy but finally it was announced a few weeks ago... Urban Sessions is occurring! Well what Urban Sessions is, is a pop up beer festival/bar/musical event/food/awesomeness in The Old Baths in Hackney Wick which will be around for 4 months. I happened to be in London at the weekend so I thought it'd be rude not to pop down for the soft launch. The idea is that they have a shitload of beers from all around the world, along with cocktails and ciders and essentially just party! Over the 4 months they have about 500 different beers on as well as pop up tasting sessions, monthly beer matched dinners, spirit education events and Meet The Brewers, so I'm going to need to revisit a few times!

The Session #77 - IPA: What's the big deal? FOR PUNKS

The Session is a monthly event for the beer blogging community which was started by Stan Hieronymus at  Appellation Beer . On the first Friday of each month, all participating bloggers write about a predetermined topic. Each month a different blog is chosen to host The Session, choose the topic, and post a roundup of all the responses received. For more info on The Session, check out the Brookston Beer Bulletin’s  nice archive page . This month’s session is hosted by Justin of Justin’s Brew Review , which is entitled “IPA: What’s the big deal?” and it’s a question I once asked. Once upon a time, in my early days of beer geekdom, I had a beer called Punk IPA from a brewery called Brewdog . I’d had IPAs in the past, but they were pretty lifeless so when IPAs got popular I thought “Why? They’re not that good. And then I had Punk. I chanced upon a bottle at Norwich Beer Festival – I forget the year – and it blew my tits off. I actually recall shouting “HOLY SHIT” as I got my firs