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Showing posts from January, 2014

Drinkin' From The Bottle

So I get home from work, knowing there are beers in the fridge. I look at the top shelf and there are a bunch of 'normal' bottles. Maybe it's Camden Hells, or Brewdog Punk IPA, or in this case Harviestoun The Ridge & Broken Dial.

It's been a hard day, and I need a beer.

I take a bottle.

I pop the cap.

I don't want to prolong this magical moment.

I start drinking.

I don't need glassware.

There seems to be this thing in the good beer community where drinking straight from the bottle has some kind of stigma. It's like people put you in the same category as people who drink Foster's or Heineken.

I don't understand it.

When I have a new beer for the first time, I like to pour it into a glass so I can experience all of that bullshit. The aromas, the colour etc. OK, it's not bullshit, it's really quite great. But sometimes I just want to drink a tasty beer and not think about it.

Sometimes I just don't give a shit. I just want to grab that …

My love for Harviestoun Brewery

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I (vaguely) remember the first time I had Harviestoun Bitter & Twisted on cask years ago. I absolutely fucking loved it. I then had Schiehallion, and what a surprise... I loved it!

They've both been go-to beers ever since I first had them.

And then I had Old Engine Oil, and I'll be honest, I absolutely fucking hated it. I thought it was disgusting. This was at a point where I wasn't really a big stout fan. I have no idea why I thought it would be a good idea to buy a pint of it at Norwich Beer Festival. I couldn't finish it.

This may be starting to sound like a sad story, but trust me, it's not because I've learned the way of the stout. Last summer I noticed Old Engine Oil on cask in a Wetherspoons and because I am now well versed in the land of stouts, I bought a pint and absolutely loved it which means, it's yet another beer I can't avoid drinking when I see it!

Harviestoun have easily become one of my favourite breweries.

So a few months ago Ewan…

Chain Vs Freehouse

I'm a big fan of supporting local pubs. I go to independent local pubs all the time, more frequently than chain pubs, because they're clearly better, but I've been doing some thinking.

You see, the question is... who can you trust to get the beer right?

So you've got a Wetherspoons which guarantees to have a decent selection of cask ales, and in my experience, it's always kept well. I mean, the two I frequent in Norwich I can't fault. They always have a selection of beer that's better than 80% of pubs in Norwich (in my opinion) and they both keep their beers very well. On the rare occasion that I've ordered a pint and I've found it be off, they've taken it off sale. They don't know who I am but because of the amount of times I've been in there drinking their beer, they know that I know what I'm talking about. Generally though, the beer is good, and cheap. It's somewhere you can always trust.

And then you've got Freehouses. Un…

City of Ale/Nate Dawg Birthday Twissup (Norwich)

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Last year I did my birthday celebration (dubbed #Dawgocalypse) in London, and it was a fucking awesome day out. Loads of people came to drink and it was amazing. I then organised a CAMRGB twissup in Norwich later in the year, and it was fun but it was also pretty shit as I was really crap at organising it. I'm not making that mistake again.

This time I am planning well in advance so that people can book time off work, book cheap travel (and hotel if necessary) and warn their families!
This time it's going to be in Norwich on Saturday 31st May during our annual City of Ale event, which is conveniently about a week before my birthday so that makes it twice as good!
City of Ale is a beer week, like those of which you notice happening in a lot of major cities around the world (mostly in America). Most of the beer focused pubs in Norwich get involved and dedicate their pumps to the finest ales that Norfolk have to offer.
Norwich is a great city for pubs, beer and history. I remembe…

2014 Update - Week 2

Well I've survived another week in 2014 so I get to treat you to another boring week in the life of Nate Dawg!

I'm still off the smokes, so no worries there!

I've had a few more beers than last week - Friday I had a bunch of London Fields beers which were all delicious. Saturday I had 2 half pints when were in The Liberty Belle in Ely and Monday I had a bottle of Hawke's Alcoholic Ginger Beer. Tonight I will be having the new Redwell/London Fields Collaborative Rye Pale Ale so you can look out for a review soon - the beer hasn't actually been released yet but Patrick from Redwell dropped me a couple of bottles today which was nice of him. I believe it's going to be Keg, Cask & Bottle. I actually think it's really cool that they're putting some in casks as it makes it more accessible to the bunch of Norwich pubs that still have a problem with this whole keg business!

Food has generally been quite healthy - I've mostly been eating ham/chicken sala…

Hawkes Alcoholic Ginger Beer review

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Ginger. It's a flavour that brings back a lot of memories... from drinking cans of Old Jamaica Ginger Beer on street corners with friends when I was a child, to mum force feeding me root ginger when I was ill, the bottles of Stones Ginger Wine we always had in the house at Christmas (Note: I was led to believe that literally nobody drinks it at any other time of the year), to my first taste of pickled ginger in Japanese food. I think ginger is a flavour that evokes memories in a lot of British people, regardless of age.

It's a flavour I've always liked in it's pure and hot form, but then a couple of years ago the craze of Alcoholic Ginger Beers started, mainly with one big brand - Crabbies. I hated that stuff. It tasted way too artificial and sweet so I really couldn't get on with it. I questioned myself at first, thinking "Is this what ginger always tasted like?" and didn't really seek out any others.

So let's fast forward instead of telling you …

The Liberty Belle, Ely

Today was an awesome day. I got to visit The Liberty Belle, a new Micro Pub in Ely.

It was my first ever visit to a micro pub. I'd heard they exist, and other people seem to enjoy them but I hadn't experienced it... until today.

Wow, what an experience it was.

The Liberty Belle isn't like a regular pub. It's a shopfront that looks like an antique shop, and when you walk in, you feel like you're in somebody's living room... it's odd, but really cool. There are comfortable sofas and chairs with tables arranged nicely, antique lamps everywhere and all kinds of interesting things. To the right you have a blackboard with today's beers (I had Elgood's Black Eagle Imperial Stout & Tydd Steam Piston Bob. Jade just had a Fentiman's Victorian Lemonade as she was driving) and the prices.

You walk through to the back and there's not even a proper bar, just what looks like some kind of counter with a guy casually sitting behind it. The counter hosts …

2014 Update - Week 1

So it's been a little after a week since I wrote my New Year's Resolution post, and I thought I'd try and post weekly updates for all those interested.

So I think one of the reasons I was feeling so fucking awful last week was the fact that I'm pretty confident I had food poisoning. Y'know when you're laying in bed, necking gallons of water, can't eat and the only reason you can actually move is because you need to erm, empty yourself? Well that was horrific. I tried going into work last Thursday but had to come home as it would've been rather unpleasant for everyone in the office!

Naturally, I didn't drink last Thursday although that wasn't really out of choice but in a weird way I think being ill did me some good eventually.

By Friday evening I was feeling much better and actually managed to eat a small meal, which was great! I also felt like a few beers so I basically cleaned out my Christmas stash.

Friday was also when I started feeling real…

Changing Tastes

I thought it was about time I wrote a generic post about all 3 subjects I've aimed (and sometimes failed) to cover on this blog because, well, I've been thinking.

We all have different tastes. I like one thing, you like another. You may have liked something, and dislike it now, and vice versa.

I was thinking how our tastes change and want to share with you some of the things I previously hated but now love.

Booze:

Back when I first got into good beer, I hated stouts. Yup, you heard that right. I'd try stouts but I always found them way too strong for my tastes, especially considering I used to drink really milky coffee. Then about a year and a half ago my boss started only buying UHT milk for the office, which is fucking disgusting, so I decided to start drinking black coffee. I enjoyed it, despite it just being Nescafe or whatever and remembered "Hang on, stouts are like coffee. Maybe I'll like them now" so I started trying more and more, and I fell in love. I…

The Session #83: Against The Grain

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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 Rebecca at The Bake & Brew and is all about if our perception of a beer is changed by what friends or influencers think. Do they like stuff I don’t and vice versa?
Well the short answer is that no, I don’t think we like things just because other people do, not like pretending not to like albums because my friends hated them back when I was 14 just to fit in. I can imagine some people do but they're total cockgoblins.
Sure, there’s stuff that other people rave about and I dislike. A prime example of this is Fuller’s Ben…

Reflecting and gazing... 2013/14

It's a New Year, it's 2014 now and I thought I should write something about last year and this. Warning, this is a fucking long post. Longer than I anticipated so feel free to skip 99% of it and read the TL;DR version at the bottom.

Reflection:

2013 was a fucking massive year for me, in terms of the amount of beers I drunk. To any regular person this wouldn't be an achievement, but more of an "Oh fuck... I should probably go to AA meetings" but to the beer geek, this is incredible. I started using untappd in August 2012 and since then I've racked up over 1,400 different beers. As much as I'm quite proud of this, I'm also kinda ashamed but we'll get to that.

I've also been fortunate enough to meet a lot of awesome beery people from twitter, people who I am proud to call friends. The sheer kindness of the beer community is awesome - the people I've traded beers with, people I've generally hung out with, those who have given me trade ticke…