Posts

Showing posts from 2016

Prague 2016 - Day 3.5 - Back to Prague

Image
After a sleep in our private cabin on the train, we finally arrived back in Prague; thankfully not having a similar situation as we did in Germany where we woke up after our destination.

It was a Tuesday evening so of course we decided to continue drinking because what else even is there to do?

We decided to head to the one place that everyone bangs on about... Zly Casy which was quite a way away. It's a massive 45 tap craft beer bar spread over 3 floors and really does have something for everyone.

The first thing I noticed when I went in was that they had Magic Rock Rapture on tap but that's not what I was there for...

The one beer I REALLY wanted was a beer I had last time I was in Prague Matuska Raptor IPA and goddamn, I found it and it was glorious. Definitely a rival to any UK or US brewed American IPA. Juicy as fuck. I honestly could not tell you what Sammie had as I clearly didn't check into it on Untappd.

We then decided to check out the other two bars below... the …

Prague 2016 Day 3 - Budvar Brewery & Ceske Budejovice

Image
Awake slightly later than planned, with a slight hangover we eventually made it to the 9:30am train to Ceske Budjovice. Train tickets are cheap in the Czech Republic - we each bought an unlimited all day ticket on the entire Czech rail network which cost around £18 each.

Trains in CZ are clean, spacious and efficient; in fact I believe we got to Ceske Budjovice early.

We arrived and Google Maps wasn't being much help with public transport so we just decided to take the half hour walk to the brewery on the outskirts of the city.

We arrived and met Jan who has been working for the brewery for 42 years; he used to work in the lab but he's retired now and just does tours, which seems like a nice job. Now, a little bit of disclosure here - We didn't pay for our tour; we got a private tour for blogging purposes after I started chatting to the Budvar UK twitter account.


The scale of the Budvar Brewery was incredible and I've never really seen anything like it aside from maybe …

Prague 2016 - Day One & Two

Image
After I visited Prague last year, I vowed that I would visit every single year and thus far I've stuck true to my word.

Sammie had decided to buy us a holiday to Prague for my birthday, which was nice of her, so it was last week we set off.

We had a fairly late flight on Monday, meaning that we didn't land in Prague until 10:30pm, but we made sure to get to the airport with enough time to have a couple of pints of Brooklyn Lager. When we landed we were picked up by our taxi - the driver being surprised that I knew the Czech for Good Evening - and dropped at our hotel.

After check in, we popped to tesco to grab some snacks and some beers before heading out to a bar. I had a bottle of Primator India Pale Ale which having loved their Weizen, was also delicious, whilst Sammie had a bottle of Herold Black Lager, which was nice and roasty.

We then headed to Hells Bells, a metal bar on Na Belide in Smichov, which is hidden below ground in a crypt. It was a typically ideal dirty dive b…

Nate Dawg in Berlin: Day One

Image
About a month ago I sporadically decided to book a quick solo break in Berlin. It's somewhere I've always wanted to go so I said "fuck it" and did it.

I had an early flight on Wednesday morning which was delayed by about an hour; not ideal when you've only got 48 hours. Finally landed and was in need of a beer so thankfully there was an Augustiner biergarten just outside the terminal! That first pint of Augustiner Helles was gone in no time at all so it was time to be on my way.

I was going down to Brauhaus Lemke to meet a friend. I finally got there no thanks to a delayed train, and was interested to see that it was in a railway arch. It wasn't rustic and industrial like a Bermonsey arch, it was clean and nice. Only the onsite brewed Lemke beers are available here so I decided to check out the 030 Pale an American style pale ale, that was loaded with juicy, grassy hops. The Hopfenweisse came next and it was everything I want in the style... those yeasty ester…

A Crawl Around Colchester

Since Sammie is going to be doing a course at the University of Essex from October, we decided to pop down to Colchester on Saturday so that she could ask a few questions and figured it'd be rude not to check out the drinking establishments of the town whilst we were there.

After we'd done at the university, we got the bus back into the city centre and stopped at The Castle Inn which is one of those historic pubs that attract tourists. Touristy pubs generally aren't that great, and don't care about the beer in my experience so I feared the worst, but my pint of Adnams Ghost Ship was tasting very fresh and delicious, and Sammie seemed to enjoy her Broadside. The pub itself wasn't particularly busy, but there were a few people mostly drinking lager and cider. It had one of those pub scratchcard machines that I didn't realise still exist.

Next up was Queen Street Brewhouse which is attached to the local Pitfield brewery. As I walked through the door, the barman lo…

Places We Drank in Nuremberg

Image
Christ Almighty, this post is way overdue. It's 3 months since we were in Nuremberg. I tried writing a blog that incorporated more of the art galleries, the castle and various things we saw but I realised it would have sucked; it would have been a long, drawn out babbling about things the readers of a beer blog don't really care much for (generally speaking).

You guys want to know about the beer, and maybe the general feel of the city.

Nuremberg is a beautiful, peaceful, friendly city. The large medieval castle, with it's high towers stare down in majesty over the city; buildings, pastel in colour, all have their own unique and outspoken charm, despite all being pretty similar with their 3 million windows a piece; the large front of the train station in the city centre, with its big stone face is a beautiful, big bastard. It feels homely. If I could, I'd make it my home.

We ate and drank a lot in Nuremberg. Mostly drank, if I'm honest. I just wanted to document for…

Is it Street Food? (A handy infographic)

Image

Nuremberg Day 2: A Munich Interlude

Image
Sorry this has taken me a while but I got distracted.
Up bright and early on the Tuesday, Sammie and I decided to head to Munich for the day. Trains in Germany are ridiculously cheap, if you get the regional ones, but they do also take forever. The Bayern Ticket we got entitles you to unlimited travel within Bavaria and Franconia for one day for €23, and you can add other people on for an extra €5, which is a bargain, although the regional train means it stops at every single stop and thus taking around 3 hours.
We got to Munich, and the weather wasn't very pleasant. Rain. Ugh. Our main target for pre-beer wanders was The English Gardens so we headed that way. Sammie, I may have mentioned, is really into art so we went to Haus Der Kunst (literally House of Art) which backs onto the English Gardens. We paid about €12 each to get into an exhibition of an artist whose name I forget, but this guy creates scale size dioramas and models, then shoots with a camera to make them look life s…

Beer Review - St Peters Black IPA

Image
It's been a while since I've done a proper review, mostly because I've been a dreadful person and haven't written about anything that I've automatically been sent within the last probably year-ish but this one I couldn't not review and that's mostly because the CEO of St Peter's Brewery hooked me up with samples as he's a lovely chap.

It was just a chance meeting with Steve Magnall, formerly of G****e K**g and the wonderful Thwaites Brewery, when my good friend Matt Curtis was on a whirlwind trip to Norwich in aid of City of Ale. It was in St Andrews Brewhouse, along with International Man of Triangles Kev Tweedy, my Beer Woman of the year Belinda Jennings and Francis who does PR for City of Ale, that I bumped into Steve.

We got chatting, and he mentioned they'd decided to brew a Black IPA, which was going into 330ml bottles (as it is the preferred measure these days) to which I cheekily mentioned that I am one of them beer bloggers again now an…

Brewdog Norwich - The Dream has Happened

Image
For years and years my beer geek friends and I have dreamt of this day; the day that anarchic Scottish brewery Brewdog open a bar in Norwich. We called for it, we crawled the streets trying to find a suitable venue for them to move into, alas no luck but finally, about 9 months ago we got the news that we were waiting for, the news that Brewdog would open up in the former Hideout/Knowhere nightclub on Queens Street in Norwich.

Friday 15th April, at Midday, Brewdog Norwich is finally opened to the public with craft beer, food and a bottledog shop.

I mean, as if the need for Brewdog Norwich wasn't enough, it has a goddamn shop with around 200 bottles... something the centre of Norwich has been crying out for, for a long time too.

I was lucky enough to be invited to a secret friends and family opening on Wednesday night, by my good friend and Brewdog barman Jay, as well as the EFP/Press Launch on Thursday night.

Walking through the door, it's the same yet different as other Brewd…

The Unmentioned Pubs of Norwich

When talking about pubs in Norwich, the obvious stand out. The Fat Cat & Fat Cat Tap. Reindeer. Plasterers. Taphouse. Mash Tun. but there are so many other pubs in Norwich, either that I've not been to or I don't make a habit of drinking in. On Sunday, Sammie and I went on a bit of a crawl to discover these pubs...

The Rose Tavern, Rupert Street - A pub that I believe Alec and I went into once, about a year ago but drunken memories are hazy. This is a massive pub that's catering to the Sunday lunch crowd, with a nice garden out the back. The usual suspects of beer are on keg along with the rarely sighted Leffe and Hoegaarden. There were also hand pumps sporting not so uncommon real ales including Doom Bar, Woodfordes Wherry, Hopback Summer Lighning and Timothy Taylors Landlord. Of course, I went for Landlord above any of the others and it was extremely well kept. Service was friendly and with a smile, and we agreed we'd come back.

The Mulberry - Based on Unthank Road…

The Aims of CAMRA

I've been saying for years that CAMRA has become less of a Campaign for Real Ale and more of a Campaign for Saving Pubs Regardless of How Shit They Are. CAMRA knows that it has won the battle to save real ale; we all know this.

I have accused CAMRA in the past of having another aim, the anti-craft keg aim, but I'm grown up now and I know that's not the case and it's merely just the view of some members. I know that CAMRA's technical committee, whatever the hell that actually is, has said that key keg beer is OK because no CO2 touches the yeast and we have in fact seen key keg bars at official CAMRA beer festivals within the last 6 months or so; this is, of course, wonderful news as it shows that CAMRA as an organisation and some branches are more progressive than I once gave them credit for.

Now, I'm no longer a CAMRA member as I got a bit annoyed at the views of some local branch members, but I'm over that. I'm going to put it down to my youth and the …

Nuremberg Day 1 - Landbierparadies

Image
We arrived in Nuremberg on Monday night at around 6:30pm and jumped on the U2 to Hauptbahnhof, which was surprisingly quick compared to where airports are located in every other city I've been to, before switching onto the U1 to Frankenstra├če. From there it was only a 15 minute walk to our hotel, even with a dreaded wheely suitcase in tow. After chilling for a while we decided to head to a local bar in search of food and beer.

Landbierparadies has about 3 bars and a bottle shop dotted around Nuremberg, but the one closest to us was the one on Sterzinger Strasse, only a 20 minute walk away. This small chain is unique in that it is 100% local from the beer, to the food menu to even the soft drinks. The other thing that makes it unique is that the only beer served "vom fass" or rather, on draught, is a frequently changing local Franconian beer, directly from the wooden barrel.

We found the bar on a housing estate, with great ease and walked in. It's essentially within a …