Food Photos


You want to know just how frothy these beers are? Take a look at this.

**Beer:** London Bitter (Brubox)
**Brewery:** Pete
**Strength:** ?.?%

my beer

The pint glass containing the other half pint of froth is out of shot.

I think I may have made a mistake at some point.

1 (but that’s not the point really. It’s a learning experience.)

Food Photos


My sister bought me a Brubox for my birthday. Here’s what it looked like a few weeks ago when I set it up:

beer in the brubox

And here’s how the bottles look now:

15 bottles of beer

The brubox generated 17 bottles of beer in total. I’ve already had a couple over the last week. I found it quite difficult to get the last few pints out of the brubox without whipping up all the yeasty deposits, so I’m expecting some variety in the quality from bottle to bottle, though the majority should be fine. Indeed, of the two bottles that I have tried so far, one of them was (I think) the last one out. I wouldn’t say that it was revolting exactly, but it certainly seemed very strong and very fizzy. The other one was delicious though.

I think I’m going to wait until spring before I do another batch, because otherwise the garage will be too cold for fermentation. The next one will be a mild or porter, I think.

Beer Reviews Photos

Beer Review: Centurion’s Ghost Ale

*Karen’s mum got me 6 bottles of beer for Christmas. I have now reviewed them all. It occurs to me in retrospect that I seem to have drunk them in nearly perfect ascending order of strength.*

**Beer:** Centurion’s Ghost Ale
**Brewery:** York Brewery
**Strength:** 5.4%


Very dark. Very, very dark. Dark as the night. A bit roasty, a bit sweet. Very enjoyable to drink, but not quite special enough to earn it the coveted top rating.

Centurion’s Ghost Ale gets: 1

Beer Reviews Photos

Beer Review: Rocket

*Karen’s mum got me 6 bottles of beer for Christmas. I’m going to review them all. If I remember.*

**Beer:** Rocket
**Brewery:** Wylam
**Strength:** 5%


Rejoice! It’s not unlike the Pickled Partridge, but without the unpleasant aftertaste. Really went down easy, especially for such a (relatively) strong bitter. A fantabulously delishious one.

Rocket gets: 2

Beer Reviews Photos

Beer Review: Pickled Partridge

*Karen’s mum got me 6 bottles of beer for Christmas. I’m going to review them all. If I remember.*

**Beer:** Pickled Partridge
**Brewery:** Badger (Hall and Woodhouse)
**Strength:** 4.5%

Pickled Partridge

As the first drops of this hit my tongue, it showed great malty promise. But sadly it was plagued with a very strong aftertaste which I found quite unpleasant. I’d describe this aftertaste as fizzy and acidic.

Further research (reading the label on the bottle and the website blurb) suggests that this beer is intended as an accompaniment to strong cheese or Christmas Pudding. So basically, the reason why I didn’t enjoy it is that I’m drinking it wrong. I’m not convinced.

Pickled Partridge gets: 0

Beer Reviews Photos

Beer Review: Farmers Harvest

*Karen’s mum got me 6 bottles of beer for Christmas. I’m going to review them all. If I remember.*

**Beer:** Farmers Harvest
**Brewery:** Purity
**Strength:** 4.8%

Farmers Harvest

Not a bad drink, not bad at all. A fairly dark ale, and very malty, if you like that sort of thing. The end of the glass came too soon – I felt that if I had another bottle, I’d be able to review it with a bit more certainty. Flavour-wise, I felt that it wasn’t entirely my cup of tea, but the most important thing about this beer is the ideology.

> The beer is unique because it will be the first alcoholic beverage to carry the Red Tractor assurance mark, which signifies that the ale has been brewed in the UK using malt and hops produced to high standards on farm and checked by independent inspections.

Farmers Harvest gets: 1

Beer Reviews Photos

Beer Review: Black Sheep

*Karen’s mum got me 6 bottles of beer for Christmas. I’m going to review them all. If I remember.*

Now that my sense of smell has returned, I am going to resume this little project. I had a bottle of Black Sheep last week but realised halfway through my first mouthful that I couldn’t taste it, so I’ve bought another.

**Beer:** Black Sheep
**Brewery:** Black Sheep
**Strength:** 4.4%

Black Sheep

Ah, this takes me back. I remember when I first discovered Black Sheep, when I was at University. My flatmate Matt and I consumed gallons of this stuff. In fact, it’s probably safe to say that this is what got me into real ale, my previous preference of beer generally being “Creamflow” type bollocks. Black Sheep made me realise how misguided I was.

It’s a very drinkable ale – fruity, but not too fruity; flavoursome, but not pungent – and just all-round solid, dependable stuff. For me, the label has always stood out on the shelf and filled me with good memories. It does not taste like sheep.

Black Sheep gets: 2

Beer Reviews Photos

Beer Review: Golden Pippin

*Karen’s mum got me 6 bottles of beer for Christmas. I’m going to review them all. If I remember.*

**Beer:** Golden Pippin
**Brewery:** Copper Dragon
**Strength:** 4.2%

Golden Pippin

This is one of those beers that tastes like the bastard offspring of ale and lager. Under the right circumstances these are fantastic, however it’s not 30°C outside right now (it’s more like 30°F) so, to adopt a phrase, it is out of its element.

Still, it’s better than lager ((I think that my attitude towards lager probably deserves a whole post to itself. If you want to engage me in a pitched battle of beer vs lager, then please open fire in the comments)), and it’s better than anything that describes itself as “Extra Smooth” or “Creamflow”.

And so, to the rating. I’m going to keep this simple – 0 means I didn’t enjoy drinking it, 1 means that I enjoyed drinking it, and 2 means that it was something quite special.

Golden Pippin gets: 1 (surprise surprise).

Food Top Photos



My Boxing Day lunch.

Food Photos

Solstice Breakfast

freshly squeezed orange juice

Happy Solstice Day! We celebrated with a breakfast of freshly squeezed orange juice, and pancakes with an assortment of banana, lemon juice, honey, golden syrup and sugar.


Karen gave me some long-sleeved t-shirts, which is just what I always wanted. It’s been many years since I’ve worn a long-sleeved t-shirt under a short-sleeved t-shirt (I used to do it fairly frequently) and I’m planning to start doing it again, partly because Bernard makes it look so awesome.