Enjoy Playing Away From Home . . .

Sunday 29 September 2013

Birthday bash at the Bricklayers Arms, Putney...

So, when at my brother's abode, where do I go for my birthday ales? Of course, the Bricklayers Arms (website) in Putney, which included, on the bar, 4 ales from Oakham, and 5 from Dark Star, two of my favourite breweries, Happy Birthday Moi! 

First, I went for the Dark Star, serving Hophead (3.8%), The Original (5%), Genesis (4.7%), Partridge (4%), and a new one for me, Elderskelter. I'll have reported on most of these, but definitely not the 3.7% Elderskelter, a very refreshing pale bitter, citrus flavour, with a fruity aroma, and for the Oakham Brewery, celebrating its 20th anniversary, well done to Oakham and their successful business!  

Oakham... included an old favourite session bitter JHB (3.8%) and Rerun (5.5%), and the 2 I drank; plus the excellent Bishop's Farewell to come, sadly missed by me. One was the very good Scarlet Macaw (4.4%), which I have already reported on, but my notes say "Tastes more than 4.4%, body++, lots of dry bitterness, fruity aroma", there you go. The other Oakham ale was an excellent ale celebrating the 20 year anniversary, called 20 Years (5.8%), "fruity aroma++, grapefruit, and taste++", I liked it!

So, me celebrating a few more years than 20, but celebrations all round, had a great weekend, cheers to the Routemeister!

Saturday 21 September 2013

Congratulations to the Tower and even more luverly ales!

So, many congratulations to Louisa at the Tower in London Road, (upper) St Leonards, Hastings, for having her pub added to CAMRA's 2014 Good Beer Guide, great stuff, and well deserved. So, despite having more obligations these days, I felt a visit was in order, well, not just one, of course, but a speedy return was required!  So, yesterday evening it was, and a rather exciting ale or three on offer too, great value, and warm chat and banter with Louisa herself, and many others this side of the bar...

4 ales, including a couple of new ones for moi, Sharps Doom Bar (4%), a well known ale from Cornwall, already reported on numerous times, one of my local favourites Dark Star American Pale Ale (APA, 4.7% and just £2.50 a pint here), an excellent pale ale, brewed using American hops, packed with body and flavour, notably grapefruit, with a citrus aroma, I do like Dark Star's 2 regular pale bitters, this and Hophead, but regular readers will already be well aware of that.   

The 2 new ales to me were Red Willow Endless Pale Ale from Macclesfield, which had a fruity aroma, sweet to taste at first, but turning bitter with a dry aftertaste, not bad at all for a 3.8% bitter, I liked it. So, why such a small photograph of the pump clip of the second new ale? Well, for some reason I forgot to take any photographs inside, and this was all I could find on Google, so this was it, the seasonal/monthly Dark Star Indian Summer IPA, and it does what it says on the pump clip, if you can read it... It's a wee bit darker than their usual pale hoppy ales, with plenty of body, not surprising since it is a 6% ale, very comparable to Thornbridge Jaipur IPA, which is probably the wanted result from the brewer. Now, I was silly enough to be eating a pack of Jalapeno bar snacks, so the flavour was effected big time, still very nice though.

OK, what have I had at the Dolphin at Rock-a-Nore in Hastings 'old town' recently? The usual local Dark Star Hophead (3.8%) and APA of course; and their other regulars, the local Harveys Sussex Best (4%) and Youngs Special (4.5%) have been available. But guest ales have included the 'rusty' coloured Demon's Eye from the Yorkshire brewer, Elland Brewery. This is another beer that starts off with a sweetish flavour but with a bitter dry aftertaste, very tasty indeed, and well liked by a number of the regulars too.

The Dolphin has also had Rudgate Volsung (5.2%) on, a well reported excellent pale bitter,  and, as I write, the Oakham ale Scarlet Macaw, a 4.4% pale bitter that I recently had at the Bricklayers Arms in Putney (I'll have to write that visit up, as I seem to have forgotten to, in all my business lately!). This tastes more than a 4.4% ale with plenty of body, with a fruity aroma and nice dry bitter flavour, I do like Oakham ales too, who brew excellent beer. So, if like me, you like pale bitter bitters, pop on down to the local CAMRA 2013 Pub of the Year, the Dolphin in Hastings. By the way, "Happy Birthday!" to Louise at the Dolphin for yesterday :-) 

Much congratulations in order all round. Cheers! 

Saturday 14 September 2013

Even more delicious ales...

Starting with ales recently at the Dolphin, Rock a Nore, Hastings, seen below, behind the Stacey Marie, which has it's own facebook page @ https://www.facebook.com/Rx134?ref=hl 

The Stacey Marie is a retired fishing boat now under the aegis of the Fishermens Museum, Hastings, and has recently been brought back from nigh on oblivion by a number of local residents, including the landlord of the Dolphin.

So, ales at the Dolphin recently? In addition to the regular 4 I go on about time after time, Dark Star Hophead and APA, Youngs Special, and Harveys Sussex Best, they have 2 guests at any one time, including Mauldons Silver Adder (4.2%), a pale bitter with a slightly fruity flavour at first taste, and a hint of smokiness, suggested by a slight honey flavour. They also have had Wadworths Farmers Glory (4.7%), a deep golden bronze ale that reminds me of some beer I've had before, but I think it's just I've had it before! Also, more recently, they have had Stonehenge Eye Opener (4.5%), a pale golden bitter, quite dry, and very nice indeed.

They have had Wadworths Swordfish (5%), a stronger version of their 6X with added pussers rum, it has to be tried. The first time I drank this, it was excellent, the second time, last year, a bit less so, but it is back to excellent again, needs to be tried, at least! The final one I'll mention is the Oakleaf Hole Hearted (4.7%), on there this week, brewed with Cascade hops, similar to the APA, but with more body and a deeper flavour, dry and bitter, this is an ale to drink if you have a similar taste to me, pale, dry and hoppy...

As you can see, the Tower, London Road, St Leonards, Hastings, is close to having its makeover finished. So what have I drunk there recently?

The tower, on this visit, had the ever-excellent Dark Star American Pale Ale (APA, 4.7%), together with Sharps Doom Bar (4%), 1648 Signature (4.4%), and Dark Star's 80 Shilling (4.8%), their version of a Scottish 'heavy' ale. Now, I've lived in Scotland, but I've never tasted an 80/- that tastes like this; it's very nice, as most Dark Star ales are, it was a dark ruby colour, quite bitter, with a slightly roasted malt flavour. I liked it!

Finally, on a more recent visit, the 4 ales at the Tower, included Adnams Fat Sprat (3.8%), an 'amber beer', and 3 ales from Dark Star. The already reported Sunburst (4.8%) and the excellent Red Shift (5.5%), with its Ardennes Yeast and Galaxy hops, full of fruitiness, yet still a beer! I also tried the Hylder Blonde (4.2%), which I hadn't drunk for a while, with "delicate Dowland Elderflower", a very nice dry and pale bitter, indeed.

Anyway, a bit busy these days with another venture, but more soon, cheers!