Oooh inactive for two months eh? Broken computer innit guvnor? Can't write proper posts on them damn mooble phones...
Thought I'd do a bit of a catch up then and hopefully a little round up of some of the good stuff that happened this year. Let's see how it pans out...
I got on the radio again the other day - it was yet another industry opinion needed to try and rationalise some inordinate twattery by the government or scientists of somewhat. My advice to everyone - let the craft beer industry do its work. It has incredible potential to provide work, products and exports that we can be proud of. Drop the taxes on craft beer, penalise irresponsible pub management, and stop people selling chemical drinks for stupidly low prices.
Society will thank you for it.
In a similar vein I urge everyone to resist whatever government cut is relevant to them - it is your responsibility. We need heavyweight politics now and what we have, on all sides, are lightweight ideas that have no respect to the progress human beings have made in the last century.
ENOUGH! That's politics out of my system...
I noted that Zak Avery ran a competition to write something about 'beer' and 'time' I of course am ready and on hand to delve in to my most creative depths. Although I wasn't and thus missed the deadline. But better late than never.
HA! All I did was googled beer and time!!! You can almost see the 'A hole' there!
Anyway the following entry to Zaks competition did inspire me no end and I feel was the most eloquent exploration of the theme. Apologies to Stuart - it wasn't an instant association with the image above
Now please do not feel this video mere whimsy - this is one of the UK's finest brewers in action! We've had the pleasure of many a Crown brewery beer at North bar this year from the inspiring heights of Django Reinhardt, named after my cat, a wonderful collaboration with the aforementioned Avery. A deep fruitful damson porter (often surreptitiously spiked with port by the denizens of North).
Crown's Brooklyn heights is also been an utter winner this year - now this is no lie - I haven't heard anyone mention this wonderful bright hoppy ale without waxing lyrical about its brilliance. SERIOUSLY! Good fucking work Stu, please someone get this man a bigger brewery!
The other big hitters for me were Marble and Brewdog. For me these seem at almost opposite ends of the spectrum, which is just fine.
Marble have upgraded this year and have produced some stunning beers which have now stepped fully in to the national market. Dobber! Good god man this beer is such a brute! Probably one of the finest IPAs I had and I have had a hell of a year folks.
With a solid stable of regular beers, marble do the job right. But the specials have been of such a high quality too - Ginger 6 on draught, Special, Vuur & Vlam and their peerless Chocolate Dubbel. Just reciting those few beers makes me want to get on the train to Manchester and go burgle the brewery right now!
Of course there's no review of the year that can be complete without mentioning Brewdog. Fine tuning in the brewery has turned brilliant US inspired beers in to flawless UK classics. Hardcore IPA anyone? I've a man in the bar that pretty much goes through an entire case a week when it's in. It's genius and deserved winner of gold medal in the World Beer Cup.
5am saint in kegs? Tokyo? The Mikkeller collaboration beers?
I have never smelled mangoes like I do in I Hardcore You - not even in mangoes. This sums up the beer, with the irksome omission of mangoes.
Of course the highlight of my year was my role in picking the hops and malt for this beer.
It was made as a one off. It has been drunk and appreciated beyond my wildest dreams and is actually in production now (!!!). Considering the rather chaotic inception of the beer I'm so pleased that it came out so well. It's a testament to the guys at the brewery could turn a somewhat deranged concept in to a winning beer.
I can't help but gloat of course - it wouldn't exist without me and a few 'artful' friends...
And yes of course my wife... and of course getting married was the non-beer highlight of my year darling xxx
Oooh look I got through that whilst drinking a DFH Palo Santo Marron and a FD Raging Bitch and I don't think I made any spellingg mistakles.