February 18th, 2010Pubs & bars
As an adolescent I was lucky enough to have three excellent local pubs, all within 200 yards on the same road. Set back from the road The Horse and Jockey was a lively pub with one bar and a lounge with dart board, pool table and Sky tv. The beer was lager, one or two hand pulls of something like Hooky Bitter and at one point a Chinese takeaway operating in the back room servng takeaways to the hungry inhabitants. Read the rest of this entry »Tags: bakers arms, british pubs, community, Hook Norton, Hooky, horse and jockey, Oxfordshire, pub names, Pubs & bars, the plough
January 14th, 2010Beer Shops
I hadn’t really taken much note of the beer aisle in Morrison’s for a while, writing it off as a bit dull and uninteresting. We’re unusually blessed with Morrison’s, Sainsbury’s and ASDA within a 4-minute radius in the car, not to mention Leeds’ finer beery retailers, so I can happily avoid Morrison’s BWS department for months on end.
On Sarah’s request I popped in straight off the bus on Tuesday night for some naan bread and as I headed from checkout to door I couldn’t help but be drawn towards the beer and wines section (our Morrison’s is one of those odd divisive ones with a separate alcohol area fenced off from the main supermarket floor).
First off I was impressed with their range and I was overcome with an urge to try old favourites and classic British beers. Thai green chicken curry was on the menu which called for something a little exotic, plus I needed a pick me up after an arduous day at the office: a refreshing and zingy Golden Champion would do just the trick. Read the rest of this entry »Tags: Badger, castle rock, everards, harvest pale, Hook Norton, Hooky, jw lees, morrisons, offers, supermarket, thwaites, tiger, wainwright
Christmas Beer Gift PacksChristmas is not much more than 24 hours away and you haven’t finished all your shopping. There’s always at least one thing that’s slipped your mind, one extra gift to buy, a mad dash to the shops or the supermarket to ensure you’ve bought enough for that special person. And for the beer lovers in your life? What better than a fancy gift pack of a beer they haven’t tried with a fancy glass. Or even if they have tried it, it’s the thought that counts, eh?! We’ve compiled a selection of some of the Christmas Beer Gift Packs we’ve come across on our travels – some we’ve bought, some we’ve snapped on shop shelves and some have been pointed in our direction by breweries or PR companies. If you need a last minute beery gift some will be easier to find than others. Hopefully there’s a bit of something for a variety of different beer drinkers! Merry Christmas!
WARNING: these gift suggestions are not (I repeat not!) suitable for your beer widow!!! Read the rest of this entry »Tags: beer gift packs, black sheep, broughton, carlow, christmas, Cobra, curry, gifts, hogsback, Hook Norton, Hooky, house of fraser, innis & gunne, john lewis, la trappe, m&s, MileStone, presents, purity, sainsburys, wiliams brothers
Andy over at Beerreviews.co.uk just posted the first review of the test #beerswap parcel that we exchanged a little while back. In it I packed four fine Oxfordshire (ish) ales including the fantastic Hooky Gold from Hook Norton Brewery.
I didn’t think anything of the Hooky Gold at the time, even admiring it’s shiny green label.
Until last night, when Alan popped over and we were chatting about the blog. We looked over at the original Hooky bottles that used to make up this our blog header, and noticed something odd – there was no Hooky Gold.
But of course there is! Hooky Gold was always in a red label with gold writing. Now the label is green!
When did this occur? How did we not notice?! We don’t mind Hooky, we like the green label, but when and why was it changed?!?!
Does anybody know?Tags: Beer Reviews, Beer Swap, Hook Norton, Hook Norton Brewery, Hooky, hooky gold
November 23rd, 2009Comment
This weekend we replaced the header image on the blog, and with some sadness said goodbye to the Hook Norton bottles that have been the face of Real Ale Reviews since it’s inception.
A few people have asked us over the last few months if we were sponsored by Hook Norton or were we promoting them.
The answer is no, but I’ll be the first to admit that Real Ale Reviews will happily sing the praises of our local Oxfordshire brewery.
Alan and I started this site whilst sipping Old Hooky, we’ve shared evenings playing pool and drinking Hooky Bitter in the brewery’s own pubs, and have many years ago toured the old Victorian steam brewery as part of a school trip. Read the rest of this entry »Tags: bottle tops, Hook Norton, Hooky, independence
May 19th, 2009Real Ale
Hook Norton Brewery’s Old Hooky – 4,6%abv
Following on from last night’s review of Hook Norton Brewery I thought it important to get a review of one of their beers up as soon as possible. Old Hooky is the flagship of Hook Norton Brewery around the country being widely available in many supermarkets as well as most good wine/beer merchants. The very bottle I am drinking was sourced in Morley from ASDA and was on their 3 bottles for £4.00 mix and match deal.
As an aside me and the monkey boy, when we first moved to Morley, experimented with buying every bottle of Old Hooky on the shelf in ASDA whenever we went. Within a month we had a range of five different Hook Norton beers available (More than most shops in Oxfordshire) right here in Yorkshire. Unfortunately the levels of consumption required to continue this selection proved unsustainable.
Right – back to the beer. Old Hooky is not the light, paler type of ale that I typically favour but is one of the beers that I drink most often. This is largely because it’s the most widely available offering from my favourite brewery, but also because it’s a bit of an anomaly in that it’s full bodied, darker flavoured and yet not at all heavy.
Hook Norton advertises this as a ‘fruity’ beer and it is, but not in the light citrus way I think of when I hear that phrase. It comes across dark and fruity like my Nan’s Christmas cake, reminding me of treacle rather than golden syrup, yet slips down just as easy as summer or pale ales. I would recommend trying this beer with a nice steak or a beef stew as it has the body to compete with the meat but will not fill you up and leave you embarrassed with half a plateful of leftovers.
I give this beer to a great many friends as a taster from home and it is always well received with many friends asking me to bring other Hooky varieties up for them to try. For this reason, and because of it’s wide availability and low price in ASDA, I have to rate this as one of the best beers available in Britain today.Tags: 4-5% ABV, ASDA, fruit cake, full bodied, Hook Norton, Hooky, Morley, Oxfordshire