January 17th, 2010Beer Recipes
As my housemate very kindly offer to cook me tea the other night I decided to repay the favour by making a big old chocolate sponge for us all to have after. The recipe is really simple and takes minutes but the results are fantastic although they do come with the warning that this is a really filling chocolate pudding, not a light ‘posh’ dessert.
Ingredients (My Nan gave me this recipe so it’s in oz – I make my apologies to the EU!)
6oz – Self-Raising Flour
2oz – Cocoa Powder
8oz – Butter
8oz – Castor Sugar
4 – Eggs
1 Packet Chocolate Chips
The method really is easy, the first bit being the most labour intensive. Cube the butter and castor sugar together in a bowl with the back of a metal spoon. Crack the eggs into the bowl and stir in until the mixture is smooth then sieve the flour and cocoa into the bowl and stir that in too!! Finally chuck the chocolate chips into the mix and give it one final stir. The mixture should be smooth but not too runny and, although my Nan tells me off for doing it, should taste delicious if you put a finger in!!! Read the rest of this entry »Tags: Beer and Food, Chocolate Sponge, hoppy, Moosbacher, Pudding, Wheat Beer
The first BrewDog in our Sainsbury’s Beer Competition series is one that we’re relatively familiar with. So far we’ve only got around to reviewing Punk IPA and Dogma, but we have quite a few ‘Dogs ‘in stock’ and it’s about time we wrote something about them.
Hardcore IPA is one of those beers that has a little bit of the ‘wow’ factor (or the ‘woah’ factor depending on your taste buds).
It has a crazy, tropical Um Bongo aroma that’s sweet and exciting. It smells like sweet, e-number fuelled heaven trapped in a bottle.
Fruit salad penny sweet smells give way to a bitter overload, hops completely dominating and filling your mouth. Aromatic beers usually mean bitterness, but the pineapple aroma makes you expect something with an exotic fruit taste.
Beers with an imperial tag usually come at a certain strength and richness. Hardcore has the strength but it’s hidden treasures are perhaps just a little too inaccessible.
If you can work through the IBU frenzy you will get some of that, but boy does that take some acclimatisation.
This is a big beer. Drink it too fast and it becomes medicinal, but sip it slowly and it’s a world of hops, passionfruit and titilating tongue tingles. Oh, and it’s strong as hell to boot, so don’t down one before bedtime.Tags: BrewDog, dogma, hardcore, hoppy, india pale ale, IPA, passion fruit, punk, sainsburys, scottish, Sweet, tropical
August 18th, 2009IPA
Punk IPA by BrewDog
Punk IPA was the first BrewDog beer I ever came across, on the supermarket shelves of Tesco, Lincoln whilst Sarah was living there earlier this year.
I’ve had it a few times but never written anything, and it’s not far off being in that category of beers that are the hardest to review – those you’ve had many times before.
The first thing that struck me on the first taste back one Friday in Lincoln, and again yesterday when I picked it out specifically for review from my all new beer cupboard, was it’s North American influences. Having mulled over US reviews of Punk IPA, many people comment how English it is, so I guess they might get quite a shock if they picked up a pint of Greene King on tap! The revival of IPA by craft breweries in the States has led to some notable IPA interest in the UK, and in Punk IPA there’s a clear swing towards the US style of IPA , one much more floral and aromatic than those of it’s homeland.Tags: American, bitter, BrewDog, hoppy, india pale ale, IPA, scottish, tropical
2August 16th, 2009Lagers
Sagres, Portuguese Lager, 5.0% abv
I am sitting reading the Sunday paper before making my evening roast and have decided to crack open a bottle of beer and get a weekend review up. This particular bottle of beer has been in my fridge for some time. On a recent trip to London I noticed that Sagres had developed quite a presence in bars seemingly as aa alternative to the Peroni/Amstel type lager.
Although I have not seen it available on tap in any bars outside of London, it is now available in some Leeds ale shops and I would imagine that it is only a matter of time before we begin to see it nationally. As such I made sure I had got a bottle to review in order to ensure that Real Ale Reviews were abreast of the game. Hopefully, when this springs up in your local wine bar, you will feel well enough informed to know whether or not to take a punt on it.
The beer appears relatively pale in the glass for a premium type lager, a fact that is justified by the crisp, clean initial taste. This initial cleanness, which almost has no flavour, gives way to a hoppy flavour that lingers throughout the mouthhful and into the aftertaste. This hoppyness is tempered by a mild citrus flavour.
The flavour, while obviously not approaching the levels of genuine premium lagers and real ales, is hoppier than you might expect from a lager of this type. I am a big fan of having different drinks for different occassions and, in a similar way to how I would suggest a lager such as Boags for a BBQ, I would suggest that this would be a really good long night out lager. It has the body and texture lacking from the cheaper Carlsberg/Fosters lagers, while not having the kick of the genuine premium lagers that are perhaps more appropriate to shorter, quieter occasionsTags: 4-5% ABV, bbq beer, citrus, hoppy
Hoppy, vibrant, refreshing and tangy to finish, Goose Island is a mighty fine American IPA. The Chicago brewers bottled ales are a staple of many of the best bars in the UK, with both the IPA and Honker’s Ale permanent fixtures at our work’s regular, The Cross Keys in Leeds.
American IPAs differ from their UK counterparts. I don’t think it’s all down to the fact I enjoy them quite a bit colder than I’d usually sample a traditional ale, but they seem to share a vivacious style that UK IPAs often don’t muster.
Does this mean they aren’t traditional India Pale Ales in that case?
In fact they may be more so, as an abundance of hops is one of the core features of a traditional India Pale Ales (the hops and strength acting as a preservative to keep the beer in good shape throughout the long voyage to India in the 19th Century) and many North America versions are far hoppier than British counterparts which have lost their hop-filled roots somewhat (with notable exceptions of course!)
Goose Island shares that hoppy optimism, leaving a satisfying malt feeling in your mouth that inevitably urges you to take another gulp. There’s fruit in there amongst the hops and malt, adding complexity. It is a balanced IPA, very enjoyable to drink and moreish to boot.Tags: goose island, hoppy, india pale ale, IPA, North American, US
May 5th, 2009IPA
I think that this is the first Scottish IPA that I’ve tried and I have to admit that if I’d seen this bottle in the club there’s no way I’d have been dancing. The gaudy purple label screamed ‘I have no class’ and I was more than a little bit worried that this beer was going to attack the senses like a deep fried mars bar.
But I forgot that Scotland is also the land of Irn-Bru and, while this beer is nowhere near to the genius on the orange nectar, this is a decent ale.
This is a golden ale, light in appearance but with the genuine hoppy IPA flavour. Not as full bodied as many stronger IPAs and not heavy or gassy I would recommend this as a session ale.
Probably not one for the IPA purists but certainly a great starting step on the IPA ladder or a good choice for a heavy night.
5,3% ABVTags: 5-6%, hoppy, india pale ale, IPA, scottish