20 November 2008

London Porter Cask Stockists

If, like me, you're very keen to wrap your lips around the "World's Finest Porter" this winter, you may wish to check out the list of 2008 cask stockists found on the Fuller's website.

The list comprises 90 Fuller's houses located across the South of England - but you may need to get in quick. London Porter is officially the seasonal ale for November, soon to be replaced by the blackberry-tinged Jack Frost as December's designated monthly. I've just contacted my local stockist and they are on their last cask of Porter which may or may not last through a busy lunchtime and into this evening. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

If anyone spots London Porter in any other pubs not featured in the list, or any that continue to stock it beyond November, please provide details in a comment below.


18 November 2008

Where My Dogs At

BrewDog fans' ears will prick up with the news that The Rake, "London's smallest specialist beer bar" will be hosting a special cask week dedicated to the UK's finest boundary-busting brewery.

The week will coincide with the Pigs Ear Beer Festival and will run from Monday 1st to Saturday 6th December inclusive. A comprehensive lineup of beers from the Scottish micro can be expected, including the premiere of the fruits of their latest experiment, a 10% Raspberry Imperial Stout.

Lovebeer are also hosting a couple of Meet The Brewer sessions above The Rake on Saturday 29th November to whet the appitite for the week ahead.

I would urge any open-minded beer lover who is unfamiliar with the likes of Punk IPA, Hop Rocker lager and the Paradox series of whisky-infused imperial stouts to pop along during the week. And for those fortunate enough to be familiar with them, there's bound to be something new that will wow your tastebuds and spoil your enjoyment of 'ordinary' beer forever!


  • The Rake is located at 14 Winchester Walk, SE1 9AG, on the edge of Borough Market, just around the corner from the Market Porter and is run by the guys behind Utobeer.

  • The Meet The Brewer sessions are ticketed events. Interested parties should contact Lovebeer on 020 7378 9461.

16 November 2008

Bull Brewery Showcase №2 - Marble

Following on swiftly from the impressive lineup of Kelham Island beers last month, those nice people at The Bull have put together an equally enviable range from everyone's favourite Mancunian brewer, Marble.

After persuading them to hunt down a barrel each of Pint and Ginger (with the added bonus of JP Best) for their Handpicked Beer Festival back in early October, we are very pleased that they have felt compelled to return for more. I have never seen these beers in any pub in this corner of the country and this is testament to the lengths that licencees Garrett and Lynne are prepared to go in order to establish The Bull as the leading alehouse in the area.

The six Marble casks on the rack from Thursday 4th through to Sunday 7th December will be:
  • Pint 3.8%
  • Ginger 4.3%
  • JP Best 4.3%
  • Manchester Bitter 4.3%
  • Porter 4.5%
  • Lagonda 5.0%
The Marble website seems to be pretty unidimensional and with ratebeer currently out of action too it would be a struggle for me to provide much background on the latter three of these beers. However, I was impressed during my visit to the Marble Arch this time last year, adoptive Manc Tandleman has long been a firm supporter and I look forward in particular to trying the rarely seen dark Porter and the Lagonda, which I understand is in the style of a traditional dry IPA.


9 November 2008

Swan & Vaults Fest - Update

Further to my recent post on the forthcoming joint effort between the Swan & Rushes and the Vaults, Leicester, I can now confirm a few more details for you all...

The event will be taking place over the second weekend in December - presumably running Friday 12th - Sunday 14th, with around 60 english real ales to be offered between the two pubs.

As expected, the Swan will also be stocking a selection of kegged belgian beers, with strong christmas brews a key feature.

Confirmed Swan beer highlights currently include a barrel of aged Jack-Ham (Oakham / Green Jack) co-brew Worthog (13.5%) from the original brew run for last years Peterborough fest, plus Oakham's Exterminator - a new 7.9% IPA and one of only 14 barrels brewed.

For those with a lighter palate CBOB Altons Pride (4.6%) from Triple FFF will also be on offer at the Swan, as will a selection of other well known popular brews - hopefully something to suit every taste and keep scoopers and "ordinary" drinkers alike happy.

For the tickers in our midst the Swan is also aiming to offer festival specials from Bells and Atomic breweries, while the Vaults will doubtless boast a wealth of one off brews - we'd expect nothing less!

I'll be seeing Paul at the Vaults at some point over the next couple of days and will see what further gen I can persuade him to decant.

As soon as I know more, so will you!


4 November 2008

Something to Tickle Your Fancy

Sometimes you have to do a double take, and that was certainly the case at a recent quiz night at the Swan & Rushes, Leicester.

The Thursday night Swan quiz is popular with regulars, locals and students alike – mentally challenging, with good natured rivalry between the regular teams ensuring a cracking atmosphere and the added bonus of hot food laid on for the players (usually spicy and pasta based, with a meat and vegetarian option).

This particular night was busier than usual, and amongst the new faces was one which I instantly recognised – none other than the star of Big Brother 4 and Brainiac, the one and only Jon Tickle!

Needless to say, in the spirit of ale blogging I felt it essential to collar the poor chap, introduce myself and ask for a chance to snap his picture by the bar. Being the thoroughly nice guy that he is, he was happy to oblige and the result can be seen above.

Those familiar with “The Tickle” will know his reputation as a man of considerable wit and intellect; imagine my surprise (and, yes, mirth) when his team duly came sailing home in last place…!!!

Nothing like a sniff of minor celebrity eh?!


3 November 2008

Swanning into the Vaults this December...

Just thought I'd take a few minutes out of my hectic daily schedule to share this little nugget of information with you all...

Following a prolonged session on the aged Hawes Buckler the other week, Leicester's two finest real ale landlords have decided to team up for what should prove to be a beer extravaganza of epic proportions - a festival staged simultaneously between the Vaults and the Swan & Rushes.

Many of you will already doubtless be familiar with the Vaults and its licensee Paul Summers, a man whose dedication to micro brewed ales is legendary - a fact reflected in the high regard the Vaults is held in by many of the Scoopergen crew.

Paul's regular beer festivals attract tickers like few others, invariably guaranteeing as they do a plethora of solid winners to satiate even the most obsessive of the Panda Pop Posse.

December though will see a new and exciting twist as this doyenne of english ale teams up with Swan & Rushes landlord and belgian beer afficionado Grant Cook to present something truly special.

Although details are few and far between at the moment (they're still being hammered out by the two landlords) the current plan seems to be somewhere in the region of 50 real ales in the Vaults and a selection of strong belgian beers from the keg over in the Swan - which will include christmas beers, tripels and the like.

Having attended many fests at both pubs in the past and always found them to be exemplary, I can only anticipate that this team effort will a real cracker - and that there will be a lot of very drunken people wandering around by end of it.

More information (such as dates and beer lists) will be posted as they become available; in the meantime, just keep December free eh?!


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