Friday, 23 March 2012

Booze: A cask ale regret...


In my first blogpost I told you what my three favourite beers are and after I posted it I read it again and realised that there was something missing. A cask ale. Shocking, I know.

Okay, Brewdog Punk IPA used to be available on cask and it is my favourite beer ever but I’m not going to use it here.

Wychwood Hobgoblin was the first real ale I got into, I love their branding of "What's the matter, lagerboy? Afraid you might taste something?" and, of course, the beer. A dark and rich ruby ale. Caramel, fruity and malty nose. Heavy dark malt, sweet caramel and toffee flavours. It drinks well with a nice rich chocolate cake.

Another favourite is Thornbridge Jaipur IPA - A medium sized IPA at 5.9%. Hopped to hell and back... It has big citrus flavours and aromas like Grapefruit and pineapple and is quite sweet with a bitter finish, just what you need from an IPA. It pairs well with spicy food as the sweetness is actually quite mellowing.

As I got older and was able to go to pubs and beer festivals my love has progressed. I have managed to try hundreds - possibly hitting a thousand - cask ales. I try to have a different ale every time I go somewhere different and more often than not, I find a beer I like.

Those are probably my two favourite ever cask ales. These were quite easy decisions and really, one of them should have made it into my top 3 beers of all time. As a CAMRA member, I should be ashamed of myself.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Beats - Hammerfest IV

I don't really listen to much heavy metal anymore but the past weekend I traveled all the way to Pontins in Prestatyn, Wales for Hammerfest IV: Hammer of Thor. A lot of traveling.

I'm writing this on my train back to London whilst extremely hungover so please forgive my lack of finer details!

Thursday was an absolute mess. I'm actually not sure whether I saw any bands at all. I do remember being in The Queen Victoria pub while some disgustingly heavy band were on, it may have been Flame Fracture. It probably was. I drank a lot of shit. Cheap lager is the way forward. I also apparently won an “I love Wales” bear on the claw machine. I don’t remember this, however, I do remember drinking some form of chocolate orange alcohol. All in all, Thursday wasn’t very musical. Just boozy.

On Friday waking up with a brutal hangover was slightly less than awesome but it was nothing an all you can eat fry-up buffet and a tanker of orange juice couldn't fix! By the time I had scoffed my bodyweight in bacon and low quality black pudding I knew It had struck beer o’ clock. I saw a lot of bands on Friday, see below:

  • Kyrbgrinder - they weren't bad. Straight up heavy metal but quite funky.
  • Trucker Diablo - Northern Irish band whom I'd describe as Redneck Metal. I actually really enjoyed these guys
  • Spirytus - Very good Nu-metal band; Nothing more, nothing less. Quite fun with some MC Hammer crammed in the middle of their set. 
  • Sci-fi Mafia - Just caught the end of this... Couldn't not watch some as they had a massive dancing robot covered in lights on the stage as well as people grinding circular saws! Didn't like the music, however.
  • Heaven's Basement - Glam rock, good stuff. My second time seeing them.
  • Anthrax - My first time seeing them and I'm glad I did. You've gotta love some heavy as hell thrash metal late at night. Absolute legends. I couldn’t have been happier with their set, although they weren’t the best band of the weekend.

Well that was Friday. I really wish I could've seen Lawnmower Deth but I was too wasted/tired to stay up.

Saturday was by far the best day. Same morning routine of breakfast then beer. Standard.

Bands I saw:

  • Oaf - My old friend Dom Lawson's band. Not metal although I don't know what you'd call them... Absolutely fucking insane maybe. Song titles include Wanking With a Fistful of Shit and Fuck Off Pigeon. Awesomely insane band to watch to shake your hangover! Love it!
  • AR - It's funny I saw these guys as they tweeted at me a couple of weeks ago saying I should watch them at hammerfest. Was worth it. Just straight up hard rock. Would probably see them again.
  • Cerebral Bore - Dreadful metalcore band with pig screaming and the lot. What shocked me is the fact that their vocalist is a rather attractive female
  • Dripback - Death metal type stuff. They were alright but nothing special. My mates enjoyed them a lot so they may have been awesome, I'm just not too hot on death metal anymore.
  • Senser - I first heard Senser a few months ago when I was sent their new E.P. "Biting Rhymes which I reviewed but didn't have a site to put it on, at that time so I saw them on Saturday and they were bloody awesome. Politically charged rap metal band. Heitham Al-Sayed has so much energy. The sound and music was awesome. I would definitely see them again.
  • Hell - I really don't know what subgenre to put Hell in but they were absolutely fucking amazing. Everything about their performance was perfect... The sound, the music, their stage presence. I had heard of them before but not bothered listening to them. Best band of the weekend without a doubt!
  • Dream Evil - This was my third time seeing them and yet again they were amazing. There were a couple of songs missing from their set that they usually play, like Heavy Metal Jesus but still, I won't complain!
  • Skindred - I've lost count of how many times I have seen these guys live and I don't care because every time they go all out to put on a massive show and last night was no exception. Benji Webbe is a phenomenal frontman and at one point he made everyone get down on the floor and jump. The energy was amazing.

There are a couple of bands I really wish I would have seen but y'know, just sometimes you end up partying in somebody elses's chalet or passing out because you're too drunk or generally shattered from the previous night's awesomeness.

It was great to see people I haven't seen in a very long time as well as meeting new people. Hammerfest is an amazing experience and I urge everyone to go, regardless of whether or not you like heavy metal music.

Fair enough, a music festival is for music but it's not just that. It's the whole experience. The combination of getting wasted, socializing and eating way too many pot noodles.

All in all, it was a crazy and awesome weekend. I would most definitely love to do it again.

Stay rock 'n' roll, people!

Thursday, 8 March 2012

A generic first post...

I've been meaning to get a blog up and running for a while but I either can't be bothered or I get drunk and forget. This is for real though. I'm actually blogging.

If you don't know me, I'm Nate and I have 3 main areas of interest.

1) Alcohol (Beer mainly)

2)  Music (Heavy metal & hip hop mainly)

3) Food (Meat mainly)

I'm like most other people, really. I like to get drunk whilst listening to loud music then I like to stop at a kebab shop on the way home for some shaved cat meat.

Booze, Beats & Bites. My three favourites of each:

Beer:

Even though this blog is generically "Booze", I had to go with my favourite type of booze in this scenario.

1) Brewdog Punk IPA - Beautifully hoppy, grapefruit, piney.
2) Stone Arrogant Bastard Ale - Brutally hoppy, malty, caramel.
3) Franziskaner Hefe-Weissbier - Yeasty, Banana and Pineapple.

Picking a third beer was harder than I imagined. The first two, however, just happened.

 Beats:


Bites:

Specifically, I'm going to focus on restaurants.
1) Captain America's Hamburger Heaven, Norwich - Such awesome burgers. Just simple big ass burgers.
2) Mambo Jambo, Norwich - Mexican & South American restaurant with a massive menu. And Blue Moon.
3) Ed's Easy Diner, Euston - Another American style restaurant like the ones you've seen in movies.

Well that wasn't too painful in the end! If you haven't Drank/Listened/Eaten any of these, I highly recommend you do.

Now I'm going to enjoy the rest of my day off. I will post as regularly as possible. Well, whenever I have something mildly interesting to say anyway.

In the coming days/months/weeks/years you can expect booze reviews, music reviews, food reviews and maybe the occasional guest blogger!

I'm now going to enjoy the rest of my day off. Have fun, folks.