Sunday, 27 April 2014

M&S Fish & Chip Pie (Food Review)

A little over a week ago I was browsing the internet and saw that upmarket supermarket Marks & Spencer were releasing a Fish and Chip pie. At first, I thought it was a little odd but then I thought, well, Fish and Chips are a British institution, as is savoury pie so why the fuck not?

I mean, after thinking about it a little more, I wondered why nobody had done this before.

As massive fans of fish and chips, Emily and I were amazed so I promised her a fish and chip pie for dinner last Friday, because I'm a classy motherfucker.

So what makes a fish and chip pie?

A layer of minted peas, a layer of fish in a tartare sauce and topped with chips in a pastry crust. To some people this sounds amazing, but to others it sounds disgusting.

So what's it like?

After tasting it, I don't understand why anyone would have a problem with it. I mean, when you have a dish, to ensure it all works you put everything that's on the plate on your fork to ensure it works together and that's exactly what this is, but in a pie with the added benefit of pastry.

You get the minted peas and the creamy tartare sauce but you can still taste the fish to full effect, with the delicious chips to top it off and make it fuller.

We both really enjoyed it, and will buy it again but probably not too often at the £3.49 per pie pricetag. It's a nice treat when we don't want to spend an even more absurd amount on a takeaway. They're not small either to be honest. We were satisfied without any sides!

So yes, we would recommend the M&S fish and chip pie!

Nate

Friday, 18 April 2014

Norwich Birthday Twissup 31st May – SIX WEEK PREVIEW

You probably would have seen my original post about my birthday twissup in Norwich on Saturday 31st May, as well as my frequent tweets telling everyone to buy train tickets.

If you don’t know already, my birthday event in London last year (#Dawgocalypse) was a raging success with around 30 different people joining us throughout the day and it was seriously fucking awesome. I really appreciate everyone coming out.

This year, I’ve decided to try and haul everyone’s arses to my home city of Norwich as it will be approaching the end of our annual City of Ale festival.

Anyway, there are just six weeks to go so essentially this is a reminder for y’all to book your tickets, and I’ll give you a brief overview of the pubs we plan on visiting. I believe we’ll be starting between 12pm & 1pm but if you’re any later to Norwich, you’ll find a map at the end of this post…

ALL TIMES BELOW ARE APPROXIMATE. WE MAY SPEND MORE OR LESS TIME IN SOME PUBS, DEPENDING ON HOW BUSY THEY ARE AND THE SELECTION OF BEER AVAILABLE. STAYING OR MOVING WILL BE A GROUP DECISION. I AM NOT YOUR LEADER BUT YOU MUST TREAT ME AS SUCH. I EXPECT TO BE CARRIED BETWEEN PUBS, FANNED AND FED GRAPES AND BACON.

12pm – Compleat Angler – A Taylor Walker pub with a good selection of mostly local cask ales and a craft keg line that has seen the likes of Brewdog Punk IPA & Harviestoun Schiehallion.

1:15pm – Norwich Taphouse – No cask at this place so you’ll have to put up with the 20 keg lines available, 5 of which are usual from the local Redwell Brewery with the rest dedicated to further afield.

1:45pm – The Rumsey Wells – An Adnams pub that unsurprisingly has mostly Adnams on cask, a couple from Adnams on keg and the simply delicious Lagunitas IPA from California.

2:15pm – The Plough – The best beer garden in Norwich is perfectly accompanied by beers from the best brewery in Norfolk, Grain Brewery. You can find 5 or 6 cask ales that are mostly from Grain, as well as some burgers in the shack outdoors.

3pm – The White Lion – A Milton Brewery pub with 8 cask pumps, at least 4 of which are usually Milton, plus some guests. There’s only one keg line here and that’s dedicated to Moravka lager. You can also usually find a ridiculous amount of cider if that’s your thing!

4pm – The Plasterers Arms – You may have seen me mention The Plasterers before, because it is the home ground of Norwich Bottle Share. Here you can find up to 15 cask ales/ciders from all across the country, as well as 8 keg lines, with Voodoo Daddy Pizzas in the kitchen.

5pm – King’s Head – For our final (official) stop of the day, we’ll be visiting a unique pub where there is no such thing as keg beer. Yup. King’s Head has about 10 cask lines, of which 90% are from the local area.

So, guys, that’s the official pub list. Yeah, I know it says it finishes at 5pm but that’s a total lie because y’all know that we’ll be drinking until the last of us gets a train home, gets arrested or is taken to hospital. I’m hoping the latter two don’t happen, but I know what you reprobates are like!

If you need anymore information from me before THE EVENT, obviously you can catch me on Twitter or you can email me: nate(at)boozebeatsbites.com.

It’s guaranteed to be a great day out, with great company and I’m really looking forward to showing you all my awesome city!

Here is the route, for all interested: https://goo.gl/maps/TuqtS

Nate


P.S. If anyone can come up with an appropriate and easier hashtag for the day than #Dawgocalypse, there will be a prize.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

A bunch of Belgian Beerz



I was contacted a couple of weeks ago by a lovely chap called Lode who runs an online Belgian Beer shop called Belgian Beerz because he wanted to see if I fancied doing some beer reviews and link to his shop, in exchange for said beers I will be reviewing.

How could I say no? I mean, I get more writing material for my blog and I get to help a small business with some promotion. It’s a win-win situation!

It’s also a great opportunity for me to discover more Belgian beers as I have neglected them way too much since discovering American & Danish beer.

Anyway, I got sent a lovely selection of 12 beers and I’m going to power through a review of each but in just a couple of lines or less as it seems like a fun idea!

Van Steenberge Cesar (8.5% Tripel) – Sweet, citrusy, biscuity and banana-y. Very nice indeed.

Waterloo 8 Double Dark (8.5% Belgian Strong Dark Ale) – Lots of red fruits, big sticky toffee with a little bit of dark vanilla chocolate at the end. Shocking lack of booze detectable which made it very drinkable! More please!

De Dolle Oerbier (9% Belgian Dark Strong Ale) – Brown sugar, plums, figs, raisins, caramel and chocolate, with a little bit of sourness that I’m not sure is really meant to be there. Fuck knows, but I like it.

De La Senne Zinnebir (6% Belgian Pale Ale) – Oooh citrus and funkiness dominate, with a little bit of sweetness. I am in love with this beer. Can I have an entire case of it please?

Préaris Quadrupel (10% Belgian Quad) – Waaaaay too sweet like I’ve poured an entire bag of brown sugar into a beer, but some nice banana and bitter coffee flavours when that clears up. Not my favourite quad in the world.

De La Senne Stouterik/The Brussels Stout (4.5% Stout) – Bloody hell this is nice. You’ve got chocolate and dark roasted malt with some milk chocolate giving it that little bit of sweetness. Insanely delicious. Very impressed with Belgian stouts.

Straffe Hendrik Brugs Quadrupel (11% Belgian Quad) – Awesome, a beer I already know and love… candy sugar sweetness, coffee, caramel and chocolate. YEAHHHHH!

Cantillon Kriek (5% Lambic) – Sour cherries, deliciousness. Emily said it smells like horses, which she didn’t really regard as a bad thing. It’s another beer I already know and love.

Caracole Ambrée (7.5% Belgian Pale) – Raisins, some citrus hops and some biscuit leaning in the background. It’s alright, but I was just pissed off that I lost half the bottle upon opening. NAUGHTY BEER.

Urthel Hop-It (9.5% Belgian IPA) – Really hoppy beers seem to be taking off in Belgium, instead of the more malty ones right now. This delivers… hops in your face… citrus deliciousness, honey, biscuit, more fruitiness. Absolutely love it!

Scheldebrouwerij ‘n Toeback (9% Belgian Quad) – Satisfyingly sweet and booze, with a nice crisp apple bite and lashings of caramel made me incredible happy.

Duchesse De Bourgogne (6.2% Flanders Red Ale) – A long time favourite of mine, this has right amount of sourness, fruitiness and woodiness to keep me very happy. Emily’s opinion was far different, but I’m not going to share that here! I love this beer!

So that was my latest foray into the much neglected world of Belgian beer, and it was a very enjoyable experience!

You should definitely check out belgianbeerz.com if you like Belgian beer… they have a massive selection and offer reasonable shipping costs, starting from around £16 to the UK.

Once again, thanks to Lode for sending these to me!

Nate

Monday, 7 April 2014

Disney, Beer & My Reputation

Last night I watched the Disney movie, Frozen on recommendation from my girlfriend and her friends. Y'all know me, and y'all know that I usually like more adult comedies and gangster movies, but it's not all. That's just what my reputation says as you know I'm an angry bastard and obviously I have Samuel L Jackson's "Bad Motherfucker" wallet from Pulp Fiction. I like Disney movies though, and I REALLY, I mean REALLY enjoyed Frozen. The story and the songs were incredibly well written, with great lyrics, vocalists and a simply stunning score. Right now, I just can't stop listening to the soundtrack. It's phenomenal.

My reputation gives this image that I can't enjoy anything visual that doesn't involve someone getting killed, or exploited in a hilarious way. What you know about me is wrong. I do actually have a heart and I was incredibly touched by Frozen.

Obviously, my love for a movie that was created with little girls in mind was never going to be the whole point of this blog, but it's a good starting point.

Recently I've written not one, but two blogs about how I'm bored of beer and need to expand my horizons both with booze and with a lack of booze and both of those things are going quite well but some people just can't let go of my reputation and it's upsetting.

I've said on multiple occasions that I need a break from the beer world as it was all getting too intense, but seemingly the hints that were about as subtle as a sledgehammer didn't fucking get through.

Recently I've had to tell about 3 people to shut the fuck up because all they do is send me texts or Facebook messages about beer... intense discussion... listing all of the beers they've had... the pubs they've been to... the places they're going. It's not like the posts I wrote were even remotely jokey about taking a step back. I seriously meant it.

I'm more than happy to join in on a discussion on twitter but it all gets too much and I can't deal with it. It upsets me that so many people see me as nothing more than that angry guy who drinks a lot of beer. I'm an actual fucking human, with an actual fucking life beyond beer.

All I'm saying is that I'd quite like people to try getting to know me and not the soul destroying reputation I have crafted for myself.

Now, as it's International Beer Day or some such bollocks, I'm going to have a nice quiet night drinking wine with my girlfriend while listening to the Frozen soundtrack.

Nate

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Nate Dawg Drinks Other Things

Something you may know about me: I love beer. Yeah, I know I'm bored of the whole beer politics and arguments and such, but I still enjoy drinking it and I have some interesting beer reviews coming to this blog soon.

Something you may not know about me: I like booze that isn't beer. You may have heard that I dabble in the arts of Bourbon and Rye whiskey, but that's not all.

Recently, due to having a girlfriend who is a complete wino sophisticated wine drinker I've been drinking wine and I have been enjoying it. I've always been a fan of red wine, but I'm starting to like the white too. It's not like either of us are total wine geeks or anything, we just buy affordable (read: cheap plonk) from the supermarkets, but still it's enjoyable. Wine is a great drink, and there do seem to be plenty of affordable yet delicious options out there.

I also dabble in cocktails, and am looking to experiment more with making them in the near future as I want to broaden my horizons a bit. Last Friday we had mojito night, which was good fun and it turns out that I can make a fucking good one even if I did fuck up the curry (that's a different story, don't ask).

Really, my point is that sometimes drinking a c***t beer is way too much effort. Sometimes, there's way too much going on; too much complexity and I do too much thinking. I try to drink something that I love and have had before, like Punk IPA, but I do think about it. I can't stop the thoughts from wizzing around in my brain "Is this as good as the last one I had? Do I taste something different? Is this really fresh enough? I miss 6% Punk." The thoughts, that as beer geeks, we all have.

Sometimes, I want to drink something that I know fuck all about and have had very little previous experience with. You can tell me how complex a wine, or a cocktail is, but I'm not going to listen as they're my safety net. They're what I drink when I don't drink beer, and I don't want to think about how intricate it is and all that bullshit. I just want to drink and enjoy it.

So yes, Nate Dawg Drinks Other Things.

Nate