Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Haynes Men’s Pie Manual (Book Review)



When I first read the press release about this book, I’m sure you’ll forgive me that I didn’t actually read the word “Men’s”. I read “Haynes Pie Manual by Andrew Webb”. That was enough to get me excited.

I received the book and thought “Hang on a minute; this is making a few assumptions”. Firstly, it’s assuming at as a man, I don’t have the foggiest idea of how to make a pie (I do – I’ve made many in my time) and secondly it is assuming one of two things – either that pies are foodstuff for men, and men only, or it is assuming that women automatically know how to make pies from birth. To be honest, I wasn’t impressed at this.

I then started reading and was thankful that he kept the “Hey manly men, I’m talking to you, you loser who doesn’t know how to make a pie” to a minimum, aside from the occasional “RED MEAT PIE ARE ESPECIALLY FOR MEN. MEN LOVE RED MEAT.”

So yeah, he doesn’t talk directly to us men right through the book which is a good thing, but it’s all still rather irritating. Assumptions piss me off.

Anyway, as for the actual content?

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Unrealistic Expectations

As I sit in wetherspoons having a diet coke, I'm thinking. I really wanted to write something positive about Wetherspoons as I love it but half of what i want to say is negative.

The thing is, when they announced their craft taps of Brewdog This. Is. Lager. And Devil's Backbone IPA I was excited, and to be honest I'm still excited about there being something I'm guaranteed to drink on tap in any wetherspoons I go into. I mean, This. Is. Lager. Is a fucking stupid name but it has everything I want in a Pilsner. Devil's Backbone IPA isn't what I expected but it's delicious nonetheless. Sure, it doesn't have buckets full of hops in it but it's still delicious.

What doesn't excite me, strangely enough, is the prices. Youre probably thinking "what the fuck. How are you not excited at £3 a pint?" And I'll tell you why...

It gives people unrealistic expectations of the price of decent keg beer. See, I was excited when I was expecting both these beers to be around the £4 a pint mark... That would make it close enough to both wetherspoons prices and craft beer bar prices. Selling a beer like the brewdog lager at £3 a pint is going to make people expect that anywhere they go, good beer on keg can't be that much more expensive.

The problem is that so many people use wetherspoons as a comparison on price. If they see a beer on cask at £2.40 in wetherspoons they're going to expect it to be no more than £3.40 on cask in a regular pub. It's the pound rule. It doesn't just work for wetherspoons but for any service... Tesco are selling a sandwich for £2 so you expect it to be £3 in an independent shop.

Now people who aren't craft wankers are going to see "craft lager" or "ipa" on keg in a regular pub and be like "hang on a fucking minute... Why is this £5 a pint when I can get something similar in spoons for £3?"

So will spoons convert people to good keg?

Yes, but only in their own pubs due to presenting unrealistic expectations.

Nate 

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

NSV Craft Beer Festival 2014 Preview

A while ago I had mentioned that I was involved in the social media side of Norwich’s first ever craft beer festival and now I have a list of beers that will be on over the course of the festival and everything is finalised for this coming Thursday, I figured I’d write a blog.

Firstly, what/where/when/how/why?

Where: St Margaret’s Art Church, St Benedict’s Street, Norwich
When: Thursday 9th October – Saturday 11th October (5pm - 11 Thursday then 12pm til 4 & 5pm til 11 Friday and Saturday)
Cost: £4 (£2 for NSV wristband holders) includes branded glass which can be returned for £1 refund
Food: Proper Pizza Co & Meat Merchants
Beers: A mixture of cask, keg, bottles & cans

We are very happy to have the following breweries with their own bars, these are:

Firebrand Brewery – A seriously bloody good up and coming brewery from Cornwall. I first sampled their beers at Craft Beer Rising this year and was impressed so I’m excited to see these guys coming up for it!

Signature Brew – An awesome aptly musical themed brewery. These guys are most known for brewing collaboration beers with the likes of Professor Green, Mastodon & Frank Turner but now have their own range of beers which I’m looking forward to trying!

Humpty Dumpty – Brilliant traditional real ale brewery situated on the Norfolk Broads. Last year they celebrated their 15th Anniversary with a very tasty barley wine that I helped brew (well, not really. I just stood there looking good).

Fem-Ale - A brilliant organisation promoting the women in the beer industry! Expect to see a whole host of beers that have been brewed by women!

Norfolk Square Brewery - Carlos will be bringing his Maverik range of craft beers including the wonderful English hopped Barmy IPA!

Golden Triangle - Popular among Norwich drinkers, and a personal favourite of mine, Kev will be bringing his amazing Black IPA... BLACK HOPS!

Redwell Brewery – We all know the awesome Redwell Brewery! Brewing delicious lagers and ales (exclusively on keg) since 2013. They are the main sponsor of NSV Craft Beer Festival and are providing most of the beers available... these beers are confirmed and I can reveal to you what they are...

Redwell Brewery (Norwich, all keg)
Hells Lager
Steam Lager
India Pale Lager
Double IPA
Dark Pilsner

Beavertown Brewery (London, keg)
Neck Oil (Session IPA)
Smog Rocket (Smoked Porter)
Quelle (Saison)

Crate Brewery (London, keg)
Nitro Stout
Cider

Fourpure (London, keg)
Pils (Lager)
IPA

London Fields (London)
Hackney Hopster (Pale Ale, cask & keg)
Shoreditch Triangle (IPA, keg)

Redchurch Brewery (London, keg)
Paradise Pale
Shoreditch Blonde
Hoxton Stout

Redwillow Brewery (Macclesfield)
Smokeless (Smoked Porter, keg)
Mirthless (Pale Ale, keg)
Endless (Pale Ale, cask)
Heartless (Chocolate Stout, cask)

Williams Brothers (Alloa, Scotland)
Draught Lager (Keg)

Magic Rock (Yorkshire)
High Wire (Pale Ale, cask & keg)
CANNONBALL (IPA, keg, yes it deserves capitals!)

Wild Beer Co. (Somerset)
Bibble (Pale Ale, cask & keg)
Fresh (Pale Ale, cask)
Epic Saison (Keg)

So, those are all of the confirmed beers and we’re very excited about it as the days get closer!

You can follow us on twitter at @NSVBeerFest or Facebook where I will be telling you a little bit more about each brewery and the beers before Thursday and updating you with setup.

I hope to see you all there!

Nate