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Post Tagged with: beer

No pregnant ladies…

No pregnant ladies…

I was having some delicious sushi with some dear Northern friends of mine, when I noticed a particular icon on my Japanese beer bottle.

I don’t follow health news at all, but even I know that pregnant ladies are generally discouraged from smoking and drinking. So why they need a particular icon to signify that, in the unlikely event that a pregnant lady picks up a bottle of Sapporo beer, is anyone’s guess!

The temptation to make this my new avatar is quite high…

In other American news, a pregnant lady is admitted to hospital. She’s a smoker. The doctors go to court to argue that she should be confined to bed until the baby is born, to stop her smoking and harming the baby. The courts agree.

Brewing London beer…

Brewing London beer…

Roll out the barrel A while ago, thanks to a sudden Twitter from Annie Mole, I found myself invited to a Qype event of a brewery tour and ale tasting, washed down with some oysters.

The directions from Clapham Junction took me to an anonymous industrial estate – aside from the sign at the front proclaiming Sambrook’s Brewery, there was nothing to indicate that there was a brewery inside. No pipes, no steel tubing, no huge plume of smoke, nothing.

Inside, aside from a presentation and tasting room, the entire space was dedicated to the arcane art of brewing, although it seemed more like a scientific slaughterhouse than a brewery farm – hosing everywhere, a grey concrete floor, and huge steel tankers. Fortunately, the master brewery took us through the process of turning hops (which tasted nice), malt (which tasted terrible), yeast, and London water into a freshly-brewed beer. Of course, it also takes a few other ingredients – including sturgeon swimbladders to make the whole thing clear – but otherwise, they use all-fresh natural ingredients for a natural brew. Which you could tell in the final test product.

After that, as if drinking one fresh beer wasn’t enough, we made the long trek to the warm and welcoming Westbridge, where the landlord Charlie took us knowledgably through a variety of beers and ales, all washed down with some lovely oysters. With the interesting titbit that you should only eat oysters when there’s an ‘R’ in the month, so I’ve only got a month left to find more oysters in London…

Unfortunately, I’m not someone who can describe what they like, I just know when it hits my taste buds whether I like it or not. And I didn’t taste a single terrible thing all night. If I happened to live or work within striking distance of Battersea, the Westbridge would definitely be a high contender for my favourite local.

During all this, I was surrounded by the glittering taste buds of London’s blogerati, which seemed to include beer genius James Cridland, anniemole, and hollow legs, who is painstakingly trying to recreate Chinese recipes from her childhood. I really must develop my tastebuds sometime.

When did my occasional beer become a wifebeater?

When did my occasional beer become a wifebeater?

When I first started drinking as a professional young urbanite, Stella Artois was one of my usual beers of choice, in the absence of any other compelling options (well, it was Fosters for a while before I had a terrible night on them). It tasted alright, and its’ advertising association with European film didn’t hurt either.

I do however recall that when I first went to a Cardiff pub in 2001, my request for a Stella was generally poo-poo’ed upon by my mate at the bar. I wasn’t too sure why – maybe it was too pretentious a beer for Cardiff perhaps?

Fast forward to November 2007, and of all sources, it’s the BBC’s Newsnight that informs me that Stella Artois is now in fact the beer of choice for your average young drunkard out to cause trouble and trip over innocent cyclists. But when did this happen? and why?

They speculate that it may well be due to the high alcohol content of the beer – which would help to explain my inability to stand by the bar all night.

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