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Thread: Top Of The Pops

  1. #1
    Still about Mobyduck's Avatar
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    Default Top Of The Pops

    No Jimmy Savile here, just my best beers and pubs from 2020, a dodgy year by anyones definition.

    Top Beers not in any order and very much Craft led.
    Cask
    Dark Star - American Pale Ale
    Thornbridge - Crackendale
    Dark Revolutions - SoLa

    Keg
    The Kernel - Export Stout
    Vault City - Gooseberry & Elderflower
    Partizan - IPA Sabro

    Bottles & Cans
    North Brewing - Lost Cosmonauts
    Elusive - The Wasteland
    Siren - Death By Caribbean Chocolate Cake

    Pubs
    Here I've picked only from new visits (a pool of 50) to stop usual suspect syndrome.
    The Old Green Tree - Bath
    The Jolly Fisherman - Hastings
    The White Horse - Hedgerley

    As I said ,a year to forget but I would be happy with any of the above in any year.
    "Everybody's got to believe in something. I believe I'll have another beer."
    -W.C.Fields

  2. #2
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    Strange year on the beer front.Didnt bother writing down my beers during lockdown.Thought it would soon past.Big mistake
    best keg beer
    thornebridge -cocoa wonderland drank in Dundee in August.

    best bottle can
    vocation -imperial kirsh bought from Tesco who have upped their range and have been a lifeline for me during lockdown.

    best cask.Difficult one .Looking through my beers pre lockdown struggled to find standout cask easy for keg

    These 3 fit the bill but would be way down the list of best beers.
    71 brewing- cloud fall drank in the Globe .borough market
    tyde steam -mild
    broken drum -mild both drank in the excellent Dog and Bell deptford

  3. #3
    Between pubs sheffield hatter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by london calling View Post
    Strange year on the beer front.
    You're not wrong, John.

    I'm going to split the drinking year into three parts: pre-Covid (up to 20 March); drinking at home; pubs reopened (4 July to 4 November).

    1) pre-Covid (up to 20 March)

    During this 80-day period I went to 233 pubs on 69 days. I drank 201 pints of 238 different beers, with an average abv of 4.6%.
    Beer type drunk most often: Bitter
    Beer drunk most often*: Black Sheep Best Bitter (12 occasions, 10.5 pints)
    Bass (6 occasions, 4.5 pints)
    Landlord (5 occasions, 3.5 pints)
    Tapped Ale (5 occasions, 8 pints)
    * drinking the same beer twice on the same visit to one pub counts as just one beer.

    Best beer: Tapped Ale 3.5% at the Sheffield Tap. Brewed on the premises, but easily missed as it alternates with other beers such as Mojo and Sheaf Street Pale. It was so good on 10 January that I had three pints; went back there the next day for two more; on the 12th I was catching a train to Leeds for the rugby so I had another; then on the 13th I was going to London so made sure I had time for one more before my train.

    2) Beers drunk at home

    Well, where to begin? My favourite beers in cask don't work so well in bottles, so I tend to go for darker beers like Riggwelter, Dark Side of the Moose, McEwans Champion and Guinness West Indies Porter. I've drunk a lot of Imperial Stouts (from breweries such as Harveys, Black Sheep, Bad Co, Buxton, Nogne O and Pohjala) and IPAs of many types. In May and June I did some blind tastings on some fairly random beers with New World hops that I picked up from Morrisons. I was trying to analyse what I liked and didn't like about these types of beer. Two of the tastings threw up beers from Allendale Brewery in Northumberland, Wanderlust and Dirty Deeds as the ones that I liked best. Both had bitter finishes rather than the smooth, fruity flavours that most of these beers tend to promote. I ordered some plenty more of these direct from the brewery, plus their very good bitter, Wagtail.

    Another favourite brewery for many years has been Williams Brothers of Alloa, and I've had several deliveries from them. Beers like Seven Giraffes, Ebulum, Profanity, Paradigm Shift and Kelpie are right up my street, but I find that their lagers and IPAs are also well made: Caesar Augustus and Joker being particular favourites. A delivery in summer from Stori Beers of Bala provided some interesting moments, with Cader Idris Bitter being particularly memorable. I've had a few mini-kegs of Harveys Sussex Best, and Black Sheep Best and Riggwelter, all of which have been good, though getting all five litres of a can drunk before it goes off is a bit of a task when you live on your own.

    Best beer drunk at home: Very hard to choose, but when I tell people about Purple Moose Brewery's Dark Side of the Moose 4.6% it always raises a smile, so I'm going for that one.

    3) Beers drunk in pubs since relaxation of lockdown on 4 July 2020

    I went to 126 pubs on 79 days out of 124 between 4 July and 4 November, so that's both proportionately fewer days when I went to the pub, and half as many pubs per day on average as in the initial period from January to March. I drank 196 pints at an average abv of 4.6%, so that's more beer per visit (1.56 pints per pub visit, compared with 0.86) but no stronger than usual.

    In a normal year I would have been away a lot of the time, with holidays, football and pub crawls, but this year quite a bit of my drinking was confined to some favourite pubs in Sheffield: the Blake Hotel, Crow Inn, Wellington and Fat Cat accounted for more than a third of my pub visits in this period. The beer is always well kept in these pubs (though I did get served the bottom of the barrel on one occasion). The Blake has some interesting selections from a variety of independent breweries; the Wellington has mostly beers from Neepsend Brewery and some guests; the Crow had very little cask during this quiet period, but their keg offerings are always interesting and sometimes off the wall; the Fat Cat has the always reliable Kelham Island Best Bitter 3.8% amongst others (and meals available for when that became a necessity).

    Stand out beer for me during this time was American Solera Bat House Stout 10% at the Crow Inn, which was aged in merlot barrels and retailed at an astonishing £12 a pint. (I only drank thirds or halves, of course.)
    Come On You Hatters!

  4. #4
    This Space For Hire Wittenden's Avatar
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    38 pub visits for me, up to 30th. October.
    Three outstanding beers in my opinion:
    Goachers Special House Ale (3.8%) at The Three Chimneys This was welcome, as the beer here is often tired.
    The Three Legs IPA (6%) at Larkins' Alehouse and
    Ramsgate Brewery (Gadds') East Kent IPA, also at Larkins.

    Inevitably, most of my drinking has been indoors, and I've tended to get supplies from Good Things brewing out at Eridge. A bit out of my natural comfort zone, I've been particularily impressed by Enki a double dry hopped Pale (4.5%), and Caldera a West Coast IPA (6%).When things get too achingly Craft, I slip over to Cellar Head or Three Legs for Amintola or Session IPA. All these outfits offer free local delivery to us.I'm impressed by GTB's handle on digital marketting, unlike some other favourite Kent micros...
    "At that moment I would have given a kingdom, not for champagne or hock and soda, or hot coffee but for a glass of beer" Marquess Curzon of Kedlestone, Viceroy of India.

  5. #5
    Still about Mobyduck's Avatar
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    Impressive book keeping Will.
    "Everybody's got to believe in something. I believe I'll have another beer."
    -W.C.Fields

  6. #6
    Between pubs sheffield hatter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mobyduck View Post
    Impressive book keeping Will.
    Thanks! (You did say I should get a hobby.)
    Come On You Hatters!

  7. #7
    Waterborne Beer Inspector Bucking Fastard's Avatar
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    My book keeping is very poor but the NBSS scoring has helped

    Best Cask On two seperate occasions Oakham Green Devil IPA got a 5 ,a worthy winner

    Best Keg On a visit to a cutting edge keg micro Three Hills Trium Faba,a Russian Imperial Stout was outstanding.

    Best Bottle A dialled up version of an old favourite Titanic Plum Porter Reserve gets it.

    Best Can I do like a strong ,hoppy beer so North Brewing Lost Cosmonauts. Maybe the availability heuristic at play here ,but regularly stocked in my local Tesco.
    Last edited by Bucking Fastard; 03-01-2021 at 19:58.
    "Good people drink good beer" Hunter S Thompson

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    Pub researcher (unpaid) rpadam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bucking Fastard View Post
    heuristic
    A word never previously used on this forum? If so, you win this week's star prize!

  9. #9
    Waterborne Beer Inspector Bucking Fastard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rpadam View Post
    A word never previously used on this forum? If so, you win this week's star prize!
    That's what happens in lockdown with time on my hands to read Thinking ,Fast and Slow by Daniel Kehneman when I should be down the pub
    "Good people drink good beer" Hunter S Thompson

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpadam View Post
    A word never previously used on this forum? If so, you win this week's star prize!
    For trivia, Heuristically programmed ALgorithmic computer was the acronym chosen by Arthur C. Clarke for the murderous computer HAL 9000 in the film 2001.

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