HomeBrew – how to’s

Talking with a friend yesterday, well him quizzing me about brewing, here’s how you do it…

this is the all grain version.


A duck walks into a bar

A duck walks into a pub and orders a pint of beer and a ham sandwich.

The barman looks at him and says, ‘Hang on! You’re a duck.’

‘I see your eyes are working,’ replies the duck.

‘And you can talk!’ exclaims the barman.

‘I see your ears are working, too,’ says the duck. ‘Now if you don’t mind, can I have my beer and my sandwich please?’

‘Certainly, sorry about that,’ says the barman as he pulls the duck’s pint. ‘It’s just we don’t get many ducks in this pub. What are you doing round this way?’

‘I’m working on the building site across the road,’ explains the duck. ‘I’m a plasterer.’

The flabbergasted barman cannot believe the duck and wants to learn more, but takes the hint when the duck pulls out a newspaper from his bag and proceeds to read it.

So, the duck reads his paper, drinks his beer, eats his sandwich, bids the barman good day and leaves.

The same thing happens for two weeks.

Then one day the circus comes to town.

The ringmaster comes into the pub for a pint and the barman says to him ‘You’re with the circus, aren’t you? Well, I know this duck that could be just brilliant in your circus. He talks, drinks beer, eats sandwiches, reads the newspaper and everything!’

‘Sounds marvelous,’ says the ringmaster, handing over his business card. ‘Get him to give me a call.’

So the next day when the duck comes into the pub the barman says, ‘Hey Mr. Duck, I reckon I can line you up with a top job, paying really good money.’

‘I’m always looking for the next job,’ says the duck. ‘Where is it?’

‘At the circus,’ says the barman.

‘The circus?’ repeats the duck.

‘That’s right,’ replies the barman.

‘The circus?’ the duck asks again. ‘That place with the big tent?’

‘Yeah,’ the barman replies.

‘With all the animals who live in cages, and performers who live in caravans?’ says the duck.

‘Of course,’ the barman replies.

‘And the tent has canvas sides and a big canvas roof with a hole in the middle?’ persists the duck.

‘That’s right!’ says the barman.

The duck shakes his head in amazement, and says .. . .


‘What the f*ck would they want with a plasterer??!’

Best Beer in the UK?

It’s always up for debate what’s the best beer, in any category that you chose to select.  There is a chunk of latin that I like – in di gustibus non disputatum – even though I quit latin (and some might say English) when I left a fancy school in Canterbury – says that there is no accounting for taste, or taste is relative to your awareness?

All said, I was given an awesome bottle of beer recently, by none other than Garrett Oliver of the Brooklyn Brewery (thanks!!).    I had already had a sneak preview by Kelly, one of the brewers of said beer, so I was even more pleased to recieve this beer.

I took it to a recent tasting, amongst like-minded beer loving friends, because a Danish friend, and beer lover was in town.   We shared many a beer, my two entrants to the evening, well three if you include a schwartzbeer that I made, were the beer above, and the Jasmine IPA, Fantabulous Resplendance X from Three Floyds.

I hate to talk about leagues of beer, and the like – but this beer is up there with many many of the top beers around the world.   The UK beers, like the excellent Old Chimneys King Henrys Reserve, Durham Temptation/Bendiction, are close – but the the beer above, was the show stopper, an 11% barley wine aged in Pedro Xinmenez casks.  Bright floral orange blossom, and citrus notes.   Incredible stuff. so smooth.   Where as I have bumped into plenty of amazing sour ales, massive imperial stouts, incredible hop bombs – just this year – this beer was a more than a pleasant experience.

The beer,   Barrel Aged “Alliance” from Thornbridge Hall.     whether or not it’s the best beer in the UK,  but over many big Imperial Stouts that draw big plaudits – this had something of a newness/vibrancy – freshness of style that I found it change from what I had experience before with experiential beers!

English Beer

Buy English Ales here

Beer Dinners and Beer Arrivals

Beer is really getting to the front of peoples minds, knowing where some of the great beers we sell are heading to, and and the communications that we recieve about the beers – post the event – are so encouraging.

The Griffin Inn, are hosting a full tasting dinner with Mikkeller beers as a central theme – and knowing the sheer quality of the food that they present, it should be an incredible evening.

The second interesting thing in beer is a note that great beers are starting to appear on some very interesting restaurant menus – more soon.  The best thing of it is that they are moving away from the Peroni, Budvar, and Kasteel style/genre of beers – toward a far more selected group of beers…  and what’s best, applying them in a right and proper fashion, with selected glassware!

The Beer arrivals: well, hold on to your hats!   We have some particularly special brews that I cannot wait to offer you all!

The newsletter is out, tomorrow, here

I got to brew recently – professionally – you can see the photos here.   The Brew – “Dark Conspiracy” – an American Mild – 5% and kinda hoppy.   The release party is at the Montifore Arms in Ramsgate.    Eddie wrote in his blog – here


Fathers Day is nearly here, and we’ve all seen the stereotypes that the card companies like to sling at our “old men” considering that they snore loudly and when they’re awake, they like to fish or golf, but they’re comically bad at both. Apparently they drink beer and they’re complete couch potatoes, always watching television and hogging the remote.

At least, that’s the less-than-favourable image of Dad on Father’s Day greeting cards. It’s a striking contrast to the poetic praise often expressed at Mother’s Day. So, be different this time avoid the grumpy old man image and get him something more interesting than a new tea cup, a can of WD-40, or joke stuffed old men.

So we’ve put together for all our dearest dad’s a wide range of beers that will satisfy even the grumpiest of old men. 2 Meantime IPA, 2 Black Hole Lager, 3 Franziskaner Cristal, 2 Bruggse Zot Dubbel, 2 Belgian Guinness, 2 Orval, 2 Schneider Weiss, 2 Maredsous 8, 2 Palm, 1 Boon Gueuze, plus 1 BEERMERCHANTS glass, plus a fathers day card with your own personal message. All for just £36.05