Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Bombardier - Burning Gold (Wells)

Name: Bombardier - Burning GoldBombardier - Burning Gold
Label: "Drink of England - Inspired by William Blake's Jerusalem, this is a lively, refreshing golden ale, alive with English passion."
Brewery: Wells
ABV: 4.7%

Rating: Bombardier's great tasting relative.

Game: Changing the difficulty level on Dragon Age helps a great deal - now playing on "Casual" setting *hangs head in shame*.  It's ok though, I can enjoy the game a bit more now without having to save every three to four seconds.

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Etoile D'Or

Name: Etoile D'OrEtoile D'Or
Label: "Imported Belgian Lager"
Brewery: Brewed in Belgium for Marks & Spencer
ABV: 5%

Rating: Belgian beer is ace.

Game: On the verge of selling/trading Dragon Age today. Got stuck again and can't get past a certain section. Stupid under-equipped, under-skilled team. Going after the Urn of Sacred Ashes but can't get past my teams doppelgangers.  Looking for hints on the web and one site advises "have fun -- this is one of Dragon Age's cooler fights." Er, no.  This is one of Dragon Age's suckier fights. It's over in about thirty seconds with my entire team getting wiped out. Not fun. I'm going to flee the mountain and do side missions to try and level up my characters so when I return it will still be just as difficult...

Biere d'Alsace

Name: Biere d'AlsaceBiere d'Alsace
Label: "Imported French Lager"
Brewery: Brewed in France for Marks & Spencer
ABV: 5%

Rating: Lager's great. Not as good as ale, but still great. And it's more difficult and time consuming to brew.

Game: Wolverine is done and dusted. No more claws-through-skulls for a while until Hard difficulty is attempted.  Now, there was some massive sprawling RPG I was trying to play through prior to Wolvie's arrival... what was it called again..?

Birra D'Oro

Name: Birra D'OroBirra D'Oro
Label: "Imported Italian Lager - Superiore & Rinfrescante - Birra Di Qualitá"
Brewery: Brewed in Italy for Marks & Spencer
ABV: 5%

Rating: Great to drink when playing Assassin's Creed 2

Game: Wasn't playing Assassin's Creed 2, too busy slicing and dicing on Wolverine. Almost reached the end I'm sure but this game definitely warrants a second playthrough once the "Hard" mode has been unlocked.

Sunday, 27 December 2009

Iceberg (Titanic)

Name: IcebergIceberg
Label: "Shipped from the Potteries"
Brewery: Titanic
ABV: 4.1%

Rating: Goes down like a lead balloon

Game: Wolverine is so good that Dragon Age isn't getting a look in at the moment.  Wolverine is simple from a puzzle perspective but the special moves and quick kill moves never get old. 8/10.

Saturday, 26 December 2009

Goliath (Wychwood)

Name: GoliathGoliath
Label: "A colossal taste"
Brewery: Wychwood
ABV: 4.2%

Rating: Used to be sold in a bigger bottle than it is now. They stopped doing that because the government wants you to drink less but pay the same price. Nanny state stuff I reckon.

Game: This years Christmas game is X-Men Origins: Wolverine. The quality of movie franchise and tie-ins seems to be getting better and better. Ghostbusters was pretty good, the Batman franchise has had a new lease of life thanks to the excellent Arkham Asylum and the Wolverine game is splendidly violent.

Thursday, 24 December 2009

Maplemoon (Joseph Holt)

Name: MaplemoonMaplemoon
Label: "Full bodied pleasure with a twinkle of maple - Mystical Maple Ale"
Brewery: Joseph Holt
ABV: 4.8%

Rating: A glimmer of Canadian maple which makes it very pleasurable on the taste buds. One of the better things to come out of Manchester, UK.

Game: There are sooo many quests in Dragon Age: Origins I've lost track of them all. I don't know where anything is and I keep getting wasted by packs of wolves. Christmas tomorrow!

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Strong Pale Ale (Marston's)

Name: Strong Pale AleStrong Pale Ale
Label: "Smooth, refreshing and remarkably easy drinking"
Brewery: Marston's
ABV: 6.2%

Rating: Exactly what it says on the bottle.

Game: As you'll know doubt remember, I've been having a bit of difficulty getting past the Sloth Demon in the Fade on Dragon Age: Origins. Well, no longer. I acquired myself an enchanted dagger and a big red dagger, and a drake scale suit of armour (drake is a male dragon apparently).  Have a bit of daggery goodness in your face Sloth bitch!

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Honey Dew (Fuller's)

Name: Honey DewHoney Dew
Label: "Organic - Refreshing Golden Beer"
Brewery: Fuller's
ABV: 5%

Rating: It's a pity bee sick doesn't taste like this. If it did, everyone would want to harvest bee sick.

Game: I must be doing something wrong or attempting missions too soon, but I find myself struggling in the "Fade" on Dragon Age: Origins. Use an attack against a load of enemies and run away waiting for attack to recharge, enemies are in hot pursuit and we end up circling a conveniently placed pillar or piece of furniture in what ends up looking like a crappy version of the already crap enough Benny Hill show. Incredible game though, I just suck at it... 9/10.

Monday, 21 December 2009

Tribute (St. Austell)

Name: TributeTribute
Label: "The Ale of Cornwall - A delightfully delicious and drinkable beer that captures the essential character of Cornwall.
Brewery: St. Austell
ABV: 4.2%

Rating/Comment: The Cornish, so far up their own arses that they have their own flag and pretend Cornwall is an independent country. Tourists are made to feel unwelcome even though they play an essential role in the local economy. Although the Cornish people I know are thoroughly decent so maybe the previous statements are a load of old bol. Nice beer!

Game: I'm going all soft-core on the gaming front at the moment. Wii is quite addictive and playing through Zack & Wiki: Quest for Barbaros' Treasure is fun fun fun. Its just a phase I'm sure, the novelty will soon wear off...

Saturday, 19 December 2009

Black Sheep Ale (Black Sheep Brewery)

Name: Black Sheep AleBlack Sheep Ale
Label: "Crisp, dry & bittersweet - The culmination of five generations of brewing expertise. Brewed at the Black Sheep Brewery in Masham, North Yorkshire and nowhere else."
Brewery: Black Sheep Brewery
ABV: 4.4%

Rating: Excellent ale unimaginatively named.

Game: Got a black Nintendo Wii.  Definitely a "family" console which will probably end up being used just by me.  Trying to encourage other family members to partake in video games is like trying to get blood out of a cabbage. Cant remember the reason for getting it now, especially with Natal on the way...

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Golden Ale (Shepherd Neame)

Name: Golden AleGolden Ale
Label: "A well balanced fusion of malt & floral hop, with a clean dry citrus finish"
Brewery: Shepherd Neame (for Asda)
ABV: 4.5%

Rating: "Extra special"

Game: Currently playing at trying to clear my mailbox of "Christmas offers" - an apparently relentless spamming campaign set to run the course of December.  I've said it before and I'll say it again, after the Assassin's Creed 2 debacle (AC2 delivered two (2) days late) and as Darth Vader would say - You have failed me for the last time, bitches. I ain't buyin nuffin from use anymore!"

Whitechapel Porter (Shepherd Neame)

Name: Whitechapel Porter
Whitechapel PorterLabel: "A dark ruby traditional porter combining underlying  roasted malt flavour with spicy hop notes"
Brewery: Shepherd Neame (for Asda)
ABV: 5.2%

Rating: Tough but slightly sweet

Game: Veteran difficulty is getting a bit tough now on Modern Warfare 2. Slowly working through it but may give up soon... Talking of Modern Warfare 2, Labour MP Keith Vaz doesn't like video games, the corrupt little cockroach recently crawled out from under his stone to comment on how "psychologically damaging" it is to children. He wants a sticker on 18 rated games to say "This has the potential to damage your health". Laugable maybe but he obviously fails to realise that children shouldn't be playing 18 rated video games. Modern Warfare 2 is rated 18. Which means people under the age of 18 shouldn't be playing it. Vaz obviously thinks games are aimed at children, he's therefore obviously an ignorant fool. Lets all point and laugh at the idiot. Sorry to pick on you Vaz, there's probably other idiotic, knee-jerk reactionary technophobes out there somewhere. I'll try and name and shame them in upcoming posts.

Saturday, 12 December 2009

Directors (Courage)

Name: DirectorsDirectors
Label: "Originally brewed for the directors. Now brewed with distinction for you. Traditionally brewed superior quality ale"
Brewery: Courage - now Wells and Youngs. I wish companies would stop buying other companies, it makes things confusing.
ABV: 4.8%

Rating: Not just for the directors of Alton Brewery.

Game: Looking for something to tide me over until Christmas so picked up Dragon Age: Origins. Eight hours in and have got absolutely nowhere, this will probably tide me over until Christmas 2011 nevermind Christmas 2009.  There must be some kind of black magic involved in order to cram this amount of game onto one disc.

Monday, 7 December 2009

Old Speckled Hen (Morland)

Name: Old Speckled HenOld Speckled Hen
Label: "Strong fine ale - A distinctive rich malty taste bursting with character, fruity aroma and deliciously smooth"
Brewery: Morland
ABV: 5.2%

Rating: Named after an MG car used as a runaround in the factory or something.

Game: Now trying to complete missions on Veteran difficulty on Modern Warfare 2. Was tempted to replay Bioshock but the lure of MW2 (even single player) is too much.  Although the frustration factor will no doubt raise its frighteningly ugly face when attempting missions on Veteran.  Watch out for flying control pads! Gamerscore is now 49995 by the way. Five tiny gamerpoints away from 50k.

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Abbot Ale (Greene King)

Name: Abbot AleAbbot Ale
Label: "Brewed longer for a distinctive full flavour"
Brewery: Greene King
ABV: 5.0%

Rating: Great and doesn't taste like religion

Game: In need of a new game at the moment but not sure what to get. Christmas soon and the fatty in the red suit is bringing me Wolverine and some vouchers for Game hopefully. Bring it Mr Claus, bring it.

Saturday, 5 December 2009

Pickled Partridge (Badger)

Name: Pickled PartridgePickled Partridge
Label: "Perfectly plump - With roasted malt character and a noticeably hoppy, slightly spicy linger"
Brewery: Badger
ABV: 4.5%

Rating: Woohoo - a new beer, and seasonal as well!

Game: Back on Need for Speed Shift. Sticking with it because of the slight suspicion that Forza 3 is a bit over-rated and that any racing needs are catered for right here with Shift.  Reached Tier 4 now and the cars are stupidly fast, and as such, staying on the tarmac now seems an impossible task. Practice, practice, practice....

Old Growler (Nethergate)

Name: Old GrowlerOld Growler
Label: "A special porter beer"
Brewery: Nethergate
ABV: 5.5%

Rating: Not really a "unique" beer as far as this blog is concerned because it has been sampled before, however it now sports a new label so its ok. See image and previous post.

Game: Tried to start a new Fallout 3 game but decided against it. Although journeying through a post-apocolyptic wasteland is fantastic fun, Christmas is coming and I'm getting fat and so can't dedicate enough time to this games awesomeness at the current juncture. Soon though, soon....

Friday, 4 December 2009

Hooky Gold (Hook Norton Brewery)

Name: Hooky GoldHooky Gold
Label: "Pale, gold & zesty - Brewed in Oxfordshire - Where progress is measured in pints"
Brewery: Hook Norton Brewery
ABV: 4.2%

Rating: Not had a beer for a few days so this hit the spot.

Game: 1000/1000 gamerpoints for Assassin's Creed 2. Still playing it even after 100% completion. That just shows how great this game is. DLC or Assassin's Creed 3 is now urgently required.  My awesome boxset:

Saturday, 28 November 2009

Rosey Nosey (Batemans)

Name: Rosey NoseyRosey Nosey
Label: "Independent since 1874"
Brewery: Batemans
ABV: 4.9%

Rating: Its got Santa on the label so it's ace. If you don't like Christmas for no good reason then you suck. If you want, send reasons for not liking Christmas to me so I can judge whether you suck or not.  Some responses:
1. "My Grandad died on Christmas morning". Judgment - you don't suck. Your Grandad sucks for dying at Christmas and spoiling it for everyone else. 
2. "I hate all the expensive Christmas shopping, the Christmas songs and trying to find a parking space". Judgement - you totally suck. Stop being such a tight arse, everyone is abit poorer at the moment not just whingey you, enjoy the music, you only hear it once a year rather than the normal sh*t you listen to everyday, get to the shops earlier so you can find a car parking space.

Game: After the slightly violent previous post this post focuses on other, non-violent, aspects of Assassin's Creed 2.  Erm... it looks fantastic, superb musical score and sound effects, it's got horses in it and some eagles.

Autumn Fall (Batemans)

Name: Autumn FallAutumn Fall
Label: "Barley, Oats, Wheat, Rye - multigrain beer"
Brewery: Batemans
ABV: 4.2%

Rating: Find a tree and look at it. Are all the leaves nearly gone? If so, drink this.

Game: Nothing but Assassin's Creed 2 for a whole week... seven days. Usually I can have a game done and dusted in a few nights but this just keeps going! Incredibubble. Even been doing moves that I don't know how I did it. There was this one time, where I sneaked up on a guard on a rooftop, and he like totally heard me or something because he spun and was all like "oi what are you doin up here" and he came at me with his sword so I panicked because I was hoping for a silent kill so ended up hitting probably all the possible button combinations in one go and suddenly I'd drawn my sword and had grabbed the guard by the neck with the sword across it and was prompted to either "Kill" or "Throw". Rather than just throw the dude from the roof I hit "Kill" and sliced him across the old jugular and the lifeless corpse fell from the roof. Smiley face.

Friday, 27 November 2009

Riggwelter (Black Sheep)

Name: RiggwelterRiggwelter
Label: "Strong Yorkshire Ale"
Brewery: Black Sheep
ABV: 5.7%

Rating: Drink too much and you'll be riggwelted (on your back). From the Old Norse; rygg - back and velte - to overturn. 

Game: The best game on the Xbox 360 so far, Assassin's Creed 2. If you disagree then you're a bit rubbish.  Bought the really overpriced Black Edition from and saw it on ebay for double the price. Shoulda kept it shrink wrapped... or bought two.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

White Wych (Wychwood)

Name: White Wych
White Wych
Label: "Wickedly Refreshing Golden Ale"
Brewery: Wychwood
ABV: 3.8%

Rating: Almost like lager but in a good way and being a moron not necessarily a prerequisite to drinking it

Game: Assassin's Creed 2 is definitely more than I hoped it would be. Its amazing attention to detail and depth far surpasses anything achieved by the first Assassin's Creed (also excellent I might add). Its so realistic that "the line between the virtual and real experience becomes blurred and the game becomes a simulation of real-life situations".  Watch out work colleagues, tomorrow I may think I'm in 15th century Florence and may try and stab you in the face, neck, back or worse depending on which of your particular body parts happens to be facing me at the time. I just can't tell what's real anymore. After work I fancy a trip to the local airport. Now where did I put that machine gun.....?

Saturday, 21 November 2009

Deuchars IPA (Caledonian)

Deuchars IPA
Name: Deuchars IPA
Label: "Distinctive - refreshing"
Brewery: Caledonian
ABV: 4.4%

Rating: Cask Champion Beer of Britain 2002 and BIIA, World Champion Cask Ale 2005 - enough awards already

Game: Assassin's Creed II, Assassin's Creed II, Assassin's Creed II, Assassin's Creed II, Assassin's Creed II, Assassin's Creed II, Assassin's Creed II, Assassin's Creed II, Assassin's Creed II, Assassin's Creed II.

Friday, 20 November 2009

Bluebird Bitter (Coniston)

Bluebird Bitter
Name: Bluebird Bitter
Label: "Traditional hand brewed cask & bottle conditioned using only the finest selections of hops & malts"
Brewery: Coniston Brewing Co.
ABV: 4.2%

Rating: A fine session ale

Game: After's failure to deliver on time Asda have come to the rescue in the interim. Assassin's Creed 2 is amazing and definitely warranted a release day purchase. Move over Modern Warfare 2...

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Brakspear Triple (Wychwood)

Brakspear Triple
Name: Brakspear Triple
Label: "Thanks to the two fermentations in the Brakspear 'Double Dop' system and another in bottle, this highly aromatic and satisfying strong beer delivers its rich flavour with subtlety and balance"
Brewery: F*ck knows, brewing of Brakspear beers was taken over by Wychwood in 2002 apparently, and it says Marston's PLC on the back of the bottle. We'll go with Wychwood.
ABV: 7.2%

Rating: Stronger than a 14 stone chimp

Game: Ordered Assassin's Creed 2 Limited Black Edition from and was expecting to be playing this. However at time of writing it has failed to arrive. I pre-ordered it back in JUNE, and they can't even arrange for it to be delivered on time. The complete knobcocks *quiet sigh*. Back to Modern Warfare 2 then... progressing nicely on Hardened difficulty.

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Sneck Lifter (Jennings)

Sneck Lifter
Name: Sneck Lifter
Label: "Strong ale - Pure Lake District"
Brewery: Jennings
ABV: 5.1%

Rating: I always think of necks when seeing the name. It has nothing to do with necks.

Game: It's come in for a lot of critiscm in Parliament and from "religious leaders", Modern Warfare 2 is jerking a lot of knees by the sounds of it. Most of what has currently been written is just sensationalist, lazy journalism. However, politicians and "religious leaders" are probably the kind of people who should actually sit down and play the darned thing. Maybe then they wouldn't be so quick to go to war in the first place. And to those PC people whinging that its just kids playing it, getting all desensitised, traumatised and other words ending in "ised",  why isn't the parenting issue being focused upon? The game and content is rated 18. So it's not for children. Children shouldn't be given the game, in the same way they shouldn't be given alcohol, cigarettes or smack.

Hooky Bitter (Hook Norton Brewery)

Name: Hooky BitterHooky Bitter
Label: "Where progress is measured in pints - Golden & well balanced"
Brewery: Hook Norton Brewery
ABV: 3.6%

Rating: It may be weaker than a day old kitten but it's a pint in a bottle - hooray!

Game: Here is my slightly more indepth review of Brütal Legend.

Saturday, 14 November 2009

Dark Lord (Batemans)

Name: Dark LordDark Lord
Label: "Dark ruby beer"
Brewery: Batemans
ABV: 5.0%

Rating: Their beers win Gold medals and everything.

Game: Finished the single player campaign for Brütal Legend, primary and secondary missions, now trying to mop up the collectables. May try multiplayer, although its solely RTS which was pretty good actually in single player, just unsure whether the annoyance factor can be handled in multiplayer... Full single player review coming soon.

Friday, 13 November 2009

Organic Ale (St. Peter's)

Name: Organic AleSt Peter's Organic Ale
Label: "Light malted barley and hops create a refreshingly wholesome flavoured ale"
Brewery: St. Peter's
ABV: 4.5%

Rating: It's organic, which means the more you drink the healthier you get... or something.

Game: Biggest release of the year! Yep Modern Warfare 2 has arrived and yep it's literally irresistable. Straight from the off its frantic, enemies and allies dropping like flies everywhere, bullets flying in all directions - complete bloody mayhem. And **spoiler alert** you get to massacre innocent civilians! Woohoo! Who hasn't wanted to walk into an airport terminal and spray bullets into innocent bystanders? Who hasn't??  Well me actually. I was smart and opted to shoot towards, but not at, the civilians, the goody two shoes that I am. It fooled Makarov anyway, at least until the end of the level....

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Bombardier (Wells)

Name: Bombardier
Label: "English - Premium Bitter - Brewed in the heart of England, this is a richly rewarding traditional, burnished copper ale, bursting with English spirit."
Brewery: Wells
ABV: 5.2%

Rating: Very English - some PC Councils will no doubt try to ban it at some point

Game: Still Ghostbustin'. The voice acting is terrific in this game, makes it worth playing just for that. And FIFA 10 is still annoyingly realistic. Got through to the 6th Round (quarter final ??) beating Watford 3 - 1 then get hammered at home 0 - 3 in the league to Sheffield United. Loss of concentration apparently according to Andy Gray....

Tanglefoot (Badger)

Name: Tanglefoot
Label: "Deceptively drinkable - Brewed for a crisp dry finish"
Brewery: Badger
ABV: 5.0%

Rating: The name is what happens when you drink lots of it apparently

Game: Today its more about a game not being played. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is out today and Sainsburys were selling it for £26. They had sold out by 8am - so their stock orderers are either complete fools or it was a genius idea to get people into Sainsburys stores. Asda were selling it for £32, again, sold out. Supermarkets obviously suck at judging demand and I refuse to pay £44.99 for it from Game, Gamestation or HMV when everyone else has been getting it for cheaps. Could these three stores not have varied their prices a little to add a bit of retail competition to proceedings? Or did they just price fix knowing the idiotic supermarkets would sell out in about two minutes? Who knows, and more importantly, who cares?

Sunday, 8 November 2009

Old Growler (Nethergate)

Name: Old GrowlerOld Growler
Label: "A robust superior porter - Award winning ale"
Brewery: Nethergate
ABV: 5.5%

Rating: Its bark is as good as its bite

Game: The video game adaptation of Ghostbusters is still fun to play even several hours in. Fun, scary, fun, great boss battles, and a bit more fun.  Longer Ghostbusters: The Video Game review here as this is supposed to be bite sized reviews not er.. three course meal reviews...

Friday, 6 November 2009

Cumberland Ale (Jennings)

Cumberland Ale
Name: Cumberland Ale
Label: "The genuine taste of the Lake District - since 1828 - Full flavoured with a delicate hop character, light yet robust"
Brewery: Jennings
ABV: 4.2%

Rating: Thankfully doesn't taste like sausages

Game: Whom is one going to contact? Ghostbusters are back with a boo! If you grew up in the Eighties and/or like Ghostbusters and you don't have a massive grin on your face when watching the opening sequence then you have no soul. You've already given up the ghost (rubbish pun intended).  Right from the off this feels like a solid game with a lot of potential. Amount of game played: about 10% so more reviewings in a later post.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Banana Bread Beer (Wells)

Banana Bread Beer
Name: Banana Bread Beer
Label: "Beer brewed with bananas"
Brewery: Wells
ABV: 5.2%

Rating: The thousandth bottle still tastes as good as the first.

Game: Down to the last RTS section of the Brütal Legend single player campaign. It's a real shame that the RTS sections tend to be slightly off-putting when thinking of what game to play. These sections definitely make this a "mood game" i.e. you really have to be in the mood for RTS to pick up and play this especially if you don't fancy slogging through the secondary missions. Revised rating: 7/10

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Mad Goose (Purity)

Name: Mad GooseMad Goose
Label: "Watch out for the goose, her hiss is far worse than her bite. Though she might drive you clucking mad, underneath it all she's not that bad - Award winning ales from Warwickshire"
Brewery: Purity
ABV: 5.0%

Rating: More excellent than mad

Game: The only downside to Halo 3: ODST is that it's really quite short. As it was originally intended to be a Halo 3 expansion/download this should not come as a complete surprise. As the price tag has also dropped significantly, now £24.99 - cheers Argos, you do now get more value for your pennies in this two disc set, with the addition of Firefight mode and Halo 3 multiplayer maps. The main campaign is well written and put together - it perfectly captures the atmosphere of a lonely trek through a destroyed New Mombasa searching for clues to the whereabouts of your squad mates. The fact that you're not Master Chief also means that you genuinely feel like you could get your ass severely kicked if you stumble across one of the strong Covenant forces patrolling the deserted city. Sneaking around like a big chicken is sometimes the order of the day (if chickens actually sneak or not though is debatable).

Saturday, 31 October 2009

Wainwright (Thwaites)

Name: WainwrightWainwright
Label: "Exquisitely Lovely Golden Ale - Celebrating the Lake District's most beloved author"
Brewery: Thwaites
ABV: 4.1%

Rating: A refreshing golden beer - should have drank more of it in the summer

Game: It didn't do particularly well in the "proper" reviews but Halo 3: ODST is a fine example of a franchise putting a different spin on a tried and tested formula and coming up with something that is different but instantly familiar. There's no Master Chief hogging all the lime-light this time and the game is better for it. It's been a while since Halo 3 so this has arrived at about the right time. Well worth a look - 8/10

Gentleman Jack (Shepherd Neame)

Gentleman Jack
Name: Gentleman Jack
Label: "A nut brown premium ale with a fruity hop aroma & bitter flavour notes - with a formidable left hook"
Brewery: Shepherd Neame (for Asda)
ABV: 5%

Rating: A malty, hoppy, satisfying ale

Game: There is so much to FIFA 10 that its going to last well into, ooh let's think, the Autumn of 2010? Manager Mode is a lot of fun, trying to get a two star rated Derby County into the Premiership - the Board wants to see at least a top half finish this season so we're well on track. But does FIFA 10 play some part in "fixing" games a bit? It's difficult to tell but sometimes results may vary to say the least. One minute your beating one of the top four 3 - 1. The next game you get beaten 0 - 2 at home to the team at the bottom of the league. Is this down to poor concentration perhaps or football just being a "a funny old game"?  Sometimes its about as easy to be consistent on FIFA 10 as it is for Liverpool FC in real life this season...

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Late Red (Shepherd Neame)

Late RedName: Late Red
Label: "Autumn Hop Ale"
Brewery: Shepherd Neame
ABV: 4.5%

Rating: Less is not more, more is more and I want more

Game: I don't mind games that are purposely difficult or a challenge to master e.g. Guitar Hero, Ninja Gaiden, My Horse and Me 2 (maybe not the last one). That's one of the things that makes games great. However, I do take offence to games that go to great lengths to make the experience unfair or annoying just for the sake of it. Lord of the Rings: Conquest is one of those games. Last level of the campaign playing as the goodies and there is a stage where you have to stop the orcs and trolls from taking over a certain area. Even if you've managed to accrue 100 lives by this point you will still fail the mission if you get overrun and will have to restart the entire level. So, your character can actually be killed in battle and you can respawn over and over again, but if you get overrun you fail the mission outright irrespective of how many lives you have left. The rest of your allies are dead and you are overrun but you don't get the chance to to be a one man orc slaying machine. Booo! A good game if you're a Lord of the Rings fan - dissapointing though  (and the graphics are a bit last-gen) - 6/10

Poacher's Choice (Badger)

Name: Poacher's ChoicePoacher's Choice
Label: "Rich, warm, fruity and deeply satisfying"
Brewery: Badger
ABV: 5.7%

Rating: The clocks have gone back, it's winter, drink this.

Game: FIFA 10 now has my face in it thanks to GameFace (and thanks to my employer for unwittingly providing me with a better spec PC to create it on). But it looks nothing like me! I'm all ugly, yellow looking and boss-eyed. Oh hang on a minute perhaps it is a pretty good likeness actually...

A tip for anyone wanting to get 1000/1000 on Silent Hill Homecoming: complete the game and finish with the "UFO ending". Up the difficulty to Hard and simply zap your way through the bad guys with the laser. With some strategically placed save files, 100% completion will be within sight before you know it.

Another tip (it is National Tip Day.. possibly), for the heads up on great gaming deals check this site out: They're looking for writers as well. I would apply but as can be seen from the quality of this blog, my writing skills are lower than below par so I've applied a self-imposed "need not apply" clause to their advert.

Monday, 26 October 2009

Wychcraft (Wychwood)

Name: Wychcraft
Label: "The four elements combined to create a truly magical brew - blonde beer"
Brewery: Wychwood
ABV: 4.5%

Rating: The elixir of flavour

Game: Heavy metal is alive and well on Xbox 360 thanks to Guitar Hero: Metallica and Brütal Legend. GH: Metallica is a superb collection of some of the highlights from the metal legends vast back catalogue complete with loads of guest artists to keep you shredding. This is the final word on the Guitar Hero franchise - there need be no more Guitar Heros or Rock Bands thank you very much. This is as good as it gets - 9/10.

Brütal Legend is a strange beast, it tries to be many genres wrapped up in one heavily riffed package. It mixes hack 'n slash button mashing with real time strategy with driving amongst other things and does each one admirably but there's always the nagging feeling that other games do their respective genres better than this amalgamation. However, it's got Jack Black in it and "the metal" so it automatically rocks and is great and gets 8/10.  Here's my full review at

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Circlemaster (Wychwood)

CirclemasterName: Circlemaster
Label: "Golden Pale Ale"
Brewery: Wychwood
ABV: 4.7%

Rating: Scarily good.

Game: A shed load of games on the go at the moment. Repurchased Halo 3 (awesome Legendary Edition), FIFA10, started to replay Silent Hill 4: The Room on Xbox original which has inspired a Silent Hill: Homecoming revival. Great game, very "Silent Hill", great soundtrack, great weird kinda distant quirky characters, plus 5 different endings each worth 50 points each means its essential playing, especially in the run up to Halloween. Also giving Need for Speed Shift a whirl. Cockpit view is the best so far of the racing genre and the speed of the cars is almost sickening. Its great trying to play it after ale - a great advert for not drinking and driving. Remember, only complete f*cking ar*eholes drink and drive...

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Oyster Stout (Marston's)

Oyster Stout
Name: Oyster Stout
Label: "Dark - Rich - Smooth"
Brewery: Marston's
ABV: 4.5%

Rating: Ace, shame about the name

Game: Gone a bit Halo mad this week. Rebought Halo: Combat Evolved and Halo 2 for Xbox and rebought Halo 3 (Legendary Edition) on the Xbox 360. Also rebought Halo Wars **must stop selling/trading games**. So whilst waiting for Halo 3 and Master Chief's shiny helmet to arrive, Halo, Halo 2 and Halo Wars are on the platter, also trying to squeeze in some awesome FIFA 10.

Saturday, 3 October 2009

Badger First Gold (Badger)

Name: Badger First Gold
Label: "A noble character - Brewed with First Gold single English Hop - Established 1777"
Brewery: Badger
ABV: 4%

Rating: Literally - World Champion 2005

Game: Another year, another FIFA game. This year its surprisingly called FIFA 10. Released a whole three weeks before PES 2010: Pro Evolution Soccer and now recognised as the best of the genre, FIFA 10 was a must-buy. Plus the word "Soccer" is definitely not to be trusted. Created a team which hopefully other users can sign up to - current squad size is one (me) so take up has been a bit slow thus far. Started Management Mode too and also created me in the game. I did try to use the EA Sports GameFace program on the PC which supposedly would create a true 3D likeness of me in the game, however this needs a PC with 2GB of RAM to work. 2GB?!?  Didn't they land on the moon running software that was about 16kb in size?  The game though is top notch.

Friday, 2 October 2009

Hobgoblin (Wychwood)

Name: Hobgoblin
Label: "Traditionally Crafted Legendary Ruby Beer"
Brewery: Wychwood
ABV: 5.2%

Rating: Ooooh scary zombies!

Game: Decapitating my way through Left 4 Dead on this occasion. Undeterred by the previous nights seemingly unwarranted "Vote to kick Bickle77 out of the session" shenanigans, I again braved online multiplayer.  Managed to get through all the main campaign chapters without too much hassle. One of the problems with this game though is a complete lack of coherent story other than trying to get away from bazillions of zombies. As its multiplayer oriented this is to be expected I suppose. Had a new friend request from a fellow zombie botherer too which was nice. Another player sent me a message that simply said "Bögfan", complete with umlauts.  Presumably it's Welsh or something and a derogatory term but haven't the foggiest idea what it means (Googled it and everything). Anyone know? I blocked their username incase it means something scary anyway.

Monday, 28 September 2009

Burton Bitter (Marston's)

Burton Bitter
Name: Burton Bitter
Label: "Brewed at the Marston's Brewery Burton Upon Trent - Established 1834"
Brewery: Marston's
ABV: 3.8%

Rating: Smooth

Game: Manchester City Vs West Ham in glorious HD. Not a video game but its a bit like FIFA, except not as good.  City win convincingly 3 - 1 and Tevez should have scored a couple of hatricks. He was probably missing on purpose... Amount of words he said during the post match interview = 0. Still, his English is a lot better than my Argentinian, or Spanish or whatever language it is.

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Old Empire (Marston's)

Name: Old EmpireOld Empire
Label: "Original Export - India Pale Ale"
Brewery: Martson's
ABV: 5.7%

Rating: The Empire Strikes Back

Game: Took Afro Samurai to the checkout in Asda and the dude behind the counter proceeded to excitedly inform me about all the ways you get to dismember your enemies in the game.  He seemed very pleased with the idea of being able to remove enemies arms, legs, scalps and then cut them in half. So getting slightly scared I hurriedly agreed and said it did look most cool, especially the nice cel-shaded graphics. This prompted excited chatter about the upcoming Borderlands game with its fancy cel-shaded graphics and infinite amount of guns.  Game purchased, followed by a swift retreat with Asda colleagues words "I love guns, me..." fading into the distance.

Fiddler's Elbow (Wychwood)

Name: Fiddler's ElbowFiddler's Elbow
Label: "Wheat Brewed"
Brewery: Wychwood
ABV: 4.5%

Rating: Quaffable

Game: IL2 Sturmovik: Birds of Prey again. Now this was pretty damn annoying as for the second time, mission objectives were completed but the mission didn't end. This resulted in a switch off rather than aimlessly flying around until the end of time. Glitchy games suck so it goes on the trade pile and is docked a point. Revised rating: 5/10

Next up is Left 4 Dead. A multiplayer game if ever there was one, this is the first game I've seen where "Single Player" is the last option on the menu. Not brave enough to play it multiplayer yet, the single player mode is first choice to get used to the maps before venturing online. Beware of stupid AI team members - if you die right near the end of the level thanks to their ineptitude (or your general shitness at the game in my case), its back to the start of the level for you. The fact that getting vomitted on attracts a flock of zombies automatically warrants an 8/10. Genius.

Friday, 25 September 2009

Fursty Ferret (Badger)

Fursty Ferret
Name: Fursty Ferret
Label: Country Crafted - Dorset Ales - Real Character - 1777
Brewery: Badger
ABV: 4.4%

Rating: Cheeky Bastard

Game: Playing MK Vs DC again. Story mode beaten both ways. Got to see Midway's pleasant "Thank you for playing" message at the end of the credits. No... thank you Midway. Thank you for such a great game. Shame you've gone bust - 8/10

Also on the 'Box was IL2 Sturmovik: Birds of Prey. Interesting flight sim but slowly spiralling into yawn city on Arcade mode.  Realistic mode is a bit tricky and Simulation mode is just crazy difficult.  If it was really like that flying one of those planes in the war I'd have been deaded before I'd even got to the cockpit - 6/10.

Next was Pinball FX. Pinball games are great. Fact.  And this was a steal at only 400 MS points from XBLA Marketplace. It gets docked a point though because several of the achievements are only gettable after downloading further tables (at 200 MS points each) naughty naughty - smacked botties time for Micro$oft - 6/10