Monday, 31 December 2012
Label: "Brewed with roasted malts for a well-balanced, rich, smooth taste, a beer full of mischievous character"
Rating: Tastes even better out of my awesome new Hobgoblin pint glass. Click the picture and marvel at its greatness.
Game: The game of Game of Thrones is a great game about the game of thrones. Graphics are ok and animation is a bit wonky but the actual story-line and how it slots into the wider picture is really well done. Appearances and cameos by the more famous characters from the Seven Kingdoms are most pleasing. Happy New Year!
Friday, 28 December 2012
Label: "Quality brewing since 2004 - The mysterious White Horse is the most ancient chalk carving in Britain, dating back to the Bronze Age. This elegant chalk carving is located in the hills just above the White Horse Brewery, where traditional brewing craftmanship is kept alive & quality local ingredients are used to produce magnificent beers."
Brewery: White Horse
Rating: "As the snow piles up against the door & the wind whistles over pub chimneys, it's time to find a beer of noble heart & passionate tradition. Chestnut red in colour, the explosion of flavour will transfix the tongue while warm citrus & candied peel flavours mix with the dryness of a drawn out fermentation to produce a fabulous winter warmer." Who writes these descriptions? They're absolutely brilliant and luckily the beer is too. Win win.
Game: Annoyingly spent about an hour trying to kill a black panther using just a bow and arrow in Far Cry 3. It's one of the Path of the Hunter side quests. Kept getting mauled to death. I need to craft some syringes to boost my skills but I can't be arsed getting the ingredients. I'm too stubborn sometimes. Mince pie time.
Tuesday, 25 December 2012
Label: "Bah humbug, a Christmas Ale"
Brewery: Oxfordshire Ales
Rating: "Oxfordshire Ales is a family business, passionate about contemporary ales, brewed in the time-honoured way using the finest ingredients. We draw spring water, known in Marsh Gibbon folklore for its healing properties from the village spring at Stump Well. Our malt is from Britain's oldest floor maltings; our barley is grown on the Hampshire chalk downlands and the hops in the Pride of Oxford are Cascade and Perle." I knew it! Beer (especially this one) has healing properties!
Game: Santa is ace. He must have seen how much I liked Game of Thrones on telly that he fetched me the game this year! It's looking good, despite its middling reviews. Happy Christmas, one and all!
Friday, 21 December 2012
Label: "Craft brewed in Scotland - Crisp Clean Citrus - Unusual name, unusual beer"
Brewery: Harviestoun Brewery
Rating: "This copper coloured beer is brewed with pale and crystal malts with a touch of roast barley. The hop additions are Challenger for bitterness and Styrian for its floral citrus aroma. A balanced and very moreish beer. Best served chilled." You know, like a snowman!
Game: So today I had to take over an enemy encampment. There were about six or seven pirates guarding the camp and no way to disable the alarm without being spotted... and I was almost totally out of ammo. Luckily I noticed a large, angry looking bear caged up within the camp. I took up a hidden position several hundred metres away. The bamboo cage door was no match for the single remaining bullet from my sniper rifle. The wood splintered and broke and the bear was unleashed. Mr. Bear then proceeded to maul every pirate to death for me. They tried but could not kill the beast, even with their not-so-fancy AK-47s. Losers. I sneaked into the camp and debated whether or not to go over to the bear and give him a big hug, he had just helped me out after all. Deciding that this course of action would probably end badly i.e. evisceration, I instead opted to loot the nearest dead pirate for ammo and proceeded to empty an entire clip into bear hide. I then skinned him. Sorry mate, ha ha ha ha. *Sob* I loved that bear. Mixed emotions... and that's why Far Cry 3 is so great.
Monday, 17 December 2012
Label: "With great beer comes great wisdom but we only care about the great beer - Golden Ale"
Brewery: Joseph Holt of Manchester
Rating: "Over 100 years of the collective wisdom and passion of our current brewing staff has been crafted into this light fruity golden ale."
Game: Visually Far Cry 3 is superb. The islands are teeming with wildlife too. And what's the first thing you do when you see loads of wild animals? Slaughter them of course and then skin them to make wallets and weapon holsters. The skinning of animals has become quite popular in video games for some reason. In Assassin's Creed III, I didn't feel like there was much purpose to this animal bothering but with Far Cry it's a necessity. Especially if you want to take on the island's baddies with more than just a pea shooter and a small pebble.
Saturday, 15 December 2012
Label: "Tongham Surrey - Premium Golden Ale - ...the Golden Ale - Brewery conditioned: for all the taste without the sediment"
Brewery: Hogs Back Brewery
Rating: "Enjoy HOP, a refreshing hoppy pale golden ale with a good balance of aroma and bitterness from the finest English Malted Barley and 'Choicest' fresh whole English Hops..."
Game: Wasn't going to get Far Cry 3 because I was a little put off by Far Cry 2. Bit silly because I quite enjoyed Far Cry 2. I say 'quite enjoyed' as some bits of it were major suck and the thought of playing it all again (albeit re-skinned as a tropical island rather than Africa) left me a little cold. So as is normally the case recently, I got it anyway. So far, there's still a faint whiff of Far Cry 2 but it's obvious this third installment is a different beast entirely.
Monday, 10 December 2012
Label: "The New Forest beer"
Rating: "Beer has been brewed in Ringwood for centuries ever since medieval man first mixed the crystal water of the River Avon with the malted barley harvested from the surrounding fertile fields of Hampshire. Fortyniner, a celebration of the New Forest, is a full bodied premium golden beer with a deep bitter-sweet finish. Brewed with Maris Otter barley, Goldings, Progress, Fuggles, and Challenger hops." Hey, medieval man! You're the greatest!!
Game: Thanks to getting rid of the 'Abomination' (formerly known as Duke Nukem Forever) I was able to crack on with Hitman: Absolution. It's a brilliant game, I start each level out with good stealthy intentions but as the level progresses it usually just degenerates into a massive bloody shoot-out with me (Agent 47) walking around like the Terminator, head-shotting everyone. Great fun. Although I read this on Twitter, "If you're playing Hitman like a shooter & enjoying it you're an idiot." I love being an idiot.
Saturday, 8 December 2012
Label: "Golden Zesty Ale - Hop variety: Amarillo - Craft beers"
Rating: "A refreshing golden ale packed full of Amarillo hops from across the pond. Dizzy Blonde started life as a summer seasonal beer but incredible success has allowed us to back it as one permanently available in our pubs and now in bottle. Nicknamed Peggy, she is a vibrant beer with a distinctive wild aromatic hop. Enjoy the spirit of innovation that comes with Robinsons Craft Beers." Dizzy Blonde, great beer. Is the name a teeny tiny bit sexist nowadays maybe? I'll let you decide. Nothing compared to the game reviewed below though...
Game: Ok, I did it. I got rid of Duke Nukem Forever and I wasn't even halfway through. I couldn't take it anymore. I could no longer stomach the pathetic graphics, the stupid sexist 'jokes' and storyline, the abominable animation, even "The Dukes" voice started to sound like fingernails down a blackboard. The final straw came soon after the classily named level "Duke Nukem's Titty City". Duke was trapped in a toilet, of which there are many for some reason. He picks up a turd out of the toilet, says something banal like, "Huh, that's disgusting - I'm a f*ckin' idiot, huh huh" and chucks it at the wall. Oh, the hilarity of it all. Nah, it wasn't for me, sorry... 2/10
Monday, 3 December 2012
Label: "Polish hop - Single hop - Blonde ale with a herbal, berry fruit & floral aroma"
Rating: "A relative newcomer developed in Poland around 25 years ago, Marynka delivers a pale Blonde Ale with a distinctive herbal spice aroma and undertones of dark berry fruit."
Game: Finished a lot of games over the past view days. Saved the world in XCOM, saved the world in Assassin's Creed 3, and, er... saved the world in Halo 4. And that ladies and gentlemen is a lot of world-saving. Still going steady with Hitman: Absolution too and tried to get back into Duke Nukem Forever tonight. After about thirty minutes of Duke, this little thought popped into my mind: "Oh God, please make this end." A quick check on IGN's walkthrough and was dismayed to find I'm not even a third of the way through...
Tuesday, 27 November 2012
Label: "Strong, dark & rich - Handcrafted in the Cotswold Hills since 1849"
Brewery: Hook Norton
Rating: "Twelve Days is a strong dark brown beer, offering a dominantly malty palate with nutty overtones, giving way to a lyrical sweetness that speaks for its strength. It is a fine partner to the cheese board. Cheers!". It's nearly Christmas, yay! Well... nearly December.. close enough.
Game: Finally! My Hitman: Absolution pre-order arrived, only four days late but who's counting? (..narrows eyes and looks in The Hut's direction...). So far so excellent though. I don't recall a previous gaming experience where you can murder a load of targets, then stroll out of the area disguised in a giant Charlie the Chipmunk suit, with the game still evoking an air of deadly seriousness and suspense. A work of art. 8/10
Saturday, 17 November 2012
Label: "Tenax Propositi - Gold award SIBA East bottled beer competition"
Rating: "A truly traditional English Bitter Ale, a blend of finest Pale Ale, Amber and Crystal malt is used for the fruity malty flavour and generous portions of English Hop varities (Challenger, Goldings and Fuggles) to give a well developed hop character.This beer is brewed by Elgood's & Sons at the North Brink brewery, a 5th generation family firm, still fighting to keep the business thriving! Warrior is an expression of the independence that has kept this brewery in solely private hands since 1795."
Game: I was really tempted to go for the staff writer job at the awesome X360 Magazine. This is one of my favourite ever magazines. Imagine having a job at your favourite magazine! The only drawbacks to applying that I can see are; not being able to write very well, living about 500 miles away, no applicable qualifications and a host of other reasons too numerous to mention. Maybe if I was younger and not tied down I'd give it a whirl. It's times like these that this tweet from @MrMichaelSpicer particularly resonates with me: "Don't you hate it when you put the dishwasher on and then find some dirty cups elsewhere and then regret the decisions you made in your 20s?"
Wednesday, 14 November 2012
Label: "Winter's Ale - Elf Warning: Too much Winter's Ale may be bad for your elf, and may impair your ability to drive a sleigh or operate toy-making machinery"
Rating: "Tis a heavy hand what adds the hops to this festive amber ale. Truth be told, there's near to three pounds of fresh hops goes in every barrel of this treasured brew. And it's conditioned in the bottle, so please pour gently into your best flagon, leaving that wee bit of natural yeast behind. Ere's to your Elf!" Elves and Santa hats - time to get festive! Because it's... er... mid-November..?
Game: Finally finished Resident Evil 6! It always seemed to be a bit of a chore to load it up but then once things were underway I realised again it's actually a pretty great game and wondered why I felt so not in the mood for it every time. Oh, but the left thumbstick-waggling quick time events can go do one. Really. Annoying.
Saturday, 10 November 2012
Label: "Based on an authentic recipe first introduced around 1740 - The town of Carlow is noted for the Brownshill Dolmen, a megalithic portal tomb, that weighs an estimated 100 tons and is said to be the heaviest in Europe. The tomb has never been excavated."
Brewery: Carlow Brewing Company
Rating: "Dark, roasted, bittersweet with an intense coffee & chocolate finish.A unique blend of roasted malts and bitter hops ensures a deliciously balanced and smooth flavour."
Game: Oh no! I just pre-ordered Hitman: Absolution! All this recent game-purchasing is getting ridiculous. I blame Eurogamer (for some reason I've yet to think of). Mitigating circumstances: it was only £19.99 from The Hut when you buy a hoody. And hoodies are my favourite type of clothing after ushankas.
Friday, 9 November 2012
Label: "Tolly Cobbold - Full flavoured red - Brewed in Bury St Edmunds"
Brewery: Greene King
Rating: "This fine amber ale has been brewed using a complex mix of hops to offer balanced bitterness with strong tropical notes. All the flavour you would expect from a great English ale but at only alc. 2.8% vol." Hang on... they seem to be saying here that low alcohol is a good thing...? Surely someone at the brewery has taken leave of their senses, you may be thinking. No! It's a brilliant session beer!
Game: Current sitrep on XCOM:
- my squad is awesome (they've got plasma weapons, mind control, armour where I can pick the colour and everything)
- only three countries have left the council
- all available satellites have been deployed (very important)
- I need to buy some better aircraft
- I need to change everyone's armour from pink to something more manly (it was funny for one mission but I think they're getting cross with me).
Thursday, 8 November 2012
Label: "Oak aged like no other beer - Full-bodied Scottish beer bursting with fruit and spicy notes"
Brewery: Innis & Gunn
Rating: "This ruby beer is matured over the finest rum-infused American Oak heartwood resulting in a beer with a delicious warming character that is bursting with fruit and lively spiciness. These vibrant flavours perfectly balance the beer's toffee-malt backbone making it an ideal accompaniment to game meats like venison or duck. It is sublime with mature cheeses served with good chutneys and relishes." Beer with a backbone, come get some.
Game: A game-free evening! What madness is this? Now my weekly Raptr report will say I only played for 6000 hours this week rather than the normal 7000. I was watching Game of Thrones by the way. If you're late to the game (like I was) and don't know what it is (I don't know, you might be an alien or something), it's a ridiculously good TV series about swords, battles, politics; with a sprinkling of wolves, boobs and dragons.
Wednesday, 7 November 2012
Label: "Wojtek was a magnificent 500lb Syrian Bear who served in WW2 alongside a unit of Polish Soldiers. Believing he was a man, Wojtek shared their beer, their cigarrettes and, eventually, their fate. See more at: www.wojtekfilm.com"
Rating: "Wojtek, like the bear it is named after, this beer is powerful, deep golden, and full of character. A medley of old and new world hops provide an aroma of hop resin and a very distinctive dry finish of citrus fruit and juniper." I much prefer a bear that shares your beer rather than tries to rip your face off. A good compromise.
Game: The naval element of Assassin's Creed 3 is brilliant. Miles better than the tower defence type sections in Revelations. Blowing stuff up with cannon is most fun. Although it can get quite tricky to steer... I crashed the boat into some rocks and yet I could have sworn I heard someone say "Well driven, Cap'n." Well driven? Someone doth take the piss, surely. Still gets 9/10, I've not happened across any bugs or glitches yet either.
Tuesday, 6 November 2012
Label: "Brewed in London with the knowledge"
Rating: "Named in honour of that icon of the Capital, the famous London taxi, this tasty dark beer, from London's only traditional brewery, will transport you to the days when porters and stouts were Londoners drink of choice. Now being rediscovered by today's discerning drinker, this style of stout delivers a rich full flavour from the chocolate malts in the brew, giving way to a satisfying creamy finish."
Game: At last, Halo 4 has arrived, it seems like years since Halo 3 came out (I think it has actually been years since Halo 3 came out). The visuals to Halo 4 look absolutely stunning, at times during the opening cinematic I couldn't tell whether it was live action or computer generated. If this is what's possible as we draw closer to the end of the Xbox 360's life, it certainly bodes well for next-gen.
Wednesday, 31 October 2012
Label: "Evil Pumpkin Beer - Trick Or Treat! The original evil pumpkin beer!"
Rating: "This rich, ruby ale is brewed with pumpkin & mace to add a gently warming seasonal spiciness. Hints of toffee & a luscious depth of dried fruit & caramel are perfectly balanced by complex hop flavours. It's the perfect Halloween treat. - Jeff Drew, Head Brewer."
Game: Not only is it Halloween, where the object is to drink as many Halloween themed beers as possible, but it's also Assassin's Creed III's birthday! This Halloween is like Christmas! Lets hope this Christmas isn't like Halloween, because that would be rubbish!
Anyway, Raptr automatically added me a Facebook status saying I was "Playing Assassin's Creed III for the first time", to which one of my 'friends' derogatorily commented: "That's one to tell the grandchildren". My response: "Too right. The things I'll be able to tell them about life in 1752 Boston and witnessing the birth of a nation." In your face 'friend'! Take that! Respond to that, bitch! Talk to the hand etc etc. I'm not sure whether I got the year right, I was always rubbish at History.
Assassin's Creed III, the XCOM killer, already gets 9/10 and I've only played it for three hours so far.
Thursday, 25 October 2012
Label: "Single hop - English hop - Blonde ale with an aroma of spices, honey & caramel"
Rating: "The quintessential noble English hop. Grown in Kent for more than 200 years and the foundation for many traditional bitters, Goldings delivers a pale Blonde Ale with subtle spice, honey and caramel notes." I could have drunk gallons of this, alas, I only had one bottle. It's that good even the bottle looks drunk in the picture.
Game: Still not been able to shift my current XCOM addiction. All the other games have gone out the window. Literally. There's a pile of games on the path three storeys below my window all with sad faces. DLC has been announced for XCOM too. With Halo 4 and Assassin's Creed 3 imminent, are these going to end up on the pavement as well?
Tuesday, 23 October 2012
Label: "Single malt - Finest Somerset Beers - This impressive bird is also known as the Arctic Owl or Great White Owl - Cotleigh supports The Hawk and Owl Trust which is a registered UK charity dedicated to conserving birds of prey and their habitat"
Rating: "A golden coloured premium beer brewed using only pale Flagon malt, this beer has a full bodied long lasting and moreish taste with a hint of citrus from Golding's hops."
Game: Trying to play a bit of Resident Evil 6 tonight to get over my current XCOM addiction. Going quite well, although I keep thinking of XCOM. XCOM is one of those games where you're thinking, "Just one mission tonight," then, "I'll play something else in a minute", which leads to, "Shit is that the time, I need to go to bed", which further leads to, "No point going to bed, will be getting up in a minute!"
Monday, 22 October 2012
Label: "Est. Wisbech 1795"
Rating: "A premium pale ale style, Indian Summer is a beer created to enjoy in the long late summer evenings, a lovely golden hue with a refreshing slightly sweet palate. Made from the finest Maris Otter Malt, with the addition of a small amount of Crystal malt, the full palate is balanced by the bitterness and hop character from choicest English Challenger hops." Drinking this seems to have coincided with an actual, real Indian summer happening in real life! The bizarre world of beer and video games eh?
Game: Trying desperately to get stuck into Dishonored but the past few nights have been dominated by XCOM related extra-terrestrial hi-jinks The second play through has started surprisingly well by going twelve (12!) whole missions without seeing the dreaded KIA message. It's absolutely gutting when one of your squad members gets killed. Hopefully my remaining crew and the new 'rookie' can hold it together during the next mission, else I'll have to start doing what all good military commanders do - press start and load a previous save.
Saturday, 20 October 2012
Label: "Ruby ale - Dylan Thomas 1914 - 1953"
Brewery: S. A. Brains
Rating: "Brewed in the name of Willy Nilly, the postman made famous by Dylan Thomas' Under Milk Wood, this is a distinctive ruby ale with a traditional rich hop aroma, complimented with a fruity and more-ish finish. Goes exceptionally well with chicken, burgers and fruity desserts."
Game: It's a tough job running a crack team of bad-ass alien botherers. XCOM: Enemy Unknown starts off fairly easy, you feel like your team are invincible. You start getting cocky, then the aliens get really tough, all your best soldiers get killed, all the countries you're protecting leave the Council and you doom the world to alien domination. Time for a second play-through...
P.S. I 'm quite impressed I didn't resort to any juvenile penis related puns despite this post containing both the words "willy" and "cocky".
Thursday, 18 October 2012
Label: "Dorothy Goodbody's - Bottle conditioned - Superior quality ale"
Brewery: Wye Valley
Rating: "Our Dorothy loves English brown ale - but only when it's brewed to her liking. This one boasts a deeply fruity aroma leading to a rich, full flavour with raisins and malt sweetness and culminates in a rounded, roast-grain finish. As Dorothy says, it's blissfull!"
Game: Retro gaming is great isn't it. Actually no it's not. I've had an epiphany. The thought of retro gaming is great. Actually playing the retro game, not so great. Take yesterday for example, I eagerly downloaded Carmageddon and it went something like this:
"Character select screen! Max Damage and Die Anna just like I remember, an excellent play on words given the context of the game."
"Wow the music sounds better than I remember."
"Just ran someone over! Bonus style points too *lol*"
"Wow the car handles like... like... a big poo with wheels... Just... like... I... remember... *sigh*"
"Is that the time? Dishonored time!"
Don't get me wrong, I like retro gaming but I'm suddenly of a mind where I don't get why I'd want to play an old game when there are so many amazing new games out there! Simple equation: Dishonored > Carmageddon = play Dishonored.
Tuesday, 16 October 2012
Label: "Brewed in London - Sambrook's Brewery is based in Battersea, London, nestled between the river Wandle and the Battersea Power Station. We use the finest ingredients to create hand crafted ales."
Rating: "Pumphouse Pale Ale is named after the iconic Pumphouse in Battersea Park. This golden coloured ale is packed full of hop character, which give it a sharp, marmalade taste and a spicy, slightly citrus aroma. Ideal for spicy food, or simply when you are longing for a thirst quenching pint."
Game: An open letter to 2K Games and Firaxis Games. XCOM: Enemy Unknown is one of the best games I've played for a number of years. And I've played a lot of games over the last couple of years (and drank a lot of beer).
Wednesday, 10 October 2012
Label: "Reach for a Screech - Strong IPA"
Brewery: Castle Rock
Rating: "Screech Owl IPA is strong, powerful and deft whilst remaining perfectly balanced. Brewed by the award-winning Castle Rock Brewery, it's a Pale Ale that soars high. Now brewed for bottle with a higher hopping rate, it delivers the enhanced flavour profile demanded by the modern beer drinker. American hops provide additional aggression to the recipe and rip into the palate in a way akin to the deliverance from the talons of nature's natural predators. We say 'Reach for a Screech' but exercise caution!" You literally can't beat an aggressive beer.
Game: Just coming up to about half-way in the four single player campaigns for Resident Evil 6. Yeah, FOUR campaigns! And nearly half-way through means I've nearly finished... er... two of them. Amazing game, superb movie-like cutscenes and action sequences. I don't remember playing an over-the-shoulder third person shooter before where you get to fly a jumbo jet, a helicopter, a jet fighter, drive a jeep, be a gunner on said jeep and have fights against massive mutant bosses. More fun than you can shake a vial of C-Virus at. 8/10.
Label: "Premio Caffe Birra - Brewed and bottled in Scotland"
Brewery: Traditional Scottish Ales Ltd
Rating: Great stuff, I can literally taste the coffee! Strange though, on the label it says brewed in Scotland but it also says imported to Australia. And I bought it from a Sainsburys in the UK. So it's gone from Scotland to Australia to England. Small bottle, big carbon footprint.
Game: More quality journalism from the BBC here, related to 'screen addiction'. Since when has the Xbox been a 'portable hand-held computer games console' anyway? I tried carrying mine around today on the train and it was a complete disaster! Couldn't play a thing on it! Plus balancing the 50 inch plasma telly on my knee was never going to end well.
Before the advent of digital devices, people who read books a lot were called 'bookworms', whereas nowadays people who game a lot or go on their PC a lot are called 'addicts'.
Saturday, 6 October 2012
Label: "Refreshing zesty beer with a hint of lemon of ginger"
Rating: "A refreshing zesty golden ale with a delicately hopped flavour and gently fragrant aroma due to the late addition of Lemon and Ginger, it's a beer to savour and enjoy."
Game: After Eurogamer, any trace of gaming burnout has definitely been put to bed. The more games the better at the moment, and fortunately it's that time of year again where there are literally millions of games coming out. So first starters, I'm now playing Resident Evil 6, whilst wearing a Resident Evil 6 t-shirt!
Monday, 1 October 2012
Label: "A ghostly pale ale"
Rating: "Suffolk's shore is littered with the eerie wrecks of smuggling ships, the ghost town of Dunwich and endless haunting tales. It was this colourful history that inspired Adnams Ghost Ship. This ghostly pale ale has good assertive pithy bitterness with a malty backbone and a lemon and lime aroma." Another scarily good ale from the Adnams family!
Game: Ok so this year I was a total Expo virgin. But after Eurogamer Expo 2012 I'm hooked, so much so I'm already planning for the trip to Eurogamer 2013! Below is my survival guide (for me to read back to myself as 2013's Expo approaches):
1. Don't get anxious about the travel. It's easy, don't be such a chicken. Book the train in advance so it's cheap, including a ticket for the Underground that covers Zone 1. All your travel covered on one handy ticket - just don't lose it!
2. Be prepared to queue up for stuff as it's mega busy. For some reason I was reluctant to spend time queuing up so missed out on some things. There's nothing wrong with queuing up for an hour, you're there for 8 or 9 hours at least!
3. Don't be scared of spoilers. I missed out on quite a few games because I didn't want to spoil them as I have them on pre-order. At the time this seemed perfectly logical. With hindsight it's completely ridiculous.
4. Pre-arrange to meet up with people. I wanted to meet up with some Twitter folk even though I'm not the most sociable person and it probably would have been well awkward at first. Mobile and 3G reception in the venue was rubbish. Man up and meet outside.
5. Take a colostomy bag. The toilets are grim. I pity the poor soul who was tasked with hosing them down after the event.
Point 5 is optional. The above might sound like I had a rubbish time. I didn't, it was ace. I just want next year to be even acer!
Sunday, 30 September 2012
Label: "A crystal wheat beer - Brewed in the Highlands of Scotland"
Rating: "Bavarian style wheat beer, with additional hints of roast malt for colour. Brewed with orange peel and coriander to give fruit flavours with a hint of spice." It also says on the label to respect alcohol. I respect it by trying to drink it all of the time (in moderation of course).
Game: Made it back alive from Eurogamer Expo 2012! It was absolutely brilliant, its a pity we didn't buy tickets for the whole weekend! Such a turnaround of feeling apprehensive three days ago, to now already trying to plan for Eurogamer 2013!
Thursday, 27 September 2012
Label: "We use lightweight bottles because they are better for the environment" Er.. you mean because they're cheaper to produce right...?
Rating: "Zingy, smooth and always exceptional, Marston's EPA is a light blonde ale with subtle citrus flavours and a delicate aftertaste. Now that's refreshingly different." And exceptional it truly is. And a low enough abv means you can drink it midweek on a work night! And on the way to work the next day too! And while you're at work too! (That's a joke by the way. I would never drink on a work night.)
Game: This weekend sees the arrival of the Eurogamer Expo in London. And I'm going! Woo-hoo! Although I'm really nervous about it. For a paranoid agoraphobe who thinks everyone will be out to get me, going all the way down to London is a massive, massive deal. Also I'll need to go on the tube. I'm scared of a) being pushed in front of a train and b) getting my dangly bits (on my hoody) caught in the closing doors. If I actually make it to the venue come and find me, I'll be the one giving out FREE bottles of ale! (not really).
Label: "Raise a glass - Help for heroes endorsed product"
Brewery: Tetley's (or the swish sounding, but slightly less snappy "Joshua Tetley & Son")
Rating: "Tetley's Trust is a deeply rewarding 5.2% dark Porter. Brewed using chocolate malt and Fuggles hops, this deliciously dusky ale has a rich, luscious mouthfeel. Hints of chocolate and coffee are balanced by a subtle toffee sweetness and gentle bitterness. A beer fit to support all our British Heroes." I always thought Tetley just did draught bitter and mild. I've learnt two new things today then, they brew an excellent Porter and 'mouthfeel' is a word (stop sniggering at the back).
Game: So Asura's Wrath ended then... It was a good game although I started to realise that even if you missed the quick-time events, you still progressed through the game. So if you're really really lazy, you could feasibly just sit and watch it until the occasional boss battle. And then you'd just need to press B a bit and then Y, and then finish with RT (these detailed technical instructions are for use with Xbox 360 version only by the way, usage on other systems may result in death or serious injury). I still give it 7/10 though, just because it's bonkers.
Tuesday, 25 September 2012
Label: "Aromatic Golden Ale - Microbrewed for maximum flavour - Brewed in Alloa"
Brewery: Williams Bros
Rating: "In Scotland we welcome the return of the sun whenever it deigns to shower us with its warm rays... the cloud and rain will just have to get over it. A light amber beer with lovely citrus aromas, slightly sweet and fruity." Could do with a bit of sun at the moment as it's rained constantly for sixty hours at least. If the sun is a no-show, will settle for beer instead. Infact, I'd prefer beer rather than sunshine thinking about it.
Game: Free DLC! Argul's Tomb for Darksiders 2 arrives today, although somehow I was emailed my code early and so downloaded it on Sunday! The DLC is generally pretty good with an excellent boss fight to round things off. My only grumble is the fact that it's a standalone dungeon accessed from the main menu rather than a proper visit-able place on the main campaign map. Mustn't grumble though as it was free. Grumbling ceased. Dragon slaying commenced.
Sunday, 23 September 2012
Label: "Quality Welsh beer - This beer is named after the Bronze Age Celts. Recent discoveries in Bavaria have shown Celtic tribes were brewing as far back as 800 BC. The name Bracis-Curmi (malted beer) traces back to the ancient Celtic language or proto-celtic, an age where Celts were some of the first beer produces in Europe"
Brewery: The Celt Experience
Rating: "This organically crafted ale has a delightful rich bronze colour and is distinguished by a full bodied character with crystal maltiness. A lovely delicate sweetness soon develops into a long hop finish through the traditional blend of hops. Drinkers will enjoy the real traditional values of this great smooth ale."
Game: As I play this, I almost want to say Asura's Wrath is one of the best games I've ever played! It's just a brilliant interactive entertainment experience and very different to a lot of the recent stuff that's available. Although I might just be high from the varnish fumes in the room. I've been varnishing cupboards all day in an enclosed space... not good.
Label: "Golden ale - A pale golden beer with zesty citrus aromas and a crisp, uplifting taste"
Rating: "Easy drinking all year round and robust enough to accompany most foods, Horizon is a pale golden beer with zesty citrus aromas and a crisp, uplifting taste."
Game: I got a WTF game. For me Asura's Wrath is a WTF game. You start off in space, without a space suit, flying around shooting stuff with laser bolt things. It's totally bonkers. But it looks awesome and the gameplay and presentation makes it difficult to put down.
Saturday, 22 September 2012
Label: "Wolf Brewery will make a donation of 10p per bottle sold to The Royal British Legion"
Brewery: Wolf Brewery
Rating: "Poppy Ale is a hoppy golden session ale with added honey to give a delicate yet more-ish flavour." Opium is made from poppy tears!
Game: Yikes, Darksiders 2 seemed to end rather suddenly. Thankfully I've not heard of anyone trying to get the developers to write new endings which is good. Time for New Game+ but I really regret not doing the side-missions and I can't go back now.
Label: "Classic ale brewed with Cornish spring water."
Brewery: St Austell
Rating: "This bottle conditioned ale has been uniquely brewed using locally grown Cornish gold malt, traditionally malted using a special kilning process to develop a deep bronze colour and intense flavour. The sweet, lightly nutty malt balances well with zesty orange and spicy aromas from the hops."
Game: Quick! Pre-order a Wii U now!! That's what the email marketing campaigns from my favourite games retailers are telling me to do. The question is... will it be any good? What about Xbox 720's 'holodeck'? How many consoles is it ok to own? So many questions and so much apathy.
Tuesday, 18 September 2012
Label: "Born in the urban jungle on the border of Nottinghamshire & Derbyshire in 2008, Blue Monkey Brewery has taken the beer world by storm, winning many regional and national awards."
Brewery: Blue Monkey
Rating: "A dark and interesting ale, combining fruity hoppiness with a dark, malty side. Is it sort of a porter or maybe a mild? You decide!" I will decide! I accept your challenge! I think it's a mild porter. And it's great.
Game: So, this week I became quite addicted to Transformers: Fall of Cybertron. It just got better and better as I progressed through the game. Playing as a gigantic robot T-Rex was the metal icing on the cake too. Amazing game, Cybertron never looked so awesome. Finishing the game also took me over a bit of a landmark in gamerscore too. 100k not out! Bit embarrassing maybe, but I have had the console for six years!
Friday, 14 September 2012
Label: "Classic Indian Pale Ale brewed with Cornish spring water"
Brewery: St Austell
Rating: "This well balanced hoppy beer compliments fish and chips and spicy dishes." I want fish and chips right now. Thanks for nothing, bottle label.
Game: Dark Souls is up to its usual tricks again of letting you get past a certain bit and making you think how ace you are only to then crush you with its crushing difficulty. I'm also a bit stuck on Darksiders 2 as well thanks to some very Portal-esque portal-y puzzles. Maybe I'm getting too old for gaming and it calls for a younger, keener, fitter mind..?
Sunday, 9 September 2012
Label: "Thoroughly appealing - Refreshing blonde ale"
Rating: "C is for Cascade, an aromatic American hop that is renowned for its flavour and aroma. It has been added at all three stages of the brewing process to give this delightful, thirst-quenching blonde ale its enticing, light grapefruit flavours."
Game: Suddenly become hopelessly addicted to Dark Souls once again. Finally beat the Bell Tower Gargoyles after getting back into the swing of things. Got me some stone armour, a +5 battle axe and new ways to farm souls. Even beat the Capra Demon at the second attempt. I seem to have become cursed now though so my energy bar is permanently 50% depleted *scared face*.
Friday, 7 September 2012
Label: "Demerara sweetness with full malt body and citrus overtones - Balanced with a long, dry and refreshing Yorkshire bitter finish - Fermented in Yorkshire Squares"
Brewery: Black Sheep
Rating: "A classic and beautifully balanced Yorkshire bitter combining hoppy notes with bittersweet malty undertones and a dry, refreshing finish". Another 'Taste the difference' extravaganza courtesy of Sainsburys.
Game: Transformers games seem to be going from strength to strength, especially when movies aren't involved. Transformers: Fall of Cybertron is the newest and best so far. It involves massive robots, fighting and large explosions... so what's not to like? Plus I need a break from Darksiders 2 related puzzling!
Tuesday, 4 September 2012
Label: "Estd 1827 - Legendary Ales - Specially brewed for Tesco by T&R Theakston Ltd"
Rating: "Including the finest British barley, raisins, classic English hops and hints of cinnamon to give an outstanding and uniquely characterful ale." I never knew Masham was a place. So there.
Game: Still slogging away at Darksiders 2. 'Slogging' meant in a positive way by the way. No way, so far there's way too many uses of the word 'way' in this post but I can't be bothered changing it. Just a quick one about the graphics and art style in Darksiders... it took me a while to get used to it in the first game. I must be well and truly used to it because Darksiders 2 looks delicious.
Friday, 31 August 2012
Label: "Estd 1827 - Legendary Ales"
Rating: "This robust ale exhibits a maltiness with underlying tones of luscious cane sugars, whilst the use of Bramling Cross dry hops contribute to the striking aroma and palate. Brewed using the finest quality natural ingredients and over 185 years of brewing wisdom."
Game: Thanks to The Elderly Gamer who advised of a handy round-up of Assassin's Creed 3 editions and versions (see last post comments), I have indeed opted for the standard edition Tesco £39.91 + T-Shirt + 350 clubcard points deal. As impressive as the other editions were, I just want the game. I don't need extra mud or George Washington's notebook. Surely that notebook holds some historical significance for the Americans too, they won't want me hoarding it and scribbling "remember to stab bad guy" notes in it will they?
Tuesday, 28 August 2012
Label: "Championship Winner - Nottingham's dark secret"
Brewery: Castle Rock
Rating: "Discover Black Gold for yourself and enjoy this rich, complex brew." Go on then, discover it for yourself! If you have taste buds I guarantee you'll not be disappointed.
Game: This week I'm on the hunt for an Assassin's Creed 3 pre-order deal. Seems that for the game and some 'exclusive' DLC which seems to be a character skin or gun (I can barely contain my excitement), we're looking at a £42.99 price tag or a whopping £55.99 for the Join or Die edition. This edition probably contains extra downloadable mud for the battlefields or something. Best price so far seems to be Tesco at £39.91 with a T-Shirt, of which a photo is conspicuous by its absence. The search continues...
Sunday, 26 August 2012
Label: "CAMRA champion beer of Cornwall winner - made with Cornish honey"
Rating: "A lovely hoppy golden ale fused with Cornish honey, gives this session beer a superb round finish with a hint of ginger. First brewed for red headed pancake tossers!" I'm not sure how true the brewing origins of the beer is but it's definitely lovely.
Game: A strange thing seems to happen with Darksiders 2 that I've not encountered for a long while. I play the game for a few minutes, then when I look at the clock four hours have passed! It seems to create some kind a time based reality shift, it's like a Death shaped flux capacitor. I've not even found the grapple-hook yet!
Label: "Thoroughly rejuvenating ale - full-flavoured and smooth with a warm roasted character"
Rating: "A taste of the past, inspired by a time when the elite would gather in Elizabethan taverns, to sample the finest ales, porters and wines. Introducing Thwaites Tavern Porter, surprisingly refreshing for a full-flavoured, dark porter with subtle notes of smokiness and liquorice." I'm not part of the elite but I do enjoy a good taste of the past. I can report that on this evidence the past tastes/tasted ace!
Game: The start of the hectic gaming season begins now with Darksiders 2. So far so brilliant. It's like Darksiders 1 but massively bigger. And that's all I'll say on the matter at the moment because I'm too busy playing Darksiders 2!
Thursday, 23 August 2012
Label: "A wonderful fruity aroma & bitterness balanced by sweet barley - Seasonal guest"
Rating: "A blend of Boadicea, Columbus and Styrian Goldings hops creates the wonderful grapefruit and tropical fruit aroma and bitterness in this beer, balanced by the sweet, spicy, biscuity undertones of the wheat malt and Pale Ale malted barley." Not sure why this seasonal guest ale is so blatantly out of season. The cynics would say it's Marks & Spencer trying to get rid of stock that's close to its sell by date and still charge full price. I don't believe that though, *checks label* 'best before November 2012'...
Game: I've been after Silent Hill: Downpour for quite some time and it's only recently hit the magic sub-£20 price tag (£37.99 preowned from Game was a definite tempter obviously). So in Silent Hill it's scary, all the NPCs are annoyingly aloof and now it's raining. The monsters mostly come out when it rains... mostly. 7.5/10.
Tuesday, 14 August 2012
Label: "A full flavoured beer with a subtle, refreshing citrus flvaour - Seasonal guest - Brewed exclusively for Marks and Spencer"
Rating: "Created by Adnams' Master Brewer, this pale yet full flavoured beer is made using a blend of East Anglian malted barley and wheat. Boadicea and First Gold hops from England and Nelson Sauvin hops from New Zealand combine to create the subtle citrus notes and refreshing flavour." Apparently 'works well with chicken, seafood, salads, lightly spiced dishes...' or in my opinion, great with anything!
Game: There seems to be a bit of a gaming lull at the moment until next week when Darksiders 2 comes out. Looks like its going to be great. In the meantime I've been busying myself going 3DS XL mad! Got a lot of Mario related games and also Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D. I thought this game was amazing on the Nintendo 64 'back in the day'. Not sure exactly which day, but it was back there and there were probably loads of them. With revamped 3D graphics and being played by someone who doesn't quite remember the story that well, Ocarina is still amazing!
Saturday, 11 August 2012
Label: "A unique blend of full-bodied malty ale with soft, rich Caribbean rum"
Rating: "Navy rum rations, introduced in 1740, used to be mixed with beer to stop the crew getting too drunk! Here, Wadworth brewery have created their own 'grog' by blending Wadworth 6X with smooth Caribbean rum." I drank Caribbean rum that was 99% proof once. It was horrid. This beer is the polar opposite.
Game: Crikey, so Binary Domain is a totally brilliant game. It's got robots in it, you shoot them in the legs and they crawl after you like Arnie inspired Terminators. Great storyline too that touches on race, genocide and delves deep into the human condition. Like Vanquish, a hideously underrated game. 8/10.
Saturday, 4 August 2012
Label: "Oakham Ales brew this single variety beer using only 'CITRA' hops"
Brewery: Oakham Ales
Rating: "A light refreshing beer with pungent grapefruit, lychee and gooseberry aromas leading to a dry, bitter finish." The first UK brewery to commercially brew with CITRA since 2009 apparently. I don't pretend to know what's so great about Citra hops but they make for ace beer.
Game: Hm, I haven't played anything with zombies in it for like, ooh, a week? But look! Another game with zombies in it! I must admit though, I really really like Deadlight. It's brill. It's had a mixed reception it's fair to say, beautifully encapsulated here: xboxmeagain.blogspot.com. I'm all for this game though. It looks absolutely stunning, shooting zombies in the head is a joy, and it's a great runny, jumpy, climby action-fest! 8/10.
Sunday, 29 July 2012
Label: "Sir Jeffrey Hudson was an adventurer, courtier, and duellist in the service of King Charles I. Although he was only three and a half feet tall, his modest strength was more than made up for in character, much like the beer named after him..."
Brewery: Oakham Ales
Rating: "A hand crafted bottled ale, based on the cask conditioned. Light and refreshing with a blatant citrus fruitiness and a smooth dry bitter finish. JHB has the innovative hoppiness that is the hallmark of Oakham Ales." Supreme champion beer of Britain 2001 - and eleven years later it's still kickin' ass!
Game: I've had enough of Dubai. All that sand and hot weather was starting to chafe in all the wrong places and it gave me a yearning for the cool breeze and snow of Skyrim. I feel like I've drank a lot of beer this weekend for some reason. So what better way to celebrate lots of beer than by taking part in a drinking competition in Skyrim? On a trip to Winterhold I happened across a patron in the Frozen Hearth Inn who enjoys a brew or two. One drinking game later and I wake up in Markarth! Best. Game. Ever. 100/10. (Did I really just give a game a hundred out of 10? Yes.., yes I did).