Saturday, 31 March 2012

Harvest Pale (Castle Rock)

Name: Harvest Pale
Label: "The finest blonde beer - quality ales fortified with flavour"
Brewery: Castle Rock
ABV: 4.3%

Rating: "Originally brewed under the name of Trammie Dodger for the 2003 Nottingham CAMRA Beer Festival, Harvest Pale has become a beer of which we are particularly proud. We believe that we've created a golden, crisp and satisfyingly hoppy beer that retains the guile and poise that you'd expect from a true champion. Enjoy!"

Game: Killed a Reaper. Still playing Mass Effect 3. Not played anything else for ages. Possibly turning into a Husk. Sad face. By the way, the best synopsis ever for a TV program: Andy Farrant (@Farrantula) on SentUAMessage about The Walking Dead, "... about some people arguing in the woods near some zombies." So simple, so true. Everyone's in agreement though, it is a brilliant series. If you've never seen it, it's well worth a watch.

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Eagle IPA (Wells)

Eagle IPA (Wells)
Name: Eagle IPA
Label: "Born and brewed in Bedford"
Brewery: Wells
ABV: 3.6%

Rating: "Brewed in the heart of Bedford with the finest Red Tractor accredited malted barley and natural mineral water from our well, sunk by Charles Wells himself in 1904." The eagle has landed, and it's well tasty!

Game: I am alive! That's not just me pointing out the obvious, it's actually a downloadable game from Xbox Live Arcade. For a tasty teaser preview check Downloadable games still don't seem to compare that well with full retail titles, so boxed games have nothing to fear just yet. But I am Alive contains some great ideas, controls and combat are a bit wonky yet overall the game just oozes atmosphere. Well worth a look. 7/10

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Ginger Beard (Wychwood)

Ginger Beard (Wychwood)
Name: Ginger Beard
Label: "Fiery alcoholic ginger beer"
Brewery: Wychwood
ABV: 4.2%

Rating: "A traditionally crafted beer infused with fiery root ginger to deliver a refreshing spicy finish with a bit of bite. Best served chilled or over ice to calm the flames!"

Game: It's been a while but fancied a bit of Skyrim tonight to go with my fiery Ginger Beard. I had forgotten how glitchy it was though... But even the odd bit of glitchyness can't put me off it for long. It's still incredible. Killed some dragons, made friends with some other dragons. When have we ever been able to do that in a game? Never, that's when. The game doesn't seem to end either, which is most definitely a good thing. 9.99/10.

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Bad King John (Ridgeway)

Bad King John (Ridgeway)
Name: Bad King John
Label: "A very English black ale - I challenge the privilege of trial by combat, God will raise me up a champion"
Brewery: Ridgeway Brewing
ABV: 6.0%

Rating: "Bad King John is black, bitter, intense, like the ruthless man it honours. Do not come here looking for subtlety!"  Bad King John must have been well bad. There's even a picture of someone being burnt at the stake on the back of the bottle! The beer is definitely Good King John though.

Game: The hysterics about the release day DLC for Mass Effect 3 seems to have a died down a bit. The DLC itself, irrespective of all the publicity, wasn't really worth 800 Microsoft points in all honesty. Come on, be honest.  Although *minor spoiler... I guess* you get to recruit a Prothean and he is a bit of a badass. In other news today, games apparently out sold "video" in 2011! Hooray for games! I love games, me.

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Fraoch (Heather Ale Ltd)

Fraoch (Heather Ale Ltd)
Name: Fraoch
Label: "Fraoch is Scotland's native ale. Fraoch is Gaelic for "Heather". Heather ale has been brewed in Scotland for four thousand years and is the oldest style of ale still made in the world. The Picts who ruled Scotland until the 9th Century were known to brew the legendary heather ale, these "people of the designs" were the creators of the artistic style of our label."
Brewery: Heather Ale Ltd (William Bros. Brewing Ltd)
ABV: 5.0%

Rating: "Fraoch has a floral, peaty aroma, full malt body, spicy herbal flavour and a dry wine like finish." I've just realised that Scottish ale is ace, and this one in particular is sublime. Seek it out!

Game: Still playing Mass Effect 3 (obviously).  Tonights mission is the release-day "From Ashes" DLC. A controversial move by Bioware given that it wasn't included in the game, and yet released on the same day as the game, so you have to pay extra to play it. Fortunately, I won ME3 (thanks to the awesome, so shelling out the 800 Microsoft points didn't hurt quite as much. For many gamers though, it has definitely been a bitter pill to swallow. If you don't agree with the DLC don't buy it, it doesn't make or break the overall Mass Effect 3 experience. Said experience being incredible, by the way. Admittedly, purchasing this extra mission is a bit of a contradiction for me because I despise DLC and generally refuse to buy it. I blame the Reapers, they're up to no good I tells ya.

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Beacon Bitter (Everards)

Beacon Bitter (Everards)
Name: Beacon Bitter
Label: "Brewed in Leicestershire"
Brewery: Everards
ABV: 3.8%

Rating: "This excellent session ale has won numerous awards over the years and it is easy to see why. Brewed using Maris Otter malt and Goldings, Fuggles and Challenger hops, it is hoppy with a dry finish which makes it irresistibly moreish."  It's great stuff, I'm drinking this while controlling the Ever 'Ard Commander Shepard!

Game: The grim Reapers are here, quick run and hide!  I've just started Mass Effect 3 and already I feel like all hope is lost!  How can anyone survive the Reaper attack? They're just decimating every planet they land on, for pity's sake.  As C-3PO would say, "We're doomed".  All the species in the universe are surely going to be extinct within the next week or so. You may as well go and get a beer, you're going to be a Husk soon (while you're waiting, claim your free pint glass at This is one of those games where if you're not playing it right now, you need to stop whatever you're doing and go and play it right now.

Sunday, 4 March 2012

England's Own (Badger)

England's Own (Badger)
Name: England's Own
Label: "Staggeringly Good"
Brewery: Badger
ABV: 4.6%

Rating: "This award-winning brew's spirited origin is reflected in its uplifting white grape and elderflower flavours. A fitting accompaniment to Sunday roast chicken or a whole baked trout with a squeeze of lemon."  I don't have any roast chicken and I'm fresh out of trout, but I do have some Sunday!

Game: One of my new years resolutions was to wait until prices drop before purchasing new games. Well I've failed thanks to The Darkness II. The first big release of 2012 arrives cold on the heels of the horrifically underrated first game. With a swish new look and some amazingly gory gameplay, I'm finding it incredibly difficult to put down. At last, something to help get me over my Skyrim addiction! Gangster sci-fi has never been so much bloody fun! 8.5/10

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Mocha Beer (Batemans)

Mocha Beer (Batemans)
Name: Mocha Beer
Label: "Coffee and chocolate"
Brewery: Batemans
ABV: 6.0%

Rating: "Not just a hot drink for the high street! Fresh coffee and chocolate beans subtly combined with aromatic crispy malt create a memorable aromatic beer experience!"  You can stick your Starbucks right up your CafĂ© Nero. This is art in a bottle.

Game: Talking of art... El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron. Analysts on the world of interactive entertainment are starting to view games as contemporary works of art. Others scoff at the idea. I defy anyone to say that El Shaddai isn't a work of art. Go on, I DEFY you. It's like playing some crazy-ass painting, with an even crazy-assier wtf plot to go with it. Ok, so you still need to beat up some baddies to get to the next area, and the platforming sections get a bit iffy at times, but so what. It's art dammit! 7.5 / 10

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Jack Daniels

Jack Daniels
Name: Jack Daniels
Label: "Mellowed for smoothness, drop by drop through sugar maple charcoal. Matured for character in our own handcrafted barrels. Tasted for flavor by Masters until deemed ready. Awarded for quality and distinction 7 gold medals since 1904."
Brewery: Jack Daniels Distillery
ABV: 40%

Rating: It's been a full month now and I've come to the conclusion that I can't go without alcohol. It's just too ace.  I've been reading up on the subject as well and the health benefits of drinking alcohol (in moderation of course) are quite miraculous.  So to kick start the resumption of drinking, I'm having a splash of one of my all time favourite drinks, the life-giving elixir that is JD!  Back on the real ale soon.

Game: The current game of the moment is Alan Wake's American Nightmare. A download-only release which was a bit worrying at first but it actually turns out to be rather good. The story repeats itself but without being repetitive. That doesn't really make sense so just play it if you liked the original game. I don't like the 'horde' mode equivalent though. Boooo. 8/10.