Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Pumpking (Wychwood)

Pumpking (Wychwood)
Name: Pumpking
Label: "Evil Pumpkin Beer - Trick Or Treat! The original evil pumpkin beer!"
Brewery: Wychwood
ABV: 4.2%

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

Goldings (Marston's)

Goldings (Marston's)
Name: Goldings
Label: "Single hop - English hop - Blonde ale with an aroma of spices, honey & caramel"
Brewery: Marston's
ABV: 4.0%

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

Snowy (Cotleigh)

Snowy (Cotleigh)
Name: Snowy
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"
Brewery: Cotleigh
ABV: 5.0%

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

Indian Summer (Elgood's)

Indian Summer (Elgood's)
Name: Indian Summer
Label: "Est. Wisbech 1795"
Brewery: Elgood's
ABV: 4.8%

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

Willy Nilly (S. A. Brains)

Willy Nilly (S. A. Brains)
Name: Willy Nilly
Label: "Ruby ale - Dylan Thomas 1914 - 1953"
Brewery: S. A. Brains
ABV: 4.0%

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

Blissfull Brown Ale (Wye Valley)

Blissfull Brown Ale (Wye Valley)
Name: Blissfull Brown Ale
Label: "Dorothy Goodbody's - Bottle conditioned - Superior quality ale"
Brewery: Wye Valley
ABV: 4.6%

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:
"Cool, Carmageddon!"
"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

Pumphouse Pale Ale (Sambrook's)

Pumphouse Pale Ale (Sambrook's)
Name: Pumphouse Pale Ale
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."
Brewery: Sambrook's
ABV: 4.2%

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

Screech Owl (Castle Rock)

Screech Owl (Castle Rock)
Name: Screech Owl
Label: "Reach for a Screech - Strong IPA"
Brewery: Castle Rock
ABV: 5.5%

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.

Double Espresso (Traditional Scottish Ales)

Double Espresso (Traditional Scottish Ales)
Name: Double Espresso
Label: "Premio Caffe Birra - Brewed and bottled in Scotland"
Brewery: Traditional Scottish Ales Ltd
ABV: 6.0%

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

Lemon Head (Nethergate)

Lemon Head (Nethergate)
Name: Lemon Head
Label: "Refreshing zesty beer with a hint of lemon of ginger"
Brewery: Nethergate
ABV: 4.0%

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

Ghost Ship (Adnams)

Ghost Ship (Adnams)
Name: Ghost Ship
Label: "A ghostly pale ale"
Brewery: Adnams
ABV: 4.5%

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!