Monday, 30 December 2013
Label: "Happy Holidays - Happy Christmas"
Brewery: St Peter's
Rating: "A smooth, fruity, full-bodied ale, the perfect companion for Christmas savouries, sweets and snacks." And boy have I eaten a lot of Christmas savouries, sweets and snacks! And this, another top quality Christmas beer. I wish it could be Christmas everyday! Hey, someone should write a song to that effect!
Game: Didn't think I'd make it but managed to 100% Assassin's Creed 4 Black Flag. Was up until 2.30am treasure chest hunting and looting ships for metal to upgrade the Jackdaw and strangely enjoyed every minute of it. Had a bit of a panic when I only had 21/22 treasure maps but it all ended well. The Legendary ships were a bit tricky too. Luckily I seemed to start with the most difficult one so the others proved a lot easier. Best Christmas ever! A beer to celebrate you say? Aye!!
Sunday, 29 December 2013
Label: "Strong Kent Ale"
Brewery: Shepherd Neame
Rating: "A glowing winter ale with a heady fruity nose. Crystallised winter fruits combine with festive spicy hops on a platform of smooth warming alcoholic notes, leaving a refreshing cleansing hop finish." Another Christmas Ale, this is one of my Christmassy favourites. Still seven days of Christmas to go!
Game: Haven't left the house in three days. Going for a record. Also trying to 100% complete Assassin's Creed 4 in between Forza 5 and Mario. Also, I did a survey about future Assassin's Creed games although Ubisoft have sworn me to secrecy! So I can't mention that in the next game Desmond comes back from the dead, goes mad, goes back in time, kills Altair and then jumps in a haystack eating a golden apple with some naked dudes running around whilst his future self disappears up his own DNA. Can't wait. Oh and keep it a secret.
Saturday, 28 December 2013
Label: "Christmas Cheer!"
Rating: "Brewed with the choicest hops & malt, lightly spiced with cinnamon, this is a rich ale complemented with subtle tones of dried fruits. To those who say that the spirit of Christmas is a thing of the past - we say Bah Humbug! Don't be a misery - go on!... Enjoy yourself!" So it's actually pro-Christmas! Hooray!
Game: So as New Year steadily approaches, I'm turning my squiffy eye in the direction of 2014 to behold the mega-games on the horizon. My top picks are:
- Quantum Break
- Watch Dogs
- The Division
- Dragon Age Inquisition
- Dying Light
- The Evil Within
- Mirrors Edge
- Star Wars Battlefront
- The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Friday, 27 December 2013
Label: "A full bodied, malty and fruity Christmas Ale with a refreshing bitter finish"
Brewery: Hardys & Hansons
Rating: Not to be confused with Captain Caveman who lived in a cave, Captain Christmas lives in Christmas. And this is Christmas in a bottle! I was going to leave some out for Santa but he can get lost. I'm having the lot!
Game: Firstly, where the hell did my manners go? I forgot to wish everyone a Happy Christmas in the last post. So: Happy Christmas everyone! Cracked open Super Mario 3D World earlier. What a game! I'm so glad I bought the WiiU. This game sooo justifies the console purchase, it's simply sublime. If you're not grinning like a maniac when you play this then your brain is made of mushrooms and your heart is made of poison flavoured Bowser flame-vomit. I'm sure the game will get tough later on (especially trying to nab all the stars and stamps) so the grinning may turn to grimacing but I'm sure it will revert back to grinning just as quickly. Love it. Rating: 9.5 / 10
Label: "Thoroughly Festive - A Magically Festive Brew"
Rating: "An amber beer with a balanced hop and biscuit malt flavour and lingering bitter finish". Yes! Christmas beer! And I'll did love it! And yule will too!
Game: Two days after Christmas day and my stomach has finally shrunk back down to normal size so I can now see the telly again - bring on the games! Forza 5 is as amazing as I've been led to believe. One of the things that was putting me off about it was the Top Gear affiliation and Jeremy Clarkson's involvement. From what I hear from various sources Jeremy Clarkson is "a bit of a knob" and I'm not really into Top Gear. It just seems to be three blokes way too far up their own arses surrounded by a bunch of sycophantic wankers for an audience. That's what I've gauged from the 20 second or so snippets I've seen of the show, so I'm more than likely wrong about everything and the show is great. Aaanyway, the game, as already stated is amazing. And Jeremy Clarkson's voice over bits are genuinely informative, engaging and oft-times humorous.
Monday, 23 December 2013
Label: "Infused with a touch of spice!"
Rating: "With a liberal measure of cinnamon and the subtle hue of fruit cake and some say even whiskey this indulgent tipple is the perfect way to toast the onset of the festive season. A deeply flavoured malty beer brimming with rich molasses, caramel and sweetness all offset with a touch of spice." I was planning to have this on Christmas Eve, ya know - because of the name and stuff, but I supped it on Christmas Eve Eve Eve instead. Christmas is the best!
Game: Not played any Dead Rising 3 or FIFA 14 or Ryse. It's all just been Assassin's Creed 4. Really addicted to it. Seriously, I think I need help or some sort of intervention. Santa should be fetching Forza 5 and that new Mario game round in a couple of nights so hopefully that will prise me away from pirating.
Monday, 16 December 2013
Label: "Brewers since 1865"
Rating: "A dark ruby ale with a rich dry chocolate malt taste" Leftovers from Halloween I think. Leftovers rock!
Game: Main storyline completed in Assassin's Creed 4. I'm experiencing quite a profound AC4 addiction at the moment, even though the story is finished there's still billions to do! Using the companion app for plotting courses on the map in real-time is absolutely superb by the way. It saves you having to drop out of the game to go to the map screen. Sounds trivial (even by my standards) but it's an absolutely brilliant use for the second device / smartglass functionality. I'm giving AC4 9.999999999999 / 10 which as you can obviously see is slightly more than I gave Ryse. But that's just because AC4 is my favouritest. And it's got the BEST ever rendition of the Drunken Sailor sea shanty you will ever hear ever. Ever!
Friday, 13 December 2013
Label: "Double Hopped Pale Ale - Brewed beside the Thames since 1845"
Rating: "Inspired by the American craft brewery movement, this double hopped pale ale uses a unique blend of the finest American hops including Liberty, Willamette, Cascade and Chinook giving a wonderful zesty beer bursting with citrus flavours and a satisfying bitter finish"
Game: Still can't believe some of these Ryse reviews, man. 4 out of 10?? Seriously?? Pop it on Legendary difficulty smarty pants and see how simple it is then! You can't just mash the attack button, you've got to do countering. Like, proper countering, with proper timing and everything. I still stand by my 9.99999999 / 10 review I gave it last time. Epic. And a Gaming Ales review is the best in the journalism (sic).
Monday, 2 December 2013
Label: "Blonde beer - Brewed in Stafford"
Rating: "A stunningly blonde......beer, full bodied with a voluptuous hop aroma. This award-winning beer is brewed using Halcyon Pale Ale and Wheat malt with Whitbread Golding Variety hops producing an initial burst of bitterness with a citrus fruity finish. Now brewed at our State of the Art Brewery in Stafford."
I hate the title, but love the beer, so mixed emotions with this one. And whoever invented the word "totty" needs a slap.
Game: Realised today I could probably just play Assassin's Creed games for the rest of my life. Assassin's Creed 4 is fabulous... me hearties, Arrr! etc etc. I have been playing other stuff though, check this Killer Instinct video I uploaded whereby I totally dominated and managed to pull off an Ultra finishing move against a human opponent *whispers* I must confess though, I completely button-mashed my way through that bout so apologies to XI Aguero16x whoever you are...
Tuesday, 26 November 2013
Label: "Tasting notes: A unique craft lager brewed with rice and a fab mix of Stellar and Cascade hops, crisp and clean with hints of lemon grass and lime, perfectly created by Simon to cut through chilli heat and experience a smooth and tasty lemony aromatic finish."
Rating: "Beer and Curry is a match made in heaven... FACT!! But what I want in a beer with my favourite curry is one that's not too gassy, full of flavour and an aromatic tickle. SO down this and as the beer cools you, savour the light refreshing taste of perfection..."
So far I've had Simon Rimmer's beers to go with curry, chicken and steak. Now the dude has to invent a beer to go with pizza, pasta, burrittos and hotdogs and that will be all my favourite foods covered. In beer... FACT!!
Game: Ryse is great. The 'proper' reviews moan about it being shallow and devoid of meaningful story and so on and so... yawn! But while the naysayers are saying nay, I'm playing the ass off it. Because it's great. Stabbing is my favourite. The executions never get old. And the graphics are AMAZING. I don't care that it's not much of a cerebral challenge, don't question it, just enjoy it! Rating: 9.99999999 / 10
Saturday, 23 November 2013
Label: "Tasting notes: A vibrant zesty little number - absolutely bursting with Amarillo citrus hop ending with a crisp dry sweet lemon finish"
Rating: "Simon says... The delights of a golden ale are limitless. Clean, crisp, hint of citrus - all essential. Those qualities make it a perfect drink to have with chicken. Bringing out the delicate flavours and adding an extra dimension to everything from a roast chicken to a Caesar salad. So don't put all your eggs in one basket - save room for a bottle of my beer for chicken."
Game: Xbox One has landed. Looks ace. Plays ace. It's ace, basically. Games list currently consists of Dead Rising 3, Assassin's Creed 4 and freebies FIFA14 and Killer Instinct (who said brand loyalty was a bad thing?) Also expected is the arrival of my Ryse: Son of Rome pre-order at some point *narrows eyes at shopto.net*.
Friday, 22 November 2013
Label: "Handcrafted ales - Quintessentially quaffable! Brimming with barrel loads of malt and caramel overtones."
Rating: "This pale brown premium bitter has a malt and caramel taste with English Challenger hops producing a rich fruity aroma. Now brewed at our State of the Art Brewery in Stafford."
Game: Happy Xbox One Day!! *dons party hat*. Sat here waiting for the guest of honour to arrive. Email says it will be around 1pm. A whole THREE hours away! Maybe chance to get stuck into Rocksmith? I'm not sat here drinking by the way. The Premium Best Bitter was supped last night... honest. *hic, blows party blowy thing (y'know that unfurl and make a noise)*
Tuesday, 19 November 2013
Label: "Spicy - Aromatic - Zesty - Blond Beer. In the early days Bitter & Twisted was brewed with a fractious mouse for company; this testy rodent became the brewer's inspiration. Harvie is now our mascot."
Rating: "B&T has a superb hop profile; it combines aromatic Hallertau Hersbrücker with spicy Challenger, finished by late-hopping with Styrian Goldings which give a very distinctive citrus sharpness. Like all Harviestoun beers, B&T has won awards at home and abroad. We bottle with less carbon dioxide which is why our beers taste more natural. For splendid refreshment, enjoy cold." ...it combines aromatic what now?? Anyway check out my umlaut!
Game: Only 2 days 'til Xbox One Day! I've been nervously enquiring with Amazon if they're definitely sure I'm going to get my pre-order on release day. They gave the stock answer of, "We'll process orders in time to be delivered on the given delivery date in your account". What I actually want to hear is, "Yes! You'll definitely get your Xbox One on release day. In fact I'll be driving it around to your house personally and will be there at 6am to ensure you get the maximum amount of daylight hours in which to set up and get your game on!" At least they responded though, which was nice. I like it when companies offer support via Twitter. The personal touch, y'know?
Thursday, 14 November 2013
Label: "Bragdy'r Gogarth (Great Orme Brewery)"
Brewery: Great Orme
Rating: "Rich chestnut bitter with a fine balance of malt and hops. Did you know... the word 'ORME' is believed by some authorities to have derived from an Old Norse (Scandinavian) word 'urm' meaning worm or sea serpent?"
I went to Great Orme once, and as the name suggests, it was great! And it looked like a big sea serpent so those Old Norse dudes know what they're on about.
Game: Poopin' heck it's only 7 (seven) and a bit days left until Xbox One arrives! To pass the time I'm trying my hand at Rocksmith 2014. Didn't get on that well with the first game because the tracklisting wasn't much to my taste. 2014 contains some stonkers though. I'm just hoping I can stick with it this time and that I properly learn to play the guitar. At the moment though I'm still at the point where most people could probably play guitar better with their feet than I can with my hands.
Saturday, 9 November 2013
Label: "The high hop rate in this brew originally protected the beer during the arduous journey across the continents. Those same Kentish hop notes can now be enjoyed for their own sake in this orginal recipe from Britain's oldest brewer"
Brewery: Shepherd Neame
Rating: "An historic brew which conjures up images of high seas and faraway places. An IPA encapsulates centuries of brewing tradition, a quintessentially strong and hoppy beer with a bold, stirring character. Our India Pale Ale delivers this magnificently; pale in colour and generously bittered with locally grown Fuggles hops."
And that's the only way I like to experience faraway places, by drinking fine ales such as this and playing video games sat in my nice comfy chair thank you very much.
Game: My pre-order list for Xbox One currently consists of Assassin's Creed 4 Buccaneer Edition (don't tell the wife how much I spent on that), Ryse: Son of Rome and Dead Rising 3. I'm actually pleased Watch Dogs has been put back to 2014 because the bill was becoming rather expensive... Now less than two weeks to go! Rating of having to wait until the 22/11/2013 for next gen: 0/10
Thursday, 7 November 2013
Label: "Golden ale with a twist of ginger and a zip of spice"
Brewery: Greene King
Rating: "This beer celebrates the 50th anniversary of its namesake Northern soul club in Manchester" Ok, you can take the music but leave me the beer. Thanks!
Game: Got the latest issue of X360 Magazine which has been re-branded as X-ONE Magazine. This months ish is an Xbox One special and having had a good read of it I'm now ridiculously looking forward to the 22nd November. Before I was pretty excited. The mag has taken it to a whole new level now. I'm not even that arsed about Christmas at the moment, and I freakin' love Christmas! And Microsoft sent me an email saying I'm getting Killer Instinct for free! All characters! And FIFA 14 for free! I'm just hoping Amazon make good on their promise and deliver on the big day. Two weeks to go...
Label: "A right grand Yorkshire beer"
Rating: "Daleside Old Legover upholds the very highest standards of English brewing. Old Legover is essentially a Yorkshire beer using a complex mix of malts and hops to produce a well-balanced mid-brown ale. Appreciate the flavours as you enjoy the beer and note the nutty overtones and late bitter-sweet sensations."
Last time I looked 'Legover' wasn't an actual word, but I'll let them off because the beer is so good!
Game: Holy corrupted save file Batman! Disaster strikes! My Batman: Arkham Origins save file has become corrupted. Oh the Batmanity! All those Enigma packs collected, all those side-missions completed! Gone! All gone! It's ok though, the game is so great I've started again from scratch. Now trying out the cloud save thing on Xbox Live too. Giving Origins 8.5/10 despite the corrupted save file unpleasantness.
Sunday, 27 October 2013
Label: "Bottled at the brewery - Britain's oldest brewer - since 1698 - A classic double stout from a recipe discovered in the vaults of Britain's oldest brewer"
Brewery: Shepherd Neame & Co
Rating: "This beer combines the complex flavours and characteristics of pale ale, roasted crystal and chocolate malts with the finest kilned roasted barley. It is bittered with our famed East Kent hops and brewed in the UK's last remaining wooden mash tuns. This magnificent example of a classic double stout delivers a velvety-smooth palate of dry, burnt flavours complemented by roast, cocoa and coffee notes. Black, creamy and delicious; it is a Shepherd Neame masterpiece."
Game: I am Batman! Not really, obviously, just virtually. Batman: Arkham Origins beatdowns its way onto my Xbox. My unboxing of Origins was almost as quick as my Arkham City unboxing post from this time last year. One of the sequences that has really stood out so far is the battle with Deathstroke. Its almost like watching a brilliantly choreographed fight scene in a film, but you're actually controlling the action! Perfect timing for counters is a must.
Saturday, 19 October 2013
Label: "Honey beer - Positively buzzing! A gorgeous golden brew with a taste of local honey."
Rating: "This is a multi award winning beer brewed using Halcyon & Crystal malts with local Staffordshire Honey. The sweet taste is balanced by an abundance of Challenger, W G V & Cascade hops to give a spicy hoppy aroma leading to a gently bitter finish on the tongue." I always get Halcyon mixed up with Halogen or bright lights, as well as great times 'back in the day'. It's actually a kingfisher or a mythical bird... as well as malt? Soooo confusing.
Game: GTA V single player story: finished! Batman Arkham City Lockdown: finished! After finishing Lockdown, Batman Arkham Origins appeared on the app store pretty much straight away. Very kind of them to wait for me to finish Lockdown before releasing Origins. It's a 'freemium' game (I detest the word freemium by the way), so you can buy in-game currency to speed up upgrading and stamina regeneration. Stamina decreases with each mission and recharges over a period of (real) time. Needless to say, I won't be purchasing in-game currency. It's a great game anyway and includes console crossover unlocks when the main game is released! Rating: 7/10.
Monday, 14 October 2013
Label: "A rich and well rounded hoppy ale- Premium beer"
Rating: "If you like hops, you'll simply love this beer. Yes, there are more hops in this beer than you can shake a stick at. Bang On! It's rich and well rounded, just like the Colonel himself. He says it'll put hairs on the hairs on your chest. After a hard day on the battlefield, you deserve it. Go on, put your feet up and enjoy."
I'm not sure who the Colonel is (presumably not the fried chicken dude), but he's got awesome taste in beer!
Game: It's just 11 days until Batman Arkham Origins! To celebrate I'm getting to grips with Batman Arkham City Lockdown on the iPad. Similar to Infinity Blade, you swipe the screen to slash your sword but in this case it's Batman's fists obviously. I don't think he owns a sword? And if he did it needs writing out of the history books post-haste. A Bat-sword? No thanks! Anyway, the game is a pretty good slug-fest (not slugs, bats). There's quite a steep learning curve but once mastered, get donning your cowl and enjoy some satisfying take-downs and interesting boss fights and cameos. Well worth a look. 7/10.
Saturday, 12 October 2013
Label: "Surrey's famous brew - Brewed on the Hogs Back - Malt and hops in perfect balance"
Brewery: Hogs Back
Rating: "T.E.A was the first brew at Hogs Back in August 1992 and was an immediate hit. It has subsequently won many awards, possibly because, as the name says, it really is a classic Traditional English Ale. We use the finest English malt carefully balanced with local Fuggles hops from the other side of the Hogs Back and gently ferment to leave some of the natural malt sugars, giving a full and satisfying flavour. And whilst we enjoy the beer, local hogs enjoy the spent grain from our mash tun... Perfect harmony in Tongham."
Pigs eat people. People eat pigs AND drink their beer. That's why we're top of the food chain.
Game: Whilst every other sane person is playing GTAV, I seem to have become hopelessly addicted to Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes! It's an XBLA game which was free for Xbox Live Gold subscribers this month. FREE. So rather than playing forty quids worth of GTA V, I'm sat playing a free XBLA download. An HD remake of an old Nintendo DS game I think, it's a puzzley, action-ey, turn-based role playing game that I can't seem to get enough of. I'm just waiting for the inevitable massive difficulty spike which leads to the usual level-up grind that seems quite common with these types of games.
Tuesday, 8 October 2013
Label: "A smooth, fruity brew with a bitter finish - Wm Morrison Specially Selected"
Brewery: Black Sheep
Rating: "Brewed in the heart of Yorkshire, this amber ale is a true British classic - the kind of beer that'll warm your cockles on the coldest of Northern nights. Brewed in the famous Black Sheep Brewery in Masham using Maris Otter malted barley, it's packed full of rich, fruity flavours for a classic ale that leads the field, rather than following the herd. Try it with: Hearty meat pies or punchy British cheeses like Wensleydale and Stilton."
Game: I have won second prize in a 2K Games fictional writing competition! It's like Monopoly but in real life and without all the money and property! The competition was to write a short story involving UFOs as a bit of tie-in with the recent release of The Bureau: XCOM Declassified. Here's my entry and a link to the winning entry. I read the winners effort but I didn't understand it. Too high brow - she can obviously write properly. Anyway, I got the game by the way. It's a tough cookie and unfortunately I've not had quite enough time to get into it yet, what with Eurogamer and GTAV and so on. However it's looking good so far.
Friday, 4 October 2013
Rating: The tankard appeared on one stand at Eurogamer for £9 and on a different stand for £10. Fortunately I spotted the £9 version first. As far as drinking vessels go, this is one of the best. It's made from chunky, weighty, glass-like material (so, thick glass then) and has already survived being dropped. 10/10.
Game: I've been trying to get on to GTA Online for the past four nights. Apparently there's (another) update due out today so may actually get a go. To be honest I'm not all that fussed about the fuss being made of not being able to get online. There's billions of people trying to access it literally all at the same time. It's never going to work first time is it. Plus I've not finished the single player mode yet. Currently hovering around the 60% mark. Although consistently getting the first race glitch *every* time I try to go online is getting rather irritating.
Sunday, 29 September 2013
Label: "Pale Ale - Proudly brewed in Macclesfield, GB"
Rating: "Brewed especially for Virgin Trains, this British Pale Ale evokes the spirit and speed of our tilting trains. A high-speed whoosh of flavour tilts smoothly into a light hoppy tastes and arrives, right on time. at a clean finish of bitter. Perfect for sipping at 125mph!" A bad way to end Eurogamer was with a bit of a cry that it was all over. A good way to end Eurogamer was with a transport themed ale on the train home!
Game: On the first day of Eurogamer I queued up for Dark Souls 2 but then chickened out because it looked dead hard. Saw someone beat it but also saw people being mocked for their lameness at it. Considering it took me two years to finish Dark Souls 1 and fearing a good mocking by onlookers I pretended someone phoned me and I had to leave the queue to meet them. Fooled everyone (no one).
Saturday, 28 September 2013
Label: "A rich, silky ale to rival red wine - Wm Morrison Specially Selected"
Rating: "Forget Claret and Chianti - this ruby red ale is the thing to serve with a slap up meal. It has a rich, silky texture and fruity flavour that's not dissimilar to a punchy New World red wine. It's got the oomph to stand up to the meatiest pie and the stinkiest cheese. So swap the grape for the grain next time you invite your mates round for a meal - you'll never look back. Try it with: Your Sunday roast beef or to round off a meal with a really punchy British cheeseboard." Credit where credit's due, this is the first time I've seen the words oomph, punchy, meatiest and stinkiest used to describe an ale. And it's true, it's definitely a wine beater!
Game: So, still reminiscing about Eurogamer. Day two was all about the Xbox One games. Played Ryse, Dead Rising 3 and Titanfall. Queuing for Titanfall took about two hours. Two very loooong hours. All three games were absolutely top notch though, but by the time I got to play Titanfall I could no longer feel my legs. This put me off and was *definitely* the reason why I sucked at the game.
Label: "A smooth and citrusy buxom blonde - Wm Morrison Specially Selected"
Brewery: Black Sheep
Rating: "In Greek mythology, heroes travelled the world in their quest to claim the Golden Fleece as their own. And this golden ale from the iconic Black Sheep Brewery is the kind of treasure modern heroes will quest for too. OK, so you and your mates might not be Jason and Argonauts... but this refreshingly smooth Yorkshire beer is guaranteed to make even a quiet night in feel epic. Try it with: Chicken and fish dishes - especially seafood like simple marinara pasta or barbecued prawns."
Game: Eurogamer is over for another year. Met some cool peeps and played some awesome next-gen games. Didn't realise how quickly you get chucked off a game though, so on the first day I spent five precious minutes playing draughts in Assassin's Creed 4. Shame there's no achievement for being the only person (idiot) at Eurogamer to win a game of draughts on AC4.
Tuesday, 24 September 2013
Label: "A premium refreshing golden ale"
Rating: "Tetley's Gold is a glorious, gleaming beer, with a glistening golden hue. It's crafted from 100% English barley, kilned under the gentlest conditions to produce a malt that's full of flavour, yet of the very palest colour. An intriguing blend of cutting-edge hop varieties combine to give Tetley's Gold a sprightly, quenching citrus character. Added layers of complexity follow in the finish; floral, herbal & grassy hop notes intertwine with the subtle suggestion of cloves from the famous Tetley yeast strain. Tetley's Gold is a unique, contemporary beer, at once refreshing and satisfying." I couldn't agree more.
Game: It's less than 36 hours until my 2013 Eurogamer trip begins. Set adventure phasers to STUN! We're quite anxiously looking forward to it. Dark Souls 2 is going to be there. And Assassin's Creed 4. I'm quite tempted to play one of these games ALL DAY on Thursday. Is this allowed, or would it be frowned upon? Will there be an angry mob queued up heckling, "You're shit at that, mate." until I leave the area? Let's find out!
Wednesday, 18 September 2013
Label: "Fruity & Full Bodied - Handcrafted in the Cotswold Hills since 1849"
Brewery: Hook Norton
Rating: "Old Hooky is a beautifully balanced beer, fruity by nature with a well-rounded body and the suggestive echo of crystal malt. Try it as an accompaniment to meat dishes. Cheers!"
Game: Everyone's got GTA V it seems. And so have I, yippee! The game is truly epic. Played it for four hours yesterday and I've just scratched the surface. Spent most of the time street racing and then I got blown up driving a bulldozer. Crazy. I'm still towards the start of the game really with Franklin and Lamar. The dialogue is so good between these two, I can't really understand what they're saying though because it's all in that gangstery language.
Friday, 6 September 2013
Label: "At the world famous Lost Gardens of Heligan in Cornwall visitors delight at the only fully working productive gardens in Britain, where a new community keeps alive traditional varieties and skills from an age when quality and flavour were king"
Rating: "Heligan Honey is a light refreshing bitter, pale amber in colour with distinct hoppy overtones. The subtle addition of real Cornish honey will give your palate a buzzzzz!" I was in Cornwall. It would have been literally rude not to.
Game: I've suddenly had a thought about selling my Limited Edition Star Wars Kinect Xbox 360 console in preparation for the arrival of Xbox One. Also I'm playing a card game on my Xbox now... Magic: The Gathering 2013 which was free on Xbox Live Gold. PlayStation+ subscribers got Hitman: Absolution. We get a card game. I don't know, maybe I'll get into it. Seems quite popular and mustn't grumble considering it was free.
Wednesday, 28 August 2013
Label: "Definitely not for Aussies"
Rating: "A very easy drinking, light-coloured pale ale brewed using Cascade hops give a slight citrus and grapefruit aroma. Brewed to celebrate the Investec Ashes series and to spur on England's best, this beer is sure to bowl you over. Come on boys knock them for six." Drinking this then pissing on the Oval is entirely optional. Well done lads! *sighs*
Game: The 360 has been feeling neglected so I got it (me) Splinter Cell: Blacklist. Splinter Cell is definitely back to its best. I forgot how tough being stealthy is though. It's good that you can just go through the levels playing it like a shooter but it's far better to get your stealth on. It's just finding the willpower to make sure the levels don't degenerate into a massive bullet-fest killing spree. There's an upgradeable aeroplane as well. Ace. Rating: a neck-snappingly good 8/10
Saturday, 24 August 2013
Label: "Smooth & Full Bodied - Bottle conditioned - Handcrafted in the Cotswold Hills since 1849"
Brewery: Hook Norton
Rating: "A blend of malts gives Double Stout a character all of its own. Black malt enriches the colour and teases the palate with an unmistakable 'toast' flavour. Brown malt gives it the dryness.Cheers!"
Game: Currently having a bit of gaming crisis. With next-gen so close I don't know whether to still buy games for the Xbox 360. Definitely getting GTA V and Dark Souls 2 but what about The Bureau: XCOM Declassified and Splinter Cell: Blacklist? Bureau doesn't seem to have rated that well which is a shame. Splinter Cell has rated well but not sure if I have the patience / arsedness for a proper stealth game at the moment. On the upside, FIFA 14 is bundled with XBO pre-orders! Woo!
Sunday, 28 July 2013
Label: "Craft ale - 100% British Barley - Hatherwood Craft Ales, Ales With Real Character"
Rating: "The Ruby Rooster Ale has been traditionally craft-brewed using Burton water, 100% British barley and a blend of Pale, Crystal & Chocolate malts, delivering toffee malt flavour which is balanced with the aromatic and refreshingly fruity character of Fuggle, Golding, Cascade and Styrian hops. Jeff Drew - Head Brewer."
Game: Oh no! I just inadvertently let some of my Pikmins drown! Pikmin 3 is brilliant. The HD graphics look amazing and I can already tell the puzzles are going to get fiendishly difficult as the game progresses. It's devastating when the little Pikmins die too, either by coming a cropper due to environmental hazards, or if they get left behind at sunset and become a late night snack for the local beasties wandering around. The gamepad controls are a treat too. I wouldn't want to play it any other way. Rating: 8/10.
Friday, 26 July 2013
Label: "Craft ale - 100% British Barley - Hatherwood Craft Ales, Ales With Real Character"
Rating: "This Golden Goose Ale has been traditionally craft-brewed using Burton water, 100% British barley and a blend of Pale & Crystal malts, delivering a distinctive rich malty flavour which is perfectly combined with the classically refreshing, bitter finish of English Fuggle and Styrian Golding hops. Jeff Drew - Head Brewer." I've never had a Hatherwood beer before. I can report they're great! Just googled Jeff Drew and seen he's Head Brewer of Ringwood & Wychwood Brewery at Marston's PLC. Erm.... so where does Hatherwood fit in? What the actual..?
Game: After my disastrous Half Life 2 gaming session yesterday, I'm pleased to say I'm back and fighting fit. Beer really does make everything better! Tonight I'll be back on the Wii U playing Pikmin 3 which I've just purchased. I nearly didn't buy it because everyone seems to be going on about how the controls using the new gamepad are rubbish and the wii-mote and nunchuck (which I don't have) are by far the better control system. Edge online reckon the gamepad is great though and having never played a Pikmin game before, that's what I've based my purchase on. That one review... GamingAles review incoming soon.
Thursday, 25 July 2013
Label: "Onward, Onward Rode the 600... The Charge Of The Light Brigade, which inspired the Iron Maiden song The Trooper, took place at the Battle of Balaclava (1854) during the Crimean War when 600 British cavalry courageously charged the massed Russian artillery. This gallant but foolhardy assault resulted in a massive loss of life and came about due to a misunderstanding of an order given by the commanding officer, Lord Raglan."
Rating: "Trooper is a premium British beer inspired by Iron Maiden and handcrafted at Robinsons brewery. Being a real ale enthusiast, Bruce Dickinson has developed a beer which has true depth of character. Malt flavours and citric notes from a unique blend of Bobec, Goldings and Cascade hops dominate this deep golden ale with a subtle hint of lemon." Iron Maiden beer! Probably my most favourite ale to date!
Game: The Wii U is so great I've hardly touched the Xbox for a while. Tonight though I'm back on it with Half Life 2. Big mistake actually! Currently traversing rivers and storm drains on one of those things that floats on water with a fan behind it (you know, like what Gentle Ben used to ride on through the Everglades). It has made me feel incredibly nauseous for some reason. So much so, I've had to turn it off and I'm now typing this instead. I felt fine when I was playing Mario so I'm currently not sure if its the game or whether I'm coming down with something. In fact I'm not going back to gaming at all tonight, it's that bad. I'm off to watch some of my Fringe boxset instead. Plus Iron Maiden beer makes everything better!
Friday, 19 July 2013
Label: "Bright & Beautiful - Yorkshire Pale Ale"
Brewery: Black Sheep
Rating: "Brewed in celebration of James Herriot, this is a light, bright Yorkshire Pale Ale with a stubborn hoppy kick! It's carefully crafted at our brewery in Masham in the heart of Herriot country, using a blend of Fuggles, Goldings and Bramling Cross whole flower hops." I didn't much care for the telly program, it was something that your mum watched, but this beer more than makes up for it.
Game: Strangely there was an article on C&VG today about how the 3DS is selling really well and the 'marketing boss thinks software will drive Wii U sales'. Stranger still is the fact that for me, the 3DS software I've been playing DID make me buy a Wii U last week! That marketing boss is a frickin' genius! Give him a pay rise, quick! I'm amazed by my Wii U. I should have got one sooner. Currently playing Mario, Monster Hunter 3 and ZombiU. ZombiU is brilliant by the way, don't believe what IGN / Gamespot have said, their brains must have been zombie-chomped. Think game mechanics more akin to Dark Souls rather than the awful Left 4 Dead and you're on the right track.
Sunday, 7 July 2013
Label: "In celebration of St Piran - The Patron Saint of Cornwall + Cornish Surfing. A righteous man, St Piran floated from Ireland on a millstone which he surfed onto the Cornish beach that bears his name. He became the patron saint of Cornwall and Britain's first surfer! He lived and surfed until the ripe old age of 206."
Rating: "St Piran's ale is a strong tasting, refreshing golden ale which is not too sweet. Styrian Golding hops are used to give a superb finish and distinct flowery aroma."
Game: The weather has gone from rubbish cloudy drizzle to amazing sunshine! So obviously it's time to fire up the console! This time we're giving Luigi's Mansion 2 a spin on my much sadly under-used 3DS. Played it for about an hour and almost rushed out to get a Wii U. Nintendo seriously know how to make great games and because of this I need to invest in their hardware and software. Fortunately for my wallet the agoraphobia kicked in so I'm settling for just the 3DS at the moment. Rating: 9/10.
Saturday, 22 June 2013
Label: "Cornish Knockers were known as the Tin Mine Fairies. They lived down the mines and used to guide the miners to the rich veins of tin with their knocking. It is said that the miners would throw the left over crusts from their Cornish pasties into the mine to keep on the right side of the Knockers - Cornish Folklore"
Rating: "One of the original trail blazing golden ales - often copied but never equalled. Refreshing, full of life with hops all the way through. Flowery and fruity in the mouth with a clean and lasting malty, bittersweet finish."
Game: It's been an historic week! Xbox One pre-ordered along with two games, Ryse: Son of Rome and Forza 5. The games were £54.99 each... A lot. But then I remember paying at least £50 for Ocarina of Time on the Nintendo 64 when it first came out. I'm still not 100% sure if I'm insane or not. I guess we'll find out on the 27th November when the new console arrives. Current gaming time taken up with Remember Me, Lego Indiana Jones and Gears of War: Judgment.
Thursday, 13 June 2013
Label: "Brewed in Britain since 18th Century - 1777 marked the birth of Bass when William Bass moved to Burton on Trent and purchased his brewhouse - Trademark No.1"
Rating: "In 1876 the distinctive Bass triangle was a key iconic symbol of the first trademark to be registered in the UK. Brewed in Great Britain since the 18th century, Bass Ale is richly fragrant, has a wonderful hoppy bouquet and a bright chestnut hue." The word Bass always reminds me of Sega Bass Fishing on the Dreamcast, a game and console that I never owned but always used to look at. This randomly makes the beer even better rated because of this entirely tenuous link to gaming.
Game: So after E3 I'm entirely confused and conflicted about which next-gen console to get. As a self-confessed Xbox fanboy, the thought of moving over to the dark side is scary. But PS4 is cheaper, doesn't always need to be connected to the internet and has no second hand games / trade restrictions. It makes for a compelling argument to switch console camps indeed. But damn, XBO exclusive Ryse looked awesome...
Friday, 7 June 2013
Label: "Simon says... I always think a good ale should be meaty. So matching beer with steak or any red meat means you want depth of flavour. Luckily that's exactly what you'll find inside this bottle. Great flying solo - even better with your favourite meaty dish."
Rating: "An intense beer handcrafted to heighten the finest flavours of a big juicy steak. This rich ruby red ale is packed with toffee and roasted biscuity malts, adding a depth of flavour that will leave you (and your guests) wanting more." Guests Schmests, give me all the steak and give me all the beer!
Game: FINALLY! Dark Souls finished. Done and done. A mixture of emotions ranging from elation to wow-that-ending-was-rubbish. I'd also like to take this opportunity to pass on my undying gratitude to the following folks of Xbox Live-land, namely gamertag "Oven Chips" for his/her assist during the blisteringly difficult battle against Dragon Slayer Ornstein and Executioner Smough (two bosses against two real players seems fairer to me) and gamertag "I Am A Viking" for his copious amounts of encouragement and links to handy tutorials, guides and walkthroughs *wipes tear away* may you both be stocked full of Humanity and never go Hollow.
Saturday, 25 May 2013
Label: "Crafted Ale - American Style IPA"
Brewery: Greene King
Rating: "Full of hops and with a lasting fruity flavour, this beer is inspired by bold American IPAs"
Game: With next-gen gaming looming over us like a huge money-absorbing death blob, here's my top five best and worst games / IPs for the Xbox 360:
Games that amazed and astonished (great):
- Dark Souls
- Assassin's Creed
- Dead Space
- Mass Effect
Games that disgusted and dismayed (shit):
- Duke Nukem Forever
- Aliens: Colonial Marines
- Ironman 2
- Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer
- Terminator Salvation
Label: "2004 - 2005 Silver award winner, Class 3 International Cask Conditioned Ale Competition. The Brewing Industry International Awards"
Brewery: Oakham Ales
Rating: "A hand crafted bottled ale based on the cask conditioned favourite brewed to commemorate "Bishop Bill" William John Westwood's retirement as Bishop of Peterborough (1984 - 1996). A strong premium beer of structured quality dominated by elaborate fruity hop notes, with a grainy background and dry finish." I don't think I'm ever going to be able to retire... let alone have a beer named to commemorate the occasion. Well played Bill, you made it!
Game: Just a few words about the new Xbox reveal that happened in the week. It's all about the telly by the looks of things. You talk at the Xbox and change channel, "TV"... "Game"... "TV"... "Game"... "Xbox off". Because there are so many occasions where I want to swap between my game and live TV aren't there? No. There aren't. I have an Xbox because I don't watch or like telly. Surely you realise this Microsoft.
Friday, 10 May 2013
Label: "GB - Hoppy and refreshing with a fiery ginger kick and fruity lemon notes"
Brewery: Frederic Robinson
Rating: "Distinctive and unique in that it has been created especially for beer drinkers who like traditionally crafted ales and those who love the taste of ginger. Tasting note: A wonderful blend of traditional malty ale combined with natural ginger extract gives rise to a rich ruby red, warming beer. This hoppy and refreshing beer comes to life with a fiery ginger kick and in harmony with fruity lemon notes."
Game: So Dark Souls eh? What a bitch. Recently saw a video preview of Dark Souls 2 and it has spurred me on like a deranged horse to try and finish the original. Over the past week or so I've beaten Queelag, Havel, a Hydra, the Iron Golem, giant felines (or something, they were definitely big cats) and conquered Sen's Fortress, almost sorted New Londo Ruins and reached Anor Londo! Phew! I've also run through Firelink Shrine about a billion times due to lots of dying (some swine has extinguished the bonfire). But I think we're getting there, slowly but surely.
Saturday, 27 April 2013
Label: "Limited Edition - Bottle conditioned - No. 50556"
Rating: "The 2012 Vintage Ale, our 16th is brewed with three of this year's finest hop varieties including, Goldings, award winning Sovereign and Target hops. These combined with our unique yeast and organic barley grown by Sir James Fuller on the Neston Park Estate result in a wonderful limited edition brew that has a luxurious flavour.
Individually packed and numbered, this bottle is one of only one hundred and twenty five thousand produced."
Probably the most extravagant beer related purchase I've made, (it comes in it's own box and everything), costing a whopping £4.99. Just noticed on the box that it says it will improve with age for many more years like a fine wine or whiskey. I'm that confident it's going to be great, it appears on this site already and I've not even drank it yet!
Game: There's an Xbox event on May 21st when the new Xbox will be revealed. Yep, you read it here last, the new Xbox reveal! I for one can't wait to see what Microsoft have up their wizards sleeves. I've just seen some Battlefield 4 game-play footage which (I think) is next-gen and it looks amazing. A new era is dawning and I've still not finished Dark Souls... and I'm currently too busy cursing difficulty spikes in Final Fantasy XIII to get back to it. To the Xbox 360 I go!
Sunday, 14 April 2013
Label: "Full flavoured beer - Beer from the coast - Adnams Gunhill is proud to join the fight against Prostate Cancer by contributing a donation from Gunhill sales to the Prostate Cancer Charity."
Rating: "A traditional dark ruby ale, delivering full flavour at just 4% ABV. Full aromatic barley malts and an exquisite blend of hops combined to create a wonderful balance of sweet biscuit and subtle fruit flavours, with a hint of chocolate bitterness."
Game: What's all this "always-on connectivity" needed for the next Xbox then? My internet connection sometimes drops. Not often. But sometimes. And last night I couldn't sign into Xbox Live. So Microsoft can't guarantee 100% service up-time, and to be fair, who honestly can? But to say that I won't be able to play any games on the next console if there's a loss of connection is absolutely bonkers! PlayStation 4 just took the next-gen lead #dealwithit
Tuesday, 9 April 2013
Label: "Pale Amber Ale - From the Sole Bay Brewery"
Rating: "Named after the brightest star in the sky, which rises first over the Sole Bay Brewery every morning, Sole Star is a celebration of our very special East Coast location. This pale amber ale has a light floral, citrus aroma and gentle caramel notes - it's a great quality ale at only 2.7%"
Game: It's Tuesday, it's great when new games come out on a Tuesday, it means you don't have to wait until Friday. Today there are no new games out but I bought one anyway (take that, release schedule). Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance. But what's this? The Thank You For Playing website is go, go, go! Being a contributor to the Indiegogo campaign thing that kick started this thing, it's a proud moment for me. Check it out, right now. Look out for the Escort Service clip too, it's brilliant.
Wednesday, 3 April 2013
Label: "Our full-flavoured light ale"
Brewery: Bath Ales
Rating: "Golden Hare is bursting with flavour and brimming with condition. It's smooth yet dry, wonderfully fresh and delightfully zesty. We brew Golden Hare using floor-malted Maris Otter barley and the aptly named Goldings hops. These fine ingredients (plus our brewers' skill and patience) have helped to make Golden Hare a very rewarding light ale." Could only find three Bath Ales stocked locally, all of which I've now covered. Time to visit the Bath Ales website to order some others I think!
Game: I've just heard that Elizabeth's giant bird guardian in Bioshock: Infinite is supposed to be an allegory of an abusive relationship. And I thought it was just a massive mechanical bird. Must learn to read between the lines. Time for a replay!
Sunday, 31 March 2013
Label: "Our distinctive dark bitter"
Brewery: Bath Ales
Rating: "Rich in fruit with hints of chocolate, this full-bodied dark ale is a complex but deeply satisfying beer. We brew Barnsey using a mix of Maris Otter, Chocolate and Crystal malts together with Bramling Cross hops. These fine ingredients (plus our brewers' skill and diligence) have made this a truly rewarding and enjoyable beer." Happy Easter! Forget chocolate eggs, drink beer instead.
Game: Got a craving for gaming at the moment. More so than usual. Bioshock: Infinite (10/11) is amazing, replaying Tomb Raider (9/10) because guess what... it's amazing, even Final Fantasy XIII is amazing (8/10)! That's my Easter review round-up right there. Just bought Eurogamer tickets too!
Saturday, 30 March 2013
Label: "Clean and crisp with fresh citrus notes - A dry and refreshing hand-crafted lager"
Rating: "A unique lager-style beer, deliciously fresh and zesty with aromatic notes and a refreshingly dry finish. Award-winning brewery, Harviestoun has a passion for creating hand-crafted beers and this lager is no exception. They have used the finest quality barley, hops, water and yeast and have bottled this lager with less carbon dioxide to give a fresher taste."
Game: I've played the worst, now I'm currently playing the best FPS game. Bioshock: Infinite... obviously. This game is so good that I'm thinking of changing my rating system so that it goes up to eleven. Can't put into words yet exactly why it's so great, (because I'm a bit thick really) but suffice it to say it's amazing. 10/11.
Saturday, 16 March 2013
Label: "Golden ale - Pure gold from the heart of the Maple Tree"
Brewery: Joseph Holt
Rating: "Glorious golden ale with a refreshing hint of Canadian maple. This ale is crafted to be the lighter sister brew of our award winning Maple Moon Ale, using amber malts and cascade aroma hops." I always knew Maple Moon had a sister, and she's fit!
Game: Finally got round to getting Rocksmith. Guitar Hero was ace but I can't help feeling like a tit when I strap on a plastic guitar with six massive buttons instead of strings. With Rocksmith I can strap on my real guitar! Now, I'm not very musical, a turd could probably play better than me, if turds could pick up guitars. Really impressed with the game though, I'm definitely improving already and I've only played it twice. My guitar is a Squier Strat by the way. I know nothing about guitars (I always thought it was 'Squire strat'), yet I can sense guitar aficionados mocking my Squier. The swines.
Sunday, 10 March 2013
Label: "Our premium amber ale - Brewed for those who know... Gem has a rich aroma of hops and malt, with a long, deep, bitter-sweet finish. An exceptional best bitter."
Brewery: Bath Ales
Rating: "Here at Bath Ales, we brew Gem using floor malted Maris Otter barley and Goldings hops from East Kent. Those fine ingredients, together with our brewers' skill and passion, have helped to make Gem a quintessential English beer."
Game: Tomb Raider = Best. Reboot. Ever. It's a bit of a stunner in more ways than one. It's extremely violent as well which is always welcome. The animation of Lara trying to un-impale herself from a spike or branch that you've inadvertently careened into is quite disturbing. Incredible set-pieces and visual style make this an absolute gem. See... like the beer!... 9/10