Thursday, 30 June 2016

Beers with Peps: Brew Review- Banks' Brewery Devil's Backbone

So I'm going to take you back in time for this review. Imagine an England where I still lived and the United Kingdom was still part of the European Union. A happier time where in your local Wetherspoons you could get a burger and a pint for £5. Now imagine that pint was Banks' Devil's Backbone:


Name: Devil's Backbone
Style: APA (American Pale Ale)
Brewery: Banks (Marston) (Website)
Country: Wolverhampton, England.
Price: £5 with a Veggie Burger
ABV: 5.2%

Commercial Fluff:
Initially brewed at Banks’s by Devil’s Backbone’s head brewer, Jason Oliver, in September 2014, then contract brewed by Banks’s for Devil’s Backbone. Exclusive to Wetherspoon’s pub chain. 
Ingredients: A mix of English (East Kent Goldings and Admiral) and American hops added late in the process. Single-infusion mash of Pale Ale malt, fermented in open vats. 
American IPA is the first Devil’s Backbone beer to be sold outside of the United States. The beer is an original Devil’s Backbone recipe showcasing American hops and brewed especially for the English palate. Bank’s traditional brewery is significantly different from Devils Backbone’s in the US. The experience left Oliver nostalgic for the early days of his brewing career: "I started out at an English inspired brewery in Baltimore, and brewing at Banks’s really took me back, especially seeing the open fermentations. You can smell them, almost hear them slowly churning, and all but touch them. They’re tangible, alive and something I haven’t experienced in a long time." 
Devils Backbone was impressed with Wetherspoons commitment to selection and freshness. "We visited quite a few Wetherspoon pubs and I was struck by the number of options offered to consumers, even in the country pubs, and by the knowledgeable managers we met who really cared about the quality of the beverages they were serving", explained Chief Operating Officer Hayes Humphreys. "We’re confident that our beer will be well tended to."

Own Opinion

Sight: A clear golden pint, with a good white head that hangs around.
Aroma: Surprisingly fruity with aromas of peach and grapefruit.
Taste: Smooth, moderately sweet due to caramel malts but a good citrus bitterness that catches the tongue.
Would I buy it again? Yes. I'm interested to try the USA brewery who gave their name to this beer. But as far as pint in a wetherspoon goes, this is hard to beat (unless Punk IPA is on).

Thursday, 23 June 2016

Beers with Peps: Brew Review- Atlantic Coal Porter

So today we are heading back to a beer I drank in Boston last year. Having only been to the USA a handful of times I always try to grab beers I haven't heard off. So whilst looking over a pizza menu I came across this beer, so I grab a bottle and quickly down it. So I ordered a second to actually get some tasting notes.

Dodgy phone photo at night sorry.

Name: Atlantic Coal Porter
Style: Porter
Brewery: Atlantic Brewing Company (website)
Country: Bar Harbor, Maine, USA
Price: $3 US Bottle.
ABV: 5.8%

Commercial Fluff:

"A superb porter, hearty & dark. This one is a staff favorite, made with pale, crystal, Munich, chocolate, and black malts. The darker malts give Coal its color and rich flavor. We use Target and Willamette hops to yield a very subtle hop flavor in this porter. We cellar this beer for close to six months before releasing it on the thirsty throngs of fans."

Own Opinion

Sight: Pours and dark brown but if you can get the light to hit you'll see a red hue at the edges. The head is tan in colour. Pretty standard looking porter. 
Aroma: Strong roasted malt aroma to this beer, leading to hints of coffee, chocolate and mocha smells. 
Taste: Quite a burnt taste in the mouth, a little ashy and a sweetness too. Leaves the mouth with a slight bitterness.

Would I buy it again? No. Even though I bought two back to back I doubt I would buy again. It is a good enough drink but I have so many other porters that I prefer more. So I seriously doubt I would spend money on it again. Also I think other breweries do this flavour profile better (looking at you Evil Twin).

Thanks for reading and as always if you enjoyed please hit the +1 or drop me a comment. Cheers!

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Beers with Peps: Brew Review- Brooklyn Lager

Welcome guys to another #beerswithpeps Brew Review. For this review we travel across the border to our crazy neighbors America and pay a visit to New York and Brooklyn Brewery for their flagship beer Brooklyn Lager.


Name: Brooklyn Lager
Style: American Amber Lager/Vienna Style
Brewery: Brooklyn Brewery (website)
Country: USA, New York, Brooklyn
Price: $3.05 CAD 473ml Can
ABV: 5.2%

Commercial Fluff:
"In the late 1800’s Brooklyn was one of the largest brewing centers in the country, home to more than 45 breweries. Lager beer in the “Vienna” style was one of the local favorites. Brooklyn Lager is amber-gold in color and displays a firm malt center supported by a refreshing bitterness and floral hop aroma. Caramel malts show in the finish. The aromatic qualities of the beer are enhanced by “dry-hopping”, the centuries-old practice of steeping the beer with fresh hops as it undergoes a long, cold maturation. The result is a wonderfully flavorful beer, smooth, refreshing and very versatile with food. Dry-hopping is largely a British technique, which we’ve used in a Viennese-style beer to create an American original."
Own Opinion

Sight: Pours a clear deep ruby orange and is topped with a crisp white head. Looks refreshing!
Aroma: Fruity sweetness is jumping out of the can at me, backed with a caramel malt body. Exactly what you would expect from this type of beer style.
Taste: Crisp and refreshing lager that leaves a sweet bitter finish at the back of the tongue. Downside has more aroma that flavour would love to get a bit more hoppyness into it.

Would I buy it again? Yes. This beer is a great representation of the style and is one of the few lagers I actually enjoy and will spend money on. It's also a brewery I hope to visit in a two months when I visit New York for the first time ever with my good friend Tom from My Travel Mission. I plan on taking a crazy amount of pictures and will be bombarding you all with them.

Thanks your reading my update and if you enjoyed it feel free to share or +1 it. Thanks and Cheers!

Monday, 20 June 2016

S102: Character Fact Files- Chapman Pincher

Welcome back to a long overdue Sector 102 update. Before I get into my fluff about the character I want to talk about the model. It was produced in 1985 by Games Workshop to go ago side their Judge Dredd Roleplaying game. Apart from being given the name Chapman Pincher I can find no links to a 2000ad Storyline. So who is this Chapman Pincher and where did he come from? If you have info on this character please share with me. What I did find was a real person Chapman Pincher, a journalist/historian who loved catching moles and soviet spies. Which could have acted as a great background for the character but sadly doesn't match the worn out look of the model. So I'm making up my own fluff so here goes.

++ Attention all Judges ++
++ Chapman Pincher the Ghoul seen near waterfront of Sector 102. Approach with caution, wanted in the connection with a brutal murders and links to cannibalism ++

Not much is known about Chapman Pincher or his past. With no DNA data linking him to anyone in the City. This could possibly be down to two reasons. One- Illegal immigrant from the Cursed Earth, possible sneaked in on boat through the waterfront. Though the lack of genetic mutation suggests it's not this. Two- Chapman is from the Undercity, this is possibly more likely due to Chapman's killings all taking place night. Where ever he is from Chapman is trouble. First spotted by spy cameras, looting victims bodies following the Water Rats last gang fight. Possibly Chapman was just taking opportunity of the violence or maybe he's a perp for hire. Either way Chapman has since gone on to murder and rob five more perps/citizens and worst let he seems to be eating the ears of victims. Extremely dangerous and unhinged Chapman is to be approached with extreme caution.

Chapman Pincher

Merc for Hire: Citi-Def (undercity guide), Street Gang (hanger on), Ape Gang (hanger on), Mobster (hanger on), Fatties (hanger on), Cursed Eart Desperado (Mega-City Guide), Apoc War Resistance Unit (hanger on), Zombie Horde (blends in).

Credits: 25
Type: Infantry Minion
Move: 5"
Agility: +0
Shoot: +0
Melee: +0
Melee Dice: 2D
Will: +0
Armour: +0
Hits: 1
Weapons: Club (Dam: 1 AP: 0 Smasher)

Beers with Peps: Brew Review- Against the Grain MacFanny Baw

Welcome one and all for brew review. I'm going to lie and say I have been a lazy ass when this week. The weather here in Ottawa is so hot that any drink I open is drunk and gone before I even take a picture. Currently I have two fans blowing me in a lame attempt to stay cool enough to write this update. I guess that's the problem of being an Englishman aboard I can't handle weather that doesn't involve rain.

But now to today's beer. The beer itself is called MacFanny Baw by Against the Grain Brewery. What made it standout for me was the label. It features a scotsman riding a barrel down a river past a brewery. It really brought a smile to my face so I knew I had to buy it. Once home I was happy to find out that it was a barrel aged smoked beer. So let us get into the details.


Name: MacFanny Baw
Style: Barrel aged Rauchbier
Brewery: Against the Grain (website)
Country: Kentucky USA
Price: $21 CAD 22oz bottle
ABV: 8.5%

Commercial Fluff:
"Literally, Son of Vagina Testicle, why? It's kinda funny. 
Truly a groundbreaking beer, this Barrel aged Rauchbier was an attempt to replicate the flavors present in Islay Scotch Whiskey.  We used Munich malt as a base and added copious amounts of Beechwood and Peat smoked malt, which provides the intense smoky and earthy peat flavors found in Scotch.  Then the addition of Alderwood smoked salt lends a crisp brininess that is reminiscent of the sea air in the Islay region of Scotland.  Aged in used Angel's Envy Bourbon Barrels to give an intense caramel, vanilla and whiskey flavor."
Own Opinion

Sight: Pours a nice amber colour with a solid head of yellowish tint.
Aroma: Toasty malts jump out first with caramel and peat closely following it's a great aroma.
Taste: Quite a sweet beer, with toffee and caramel flavours leading the charge, but soon the smoke come into play leaving a dry bitter finish to the beer.
Would I buy it again? Yes. Overall a pleasant beer. Not a every night type beer mind, but a great example of the style that when in the mood for would not disappoint. I highly recommend it as a sharing beer as I would struggle to finish on my own. From packaging to the actual drink itself this beer did not disappoint and left a smile on my face.

full artwork in all it's glory
So is it a beer you've had before? How can I get more of this brewery in the Ottawa region any advice would be warmly welcomed. As always drop me a comment or a +1 if you enjoyed. Cheers!

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