A Grim North

Musings from a northerner living in the deep south…

Posts Tagged ‘ELAC’

Spring Beer Festival

Posted by Alan on March 27, 2010

Today and tomorrow sees the bring beer festival at the William IV in Leyton (Bakers Arms). Myself and Jon popped in for a couple of beers.

The William IV - Bakers Arms, Leyton

For about 2 years now this place has been a brew pub – i.e. a pub that brew’s it’s own beer. Today they had put on a range of about 15 beers to sample, from the lightest lager to the strong Romanov Empress Imperial Stout (12.1%).

The Beer Menu

Romanov Empress Stout


Favourite beer of the day was probably Red Sun – a blend of Brodies Red and Brodies Sunshine. Dark but also light – lovely.

Last beer of the day was Brodies’ blue – which is surprisingly red…

Brodies Blue

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Catching Up

Posted by Alan on January 25, 2010

I really am falling behind with this blogging lark. There’s still stuff from Christmas that I want to write about. Oh well… it obviously can wait a little bit longer yet.

This Friday I had the afternoon off. Straight to the train and by 4.30 I was at the Winter Ales beer festival in Manchester. For a long time this was in the convenient New Century Hall, but apparently that needs refurbishing so is no longer available. Hence we meandered on the bus up to Miles Platting, just short of Collyhurst where Shameless is meant to be set.

Even at half 4 it was standing room only.

Winter Ales - Dan on the Floor

Winter Ales - Dan on the Floor, and just ½pt no. 1!

Some bloke (who later turned out to be deputy organiser!) wheeled out some extra chairs making a joke about how just because the venue was in Beirut, the young ‘uns on the floor should stop making it look so! Eventually we found two chairs at a table and gradually invaded…

Old Tom - Best Ale?

Old Tom - Best Ale? We disagree vehemently!

Beer, Here

Beer, drunk best in halfs or nips (1/3rd pint)

By the end of the evening someone had balloons. Just some random person.

Balloons + beer = comedy balloon shapes & animals.


Balloons can be made into many things. Or not.

This was also the first social trip out for the EOS 500D. I’m starting to like it a lot and I think I really need to get out into the City and shoot a few of the more beautiful parts. And maybe clock up how many S44 Stop and Search I can collect in an hour!

* * *

Winter ales wasn’t the first beery outing this week though. On Thursday, I took a trip out to Old St to check out a crawl for ELAC with Dickie. We had fun (sticking just to halves again – it was a school night after all). Found some places to drink and one not to drink.

The journey was: Old Fountain, Wenlock Arms, William IV, Eagle (“Hoxton”),  Bavarian Beerhouse, Artillary Arms. Each pub had it’s own merits – the Wenlock full of character (and characters), the William IV with pretty good Jazz but the Bavarian Beerhouse was a bit disappointment to say the least. £3 got you ‘0.3l’ of beer (of any sort) – though the glass was lined at ½pt (less than 0.3l!). If you felt flush you could spend £8.10 on a stein (1l). Whilst there were saw at least 4 smashed which is perhaps why they cost £8.10!

That’s enough for now… I will get back to older news (olds?) later in the week…

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Long time no update

Posted by Alan on December 22, 2009

A friend of mine always says that ‘happy people don’t keep diaries’ and given the utter deafening silence here that could be true. More likely is that busy people have Outlook to manage their diaries for them and thus never notice the gaps…!

As ever, December descended into the mental abyss of Christmas do’s, beer festivals, rounding off with a couple of quiet weeks at work as people start to disappear on their jollies.

Pigs Ear 2009 (ELAC CAMRA/Hackney Beer Festival) was a great success. More people through the door than ever before and some excellent beer on hand. Even got a few of the grads from work out for an excellent night at the foreign bar. As a pigs ear worker, I got stuck in helping run the games including the awesome roll the barrel:

Action Shot - Barrel

Mind the rolling barrel...

Needless to say, I was bloody awful, despite all the practice I had to drum up a crowd!

Action Shot - Punters

Action shot of the happy punters...

I finally bought a proper camera but haven’t had time to use it in anger yet. I guess one more thing to plan in for the new year.

Not much to do now but pack for xmas. I have half a kilo of excellent bacon, some rather special cheese and a bottle of Orkney Dark Island Special Reserve to bring North. Mmmmm…

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London Slow Food and Beer Matching

Posted by Alan on July 24, 2009

Last night we headed out to a Slow Food and Beer Matching event hosted jointly by the London Branch of ‘Slow Food’ and East London & City CAMRA.

And what a brilliant idea it was too – my thanks go out to Bill Green of ELAC for choosing the beer and arranging the venue. £20 bought you 8 combinations to sample – each with their own subtleties.

Seven of Eight

Seven of Eight

(The 8th was a lager therefore needed to be chilled).

Pretty simple concept really – we were guided though the beer by our host, Bill, and after pouring a sample (around 1/3rd pint) some food would arrive. Taste, match and enjoy. So without much futher ado… here’s what I thought.

1. Umbel Magna (3.8%) + Serrano Ham Crostini

Beer has a lovely sweet start. Cuts though the grease of the cheese/ham. Very nice contrast between the flavours.

2. Heather Ale (5%) + Quail Egg wrapped in Haggis (a la scotch egg) with Hollandaise

Mmmm. Nice. The spicy of the haggis works really well with the floral flavoured beer.

3. Taiphoon (4.2%) + Thai Chicken and Coconut Satay (with Sweet Chilli Sauce)

Not very keen on this. The beer didn’t really have a strong enough flavour to match the Chicken, especially with the sweet chilli sauce.

Chicken and Tempura

Chicken and Tempura Pimento

4. Dandelion (4.5%) + Tempura Roast Pimento

Love the pimento and the very subtle dandelion flavours. Works well for me.

5. Grozet (5.0%) + Wild Boar and Apple Chipolata

The only lager amongst the set tonight, I was really impressed with this. It complimented the sausage really well and was very drinkable on it’s own. Apparently it’s main flavour was Gooseberry. Having never eaten a gooseberry I can’t confirm that! Nice anyway.

Grozet, Lager - Sounds Eastern European but is actually Scottish!

Grozet, Lager - Sounds Eastern European but is actually Scottish!

6. Greenwich Meantime Chocolate Strong Ale (6.5%) + Beef Teriyaki

Flavoured with Chocolate rather than Chocolate Malt. Not really my thing as a beer. Goes OK with the Beer, but perhaps a little too similar as both are quite “heavy” flavours. Apparently they had to switch supplier of Chocolate as the quakers who own Cadbury’s were non too impressed their chocolate was being used to brew beer!

7. Greenwich Meantime Raspberry Wheat (6.5%) + Mini Summer Pudding

Based on a weissbeer style this was ok, though I think I would have preferred a non-flavoured weissbeer. It didn’t match the pudding very well either – the sweetness of the pudding made the beer taste uber-tarte.

8. Chalky’s Bite (6.8%) + Breaded Chilli Camembert

Beer and cheese combo works very well. This beer is flavoured with fennel and is the first of the strong beers to taste strong in alcohol. Provides an intermission to the cheese flavours. Lovely.


If you get offered the chance to do something similar, take it up! A very enjoyable and inexpensive night!

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