If you know me or of me, you will know I like beer. Over the last few years I have been collecting photos of every new beer I have.
I now have over 1,700 individual beers photographed and have realised that many beers that I assumed I have photos of, I haven't.

This blog will be therefore be an account of my quest for new beers to photo and how I enjoyed them (or not).
My email is ralphgant@sky.com.

Friday, 19 October 2012

Trip To Wales, Just the beers from Wales

Here are the beer I bought in Wales, save you reading through the full Beer and Me Wales blog, Unplanned Trip To Wales, also the ones that I had on my return home.

Tomos Watkin, Cwrw Idris from Wales


5.2% amber colour with a thin head, malt aroma, bitter caramel taste but bit fizzy.
From the bottle, Dedicated to the memory of Idris Parry AB, who established the Hurns Mineral Water Co., after he’d survived being torpedoed and sunk by the Kaiser... twice!
Vowing never to go near salt water again, he spent the rest of his life downing the great Ales of Wales. We salute his spirit, we salute his dedication, and, lastly, we salute his buoyancy.

Tomos Watkin, Cwrw Hâf (Summer ale) from Wales


4.2% pale amber colour with a thin head, fruity malt aroma, malt and some citrus in the taste.

Purple Moose, Madog's Ale / Cwrw Madog from Wales


3.7% amber colour with a thin head, malt and hop aroma, malt and some hop in the taste.

Purple Moose, Dark Side Of The Moose / Ochr Tywyll Y Mws from Wales


4.6% dark brown with a thin head, roast malt aroma, slightly bitter roast malt taste.

Purple Moose, Snowdonia Ale / Cwrw Eryri from Wales


3.6% gold colour with a thin head, slightly fruity aroma, citrus hop taste.

Purple Moose, Glaslyn Ale / Cwrw Glaslyn from Wales


4.2% amber colour with a thin head, malty aroma, fruity caramel taste, not bad beer.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Unplanned Trip To Wales

Continuing the catch up.

Before the Newcastle trip, we had booked three nights at a hotel in Manchester at the beginning of August but things didn't go as planned.

Nicole, Tim and the twins, had a week booked on a holiday park in north Wales at the same time and it was Georgia, Emily and Nicole's birthdays that week. They also had a spare bedroom, so we decided we would set off a day early, stop the night in Wales, see the twins next day on their birthday, then travel on to Manchester.

Day one, Saturday 4th August.

It was a very long drive to the resort in Wales but it was worth it to see the look and the girls faces when we arrived. We had kept it as a surprise for them and it was.

As we were tired after the drive, we just had a quiet night in with pizza, a DVD and some beers. I bought a Welsh beer in the shop along with the pizzas for supper and I had also brought some beers with me, just in case.

The beers were as follows

Tomos Watkin, Cwrw Idris from Wales


5.2% amber colour with a thin head, malt aroma, bitter caramel taste but bit fizzy.
From the bottle, Dedicated to the memory of Idris Parry AB, who established the Hurns Mineral Water Co., after he’d survived being torpedoed and sunk by the Kaiser... twice!
Vowing never to go near salt water again, he spent the rest of his life downing the great Ales of Wales. We salute his spirit, we salute his dedication, and, lastly, we salute his buoyancy.
RCH, Sweet F.A from England


4..0% pale amber colour with a thin head, slightly fruity aroma, caramel malt taste.

Flying Dog, Snake Dog IPA from the USA


7.1% amber colour with a thin head. citrus hops and grapefruit aroma, taste grapefruit and hops.

Flying Dog, Doggie Style Classic Pale Ale from the USA


5.5% amber colour with a thin head, citrus hop aroma, citrus hops with some caramel in the taste.

Day two, Sunday 5th August, Georgia and Emily's ninth birthday.

Up early to open cards and presents.

We were due to leave for the hotel sometime today but I phoned them to say we would not be arriving until tomorrow, as we were having such a good time here.

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We were down the beach for 10:30 and the sun was shining, what a surprise after the summer we have been having (now confirmed as wettest UK summer for 100 years). The girls had bought a boogie board on the way down and could not wait to get in the sea. After a while, the sea water started to make poor Georgia's eczema sting and she had to just play on the shore for the rest of the day.

Boogie Board

At lunch time, Nicole and Tim went back to the shop and bought stuff for a picnic (this included a beer), so we could just stay on the beach all day.

Later, Tim, Dot and I went for a walk around the headland and found some gun emplacements.  There are also some very beautiful views from there.

After a long day on the beach, we called in to the bar on the walk back, and booked a table for dinner for a birthday treat.

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After dinner the girls had cupcakes with a candle in, we didn't want all the staff coming over and singing happy birthday, as we had seen earlier.


I bought some more Welsh beers from the site shop on the way back to the van.

Tomos Watkin, Cwrw Hâf (Summer ale) from Wales


4.2% pale amber colour with a thin head, fruity malt aroma, malt and some citrus in the taste.

Purple Moose, Madog's Ale / Cwrw Madog from Wales


3.7% amber colour with a thin head, malt and hop aroma, malt and some hop in the taste.

Day three, Monday 6th August

We went over to the pool complex as soon as breakfast was done and spent all morning in there.  I phoned the hotel and postponed again, so that we would be here for Nicole's birthday tomorrow.

After lunch Nicole and Tim went off in the car to the local ASDA, to get what we needed for a BBQ supper.  They also got some more beer for me (we had not planned to be here this long) and a wetsuit for Georgia.


As well as barbecuing I also sampled another local beer, not to mention several cans of Old Speckled Hen.

Purple Moose, Dark Side Of The Moose / Ochr Tywyll Y Mws from Wales


4.6% dark brown with a thin head, roast malt aroma, slightly bitter roast malt taste.

Later we had cake we brought for Nicole's birthday, as we would be off to the hotel in Manchester (eventually), well before it was time to eat it tomorrow.


Day four, Tuesday 7th August, Nicole's birthday

After bacon sandwiches, and before we set off for Manchester, we all went down to the beach. Georgia got to try out her new wetsuit and it worked perfectly, she finally got to play on the boogie board.


It was very warm again, so it was well into the afternoon before we left the beach.

Birthday Girl

By the time we left for Manchester, we didn't have any time to do any sightseeing on the way and we took our lunch with us to eat as we went.

Continued, Unplanned Trip To Wales, the drive home.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Our Ruby Wedding

Time to get back to normal and start catching up.

In August it was our Ruby Wedding and we had two nights away in Newcastle to celebrate.  The hotel was close to the river Tyne and it's famous quayside just behind the crown courts.

Day one, 19th August.

40 years ago today was our wedding day, I was going to say it feels like yesterday but I won't.

It started to rain just as we arrived in Newcastle, we parked up beneath the hotel and as we were too early to check in, we had a couple of beers in the hotel bar as we waited.  After we checked in we popped to the small Tesco around the corner to get some chocolate and beer, to have while we prepared for a night out.

By the time we were ready to go out for a meal it was starting to rain again and by the time we got to the city centre it was pouring down. We had intended to walk around and pick out a restaurant, but the rain just got harder and harder, so we turned back to the first couple of places we had passed. Then picked the one with a name we liked, anywhere to get out of the rain really. Well we could have done worse than choosing Portofino's Italian restaurants. The food was very good (choice of beer was the usual for an Italian restaurant though) and the setting was fantastic.

Dessert


As for the beer, I think I only had the one Peroni before we moved on.

Peroni, Nastro Azzurro, Italy

Peroni, Nastro Azzurro from Italy, 5.1%, pale gold colour with no head, it is a bit like fizzy water but at least it's drinkable and it was ok with the meal.

The rain had eased by the time we left and we made our way down to the riverside. On the road down we came to a pub with music blasting from the open doors, we stopped and debated whether to go in for one. I was surprised to find that it was a BrewDog pub, I didn't realise they had any outlets of their own (they do in fact have seven with more on the way).

We went in, Dot had a Trashy Blond I had an Alice Porter, I should have read the board properly, as Dot could have had a Kriek. The band stopped playing as soon as we entered and didn't come back on until we were ready to leave. We did stop for the first two songs, but I am glad we were leaving as they were too loud for the size of the room (and I am getting old, still love the music, just not too loud anymore).

BrewDog, Trashy Blonde, Scotland

BrewDog, Trashy Blonde from Scotland, 4.1% hazy gold colour with a thin head, hop and malt aroma, dry hoppy taste but a bit thin.

Down by the river we went into The Quayside a J D Wetherspoons bar, and sat up on the mezzanine level.  Here I though I would get to try a few new hand pulled beers but the selection although varied, was not what I would have usually expected from a Wetherspoons.   There was one I hadn't had and enough good old favourites to keep me going though.  The new beer was, Woodforde's, Wherry.

Woodforde's, Wherry, England

Woodforde's, Wherry from England, 3.8% amber colour with a good head, hop and malt aroma, caramel malt taste.

On the walk back to the hotel, I did what I always do (usually in York though), I tried to take photos of bridges in the dark. Unfortunately I do not have the camera for taking such photos and I know it but after a drink I always have a go.

Newcastle

After a short walk along the river we retired back to the hotel.

Day two, 20th August.

Today was going to be a shopping day, hit the shops until we were too tired to carry on then retire to the bars. The original plan was to go on a river boat trip but we discovered they do not run on Monday's.

Well in the end neither of us fancied shopping, we nearly went on an open top bus tour but the bus left as we walked towards it and it was an hour before the next one. So we went for a bacon bun from Greggs and had them in the sun by the river, the weather had improved noticeably.

As it was sunny we though we would just have a nice leisurely walk along the river, we walk downstream last time we were here, so set off upriver this time.

It was getting on for lunch time as we got to The Quayside pub we were in last night and they were still serving breakfast. After a brief discussion we went in for a Traditional Breakfast (it would then last us until our evening meal), the tea and coffee cost almost as much as the food, they were not expensive, it's the food that is cheap but it is good.

We did about a three hour walk, an hour and a half each way, around four mile in total.  We didn't walk for all the time, we had a couple of sits in the sun and bought fruit drinks for refreshment.  On the way back, after our last sit in the sun, I went to take a photo and discovered I had left my camera on the seat (I had been messing about changing batteries).   I started to run back to see if it was still there but after a short distance I spotter two joggers coming the other way, one had a camera in her hand.  I waved them to stop and it was my camera, they had found it and were going to hand it in to a police station.   If the had I would never have seen it again, because I wouldn't have checked, with the police.  I thanked them profusely for their good deed, it saved me a camera and a heart attack from running too far.

The Quayside

By now we were back at The Quayside pub and stopped for more refreshments, before going back to the hotel to get washed and changed for the night.  They had two new beers that were not on the menu the night before and both local brews.


Tyne Bank, Monument Bitter from England, 4.1% hazy amber colour with a good head, malt aroma, smooth slightly sweet citrus hop taste.

Tyne Bank, Castle Gold from England, 3.9% gold colour with a good head, sweet hop aroma, bitter refreshing citrus hop taste.

That night we returned to The Quayside pub and had a meal there and a few nice beers.  When we left about ten, there were people still in the from when we were in on the afternoon, some were very drunk.

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You will probably be thinking, I bet he didn't try to take photos of the bridges in the dark again, well if you are, you would be wrong, I just can not help it.


Day three, 21st August.

First thing we went to the The Quayside for breakfast, it was good and cheep yesterday so why not. It was nice and sunny so we sat outside.


It wasn't even 10:30 when we arrived for breakfast but there were two full beer bottles already on one of the tables outside. I assumed that someone had left them, as it was Fischer, Desperados Red from France, and I would have left them.

Fischer, Desperados, France

5.9% tastes like an a sickly English lager and lime. Someone should have warned me about this dreadful beer, before I bought some in France.

Anyway they hadn't been left. a young man sat at the table and drank them both, then he went to the bar and came back with a pint of lager, which he drank straight off and left. He repaired several minuets later with two Jägerbombs and downed each of them in one, then had another lager, all of this was in the half hour we were there and all before 11:00 am.

Next we drove to Tynemouth, somewhere we had never been, we stuck to the river wherever possible and parked in North Shields at the fish quay (somewhere else we had never been).  We couldn't find any parking restriction signs so assumed we would be ok to park there. 

North Shields fish quay

We walked along the promenade to the end, taking photos of the lighthouses on the way and then it was up the bank to Tynemouth priory and castle.  


At the top of the hill you realise that the priory and castle, are on top of the next hill and you have to go down and back up again.  We spent some time looking at the castle before looking at the shops.

DSCF6115


We took a shortcut back that didn't work and we had to climb over a wall to get to where we wanted to be.  Back at the car it was time to head home.