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.

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Well that didnt last long

I thought I was well enough to get back to normal but I just wasn't. Its weird how your body feels, I thought I was well enough but I just could not get back to typing. I think that I just could not be bothered to fight the authorises and so just let them have there way. After all it was them that stopped me driving and after that I just cave up, also my family just decided to go with anything they said as well.

Well I am going to make a stand, I am going to get back to normal, I do not know how I am going to do this but I am going to try. Over the next week or so, I am going to make a stand and we will see how this goes.

Check back here to see how I am getting on.

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Not been Well

Hi everyone, I am back, I have been able to type for all of the time I have been missing but I just could not be bothered.   During our last trip to York in November, I had a Stroke, nothing too bad but it did put me off typing for about a month.  Anyway I am back now and looking for something to type.

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Halloween 2013

I had to drop Dot off for a works leaving do, so I though I would pop into the pub for a beer, it is Halloween, so I got a pint of Hobgoblin.  I really like Hobgoblin but when I looked at my change I wondered if I had mislead some but no it really was £3.15, I do not get out much and no wonder.   I can get four for that on offer in the supermarket but the pub prices were not putting people off, there was a 45min wait for meals and all these people were drinking.

I bought a Bass next it was about £2.50 slightly better.   As I sat on my own, I kept hearing people at the bar asking for Fosters (which they do not have), what is wrong with the youth of today.

Reviewed before but here are the two beers

Wychwood, Hobgoblin from England


5.2% dark amber with a thin head, fruity hop aroma, nice creamy malt taste, very good beer and the beast of the bunch for Halloween.

Bass, Premium Ale


4.4% amber with a thin head, bass has never had a good smell and I find it best not to sniff it but the taste is very good, fruity, malty and caramel with slight bitterness.

Bass was once one of the biggest brewers in England, not just England, the world, and I have drunk Bass in bars in the USA and in Belgium. It is now owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev and brewed by Marston's.

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Stables, Beers

As I mentioned the Stables Brewery in the last blog, I thought I would be a good idea to review all of their beers I have had. Every one I have had have been from the Sun Inn or the beer tent at Beamish museum.

Just a reminder. The Sun Inn, was moved to Beamish from Bishop Auckland in the 1970s, and the inside it is set in 1913. Most of the beers sold there are now brewed locally at the stables brewery at Beamish Hall.

The Sun Inn, Beamish

Stables, Beamish Burn Brown Ale from England

Stables, Beamish Burn Brown Ale, England

4.2% hazy amber colour with a good head, fruity malt aroma, bitter malt and hop taste.

Stables, Hetton Silver Band Hall Bitter from England

Stables? Hetton Silver Band Hall Bitter, England

4.0% hazy amber colour with a thin head, citrus hop aroma, bitter citrus hop taste.

Stables, Bobby Dazzler from England

Stables, Bobby Dazzler, England

4.2% pale gold colour with a good head, some chocolate in the aroma, a smooth beer slightly sweet with some citrus, just ok.

Stables, Old Miner Tommy from England

52 beers 3 - 01, Stables, Old Miner Tommy, England

3.7% pale gold colour with a thin head, very little aroma, it had a hoppy bitter taste with some citrus in there, good pale ale.

Stables, Beamish Hall Bitter from England

Stables, Beamish Hall Bitter, England

3.8% deep gold colour with a good head, not much aroma, average bitter taste.

Stables, Bell Tower from England 

Stables, Bell Tower, England

5.0% dark brown almost black colour with a thin head, burnt toffee aroma, burnt roasted malt taste. Had it with our picnic, over the road in the park sat by the bandstand. 

Stables, Silver Buckles from England

Week 52 - An52 Beers, Stables, Silver Buckles, England

4.4% light gold in colour with a thin head, slight hop aroma, citrus hop taste but slightly watery

Stables, Mahogany Drift Bitter from England

Stables, Mahogany Drift Bitter, England

3.8% amber colour with a good head, malt and hop aroma and a good bitter taste. One criticism though, the newly designed pump clips do not fit in with the rest of the pub.

Stables, Beamish Gold from England

Stables, Beamish Gold, England

4.8% review to follow.

The Sun Inn, Beamish

Visited Beamish again today with the girls (Beamish is the open are museum of the north), it is half term and we have a pass for the year, we had our picnic with us as usual.

After lunch, while the girls went to the small fair ground with it's steam driven Merry-go-round, I popped into the Sun Inn to see if they had any new beers.


The Sun Inn, was moved to Beamish from Bishop Auckland and inside it is set in 1913. Most of the beers sold there are now brewed locally at the stables brewery at Beamish Hall.


Well there were two new beers but I was driving so only sampled one of them.

Stables, Mahogany Drift Bitter from England

Stables, Mahogany Drift Bitter, England

3.8% amber colour with a good head, malt and hop aroma and a good bitter taste. One criticism though, the newly designed pump clips do not fit in with the rest of the pub.

The other new beer was

Stables, Beamish Gold from England

Stables, Beamish Gold, England

A 4.8% golden bitter, I will have to try this one next time, well now I have an excuse to go back.

Monday, 28 October 2013

Citrus hop free night.

In the last blog, I said Jonathan and I were sick, of gold coloured citrus hop flavoured beers, well tonight (Saturday) we made a stand and steered clear of such beers. Of course if I am to carry on collecting new beers, I will have to go back to sampling citrus hoppy beers soon, as that is what I expect I am going find the majority of new beers to be.

Here is the full list of beers we had, some I have reviewed in the past some are new but all are a change from gold coloured citrus hop flavoured beers.  Only the new beers have new photos, the rest are from the archive.

Jennings, Sneck Lifter from England


5.1% dark red colour with a good head, roasted malt aroma and nice roasted fruity malt flavor, very good on draught or in bottles.

Einstök, Icelandic White Ale from Iceland


5.2% cloudy pale yellow colour with a good head, nice sweet fruity aroma, fruity, herby, coriander, wheat beer taste.

Einstök, Icelandic Toasted Porter, Iceland


6.0% almost black with a good head, roast malt aroma, mild roast malt taste.

Grafenwalder, Weissbier from Germany

Grafenwalder, Weissbier, Germany

5.0% cloudy gold with a thin head, normal weissbier aroma, taste is bitter yeasty citrus, very nice (yes I used the citrus word but it is different in a wheat beer).

Belhaven, Wee Heavy from Scotland


6.5% deep amber with a nice head, fruity malt aroma, nice warming fruity malt taste.

Petrus, Blond from Belgium


6.6% golden with a good head, sweet yeast aroma, nice crisp fruity taste (this was as close as we got to a gold coloured citrus hop flavoured beer but it wasn't).

Petrus, Dubble Bruin from Belgium

Week 8 - An52 Beers, Petrus, Dubble Bruin, Belgium

6.5%, dark brown with a good head, aroma of roasted malts and fruit, sweet caramel with a bitter aftertaste, good (did you see what  did with the photo, very witty or what).

And finally one from just last week but here again to show we avoided the citrus hop.

Sadler’s, Mud City Stout from England


6.6% black colour with a good head, roast malt aroma, sweet mild roast malt taste very nice.

Of course all of the beers were sampled along with some very nice food, spaghetti bolognese and fresh bread, followed by chocolate cake and cream.

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Friday Night Football

Didn't go out this Friday, three times in a row now but stayed in and watched the football. Boro (Middlesbrough F.C.) my local club were playing Doncaster, it was Boro's first time on TV for what seemed like ages.  Boro have just sacked their manager this week as they are struggling in the league, in 2013 they have won just 5 games from 33 played.

Anyway tonight we won 4 - 0,  make that 6 games from 33 played and I had two new beers, both IPAs.

I would usually save these beers for Saturday night with Jonathan but he is sick of gold coloured, citrus tasting, hoppy beers.  To tell the truth so am I, most of the beers coming from the smaller brewers are Pale Ales, IPAs, Golden Ales, Blond Ales and they all look and taste the same.   Beers for the youth market, beers that are not too unlike the lagers they have been drinking.

I think tonight (Saturday) we will be drinking mainly bitters, stouts and wheat beers.

Growler, IPA ian & Paul’s ale from England


3.5% deep gold with a thin head, hoppy aroma, some caramel in the hoppy taste. Tasted stronger far than it's 3.5%.

Salisbury, Sarum IPA from Engalnd


4.3% gold colour with a thin head, sweet fruity aroma but a slightly watery hoppy taste.

This theme of citrus tasting hoppy beers, is continued here.

Friday, 25 October 2013

My Top Ten Canned Beers

I have often read or heard it said that you can not get a decent beer in a can, well as with lots of other popular misconception about beer, I disagree and think you can (not intended to be a pun but it is fitting).

Although I must admit some canned beers are dreadful but they would still be dreadful in bottles or on draught. Many of these are what we often refer to as Tramp Juice, very strong lagers used purely to get inebriated fast, with no regard for taste.

The beer I will list here are beers that I consider very drinkable in the canned form. Most of these beers have already been covered in my other Top Tens but it is worth mentioning that the cans are just as good.

Tetley's, Original Bitter from England

Tetley's, Original Bitter, England

3.6%. amber colour with a thin head, malt aroma, and dry bitter malt taste.  I think this could possibly be the best mass produced canned beer in the world but it has to be this one, the original, not the smooth stuff, I do not like that one at all.   This is an old review and I am not a sure as I once was, since production has moved away from Leeds and Yorkshire but I am willing to see how it settles out.

Grimbergen, Blond from Belgium

Grimbergen, Blond, Belgium

6.7%, gold colour with thin head, sweet aroma and fruity malty taste, a really nice abbey beer, even in cans. In Belgium, cans cost more than bottles but you have to pay a refundable deposit on the bottles, so if I am bringing beer home to England it is cheaper to buy the cans.

Badger, Tangle Foot from England

Badger, Tangle Foot, England

5.0% deep gold colour with a poor head, fruity aroma, slightly malty with some fruit flavour, quite a good drink, even in a can.

Jenlain, Ambrée from France

Jenlain, Ambrée, France

7.5% amber colour with a nice head, fruity aroma, sweetish but strong malty taste, very nice, one of the best French beers I have had so far, even in cans and better than the Blonde.

Grafenwalder, Hefe Weissbier from Germany


5.0% cloudy gold with a thin head, normal weissbier banana yeast aroma, taste is yeasty banana with some bitter citrus but very slightly lacking in body although still very nice. A good hefe weissbier from Germany, only available in cans and plastic bottles, from Lidl this beer is very good and cheap as well. Photos of the old and new labels.

Morland, Old Speckled Hen from England

Morland, Old Speckled Hen, England

5.2%, amber colour with a head that disappeared fairly quickly, malty aroma, bitter, liquorice malt taste, drink this one quite often, I like it a lot, even from the can.

Pelforth, 3 Malts from France

Pelforth, 3 Malts, France

6.9% deep amber colour with a good head, slight caramel aroma, caramel malt taste, very nice.

Hoegaarden, Witbier from Belgium

Cold Beers

5.0% pale yellow colour with a good head, slight citrus aroma, nice citrusy yeast though quite a thin tasting Witbier but very enjoyable, I like it a lot and it is usually reasonably priced.  One of the best, even in cans.

Marston's, Pedigree from England

Marston's, Pedigree, England

4.5% amber colour with a good head, malt aroma, roasted malt taste, a good reliable beer.

Wychwood, Hobgoblin from England

Wychwood, Hobgoblin, England

5.2% very dark amber with a thin head, fruity hop aroma, nice creamy malt taste, very good beer.

Doing this blog, I have found a lot more than ten canned bees that I would drink regularly if I had the chance, so the beers above are just a selection of the caned beers that I think are very drinkable.  You may disagree and that is your prerogative.   I am sorry to say I did fine a lot more of the Tramp Juice type canned beer than I thought I would.

Maybe a Top Ten Canned beers to avoid next.

One last thing, cans are so convenient and very often much less money than the bottled version.  

All my Top Tens

Getting back to normal

My back (sciatica) is still the same but I seem to be managing the pain batter with the right mix of drugs now. I have had scans and X-rays and have a ruptured disk, -- from Wikipedia -- Spinal disc herniation pressing on one of the lumbar or sacral nerve roots is the primary cause of sciatica, being present in about 90% of cases. Sciatica caused by pressure from a disc herniation and swelling of surrounding tissue can spontaneously subside if the tear in the disc heals and the pulposus extrusion and inflammation cease. -- let's hope so.

What this means is, I can type again (still only with two fingers though) and can therefore, get on with a large backlog of beer photos and reviews. The backlog is not a big as it could have been, as I have not been drinking much either.

I will make a start by looking as far back as last Saturday and two very contrasting beers.

Sadler’s, Mud City Stout from England


6.6% black colour with a good head, roast malt aroma, sweet mild roast malt taste very nice.

K1, K1 Premium Beer from the UK


4.8% gold colour with a nice head, sweet malt aroma, fizzy but flat, watery and tasteless, an alcoholic alternative to soda water.