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 2,000 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.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Quiet Weekend

I have had a quiet weekend, although it was our first Friday night out for three weeks. Friday I had the usual quota of Tetley's Imperial and Saturday, Dot was out with the girls from work, so I was in on my own.

I watched the last Harry Potter film on DVD and had a couple of beers, one was a new one from Aldi, it was a big bottle and cheap but I will not be buying it again (Beer I will not buy again).

Aldi, Birra Rossini, I think it was from Italy.

Aldi, Birra Rossini, Italy?

4.7% pale gold with a very thin head, grain aroma, watery malt taste, very poor beer.

Friday, 2 December 2011

Black Beers/Stout Two

Even more missed Black Beers/Stout's how did miss this many.

Krombacher, Krombacher Dark, from Gemany

Krombacher, Krombacher Dark, Gemany

4.3% black colour with a thin head, roast malt aroma, raisin and malt taste, not a bad beer.

Kaiserdom, Dark, from Germany

Kaiserdom, Dark, Germany

4.7% black colour with a thin head, very low in aroma and taste, very poor beer.

Orkney, Dark Island, from Scotland

Orkney, Dark Island, Scotland

4.6% black colour with a thin head, malt aroma, fruity malt taste, ok.

Black Beers/Stout

After the Negra Modelo, from Mexico, I am catching up on some Black Beer's/Stout's that I missed writing about in the last few weeks. First you should know, I am not keen on stout's, I do drink them but I prefer beer (well what the British call beer).

Hook Norton, Double Stout, from England

Hook Norton, Double Stout, England

4.8% black with a thin head, roast malt aroma, mildly bitter burnt malt taste, not bad.

Williams Bros, March of the Penguins, from Scotland

52 beers 4 - 06, Williams Bros, March of the Penguins, Scotland

4.9% black with a thin head, roast malt aroma and taste, a bit fizzy for a stout and I am not sure about anything from this brewer.

Wall's, Mild & Easy, from England

Wall's, Mild & Easy, England

3.8% dark brown colour with a good head, fruity malt aroma, watery bitter roast malt taste, not very good.

Traditional Scottish Ales, Glencoe Wild Oat Stout, from Scotland

Traditional Scottish Ales, Glencoe Wild Oat Stout, Scotland

4.5% black with a thin head, roast malt aroma, mild roast malt taste with hints of toffee and chocolate, nice beer.

Back to Beer

The only new beer I have had in over a week and it was not even really new, I have had it before but not since I started to photograph them.

Corona, Negra Modelo, from Mexico

Corona, Negra Modelo, Mexico

5.3% very dark brown colour with a thin head, sweet roasted malt aroma, nice caramel taste but slightly lacking in body, although I would choose this over any other Mexican beer I have had up to now.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Yeast Extract

You may not think that yeast extract has anything to do with beer, well you would be wrong. Yeast extract is made from a by-product of beer production, have you guessed yet, yes it's yeast. Many people love yeast extract, just as many do not, I am with those that do.

Marmite is the big name in yeast extract, but there are many others and for years now I have favoured Tesco's own brand yeast extract over Marmite (although they are all probably made by the same people). During our weekend away though, I discovered Sainsbury's reduced salt yeast extract and like it just as much as Tesco's, so I will probably be changing my allegiance to Sainsbury's.

Yeast Extract

For those of you thinking, why hasn't he mentioned Vegemite, well the answerer to that is simple, I do not like it.

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Alpine Lager Warning

Samuel Smith's, Alpine Lager, from England

This beer has changed strength, it is no longer 4.5%, it is now 2.8%, so beware if you are a lager drinker and you end up in a Samuel Smith's pub. Last night I watched some poor lad realise he had just bought a 2.8% beer, he was gutted.

So this one has gone
Samuel Smith's, Alpine Lager, England

Replaced be this one
Samuel Smith's, Alpine Lager, England

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

York and Sam Smith's

We have been in York for three days now and for the last two evenings we have been drinking Old Brewery Bitter in the Kings Arms (well I have), so tonight we will not be breaking with tradition. We could do something different but why should we, its so friendly and very cheap.

The Kings Arms

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Durham Lumiere 2011

We though it would be a good idea to attend the last night of the, Durham Lumiere 2011, a city centre wide art installation. We would park by the river, have a walk round the sights and have a couple of beers.

 Well that plan didn't work, even though we were there early, there was nowhere to park and the traffic was solid from the motorway all the way into the city centre. So we gave up but not completely, we drove to a pub in a village just out of town and had a beer, while we waited for the traffic flow to change direction. I had a Blacksheep but it was expensive, so only the one and then set off back into Durham.

The traffic was still mad but we managed to get down to the rowing club and walked in from there. We intended to pop into the club on the way back, to book some nights there in the van (See here).

We walked in along the river to Elvet Bridge but could not cross, as there was a one way system in operation, so we had to walk back to the market place. The crowds were at a standstill there, all trying to get the the cathedral but getting nowhere.

Elvet Bridge, 1228

So we went to Framwellgate Bridge, where we though we could walk along the river to the cathedral but there was also a one way system that way as well, with both sides of the river going the same way.

Framwellgate Bridge

We gave up trying and went to see the rail viaduct, which was also lit up. This detour was just long enough to let the crowds die down somewhat, so we tried again to get to the cathedral.

Lights on Prebends Bridge (1777) Durham Lumiere 2011

It was still hard going but we moved steadily along until we where outside the cathedral, the light show there, although very good, it was too dim to get a good photo. The queue to get into the cathedral after the show, was the biggest of the night by far, so we walked round the side.

Where there was a one way system in operation again, so even though I didn't want to walk the long way back to the market place via the river, that's what we had to do. Through the gate around the side of the cathedral, there looked to be a very good light display out back but we where not allowed in, because of another one way system.

At Prebends Bridge we had some luck, the steward shouting to everyone to stick to the one way system, mentioned that we could turn left instead and head back a quicker way. This turned out to be a very good choice, as we had to pass next to the artificial waterfall from Kingsgate footbridge.

Waterfall from Kingsgate footbridge (1963  Waterfall from Kingsgate footbridge (1963

From there the path came back out onto Elvet Bridge and we went straight into the Swan and three Cygnets, for a pint Smiths Old Brewery Bitter. Refreshed we did the long walk back along the river to the rowing club but unfortunately it as closed, so we finished the night early.

Not a photo from the night but I may as well review Old Brewery Bitter.

Samuel Smith's, Old Brewery Bitter, from England

Week 7-52 Beers, Samuel Smith's, Old Brewery Bitter, England

4.0% dark brown colour with a good lasting head, fruity aroma, very nice smooth fruity but bitter taste, very good beer, now an all time favourite of mine.

Spooks Ale

Saturday gone, we had the last of the beers we had that were brewed for Halloween, I suppose the Christmas beers will be out soon.

Shepherd Neame, Spooks Ale, from England.

Shepherd Neame, Spooks Ale, England

4.7%, deed red colour with a thin head, caramel malt aroma, nice toffee malt taste, not bad.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Football Beers

On Saturday we had a couple of new beers with the England v Spain friendly match. England apparently, had no chance of winning against the best team in the world but we did anyway 1 - 0.

The first beer, was only made for last years World Cup but there are still a few kicking about.

Shepherd Neame, 4-4-2, from England

Shepherd Neame, 4-4-2, England

4.0% gold colour with a poor head, citrus hop aroma and taste, slightly too much hop, for me. Not the best beer in the world, more just a gimmick for the tournament.

The next one was only slightly better.

Shepherd Neame, Autumn Blaze, from England

52 beers 4 - 11, Shepherd Neame, Autumn Blaze, England

4.0% deep amber colour with a thin head, caramel malt and hop aroma, caramel malt taste.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Bonfire Night Beers

We booked the motorhome in to the Caravan Club site at Stockton for bonfire night, that way we didn't have to bother with all the traffic, before and after the event. We arrived early and had a walk into Stockton centre where we bought lipstick (well Dot did). While trying to find the Boro match on my phone radio, I realised that it was the late game and on TV, Sky Sports 2. I always take the satellite dish away with us, but as we were only away for one night I didn't bother, how stupid can you get. However you can now get Sky on your phone or laptop, so I had to pay for extra internet access at the campsite, to get it on the laptop.

Jonathan, Lorraine and the boys arrived at half time and we had sausages, beans and baked potatoes, while we watched the second half, before setting off to see the display. Much warmer than past years and I saw much more than I usually do, as I didn't try to take photos for a change. A very good display, a big thank you to our local authority for still supporting things like this.

Then it was back to the van to finish the beers we had started with our supper, the first was an old favourite but bought for £0.69/bottle. I got it on offer from B&M Bargains, when asked how many I bought, I said all of them, Jonathan had done the same in his local B&M. I had eleven bottles, Jonathan had nine bottles, I won, the beer in question is,

Grolsch, Premium Weizen, from Holland

Grolsch, Premium Weizen, Holland

5.3% cloudy gold colour with a thin head, smells like and tastes like a good German Hefeweizen, banana in the aroma and that wonderful yeasty wheatbeer taste, strange that it's Dutch then, well done Grolsch.

The Grolsch was that good we only tried one other beer, a new one for us, and it was also on offer at £0.79/bottle,

Joseph Holt, Fifth Sense, from England

Joseph Holt, Fifth Sense, England

4.3% amber colour with a thin head, floral aroma, slightly sweet fruity taste, not bad.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Lynx Beers

While we were out on Halloween, I popped into a small shop near the Royal Oak in Great Ayton. I had just said to Dot, "I bet they don't have a beer I haven't had" and immediately spotted two I hadn't had.

Bavaria Brouwerij, Lynx Premium, from Holland

Bavaria Brouwerij, Lynx Premium, Holland

5.0% gold colour with a no head, usual lager aroma and taste, drinkable and reasonably priced, better than I thought it would be.

Bavaria Brouwerij, Lynx Super, from Holland

Bavaria Brouwerij, Lynx Super, Holland

7.9% gold colour with no head, sweet sugary aroma, very sweet alcohol taste and a strange bitter aftertaste, dreadful beer.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011


We drove to Whitby for a day out on Halloween, a good place to be on such a day, the scene of the original Dracula story. We had a good day, it was warm and the sun was out, great for the last day of October. At the end of the pier, we even paid the £1.20 each to climb to the top of the old lighthouse (something I wouldn't do before), some good views from the top. It was part of Goth week so there were even more people in costume than would normally be expected at Halloween in the UK. As well as the Goths there were Steam Punks and also lots of Pirates, I know about the Goths and Steam Punks but when did people start dressing as Pirates.

Didn't have a beer in Whitby but we did stop off at the Royal Oak, in Great Ayton and there was a Halloween beer on draught, it was very good, so I had two. Dot was driving after that, the Royal Oak seems to be a very nice and friendly pub.

Caledonian, Trick or Treat from Scotland

Caledonian, Trick or Treat, Scotland

4.4% deep gold colour with a good head, toffee aroma, mild toffee and hop taste, I got no ginger at all but I did like it a lot.

We then moved on closer to home and had another Halloween beer in the Ship at Wolviston.

Nick Stafford’s Hambleton Ales, Ghostly Glory, England

Nick Stafford’s Hambleton Ales, Ghostly Glory, England

4.0% deep gold colour with a good head, fudge aroma, some toffee in the taste, nice.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Wetherspoons York

We have been to York for three days, although for a while it didn't look like we would make it. The day before we left, I pulled a muscle or trapped a nerve in my back and couldn't move, well not without a lot of pain anyway. The pain had eased on the afternoon of the day we were going, so we decided not to cancel the trip and see how it went.

After we got settled in, we walked into town and had a beer in the Kings Arms but I felt sick (probably caused by the constant dull pain in my back) and we left to walk back to the van.

A note on the Kings Arms, it is probably one of the friendliest pubs in the world and even though we only visit York four or five time per year, as we entered the pub the landlord greeted us with "hello strangers long time no see". The Beer is also very good and very cheap.

On the walk back, I got my second wind and we popped into the Postern Gate, A Wetherspoons pub. I did know that a beer festival was on there and had been looking forward to a few new beers in there during our stay. Well I was very disappointed with the selection, during the festival you can get three 1/3 samples for the price of one pint but they didn't have three beers worth sampling. They had two stouts, two ciders, two Scottish beers and two beers they always have on. Anyway I got it wrong and ordered a cider (Dot drank most of it), then got a Belhaven, St Andrews Ale, before leaving, unhappy and didn't return for the rest of the trip.

Belhaven, St Andrews Ale from Scotland
Belhaven, St Andrews, Ale, Scotland
4.9% dark brown colour with a good head, very little aroma, the taste was tart, it was not at all good.

Monday, 3 October 2011

Oops, I missed one

I missed one of Saturday's new beers.

Shepherd Neame, Up and Under Ale from England
  Shepherd Neame, Up and Under Ale, England

 I do not think it mentioned Shepherd Neame on the bottle but I am assured that's who brews it. 4.0% deep amber colour with a good head, the aroma and taste is all dark chocolate. My review is totally different from all the other reviews I have looked at, nobody else seemed to taste chocolate.

The title is not aimed Jonny Wilkinson, he is still the best in the world.

Saturday's new beers

The BBQ went very well, good food, good company and good beers, three of the beers were new as well.

Wold Top, Angler’s Reward from England
  Wold Top, Angler’s Reward, England

A nice golden summer beer, 4.0% gold colour with a thin head, citrus hop aroma and dry citrus hop taste.

Duyck, Biere Blonde de Tradition from France
Duyck, Biere Blonde de Tradition, France

6.0% gold colour with a thin head, the aroma and taste is a lot like Leffe Blonde, we had a Leffe next and the Leffe was slightly better though.

Tom Wood's, Harvest Bitter from England
Tom Wood's, Harvest Bitter, England

4.3% hazy gold colour with a thin head, it smelt and tasted of coal tar it was not nice. As it was hazy there is a chance this bottle was off.

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Feeling a lot better

Feeling better but didn't get out last night, Dot was at a work's leaving do.

Going to make the most of the "unseasonably" good weather with a BBQ tonight and I have plenty of new beers to sample. Some that I bought before our holiday and some bought on holiday in France. I am not actually doing the BBQ, we are going to friends, so we can just relax and have fun.

I have added about 200 new beers to my photo collection since February, this is costing me a small fortune (donations welcome).


Friday, 23 September 2011

The night before France

Still under the weather, I do not seem to be able to shake off this cold.

So in an attempt to catch up, here are the new beers Jonathan and I had the night before the trip to France (and there are so many from France to add), I am going to do the review as the last post, you will have to click he photo to see the review.

Orkney, Raven Ale, Scotland
Orkney, Raven Ale, Scotland

Skinner's, Betty Stogs, England
Skinner's, Betty Stogs, England

Inveralmond, Ossian Ale, Scotland
Inveralmond, Ossian Ale, Scotland

Krombacher, Krombacher Dark, Gemany
Krombacher, Krombacher Dark, Gemany

Cairngorm, Blessed Thistle, Scotland
Cairngorm, Blessed Thistle, Scotland

Dent, T’Owd Tup, England
Dent, T’Owd Tup, England

Orkney, Northern Light, Scotland
Orkney, Northern Light, Scotland

Orkney, Dark Island, Scotland
Orkney, Dark Island, Scotland

Kaiserdom, Dark, Engand
Kaiserdom, Dark, Engand

Monday, 19 September 2011

The Second Fish Beer Festival

I could only manage one part night at the second Fish Beer Festival but I did get to sample quite a few new beers in the short time I was there. The reason for the short visit was the impending rip to France (France reviews to follow soon), such a shame.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Steve and Mandy (and anyone else involved in the organisation) for doing such a great job.

As it was a Friday night, we had Trev and Pat with us and we also met up with Paul, visiting from down south, Mick and Bren were there anyway, as usual. As I had a few new beers on the night, I am going to do the review slightly different, you will have to click he photo to see tte review.

The new beers I had that night were,

Derventio, Centurion, England
Derventio, Centurion, England

Woodford's, Admiral's Reserve, England
Woodford's, Admiral's Reserve, England

Hadrian, Gladiaor, England
Hadrian, Gladiaor, England

Rudgate, Battle Axe, England
Rudgate, Battle Axe, England

Three Castles, Saxon Archer, England
Three Castles, Saxon Archer, England

Allgates, Napoleon's Retreat, England
Allgates, Napoleon's Retreat, England

Spire, Sgt Pepper Stout, England
Spire, Sgt Pepper Stout, England

Bath, Barnstormer, England
Bath, Barnstormer, England

Marston Moor, Cromwells Pale, England
Marston Moor, Cromwells Pale, England

Arundel, Castle, England
Arundel, Castle, England