BREWER: Brewboard, Cambridgeshire, England

STYLE: Pale Ale

ABV: 4.1%

VESSEL: 440ml tin

TWITTER: @BrewBoard

INSTAGRAM: brewboarduk

DATE OF POST: 7th August 2022



I’m all for out there beer can designs. They can create interest and intrigue. And ultimately, they can make you want to buy the beer. So, I have to ask, what on earth were the creatives at Brewboard thinking when they came up with the monstrosity that adorns their Cambstar can. It reminds me of a Grand Designs I once saw where the house builder (a boat in this case) had no plan for his building and ended up with an unwanted eyesore. Put simply, the graphic is awful. Terrible. 

Anyway, on the pour Cambstar develops a nice head and has the expected, if not exceptional aroma.  

However, the beer itself is nondescript. It has nothing to it. It’s hard to identify the hops, which is a shame in a pale ale. Look, it’s easy to drink but other than that there’s not much to it. 

I’m afraid it’s a bit of a miss for me and the whole experience disappears into nothingness. The watery aftertaste of Cambstar sums up the beer. 

The can, after all, is fitting for the beer it contains. It’s all a bit of a miss really. 

Sammy’s Rating: 48%



Funny ol’ beer all round this but you know, I quite like it!

Let’s start with the fuck up of the can design. On face value it’s meh, maybe alright as an instant visual (which is the most important thing let’s be honest) but on closer inspection under the MOB eye it’s not great…

Surfer font supporting a Cambridge Uni Dr Moreau mash up is frankly disgusting.

Beer wise however we’re doing alight here… just.

An initial sip of slight disappointment is saved buy and very old skool beer bitterness. A drop in flavour once sipped is then once again saved by a really nice bitter hit in the late aftertaste.

With a tickle here and there I think this brew could do something but as it stands it’s saved by that bitter Amarillo hop over and over and over.

Jymi’s Rating: 68%




Sammy & Jymi – Musing on Booze weekly since 2017

Twitter: @museonbooze

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BREWER: Founders, Michigan, USA

STYLE: Wheat Ale

ABV: 4.6%

VESSEL: 12 fl.oz. tin

TWITTER: @foundersbrewing

INSTAGRAM: foundersbrewing

DATE OF POST: 31st July 2022



The name for this beer has to be up there with the greatest of all time.

Big statement I know, and at first it has to be said I went full Liam Lynch, yeah whatever. But the more I thought about it the more it made sense and the more it grew on me.

There are myriad of interpretations available here and all situation dependent.

All Day Vacay is not understated as a name but certainly isn’t big bang f*ckin wow look at me either. It is just… perfect.

And I’m glad I understood my own interpretation of it when I came to testing this brew as without I may have gone a little harsher.

Is ADV a great beer? Nope.

Good beer? I’m not sure it is.

But drinkable, sessionable, make of it what you willable? Yes it is.

Let us now add the incredible (and again not big bang fuckin wow) tin art to the mix.

Founders have nailed it!!!

This beer is not the best, but it’s brewed for whatever trip you wanna take it on.

I get it. I dig it. I just don’t massively like it.

Jymi’s Rating: 48%



Who doesn’t enjoy a holiday? Or as our friends across the pond call it, a vacation. And to have a beer named in that spirit is a wonderful thing. As is the holiday inspired can that wraps up All Day Vacay. 

It’s a promising start. And I have to say I was rooting for this beer to be a good un. 

The thing is, while it’s not bad, ADV doesn’t quite live up to the hype of the van. I recognise that thinking something is going to be good can lead to disappointment, and that could be the case here. 

The beer is well balanced and nicely carbonated to carry the flavour. But there’s not too much flavour to be carried. There’s a hint of the well known wheat flavour, and it carries through enough length. ADV just doesn’t jump out and smack you around the face enough.

Having said that, it’s a good session beer. And it would serve you well on a beach vacation. It’s just lacking a little of those magical holiday vibes I was so hoping for!

Sammy’s Rating: 61%



MOB review next weekend: CAMBSTAR by BREWBOARD

Sammy & Jymi – Musing on Booze weekly since 2017

Twitter: @museonbooze

Instagram: muse.on.booze



BREWER: Paulaner, Bavaria, Germany

STYLE: Weissbier

ABV: 5.2%

VESSEL: 0.5l brown bottle

TWITTER: Go find the German one if you can

INSTAGRAM: paulaner

DATE OF POST: 25th July 2022



So there I was on a sunny ol’ Saturday arvo about to go and tackle a wee bit of gardening…

As I was tending to the turf my mind began to wander, as it tends to do. Gardening time is thinking time don’t you know.

I thought to myself,  go hard for an hour at this, then I’m gonna kick back and test that there Paulaner sitting in the MOB test fridge.

The brain then moved onto how I may open up the review. Wander on it did until I had a wonderfully elaborate fictional story about Jurgen Klopp that could possibly conclude, if it was good enough for him, then it surely it would be good enough for me?

Beer then got tested, scored and power notes were made. I then moved to my laptop indoors to write up the findings and get my wild Klopp story off of my chest.


It then clearly became obvious that it’s Erdinger that he does the ads for isn’t it??!!   F**K , my story idea for this week’s review instantly flew right out the window.

Left a little disheartened the creative flow was stopped in it’s tracks.

So I’m afraid all you’re getting this week is the slurry I’m probably about to write below…

Paulaner, for me anyway, is a beer of two halves. Hang on, football parallel, there could be hope yet!!! I’m not talking about Jurgen Klopp am I. I need to get a flippin’ grip here, I really do.

After the predictable Weiss nose the taste in the mouth while drinking was actually really full and fairly hoppy for a wheat beer to be honest. I was pleasantly very surprised. However once swallowed the drop off the cliff flavour wise cannot be ignored. It pretty much turns to water in texture and taste. Not good.

I could certainly stick a few away on a summers day and probably actually enjoy. But when it comes to whether this is a good beer or not… I have to say it is not.

Jymi’s Rating: 44%



First off, Paulaner is a big brewing house, with a penchant for classic packaging. So, I can’t help but note how disappointed I am with this offering. The same has to be said for the name. Little thought has gone into both. But hey, we know it’s about the golden liquid on the inside that counts… 

Now, it’s a weissbier (as the name tells us) and usually that goes one of two ways: awful or surprisingly good. But on this occasion, I’m on the fence. It’s crisp upfront and quite refreshing and the wheat flavour, although there, is not at all overpowering. Sounds good, I know. However, the downside is that this quickly fades into nothingness and becomes ‘meh’ as you plough through the beverage. 

If I were to sum up, which I am about to, this is just about touching average. And in a world of beers that has so much to offer, there’s no way that I’d ever reach for this again. I include a trip to Germany in that synopsis. There are far more exciting offerings out there and way too much to enjoy to ever come back to this…

Sammy’s Rating: 45%



MOB review next weekend: ALL DAY VACAY by FOUNDERS

Sammy & Jymi – Musing on Booze weekly since 2017

Twitter: @museonbooze

Instagram: muse.on.booze


BREWER: Lion, Greater Auckland Region, New Zealand

STYLE: Lager

ABV: 4%

VESSEL: 330ml tin 



DATE OF POST: 17th July 2022



It was 29th October 2004, a beautiful late autumn London sunset was underway after a huge storm the night before. It was a Friday evening and Sammy and I were set to test Victoria Bitter, the 71st beer of our ‘Book on Beers’ that we constructed all those years ago that eventually lead us to Muse on Booze as you know it today.

Now the reason I go back to then is that I really like the packaging of our brew this week, but it does bear a striking resemblance to VB’s brand. The odd thing is that I don’t like the VB packaging much, so I had to reach for my ‘Book on Beers’ just to see what I had scored it. 4.5/10 apparently, pretty fair I’d say. But now turning to our Waikato Draught tin, what was it that I liked so much?? And in true Muse on Booze expert analysis style, I literally have no idea!! I just really like it!!

Anyway, let’s pop this sucker and see where we’re at…

A strange aroma filled the air surrounding the testing desk in my garage. Was it a neighbour cooking something odd on the BBQ? Had a diesel car just accelerated hard outside of my house? Or was it just my beer? Surely not my beer? I sniffed the tin, that the beer was still in. Shit, it was the beer, and the smell was VERY strange indeed! Not totally horrific, just altogether weird.

Moving past this I poured and I sipped… this is not a good beer at all I’m afraid. After the initial excitement of the tin and the assumption of a NZ brewed beer using NZ grown hops (though our tin doesn’t tell us this) I was left very disappointed. This brew doesn’t really taste of anything. Once swallowed, whatever iota of flavour there may have been totally disappears when the aftertaste should be turning up. Then (now this is the really bad part) a squeaky texture covers your teeth, much like drinking a very metallic water. Really poor.

Other than the squeaky teeth thing Waikato Draught isn’t disgusting, it’s just, well, nothing!

It’s a miss I’m afraid Lion Brewery.

Jymi’s Rating: 30%



Waikato beer is best described as average. I can’t say much else about it. 

It smells like a beer. It tastes like a beer (without doing anything spectacular at all!!!). There’s no USP. There’s nothing that sets it aside. 

Would I have it again? Sure I would. Would I rush out to buy it again? I sure would not. 

Sammy’s Rating: 51%




Sammy & Jymi – Musing on Booze weekly since 2017

Twitter: @museonbooze

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BREWER: Gweilo Beer, South London, England


ABV: 4.5%

VESSEL: 440ml tin

TWITTER: @gweilobeeruk

INSTAGRAM: gweilobeeruk

DATE OF POST: 10th July 2022



The day had been hot, very hot and the week had been long, very long, but it was Friday and I knew that once I had booted open the saloon doors that I’ve had installed on the front of my house, to replace the front door, it would be time to settle into Gweilo’s Rainbow Sherbet Sour.

I just had the small matter of the drive home without any air-con to help me out and the day had been hot, very hot. Not sure if I mentioned that.

I was seriously looking forward to this brew as I do enjoy a sour, especially when the weather is being kind, however there was a little apprehension in the air because, well it was a SHERBET sour that was waiting for me. Really?

Van parked, saloon doors kicked open, family nodded to, it was time…


NOSTALGICALLY REDEFINING– what the F does that even mean?! I mean, I know what it means if you know what I mean but… it is a ridiculous tag note!

Ok, this is not the best beer I have to be honest but there is a reasonable amount going for it if you go searching. There is certainly raspberry on the nose as you sip which is pleasant. There is for sure some lemon as well as raspberry in the taste which is also pleasant. However, it is fairly sweet and could do with being more sour near the end to balance it out.

The real downside is that the latter texture and aftertaste is very watery and pretty disappointing. However, I found that if you took big gulps as opposed to gentle sips this did almost get nullified. But you should be able to sip a brew to get the true story and when only sipping this sour wasn’t really doing much.

But it does have to be said, with the gulping method and the faint to non-existent aftertaste, as well as a medium ABV this beer could quite easily be a sensational summer sessioner. You can’t often say that of a sour… make of that what you will I suppose.

On a side note, I wanted to include something about the meaning of the brewery name. I’ve got some feelings about it but don’t know enough about the history of the word or the story behind giving that name to the brewery. And frankly I can’t be arsed doing a deep dive as it’s been a hot, long day…

 Jymi’s Rating: 65%



Ok, so there’s clearly a strong idea behind Rainbow Sherbet Sour: rainbow fizzy laces. And I have to say, just like I love a sour beer, I love a sour sweets. So, I find this concept intriguing and exciting…

Now, RSS definitely delivers on its promise of nostalgia. The beer does have a definite hint of rainbow fizzy sweets. And to achieve that in a beer has to be commended. It’s subtle, not overpowering in the slightest, but that just makes this beer so light and easy to drink. 

To make RSS off the charts, it needs to be sourer for my palate. I recognise that’s personal taste but that’s where I am with this beer. 

Imagine a watered-down squash that really quenches your thirst. Well, that’s how refreshing RSS is. 

There’s no doubting this is a good beer.

Sammy’s Rating: 80%



MOB review next weekend: WAIKATO DRAUGHT by LION

Sammy & Jymi – Musing on Booze weekly since 2017

Twitter: @museonbooze

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BREWER: Fiftytwo North (Woodforde’s Brewery), Norfolk, England


ABV: 4.5%

VESSEL: 330ml tin

TWITTER: @WoodfordesBeer

INSTAGRAM: woodfordesbeer

DATE OF POST: 1st July 2022



See, from an idle glance I thought this tin was quite cool, but it’s not. It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense and the electricity burst down at the bottom of the tin to go along with our name, VOLTAGE, is frankly laughable it is so dated. I’m going to move onto the nose and taste shortly, but I just wanted to put over a tiny bit of positivity first. Voltage as a beer name is cracking, really good, but I am afraid the beer quality does not follow in line. Not even close.

The nose is metallic, forced and artificial. The taste is metallic, forced and artificial. This is a poor beer and feels like a bit of a stocking / Beer 52* box filler to me. That’s it. Bye.



*this brew was not purchased via Beer 52. That was just a blatant dig at their predominantly poor offerings.



Bye again.






Jymi’s Rating: 28%



So, with a name like Voltage, should we be prepared to be shocked? Sorry, I could not resist. 

Anyway, Voltage is a craft IPA. I’m not going to launch into my usual muttering about the crowded market in which it sits (ok, I just did via the side door). 

Straight up, there are two distinct differences to what you might ordinarily expect. Firstly, the colour is not hazy or light. It’s more amber almost like a golden ale.  The second point is that the nose is not tropical or fruity; it’s more malty.  Now, Woodforde’s Brewery describe the nose as floral and pine (along with the usual suspects for a modern IPA). I have to say that I didn’t get that at all. If it’s there, it must be very subtle. 

Let’s sup in to find out what’s going on…

Voltage is different. It has a well-balanced hoppy flavour that is not too overpowering. In the background some light fruitiness does come through and all in all it makes for a pleasant drink. The length of the taste is good. 

Although the shocks weren’t too severe, I’d happily have another Voltage. 

Sammy’s Rating: 74%




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Twitter: @museonbooze

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BREWER: Small Beer Brew Co., South-East London, England 

STYLE: Lager 

ABV: 2.1%

VESSEL: 350ml brown bottle 

TWITTER: @origsmallbeer

INSTAGRAM: originalsmallbeer

DATE OF POST: 26th June 2022



A 2.1% Lager you say?

Errr, ok then…

Here goes…

Lid lifted and I have to say a smile was put on my face instantly. The aroma of old skool French stubbies hoofed it up me hooter before the beer had even left the rather quirky 350ml bottle. This immediately took me back to my early teenaged years when one first starts to get into beer, apparently.

What a positive start to a beer that I have to admit I was not holding out much hope for.

Once poured the nose was still there and kicking and the brew looked pretty decent in the glass.

First sip was a large one as I wanted to give this beer a chance and I have to say my eyes lit up once more. A note in CAPITALS went into my tasting book…


And it could be. Hats off to the Small Brewing Company for pulling off not only what they intended but also what I did not think was possible! A decent tasting lager at a very low ABV.

I then had to calm myself down a little as needed to score this sucker.

Whether a beer is 2% or 12% you have to score it as you taste it and even though this offering today is FANTASTIC for a 2.1% Lager it only makes it into the good bracket over all. However, that is no mean feat with such a low percentage so once again a huge hats off to this brewery for daring to be different, finding a brewery USP and nailing it.

Jymi’s Rating: 61%



The concept: beers brewed with a very low ABV. This one from the Small Beer Company is a lager and its alcohol percentage is 2.1%. I know, it’s only 2.1%. 

The question has to be asked: how much beeriness is compromised (if any at all) in their quest to fulfil their mission of low alcohol beers?

Well, first up, it smells like a lager, which is a good start. And then the first sip is promising; that well known lager flavour washes over the tongue bringing hope of greatness. But then it all fades away into watery nothingingness. 

The thing is this isn’t a bad beer. It’s good. It achieves what it sets out to do. And I would definitely be reaching for more of these in the right situation.  It absolutely delivers on its USP. It’s just when you rate it on its beer credibility, it will come out lower that it’s counterparts because there is not enough alcohol to carry those notes. 

Still, I recommend giving one of Small Beer’s offerings a go. They’ll be a talking point that’s for sure. 

Sammy’s Rating: 61%


MOB review next weekend: VOLTAGE by FIFTYTWO NORTH

Sammy & Jymi – Musing on Booze weekly since 2017

Twitter: @museonbooze

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BREWER: Alfa, Egaleo, Greece

STYLE: Weiss Beer 

ABV: 5%

VESSEL: 0.5l tin



DATE OF POST: 19th June 2022



Confusion was running riot in Jymi’s noodle the second Sammy handed me this beer to put under our MOB reviewing noses.

The first thing that set the brain scramble in motion was the fact the tin is upside down. What? Now, there is a nice little intertwined arrow image on the tin art that suggests that this is not just a canning error. It is intentional. The fact all our tin facts are in Greek also clearly added to the confusion but that is my own fault. What really hit me hard in the ‘brain compartment’ was which way up to store this crafty little pup. Even once researched and Sammy confirming how to store, I still had a double take every time I saw Alpha stashed in the beer fridge…

Is it supposed to be upside down? Should I call Sam AGAIN to make sure? What the f is going on? were the daily thoughts and I have to be honest I’m not even sure now. But we are where we are.

Anyway, can cracked and I’m sure you’ll be able to see from the pic, this beer looks AWESOME in the glass!! Plus, the instant almost spicy apricot nose that hit’s you is just a joy.

Swig wise the flavours are great, it slips down very easily and I don’t think this brew would become too much or too heavy so many points awarded here.

HOWEVER: The body ends up being thin very quickly and the aftertaste is so light it is practically non existent if I’m being honest.

There were plenty of marks handed out here but ultimately Alpha has been let down from the severe lack of body. With a few tweaks just to liven it up I honestly think this beer could be a worldy. However, sadly it’s not, it’s good but just lacking pizazz.

Jymi’s Rating: 65%



I’m going to call this beer A for the simple reason I do not have a Greek keyboard to type its actual name. 

So, for starters, the can is printed upside down. Now, not only do I not have a Greek keyboard, I don’t speak Greek either. However, from what I can infer, I think this is a deliberate move so that once turned upside down, or the right way up, depending on how you look at it, some magic happens inside the can to liven up the beer. 

A has the nose you’d expect from a Weiss beer: wheaty.  And whilst it’s not striking in any form, it’s not terrible either. 

Again, in the glass A looks like a wheat beer: golden hazy. 

Now, unsurprisingly, A tastes like a wheat beer.  You may or may not remember that they’re not my favourite brew.  BUT, as wheat beers go A is quite nice. It’s well brew and balanced nicely, not lingering too long on the palate, which in my view can be the downfall of many a wheat beer. 

Very often, I wouldn’t revisit a Weiss beer once tested. It’s a testament to A, then, that I would happily have another one of these if I somehow stumbled across it. I accept it’s unlikely that this will happen. 

Sammy’s Rating: 73%



MOB review next weekend: SMALL BEER LAGER by SMALL BEER BREW CO.

Sammy & Jymi – Musing on Booze weekly since 2017

Twitter: @museonbooze

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BREWER: Hedgedog Brewing, Surrey, England

STYLE: Pale Ale

ABV: 4.8%

VESSEL: 440ml tin

TWITTER: @HedgedogBrewing

INSTAGRAM: hedgedogbrewing

DATE OF POST: 12th June 2022



I’ve gone on and on about the crowed craft IPA market in many a review before. And very often my point is the the beer being tested at that moment in time, while usually not bad, drifts into obscurity due to the saturated market in which it exists. 

Well, I’m please to tell y’all that Lighthouse is different. It’s a very good effort. And ok, it’s still sitting in a tough market and it’s not a world heart, but it is a decent drop. 

The nose is packed with tropical sweetness which sounds standard for a craft pale but it does actually stand out from the crowd.  That tells you it must be a decent nose. 

The brew is crisp and bouncy and well balanced. This in itself nudges Lighthouse into very good level for a pale ale. It’s crisp, uncomplicated but very very refreshing which is aided by the development of a tropical lime flavour the further down the glass you get. 

All round Lighthouse is a good package.

Sammy’s Rating: 79%



I’ve always been a riverman. My wife and daughters can testify to that. I mean, they have never seen me actually be a man of the river but they have heard endless tales of how I was ‘born by the bank’.

The whole thing is actually a load of shit but please, don’t tell them, it’s gone too far now… the fact is I flippin hate water but I if I had to choose between being a man of the river or sea, I would 100% choose the prior. See, I’m a riverman.

However, if I was a seafarer (and to be fair the way my beard is going of late this could be on the cards you know) I would want a better looking Lighthouse than is portrayed here to guide me to safety. But luckily this is just beer tin art, and what great beer tin art it is! I can’t get over the fact that it looks like a face (intentional?) but either or, the tin looks DECENT! Proper crackers. Love it.

Beer wise we have a real goodun on our hands here. Though very fizzy in the glass the first thing that struck me with Lighthouse was it’s lovely thick texture, it is sooooo full in the mouth. The next thing that struck me (which doesn’t necessarily corroborate with the texture statement just made) is how refreshing this brew is. Thick AND refreshing?? Not sure how that’s possible but Hedgedog have pulled it off. Lighthouse is an uncomplex beer but potentially all the better for it. Pine and grassy notes support a delicate spice which makes the drinking a no nonsense yet lovely affair. In a massively crowded market this Pale Ale has a subtle point of difference and I applaud this Surrey brewer for that.

If you can find one, buy one.

It won’t blow your mind but it will make you think, man that is a decent ass brew.

Jymi’s Rating: 80%



MOB review next weekend: ALPHA by ALPHA BREWERY

Sammy & Jymi – Musing on Booze weekly since 2017

Twitter: @museonbooze

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BREWER: Phantom Brewing Co., Berkshire, England


ABV: 8.7%

VESSEL: 440ml tin

TWITTER: @PhantomBrewCo

INSTAGRAM: phantombrewco

DATE OF POST: 5th June 2022



What the F is a Mermaid Sour?

Time to hit the google machine…

Ah of course, Mermaid is a cocktail that includes pineapple and coconut in it’s line up of ingredients. Our Mermaid Sour, Coral, also contains pineapple and coconut. However it is actually the blue raspberries used that takes centre stage in our beer here. Pineapple is present for sure but playing more of a supporting role. And as for the coconut, well the flavour didn’t come through for me unless I pursed my lips, which was quite odd but in some way quite cool too as gave a little added extra as you moved through the drink. However it’s the texture of the brew that is helped out from the coconut.  Because of the coconut Coral is so creamy and smooth as you drink it down.

For me when it comes to the world of sours I prefer them to be SOUR, like eye twitching sour, but that is just personal taste. Coral is not eye twitchingly sour but that certainly does not make it a bad brew…

It’s complex as hell, comes in a frankly awesome tin and errrr, pours a striking green!!!

Jymi’s Rating: 70%



Coral, the beer, that is, is a mermaid sour. What the hecky decky is a mermaid sour? I hear you ask. The truth is, I have no bleedin’ idea. 

Of note, is the colour of Coral. It’s almost fluorescent green. And yes, I agree, something that’s described as fluorescent of any colour does not sound in the slightest appealing, especially when it comes to a beer. 

With Coral, don’t let the colour put you off. This beer is different. And in a good way. There’s sweet raspberry upfront, which is quickly followed by a brief, not overpowering, sour finish. While it’s by no means the sourest of beers, there’s enough there to class it as one.

I concede that Coral will not tick everyone’s beer drinking box. But what the team at Phantom have done is create something that is most definitely unique. You go on a journey as you drink and arguably, that’s what you want when trying out their beer. 

Whatever a mermaid sour is, I would have another one thank you very much. 


Sammy’s Rating: 71%




Sammy & Jymi – Musing on Booze weekly since 2017

Twitter: @museonbooze

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