I SEE BREAD PEOPLE

BREWER: Delphic Brewing Co., Berkshire, England

STYLE: Milk Stout

ABV: 6%

VESSEL: 500ml wax dipped brown bottle

TWITTER: @delphicbrew

INSTAGRAM: delphicbrew

DATE OF POST: 7th November 2021

 

SAMMY SAY’S…

Right, the cap’s a bit of a fiddle to get off. But don’t let that detract from the overall impact the packaging has on I See Bread People. And let’s be honest, a little effort to get to your beer only makes you want for it more.

Aside for the wax over the cap, you’ll note that this is a gingerbread milk stout. And if that doesn’t tickle your intrigue, well, who knows what will?  On the face of it, it might seem like a gimmick. However, ISBP is anything but…

The nose is vanilla filled moving into cinnamon. For a stout, it’s quite a complex start. And the drinking has an intriguing mouthfeel which is very creamy, taking away some of the bitter notes you might expect in a stout.  All the while, there’s the hint of gingery spiciness dancing around in the background. When you combine these profiles, you are faced with a formidable drink.

While this won’t be for the stout purist, make no mistake, this is a cracking beer. It’s different and has many points of interest. ISBP is just plain old good fashioned fun.

As we enter the festive season, you won’t go far wrong hunting one of these down. And once you have your quarry, I’ll be betting you’ll be reaching for more.

Great concept. Executed perfectly.

Sammy’s Rating: 87%

 

JYMI SAY’S…

Some / all of my nearest and dearest know I get a little twitchy about even the mention of Christmas outside of the majestic month of December. I love Christmas, I really do, but the longer you drag the fu**er out the more diluted it becomes and therefore ultimately less special.  Now, the reason a Gingerbread Stout (a very December sounding brew, let’s be honest) has made it into a November review is because it is amazing on every. SINGLE. LEVEL… no matter what time of year. OK, possibly not a burner of a Summers day, but still…

It is hard to know where to start here, maybe the beginning? Yeah let’s go with that.

The name and artwork for this brew are OUTSTANDING. It’s a gingerbread Stout and Zombie-esqe figures doing a The Walking Dead like surround of a gingerbread house all brought together by the name… I SEE BREAD PEOPLE!!!!????

F-me, we are at new levels of genius here… and I hadn’t even lifted the lid yet!

Nose wise, yeah great but nothing to get crazy over excited about. But once that first sip lands you start to wonder HOW THE F THIS BREW IS SOOOOOOOOOO SMOOTH? I have honestly never experienced a mouthfeel like it. Just absolutely incredible! So soft it is ridiculous. The taste is also a thing of total and utter wonderment. Now, too much Gingerbread and we would have something heavy and overpowering. The label also tells us that cinnamon and vanilla are involved. Again getting these levels wrong can totally overwhelm a beer. But no. DELPHIC HAVE NAILED IT, like properly NAILED IT!

The Gingerbread is very much there but it is subtle and not over powering at all. And again the cinnamon and vanilla are present, and need to be to elevate this brew to it’s extraordinary level, but they are not prominent in any way. They’re just there lurking in the background holding up a sign saying “everything little thing, is going to be alright”.

And it is.

THIS BEER IS INCREDIBLE!

Jymi’s Rating: 95%

 

MUSE ON BOOZE RATING: 91%

MOB review next weekend: CRISPY PIG by HUNTER’S BREWERY

Sammy & Jymi – Musing on Booze since 2017

twitter: @museonbooze

instagram: museonbooze

 

 

 

PAVE THE WAY

BREWER: Big Hug Brewing, West London, England

STYLE: Pale Ale

ABV: 4.6%

VESSEL: 330ml tin

TWITTER: @BigHugBrewing

INSTAGRAM: bighugbrewing

DATE OF POST: 1st November 2021

 

JYMI SAY’S…

Amazing cause and concept. Packaging that could be more striking but a pretty cool beer…

Here is what is going on.

Giving a little something back was important to us from day one. To do this, our corporate social responsibility strategy is driven by sales of all products which help generate funds to support our charity partners Only A Pavement Away (OAPA). OAPA support people facing or experiencing homelessness including those leaving prison and vulnerable veterans, find jobs within the hospitality industry and help pave the way to a brighter future. Our support will help them cover rent and utility bills on the scheme before employment.

We don’t believe anyone should be homeless and so by doing what we do, we can help Only A Pavement Away do what they do best. For more info on our CSR donations and work with the charity please visit http://www.bighugbrewing.com/social-conscience.

So, just go and buy gallons of this grog to do your bit and get a beer in return that is very drinkable with a point of difference without being odd. I’m pretty sure that there is a watermelon thing going on on the roof of the mouth when drinking this pale. That is what makes it different as everything else is in order and as you would expect.

 Jymi’s Rating: 64%

 

SAMMY SAY’S…

The mission of this brewery is outstanding. I’m not going into the detail here, but essentially they put money back into the homeless community to support them moving on with their lives in a positive way.  You need to visit the Big Hug Brewing website to find out the detail. Awesome company.

Onto the beer, Pave the Way pours light in the glass. It also drinks light in the glass. It’s not too complicated, which, considering the hops is surprising, but PTW is incredibly refreshing.

While it’s not setting the world on fire as a beer, PTW is solid. But where this beer shines is in what it’s all about. And for that alone, we should all be getting our hands on this beer regularly.

Noble cause, noble beer! Go get one. Or a lot more!

Sammy’s Rating: 71%

 

MUSE ON BOOZE RATING: 67.5%

MOB review next weekend: I SEE BREAD PEOPLE by DELPHIC BREWING CO

Sammy & Jymi – Musing on Booze since 2017

HIGH DEFINITION

BREWER: Siren Craft Brew (remote collaboration with Green Cheek Beer Co), Berkshire, England 

STYLE: Triple IPA

ABV: 11.1%

VESSEL: 440ml tin 

TWITTER: @SirenCraftBrew

INSTAGRAM: sirencraftbrew

DATE OF POST: 24th October 2021

 

SAMMY SAY’S…

Many beers have a great aroma. High Definition is in another league though. As you pour the liquid into a glass, the vapours fill not only your nasal cavity, but the space around you. And it has to be said the tropical vibes are a delight on the old hooter.

Initially, HD is intensely bitter. It’s not unpleasant but it’s not matching the tropical aroma. However, the further you get down the glass and the deeper you drink the more you realise what a complex beer this is. It’s masterfully brewed, well balanced and an overall hit. The fruitiness in HD really comes into play as you drink more of this bad boy.

Well conceived.

Well brewed.

Well delivered.

Well done.

Sammy’s Rating: 80%

 

JYMI SAY’S…

Todays two topics:

a, THE STRENGTH OF THIS FU**ER

2, THE QUALITY OF THIS F*CK*R

a, Right, let’s immediately get our ducks in a row here, this is an insanely strong brew. I honestly don’t think a beer has ever made me sweat before but High Def made me do so… before, during and after but mainly during. Your head should not be in a spin after a couple of sips but with this large lad it really was. Mental strong. Time and place brew, just not totally sure when and where.

2, This is a seriously good beer. Seriously good. The brewing expertise on show here is something else. This is how this sucker goes down…

Massive nose, we are talking full on Conky McConkerson here. An absolute tropical delight. Then, High Definition in the taste at the start is properly full on, maybe not 11.1% full on, but very strong beer full on nonetheless. However, it does not take long for this puppy to settle down into a very nice beer indeed. Around halfway through the beer I actually wrote in my notes, “this suddenly tastes sessionable!!” Hahaha, what a ridiculous statement. But once into this brew it is very drinkable and very tasty.

It’s just hats (and probably shoes) off all round here.

Jymi’s Rating: 85%

MUSE ON BOOZE RATING: 82.5%

MOB review next weekend: PAVE THE WAY by BIG HUG BREWING

Sammy & Jymi – Musing on Booze since 2017

DEVON DUMPLING

BREWER: Bays Brewery, Devon, England

STYLE: Golden Ale 

ABV: 5.1%

VESSEL: 500ml brown bottle 

TWITTER: @BaysBrewery

INSTAGRAM: baysbrewery

DATE OF POST: 17th October 2021

 

JYMI SAY’S…

With an exceptional name like Devon Dumpling one would be expecting a strong and heavy winter ale. One to settle down with during the deep winter in front of a roaring fire with a chum and just chew that cud.

But DD is not that. Its’s a great Golden Ale. So, of course it is good news that the beer is a goodun but I’m not sure the name has been thought through too well. Sounds good, is good, but doesn’t suit the brew.

Anyway, as already mentioned, this is a cracking beer you know! A lovely spicy toned nose starts the party soon followed but an exceptional mouthfeel in the sip and swallow. I think we can probably thank the Devonian water for this. The spicy ride continues into the taste which may I add is very refreshing. The aftertaste is soft, not in a bad way, just soft and pleasant.

My only issue with this beer (other than the name match situation) is that seeing as this is branded as a STRONG GOLDEN ALE and is carrying a 5.1% abv, I think I wanted a bit more of a hit. Not much more, just a bit more.

However, when all’s said, Bays Brewery have produced a lovely beer in Devon Dumpling.

Jymi’s Rating: 86%

 

SAMMY SAY’S…

Who’d have ever thought we’d be drinking a beer named Devon Dumpling? Yet here we are, doing exactly that. Furthermore, who’d have thought a beer named Devon Dumpling would be any good? However, turns out it’s quite the find…

DD’s nose is intriguing and best described as being fairly complex with some spice hint backed by some sharp citrus fruit and some more rounded summer fruits. A little light on the nasal cavity, it’s a tempting introduction to the (fairly dark) golden ale.  Without the label of being a golden ale, I would describe it somewhere between the aforementioned brewing style and a trad bitter.

In the drinking DD really comes alive. It starts light and acidic, then onto heavy and full bodied in the middle all rounded off with a light finish. It makes for an unusual drinking experience but I like it. Each mouthful is a delightful surprise and it keeps DD fresh and interesting. Not necessarily a traditional golden ale but it’s a great drink.

This is one to get your hands on folks because if nothing else it’s quite different.

Sammy’s Rating: 87%

 

MUSE ON BOOZE RATING: 86.5%

MOB review next weekend: HIGH DEFINITION by SIREN CRAFT BREW & GREEN CHEEK BEER CO

Sammy & Jymi – Musing on Booze since 2017

SUSSEX GOLD

BREWER: Arundel Brewery, West Sussex, England

STYLE: Golden Ale

ABV: 4.2%

VESSEL: 500ml brown bottle

TWITTER: @ArundelBrewery

INSTAGRAM: arundelbrewery

DATE OF POST: 10th October 2021

 

JYMI SAY’S…

Another 4ish% British Golden Ale you say… We’ve heard it all before Jymi I hear you cry. However, even though Sussex Gold isn’t wildly different to it’s brothers/competitors, it ain’t the same either…

Things got off to a magnificent start with SGs whiff… it is exceptional! A delightful vibrant citrus hit with a sweet hoppy thing going on too but also accompanied by a savory grass tone. It’s not often Jymi’s olfactory factory (nose in layman’s terms) pick’s up such nuances but the smell from this brew really was that good.

Once into the sip what became apparent was that Arundel Brewery really knew what they were up to as the mouthfeel and drinkabilty of this beer was also fantastic.

However, there is a slight lack in body and aftertaste. Plus I found this Golden a bit uncarbonated for me…

However, this is possibly all part of it’s genius. Any more body and aftertaste and the drinkability would dip. Any more carbonation and the sessionabilty would dip.

It’s a real fine line.

But when all is said and done Arundel Brewery have produced a very nice drop here.

Jymi’s Rating: 79%

 

SAMMY SAY’S…

Sussex Gold is a good example of a traditional golden ale done well. It’s clear, golden colour is as expected and this only serves to get the old tastebuds excited!

The nose is pleasant, grassy, but nothing to write home about. It’s in the drinking that the nose comes alive. As you quaff your first pull of the drink you really do get that summer mowed lawn sensation. And I love that.

The mouthfeel is good at first but perhaps a little too smooth in the finishing for a golden. To be fair, this initial smoothness does wear off as you drink on. SG gets better the further down the glass you go.  And this keeps it an interesting offering.

There is definitely a citrus note mid drink and I’d describe it as lightly hopped.

I like it. It’s a good beer.

Worthy of its name.

Sammy’s Rating: 81%

 

MUSE ON BOOZE RATING: 80%

MOB review next weekend: DEVON DUMPLING by BAYS BREWERY

Sammy & Jymi – Musing on Booze since 2017

 

COOL BEANS

BREWER: Butts Brewery, Berkshire, England

STYLE: Porter

ABV: 2.3%

VESSEL: 330ml brown bottle

TWITTER: #buttsbrewery

INSTAGRAM: #buttsbrewery

DATE OF POST: 4th October 2021

 

JYMI SAY’S…

As a keen gardener I can’t help feel like there are not enough hours in the day to keep on top of things out there let alone implement ideas and a few new additions. The main reason for this is that I’m not retired – I’m middle aged, with a full time job plus I run a local beer delivery service AND have to write this s**t every week! So time is short and before you know it, the grass is not. So when I do manage to get out there it is normally a jungle that needs taming. An early rise and straight to it is normally required with a head down attitude of just smashing it out.

After several hours toil it is time to take a break. It’s 11am. And you should probably have a coffee, but after such a tough stint, you quite fancy a beer… Step up COOL BEANS!

What an amazing little brew! Of course with this ABV the flavour isn’t going to smack you in the chops but it is tasty nonetheless. Light and refreshing with a definite dry coffee aftertaste that brings a caffeine buzz along to the party as well.

Great concept. Great execution. Great beer.

Anyway, back to the garden, this conifer unicorn isn’t going to shape itself…

Jymi’s Rating: 72%

 

SAMMY SAY’S…

Cool Beans is an interesting proposition. It might not say it on the bottle, but it’s brewed with coffee. And you can tell. The concept of this brew is literally to be a light morning style beer. Sounds odd, I know. But it actually really works.

Right, so it’s a little absent in the mouth. And it tails of at the end. But other than that, it’s a great drinking experience.

The coffee influence starts with the nose and carries right on through to the drinking. And I like it. It works really well with the stout brew. It’s a match made to exist together.

Cool Beans is an interesting beer, no doubt. But it’s much more than that. It’s beer that has a place in the market and would be snapped up with more exposure.

Sammy’s Rating: 74%

 

MUSE ON BOOZE RATING: 73%

MOB review next weekend: SUSSEX GOLD by ARUNDEL BREWERY

Sammy & Jymi – Musing on Booze since 2017

JAIL ALE

BREWER: Dartmoor Brewery, Devon, England

STYLE: Golden Ale

ABV: 4.8%

VESSEL: 500ml brown bottle 

TWITTER: @DartmoorBrewery

INSTAGRAM: dartmoorbrewery

DATE OF POST: 26th September 2021

 

JYMI SAY’S…

I have to say the swallow and aftertaste of this brew is just exquisite. Vibrant with a zesty fruit in the swallow moving to a creamy toffee like aftertaste. Very very good indeed.

However, and it is an however, the things that proceeded this loveliness kinda let it down.

There is something in the sip that I did not get on with. Wasn’t horrible but I was not too sure about it at all. I also could not pick what it was though. Pro as ever eh!

However once the aforementioned aftertaste waltzed in this became a really good sippable brew

Overall this is a pleasant beer absolutely at home for ‘avin’ a chin wag for 5 n 20 in the West Country.

Jymi’s Rating: 69%

 

SAMMY SAY’S…

The name of this brew definitely deserves a mention for its brilliantness: Jail Ale. While the prison may now be a low security affair, that’s not always been the case. So a beer brewed on Dartmoor and named Jail Ale is quite simply a stroke of genius.

Once unleashed JA surprisingly has a nice caramel colour in the glass. And the nose matches this well with its sweet burnt caramel notes. It’s light and uncomplicated but very clean.

JA has some sweetness in the taste giving way to a slight bitter finish. And interestingly there’s a creamy mouthfeel.

This is quite a straightforward brew. It wouldn’t be to everyone’s liking but it is different. There’s definitely a uniqueness about it and that’s a good thing.

It rich and Personally, I like it but I’d understand that it could split the crowd.

Sammy’s Rating: 82%

 

MUSE ON BOOZE RATING: 75.5%

MOB review next weekend: COOL BEANS by BUTTS BREWERY

Sammy & Jymi – Musing on Booze since 2017

 

ERDINGER WEISSBIER

BREWER: Erdinger, Bavaria, Germany

STYLE: Wheat Beer

ABV: 5.3%

VESSEL: 0.5l brown bottle

TWITTER: @ErdingerWB

INSTAGRAM: there are hundreds, search and take your pick

DATE OF POST: 19th September 2021

 

JYMI SAY’S…

A widely available beer, as in this sucker has gone global, and also the world’s number one selling wheat beer. However, before today I don’t recall ever trying it.

OK, I’m going to keep this brief…

Whilst initially sipping this beer I thought a fairly positive review was going to be coming out of my typing fingers. Pleasant, thick but somehow refreshing. These were positive signs for sure. But then the notes went something like this…

Doesn’t taste 5.3%, actually it doesn’t taste of anything at all. 

The more I got into this beer the more it dawned on me that it pretty much has no flavour!

It’s drinkable, it’s certainly sessionable, but a beer that doesn’t taste of anything?? Well well.

Jymi’s Rating: 43%

 

SAMMY SAY’S…

Erdinger is one of the best known examples of a wheat beer (even if those consuming it don’t realise this). And, of course, that means it’s mass produced. That doesn’t always mean poor quality – we have plenty examples of that not being the case. However, Erdinger is very much middle of the road and even though wheat beers aren’t my bag (or beer) there are much better brews of this type out there.

The nose isn’t doing too much but there is a hint of banana, which doesn’t do too much for me. But the real mediocrity of Erdinger is felt in the drinking. Sure, it’s got more presence in the mouth than you might expect but it doesn’t have too much flavour.

If you focus really hard, you get a slight spicy finish, preceded by light fruitiness. But the thing is, you shouldn’t have to try hard to find those flavours.

Erdinger might be one of the best selling wheat beers, it most certainly isn’t representative of the brewing style. Average at best.

Sammy’s Rating: 45%

MUSE ON BOOZE RATING: 44%

MOB review next weekend: JAIL ALE by DARTMOOR BREWERY

Sammy & Jymi – Musing on Booze since 2017

 

WOLF OF THE WOODS

BREWER: Twickenham, West London, England

STYLE: Premium Bitter

ABV: 4.7%

VESSEL: 500ml brown bottle

TWITTER: @TwickenhamAles  

INSTAGRAM: twickenhamales

DATE OF POST: 12th September 2021

 

JYMI SAY’S…

Bitter. Best Bitter. Premium Bitter. What’s the difference?

Well I suppose it is very easy to say the latter is better than the prior and the one in between is just that. But why would it be better?

Quality of ingredients used? Care taken in the brew? Small batch brewing to ensure quality?

The actual answer is that this is a murky world and the difference is what you make of it. A small example of just how beer styles are being confused nowadays. The fact the term Session IPA exists and is an oxymoron pretty much sums this up.

HOWEVER, Wolf of the Woods is described as a Premium Bitter and is utterly sensational so maybe just maybe, Premium Bitters are better than Bitters? Whatever, it’s subjective, I’m moving on…

As already stated, WOTW is an absolute belter of a brew! Twickenham Brewery have completely smashed it, honestly.

A huge beery, hoppy and slightly sweet nose leads the way. My notes said, “this is what beer should smell like”. Next up is the sip and it is straight down to business with a beautiful grassy lemon hop bite (not the biscuity malt suggested on our label, but I was totally OK with that). The aftertaste then contains all mentioned above and goes on and on and on! Sensational stuff.

There is not much more to say.

Find it, drink it, love it.

Jymi’s Rating: 91%

 

SAMMY SAY’S…

They say you shouldn’t reinvent the wheel. Take that to mean what you will, but basically we shouldn’t be trying to make something that’s already good even better. And that could be applied to British bitter. There are so many well established brands out there smashing this part of the beer market. There’s some absolute behemoths that have their loyal  following, who are unwilling to waver from their well trodden path.

So, taking that into account, I love it when a small brewery attempts to reinvent the wheel. And that’s exactly what Twickenham is doing with Wolf of the Woods, which is a modern British bitter.

I have to say, it’s incredibly good. In fact, it’s one of the better bitters I have had in a long while. Surprisingly not too bitter, WOTW is very well balanced. Although it might be quite simple, it’s very well rounded with a nice subtle bitter pull at the end.

Not dominated by hops, it still packs enough burnt caramel flavour to make it interesting. WOTW is a very good beer. It’s well conceived and well executed.

This one’s well worth a go! Fabulous.

Sammy’s Rating: 92%

 

MUSE ON BOOZE RATING: 91.5%

MOB review next weekend: ERDINGER WEISSBIER by ERDINGER

Sammy & Jymi – Musing on Booze since 2017

EFES

BREWER: Gebruat, Istanbul, Turkey

STYLE: Beer / Lager 

ABV: 5%

VESSEL: 50cl brown bottle 

TWITTER: #efes

INSTAGRAM: #efes

DATE OF POST: 5th September 2021

 

SAMMY SAY’S…

Although I don’t love the packaging of Efes, I feel the bottle deserves a mention. The creatives have gone out of their way to make a barrel shaped bottle, and while the gimmick doesn’t work on the label design, the bottle itself is well thought through.

Beyond the container, Efes is a little underwhelming. It would be unfair to describe it as poor. But it’s definitely unremarkable. The mouthfeel is fine but the taste has a long pulling aftertaste which isn’t particularly pleasant.

There are no high points with this one. It’s fairly flat throughout. While it’s not going to win any awards, Efes might well quench your thirst on a hot day. Don’t expect too much else from this as it doesn’t have anything else to offer.

Sammy’s Rating: 48%

 

JYMI SAY’S…

When I picked this beer up for me and ol’ Sammy boy to test I pretty much did so because of the bottle. It’s cool, well I thought it was…

See, for 6 days I had it out on display to really draw a conclusion on the packaging as a whole. Slowly I grew to hate it. It is flipping awful and does not make the beer desirable in any way shape or form. Though I admire the effort at least.

The brew itself is ok though. I mean, it is just a classic 5% Med lager. A touch tinny in the aftertaste but just straight down the line not good but not bad stuff really.

Onto the next eh…

Jymi’s Rating: 49%

 

MUSE ON BOOZE RATING: 48.5%

MOB review next weekend: WOLF OF THE WOODS by TWICKENHAM BREWERY

Sammy & Jymi – Musing on Booze since 2017