Realised that I hadn't written anything for over a month. Felt shame-farced, so decided to rectify.
This is a sort of headline thing where I write something about a number of different things, meaning topic. OK.
1. Report on booze-free January
Pretty rubbish really. A silly idea to give up booze. Proved nothing, to no one. At least I managed it though - good old me!
In fact, the first couple of weeks were really hard, but it did get easier. I ended up dreaming about the aroma of particular beers and looking longingly at beautifully captured beer images. True story that.
You know the weirdest thing? On the day that I was once again able to drink, I didn't really fancy a beer anyway. I still had one (or two), but didn't massively enjoy it. Why? Hard to say - but I think abstinence attached a sense of guilt to the drinking, which I couldn't just turn off on 1st Feb - it lingered.
Also interestingly, during booze-free January I felt rubbish. My health was up and down and low-level depression which perhaps would ordinarily have been chased away by beer, was instead allowed to drag it's heals.
Might not bother next year.
2. Birmingham Beer Bash Update
Eagle-eyed viewers will have been pleased to see the recent BBB updates regarding the involvement of Purity, Freedom and Thornbridge. This is really fabulous news and shows the World (and ourselves) that we mean business. This is real.
We saw our venue in action at the recent Whisky Birmingham Festival. It is such a cool place: the canal, the railway arch, the rooms, the space. Everything points to a chilled out venue for a buzzing beer sipping experience.
Our logo is now out and looks grrrreat. Our website will be launched shortly and, at that point, you'll be able to bag your tickets.
3. Memorable Beer Tasting Evening
Myself and two great chums* convened round the house of one of them, one evening in mid-February and supped a simmering succession of some of the greatest beers ever brought together on an occasion when I've been present.
3 Fonteinen Armand’4 Oude Geuze Herfst - a peerless Gueuze
Rodenbach Caractère Rouge - a marvellous Sour Flemish Red Ale
Struise Black Albert- and bone crunching Imperial Stout
The Bruery Tart of Darkness - a scintillating and pretty much perfect Sour Ale
Magic Rock Clown Juice - a thick and sweet draft Belgian Wit
AleSmith Wee Heavy Scotch Ale - a malt heavy US Scotch Ale
Nøgne Ø Citrus Hystrix IPA - a fruity IPA
Evil Twin Even More Jesus - a big, smooth and brutish Imperial Stout
Cantillon Mamouche - a blisteringly good Elderflower Lambic
Ragutis Smetoniška Duonos Gira - an almost undrinkable Kvass, which featured the most rankest stench ever encountered in a beer.
The company was excellent, the cheese was great top.
Unprecedented quality all round.
4. Craven Arms makes it a hattrick
Birmingham's "brand new" craft beer quarter now has a third spoke in it's erm tripod. The Craven Arms formerly a lovely but scary place, has now been acquired by Black Country Ales and is being landlorded by friend** of Mediocre Beer Adventures Chris Sherratt. Offering a range of handpulled bitters, cobs and Cantillon Gueuze (at £3.90), the Craven has quickly vaulted towards the top of my Birmingham pub ranking system (DBPRS). Add in the fact that it sits atop a lovely hill behind the Mailbox, the other fact that it has comfortable seating and the erm other and third (probably last also) fact that it is very easy to pop into the Victoria and/or Brewdog on your way there/back and you have a winner on many (all fronts) fronts. Yes.
*I'll insert their names if they allow me.
**Well, he said "hello" when I walked up to the bar and "thanks" when I paid for my drinks.