Author Archives: nick

2nd July, Home

So had a long walk earlier, punctuated by a pint at tje Virgins – Sunchaser again the right choice. Now sitting in the garden with a pint of Cumberland Brewery from Newry’s Brown Bear IPA? an Aldi £1.29 special.It’s amber, slightly hazy with an attractive white head. No huge aroma, and the first taste is […]

03.06.17 – Home, Kenilworth

Aldi have a few interesting beers in stock at the moment, but Cotleigh IPA particularly caught my eye. I have very fond memories of Cotleigh beers from my earliest beerhunting days, Tawny – pre-Owl – being an old (VERY old) favourite. Cotleigh are one of the longest-established “new” or “micro” breweries, and I guess have […]

Franklin’s Bitter

When I think of beers that formed and informed my drinking experience, few are more important than Franklin’s Bitter. I first came across it at The Gardner’s Arms, and it was a wonderful beer, not too strong, respectably balanced but wonderful hop flavours; this was one of the first craft beers in the UK. An […]

The mid-80s Brum Beer Scene

I arrived in Birmingham in 1983 from Leeds, a city where even the monopoly beer was to my taste, and much better beers could be found without too much difficulty. Brum was different. More than half the pubs were owned by Bass, through their M&B subsidiary. M&B operated 3 breweries, Cape Hill, which made the […]

20.05.2016 – Ricoh Stadium, Coventry

The Ricoh Stadium recently became the first stadium to achieve Cask Marque status, and whilst I don’t for one minute consider that an absolute guarantee of decent beer, it’s normally at least a sign that the outlet concerned is trying. Wasps, the stadium’s owners, have a sponsorship tie-in with local brewers Purity, and so there […]

Ma Pardoe’s

Long, long ago my friends and I were on one of our periodic Black Country expeditions in search of interesting beer. Doris Pardoe had died not all that long before, so we thought it was time to visit the Old Swan before it was snapped up by some brewery. It was one of the famous […]

12/05/17 – The Kenilworth, Edinburgh

I drink in here in Edinburgh not just because of the name, but because it’s a rather nice pub that tends to have some decent beers on. So for a compare and contrast, we have Stewart Brewing’s Holyrood Pale Ale, a craft keg offering in an American Pale Ale style at 5% ABV, and Williams […]

04.05.17 – Virgins and Castle, Kenilworth

So to the Virgins for a rugby coaching meeting. It’s a lovely old pub with multiple small snugs with flagstone floors, and beers from Everards. I chose Sunchaser – not the most exciting beer of all time, but really quite a pleasant accompaniment to our discussions. A rather attractive golden colour with a dense head, […]

The Gardner’s Arms, Bilton

The newa that Sam Smith’s have banned swearing in their pubs got me thinking on the topic, and my thoughts took me back many years to a different world, and a pub that is now actually owned by Sam’s. Back then, early 80s, this pub on the outskirts of Harrogate was a free house, run […]

Home beer and pub beer

A number of blog posts have stung me into action again, particularly the excellent Boak and Bailey ( and have made me think about why I drink what I drink, and where I drink it. I’ve realised that the primary reason I go to pubs isn’t to drink beer any more – that’s a strong […]