Tuesday, 27 May 2014

To Cornwall and back again

Last week was our annual trip to Cornwall, we join our friends and their families for fun, food, sun (sometimes) and yes drinking.
The boys see it as a great opportunity to get reacquainted with breweries we have discovered over the last five years, local beers and have done a pub crawl around a new town each year, Padstow, Wadbridge and Bodmin being the last ones. This year we thought about doing a brewery tour and plumped for Skinners in Truro, who were very helpful when contacted, more on that later.
Due to the general poor mobile reception in Cornwall, really bad in so many places, and the ultra slow wifi at the farmhouse I didn't check into Untappd as many of the beers as I could have, but as usual I bought a few bottles home to blog about.

The first cask beer of holiday for me however was from a more well known company, namely Sharp's brewery from Rock nr Padstow.
A lot of people are down on them since their acquisition by Molson Coors a few years ago, but I still like their beers, and from what I've read about Stuart Howe, chief overlord or some such similar title, he seems a bloke who hold very high ideals and integrity, certainly someone who knows his own opinions.
Whatever, judge them on the beers.

We stopped for lunch on the way from South Wales to Cornwall just of the A30 past Exeter into a village called Ide for a pub called the Poachers Inn.

Sitting in the sun in the lovely beer garden we enjoyed a well prepared and reasonable lunch, my daughter (and the rest of us) loving the huge whitebait she had ordered. I went for a classic lunch, and got large slices of ham and beautiful fresh eggs with chips.
To drink they had several south west breweries on but I went for the Sharp's Six Hop IPA, which at 3.8% you could put it into this new 'sessionable IPA' category that seems to be mentioned more and more.
Light golden yellow, good carbonation. Minimal head retention. Light citrus aroma, which on taste seems a little light also, nice balance with the malts. Subtle bitterness afterwards. With the six hops I was expecting something a little more upfront and punchy in the mouth, this was gentle but refreshing and certainly sessionable.

Then it was onto Cornwall.

Friday, 2 May 2014

Preseli Brewery 'Powder Monkey'.

Powder monkey is a 4.2% abv bitter brewed by the Preseli brewery based in Tenby, and which they now label as 'Tenby Ales'. As I mentioned in a previous post on Tenby you can buy their beers in some tourist shops in the town at quite a price too, over £3 for the bottles I saw.

I wasn't going pay that price for them, they were quite ordinary all those years ago when I reviewed them in my first month on this blog in 2010. This bottle I found in a garage shop outside of Tenby at a much more reasonable price so thought I'd give them a second go.
Preseli Brewery Powder Monkey

Going back to that first review there are two things I will mention.
Firstly I said that their website was basic and untouched. 4 years later there seems to be little change showing how much they value/need their online presence.

The second thing is, and this is sort of backing up the first point also, a while back I looked at ratebeer and noted the commercial description of their beer 'Even Keel'.
This is it:

Even Keel is a 3.4% bitter probably what you would term a ’session ale’ and it went down very quickly. With a light malt taste and some hop aroma, pleasant enough but not terribly exciting. The kind of drink you would have again but if there was something else on offer you would try that first.

If you go back to my original review you note this has been lifted straight from it! You have to ask why?!!! It's not even that complimentary, I'm suggesting try other beers instead!
I don't know how ratebeer allow descriptions to be placed beside beers but it's possibly not that a stringent process. And I'm not suggesting that a brewery should monitor every aspect of their online presence but a complete lack has probably meant that this 'description' has been tagged to their beer for a couple of years now, something most people would want to remedy you would think.

Anyway back to the current beer.
Not flat but little carbonation. Light fruity aroma which follows through into the taste. Light to medium body, very slight bitterness afterwards. Umm and thats about it really, not really much more to say about it.

Here's a nice picture of Tenby instead.
2014-03-01 11.06.04