Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Its getting too dark

Hey its that time of year again its darrk by 6:30 or 7:00 which means when the clocks go back at the weekend means the training routine will change. Instead of running early I will have to run late at 8:30 or so on the pavements. That makes training a lot harder so the 4.5 miles today in the gloom was a taste of things to come.

must just go down and watch the news with a Bud - that not real beer is it?

Monday, 19 October 2009


This weekend my daughter and 14 friends did a "triathlon" to raise money for the Tabor Science College Schools Worldwide challenge trip to Namibia. They are going to help rennovate a school for some of the poorest students in the world. They swam 1/2 a mile at 6:30am - yes am and they are 15 years old - then they walked 15 miles and cycled 20 miles. They all completed the course although some struggled a bit. I did the cycle ride with them and we finished in the Horse and Groomin Cornish Hall End. It is a Green King pub but i had a great new pint, Ridleys Witchfinder, it is a really great stout.

So to training, only 12 miles this week but I did do a 20 mile cycle ride.

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

tapering too early

quiet week on the training front only 3 runs and 12 miles in the last week + only 1 beer

Monday, 5 October 2009

Time Flies

Hey its ages since I last posted - over a month. Well I have been running 15 - 20 miles a week most weeks doing a few press ups and sit ups and generally getting fitter. Now the game has cahnged though I have a ballot place in next years London Marathon and to qualify for 2011 as good for age I have to do a phenomenal 3 hours 15 or less, that is almost an hor better than my pb or a 25% improvement yikes! so today I started my slightly mor scientific training doing some "sprints". Well that is a euphemism I ran a little faster than normal say 70% of max.

The weekend was good for beer Wells Bomabrdier, Boddingtons and Marston's pedigree.

Oh based on a 15 mile average per week I have done 90 miles in training since my last blog

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

28 th rest
29th 4 miles
30th rest
31st 4 miles
2nd 5 miles

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Got some new shoes on saturday Mizuno Wave something or other. Went to this brilliant shop in Safron Walden called "Runnerway" (http://www.runnerway.co.uk)where they put you on a treadmil and film your legs and decide waht shoe is best. Then the lady insisted I go for a test run before I bought the shoes.
So I had to go test them Saturday afternoon and I ran about 8 miles. Tried a new beer Entire Butt Porter from Salopian Brewery - really good pint which aided my recovery.
No running Sunday - family party for my sister's 25th Wedding Anniversary
Monday 4.5 miles

Thursday, 20 August 2009


this is getting boring 4 miles 50 pressups 60 sit ups but I did run up "bird hill" in 100 acre park and met some nice ladies at the top

My BMI says I am half way between overweight and obese - I am a similar weight to Usain Bolt and only 7 inches shorter

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

training 19-8-09

4.6 miles 65 pressups 90 situps

Monday, 17 August 2009

Training Diary

Ok I am goingto run the London Marathon in April so I am going to use this blog as a training diary. I will be carb loading with beer along the way, and of course teh viatmain B is good for recovery so long as the alchohol does not block its absorption

so today about 5 miles, 50 pressups and 65 situps with 10 burpees

Monday, 15 June 2009

50 Beers In One

Ah there has to be something good in Braintree - the Braintree Beer Festival. Ok that isa bit harsh but the 5th Annual Braintree Beerfestival was on this weekend. Being as I had bee to the other 4 I just had to go. Unfortunately arriving Saturday afternoon meant that many beers had run out but I was able to get a drink of the specially created "Braintree Market Ale"from Shalford Brewery
If you are a drinker with a conscience (try spelling that after a few pints) you can really enjoy this beer festival as all proceeds go to charity and they make about £4000 per annum.
Since the Lions are out in South Africa and as yet unbeaten we had to try Milestone Lions Pride and Lion Heart.

I can thoroughly recommend this friendy beer festival which runs annually and has lots of good beers from small breweries plus the odd big one. Whats more when you get the munchies there is plenty of good food supplied by hopleaf so if you wanted you could spend most of Friday and Saturday at the beer festival.

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Saint George's Day Beers

Just for a laugh I had a quick think about some beers which might be suitable on Saint Georges Day

Spitfire Premium Kentish Strong Ale 4.5% ABV (Spitfires are quintessentially English and Shepherd Neame is the oldest brewery in Britain)

Crafted from traditional varieties of English malt, this golden ale combines an underlying depth of maltiness, tinged with a subtle hint of toffee, with the bold citrus and fruity spiciness of Kentish hops, to produce a well-balanced, thirst quenching, popular drink.

Wells Bombardier Bitter (4.3% ABV) (Flag of Saint George on the Label)

Wells Bombardier English Premium Bitter from Wells and Young's Brewing Company, has become synonymous with St. George's Day and all that is English, throughout the length and breadth of the country. It is known as the 'Drink of England.'

Wells John Bull Finest Bitter (4.1% ABV) (well its Obvious from the name)

Wells John Bull Finest Bitter (Alc 4.1% Vol.) is a a refreshing, traditional ‘London-style’ premium with a distinctive hop bitterness brewed to a recipe originating from the early 1900’s.

Greene King IPA 3.6% ABV (official beer of England Rugby Team)

Award-winning Greene King IPA is a great-tasting beer, loved by drinkers across the world. In fact, Greene King IPA is currently Britain's favourite cask ale, so you're in good company and taste.

This hoppy, refreshing beer is brewed in the historic market town of Bury St Edmunds, in the heart of Suffolk, where brewing has been an important part of the town's history even as far back as 1086 when brewing in the town was recorded in the Domesday Book.

Monday, 20 April 2009


Not much news about jogging on the blog recently but the London Marathon is coming up this weekend and boy am I glad I am not running. Mind you if I was I would have done some preparation. But this made me chuckle. So you know it is going to hurt don't you!

Special mention for the Mighty Oak Brewey http://www.mightyoakbrewery.co.uk/ not much of a website but the beer I drank was Springsteen's delight. And it was a really good golden ale. It would sooth many an ache afte a marathon. But beware after a marathon you are dehydrated so teh alchohol is absorbed very quickly.

Monday, 13 April 2009

6 wheeled Cars

Who can remember a 6 wheeled car in formula one. Doesn't it look dated - like something out of Thunderbirds! It was the Elf Tyrrell driven by Jodi Schekter. World champion I believe in 1979 but not in the Tyrrell. So what happened to the Saffer world champion? He is now an English farmer running Laverstoke Park Farm.

This is what he says about Laverstoke Park Farm Organic Ale "I started the farm to produce the best tasting healtiest food without compromise for my family and myself. To follow this we follow nature very strictly and have two principles we follow - slow groeing plants and animals generally taste bettew; and biodiversity is key to a healthy natural environment. We hope you can taste the difference in our beer."

This is a 5% ABV bitter made from old traditional hop varieties balanced with aditional organic but not specified hops.The soils are supplemented with the correct fungi to enhance the barley and hops and their flavours. Jodi says this is his first beer which implies there will be more.

This beer is only available from Laverstoke Park Farm or Waitrose supermarkets. It is a good beer but not outstanding bottle conditioned beer. It needs more tasting to be sure about it so I will have to buy a few more bottles to really assess it.

Friday, 10 April 2009

Golden Glory

I would say this is a "desert bitter" although bitter may be a slight misnomer. It is slightly sweet with a floral aroma and flavour to it. It doesn't quite over power the bitter hops completely but it has a damne good go. It is from a brewer who is rapidly becoming one of my favorites Hall and Woodhouse, that is sort of defeating the e object of the blog which is to promote lots of breweries but Hall and Woodhouse make a lot of interesting bottled beers which are sold through the supermarkets.

About the ale

A refreshing premium ale subtly flavoured with extract of peach. An award-winning 4.5% ABV premium ale, well balanced with distinctive bitterness and a delicate floral peach and melon aroma.

Legend states that the gift of peach blossom brings good fortune to the recipient.

It seems to hold true today, as the subtle addition of extract of peach blossom to enhance the floral blend of aromatic and bitter hops has created an outright award-winning ale that is refreshing, charismatic and...Absolutely Glorious.

Availability : Most supermarkets and a growing number of off licences and independent retailer . Glolden Glory Premium Ale (4.5% ABV) is available in 500ml bottles for pure indulgence.

Thursday, 9 April 2009

Billy No Mates

Last night I inherited the title of Billy from Andy. I went to the Vine in Black Notley, the only CAMRA pub in the Braintree area. It was supposed to be the St Michaels men's night but what with school holidays and everythning no one else turned up. In fact there were only 3 customers in the whole pub.

Anyway I was able to sample something very rare in Essex "Yorkshire Gold" on tap from the Leeds Brewery. This is a new brewery started in 2007 so its good to promote it. It normally only supplies in the Leeds area and Yorkshire Gold is supposed to be a seasonal beer in May so it must have been a pre production barrel.

A really good easy to drink pint, I could have had more if I was not driving, heres's what the website says

" Yorkshire Gold 4.2% ABV

A full golden ale. Specially selected English Northdown hops give this well balanced bitter a rich and satisfying finish."

I don't have a picture so here is a video of the beer festival in nearby Bradford - near Leeds I mean

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Is this the way to Amarillo

Those of us who are British will remember Jonathon Woss intwoducing Peter Kaye miming to Tony Christie's Amarillo but just in case you have forgotten about the comic relief song here it is clickhere. Actually I am giving my vintage away but I rememeber my sister buying the 7 inch single and playing it on her grammaphone.

Any way to the more serious stuff - there is a nice strong (5% ABV) beer from Crouch Vale Brewery near Chelmsford in Essex. It is available through Tesco stores in Essex. I can't actually remember much about it except that I thought I would definitely drink it again but here is what it says on their website

A superb premium golden ale with wonderful aroma and a lasting spicy flavour.

Any way must dash just got to go out for a long run - I have got to get in shape for that summer beach holiday and work up a thirst for tonight so I can blog again tomorrow

Monday, 6 April 2009

Anyone for a pint of T.E.A.

No I have not gone teetotal altough I will admit that tea is my fourth favorite drink. T.E.A. stands for Traditional English Ale. The bottle was obtained from Waitrose and I wished I had got more than one to sample. The pint disappeared very easily afte a massive plate of fish and chips. This comes from a brewery new to me the Hogsback Brewery, it is a relatively new brewery which started in 1992. You can read the story here www.hogsback.co.uk/history.htm.

Back to the business in hand what kind of pint is it? It is a bottle conditioned pale brown ale
with a hoppy slightly fruity aroma with a malty taste. Really good flavour with no american honey after taste.
A classic Best Bitter.

You can buy this beer on line by visiting the shop at www.hogsback.co.uk

Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Good old fashioned family brewery

What is it about brewers and South American honey (not sure if Mexico counts as South American). I have to say I didn't like this as much as the other honey beers on this blog Bewyched and Waggle Dance but I do like the fact that it comes from a really old brewery (see text below) and the name is tremendous. Also it is an award winning beer and it is a northern brewery not making the frothy bubbly stuff so it is worth promoting. I have to say I had not heard of Joseph Holt before. The good news is you can buy this in any of the major supermarkets in the UK so it is easy to get hold of

"At the heart of the Joseph Holt range is the company's draught bitter which is brewed at the Derby Brewery in Cheetham Hill, using a process, which is almost the same as when the plant was opened in 1860. Only the finest malt and processes are used to combine time-honored traditions with modern technology."



Winner of the Tesco Beer Challenge 2004. Refreshing drink brewed with a combination of quality English malt, Mexican Aroma Honey and Citrus flavoured Traditional Whole Hops. Provides a rounded, tongue-tingling taste with an exciting aroma
4.1% ABV


Monday, 23 March 2009

Fursty Work

Well it is safe to go out with an England rugby shirt again now. You don't have to be ashamed of their performance as even though the are not yet good they are the second best team in Europe! Actually they have improved but are still short of a few young beastly forwards. A good 19 stone second row and a couple of young animal props would do. Oh and we need a fly half and at least one decent young centre.

I couldn't celebrate in a pub as I was at the cinema with my Mum straight after the match as a joint birthday Mother's day celebration. So I missed Ireland Wales but it was still exciting on the recording even though I knew waht the result was.

So this weekend I bought another beer to drink at home based on the name "Fursty Ferret" fom Hall and Woodhouse Turns out it is a decent beer with a funny little story behind it.

Originally brewed at the Gribble Inn, Fursty Ferret was hugely popular, with demand by far exceeding supply and the capability of the micro brewery. Now brewed at Hall & Woodhouse, Ferret has become a favourite Seasonal Cask Ale and one of the best selling bottled ales in UK Supermarkets today.
This original recipe has now been researched and developed in order to meet the expressed needs of the modernist bottled ale consumer.
When in decades past the idyllic country home of Miss Rose Gribble became a local inn, legend has it that the inquisitive local ferrets frequented the pub's back door on a mission to sample its own reputed brew. In their honour it was named Fursty Ferret, and today is brewed in greater quantity, so now you can enjoy the celebrated ale that still eludes the ferrets of the Gribble Inn.
Availability: Available in most supermarkets, off licences and independent retailers. Fursty Ferret, 4.4% ABV, is available in 500ml clear glass bottles for pure indulgence.

Monday, 16 March 2009

Couch potato

So now England are the most attacking side in the 6 nations with 13 tries!!! and they could easily end up 2nd in the championship if Ireland get their Grand Slam because of |England have a massive points difference advantage over Wales. Ok France were rubbish and England only played 60 odd minutes but it is some progress. I still think we have no really outstanding players but potentially 22 really good ones. That is enough though in a team game to win most matches.

Will the RFU be consistent - Brian Ashton came second in the world cup and second in the 6 Nations and got sacked so Martin Johnson should be teetering on the brink. I suspect he is still pretty safe though. Whilst I think Brian Ashton was treated apallingly and should still be in the job I would like Johnson to be given a fair run at the job.

So any way that is the reason my running has been curtailed, I spent Saturday and Sunday afternoon in front of the 6 nations. One more weekend to go. Its easy not to run when you don't have a definte goal to aim at or it is a long way off like mine is April 2010 London Marathon is my goal. Whether I make it is down to my body holding out - left ankle and right knee are not too good at present. Having said that I was able to do 3 short (4mile) runs last week and I was on my feet from 9:30pm - 3:00am on friday night so I have had a bit of exercise.

There is only one thing for it more running and more beer to aid the recovery.

Memory Lane

Coming home at 3:00 am stone cold sober having not passed a drop of alcohol through my mouth is a strange position. I saw something I had forgotten all about - a milk man delivering doorstep pints. I had forgotten about the crashing of milk crates and the jingle of glass bottles. Then as I neared home I saw a near neighbour who has a market stall leaving for work. So what would I choose to drink but an old fashioned beer a dark mild, Black Dog from Elgoods. I originally bought the bottle because I liked the name, my Dad used to always have a black Labrador. I didn't actually look to see what kind of beer it was. I discovered it was a CAMRA award winning traditional dark mild brewed with roasted barley and crystal malt along with Fuggles hops. This really brough back memeories of drinking pints of Mild as a student in the early 80's. It has a low ABV of 3.6% which means it comes in under 2 units of alcohol. I liked the beer but I wouldn't want to drink multiple pints of it but it comes from a nice little old family brewer in Wisbech in North Cambridgeshire. I can remember visiting in the early 90's when the were making alcohol free bitter and still using steam driven water pumps. You can find out more about the brewery here


Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Oh Well

I have to eat my words but to quote Fleetwood Mac "I can't help about the shape I'm in, I aint pretty, I can't sing and my legs are thin, but don't ask me what i think of you I might not give you the answer that you want me to ....... Oh well" England play the most boring rugby but interestingly only Ireland have scored more tries (so much for Welsh flair and attacking play) So once again you have to say the press are full of rubbish and write a story to fit around their opinions England have the best defensive record (conceded only 3 tries joint best with Ireland) and are the second best atttackers so where does that leave northern hemisphere rugby because England are boring rubbish at the moment.

Enough of that the beer I was drinking when I became unhinged watching England give away penalty after penalty was Marstons Old Empire not Marstons IPA even though it is a pale ale. I rather enjoyed it but even at 5.7% it wasn't strong enough to dull the pain of the game.

All the beer I put on the blog I seem to like - as long as it is liquid, has hops and malt and alcohol - no I do drink some beers I don't like but I haven't bogged the rubbish yet.

This stuff is very drinkable and available in bottles in supermarkets in England and if you can find a Marstons pub you may find it on draft as well. It has a fresh slightly hoppy taste and would quench quite a dry parched throat.

Marston's Beer

Old Empire

Old Empire Pint and bottleIn the 19th Century, Burton-upon-Trent became famous for brewing the best beer for export to thirsty ex-pats and colonial soldiers in India.

With its pale appearance, strong hoppy taste and higher alcoholic strength Marston's Old Empire comprises all the genuine characteristics of a true India Pale Ale, which were necessary to last

The 3 month journey from Burton to Bombay. Old Empire is brewed using optic malt, a subtle and paler grain that will allow other flavours to come through on the palate. Goldings and Fuggle Hops are added to this brew, which is then late hopped with the American Cascade variety for extra hop strength.

Friday, 27 February 2009

Wales "Basterauded" giving England an chance at the championship - we need another seismic improvement this week though. I reserve judgement until tomorrow night.

Did a five mile walk followed by a 6 mile run with no knee support - knee is holding up well. Tried Marstons IPA - will need another bottle or two to properly assess it but I have to say it tasted great but I couldn't concentrate on ot because the rugby was too exciting.

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Long Standing Aquaintance - Old Bob

This weekend I hooked up with a long standing aquaintance OLD BOB from the sadly now defunct Ridleys brewery. It brought back memories of beer at 35p a pint and the days when you ordered a half of bitter and a bottle of Old Bob and the bartender would give you 2/3 of a pint in a pint glass and a half pint bottle of Old Bob. Clearly drinking beer does not diminish the long term memory as a 35p pint would have been about 30+ years ago. It also brought back memories of under age drinking in the Old Lamb (sadly also gone and now 2 or more houses stand on that plot) in High Roding with the ex butcher who always looked miserable as a Landlord. People used to say it was a hard life being a butcher which is why he always looked miserable but I think he was worried about his daughter hooking up with one of his regulars. Ahh what memories, I guess that my interest in nostalgia means I am now middle aged.

The demise of small breweries and the loss of pubs is a sad fact of modern life and I can't say I call it progress. Ridleys at Hart end Felsted wa a delightful old brewery which was a bit like a museum when I last visited it a few years ago. They still had the old coppers, still hauled the hops up to the top floor by hand etc. but apparently they didn't make any money so they sold out the Greene King who make a few passable beers. I remember them buying Rayments in the 80's. Rayments used to supply the beer to our rugby club but the BBA soon became IPA and there is now no Rayments beer left as far as I know, so lets hope Ridleys is a stronger brand.

Any way Ridleys Old Bob is now available in 500ml bottles from most good supermarkets. It is a proper bitter without the sweet addition of some of my recent beers. I like the fact that it doesn't really have any head and in my opinion you could easily drink more than one of these in an evening. The clear bottle also lets you see exactly what you are getting.

Old Bob Strong Pale Ale
ABV 5.1% • Vol 500 ml • bottle •
Ridley's, brewing since 1842 till around 2005, was an Essex-based brewer of traditional English ales. Old Bob, a premium ale at the weaker end of the 'old ale' style, has a distinctive, delicate malty aroma with a touch of hop and a thick, persistent head out of the bottle. The attack is sharp and bitter-sweet. There is a lively, very rounded palate of rich, treacley, faintly caramelly malt, without being thick or cloying, and a clean, hoppy (Fuggles) bitterness fading into a bitter aftertaste, with maybe a trace of burnt malt, in the back of the throat. This tastes just how one imagines a beer should - rich, complex and bloody marvellous. Although quite sweet for a pale ale, the flavour is perfectly balanced by the Fuggles bitterness and the deeper roasted malt notes.

Friday, 20 February 2009

Sugar and honey

Two beers which sound the same from their description but are very different. It seems that the fairtrade honey and sugar are very much sweeter than the non fairtrade stuff. I actually preferred the BeeWyched even though it was much sweeter than the Waggle dance so it could be "desert beer". I would normally prefer a hoppier more bitter beer so I was surprised to find I liked the Beewyched best. I know I like Wells beers so now I will have to go off and get a few more bottles of Wychwood beers to assess the quality of this brewery

BeeWyched Honey'd Ale (Wychwood Brewery)

Buzzing with flavour this pale golden lightly honey'd ale has a delicate floral aroma and hints of citrus and dried fruit followed by the full bittersweet flavours of malt, honey and grapefruit.

Brewed using Chilean Fairtrade honey and Fairtrade sugars from Malawi, BeeWyched is our first Fair Trade beer.

ABV: 5.0%
Bottle: 500ml
Cask: seasonally
Hops: Fuggles Challenger and Cascade
Malts: English Pale Ale, Crystal
and Fair Trade Honey

Wells Waggle Dance (Wells and Young's)

Unusual name, unusual beer! The “Waggle Dance” is the movement a bee performs to alert the hive to a source of nectar. The Waggle Dance beer is a beautifully balanced, sneakily seductive, golden coloured beer. it is popular both as a cask ale (Alc. 4.0% Vol.) and in 500ml bottle (Alc. 5.0% Vol.) across a wide range of beer lovers both male and female and of all (legal) drinking ages.

A striking pump clip and bottle label designs ensure high awareness to Waggle Dance amongst drinkers in both the On- and Off-Trade

Amber beer with a touch of honey on the nose and palate. The sweetness is balanced by a healthy dose of hops to provide the bitterness that gives a wonderfully delicate flavour.”

Pale Ale and Crystal malts and British Fuggle and Golding hops, together with South American honey, combine perfectly to create this delicious golden ale with a superb honey aroma.

Waggle Dance’s renowned consistency and quality delivers high yields and is quick to drop bright (usually within 24 hours).

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

go slow

Not much jogging to report due to other time commitments and whats worse is that I am stuck on 196 pounds - 14 stone in English. However I did mange to get out with shorts and T shirt today and work up quite a sweat - I am not convinced this is spring though.
On the subject of beer I had a good pint in a Greene King pub at the weekend "Flankers tackle" as an ex flanker with tackle in tact it is appropriate. Good easy to drink bitter with very little sweetness - actually i think it might be a Ridleys beer re-labelled - it tasted quite familiar. Anyway about 4.5% from memory. I also had a can or two of Tetleys smooth flow during the game. I had forgotten it is actually quite a pleasant pint.
There was some very selective refereeing of the break down going on - but to be fair the Welsh perpetrators were forwards so they were a bit more streetwise and made it look less obvious. Good job Lee Byrne isn't Scottish though or he would have been yellow carded. Good English improvement but they could still have won. It shows that the English are not arrogant - they didn't havethe confidence to win.

So we are relying on France and Ireland to beat Wales for England to win the championship.

Thursday, 12 February 2009

Beer tasting Courses

Just a very quick post to recommend http://www.beeracademy.co.uk who run beer tasting courses etc. Must get myself a driver and get on one of those courses


Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Jogging ???

OK i have only run a couple of times - can't really say I have been concentrating on the beer either but on saturday!!! I will be either celebrating like mad or drowning my sorrows. On paper Wales will walk it but I hope for another world cup like revival - oh well you can always dream

My Favorite Beer

It is my mission to promote as many unusual beers as possible as I love the diversity of English Ales (and some other beers)

This is an unusual beer but as ginger nut ( no my hair is brown but I absolutely love root ginger) It is the perfect beer for cold weather we are having . Best on an empty stomach and you can feel the warmth of the ginger travel down your throat into your stomach. It also comes from one of my favorite breweries - Hall and Woodhouse.

make sure not to drive afterwards though as you will fail a breathaliser

Blandford Fly

An unusually refreshing premium ale subtly spiced with ginger for EXTRA BITE

A light coloured medium bodied ale with a low bitterness and a subtle spicy ginger character that gives warmth to drink even when served chilled.

The unique ale celebrated the infamous Blandford Fly, a resident biting insect of Dorset's River Stour.

Local folklore has it that only zingibain, one of ginger's most ancient constituents, could help reduce the fever and swelling inflicted by the creatures' bite.

The inspired inclusion of ginger in this ale has made the antidote so agreeable that the locals now claim the Fly swarms all year round...thus the warning cry is oft heard in the locality... BEWARE THE BLANDFORD FLY!

Availability: Most supermarkets and a growing number of off licences and independent retailer. Blandford Fly Ale (5.2%ABV) is available in 500ml bottles for pure indulgence.