Showing Off

The Fox Pub, Twickenham

The Fox Pub, Twickenham

So today I went to Twickenham, to have a pint of Twickenham Ales Naked Ladies– a lively, hoppy ale with a gentle mouthfeel and sunny color. I drank this in the Fox pub– a dim, wonky-walled 17th century pub complete with taxidermied foxes and old men nursing their pints.

Then I went to Real Ale, a store that has a fantastic, ever-changing selection of great beers from all over the world, and a knowledgeable and friendly staff on hand to coax you into buying even more beer.  There are staff picks in the store as well as helpful tasting notes for each beer.  I spent a lot of money and added to my stash of beers, pictured below:

haul from Real Ale

haul from Real Ale

Partial Stash

Partial Stash

I’ve been in hoarding mode.  Time to start drinking. What should I crack open next?

  • BrewDog Coffee Imperial Stout
  • BrewDog Hardcore IPA
  • BrewDog Paradox Isle of Arran
  • BrewDog Paradox Smokehead
  • BrewDog The Physics
  • BrewDog Speedball
  • BrewDog Tokyo
  • BrewDog Zeitgeist
  • Brooklyn Brewery Black Chocolate Stout
  • Cantillon Kriek
  • Goose Island Matilda
  • Goose Island Bourbon County Stout
  • Stone IPA
  • Thomas Hardy’s Ale
  • Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier
  • Innis & Gunn Blonde
  • Innis & Gunn Original
  • Oakleaf Brewing Company, Maypole Mild
  • Vale Brewing Company, Black Swan Dark Mild

If anyone has food pairing ideas for any of these (The Rauchbier I’ve had on tap before and will be looking for some smoked cheese for it), suggestions would be welcome.  Also, if you have written about these before a heads up would be cool.

Then, of course, there is Lemmy’s stash:

I don’t know which is worse, his can of Fosters or his obvious pandering to the LOL crowd.

29 Responses

  1. Your stash, madam, is a thing of intense beauty. I am a-quiver.

    • Haha, Beer Nut! Flattery will get you everywhere.

  2. As I’m a beer homer, I’d say go for either the Matilda or the Bourbon County Stout.

    • A Beer Homer like this? (I kind of want one of these now).

      Or a different kind of beer homer?

      Both of those can be aged….should I wait it out or pounce? I don’t know.

      • My link to the Simpson’s Homer didn’t work out. Sad. Well, he’s holding a can of Duff–

        • DOH! Mmmmm, beeeeeeeeeerrrrrr….

          No, a hometown homer, although I have developed a beer crush on the Brew Dog folks. I spent far too many hours in the Clybourn Goose Island not to recommend their beer and usually got to try it before it went to bottle.

          Ask Adeptus about his affinity for the GIIPA…..

          • Hi Mike– that’s such a great idea for a post– What is your hometown beer? Someone should do that for The Session/beer blogging friday!

            The Brew Dog beers are totally crush-worthy. I think they’ve definitely captured the imagination of a lot of loyal beer drinkers, including myself!

  3. You know there’s three varieties of Rauchbier – Marzen, Weizen and Urbock(?); though the Marzen is my favourite. Have you tried the new Thornbridge Alliance beers? My favourite that I’ve had all year.

    • Hi Simon– I have only had two different rauchbiers– one was the Marzen I list above and the other was a micro brew from Franconia, I believe– given to me by a brilliant punter at a beer fest but I neglected to write down what it was!

      OK, are the Thornbridge Alliance in small champagne-shaped bottles, brewed in things like sherry casks? Or am I confused? Which would you recommend? Thanks for the tip!

      • Yes the thornbridges are in mini champagne bottles. I can’t remember which one I liked best but I think it was the mauve one. I think I liked the one mixed with Sherry the least but they’re all pretty good.

        I really like the Marzen Rauchbier – there’s a beer I had in Edinburgh called Kelpie which was made from seaweed which had a similar taste. I haven’t seen that one down here though.

        • OK, Real Ale in Twickenham had those Alliance beers– maybe it’s worth a trip down there again to get some. Actually, the dude working was trying to get me to buy one as he said it was really stand out but I was already pretty loaded down and had to take three buses to get home! But now I’m thinking I should have grabbed one.

          Kelpie is a great name for a beer. I would have loved to have tried that one– I dig on seaweed!

          Simon do you have a beer blog?

          • I don’t have a blog – I’ve tried to drink every beer that our local shop stocks (it has a really good range) but have such a bad memory that I don’t think I’ve done so well – I might start one to help me remember what I’ve had and liked.

            We’ve met BTW – I was that friend of Camilla’s who scared her when she was at the V&A for the day of craft talks – though you may not recall, I’m sure things like that happen to her all the time…

            • Hi Simon– you should start a beer blog! I would read it.

              I remember that day of craft talks– were you in the talks or? Why can’t I remember? How lame of me.

  4. It has to be Innis & Gunn Original. That stuff is just sensational. One of the smoothest beers with the best palates out there. Try it with a creme brulle!

    • Hi Fred– maybe I’ll whip up some flan! I have that one chilling so maybe tonight I’ll give it a go. Exciting!

      • I’ve had the I&G cask strength with a creme brulee and it was superb! It’s a cool beer and it’s one which has converted loads of lager drinkers into ale drinkers. It’s like sweet buttered toast 🙂 mmm!

  5. Wow, great shop!! I used to live fairly close to there and bought quite a bit but it’s changed a lot and got much better in the last few years.

    As for food pairings, the coffee stout is glorious, just have a bit of milk chocolate is great with that. The Smokehead is surprisingly good with sushi. And the Hardcore IPA with some mature cheddar is a winner.

    And after having the Bourbon County this weekend can attest to that be very very good. Tokyo too.

    I am jealous of such a great haul!!

    • Hi Mark, It is a great shop isn’t it? I first met those guys at the Twickenham beer fest and they really impressed me.

      I was thinking of having the coffee stout with a fry up. I blame you & your crazy marathon tasting for that idea!

      I like this notion of Smokehead with sushi! Do you still live around West London? I have no idea where to get decent sushi around these parts. (I should probably learn to make it but it seems complicated).

      Def. going to look into some mature cheddar for the IPA. Thanks for your tips!

      • I’ve spoken to them at the Twickenham festival too. I used to live in Egham but I don’t anymore. And sushi? I think the Whole Foods Market is pretty good but I don’t know for sure; it’s a great combo, the ginger and wasabi are what makes it really cool!

        And coffee stout with a fry-up is good. But this one is dry hopped and aged on oak chips so it has this amazing dry, woody, citrus quality to it that makes it more of a desert beer – I had it with a gooey chocolate pudding and it rocked! It might be great with a fry-up though, i’ve never tried!

  6. I can speak from experience that you can never go wrong with anything from Stone.

    • Hi Mike– I loved the Stone Smoked Porter when I tried it back in the US. I gave the Arrogant Bastard a go and it totally messed my palate up right good. I wasn’t ready for it but now I’d like to give it another chance. That can be said of so many arrogant bastards I’ve known! Really looking forward to the IPA now.

      • I love Arrogant Bastard. Probably my favorite brew of all time. Also if you get a chance you should try the Stone Ruination IPA. Big hops in a great double IPA. That one will mess with your palate.

  7. Get on the Hitachino Owl and fly fly away ma’am.

    • Hey Wortwurst…I’ve been dying to try a Hitachino for some time now, simply because the owl on the label is too awesome. There is this super posh dim sum restaurant in London that serves it but when I ordered it they were out.

      I would like to fly away on a beer owl. Yes I would.

      • I used to carry around the little owl cap in my pocket amongst the change and lint. I think I will put it back in today and see what happens.

        • Why, that owl is full of sass.

          Put it in your pocket and fly to London!

  8. If this Hitachino cap gives me the power of flight I’m heading straight for the closest Doritos factory and dive-bombing the place.

  9. Sorry I’m a little tardy to the party, but I did sip an ’05 Thomas Hardy’s and scribbled some notes on it.

    And since a lot of the pairings can be trial-and-error, I’m at a loss right now as to what you could match up with your list there (some of which I assume you picked up over here… we don’t even get Goose Island in Virginia!). If you’d like, you could peruse my meager pairings category for some ideas.

    Buona fortuna! And get the cat to stay away from the Foster’s… that’s just bad parenting.

    • Tardy to the party, drinking Thomas Hardy…yo, G! (that’s the extent of my homie posturing.)

      Your write up of the TH is making me think I should save mine until next Christmas and have it with some pud.

      I actually bought all the beer in the UK– the Brew Dog stuff straight from their website, the rest from Real Ale in Twickenham and my local Waitrose grocery store. I feel strangely lucky…I’m sure the feeling will pass soon enough– I just have to look at my cat to realize that I’m really a beery Mommy Dearest!

      I’m a lapsed vegetarian– I eat fish now but sometimes it’s hard to find food pairing suggestions that don’t involve beef or pork or deer or…! I look forward to checking out your pairings posts.

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