Archive for January, 2010

A Perfect Pint in a Perfect Pub
January 25, 2010

John, the Landlord of the Merchant Arms, Bristol

On our recent trip to Wales, Mr. Malting and I had a brief stop in Bristol where we found what might possibly be the perfect pub.  The Merchant Arms is a Bath Ale pub, the trademark ghost-bunny etched into the windows.  We tried all three ales on tap and they were immaculately kept.  The Spa turned out to be my favourite, with its bright hoppiness and caramel-corn malts.  Though Barnstomer was a close second– an easier mouthfeel than in the bottle, the brown-sugar nose dominating and coffee and dried fruit up front.  The head was quite substantial, lingering and lacing the glass.

The pub itself is cozy, the sills filled with succulents. The Landlord, John, is welcoming and witty.  There isn’t a bad seat in the house, as every corner had its own little table.  The telly is hidden away in a cabinet and good music was playing the first evening we were there, and on the second visit Radio 4 was on the stereo.  An array of books for browsing are stacked above the booths as well as games.  M and I played a round of Jumbling Towers.  Who knew ale could steady the hand?  If anyone is wondering, I won.

Year of the Dog
January 9, 2010

James and Martin of BrewDog, Photo from The Independent

James and Martin of BrewDog, Photo from The Independent

2010 is off to a great start, at least where beer is concerned.  Today I woke up to an email from Martin with good news:  BrewDog have hit their target for investors for Equity for Punks, which means all their exciting projects, like the eco-friendly brewery and brewpub are going ahead.

What I love about BrewDog is not just their beers, but how ambitious they are, and how they seem to carry off anything they set their mind to.  It’s inspiring and I’m proud to be one of the  investors.  But if you missed your chance to invest– you still can as the deadline has been extended to Feb 19th.  Just think of the fab AGMs…that 20% life long discount…and being part of an exciting beer journey with one of the bravest and most talented breweries in the UK.

Today is a happy day, indeed.

January 7, 2010

Lately I’ve been wondering where that famous British grit has got to. There certainly isn’t any on my hilly road which is now an ice slide. This picaresque weather has brought Britain to its knees. In the words of my friend Steve, if the Nazi’s would have sent snow we’d all be speaking German now.

Growing up outside of Chicago, this all feels like MiniWinter, except no one is prepared for what, by American Midwestern standards, is postively mild.

After spying this tidbit in the Metro (OK, I read it for the animal pictures…) I will forever hold my tongue:

When There’s Beer to Save…

Scotland faces running out of beer after breweries struggled to get supplies to pubs, shops and supermarkets.  But villagers in Moniaive, Dumfriesshire, were determined to help the cause by forming a human chain in sub-zero temperatures to rescue 150 barrels (13,000 pints) of Belhaven Beer from a lorry after it slid off a road in blizzard conditions.

Blitz spirit, innit?