Beer Four, Week Four: Wild Beer’s Somerset Wild Saison

I’d spent the evening wandering around Soho, gorging myself on lovely Thai food at Rosa’s. Walking back towards Holborn, I wandered into the Craft Beer Co fancying something sharp to reset my taste buds.  And I found that in this beer from Wild Beer.  This is possible the sourest beer I have ever tasted, judging by the laughter at the faces I was making after every sip.

As a kid I always refused those sour sweets, because I disliked them. White wine never agrees with me. I also don’t really like cider much, but beers like this are making me rethink and retry things I’ve previously dismissed.

The Wild Beer website recommends eating this with fish, which makes sense – I am going to get some of this and try it in the summer with some fish straight off the BBQ.  I reckon it will work brilliantly.


Film Four, Week Four: Into the Woods

A few moments into Into the Woods, my chum Andrew whispered that if at any time I wanted to go and get a beer instead, just to let him know.  As it turned out, he ended up quite enjoying it. I enjoyed it from the start, but your milage may depend on how much you like Steven Sondheim.  The scene with the two princes dude-bro-ing it up a storm was particularly hilarious and well done.

But, we have achieved Peak Depp.

Film Four, Week Four: Foxcatcher

Foxcatcher is the best type of psychological thriller, so tense and taut and quiet, so that when the crucial moments come with a (literal) bang, the shocks are like being plunged into a pond full of ice.

All three lead actors were well cast: I didn’t recognise Carell, and it wasn’t because of his prosthetic nose. His whole body is acting. The same can be said for Tatum and Ruffalo – they walk like wrestlers, like jerky puppets.

But the cinematography almost steals the show for me – Australian Grieg Fraser made the film feel as if the viewer was also back in the 80s/90s.  He was responsible for the cinematography on another film I really liked for the way it was filmed, Bright Star.  And when you look at the IMDB recommendations for that film it brings up Summersault, which I have just remembered is also awesome and you should all watch it.  And onwards down the IMDB rabbit hole I go…

Beer Two, Week Two: Ashtray Heart by Evil Twin Brewing

I love a smoked beer, and have been keeping an eye out for a bottle of Ashtray Heart for a while following great reviews online.  But I think the first sign that this beer wasn’t going to quite live up to my expectations was when I tried to pour it into the glass and it fizzed like it does in that Mentos/Diet Coke experiment.

The ash-y taste is definitely there, but it also has a harsh, burnt, campfire taste and, unlike other smoked stouts of this strength I’ve had recently, the alcohol is too heavy-hitting.  When I left half of the beer for a while to warm up and settle, it did improve in the balance of its flavours, with a slightly sweet, dark fruit and nut chocolate taste coming through and tamping down that harshness.

I didn’t particularly like this beer, but I am going to give it a second chance and try and find a bottle of it from a different batch.

Book Two, Week Two: Pursuit of Love

“My dear Lady Kroesig, I have only read one book in my life, and that is ‘White Fang.’ It’s so frightfully good I’ve never bothered to read another.”

I’ve read several books about the Mitfords, but to my shame had never read anything by any of them, so back at the start of the year when a friend pointed out a good deal on Nancy Mitford’s collected works I snapped them up and have been immersed in them ever since, having so far finished the first (Highland Fling) and the best known (The Pursuit of Love).

I think what I loved most about this book the way the narrator, Fanny, describes the characters around her with such dry wit but also with detachment.  A friend of mine once described Nancy Mitford as “posh and prototype chick-lit” but she’s just too sharp to be dismissed in that way, almost all of her words reaching their intended targets.  Next: Jessica Mitford, I think…

Band Two, Week Two: Ghosts of Dead Airplanes

I went in to seeing this band blind, as a support to Bis at the Lexington, and at first I thought they were called Ghostsoda because of the abbreviation of their name stuck in electric and duct tape over their keyboards and instruments.  I assumed, because of who they were supporting and based on that mis-name, that they’d be quite poppy. Not quite right. Ghosts of Dead Airplanes are somewhere probably halfway in between Bis and the 90s and I am not even sure because this band confuses me, but in a good way.  I mean, listen to Hair Metal Shame and tell me what it all means?

Picture of is of them rocking out to the youngsters at this all-agers gig…