Category Archives: Beer

The Newbury

The Newbury – 137 Bartholomew Street, Newbury, West Berkshire RG14 5HBThe Newbury in Newbury

I must say that I am a fan of The Newbury. I have been there a number of times and the food is always really good, it isn’t too loud so you can have a good conversation with your friends, and they stock a good range of interesting beers and whiskeys. Naturally, they stock Jack Daniels so that is always going to give them some additional bonus points in my estimations.

They do a great range of snack foods, chunky chips, cheesy chips, massive beer battered onion rings and sharing platters which are a meal unto themselves.

Something I have yet to get deeply involved with is their shots and cocktail menu. If you are up for it, check out the fascinating array of drinks on offer on their menu – I’ll have one of each please!

There is a front bar area with some comfy chairs, a restaurant section that is not over crowded, outside smoking for those people who are inclined and a “rooftop” bar area which is great for social gatherings and can be booked especially for you.

The only downside is that it is a little pricey. If you are looking for a cheap night out you will be better off at a Wetherspoons or raiding your local Asda for your booze.

That aside, a definite recommendation for anyone who likes a good drink in a good pub.

The Newbury_ chunky onion rings smThe Verdict – The Newbury – Newbury – 79.41%

Important stuff: 82%
Is the beer on tap drinkable? Mostly
Do they sell cheesy chips? Yes
Did you get a table / chair? Yes
Hot bar staff? Sometimes
Would you go there again? Yes

Extras: 75%
Can you hold a conversation there? Yes
Is the food good? Yes
Do they serve Jack Daniels? Yes
Is their selection of Whiskeys any good? Yes
Is there plenty of eye candy? Sometimes
Do they have Pool tables? No
Do they have a Beer Garden / Rooftop Garden? Yes


Trooper label smTrooper – Premium British Beer – Robinsons Brewery

Much like Iron Maiden’s music, this beer smacks your taste buds in the approximately equivalent ratio as Iron Maiden’s music hits your ears. Big, hard and enjoyable.

Trooper has a moderate to strong tangy flavour. From the outset this beer is a heavy set number, loud and in your face.

With a surprisingly pleasant flavour this beer is more drinkable than I would have first imagined. It may be slightly distracting upon each sip as the flavour blows your taste buds away however it won’t stop you from rocking on all night long! !

This is the 4.7% ABV bottle and I need to find myself some of the Trooper 666 which has 6.6% ABV. Can someone point me in the right direction please? All I can see is the ceiling.

Trooper sm1The Verdict – Trooper – Premium British Beer – Robinsons Brewery

Taste 7
Drinkability 7
Alcohol Content ABV 4% 5

Overall Score 19 / 6.3 Beauts

Where did we find it? Sainsburys


Tribute – Cornish Pale Ale – St Austell BrewerySt Austell Tribute Cornish Pale Ale Label

I randomly selected a pint of Tribute to keep me company while I watched some of the Rugby World Cup. It was there and I hadn’t tried it before, so why not!

I am not entirely sure what this Ale is a Tribute to, but I don’t think I want to be it. Each mouthful starts off really watery, leaving you wondering quite what you are drinking. However, it doesn’t take long (which is good because I am impatient) before a strong, meaty flavour makes its way to your tastebuds.

This is all good until the lingering aftertaste hangs around and around and around and around. What have they put in this that leaves such a strong flavour in your mouth for such a long time?

In any case, I washed it down with a different beer in the hope that it would get rid of the Tribute to my tastebuds.


St Austell Tribute Cornish Pale Ale sm

The Verdict – Tribute – Cornish Pale Ale – St Austell Brewery

Taste 4
Drinkability 3
Alcohol Content ABV 4% 4

Overall Score 11 / 3.6 Beauts

Where did we find it? Garibaldi, Burnham

Special London Ale

Youngs Special London LabelSpecial London Ale – Young’s

I was expecting this beer to be pretty special. Something about the label representing this fact?

This was a moderate flavoured beer. It won’t knock your socks off but it has a pleasant malty flavour. The flavour was consistent throughout each mouthful with a consistent but minimal aftertaste.

I will be honest, because it is my site and I can say what I want, but I wasn’t overly impressed by the flavour. It wasn’t overly interesting, it wasn’t particularly special. It was nice but forgettable.

This also makes it very drinkable and I did so to the point where I forgot to take a photo of it prior to starting to drink it….oooops.

A reasonable alcohol content gives this one extra points for making  your conversations more memorable for other people.

Youngs Special smThe Verdict – Special London Ale – Young’s

Taste 6
Drinkability 10
Alcohol Content ABV 6.4% 6

Overall Score 22 / 7.3 Beauts

Where did we find it? Garibaldi, Burnham


Hobgoblin label smHobgoblin – Ruby Beer – Wychwood Brewery

I’ve had the Hobgoblin before so I was very much looking forward to getting my lips around another bottle. Being near to Halloween I managed to get the bottle with the seasonal label identifying it as the Unofficial Beer of Halloween. Most amusing, but I’ll definitely drink to that.

Although it is quite watery in the first mouthful with little initial flavour, this is a trick to lure you into a false sense of idiotdom. That is when, unsuspectingly, the flavour hits the back of your tongue and the moderate malted flavour alights your senses. This delightful flavour lingers not much longer than the beer is in your mouth as the aftertaste remains barely for a minute before disappearing magically into nothingness, leaving you wondering if you had drunk anything at all.

Hobgoblin is incredibly easy to drink and gives you all the benefits of drinking a beer while you are actually drinking it…and in between mouthfuls it is simply a pleasant memory.

A great beer to drink over a conversation with your mates, and a funky name indicative of weekends indulged in fantasy role playing games.

Wychwood definitely rolled a 20 with this one.

Hobgoblin sm1The Verdict – Hobgoblin – Ruby Beer – Wychwood Brewery

Taste 9
Drinkability 10
Alcohol Content ABV 5.2% 5

Overall Score 24 / 8 Beauts

Where did we find it? Sainsburys

Note: Get the bottles instead of the cans for the higher Alcohol Content!

Good Old Boy

Good Old Boy – Best Bitter – West Berkshire Brewery

This one followed the 1643 Cavalier, so I was immediately pleased to find that it did actually have some flavour. It was consistent throughout each mouthful with surprisingly sweet, fruity overtones.

Dessert and beer don’t normally get along well but I am thinking that this beer might actually make the grade. Sure, no beer will ever go with ice cream and this is no different but it is easy to drink, and does nothing that will make you swear or throw things at people.

It really is a Good Old Boy of a beer.

The Verdict – Good Old Boy – Best Bitter – West Berkshire Brewery

Taste 7
Drinkability 8
Alcohol Content ABV 4% 4

Overall Score 19 / 6.3 Beauts

Where did we find it? The Newbury, Newbury

Fursty Ferret

Fursty Ferret Label SmFursty Ferret – Tawny Amber Ale – Hall & Woodhouse / Badger

The Fursty Ferret gives you a big malty flavour hit as you take every mouthful, and is very pleasantly fragrant. can smell its sweetness a mile before it gets to your mouth.

The flavour hit dwindles away to a lingering, sweet taste in your mouth. It is tempting you for some more… please give me some more.

The instant refreshing quality is good if you are really thirsty, hence the appropriateness of its name. Although I can’t say how thirsty ferrets actually get….or if they even like beer.

Moving on….

Not so much a beer to drink with your mates mainly because the explosion in your mouth isn’t going to allow you much room to speak. However,  it’s a great option if you’ve been slaving away in the garden or have been doing similar such manual work. Next time, more beer, less work.

Fursty Ferret Pint sm

The Verdict – Fursty Ferret – Tawny Amber Ale – Hall & Woodhouse / Badger

Taste 8
Drinkability 8
Alcohol Content ABV 4% 4

Overall Score 20 / 6.6 Beauts

Where did we find it? Sainsburys

Drop Kick

Drop Kick – World Pale Ale – Caledonian BreweryCaledonian_Brewery_Drop_Kick_World_Pale_Ale_sm

A rather unremarkable ale, tasting somewhat like the water left over from rinsing out the dregs of a series of beer barrels.

It starts off quite watery before a typical hoppy flavour kicks in. Very easy to drink and similarly non offensive. The flavour disappears almost as soon as it arrives with almost no aftertaste.

You could drink this over prolonged periods without really noticing it is beer that you are drinking.  Great if you have plenty to talk about with your mates and just need a bit of moisture to wet the mouth. Other than that, you might as well be drinking water.

Caledonian_Brewery_Drop_Kick_World_Pale_Ale_Pint_smThe Verdict – Drop Kick – World Pale Ale – Caledonian Brewery

Taste 0
Drinkability 3
Alcohol Content ABV 4% 4

Overall Score 10 / 3.3 Beauts

Caledonian Brewery has this Ale as their “Beer of the Month” for September, obviously trying to get in on the 2015 Rugby World Cup action. They describe it as “World hopped from five favoured rugby nations and local malt. Golden straw, fresh grassy and zesty aroma, big drops of hop character with a kick.” Not so much as a drop kick, but more of a dropped kick where the punter has missed the ball entirely and fallen on their butt.

With an ABV of 4%, it is likely to be too difficult to drink enough to forget what you have been drinking. I’d recommend finding something else to drink.

Where did we find it? The Union Bar & Grill

Blind Side

Blind Side – 8 English Hopped Ruby Ale – Black Sheep Brewery

I was a bit worried about giving this a go. After the poor experience of the Drop Kick, I was concerned that this 2015 World Cup Rugby themed beer may also need to be sin binned.

However, having spent enough time in Yorkshire and having actually been to the Black Sheep Brewery, I will admit they are one of my favourite British brewers and have gained a level of trust. Thus, I put the thoughts of the Drop Kick to one side and gave it a punt.

I was pleased to find that the Black Sheep Brewery had not let me down. The Blind Side had a pleasing but not overwhelming malty flavour. It is easily drinkable and I managed to get through a whole conversation without even thinking about it.

The Verdict – Blind Side – 8 English Hopped Ruby Ale – Black Sheep Brewery

Taste 5
Drinkability 10
Alcohol Content ABV 4.3% 4

Overall Score 19 / 6.3 Beauts

Where did we find it? The Bridge Inn, Wetherby

Bitter & Twisted

Bitter & Twisted – Golden Ale – Harviestoun Brewery

A great name for a beer and totally up with my sense of humour although the Harviestoun Brewery may have been thinking more about themselves than about the beer!

A good Golden Ale, easy to drink with flavours typical of a bitter but more subtle. It was refreshing but that was simply a factor of it being served cold more so than its citrus nature.

The beer tap did mention that it might be zesty, aromatic and citrus but I didn’t find it to be particularly zesty and I didn’t notice any strong citrus tones. Potentially they were too subtle for my basic palate. I was really expecting something more from it given how it was presented but it does go to show that you can’t always judge a beer by its label.

Nevertheless, it was a good drop that went down well, to the point where I even had a second.

The Verdict – Bitter & Twisted – Golden Ale – Harviestoun Brewery

Taste 6
Drinkability 10
Alcohol Content ABV 4.2% 4

Overall Score 20 / 6.6 Beauts

Where did we find it? The Kestrel, Harrogate