Full Catastrophe Beer Enjoyment…

I would like to share with you the Seven Essentials of Mindful Beer Drinking Practice, adapted from the works of Jon Kabat-Zinn.

Be an impartial witness to your experience. Observing without judging helps you see what is on your mind without editing or intellectualising it, or getting lost in your thoughts.

No goal other than to be yourself. It is not about achieving bliss, relaxation or anything else.

A willingness to see things the way they are. By fully accepting what each moment offers, you are able to experience beer much more completely.

Of thoughts, ideas, things, events, desires, views, hopes and experiences, both pleasant and unpleasant. Allowing things to be as they are, without getting caught up in our attachment to or rejection of them. It means to give up resisting or struggling and allowing things to be as they are. Watching your breath as it goes in and out is an excellent starting place for this practice of letting go.

Free of expectations from past experience. Remove the attachment of the past and just be. Watch the moments unfold, with no agenda other than to be fully present. Use the breath as an anchor to tether your attention to the present moment.

Remembering that things must unfold in their own time. An alternative to the mind’s restlessness and impatience. Not letting our anxieties and desire for certain results dominate the quality of the moment.

In yourself and your feelings. A feeling of confidence that things can unfold within a dependable framework that embodies order and integrity.
So there you go. Just remember to place your tongue firmly in your cheek and enjoy the moment.

Beer incommunicado

I haven’t blogged in a long while, mainly so that I could write this post and remind you all that I haven’t blogged in a long while. I’ve had to be patient so as to achieve the maximum impact. A poignant tale.

I write to you at a time when there’s never been a richer tapestry of beer makers, distribution shakers, publicans, bloggers, vloggers, curators and all-round beer communicators.  The payoff? …as any artificer will tell you, you can’t achieve a complicated weave without a few warping errors.

Warp, for those of you not fluent in weaver jive, are the strings that go across the loom and form the structure on which one weaves. Warp needs to be threaded carefully, because if it isn’t, you will have trouble that lasts and lasts and lasts.

I’ll leave this here.


I’m the yeast starter, punk beer instigator.

I’m the hop addicted, danger illustrated.

I’m a yeaststarter, twisted yeaststarter,
you’re the yeaststarter, twisted yeaststarter.

I’m the batch you hated, malt infatuated.

Yeah, I’m the drainpour you tasted, fell intoxicated.

I’m a yeaststarter, twisted yeaststarter,
you’re the yeaststarter, twisted yeaststarter.

I’m the self-inflicted, skunked-beer detonator.

Yeah, I’m the one invented, twisted ale-curator.

I’m a yeaststarter, twisted yeaststarter,
you’re the yeaststarter, twisted yeaststarter.

starter… starter… starter…

Sour Beer Project


They say that you’re more likely to achieve your goals if they’re written down.  I can neither confirm or deny this hypothesis, but I’m still going to use it as my opening line.

I’m going to brew a few batches of sour beer, yes on purpose.  I read today that sour beer is “so last year”, which appeals to me. I like to stay a couple of steps behind the pioneers.

Further research needed on the choice of methods/ingredients, but I’m definitely going to use my 10L stove-top BIAB kit.  Small batches, experimental, and hopefully a learning experience.

Sour to the people!

A Measured Approach to Ordering a Beer

“Pint please”.

Two words that everyone understands.  Uncomplicated.  Universally measurable.  Sort of.

It’s not always that straightforward these days.  I found myself on the receiving end of a complicated bar-transaction last night.  It went something like this…

“Two thirds of [beer name] please”

“Is that two 1/3rds or one 2/3rd?”

“One 2/3rd

“We also do pints”

“Just 2/3rds please”

It was a little awkward and I guess we both saw the funny side of it, but secretly we both knew this was an issue.

I’ll order a pint next time.

Bike-Friendly Pubs

I follow Pure Mountains on Twitter.  They’re good eggs.  I particularly enjoy their weekly feature #MTBMonday, when followers and interested parties can join the mountain biking community to chat and share experiences.  You also get the chance to win a prize or two.  Last night’s theme was “bike-friendly pubs”.

It’s sometimes nice to end your ride with a pint.  Post ride pints taste exceptionally good.  If you’re anything like me then you won’t mind standing in a car park, or perching your pint on a fence post; but the taste of a pint can be enhanced when you and your fellow riders can enjoy the full amenities a good pub can offer.  This works both ways; bikers want to feel welcome and able to enjoy their drink without the dirty looks; but equally, the landlord and non-riding customers should be free to enjoy their drink without the (sometimes) dirty visitors.  I thought I’d take a note of the pubs recommended by Pure Mountains’ followers, and here’s the list so far.  Please let me know your top bike-friendly pubs, and I’ll add them to the list.  Amazingly, there are no Scottish suggestions, yet.


North West & Lake District

Britannia Inn, Elterwater (suggested by @HaworthBantam)

Eagle & Child Inn, Staveley (suggested by @onlinebully)

Hawkshead Brewery Tap, Staveley (suggested by @marcprill)

The Kirkstile Inn, nr. Buttermere, (suggested by @Knight_ems)

The Pooley Bridge Inn, Pooley Bridge (suggested by @SupernovaDarren)

The Orange Tree Hotel, Kirkby Lonsdale (suggested by @KLBrewery)


Yorkshire & Dales

The Wheatsheaf Inn, Gomersal, Dewsbury (suggested by @ianstreet67 & @ChasinSheepMTB)

Tan Hill, Swaledale (suggested by @PureMountains)


Derbyshire & Peak District

The Little Mill Inn, Rowarth (suggested by @chris39sheldon)

The Fox, New Mills, Nelson (suggested by @psidgwick)



The Diggle Hotel, Saddleworth (suggested by @chris39sheldon)

The Jolly Sailor, Waterfoot, Rossendale (suggested by @TransAlpUK)



The Whitcombe Inn, Aberdare (suggested by @AberdareMTB)

Royal Ship Hotel, Dolgellau (Snowdonia National Park & localish to Coed y Brenin)


South West

Plough Inn, Holford, Somerset (suggested by @feralmarmot)

The Black Horse, Clapton, Bristol (suggested by @PureMountains)

Five Bells, Buriton, Petersfield, Hampshire, (South West-ish) (suggested by @QECP_Collective)



The Country of Belgium (suggested by @BeerBiker)


P.s.  I imagine that most pubs will welcome considerate bikers, but to avoid disappointment you could always check with a pub in advance.  That said, impromptu pub visits are better! …and there is always room in your pack for a cheeky beer! #DrinkResponsibly


AG#39 Fourth Dimension IPA

Original Gravity (OG): 1.044
Final Gravity (FG): 1.012
Alcohol (ABV): 4.2%
Colour (EBC): 8
Bitterness (IBU): 37 (Average

3.20kg Dingemans Pale Ale Malt
0.18kg Dingemans Pale Wheat Malt
0.10kg Crystal

10g Columbus (leaf) (14.5% Alpha) @60 minutes from the end (boil)
40g Ahtanum (pellet) (5.2% Alpha) @10 minutes from the end (boil)
40g US Cascade (pellet) (7.1% Alpha) @10 minutes from the end (boil)
40g Columbus (leaf) (14.5% Alpha) @0 minutes from the end (boil)
40g Ahtanum (pellet) (5.2% Alpha) dry after primary
40g US Cascade (pellet) (7.1% Alpha) dry after primary

Yeah…the usual process. Collected 19L 1.044.

Safale US05 American Ale Yeast
19/01/15 1.034
22/01/15 1.014
24/01/15 1.012
26/01/15 1.012
26/01/14 Dry hops added:
Ahtanum (pellets) 40g
Cascade (pellets) 40g