Beer O'Clock Show

Tag: Weird Beard (page 1 of 2)

Hopinions 38 “ABV”

We’re back in the studio this week chatting about if the ABV of a beer impacts on your decision to buy it and drinking one of our beers of the year so far.

Beers | Time and Tide & Weird Beard collab series ‘White Cell’, ‘Call Your Friends’ and ‘Crossing Over’

Hopinions | Does the trend of high ABV modern beers influence your buying choices?

#PrizelessPrize | Returns to the North this week with another cracker from Gammon Baron

Podblasts | London Beer City | Brasserie De La Senne

Listener Survey | We’d really appreciate 10 minutes of your time to complete our listener survey. This will help us continue to tailor the podcast so that it’s exactly what you want to hear


The track at the end of this week’s show is ‘Call Your Friends’ by Zebrahead and was the song that inspired Drew & Bryan to use the same name for one of these beers.

Hopinions on Films | Back to the Future

Here we go then folks… strap yourselves in, crack open your Hippo Beers Behemoth Box and floor the accelerator until you hit 88.8mph.

In our first Hopinions on Films special we ‘pair’ the following beers with Back to the Future, a timeless classic about the time travelling adventures of Marty Mcfly. We chose to drink the beers along with certain scenes to see if that made any difference to the beer or the film, we’ve included our selection and reasoning below, but feel free to enjoy in any way.

Marble ‘Ember City’ | intro scene & Marty goes to school / a beer from the Marble Metal series seemed to make sense here. You know why.

Drakes ‘IPA’ | after school / here we get to see more of Hill Valley which is quintessentially American. Made sense to drink with an American IPA.

Yeastie Boys ‘Pot Kettle Black’ | Twin Pines Mall / this is a night time scene, which felt right for a dark porter

Basqueland Brewing Project ‘Arraun’ | 1955 / there’s a lot going on in the time when Marty first makes it back to 1955, so we thought a beer that describes itself a complex red ale would make perfect sense

Omnipollo ‘Mazarin’ | Marty meets Lorraine / some of the best time travel paradoxing goes on during this scene, so we thought an easy drinking beer would work perfectly

Cromarty ‘Kool Runnings’ | the skateboard chase / the name of this beer lends itself perfectly to one of the most memorable scenes from the film

Jolly Pumpkin ‘ Calabaza Blanca’ | going to the ball / arguably one of the most uncomfortable sequences in the film, matched perfectly with a wild saison with orange zest & coriander

Weird Beard ‘Sadako’ | the end of the ball and back to 1985 / the film has a big memorable finish, and what better way to see it out than with a big impy stout?


We were sent this box for free by Hippo Beers but this hasn’t influenced our thoughts on any of the beers or on just how great Back to the Future is.

Hopinions 28 “Berkshire”

This week we’re joined once again by Ruth Mitchell to guide us through the beery delights that Berkshire has to offer. We also place our bets on who we think will be the next UK buy out as well as covering two polls. It’s a long one folks…

Beers | Renegade ‘Craft Lager’, Elusive Brewing ‘Plan B’ & ‘Level Up (Level 6)’, Wild Weather/Weird Beard ‘Kwantum State’ and Binghams ‘Vanilla Stout’

Hopinions | When you say “dank” what are you referring to? & Do you overlook your local breweries?

Prizeless Prize | For the first time in a while, the big box of nothing leaves UK shores and heads to Son0vagun in Ireland

Links | Beer Nouveau’s crowd funding plans | NE Sippin Forecast podcast | Carlsberg plans to buy a UK craft brewery | Our Facebook page


Apologies for the slight issues with the sound/background noise in this episode. We were unaware of the audible hum in the room until the edit.

We are grateful that some of the breweries gave us these beers for free to feature on the show and this did not impact on our thoughts on them.

UK Top Beer

Top Beer

10 months, 7 polls and over 3500 votes later one beer has emerged as being the UK Top Beer…

Beavertown’s ‘Gamma Ray’ wins the final poll of our series by an absolute landslide, taking around 40% of the votes cast, proving that this is indeed a beer that the craft wankers UK beer drinkers will go to again and again.

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UK Top Ten IPAs


The list came about due to the inspiration found in Andy Parker’s recent blog ‘Rule Britannia’ where Andy talks about “coveting beers from the US”. The task itself, was simple wasn’t it? Take to the Twittersphere to gain opinion as to a favoured ten or so beers and put them into the list. Only it wasn’t that simple. WIthin a couple of hours the list has reached 50-odd suggestions and things were running away with me, so I once again took to the Twittersphere to ask for advice and was offered the following suggestions…

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Wallowing In a Month’s Worth of Ale – March 2014

So March started off with me clearing out my beer stocks. It’s beginning to feel a lot like spring and I’m no longer fancying those dark beers, winter warmers, porters and stouts so it was time to clear them out. A couple of stand outs in here in the Partizan FES Stout which was WAAAAY too drinkable for 8.6% and the Beavertown barrel-aged Heavy Water which was hard going but finished off the winter beers wonderfully.

The first show of the month featured Dominion’s Hop Mountain and you can check out what we thought here.

I had my first visit to the new BrewDog bar in Shepherd’s Bush and although the bar was very relaxed, I was a little disappointed in the beer selection, as although there was plenty of choice across the 40 taps, I had seen many pictures where there was a much better offering available. Highlights were the new Magic Rock beer ‘Slapstick’ which has been brewed exclusively for BrewDog and Texas Joe’s food offering of which the skin-on fries covered in pulled pork and cheese was a real winner for me. I left with more homebrew offerings from Crema Brewery and Andrew Drinkswater, both of which were awesome.

image (7)Around 5 March there was a breakout of Spoonssixpoint Fever where it seemed the whole of the Twittersphere was in their local Wetherspoons sampling the new Sixpoint canned offerings that were available (me included). As luck would have it I was able to catch up with Shane Welch from Sixpoint as he was on his whistle-stop tour of London ‘spoons to grab a quick interview. We also made some changes to our schedule, so in an episode that was different from the previously advertised one, we featured Sixpoint Bengali Tiger and the interview with Shane.

But don’t just take our word for it – check out reviews by Zak Avery at Are You Taking the Pith, Simon at CAMRGB, Nate at Booze Beats Bites, #SomeRandomBlokeOffTwitter at Get Beer Drink Beer and Craig Heap – the latter in particular is a great view of ‘the day craft beer went mainstream’

photo 1 (4)There should have been a bit here about some beery adventures in Birmingham. But following an incident with my son’s scooter, my trip was cancelled and I’ve ended up with a cast on my arm until early April!

In the middle of the month, there was the launch of the Adnams & Camden Town collaboration ‘South Town’. A 4.9% red ale with a malty base and lovely spiced hop finish. Camden had to install a special cask bar to be able to serve the beer and on a lovely spring day, many visited the brewery to enjoy the 700 or so pints that were on offer. We caught up with both Fergus from Adnams and Alex from Camden Town and you can check out the interview that we did with them here.

Following our exploits at the South Town launch we recorded what can only be described as our ‘mega-show’. Featuring not only the aforementioned interview, it also featured Andy Parker revealing exclusive news from Elusive Brewing reviewing Weird Beard’s ‘Fade to Black’ with us and an interview with Weird Beard’s co-founder Gregg Irwin. If you’ve got an hour or so to spare, check it out here.

photo (2)There was a point this month where I had a moment of realisation that we might have created something special with the Beer O’Clock Show. I know podcasts aren’t for everyone, but we do have a core following and a growing number of people that we interact with on Twitter, a lot of who I now consider to be friends. The night after we recorded the mega-show we spent the evening with John Keeling, Fuller’s Director of Brewing. I don’t want to say too much more but there is a Fuller’s special coming at the end of April as part of the breweries of London series. If Mark works his magic on it and makes it sound anywhere near as good as it felt, then you’re in for a treat. It was this moment that made me realise we had something special – the fact that Fuller’s Director of Brewing was willing to give up 2 hours of his time to spend chatting with two blokes who started reviewing beers for a bit of fun. Mind blown.

At this point in the month a little magic happened. Now, regular listeners, readers and followers will know what a massive fanboy I am of Magic Rock Brewing. In my mind they can do very little wrong (I will always hold the fact that they aren’t on my doorstep against them) and for most of the month I had been searching for ‘The Stooge’, their American Brown Ale. Cue #SomeRandomBlokeOffTwitter mentioning that he was at the Craft Beer Co in Clerkenwell with a line of various Magic Rock cask offerings in front of him, including The Stooge. Twenty seconds or so later (slight exaggeration) I arrived at the Craft Beer Co to be presented with not only The Stooge, but also Dark Arts, Chipolte Punchline, Rapture and Ringmaster. All on cask – the first time I would have tried the magic on cask. I MAgic 2was not disappointed by any of it, the flavours of old favourites seeming more pronounced and fuller. The Stooge was exactly as I had hoped it would be – all biscuit and malts up front, followed by a big citrus hit and fading to a hint of a roasted finish with enough bitterness to tickle the tongue and make you go back for more. Had I not had a gig to get to – I could have very easily been lost to a very magical evening.

The last show of the month for us featured Pistonhead Kustom Lager in a bottle vs can drink off. You can check that out here.

March’s beer of the month is another tough call but I think the one that edged it for me has to be the Adnams / Camden Town collaboration ‘South Town’. A very moreish red ale, with lots of hops and a bitter spicy finish that is easily sessionable but at 4.9% will sneak up on you. Honourable mentions to the Sixpoint ‘Bengali Tiger’ for creating a wave of euphoria at the beginning of the month and to Magic Rock’s ‘The Stooge’ well, just because it’s Magic Rock!

Check out my video collection of March beers below, and if you like the music, check out Heaven’s Basement.

Episode 60 – Fade To Black

A HUGE episode this week, where not only do the boys review Weird Beard’s black IPA Fade To Black, but they’re also joined by Andy Parker (@tabamatu) of Elusive Brewing and award-winning home brewer, but we have two – count ’em! – interviews: first with Fergus of Adnams and Alex of Camden Town, talking about their recent collaboration brew South Town, and secondly with Weird Beard themselves.

It’s Beer O’Clock!

Wallowing In A Vat of Ale in The Steel City

As regular followers will know will have started running live events where we bring beer folk together to enjoy a structured day of enjoying fine beer. When an opportunity arose to run an event in Sheffield, we couldn’t pass it up and the #SheffieldCrawl was created.

The day began at the Sheffield Tap where the masses assembled for a 2pm kick off. They had come from far (Essex, me) and wide (Leeds, Manchester) to join a group of locals for the days festivities.

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Wallowing In A Vat of Water (or The Diary of a Dryathlete)

Before you read any further, please can I ask you to click here to Buy Me A Pint to show your support for Cancer Research UK. It would mean a lot to me and all those who have lost someone to Cancer. Cheers.


I went dry last January. Not a hard thing, just 31 days without any booze. I actually felt remarkably better at the end of it and then duly proceeded to celebrate on 1 February by drinking my corner of Essex dry. Not sure that was the idea but it was a good challenge to take on.

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Still Thinking about… The Golden Pints

Blog by Michael McGrorty

Golden Pints LogoBest UK Cask Beer
Rapture, by Magic Rock. I’ve only had this beer once but it was one of those times where everything was perfect. Every sip was an absolute joy and I know that even if I see this beer again it’s never going to live up to that first try. (It will still be absolutely fantastic.)

Best UK Keg Beer
NZ Axe Rocks, by Buxton. The culmination of an epic day and night in Buxton with Steve of the Beer O’Clock Show (among others), this beer lived up to all the hype we bestowed upon it in the two or three hours between finding out about it, praying with every bone in our bodies that it would get put on, and it finally being put on the bar. A blend of NZ Axe Edge and Black Rocks, and as crazily good as that sounds.

Best UK Bottled or Canned Beer
Nelson Simcoe IPA, by Elusive Brewing (Andy Parker). Can I give this to a homebrewer? Who cares, I am. This beer was absolutely stunning. Kindly given to me by Andy when he was up in Edinburgh earlier in the year, I stuck it in my fridge and forgot about it for a few days, as is customary for bottle conditioned beers that have travelled a bit. I cracked it open a few days later, gave it a big sniff and was blown away by the aroma. It was absolutely fantastic. I didn’t think it could get any better, until I took a sip. After that first sip I think the beer lasted around five minutes more. It was gone in around three big gulps. Fantastic stuff.

Best Overseas Draught Beer
Schneider Weiss Original (TAP7), by Schneider Weiss. I’d heard many great things about this brewery but hadn’t managed to taste any of the beers until I saw it on tap in Port Street Beer House, Manchester. After a few sips it instantly jumped straight to the top of my favourite hefeweizens. I just hope I see it again some time soon!

Best Overseas Bottled or Canned Beer
Modus Hoperandi by Ska Brewing. I remember buying this for nearly a fiver and thinking it was expensive. When I finally got around to drinking it (straight from the can, on a train), it blew me away. I’d happily pay a fiver a can in future!

Best Collaboration Brew
Sky Mountain Sour, by Buxton/To Ol. This was so good I had it twice, in a pub. Very rare for me to do that when faced with a big selection, but it was that good. Even got a small sample of it at the brewery when I visited, which was cool.

Best Overall Beer
NZ Axe Rocks, by Buxton. Reasons above!

Best Branding, Pump Clip or Label
Magic Rock. Instantly recognisable and very fun to look at. Magic Rock’s branding is everything good branding should be. It works so well and not only is it so recognisable your eye is drawn to it as well so it catches your eye as soon as look at a line of up taps.

Best UK Brewery
Buxton Brewery. Everything I have had from Buxton has been absolutely fantastic. From the insanely hoppy Axe Edge to the insanely roasty Rednik Stout, I love all of Buxton’s beers. The night in the Bat when every beer was a Buxton one was completely insane and amazing. Had the chance to drink with the guys from the brewery on a couple occasions as well and they’re all fantastic folk.

Best New Brewery Opening 2013
Weird Beard

Pub/Bar of the Year
The Hanging Bat, Edinburgh. Twenty rotating beer lines, fantastic food, regular meet the brewer events. What more could you ask for? I’m glad it’s an hour away otherwise I’d be bankrupt.

Best New Pub/Bar Opening 2013
Buxton Tap House, Buxton. Absolutely fantastic pub that makes me wish I lived in Buxton. The food is good, you’re always guaranteed Buxton beers on tap and they have plenty of great beer from other brewers. Oh and of course there’s always the chance you’ll run into somebody who works at the brewery which is very cool.

Beer Festival of the Year
Larbert Real Ale Festival. I only went to two beer festivals this year, this and Scottish Real Ale Festival. The SRAF was awful in my opinion so it only leaves one option. A great wee festival I thought, plenty of decent beers on that were reasonably priced and it was only a twenty minute train ride away.

Supermarket of the Year
Waitrose. They simply have the best selection of any supermarket near me. Had my first (and only ones so far) taste of Jaipur from Waitrose so they’re definitely doing something right.

Independent Retailer of the Year
The Beer Hive, Edinburgh. I could spend hours in this shop, and spend hundreds of pounds. Always guaranteed a great selection of bottled beers, they have a kegerator so you can take some draught beer home, the staff are great and always up for a chat. I also love that they will reserve anything I ask for (although my bank balance doesn’t). Notable mentions to the other Edinburgh bottle shops, Great Grog and Cornelius.

Online Retailer of the Year
Have never bought beer online, so can’t comment on this one!

Best Beer Book or Magazine
Never really read any books or magazines so I can’t comment on this one. Certainly one I’ll be rectifying next year as I look to start writing a lot more myself.

Best Beer Blog or Website
The Beer O’Clock Show! It’s technically a blog so I’m including it. Absolutely love the show!

Best Beer App
Untappd. I honestly would be lost without this. It’s so handy to have a log of all the beers I’ve had, although it does sort of become a game. I don’t generally use it for rating beers but it’s easy to ignore that.

Simon Johnson Award for Best Beer Twitterer
Colin Stronge. He’s one of the best brewers in the UK and he’s given me advice on numerous occasions. A supremely awesome guy.

Best Brewery Website/Social Media
Honest Brew. Love these guys, they’re always happy to chat and they have a competition every week for free beer. I’m not just saying them because I won the competition one week, honest!

Food and Beer Pairing of the Year
Circus of Sour and a pulled pork roll at Buxton Tap House. Steve suggested it and it just worked.

Follow Michael on Twitter @h_doody #StillThinking

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