Category Archives: Of Mash

Beer of the week – Siren Craft Brew Undercurrent

DSC_0058I found this little treasure in the veg drawer of my fridge when I started putting my Lancashire Hotpot together earlier. Whilst we will be trying out a Gigondas from Aldi with the hotpot, I thought “what the hell, the chef needs a beer”.

I first heard of and tasted the Siren Craft Brew ales shortly after their official launch at one of the Craft Beer Co pubs in London back in March this year. I loved their beers straight away, they were clean, flavoursome, unique and refreshing and a few more adjectives could surely be used.

Most recently I had the keg version of the Undercurrent from Brewdog in Manchester. It was crisp but malty with a good hoppy finish but I thought there was something missing.

Well I am now enjoying the bottle version and nothing is missing for sure. Even the dead yeast (is it called lees as well in the world of beer ?) is still there. It pours a hazy brown/copper and smells of orange peel and grapefruit, exotic spices and – let’s get lyrical – orange blossom. It’s bodily on the palate with some sweet oaty malts. A bitter citrus pith together with some floral notes keeps the midpalate fresh and sharp. The caramel malts make their way down softly, leaving a biscuity finish. It’s a pretty damn fine beer.

This Siren Brew Co Undercurrent bottle came from the Chorlton off-licence where you can get it for £2.50…who said craft beer was expensive?

#Beerbods 2: Salopian Brewery – Darwin’s Origin

DSC_0003bThis is one from the Beer Bods selection and since Thursday was Wine of the Week day, I am enjoying this beer tonight on a quiet and homely Saturday evening.

Gold, light copper, nice carbonation and a thin frothy head. An inviting sweetly spiced, honeyed aroma, grapefruit and orange peel and hints of tropical fruit. Soft and sweet malty body but a tight pithy structure from the bitter hops. Very clean citrus finish with a hint of spice.

A bitter in style, but a very flavoursome and well-crafted one. Definitely one of the best I have had recently despite IMBC (I guess I was concentrating on the bolder, lesser known styles). And at 4.3% I’d happily down a few of these if I were to find it in the local pub (there is unfortunately very little chance of it happening).

Salopian Brewery are based in Shrewsbury, Shropshire and the Darwin’s Origin has won several gold SIBA awards over the last 3 years.


IndyManBeerCon 2013

DSC_0020bI think we can safely agree that the #IMBC2013 was the most anticipated beer event of the year…possibly in the whole of the UK. Crowds flew from all over and tickets for Thursday, Friday and Saturday were sold out well ahead of the event.

Undeniably this year was just as much of a success as last year and although Continue reading

#TBWCwhisky – Insight from a Live Tweet Tasting


Following up on joining the Manchester Whisky Club (here) and the #TBWCwhisky Live Tweet Tasting that ensued, I feel the need to record and (as a consequence of using the blog medium) relate the experience and learning associated with that event. Continue reading

Manchester Whisky Club


Are there whisky drinkers out there ? Sorry, let me re-word that. Are there whisky amateurs about? If you live in or near Manchester you may have heard of the Manchester Whisky Club (or on Facebook or Twitter @MCRWhiskyClub). Who knows you may even be a member or on the waiting list in which case no doubt our paths will cross soon.

The club is managed by Andy Duckworth and members meet approximately Continue reading

#BeerBods 1: St Austell Proper Job IPA

StAustell - Proper Job3

The last couple of weeks have been pretty crazy: work deadlines, wine dinners (#7wordwinereview), home shows, father’s day,  wine studying etc… But this Thursday was busy in a good way.  At the last minute I got solicited by The Wine Tasting Company to entertain a group of ladies and gents with a bout of wine quiz before dinner. Even though I have very little experience I would have been a fool to let this opportunity slip so I made the hour long drive to Nantwich to a fancy hotel and did my best to keep them amused and interested. A bit daunting but I had a good time and I hope they enjoyed it too. The idea was to match the wine being tasted to the correct grape variety with the list and description of the respective varieties.

But as it happens, it was also Miss Mash and I’s first of twelve weekly home-based beer tasting sessions. Let me explain… Continue reading

Christmas shenanigans


Christmas…from the beginning of December, is a constant, increasingly powerful rise of excitement for the anniversary of the day a mysterious dude was born (if you’re Christian) although for a lot of us it is really the night when a beardy fat man sponsored by Coca-Cola® comes down the chimney and delivers boxes full of wine…sorry, beers…I mean presents. Well, at least that’s what capitalism and consumerism is trying to make us feel like as soon as Halloween’s gone.

From our end it was more about Continue reading