Yes, I know that CAMRGB is a all about beer and yes, I know that many of our readers are vegetarians and vegans, but recently I’ve been eating sausages.
Big fat meaty sausages made with responsibly sourced open barn reared pork and flavoured with lashings of booze, there are a few different varieties to choose from.
The Tequila Slammer Banger was rich with chilli and zingy with lime, while the pork shoulder used in the sausages was round and meaty, and not overly ground, making for a lovely bite and texture.
I enjoyed them on an open sandwich with a classic high street Lager in Warsteiner, and had a rather lovely lunch as a result.
The same evening I decided to try the Swanky Prosecco & Apple Banger, paring them with garlic mushrooms and a bottle of Duchesse De Bourgogne.
The apple was the star here, soft and sweet and fruity, and the meat was offset well by the earthiness of the mushrooms and that delicious Duchesse fruity sourness.
Finally, and you’ll be pleased to know, not on the same day, I had the Bloody Mary Bangers.
The Vodka managed to remain after cooking, adding a clean booziness, while tomato, horseradish and lemon gave the sausage a zesty kick.
I decided to go totally classy with this meal and paired the sausages with peas and Smily Faces, along with Buxton’s Axe Edge.
Definitely worth a try if you like your sausages big, meaty and in your face.
Some sixteen years ago I was offered a job in Tallinn, Estonia.
I really wanted the job, but I’d just discovered that I was going to be a father and so I turned it down to do the right thing.
This was, of course, before the age of modern beer and I was still a red wine drinker, whereas if the same offer was to be given to me now, I’d not hesitate for a second.
Firstly it’s because Tallinn is an incredibly beautiful city packed with art and life and excitement, and secondly because if the rest of Estonia’s beer is half as good as this I would be a happily drunk man for the rest of my days.
But this is where the story gets all confusing.
You see, everywhere you look this beer is described as being made by Seven Island of Greece, which as you know is some way away from the Baltic climes of Tallinn.
But according to the small print on the can this beer was actually made by Sori Brewing who are an Estonian brewery.
Whoever wants to claim this as their own (and my money is on SorI), Hazelnut Moctuzema is an absolutely massive Imperial Stout brewed with hazelnuts.
It’s thick and rich and gloopy, stuffed full of rich black coffee, burned brown bread toast, treacle tart and vanilla ice cream.
But it’s the mixture of pink fluffy marshmallows, Neapolitan ice cream and intensely woody roasted hazelnuts that grab your attention and your palate.
In the finish the booze gets hot and steamy, making everything feel drunkenly hazy in the most delightful way.
I may have to call my old friend Jan and ask him if he can reopen his offer of employment, because I want to live in Tallinn and drink this beer all the time, even if it is Greek.
Bloom is a dry hopped Saison, and it’s packed with lemon and lime goodness.
From the zingy citrus aroma through to the long and sharp, bitter finish, this is a big bright beer full of fruity goodness.
The malting is soft and creamy with caramel and ice cream cones, honey and shortbread biscuits, while the Saison yeast builds a solid salty, earthy backbone on which the beer grows.
There’s a little farmyard fungal fug, that deliciously warm and sweet smell of fermenting silage that I love so much as I cycle through the countryside in early autumn, and a splash of tongue tingling sherbet fountains as you head towards the lemon curd and lime rind finish.
Last Rites is a dry hopped Barley Wine, and it’s every bit as good as that description sounds.
Big and round and sweet, the beer is all about its body with lashings of brown sugar syrup, honey, sticky toffee, pancakes, waffles and freshly roasted cereals.
Brandy snaps and the heat of white rum sit in the background, making the beer feel warm and comforting.
The dry hopping brings a sharp snap of herbal greenery, a freshness that’s bright and breezy but doesn’t detract from the candied orange peel, raisin and nutmeg infused marmalade of the sticky finish.
I’ll do my best not to be overly biased as I write about this super beer.
Brewed to celebrate the release of the new LP by The Great Leap Forward, this beer was made by Horsforth in collaboration with super home brewer Ian Brewchap and Alan Brown, the man who is The Great Leap Forward.
Why would I be biased?
I play bass in the live version of The Great Leap Forward, and Ian and I designed the sleeve for this new album, while Ian also designed the labels for this beer.
So, let’s try and just talk about the beer.
This is a Red Rye IPA brewed with orange peel.
It pours a deep marmalade orange and smells of satsumas and peaches.
The malting, heavy with caramel and honey, is steeped in the earthy pumpernickel of Rye – which as my regular readers will know, is something that I love.
The hopping brings sharp green herbal leaves, rolling tobacco and marmalade, with the orange peel adding an extra zingy zip of pithy zest to the long dry finish.
It’s a big bold celebration of a beer, just as it should be.