Yeah….But, No…But, No Fun…

Leeds Union probes hockey team’s ‘ill- judged chav party’

The social contortions of the anti-fun brigade the permeates facets of university and student life and the cretinous union that is supposed to represent them continues unabated.

As any fan of any sport in the UK knows, “we all hate Leeds scum” and there used to be a website called Chavscum right at the dawn of the internet, now it is a poorly populated forum, unlike Leeds which is overly populated with chavs.

Comedians Catherine Tate, David Walliams and Matt Lucas were unavailable for comment as to whether they distance themselves from previous comedy characters they created based on the chav, because all art is to be judged and then deemed worthy or memory hole material by the standards of today’s pearl-clutching, cultural and social warriors of purity.

 

Of course, should it ever be known that a chav voted to Leave the EU, then it is perfectly acceptable for any right-minded and noble liberal to label them with this apparent pejorative.

The probably also read the Sun or the Daily Mail so mores the reason to castigate them.

This land will be purged of wrong think.

 

Thanks for reading.

 

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Brew-denell – 3rd Annual Beer Festival 2015 – Review

Subtitled “if students did beer festivals…”

I hope in reviewing this that I don’t come across as patronising, that is not the intent at all, I have a very good time, there were just a few niggles for me…

This event took place (or rather is still taking place) between the 9th to the 11 of January 2015.

It took place at the Brudenell Social Club in the Burley Park area of Leeds, which is a 4 minute train ride out of Leeds, one stop before Headingly.

It is quite the student area by the look of it, grid layout of terraced housing left over from an industrial age, some with full door-size security gates over the front doors.  Much like Hamsterdam.

Tickets were £4 per day, bought in advance, £5 on the door and, I think £7/8 for the whole weekend, Sunday being free.

Entry included either a regular pint glass or a stemmed one, or an extra quid got you a half or pint tankard.

WP_20150110_002You also got a rather nice booklet.

Beers were sold in halves or pints, priced more or less to alcohol volume, ranging from about £2.50 to £5 a half, there was an even split between keg and cask, there were also about 5 ciders and a big range of bottles too.

The average age of the punters couldn’t have been much above 23.

Food was pizza or burgers by The Pizza Bus (@eatourpizza)

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£5-£6, the pizzas were very good, the burgers were also good, if the patties were a little on the small side.  If you can read the above list, most of the ingredients were marinated/contained beers, which I though was quite a good gimmick.

Queuing up outside to get in I noted a list of bands set to perform; Sick Of It All, Julian Cope, Gruff Rhys, Turin Brakes – what the hell kind of venue was this, it just looked like a regular club from the outside?

On the bar they had Estrella Damn (£2.90 a pint), a few other high-end keg lagers, mixed with the regular UK ones.  Cask lines with Kirkstall Brewery beers on, a special keg line for, at the time Left Hand Brewing’s Black Jack Porter (6.8% and I think about £4.50 a pint).  What the hell kind of venue was this?

The main room where the beers were was a good size, but quite small when all the beer equipment was installed, the food was outside, then there was another room with an additional large bar area and then a games room, which itself was two good sized rooms, one containing about 4 pool tables and what looked like a snooker table; which were moved for the bands (not the ones above) to play.

The venue was excellent.  If you want to go to uni, I am now recommending Leeds based on this venue alone, let alone the city centre drinking holes.

The even have a very good hand drier…

WP_20150110_005I’m not going to review the all beers on here, well just a special one, but what I would like to do is thank, part of Manchester’s Brewery Mile, Track Brewing Co. for making me aware of this festival, due to the crowds I was unable to have their Ozark but having had if before, if you can find it, I recommend it.

So I end on as many positives as I can, I’ll state my two niggles…

1) Staffing – there just weren’t enough.  One guy on the door was doing a sterling job for about 8 hours before it looked like he got a break.  The bar itself wasn’t exactly teeming with beer pourers either.  Those that were there were displaying a mainly excellent effort of getting through the queues, but just a couple more people at each service point (even one more) would have made things go a lot quicker and in the end get more people spending more money on more beer.

2) Servings – now I’m not expecting to get 2/3rds of a pint when I ask for a half, but what I don’t expect to get is short-served most of the time.  The oddest moment happened when one of my drinks went slightly over the half-line and rather than just giving me the beer, the additional amount was….POURED AWAY…..what madness is that?

Having said that, the staff were all bob on with their service; friendly and as quick as could be expected.

The large choice of beers was clearly marked on the boards or on giant posters and to make things easier for all, were given numbers like a Chinese menu, even if the numbers themselves weren’t in any order behind the bar.

My special beer of the day, and I did have quite a few very good ones but this stood out, was The Sun Before The Darkness, a 10% Belgian style strong ale by The Yeastie Boys of New Zealand.  The brewery and beers are new to me and this was a very dangerously drinkable beer, maybe too honey-sweet for some, but a lovely complex tasting brew with a very pleasant aroma and no taste of the high ABV at all.

I think I’ve all ready decided that a few days at this place next year might be in order.

So thanks to all the organisers and volunteers – a most excellent time.

To end, this sign did was funny given the circumstances

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2nd Leeds International Beer Festival Review (and the Crown and Kettle, Manchester)

This event took place over the 5th to the 8th of September.  I actually found out about it on the 5th, so in a actual display on non-procrastination I actually bought a ticket for the Saturday evening and then set about working out how to get there and back.

I get the train to work. Getting the train at any time other than to work is a bit of a bore for me, especially when the services are provided by Northern Rail and at £18-19 for a return I baulked at that and when on the coach instead for the measly sum of £4 there and £3.50 back – not bad for a journey that lasts about the same time.

I actually went to the Crown and Kettle in Manchester for their beer (and pie) festival first. Had a very good Ossett Brewery Treacle Stout a 5.0% glass of bitter and sweet tastiness.  This was followed by the Tickety Brew Bitter Twist which was 4.5% of “faux” Belgian beer goodness.  These were offset with a Jerk Pork Pie, but I’m here to review beers.

The beer festival was held at Leeds Town Hall, a beautiful setting, it rivals the Victoria Baths where the IndyMan is held (well, also for its second time it will be this October) for architecture, but both those surroundings pale against the MOSI one which is at the end of this month.

Got there at about 1730 (for a 1800 opening) and was instantly met with the decision of which queue to join – a few more signs to highlight which was pay-on-the-door and which was bought online would have helped, especially those that turned up later on. Still, the handing out of wristbands while in the queue was a very sensible idea.

Upon entry the choice was a pint with 1/3 and 1/2 markings or the stemmed sommelier type glasses which could do up to a 1/2 pint, with a 1/3 marking too.

Also got a very lovely booklet, printed on the wonderful paper that means I can’t stop smelling it.

Then I was greeted by I think it was the Bundobust food stall giving tasters of their upcoming Coriander Pale Ale – sadly not enough to really form an opinion, my taste buds aren’t that sensitive.

Then it was off to get the funny money that passed as currency. Printed paper notes of varying values. Nice individual touch – also makes it easier to get refunds at the end of the night.

Now here I’ll get my disappointments out of the way – the Quantum Brewing Co./Manchester Homebrewers Red Rose Rye had sold out and I also spent a fair part of the night on the hunt for Black Jack Brewery beers, but was eventually informed that they’d been and gone.

So I opened with a light 3.8% Magic Spanner from Magic Rock Brewing and was able to sit down and relax with this fine pale ale.

Then I took in the India Pale Ale Black (6.5%) from The Kernel Brewery – black IPA’s also boggle my mind as the brain via your eyes is tricked into thinking on thing and you’re tasting something completely different. Good though, cold.

Next up was East London Brewing and their 4.5% Nightwatchman which as straight forward and honest a pint of bitter I could hope for.

I then went over to Weird Beard Brew Co. stall and quaffed another black IPA in the shape of the 7.3% Fade to Black, which while not up to the greatness that is the Metallica song, was still very good, if rather too cold

Seeing as Kirkstall Brewery was a sponsor and expecting good beer I tried the Black Band Porter (5.5%) and it was good and swiftly (probably too swiftly) followed up staying in Yorkshire with a Holy Cow, a 4.7% Cranberry Milk Stout from Ilkley Brewery. This was very nice, and I don’t even like cranberries.

It was about this point that I figured I should stretch my legs and check out the US and European Beers. I didn’t try any of the US beers, mainly because I was looking for something a bit lighter and all that was for sale was bastard strength.

I grabbed some quick Indian nosh which filled a hole and then went for the Brewfist Italian Ales Fear (5.2%, ok not exactly light). This was a Milk Chocolate Stout and very good if ever so massively cold.

Over then to Roosters Brewing Co. for a Londinium (5.5%?) which wasn’t even in the booklet but was an excellent coffee porter.

Back outside to the Summer Wine Brewery for the Nelson, which again wasn’t in the booklet and I actually failed to make any notes about it.

I ended the night with two beers from Tapped and thought why not go “off-booklet” again with the 4.9% Bullet (and IPA) and then bookend my night with a 5.2% Treacle Stout. Again all very good and all very cold.

Then it was a stagger back through the town to the National Express bus home again – ready to blog about what a good festival it was, how I will go again next year and how too fucking cold some Keg beers are.