Those we have loved and to those we are indifferent.

Been too long my friends, it has been too long. The everyday life of a working solicitor, loving husband and doting father to two cats has, while not kept me from drinking (quite the opposite) it has stopped me from putting thoughts to screen.

For those of you who may be interested in life beyond Ale, I played at the Chemic Tavern in Leeds last Saturday night with a few other bands and a fine night had by all.

Come to The Tavern

Come to The Tavern

If you are ever in the area check the Chemic; a nice old proper pub that has good guest ales from time to time with live music of some form on most nights. There is something perfect about the combination of live music and beer. In fact watching or playing music is one of the few past-times that you can actually have that is not adversely affected by drinking. You can’t have a few pints while playing 5-a-side or performing ‘ The Mousetrap’ with the Wortley players.

Old Hooky

Old Hooky, great with NY underground (music not mass transportation system)

Speaking of music and beer; in preparation of the blubfest that is comic relief (wasn’t Mrs Brown feckin’ awful?) I made one of my chillis while listening to the best of the Velvet Underground and supping on a really nice Hook Norton Old Hooky; the HN website advises that it is great with Steak and Ale Pie and Lamb dishes; I would add chillis and Lou Reed to that mix.

It had a really good round flavour to it that suited the rich chilli, I know some prefer a lighter crisper beer with chilli but I want to taste what I am drinking as well as eating and a light IPA I found gets swamped by the full-on flavours in the dish. Also it was throwing down hailstones and it all felt a bit too wintery for anything too light.

Followed it up with a York Brewery Centurion’s Ghost which is becoming a firm favourite; it smells incredible and has a real satisfying aftertaste that is not too bitter. More of a winter beverage but hey; see above weather report.

Heligan Honey - tastes a lot better than it looks

Heligan Honey – tastes a lot better than it looks

And last but not entirely least, just prior to the cringe-fest that was David Walliams and Alan Carr I finished off with a Heligan Honey from Skinners. Nice honey smell as you would hope but didn’t sit too well on top of previous beers and big bowl of chilli. Probably best to again try when the swallows have returned and the mayfly is on the air.  Have to say and I know we should not judge a book by its cover but the label is a bit old hat and what confused me more was that it seems to have been imported from a Canadian company ???

That’s all for now folks. Would welcome any feedback on anything written.




About Mike Massen

Drinking quality beers on your behalf. My thoughts and no-one else's; to report without fear or compromise and never to do things by half - always a pint.
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