thatch ale

There has been much brewing activity here this weekend — and I am very excited to report that the latest breakfast-themed dark ale involves the last minute addition of. . . a cup of yorkshire tea! (milk free, of course). Anyway, here by request, is the recipe for last week’s brew — the tried and…

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best fest

There has been much talk over the past few days about the general handsomeness, and nobility of the ovine. Here is a supreme example. Just look at that marvellous phizog! So calm, so gentle, so self-contained, so . . .sheepy! I spent a long time admiring this fine herdwick at woolfest the other day, and…

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just a couple of things

I’ve been meaning to mention: After writing about station bars a few weeks ago, I felt compelled to visit the one at Manchester Victoria for old times sake. The view above eye level was just how I remembered it. Below, though, I encountered the evil Pumpkin. When I asked the barman if he had any…

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seeing the light in a station bar*

(Newcastle Central) Tom and I were talking about station bars the other day and discovered that as teenagers, living many miles apart in Stretford and Rochdale, we both liked to hang around the one at Manchester Victoria. This had, before it fell victim to nailed-down chairs and the homogenising effects of Travellers Fayre (shudder), a…

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York Craft Tour

(Felix in Duttons). I am busy. I do not find long working days particularly good for either body or soul. During periods of insane activity, one must always find a little time to spend in the restorative presence of friends, and it was great to meet up with Felix the other day. We spent a…

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eborbutton

Ysolda and I have been pursuing our craft tour with gusto. It now appears to be extending out from Edinburgh in several directions. The other day, we traveled a bit further than usual on the East Coast Mainline, and hopped on a train to York. York is one of my old stomping grounds, and there…

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the grumbling hive

The title comes from Bernard Mandeville’s 1705 poem of the same name. Its only relevance here is that I have bees on the brain, and because, since I am feeling peaky (again) there’s been a bit of grumbling going on in this particular hive. Bees on the brain, you say? What’s that about, then? (landing…

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drone

Today, a small batch of strawberry and elderflower mead and a rather larger one of Belgian tripel beer were ready for bottling. Usually, my involvement with the brewing process is marginal, and limited to two activities: 1) sticking caps on bottles and 2) happily imbibing the end result. But as the resident brewmaster general can’t…

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miscellany

The postie has been bringing me a right bag of treats lately. Here’s a selection. Big thanks to Lara, Felix, Jesse, Annushka, and Philippa! The top pic shows some absolutely delicious Oxford Kitchen Yarn’s sock yarn in the plum colourway. The colour (which is not quite true in the photo) has a precise and very…

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good stuff

Here is some miscellaneous Good Stuff from the past few days. First, some delayed stuff for a messy tuesday. We finally bottled the winter lager, which has been cold-stored for the past few months. There was some satisfying mess-making: . . . an even more satisfactory tasting. . . . . . and finally, the…

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