Beer Food

Pub Review: The Blue Boar Inn, Temple Grafton, Warwickshire

Me and the misses went to one of my old school friends wedding in Coventry/Brum borders? last weekend, and a great time was had by all, but they only had Guinness or Keg Boddies or bottles in the hotel bars ; the dark peroni was ok but at hotel prices! but not to worry as its was their day not mine:)

We wish Rory & Liz a wonderful life together.

Not funny Joke from the Cov boys on our kardiff city table
Not funny Joke from the Cov boys on our kardiff city table

On the way up on the Friday we decided to break the trip by staying in a pub for the night.. I wonder whose choice that was 😉

Anyway the Pub in question was the The Blue Boar, near Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, the website does not really do it justice but it’s a great 1600 pub with nooks and crannies and a few years of addons.

Photo from website
Photo from website

We got there about 9pm and managed to get some food, a great platter of Indian Food that was a starter but was enough for us as a main, they also did a full selection of other pub grub and of course they had some great ales on as well..and they were well kept.

Ringwood BoonDoggle

A great light Blonde ale, which I had not had before even when I was down Ringwood for the stagdo!

Jennings Tom Fool

Another light beer I have not had before..

It’s a bit out of the way, the bedrooms were ok but maybe needed a spruce up and the staff were pleasant, there was a misunderstanding with breakfast but once sorted the mrs said best scrambled egg for a long time.

anyway if you are visiting Stratford upon Avon then its worth a trip out to this pub for a decent pint.


Best pub in London? The Jerusalem Tavern

I spent the day in London on Friday doing lots of radio interviews for Shed Week, I did managed to have a pint later in the afternoon with my fellow interviewee Dr Wood at the wonderful St Peters Jerusalem Tavern, its a pub us non Londoners can only dream about old, nothing fancy great little sitting areas and brilliant beer straight from the barrels.

The Jerusalem Tavern

The Jerusalem Tavern

I only managed a pint of their excellent mild but next time Iam down the smoke I will go out of my way.

Rob over at Travels with beer has some great photos of the pub..

The previous night after I had traveled down to the smoke I went to a nice pub Pakenham Arms in camden for some food and a couple of pints, the Adnams Stout was great.

Pakenham Arms camden

Before my train back to Cardiff, I did manage a half of fullers discovery Victoria Paddington another pub well worth a visit.

victoria paddington


Wetherspoon beer festival – Coconut, Springer & Gentle Jane

A good selection this week well from last Saturday night an unexpected oasis in lager land the Lloyd’s number one bar the crockerton on greyfriers road Cardiff two of the guest ales for the festival.

The very Moorish val-dieu abbaye blonde 5.5% guest brewed for the festival at everards.

And the exotic Maui coconut Porter 5% brewed not in its native Hawaii but the Banks brewery in West midlands. Have heard of coals 2 Newcastle but sun tan lotion to the black country did not quite work, but maybe that’s more about the pub than the beer.

Today a festival third the surprising but strong Greene king Suffolk Springer not had it in its normal bottled state but a nice strong dark bitter.

2nd a new brew from a trusted friend Hook Norton & their Early Mist a pale best bitter very drinkable at 4.3 but may need 2 revisit to get a better taste.

Finally one of my favourite breweries Sharps & another one brewed just for Tim; ) Gentle Jane a deceptive 4.8% but with Belgium yeast that suits this brew down to the ground a great pint that after the stronger Springer still gives a great taste & one that the Cornish brewery should do again.


Bree Louise , Ale, Spilt Pint & Jameson Whisky and the film Moon

Yesterday I had a great afternoon/evening in that London with my mate James Cuff.

We were going to see the Jameson Cult Film Club presentation of the wonderful Duncan Jones Film Moon, we met up with our other mate Neil from Birmingham who just happens to be the officially the unofficial blogger about Moon 😉

We decided to meet up a pub that Rob has been going on for a while the Bree Louise in Euston

Bree Louise

They had a shed load of ales on (no wonder they are Camra pub of the year).

adnams irish Dry,O Hanlon's port stout

redemption beer Urban Dusk

I was a little bit excited about going and I even split a pint as I was lifting it off the bar, the barman and regulars said dont worry “everyone does it” must be the heart palpitations seeing all the great beers on.

We also met up with a mate of Cuffys mate nickthorpe which was nice only had a few pints then it was off to the main event.

But the whole point of the boys trip was to see Moon at The Royal Institution, what a great film and it was the first time to see it on the big screen!

Thanks to neil we got in via the “Special Queue”

Moon - Media Guests & Bloggers

A few members of the technical crew from Moon where there look out for a video of them soon on Neils blog.

Moon Posse in London Hood

The venue was decked out in a moon style and thanks to Jamesons we had some great whisky! and some great “Moon Dust”

Moon Space Dust

The had a great bloke in a Sam suit hanging from the ceiling of the institute.

Sam Bell


anyway one of my favorite shot of the night is Neil looking very happy with himself pictured with the actual Sam Spacesuit from the film.

Moon unklerupert and Sam Suit


Brains Black Welsh Stout – Guinness beware in the Welsh valleys

Today St David’s Day Brains the Cardiff based brewery launched a new beer at their wonderful Crawshay Arms pub, which is in the grounds of the Brewery, the best pub in Cardiff has it does not have a till!

What is different about it from the other Brains keg ales, well It’s a Stout, and they have called it Black.

They see it as a direct competitor to Guinness but at a cheaper price point but with a slightly familiar Brains taste aimed at their regulars.

I used to drink Guinness as my backup beer if there was no Cask Ales on as you could always rely on it, so how would the pretender to the Irish throne compare?.

Well It tasted like the Irish institution on first sip but without the overly reliance on the moustache covering white head, but Black did have more to it, dare I say a great dark roasted malt taste that the Irish one does not seem to deliver any more.

And a better session beer I think at. 4.1% abv and hopefully they wont be brining out an extra cold version soon as that ruined Guinness IMHO

With a launch through selected brains houses this month and you may find it elsewhere within the year.

If you like a bit of the Irish black stuff then give Brains black a go, if you drink Brains excellent Dark on cask also give it a go, it’s got more of the blarney than Dark has, but would make a nice change.

We also had Welsh Black Beef cooked in Brains Black – a great combination served with rice with laverbread & leeks a great end to a good few hours tasting this new brew on our Saints Day.

Brains Black - Welsh Stout st davids day - brains tour

Brains Black Stout


Anyone tried the Marks & Spencer Real Ale – Case of 20

M & S have got a good selection of British bottled ales.

  • 4 Cornish IPA A pale gold, refreshingly full flavoured, beer with citrus aromas and a light malt finish with a hint of resinous pine.
  • 4 Norfolk Bitter Malty, with a fruity character and a dry finish.
  • 4 Scottish Cairngorm Ale Smooth, malty, full bodied thistle ale.
  • 4 Sussex Golden Ale Delivers a refreshing flavour and a traditional Sussex ‘hoppy nose’.
  • 4 Yorkshire Bitter Smooth, with a subtle hint of citrus fruits.

Shame no Welsh ale in there, but has anyone tried them? are they worth getting in for a party or just for a gentle supping.


The Worst Pint of Beer in Cardiff is at …

We went to the Wales V France Games Last night.

Wales V France 6 nations 26th Feb

Had a couple of pints before the game

At the Goat Major great pint of Hydes Berry Good Ale

Goat Major - Hydes Berry Good Ale & Brains Dark

AT the Central Bar (a spoons pub) Rhymney Export but at 2.95 a pint

But the worse pint of the night was at the stadium £3.50 a pint of Brains Bitter in a plastic glass, Iam sure they had pored it before from their super fast poring system and left it for a while, it was cold but tasted of drip tray slops – Sorry Brains but you need to check the quality of the beer at the stadium.


A London Trip – Fullers & Sams Smiths – Soho Pubs

I had a nice day in London on Tuesday meeting some people about something to do with shed week, can’t say anymore 😉

I did have a few hours to spare so here are my random shots from various pubs around London (Soho mainly)

I went to the Duke of Argyll & John Snow both Sam Smiths houses – nice extra stout, The John Snow had a great Glass half door..

Also went to the Wonderfull De Hems Dutch Cafe Bar Soho and had a half of maredsous blonde – if it was not for the prices I think I could live in that pub.

Then to the Mad Bishop and Bear Paddington Station (for the first time ever) a nice pre train bozzer.

Iam not up to the number of London pubs that Rob has done but It’s a start.

maredsous blonde

Beer Blog

Goat major Beer festival – Cardiff – Red Hop Lover, DangleBeer & Bread of Heaven

The wonderful Oasis in Cardiff that is the Goat Major is having a mini beer festival this week, you would not know it as nothing on the Brains website I had a tip off from ArfurD

Beers on today include Brewseters Red Hop Lover, DangleBeery & Brains own Bread of Heaven.

Red Hot Lover

Beer List

Later in the Week (or when the have gone ) they have the Lovely Brew Dog Trashy Blonde

Bread of Heaven

If you are in Cardiff this week it’s worth popping over the Goat (which is near the Castle) as it’s what Cardiff Pubs used to be like.

You can now Follow the Goat Major on Twitter thanks to GdnCardiff for the heads up.


How come I have not seen one of these before – Beer Bag

Maybe as I don’t shop at Waitrose, but what a great idea, sorry the video on the wonk, could not be bothered to rotate it, but it adds to the msytic

A bag that holds bottles in separate pockets..