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The Unpleasant Moblog Of Spank The Monkey

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Another part of the Spank The Monkey media empire: offending your brain at The Unpleasant Lair Of Spank The Monkey, offending your ears at Spank's Audio Lair, and offending your eyes right here, right now.

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#Collabfest2018 part 6: @BrewDog7Dials

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Carrying on at Seven Dials, though we now have a deadline...

21. Clapham / Brew By Numbers: Paddy Cake (Carrot Cake-inspired Saison, 6.7%)
Initially a bit of Carrot cake on the nose, not so much on the palate, though that might just be it coming out cold from the keg. Gets a little better as it warms up, but doesn't change all that much.

22. Nottingham / Black Iris: Prickly Heat (Chilli & Pineapple Black DIPA, 7.0%)
Something a bit odd going on here: all those elements in the description are there, but don't quite come together in a distinctive way. Gets better as it goes on, though, with chilli coming through more on the back of the throat than on the tongue. Nice enough, but doesn't taste like the thrill ride promised in the description.

23. Sheffield / Lost Industry: Eat My Mess (Eton Mess Sour Sundae, 6.0%)
There are TWO Eton Mess beers on this year's slate. How did that happen? Is it like that time a couple of Collabfests ago when everyone was making plum beers - is there a lot of Eton Mess on the market currently, or what? This beer's just a deranged pile of flavours piled on top of each other in a sour beer. Lots of fruit going on, certainly, but too confused to be an actually satisfying beer.

24. Berlin / Motel Beer: Silver Beech (Lichtenhainer, 3.3%)
We've got to rush to our film now, so a weak one to finish off is actually quite a useful thing. The BBG tells me this is a historic German style, a wheat beer defined by its low ABV and use of smoked malt. It's the sort of smokiness you find in German cheeses, and that's a very nice thing to find in a beer. Anyway, we're off for a bit now. Cambodians! Entertain us!
20th Oct 2018, 20:32   comments (0)

#Collabfest2018 part 5: @BrewDog7Dials

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Busy old Saturday night at Seven Dials. Still, we've got a table and a couple of hours before we watch a bunch of Cambodians beating each other up, so let's press on with Collabfest.

17. Manchester / Seven Bro7hers: Dunkel Checks In (Chocolate and Banana Dunkelweisse, 5.5%)
On the nose it has lots of the good stuff, not so much when you actually drink it, though a bit of weisseness at the tail end. Feels to me like a kids' version of an AB beer, in that it's got some of the flavour but not enough of the body. It's actually quite a nice flavour, there's just not enough of it.

18. Seven Dials / Brewheadz: Stairway to Seven (Black IPA, 5.8%)
The beer of the bar, which is always nice to do if you get the chance. The BBG's more of a fan of the style than I am, but I actually rather like this one: there's a bit of floral sweetness rather than the booziness I'd expect (and more than she'd expect, too), albeit with a bit of bitterness at the back of the tongue. Could do with a little more intensity, but not as lacking in flavour as the previous one.

19. Southampton / Wild Weather: Champ. Membrane (Brut IPA, 5.8%)
Brut! It's the new NEIPA: in a few months time everyone will be making them all the time, and we'll be sick to death of 'em if we're not already. This one's all right: neither of us have had enough Bruts yet to really see what they're trying to do, as none of the ones we've had before have the promised bone dryness. It's still got the same flavours as a NEIPA (or as it's referred to in our household, One Of Those) when you get down to it.
20. Brussels / No Science: Psycho (Table Beer, 6.0%)
Only the frickin' Belgians would see 6% as a sensible strength for a table beer. Actually, it's a lot like a typical Belgian blonde with a bit more bitterness to it, and doesn't taste as strong as it claims to be. Maybe they make tables stronger over there.
20th Oct 2018, 20:04   comments (0)

#Collabfest2018 part 4: @BrewDogShored

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One more flight before we call it a night. (As you may be able to tell from the photo, we've had to start racking them up as they're running out of beers here.)

13. Aberdeen / Fierce Beer: 6pm Sinner (Amber DIPA w/ Lime Juice, 8.5%)
Fierce made last year's strongest beer, the 12% Very Big Moose: they've also made this year's strongest beer, which is substantially weaker, but has an amusingly snarky name. Nice, but defiantly double in terms of flavour. Caramel sweetness to it, and the lime's coming through too (more and more as time goes on, cutting through the caramel nicely).

14. Barcelona / La Calavera: Crossover (Berliner Weisse, 4.0%)
Hey, Barcelona. We were there just a couple of months ago (okay, only for one night, but still). Not sure if the lime from the previous beer is initially toning down the weissity of this one: after a couple of mouthfuls it feels like there's more apple to it than your usual Berliner. Possibly a little one-dimensional, says The BBG: a bit less sour than I would have expected, says me.

15. Castlegate / 6 Degrees North: Bringin Zesty Back (Raspberry Sour w/ lemon & icing sugar, 6.0%)
It's all pudding beers for the rest of the day. In practice, I'd only describe it as a sour without the other bits (maybe a smidge of raspberry near the end), and The BBG would even argue with that compared with the cherry bakewell one earlier. Still nice, but not entirely as advertised.

16. Leeds / Wilde Child: I Tira-Miss-U (Tiramisu Milkshake Stout, 6.0%)
We have certain expectations for a nightcap beer - dark, complex, boozy. This hits all those notes except for boozy, but that doesn't seem like a problem at all. There's a fabulous nose to it, with a lovely smokiness (The BBG smells it as a really good cold brew coffee) somehow combined with an unexpected sharpness. This feels more like an end-of-the-night beer than the Fierce boozeathon at the start of this flight. So we'll stop here. Back tomorrow.

19th Oct 2018, 23:15   comments (0)

#Collabfest2018 part 3: @BrewDogShored

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Here's the first of those panic-bought flights I mentioned earlier...

9. Birmingham / Dig Brew Co: Slim Shandy (Wheat Shandy, 2.5%)
Initially panicked about whether we'd got the flight in the right order, but after a decent mouthful you can tell this one's a shandy, albeit one with a decent sharpness to it rather than the sweetness you'd expect.

10. Tower Hill / Hale: Hip Replacement (West Coast IPA w/ Rose Hip, 6.8%)
6.8 according to the bar, 8.6 according to the original spreadsheet from BrewDog control. Which is right? It's got a decently boozy bang off it, but it's also got good floral high tones from the rose hip, and the two make for an interesting combo. 

11. Edinburgh / Stewart Brewing: Resting Beach Face (Cucumber, Seaweed & Samphire Gose, 5.0%)
Just had to explain the term 'resting bitch face' to The BBG, which was awkward. Everything in the beer description is definitely there, so it feels more like two of your five a day than something you'd necessarily want in a beer. But there's a little sweetness to take the edge off the excessive vegetation. You can see how it would be very refreshing on a hot day, and how you could easily knock back several pints of it without blinking.

12. Liverpool / Black Lodge: Wake 'n Bake (Cherry Bakewell Sour, 4.2%)
We've had our vegetables, so now we're allowed pudding. Definitely a cherry sour, with a nice tartness to it, though we're not getting so much of the promised biscuits and almonds. 
19th Oct 2018, 22:39   comments (0)

#Collabfest2018 part 2: @BrewDogShored

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We're in Shoreditch for day 2 of our Collabfest, a few yards down the road from Rich Mix, where we've just seen what might be the best film of LFF 2018. Find out more on tomorrow! In the meantime, beer (though not from Meantime).

5. Lothian Road / Cross Borders: BrawDog (New Zealand IPA, 6.0%)
Nice old-fashioned proper IPA to start, none of that Bretts or Bruts shit: just decent hops pleasantly presented. Funnily enough, it was just the other day (after seeing a Swedish kids' cartoon, look it up) that The BBG and I were discussing how the Scottish 'braw' is obviously related to the Swedish 'bra', meaning 'good', and not 'bra' like you thought. 

6. Shoreditch / Hackney Brewing Co.: Space Coyote (Mango Scotch Bonnet Chilli IPA, 5.5%)
Very much The BBG's thing (she's still got Dalston Chilli on her nose from the hot dog she ate a few minutes ago), but this is relatively subtle - mostly mango with a hint of afterburn right at the end, coming through more as you get further down the glass.

7. Dundee / 71 Brewing: 97 On Ratebeer (Tropical Stout, 7.0%)
Our first cheeky beer name of Collabfest 2018. 'Oooohh' is our initial reaction on actually tasting it: gloriously fruity stout, initially thought it was cherries but it's actually liquorice, cacao and dates all mixed together. 'It's good, not like AB21' is a comment I've heard comparing it to another liquorice-based beer of recent vintage - the liquorice is a contributor to the flavour rather than dominating the whole thing.

8. Sodermalm / Örebro Brygghus: Black Öyster Stout (Oyster Stout, 5.3%)
And now for our first international beer - at least they're not charging Swedish-level prices for it. A very nice stout indeed, with a decently rich flavour for a five percenter. Had to guzzle it once we realised we'd have to panic-buy the next flight or two before they ran out, which is a shame...
19th Oct 2018, 21:54   comments (0)

#Collabfest2018 part 1: @BrewDogCanaryW

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?Collabfest! We've been doing it since 2013, and Moblogging it since 2014, so you may already be aware of how it works. Every year, each of BrewDog's bars teams up with a local brewery to make an original beer. Then for Collabfest, all the beers go on sale in all of the bars. In 2014, that was sixteen beers to be consumed over one day: now, it's grown to around fifty beers over four days. 
The Belated Birthday Girl and I are trying to do both this and the London Film Festival over the next four days, so let's see how we get on with the whole liveblogging as we go. Two disclaimers: 1) we're sharing 1/3 pint sample glasses between the two of us so we don't get too drunk: 2) as Moblog is virtually obsolete now, I can't log in to fix any errors after I've posted them, so be gentle with me.We're opening up our Collabfest at the brand new Canary Wharf bar, so brand new that it doesn't even open till tomorrow - we're at the shareholders' preview. So that the staff don't get too freaked out on their first day, only five of the fifty-ish festival beers are available here, and we're going for four of them.
1. Angel / Two Tribes: Dry Your Ryes Mate (Red Rye Session IPA, 4.8%)Initially approached the flight from the wrong end, but on second attempt this is definitely the red rye IPA. Nice bitterness to it, and more of an IPA flavour than those bloody NEIPAs that everyone's doing now. Nice bit of fruitiness to it, too.
2. Clerkenwell / Yeastie Boys: Hippo’s Can Fly (Bretted Norwegian Farmhouse IPA, 7.0%)If it's not bloody NEIPAs it's bloody Bretts, of course. Some of that fashionable fermentation was always going to be part of this collection, I suppose (though The BBG doesn't mind them as much as I do). Actually, not too much of that funky taste in there: it's more of a tingle at the back than anything else, with a nice balance of brettosity alongside the hops.
3. Shepherd’s Bush / Partizan: The W. Collins (White Negroni Saison, 6.0%)A high court judge writes: What is a Negroni? Neither of us can remember, so The BBG has to look it up (I'm using my phone for, um, writing this) and it turns out it's gin, vermouth and Campari. She's getting some of that, though to me it initially tastes like the sort of things you'd mix in chemistry class to poison the daft kid (yeah, don't deny you used to do that). It gets better after a few mouthfuls, but there are all sorts of ketones and things in there that I don't really expect from beer. The BBG thinks it would make a really good aperitif.
4. Camden / Moncada: Buck Craft (Kettle Sour, 6.0%)Sour, but slightly sweet - there's a feel of dried fruits to it, and less of the mouth-puckering sourness that marked our first batch of Collabfest beers in 2017 (I can't do HTML in here any more, so you'll just have to go back through the older Moblog posts and find it for yourself). All these four have been pretty good, none of them outstanding: still, we've got three more days to go...

18th Oct 2018, 19:15   comments (0)

#Collabfest2018 prologue: #LFF

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?Two festivals running in parallel over the next four days. That shouldn't be a problem, should it?
18th Oct 2018, 17:52   comments (0)

#Collabfest2017 part eight: Sheffield

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Ah, balls. We're down to our last five beers, and we're at Clapham, which has just one of them in stock. Of the other London bars, Shepherd's Bush and Camden had none of the remaining four when we were there today: Soho has tweeted that they're down to their last eight, all of which we've drunk: Clerkenwell is closed: and Shoreditch is obligingly tweeting arty out-of-focus pictures of their board (there's a reason why Shoreditch Twat was a popular phrase a decade ago). So I think we're going to have to call a halt to this after 30 out of 34 possible beers. Here's the last one...

30. Abbeydale Brewery Ltd / BrewDog Sheffield: Easy Peezy Lemon Squeezy (Lemon Curd on Toast Inspired Ale, 5.50%)
It's a bland one to finish up on - there's no real evidence of the promised lemon in there. It's just cold and fizzy, with a bit of mustiness to increase the disappointment a bit. Tiny bit of lemon somehow coming through at the bottom of our half pint, just about justifying the larger measure.

So we've missed out on the beers from Cardiff (Rock Lobster), Gothenburg (A Guy Called Fudge), Leicester (Mango Innit) and Manchester (Higher State). Some of them might turn up in bars in the future, but our hopes for that aren't especially high. We're consoling ourselves with another glass of Aberdeen's Very Big Moose, which is probably our favourite from the weekend (and everybody else's, judging from the ongoing Untappd poll). It seems like a bit of a cliché given that it's the only 12% monster on the board, but it's a worthy winner, and it's moderately amazing that Clapham still have it on tap this late in the weekend. If you're near the bar right now, hurry, hurry, hurry.

Can we have real-time availability updates from the bars ready in time for #Collabfest2018, please?
22nd Oct 2017, 18:43   comments (0)