You know you’re in Belgium when…

I consider myself extremely lucky to be in the somewhat envious position of having an old friend who actually lives in Holland, so I was able to pop over to Den Haag (The Hague) for a few days to visit him and enjoy the local fare whilst there. Even better, my other half, K, has a good friend who is currently studying in Leiden, so she was able to visit her old friend whilst I did the same.

If you didn’t know, Leiden and The Hague are only about 15 minutes apart, and are both about one tank of petrol away from Maldon, where we live together in England. That in mind, we decided to take the car and Europe for the long weekend (in the UK, Good Friday and Easter Monday are public / bank holidays).

Maldon, Folkestone, Calais, Gent, Antwerp, Rotterdam, The Hague.

ROAD TRIP!! Continue reading

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Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA

Those of you into craft beer will know that America is now undoubtedly the forerunner, quite ironic when you think that a few years back all they had was BMC (Budweiser / Millers / Coors). All that has changed over the last decade or two, and now America boasts hundreds of craft breweries, some of them making truly excellent beers. One of the most well-known of these modern-day craft breweries is Dogfish Head. If you’re familiar with the Discovery channel’s Brew Masters show, then you will already know of them. Continue reading

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Stainless quick disconnects

I’ve been meaning to sort my brewery out with QD’s for ages, but for one reason or another I’ve only just managed it. Polysulfone QD’s seem to be the most commonly available option to the UK homebrewery, but I just don’t like using plastic in my brewery any more than I can help it – inert or not. Continue reading

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Aromatic Spiced Chicken Kebabs

The clocks went back (forward) last weekend, so I can finally come home in the evening and still have enough daylight to braai (barbecue) on a work night if the urge takes me. I knew the weather would be half-decent today, so I prepared some chicken kebabs, or as they’re called in Saffa Land, “sosaties”. Continue reading

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Angry Yank Pale Ale

My beer is finally available! For those who don’t know, I was lucky enough to have a beer I entered into the CBA National Homebrew Competition last year take first place out of a total of 216 entries. My beer, Angry Yank Pale Ale, originally a 5.2% American Pale Ale featuring Cascade and Amarillo hops, won 1st place in the ‘Specialty’ class of the competition (a kind of ‘catch-all’ category for those beers that don’t fit into the usual categories of Bitter, Best Bitter, Strong Bitter, IPA, etc, commonly found in British beer competitions) and went on to take the Judge’s Choice award for the Beer of the Festival. Continue reading

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Staropramen

I love pilsner. I especially love Czech (Bohemian) pilsner, although I do enjoy a good German pilsner too. Day to day, it’s my ‘go-to beer’. For a long time, my favourite all-round beer was Stropramen, the pilsner from Prague (although nowadays I often find myself preferring Pilsner Urquell). It’s got a rich, full-bodied toasted malt flavour and golden brown colour, with a firm bitterness and hoppy Saaz finish. This is a great beer. If you haven’t tried it before, do yourself a favour.

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Noble Pilsner

This is going to be my summer pilsner. I made a ten gallon batch, so I won’t have my usual dilemma whereby the beer just starts to really taste good when it’s almost finished! After trying Victory’s Prima Pils, I had the idea of using a blend of the noble hops to try make something a bit more interesting.

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