Dribs and Drabs Pen-Ultimate 2015 edition

At the end of 2015 Indiana has 50 breweries, 66 brewpubs and one brew on premise. In planning are 20 more breweries and 6 brewpubs. It's great that so many are setting up nano-breweries since the law allows them to make a living for one or two families by selling on-site and bringing in tasters with rudimentary food or food trucks.

Only one brewery went out of business - Cutters in Avon which couldn't pay their $77k sewage bill.

I gave a talk last month to the Indiana Legislature education program concerned mainly with the prohibition laws we have had in the Hoosier state over the last 200 years. I also made a big deal of thanking the 50-or-so officepeople for helping make brewing a going and thriving business.

Girls Pint Out is five years old. Rita tells us what GPO is. Bonus picture of seven, SEVEN, Hoosier brewsters. Plus a bit about Omar, late of Alcatraz.

Last week she passed on that Bloomington Brewing's Ruby Bloom can now drink itself. It was Floyd Rosenbaum's initial beer at the new brewery. And I feel old.

Plus a recipe for Bad Elmer's Chocolate Cake.

Tyranena's well-reviewed The Devil Made Me Do It (28% ABV) will be coming to Indiana according to USA Today. It's banned in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Mississipi, Montana, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont and Washington. Could it be just random that most of these states think government should keep off our backs? Our poor, poor, inebriated backs.

Neal passes on the UKeg 64 Copper-plated pressurized growler. 64oz, $149. Sold out until February. Retro cool. Do hipsters drink slowly?

Beer Advocate reviews their beer cocktails from 2012. Not sure I'm enthralled about Pomegranate Fizz.

Brokkston Beer Bulletin has a new Periodic Table of Beer. The full-sized one online is suitable for printing. Unfortunately there doesn't seem to be any organization to the table.

A-B InBev looks to buy Arizona's Four Peaks Brewing. They bought Breckenridge of Colorado and Camden Town of England last week. Here's Roger's take.

You know about the rice and the Budvar dispute but what don't you know about Bud? Look here.

Headline: Top 10% of Americans enjoy and average of 74 alcoholic drinks per week.

Climate change impact: Beer. Per Naked Capitalism:

It’s sad, but true. Beer is already a victim of a changing climate, with brewers increasingly finding it more difficult to secure stable water supplies. According to a 2010 report commissioned by the National Resources Defense Council, about a third of counties in the United States “will face higher risks of water shortages by mid-century as the result of global warming.” Between 2030 and 2050, the difficulty in accessing freshwater is “anticipated to be significant in the major agricultural and urban areas throughout the nation.”
Some specialty hops used by craft brewers have already become harder to source, since warming winters are producing earlier and smaller yields. “This is not a problem that’s going to happen someday,” said Jenn Orgolini of Colorado’s New Belgium Brewery. “If you drink beer now, the issue of climate change is impacting you right now.” She said that in 2011, the hops her brewery normally uses weren’t available due to Pacific Northwest weather conditions.

Salt Creek has a perfect put-down of Bud. Brad on a Bud.

Dribs and Drams

Rita talk about Grand Junction, Thr3e Wise Men's latest restaurant, Cedar Creek, and Oaken Barrel. Bier gets 6-packs. And I'm not even going to mention the Star Wars-themed beers.

Indiana's cold beer rules gets upheld in court and gets an appeal. FLASH. The Court of Appeals upheld the lower court ruling.

Really? I didn't know Foster's is brewed in Fort Worth. If you didn't either - and actually bought an oil-can recently - you can join the class action suit.

WSJ: How to Understand a Beer Geek.

Want to try some Stone beer next time you're in Berlin? Here's some details (and pictures of what will become an elegant brewery.

Want to try Charles Mingus' (a great jazz bass player and my hero in high school) egg nog? Here's the recipe.

Want to spend $900 or $49,000 on a bottle of champagne for New Years? Here's some choices.

Guest Post - Bud Miller's Favorite Brewery - Salt Creek

A new writer, Bud Miller, has moved to Indiana. He sent this along for your enjoyment.

Salt Creek Brewery

Bedford Indiana, located in Lawrence Limestone Capital of the world. Once known 1800’s into the 1900’s for the production of Limestone, and in later years laying claim to producing 3 Astronauts, the most known being Gus Grissom’s and his prelaunch fatality in Apollo 1
In the late 1980’s and 1990’s Bedford claimed to be the Basketball capital of the world. After a championship winning girls team in the 1980’s, and in later 80’s with the Damion Bailey years of basketball, best Known for being scouted by Bob Knight in JR. high school, and later playing for Bob at I.U.

A city or county struggling with living in the current day and age, seem not to acknowledge their best asset, their “Local Brewery”. With the Beer Brewing industry growing in numbers each Year, The U.S. will have 4,100 + breweries in operation in 2016
This will be the RECORD amount of Breweries since before Prohibition. There were only a handful of breweries that survived the years of prohibition and the ones who did were instantly huge when the ban on alcohol was lifted. It is only in the last ten years that the Brewpubs have started coming back to now take the lead over the number of wineries and in the numbers of visitors or tourist that they bring. Breweries today are one of the Top tourist activities in the U.S. today.

Salt Creek Brewery is producing some of the best Beers I have tasted in my U.S. and World travels. Including Germany and England, who are known for producing some of the best beers ever?

Salt Creek is in the top 20 Beers I have tasted in my lifetime; while visiting 5 different Countries and tasting well over 400 different beers, these guys are something to talk about. The Brewery is 3 ½ years old. And has just started distribution in Indianapolis as of July this year, by November they have 30 Taps across Indy, ranging from private owned companies like Ember and Twenty Taps to corporate accounts like Hooters and BJ’s.

Their newest distribution area being Jeffersonville IN, landing taps at Buckhead Mountain Grille and Rocky’s sub pub both sitting on the river front of the Ohio River. They still maintain Tap space in Washington and Orange County, like Paoli Peaks Sky Lodge being one of their earliest accounts, and the French Lick Hotel and Casino being the newest one in Orange Co. The Brown County Inn in Brown County carries 6 of Salt Creek Brewery’s Beers, and what would be more fitting since we sit on the banks of north Salt Creek.

Salt Creek does not only produce great beers. It has a great history tied to the building. They converted an old Service Garage that had been in this location since the 1940’s sitting on what once was the main Hwy connecting Bedford to Indianapolis. Now the Highway dead end’s ½ mile south of the Brewery. Sold back to the limestone industry in the 1970’s, the Highway was closed and the stone below it was quarried - thus destroying the historic value of the highway forever and threatening one of the most Historic Quarry hole in the State.

This is where the stone for the Empire State Building was quarried. So while visiting the Brewery for one of their great beers and great preservation of the service garage, tourist has been known to visit the cemetery to sneak a view of the Empire quarry hole.

So make plans to visit the Brewery, to try one of their sixteen different Beers. 6 of which are Gold, Silver and Bronze Medal Beers. Make sure you walk up to the ½ wall by the bar and view the fermenting beers bubbling away in the former alignment pit of the old service garage, you can almost touch the Fermenter from where you are standing. Fill a Growler and take one of the award winning beers back home with you, even on Sunday.

Dribs and Drams

Rita tells us about anniversary celebrations at breweries. Bare Hands, Daredevil, Tin Man 18th Street. She also passes on that Greenwood's Planetary Brewing has been named to Food & Wine Magazine's 50 picks for nano breweries; Sun King is expanding distribution again (to the south and west); and a list of holiday beers from all over the state.

Indiana on Tap has quite a few stories freshly posted.
Sugar Creek Malt Co. of Lebanon is looking for an assistant maltster.
St. John Malt Brothers is going to provide a tasting at the Capitol (Washington DC).
A review of Goose Island Bourbon County Stout.

Inside Indiana Business reports that Thr3e Wise Men will open a new restaurant in the Courtyard Motel in downtown Muncie. They will also serve room service and can deliver within a 5-mile radius.

The calendar for the rest of 2015

Dec 12 Indianapolis 12 Chefs and Flat 12. Indianapolis City Market. 7-10pm.
Dec 16-18 Indianapolis Beer Wars at Flat 12.
Dec 17 Greenwood Fireside Brewhouse Ugly Christmas Sweater Party (and Karaoke). Reservations: 317-859-9505.

And here's a surprise. Beer, wine on tap for 9 Indy-area Starbucks. Given Starbucks prices, how much will beer be?

Anheuser-Bush/InBev is reportedly trying a new push to get their distributors to add more shelf space. In short, AB had 49% of the market in 2008 and this has dropped to 45%. MillerCoors now has another 31%. American craft beers have about 11% (including Sierra Nevada, Stone and the like). 9% is taken by imports.

AB's idea is to spend $150m in 2016 in "advertising benefits" to distributors. Maybe $200,000 each. The hitch is they can only carry craft beers that make less than 15,000 bbl or that don't distribute out of state.

The St. Louis AB distributor has already taken steps to rid itself of the likes of Deschutes. Will Zink, Lafayette Beverage, Terrance & Smith, Little Beverage, Craig, Dekalb, Best Beers, Bartholomew County Beverates, Working, Aalco, Orange City, Greenfield, Calumet, Hedinger, Mid America, Boone Beverage, Nadorff, North Vernon, Miami, Jay County Beverage, United of South Bend, Dever, Nelson and Tippecanoe follow suit? If you are using one or more of these for local distribution and are 3 Floyds, Upland, Sun King, or anyone moderately big you should be worried.

Meanwhile the AB InBev / SABMillerMolsonCoors merger is stalled in congress while the CEOs testify that the 80% of the beer market they jointly control isn't a monopoly. The Brewers Association took the opposite view. Report, report.

A Brief History of Moonshine
11 Surprising Products Made With Beer

15 Cities to Visit for Their Famous Beer Styles - Short notes about Bamberg, Dusseldorf, Brussels, Pilsen, Cologne, Tourpes, Buttenheim, Deisenhofen, Oudenaarde, Mexico City, Burton-Upon-Trent, Kulmbach, Dortmund, Leipzig and Berlin.

The BA says 1,800 US breweries are in planning. and 4,144 are operating. In 1873 4,131 were operating and very few sent their products outside of their hometown. The largest brewery at that time made 138,449 bbl.

Not sure if this is a joke or political BS but supposedly the Stedji Brewery in Iceland makes a beer brewed with whale testicles.

Years Past - England part 4

The last post about our 2005 European year. This covers Feb 23-Mar 20, 2006. Thanks for following.


Found still more new beers to try - mostly in London. The CAMRA Good Beer Guide lists over 4500 pubs in England and more than 500 breweries making real ale. We've just scratched the surface.
  • 1648 Winter Warrant - From the 1648 Brewery. Fairly thick dark winter warmer with a touch of plum. On the edge of grainy. Hops are quite subdued. Still, only 4.8%.
  • Abbeydale Moonshine - Perfect middle-of-the-range bitter. Maris Otter and Willamette. 4.3% (R).
  • Arundel Hard Willie - 4.7%.
  • Bartram's Jester Quick One - Not as dark as it could be for that much caramel. Sweetness is too strong. 4.4%.
  • Bateman's Jester.
  • Beartown Polar Eclipse - Rich oatmeal stout with roast chocolate and sweet coffee notes. Quite good. 4.8% (R).
  • Belhaven 6 Nations - For the rugby series.
  • Blindman's Icarus.
  • Brecon County Bitter.
  • Coach House Innkeepers. Darkish, fruity. Strong bitter finish. 4.5%.
  • Dark Star Nut Brown Ale. 4.5%.
  • Eastwood & Sanders Maximum Darkness - Oatmeal stout with plenty of chocolate taste but a bit light in the body. 4.3% (R).
  • Enfield Ale - Golden with honey notes.
  • Frankton Bagby Barnstormer - lightish session ale.
  • Freeminer Slaughter Porter - Dark cordovan red. Maybe a bit thin on the mouthfeel. Perfect balance. Lingering dry grainy bitter aftertaste. Some dark chocolate. 5.0%. (W)
  • Fullers Jack Frost.
  • Fullers London Porter - Chocolate and chickory. Rich.
  • Hanby Golden Honey. Light colored pale ale. Hone comes through strong but not overly sweet. A+.
  • Harviestoun Lager - Yes, cask conditioned. A bit bland. Still working with noticeable carbonation. Warmish temperature doesn't suit.
  • Harveys Armada - Fuggles earthiness. 4.5%.
  • Harveys Best - Ditto. 4.0%.
  • Harveys Mild - Ditto. Dark color. Possibly the least alcoholic mild but still not weak. A bit sweet. 3.0%.
  • Harveys Pale - Ditto the Fuggles. Makes you wonder that Harvey's measures ABV in .5% intervals. 3.5%.
  • Harveys 1859 Porter - Quite dark and quite restrained. Elegant. 4.8%.
  • Hidden Hidden Depths. Black dry stout. 4.6%.
  • Hidden Old Sarum - Dark. Bitter. Malty. Seems stronger than the 4.5%.
  • Hobden's Naughty Ferret.
  • Hydes Heavenly Draught - Reddish amber bitter with lots of Fuggles and Goldings. 4.2% (R).
  • Inveralmond Independence.
  • Jennings Cockerhoop - Hoppy Golden Ale with Goldings hops.
  • Malvern Hills Black Pearl Premium Bitter - Modern Golden Ale in all it's bitter glory.
  • Marston Sweet Chariot Carry Me Home.
  • McEwans Champion - Scottish Ale. Strong, edgy. Fruit background. 7.3%.
  • Meantime Porter - Served on CO2 so some carbonation on the upper lip. Slides down. Nice but otherwise not notable, maybe because it was served too cold. Belies the 6.5%. (W)
  • Nick Staffords Hambletons Gold Fleet.
  • North Cotswalds Cockles.
  • O'Hanlon's Port Stout. (W)
  • Outlaw Roosters Oyster Stout - Rich, thick. Black. Black malt with no sweetness evident anywhere. No hops either so balance is good. 4.7% (W)
  • Porterhouse Chocolate Truffle. (W)
  • Ridley Prospect - Golden Ale. 4.1%.
  • Salopian Shropshire Gold - Bland. Creamy. Dark oak color.
  • Sharp's Will's Resolve.
  • Shepard Neame Master Brew.
  • Skinners Betty Boogs.
  • Smiles Old Tosser - "Traditional dark ale". Really too sweet. 4.5%.
  • Stonehenge Sign of Spring - Drinkable but greenish. 4.6% (R).
  • Tring Jack O'Legs. Wonderfully strong, wonderfully simple, wonderfully balanced. 4.2% A+.
  • Thwaites Bomber.
  • Uley Old Spot - Strong bitterness. 5.0%.
  • West Berkshire Good Old Boy - 4.0%.
  • Westoe IPA.
  • Wizard White Wizard - Golden or light pale ale, tough to tell which. New Zealand Green Bullit hops.
  • Wold Top Mars Magic - Progress hops. Amber hue. Light body. 4.6% (R).
  • Wye Valley Victory Ale - 4.8%.
  • Cotswold Brewing Lager - A brewery in Witney that opened in May, 2005 with vessels bought from New York. Their lager is the only offering and it's gaining popularity in the west Oxfordshire area. Uses Maris Otter with Liberty and Hershbrucken hops.
  • Leffe Radieuse - Nose: caramel, toffee, pear? Taste: Something darker. Red grape, sloe? Low carbonation. Mild belch. On tap.
  • Inch's Harvest Dry Cider - 6.1%.
  • Demon Crisis Cider locally made at the Red Lion, Isleworth.
  • Rum Cask Cider also locally made - The rum aging doesn't come through as rum, rather as a sweet spiciness. Excellent.
(W) - At the White Horse on Parson's Green Porter and Stout Festival.
(R) - At the Red Lion, Isleworth, Spring Equinox Beer Festival

My son and daughter-in-law joined us for a couple of weeks. Jon and I toured lots of CAMRA-listed and other recommended pubs in London. In the downtown area every pub is elbow-to-elbow with suits after work as people spend a couple of hours bracing themselves for or avoiding the butt-to-butt ride home on the Underground. This affected our drinking schedule.
  • Elephant and Castle - Royal Oak* - Harvey's only London pub. 5 beers on. Classic 2-bar with a busy public side and a sedate reading room on the saloon side.
  • Holborn - Cittie of York - Cavernous high-ceilinged old pub with big vats over the bar. Tiny 4-seat snugs with armchairs along one wall. Odd triangular burner stove in the middle of the floor that has no chimney.
  • Holborn - Princess Louise - Elegant Victorian interior. Sam Smith's pub. Met a very friendly local drunk who recommended several other pubs we'd already been to.
  • Holborn - Shakespeare's Head - A JD Wetherspoons we wandered into by mistake.
  • Isleworth - Red Lion* - Local's pub that was CAMRA's regional pub of the year many times. Also "One of the top 50 boozers in London". Apt description.
  • Lambeth - 3 Stags - Local with very comfortable couches. Just outside the Imperial War Museum.
  • London Bridge Station - Shipwrights Arms.
  • Moorgate - Globe Bar - Ehhh.
  • Moorgate - Red Lion - Have to get out of this area to find a better pub.
  • Tower Hill - Hung Drawn and Quartered - Fullers pub. Inexpensive food.
  • Waterloo - Hole-in-the-Wall* - 2-bar pub just outside the north door of the station. Good meeting place. Front bar was un-manned in the early afternoon but back bar was excellent.
  • Westminster - Buckingham Arms* - It has been in every edition of the Good Beer Guide. Very busy and still very friendly. Met a couple of people who recognized my Gravity Head T-shirt and gave us some recommendations.
  • Westminster - Red Lion* - Tiny and disorganized pub right around the corner from Parliament on Whitehall.
  • Westminster - Sanctuary Hotel* - Elegant place near the Abbey.
And a couple more outside of London:
  • Steeple Aston - Red Lion
  • Gloucester - Severn Bore Inn - Highway roadhouse that packs with people when the bore is running.
* - In the CAMRA Good Beer Guide.

Inside the Princess Louise.

Inside the Westminster Arms after a hard day at the office.

Red Lion in Avebury. What a goldmine.

The Red Lion is dead center of the circle above - the largest ancient stone ring in the world.
Tourist trade is massive every day of the year.

Found a London brewpub. The Bunker in a basement location in Earlham Street in the west end theatre area. It's changed hands a few times since being built in 1994 by Freedom Brewery. They still make Freedom Bier. Yep, a "German" pub. All wood, silver paint, and long tables at least.
The beers are a Pilsner, Organic Lager, and an Amber which wasn't on tap. Both that we tried were decent but carbonated and cold, a bit bready with plenty of hops. Very light color.

Finally found a homebrew shop. They are really quite rare and Pops Home Brew in Cheltenham is one of only two in the county of Gloucestershire. Had a nice hour chat about the business. Their place would fit right in to the US.

Owner Steve and full-time business partner, his wife, sorry, forgot your name.

The proper British beer glass is called a Nonik.

Best beer names (tie): Quick One and The Usual.

Shepherd Neame is England's oldest brewery - from 1696.

Met a guy who says two pints of nitro-beer gives him a nosebleed. Thinks it's like the bends.

Europe Totals (subject to final audit):

Country Bars Breweries/
Beers Beer Festivals Beer
Austria   5 23   1
Belgium 20 4 82   3
Canary Islands 3   5    
England 234 9 365 11 1
France 2 7 28    
Germany 15 71 225 2 5
Gibraltar 4   4    
Hungary 1 2 7    
Luxembourg 1   2   1
Maderia 2   2    
3   23    
Portgual 1   1    
Slovakia 4   7    
Spain 8   7    
Switzerland   7 44 1  

Years Back - England part 3

Being the 18th or so episodic review of Bob & Terry's trip to Europe in 2005.
Only one more post to go.
This time we're holed up in southwest England in Stow-on-the-Wold.

Stow is a fine place to hole up. We got a holiday cottage (it's the off-season), met the locals, joined a CAMRA chapter, and saw one small snowfall.

Many of the pubs around this area have a regular range of real ale. Our local, The Queen's Head, has Donnington's BB and SBA and hasn't changed for years. In fact, of the 8 pubs in Stow-on-the-Wold, only one has a changing tap - a monthly beer from Goff's Brewery. There are a few, though, that always have a changing range. The Tite Inn in Charlington and the Horse and Groom in Charlbury are both just over the Oxfordshire border. Five of the CAMRA-listed pubs in Cheltenham, 20 miles west of Stow, all have different beers every time I stop in.

There are more winter ales available now but the new ales I've had are still mainly Bitters, Golden Ales, ESBs, etc. Golden Ales are a relatively new breed in England and are gaining in popularity, especially since the Crouch Vale Brewers Gold (basically an American IPA) won the Champion Beer of Britain at the 2005 GBBF. Cascade hops have also become more prevalent in the last few years and especially in the last year because of this beer.
  • Adnam's Oyster Stout - Served cooler than the bitters at the Plume of Feathers. Black, creamy, mild. Belies the 4.3% ABV.
  • Archers Hadley Hall. Non-hoppy Golden. 4.3%.
  • Archers Loverboy - Edgy.
  • Archers Old Frostie - Golden ale.
  • Archers One Eyed Snake - Either a dark Golden or light Pale ale. Maybe there's a fine line but they do seem to run together. The 3.9% ABV probably means it's a Pale Mild.
  • Arkell Moonlight - 4.5%.
  • Badger Bitter - First Gold hops, nice and earthy. Good body. 4.0%. A+
  • Bank Top Dark Mild - Way overdone burnt toffee. Roast. Very complex. 4.0%. (N).
  • Bateman's Hooker - Very bitter.
  • Bath Festivity - Dark but thin. "Hints of rum mingling with coffee and vanilla". Coffee aplenty. Not a favorite since the coffee is not mitigated by any redeemable character. 6.6%. (T).
  • Bath Gem - Mahogany ale with little hops. 4.1%.
  • Battersea Power Station - Porter. Thick and clammy. Roast. Just a touch of burnt toast. Complex. Not black or could be a stout. Maybe the rightful heir of the term London Porter. 4.9% A+
  • Battledown Brigand - Cheltenham brewery opened just a couple of months ago. 4.7%.
  • Battledown Saxon - This is where all the Cascade hops are going in Britain. A golden American IPA of about 80 IBU. Clean and tooth-scraping. Very unbalanced.
  • Belhaven 80/- (80 Shilling) - Deep brown. Malt and tart. A bit roasty. Even some smoke notes. 4.5%.
  • Beowulf Dark Smoke - Dry stout. 4.7%.
  • Beowulf Wig Laf - Malty, spicy, and acidic. 4.3%.
  • Black Sheep Special Ale - Deep brown. 4.4%.
  • Brains SA
  • Brains The Rev. James. 4.5%.
  • Brakspear Special - ESB with long bitter on the back of tongue.
  • Burton Bridge Bitter. 4.2%.
  • Butts Barbus Barbus - This was anticipated highly by the beer-savvy folk at the Rose & Crown. Didn't seem anything special. 4.6%
  • Buts Traditional. Organic. Light copper. Fruity. Fresh grass. 4.3%.
  • Caledonian Six Nations - Golden Ale. Brewed for the international Rugby competition.
  • Caledonian XPA - Golden Ale with East Kent Goldings throughout. Very nice. 4.5%.
  • Charles Wells Bombadier
  • Churchend Gravedigger. Dark malty mild. 3.8%.
  • Cotleigh Barn Owl Bitter - Full bodied. Hoppy start and slightly tart bitter finish. 4.5%. (N).
  • Cotleigh Buzzard - Dark ale. Smooth and a little incisor-coating. 4.5%.
  • Cottage Brewery Between the Posts. For the rugby season. Bold and fairly sweet. 4.6%.
  • Cottage Brewery Double Century. For the 200th anniversary of Isambard Kindom Brunel who built the first transatlantic steamship, the Great Western. Malty and seemingly stronger than the 4.5% should be.
  • Cotswold Spring Winter Royal - Dark Winter Ale with anise, coffee. Spicy sharpness. Excellent. 5.0%. (T).
  • Daleside Bitter.
  • Dark Star Hophead - Yellow tending to a green tinge. Not enough alcohol to be a Golden Ale. Maybe it's a Golden Mild. Hops are Fuggles and Goldings and aren't overpowering at all. 3.8%.
  • Dark Star Winter Meltdown - Dark copper. Brewed with chocolate and crystal malt. Goldings hops. Ginger. Bitter and dry. 5.0%. (T).
  • Darwin's Ghost Ale - Nice bitter Golden Ale. Crisp. Some citric fruit. Dry finish. 4.1%. (S).
  • Dorset Steam Beer - Not an Anchor "California common". A lot of Old Ale characteristics but at 4.5%.
  • Eccelshall On The Pull - 5.2%.
  • Enville Chainmaker Mild - Sweet licorice throughout. 3.6%. (N).
  • Everards All-Black - Light bodied stout named for the New Zealand rugby team.
  • Exe Valley Devon Glory - This same beer is sold in Devon as Devon Bitter.
  • Exmoor Gold - Deep yellow. Fuggles and Goldings. Quite bitter. Light IPA.
  • Frog Island Best Bitter. Another miss-named beer. It's a pale mild. 3.8%.
  • Frog Island Natterjack - Lightish colored bitter. 4.8%.
  • Fuller's Jack Frost - Winter Ale less dark than Young's without the fruit or spice.
  • Glastonbury Hedge Monkey - 4.6%.
  • Grainstore Rutland Panther - Black mild. Very drinkable. 3.4%. (N).
  • Grainstore Winter Nip - Mahogany barley wine with fruit and alcohol coming through strong. Great. It was the festival best of show last year. 7.3%. (T).
  • Great Oakley Harpers - Malt Shovel's tied micro. 4.3%.
  • Great Oakley Wot's Occuring. 3.8%.
  • Greene King Fireside - "Full bodied ale" - Dark ruby, fruity, and yes, full-bodied. Fruity. First pour of the day without cleaning the lines. 4.5%.
  • Goff's Black Knight - Pure black roasty porter. 5.3%
  • Goff's Camelot - Dark, dry bitter. Very distinct raw coffee bean taste. 4.4%.
  • Hampshire Heaven Can Wait. 4.8%. Had the first or second glass from a new keg and it was replaced with another title when I complained.
  • Hanby Black Magic Mild - Near black Dark Mild. A bit of red. Bitter but a little stale / oxidized. 4.0%. (S).
  • Hart Nemesis, Goddess of Revenge - Unhoppy and creamy.
  • Harvey's Sussex Best.
  • Hexhamshire Devil's Elbow - Full Pale Mild. Amber. Plenty of hops and fruity goodness. 3.6%. A+ (S).
  • Hidden Brewery Hidden Quest - New brewery near Salisbury but the server thought it was local so their ploy is working.
  • Highgate Churchill's Pride - Made for Churchill's Taverns from a WWII recipe. 4.3%.
  • Highgate Old Ale - Dark reddish. Roast malt. Hops. Complex. Big and brutal. Very low alcohol for an Old Ale but that can certainly be forgiven since it has all the other characteristics. Well done. 5.3%. (T).
  • Highgate Special - A great-tasting rich dark mild but it gave both of us gas. 3.8%.
  • Itchen Valley Hampshire Rose - Very nice Golden Ale with some red hints. 4.2%. A+
  • Itchen Valley Tower Bridge - Balanced to the malty side. This is the only viable reason to visit one of the Wetherspoon's pubs near the tower as it's made especially for them.
  • Lichenfeld Hoppy Days - Complete with a picture of an almost-Fonz on the pump clip.
  • Loddon Country Cheer. Big hop. Centennial. This brewery doesn't stint on the hops. 4.2%.
  • Loddon Hoppit. Centennial hops are distinctive to Loddon. 3.5%.
  • Marlow Rebellion Overdraft Ale.
  • Marston Sweet Chariot.
  • Mighty Oak Down the Hatch.
  • Moles - Lang Syne - Rich golden ale.
  • Moor Old Freddy Walker - Rich black Old Ale that could be a stout, but not at 7.3%. Slides down nice. Lots of black malt but not roasty, chocolate, coffee, etc. Just thick black.
  • Nelson Brewery Devon Patrol.
  • North Cotswold Resolution - 4.5%
  • Oakham JHB - Golden ale with Fuggles.
  • Oak Leaf Blake's Gosport Bitter. Not an old ale but as dark and strong as one. With ESB & Porter characteristics. 5.6%.
  • O'Hanlon Yellow Hammer. "Devon's Golden Ale". 4.2%.
  • Old Stables Black Beauty Stout - Thick. Lingering roast flavor. 4.2%. (N).
  • Orkney Dark Island - The program said "chocolate malt character" but it's pure roast coffee. A bit thin for a stout or a bit light for an Old Ale. Long bitter finish with some vanilla sweetness coming in late. 4.6%. (S).
  • Orkney Northern Light
  • Otter Mac Otter - Hoped it would be a Scotch Ale. Some bitter-sweet chocolate malt but pretty rough. 5.0%. (T).
  • Outlaw K.I.S.S. - Golden ale with lots of Fuggles hops.
  • Palmers St. John's College, Oxford, 450th Anniversary Ale - Proper ESB. Big apple fruity finish.
  • Potton Shannon IPA - Good balance but weak. 3.6%. (N).
  • Ramsbury Deer Hunter. "Premium Bitter". Jet black ESB. Strong and balanced with lots of hops. 5.0%.
  • RCH Steam Sale - Named for a train wrecking yard. 4.5%.
  • Ridley Pride of Cheltenham. Dark Mild - Brewed for the Jolly Brewmaster pub. 3.9%.
  • Robinsons Old Tom - Strong but with delicate flavors. Chocolate. Plum. Port. Long bitter-sweet finish. Best of show. 8.5%. (N).
  • Rooster's Yankee - A Golden Ale with Cascade hops. Yep, an American Pale Ale. 4.7%.
  • Sam Smith's Old Brewery Bitter - The classic.
  • Severn Vale Monumentale. Pure black mild stout. Roasty background. 4.5%.
  • Sharps Doombar - 4.0%.
  • Sharps Sharp's Own - 4.4%.
  • Slater's Supreme - Best Bitter category to a tee. Pump clip proudly says "2001/2004 Champion Best Bitter Bronze Award Winner CAMRA". 4.7%.
  • Smiles Bristol IPA - Quite pale Golden ale. US NW hops in moderation.
  • Spinning Dog Mutley's Pit Stop.
  • Spinning Dog Organic - Lightish mild. 3.7%.
  • Spinning Dog Top Dog - Moderate hoppy but otherwise not remarkable. 4.2%.
  • Springhead Charlie's Angel - Light pale ale. This beer from Nottingham is supposedly named for something to do with the Cromwell era rather than 1970s American TV. Don't ask me, ask brewer Shirley Reynolds.
  • Springhead Roaring Meg - Pale yellow. 5.2%.
  • Springhead Rupert's Ruin. 4.2%.
  • Stanway Bitter - Local Cotswold brewery. Very light color. Very very bitter. No compensating sweetness.
  • St. Austell's HSD
  • St. Austell's Tinners - Thick rich pale session ale. Caramel malt comes through. 3.7%. A+
  • Stonehenge Pigswill - Very nice.
  • St. Peter's Lemon and Ginger Spiced Ale - Ooooh. Way overdone. Lots of ginger and the lemon comes through harshly. Worst of show. 4.7%. (N).
  • Sussex Draught Biter. 3.5%.
  • Theakston XB - Rich ESB.
  • Thwaites Lancaster Bomber - Not a favorite. Notes, though are unreadable.
  • Timothy Taylor Golden Best - Not a Golden Ale. Also not a Best Bitter. Really a session ale. Light colored bitter. Delicate malt and hops combine to give a light taste. 3.5%. (N).
  • Twaites Original
  • Wadworth Old Timer - Buttery smooth and bracing. 5.6%.
  • Wizard Black Magic - Very chocolaty stout.
  • Westbury Midnight Mash - Southern Brown style. Fruity. Dry lingering finish. Good but not great. 5.0%. (T).
  • Weymouth Steam - 4.5%.
  • White Horse Dragon Hill. Dry, astringent, bitter. Lots of Goldings hops. 4.2%.
  • Whittington Cat's Whiskers - Local brewery. Last pull from the cask.
  • Wickwar Rite Flanker. "The unofficial beer of Rugby". Strong apple notes. Probably past it's prime. 4.9%.
  • Williams Fraoch - Heather grass and peat come through more in cask conditioned form than in the bottle. 4.1%. (N).
  • Windrush Ale - From a brand new brewery in Witney (15 miles east of Stow). In fact this was their first batch released. Lightish but full of malt and Fuggles goodness. They should do well - hope to visit. 4.3%.
  • Woodforde The Usual - As in "I'll have a pint of The Usual". Has to be the best name for a beer. Ever. The beer, though is a darkish pale mild. Thin. Almost watery. 3.6%.
  • Wychwood Dirty Tackle - Amber brown. Bold fruitiness. Burnt caramel flavor. 4.4%.
  • Wye Valley HPA - Hereford Pale Ale - Golden ale. Very bitter IPA of East Kent Goldings hops.
  • Wye Valley Victory - Buttery diacytl. 4.4%.
  • Wye Valley Winter Tipple. Dark ESB. 4.7%.
  • Wylam Silver Ghost - All Maris Otter with Bramling and Fuggles. Fresh grass. 5.0%. (S).
  • York Brewery Last Drop Bitter - Dark and sweet. 4.0%.
  • York Brewery Yorkshire Terrier - Well balanced and refreshing. Long bitter aftertaste. 4.2%. (N).
  • Addlestone's Cloudy Cider
  • Barker's Upsydaisy Real Perry - Acidic. No pear taste. Yuch. 6.3%. (T).
  • Brooke Farm Cider - Medium dry. 6.2%.
  • Brooke Farm Perry - Sweet and tart at the same time. 8.4%.
  • Weston's Hereford Country Peary. Lots of pear. Tart but within control. A+.
  • Pivovar Herold Breznice (Czech) Bohemian Schwarzbier - On the handpull at a JD Wetherspoons. Brown head. Massively chocolate and coffee and black malt. Sweeter than German schwarzbiers. A bit of dreg in the last sip. For £1.69, quite a surprise. At another Wetherspoons this same brew was labeled 'Herold Weissbeir" - maybe a typo on the menu board.
  • Regal Christmas - Belgian Brown on tap. Plum, fruit, grape.
(T) - At the Tewkesbury CAMRA Winter Ale Festival.
(S) - At the Dun Cow Supernatural Beer Festival.
(N) - At the St. Neots CAMRA Beer Festival.

We've been to many of the pubs in the Gloucestershire Costwolds but keep finding a few more.
  • Bourton on Water - The Mousetrap - Really a restaurant without a proper pub seating area. Still, a quiz on Sundays.
  • Cheltenham
    - Adam and Eve* - The most "local" local I've been in.
    - Cheltenham Motor Club* - A private club that has many members who race and rally. Pictures of member's cars in action adorn all the walls. Very friendly, especially since I can talk the lingo.
    - Jolly Brewmaster* - A big circular bar dominates this ex-family house. Erudite clientele (quizzes, crosswords, puzzles, etc.). Good selection. Cider. Perry. Open all day. And best of all, it's only a block from a quilt store.
    - Little Owl* - Pub, restaurant, and event hall with very friendly locals. Also serves cider and a perry from the bagged box.
    - The Moon Under the Water - JD Wetherspoons chain pub. Dim cavern. No charm but quite cheap and has 9 changing handpulls with prices from £1.60 to £1.75. (Most pubs are £2 to £2.50).
    - The Norwood (Lecklade) - Big food pub on a busy corner.
    - Royal Oak* - Restaurant by day on one side and local pub by night on the other. Skittles alley out back.
    - Sudeley Arms* - Victorian local in a downtown corner pub. Beer enthusiast landlord. Served the new local's beer from a bagged box until the quality turned out to be not up to snuff.
    - The Swan* - Cheltenham CAMRA Pub of the Year 2005. A good selection of well-kept beers but the ambiance is similar to a not-very-well-kept neo-yuppy sandwich shop.
  • Chipping Campden
    - Dover's Bar - Busy hotel pub that had a handpull visible through the window. The handpull turned out to be a farmhouse cider so it wasn't a complete waste.
    - Eight Bells - Quiet restaurant bar with good selection.
    - Lygon Arms - Hotel pub with indifferent service.
  • Ebringdon - Ebringdon Arms - New landlords just took over this pub in the center of a very small village. The locals helped them remodel, lose the posh dining, put back the dartboard, etc. We predict it will be in the Good Beer Guide in 2008. Recommended it to the powers that be for 2007 but now, in January 2006, it's too late for that.
  • Paxford - Churchill Arms. We were looking for lunch but food was really pricey. Had one beer and left.
  • Tewkesbury - White Bear* - Manically busy place with 19 taps (only 4 handpulls), pool table, darts, bar seating for 10, couches, 30 people, 3 dogs, 4 kids; all in about 500sq ft.
A trip to London found some more good pubs.
  • Ashorne - Cottage Inn* - Town local with no lunch in the wintertime. Wish the GBG was a bit more detailed about this.
  • Christmas Commons - Fox & Hounds* - Rambling gastropub with 3 taps.
  • London - Anglesea - Anglesea Arms* - Non-ritzy bar in a ritzy section of town.
  • London - Greenwich - Plume of Feathers* - Beautiful 2-room interior surrounding a 3-sided square bar. Beer is dear. Food is highly regarded and our quick lunch was superb.
  • London - Greenwich - Mitre Hotel - Town sports pub with fruit machines (a complicated gambling device) and big-screen TV. Crowded for the games.
  • London - Greenwich - Richard I* - Young's 2-room local.
  • London - Greenwich - Trafalgar Tavern* - Historic pub with a great Thames-side location. Busy dinner crowd. Still, the soap scum glasses turned me off.
  • London - Parson's Green - White Horse* - Much fabled of CAMRA and Michael Jackson song and story. It's been "found". Obscenely busy local house and meeting place. On a Friday evening it was shoulder to shoulder suits and 30-somethings. 5 handpulls are tripled on a three-sided square bar. Reasonable food. Good Belgian beer menu and some on tap. Fuller's London Porter on nitrogen(!). Early on Saturday was the same situation and the same 5 ales.
  • London - Tower of London - There's a JD Wetherspoon's both north (Moon Over the Water) of the Tower and south (Pommelier's Rest*) of Tower Bridge. Ignore both of these.
  • London - Westminster - The Speaker* - Corner downtown pub with lots of suits, lots of history, and a 70's refurb decor. Two suits on a break from the office block across the street sent us on a 4-pub scavenger hunt quest for the afternoon to the most distinctive London pubs they could conjure up. Thanks guys. We wouldn't have found 3 of the next 4 pubs without you.
  • London - Charing Cross - Ship and Shovell - A 2-part pub where there's a street running between the two halves.
  • London - London Bridge Station - The George - Timeless classic half-timbered sloppy-floor multi-room outside-loo Dickensonian pub in the heart of the city. Occupies one side of a galleried courtyard down an alleyway. Even more delightful is the £1.80 price for a pint of ale.
  • London - Faringdon - Ye Olde Mitre - Again, down a small alley. Claimed to be the oldest still-standing pub in London, from 1546. Front public bar holds about 20 people. Rear saloon bar, maybe twice that many. Posh in an 18th century way.  This small alleyway and the half-dozen old buildings on it are actually part of Cambridgeshire, not London due to an ancient deed to some lord or other. This anomaly is actually still honored on the tax roles and the London police can only enter this half-block if invited.
  • London - St. Pauls - Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese - "Rebuilt in 1667" after the fire of London. Dickens haunt and he included this pub in his books. Now owned by Sam Smiths and seems to have been enlarged with a basement section since we last visited here in the 1990s. Old Brewery Bitter on the handpull for £1.70 per pint! That's the equivalent of $8 for a 4-pack of the 16-ounce bottles we can get in the states.
  • Northampton - Bold Dragoon* - Residential suburb local. Big place that doesn't serve food all day regardless of what the GBG says. Churchill Taverns chain.
  • Northampton - The Trumpet - A Wetherspoons wannabe clone chain outlet (John Barras). Only go here if you're desparate for cheap food.
  • Northampton - Malt Shovel* - WOW. One of the best beer pubs in England. 13 ever-changing handpulls. Friendly landlord and staff. Friendly locals. A blues band on Wed night packed the place. Thursday quiz night is £2.50 per person and that includes a meal. In three hours one night two casks ran out and were replaced with different titles. The owner also has started a small brewery (Great Oakley) nearby to supply his and a few select other pubs. Right across the street from the Carlsberg/Tetley brewery makes the smells in the rear beer garden magnificent. The Frog Island Brewery 2 blocks away also supplys fresh beers.
  • Stoke Goldington - Lamb* - Small town local known for food.
  • Watlington - Carrier Arms*
* - In the CAMRA Good Beer Guide.

Michael Jackson's favourite London haunt.

The George near London Bridge.

I've been to local branch CAMRA meetings in Longborough, Charlbury, Cheltenham, and Chipping Campden. From 5 to 30 people come and they are quite similar to a pub crawl put on by the Beer Advocate folks in the States. Visit 2 or three pubs. Swap stories and recommendations. Excellent evenings.

The Tewkesbury sub-branch of the Gloucestershire chapter of CAMRA held their 11th Winter Ale Festival on Feb 3 & 4. On Thursday evening, the 2nd, they had a free preview for CAMRA members and about 200 people showed up. Got a chance to re-meet people from the Cheltenham and North Gloucestershire sub-branches and some folks I just met at pubs. 7pm to 11pm. Had 7 half-pints of Winter Ales and Old Ales. They had 61 available.

Another festival at a pub in north Oxfordshire, The Dun Cow, had 7 casks on the counter with a complete range of styles (Pale Mild, Dark Mild, Bitter, Best Bitter, Golden, ESB, and a Stout (or was it a weak Old Ale)). The names had a supernatural theme - Ghost, Magic, Devil, etc. On a Saturday afternoon about 40 people crowded into the back room where the heat had been left off to keep the beers cool.

Terry joined me at a beer festival in St. Neots, Cambridgeshre, and we had a very interesting evening at a table with two local bobbies. Even met the Mayor of St. Neots but resisted turning that into a photo-op.

Also visited the Stanway brewery with the North Gloucestershire sub-branch of CAMRA. 25 people crowded into the small brewing room before heading out for a dinner and drinks courtesy of the brewery.

The old manor house at Stanway, with 86 workers, had a brewery back in the 1700s. A small affair with iron kettles fueled by fire. It continued until 1913. Alex Pennycook felt the need to resurrect it in 1993 and moved into the room, replacing the iron vessels with stainless steel. He did, though, keep the WOOD FIRED kettle and now uses 50 tons of wood each year, all picked up from the floor of the surrounding estate.

It's an "almost 5bbl" system with just 3 brewing vessels and 3 fermentation/aging tanks. A small hot liquor tank added recently lets him sleep in until 7:30 instead of getting the fire going at 6am on brewing days. It feeds the open mash ton about the time a wood fire heats more water for sparging - the plumbing is original to the 1700s. It's all pumped back to the wood-fired tun, hidden behind a circular brick wall, for boiling before being fed back to the sparge which is by now converted to a hop back.

Alex uses a proprietary yeast that he describes as "doesn't rise or fall" so it's evolved to be not a traditional ale or lager yeast. He also uses a water-transfer chiller rather than the original oak pan that is now the floor of the upper story and now a store room. One last change is the use of mains water rather than from one of the numerous springs on the property. He "Burtonizes" this water with gypsum as is the current ale fashion.
10 pubs are served with his ales on their guest taps from one or two brews per week.

The boiler is behind the bricks. A wood fire goes in the slot on the side.

Finally, wrote an article for Beer on Tap, the hand-out bi-monthly newsletter of the North Oxfordshire CAMRA branch.

An American Beerwolf in Oxon
 Warm flat beer. Maybe that’s how most American Bud-swillers think of Real Ale, but not all by any reckoning. My wife and I are Yanks from Indianapolis where race cars are more famous than the 9 breweries in this city of a million people.

All the breweries serve one restaurant each, brewpubs, and only 2 produce bottled beer. Most are big restaurant chains, the type that make up half the 2500 brewpubs in the States. Most brew typical American Ales, Wheats, Browns, Porters, and Stouts; while one makes only Belgian Abbey and Wit styles.

One, though, is a true British pub open now for 15 years and owned by a Yorkshire ex-pat named John Hill. The Broad Ripple Brewpub has two handpulls where cask-conditioned Bitter, ESB, Porter or Stout are served along with 6 other keg ales at any one time. Walking in, any Brit would be right at home. Order at the bar, no TV, no music, a darts room, oversized lined glasses, and lots of Fuggles hops. What more can you ask?

So why go to ground in the Cotswolds over an English winter? In fact warm flat beer is why my wife and I have moved to this area until spring. Winter warmers, barley wines, bitters, milds, ESB, great stuff. Since November we’ve had a chance to try over 200 Real Ales, visit 50 pubs in Gloucs, Oxon, and Warwickshire, and meet dozens of CAMRA members and other conversationalists at those pubs.
 We’ve also met the owners of some of the smallest breweries around. Mike Garner at Wizard and John Pilling at North Cotswold Brewery have been very generous with their time, showing off their kit and explaining the idiosyncrasies of their business here in England. In some ways their job is easier than an American equivalent since guest taps are more prevalent here than at the Bud-Miller-Coors-only bars that make up 90% of the States. In other ways it’s more difficult because the shelf-life of Real Ale is considerably shorter than a lager or keg ale and planning must be a lot more precise.

It has been surprising to see some pubs that don’t change their beer selection at all. Understandable that a Donnington, Wadworth, or Hook Norton-owned pub will stick with the same range but even many free houses seem to have an unvarying menu. That’s why some real gems such as the Tite Inn and the Rose and Crown get our repeat business – every time we go there there’s a new beer or two on tap. (Most of the CAMRA GBG pubs in Cheltenham do the same so much of our time is spent there also.) We still have much of the area around Banbury to explore and are savoring the anticipation.

Come March we’ll be heading back across the pond with memories and ideas of how to publicize good beer in Indiana. The Good Beer Guide, of course, has been invaluable but Beer on Tap, The Tippler, ShakesBeer, and The Beer and Ragged Staff have also proved great tools to find the best pubs and best beers. Thank you very much for publishing them.

And a side-trip.

To repeat myself, we stayed in a holiday cottage in Stow. Holiday - as in being kicked out for two weeks during Christmas due to a prior reservation. Turns out hotel and food prices are WAY up during the holidays. Guess everyone in England treats that season as a "lets go see the family" extravaganza.

So we took the cheaper way out. A sea cruise. The QEII's final trip. And we can't say enough bad about this tub / floating potential reef. (It's now in Dubai and since 2008 people have been going bankrupt trying to change it into a hotel.)

Went to Lisbon to get my pocket picked unsuccessfully; Barcelona which was almost deserted; Gibralter so Terry could wrestle Barbary apes; and the great Canary Islands; and a horrible stop in Dakar for fuel.


Likely looking bar in Funchal.

Local wines and brandies. The three on the left are very local, being
formulated, mixed, and aged in the back. A dry sherry-based, a sweet port-based,
and a chamomile brandy aged with twigs and flowers in the bottle.
Spicy, big aroma, grape background, big alcohol burn.

We can suggest getting some chamomile and sticking it in some brandy. Wait 6 months for a real treat.

New Years Eve fireworks in Funchal.

And of course some beer. Brit on the say to Southampton to catch the boat.

Some Hampshire pubs:
  • Burghclere - Carpenters Arms - Friendly Arkells pub and great food in a very small town.
  • Southampton
    • Duke of Wellington* - 1340s inn that was a brewpub in the 1500s. Wadworth owned.
    • The Village Bell (Eling Hill) - Local that wasn't worth eating lunch at.
    • The Platform Tavern* - Boisterous adults every afternoon. Evening is actually quieter. Free house with a big variety of ales.
  • Winchester - Old Market Inn - Downtown business pub.
* CAMRA Good Pub Guide listed.
  • Arkells JRA (James's Real Ale) - Rich but low alcohol.
  • Arkells Noel - Winter warmer. Light color. Quite bitter. Alcohol adds bite.
  • Gales HSB - Walnut colored ESB.
  • Goff's White Knight - Very bitter golden ale. 4.7%.
  • Itchen Father Christmas - Port wine thickness and sweetness. 5.0%.
  • Itchen Godfather - 3.8%.
  • Wadworth Old Timer - Sulphur notes. Long finish.
  • Wadworth Bishop's Tipple. Very little malt but lots of alcohol. Medium gold. Similar sulphur notes.
  • Whitestar Crafty Shag - "Pilsner style" real ale. Dark ale with plenty of Noble hop aroma. Quite bitter. Served on the handpull in Southamption.
The Canary Islands brews Tropical Pils, Reina Oro, and Dorado. All decent all-malt helles lagers.
Funchal, Madeira the Coral brewery. They make an uninspired light lager as well as Coral Tonica - a decent dark lager.
A bitters from Switzerland that we picked up in the Canaries. 44% ABV.
"Made from a selection of the finest aromatic herbs from 43 countries. The unique blend of valuable herbal ingredients and premium-quality alcohol make Underberg a perfectly natural herbal digestive.
Underberg worldwide after a good meal."

Reina and a sea-food tapa.

Duke of Wellington - Southampton

Cemetery at Winchester Cathedral
In Memory of
Thomas Thetcher
a Grenadier in the North Reg.
of Hants Malitia, who died of a
violent Fever contracted by drinking
Small Beer when hot the 12th of May
1764. Aged 26 Years
In grateful remembrance of whose universal
good will towards his Comrades, this Stone
is placed here at their expence, as a small
testimony of their regard and concern.
Here sleeps in peace a Hampshire Grenadier
Who caught his death by drinking cold small Beer,
Soldiers be wise from his untimely fall
And when ye're hot drink Strong or none at all.

These Scots are really a joyous couple.
You missed celebrating New Year on the QE2 with them.