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Tyskie Gronie

Tyskie Gronie

Tyskie Gronie

www.tyskie.pl

Brewed by Tyskie Browary (Asahi)
Style: Euro Pale Lager
Poznan, Poland

Tyskie GronieTyskie is a Polish beer, coming from the the town of Tychy in Upper Silesia, in the south east of the country.  The beer has won numerous international awards and is the number one beer brand in Poland, and due to the mass exodus of the natives living and working all over Europe, the beer is pretty much available to buy anywhere there is a large population of Poles. 

Don’t mind the Polish influx this side of the world, nice looking woman, bloody hard working folk and nice of them to introduce us to some of their beers too. 

The brewery in Tychy is one of the oldest in Europe, from 1629, with beer produced continuously for almost 400 years. Originally in German control, it took a while before it was in actual Polish hands, what with the Wars and all against their neighbours, and that’s where it has remained since………..albeit In 2016 the Japanese group, Asahi Group Holdings, acquired the brand from Anheuser-Busch InBev. 

The main brands are Tyskie Gronie (a 5.5% pale lager) and Książęce Tyskie (5.7% classic lager) premium beers.

Review: 500ml Bottle of Tyskie Gronie: ABV: 5.5%

Tyskie GronieNice big brown looking bottle that is a 500 ml bottle, and not the usual 300ml sized one can get, which is all good, that bit more to drink! Like the striking label, which apparently depicts the royal crown of Polish King, John III Sobieski, born in 1629, the same year the brewery was founded.

Based on the original recipe all those years ago.

Head big on pour, a huge white head. Golden clear colour.

Head reduces in size but maintains.

Tyskie GronieBit of carbonation. Not a bad looking beer. 

Get a lot in the bottle!

Lovely smell although a bit tinty and stringent, of light citrus.

Bit soapy on initial taste, a very industrial taste.

Hoppy and too sweet at start. Bit sickly. Not nice.

Creamy mouth feels. 

Ok not really enjoying this. Tasty but not nice flavours. Manageable, just about!

Gave me a bit of a head the next day which I didn’t want or need! Like an angry uncle!!

Will the Polish drink any old shit? Will pass on this in the future, disappointing………..

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Duvel Belgian Golden Ale

Duvel Belgian Golden Ale

http://www.duvel.com/en

Brewed by Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat 
Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale
Breendonk-Puurs, Belgium

Duvel Belgian Golden AleDuvel Moortgat Brewery (Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat) is a Flemish family-controlled brewery founded in 1871 by Jan-Leonard Moortgat.

Its flagship beer, the highly rated Duvel, is a strong golden pale ale that is exported to more than forty countries. Duvel is Brabantian, Ghent and Antwerp dialect for devil! The story goes that a regular drinker of the beer described it as a real devil to drink, what with the 8.5% ABV, and so the name of the beer was changed from Victory Ale, its original name, to Duvel.  

The yeast used in Duvel is refined from the original strain of Scottish yeast that was bought back by Albert Moortgat during a business tour of the U.K. in 1918. On return he started Duvel. The brewery is still in the hands of the Moortgat family, now in its fourth generation of ownership.

The brewery also produce a variety of different hopped Duvels, some strong Abbey beers, and The Vedett which is a trendy luxury lager, but its their Duvel that is the big seller and main beer of the brewery. 

The brewery has had a successful collaboration in the past with Tulborg, the Danish beer group, which helped it with international distribution lines. 

In 2006, Duvel Moortgat bought fellow Belgian brewery the popular Brasserie d’Achouffe, and in 2010, they acquired 100 percent of the shares in the De Koninck Brewery, another Belgian favourite. 

Review: 330ml Bottle of Duvel: ABV: 8.5%

Duvel Belgian Golden AleLike the cutesy small stubby brown bottle, with the well known Duvel brand. Ideally to be drank in a tulip glass as all good Belgian ales should be, but I am not a connoisseur just a regular beer dude so an ordinary beer glass will just have to do. Sorry!

Got a massive head on pour, gee whiz a very big frothy head! 

Good bit of carbonation, nice creamy white top, took a while to settle. 

Colour was cloudy orange, doesn’t look great at all, looks shit in fact.

Head collapses and dies.

Some good lacing……..

On the nose has that usual Belgian ale smell,  wheat, the yeast, the coriander, floral hops, fruits of lemon and banana.  A very typical Belgian!

Duvel Belgian Golden AleA very strong intense smell, really powerful stuff on the nose….which is too be welcomed as I usually smell fuck all from my beers, lol!

On the taste I found it very strong, with a sour taste, very bitter aftertaste and can definitely feel the beer. Yeast and firm hop bitterness. Very strong, got a powerful kick, alright.

Didn’t initially like it at all, but in the end I liked it, took a while for my taste buds to get to enjoy this beer. Found it a slow burner and not bad overall.

Wow, I was buzzing after the two. The 8.5% definitely kicks in. 

Nice, I like it, strong to drink, but it does the business in the end. 
Have a few of these and you are off your head!!!

One of the strongest I have had in a while.

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Ratskrone Premium Pilsner,

Ratskrone Premium Pilsner, cheap supermarket fare

Ratskrone Premium Pilsner 

moninger.de

Brewed by Brauerei Moninger GmbH
Style: Pilsener
Karlsruhe, Germany

Ratskrone Premium Pilsner,Difficult to figure out where exactly this beer is from or who brews it, as its under licence and and specifically brewed for the German supermarket chain, Edeka stores, who are mainly based in Hamburg.  

I might be wrong, but I think it is brewed and produced mainly by the German Hatz-Moninger brewery from Karlsruhe, under license.  The beers are mainly sold in six packs and are popular amongst discount buyers!

Review: Can of Ratskrone Premium Pilsner: ABV: 4.7% (Some regions 4.9%)

Brewed according to the German purity law, like all German beers, but nice enough to remind us on the can! But its a very cheap discount beer bought from Aldi, so lets see……

Has the appearance of a clear golden yellow colour beer with a nice fluffy white head, ok looking, not bad.

Ratskrone Premium Pilsner,Good beery smell, grainy and malty 

Bit of a spicy taste initially, very sweet!!

Good enough mouthfalls I guess but overall not great at all, not much at all to get excited about.

Ok, but just too watery with little hint of alcohol, just a hint of the malts and grains. 

Not much taste, bit metallic in the end.

Tasteless overall, and bland. 

A discount beer, yes, but there are good discount beers out there so just cause its dead cheap doesn’t mean it should taste rubbish. 

This really wasn’t great. Avoid!

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Eichbaum Maibock  

Eichbaum Maibock

Eichbaum Maibock  

http://www.eichbaum.com/

Brewed by Privatbrauerei Eichbaum 
Style: Maibock / Helles Bock 
Mannheim, Germany

First question is naturally………. what the fuck is a Maibock?

Eichbaum Maibock  A Bock is a darkish, malty, lightly hopped ale first brewed in the 14th century by German brewers in the town of Einbeck. It got its name  “ein Bock,” meaning “Billy Goat” in German as people mispronounced the town of Einbeck, and for that reason you will often see goats on the beer labels of bocks. It is usually a strong lager from 6% to as high as 12% ABV.,  sweet, and lightly hopped. The beer should be clear, and colour can range from light copper to brown, with a plentiful off-white head. The aroma should be malty and toasty, possibly with hints of alcohol, but no detectable hops or fruitiness.The mouthfeel is smooth, with low to moderate carbonation and no astringency. The taste is rich and toasty, sometimes with a bit of caramel. Again, hop presence is low to undetectable, providing just enough bitterness so that the aftertaste is muted.

A Bock is historically associated with special occasions, often religious festivals such as Christmas, Easter or Lent. Bocks have a long history of being brewed and consumed by Bavarian monks as a source of nutrition during times of fasting.

Several substyles exist, including maibock (helles bock, heller bock), a paler, more hopped version generally made for consumption at spring festivals; doppelbock (double bock), a stronger and maltier version; and eisbock, a much stronger version made by partially freezing the beer and removing the ice that forms.

Eichbaum Maibock  As for this beer, the Eichbaum Brewery was founded way, way back in 1674 by Jean de Chaine from Southern Belgium, originally as a small brewpub, and while the exact location changed, its home and heart has always been in the city of Mannheim, a southern German city touching the Rhine. The name Eichbaum came from the German translation of his family name.

All was going well for many years until the Nazis got into power. As the company had a substantial Jewish shareholdership, they were all expelled and the company was nationalized. WW2 resulted in the company ceasing to produce any beer. But after the war, the company reopened and did well since they were the main beer supplier for the American army that was now based in Germany at that time!

Since the 70’s the brewery has changed ownership many times but nowadays it is operated as a private brewery, Eichbaum GmbH & Co KG.

Today, the brewery is one of the largest and most efficient breweries in the Baden-Württemberg region of Germany. Not only is it the oldest company in Mannheim but it is also one of the most modern. State-of-the-art brewing and bottling technologies make for an annual output of 1.8 million hectolitres, resulting in more than 16 different beers produced annually for its every widening market.

Review: 0,5l Bottle of Eichbaum Maibock: ABV: 7.2% 

Eichbaum Maibock  A Maibock, also known as helles bock or heller bock, is a lightly coloured beer, less malty and drier in the finish to a regular bock, and has a spicy or peppery taste coming from the hops. Colour can range from deep gold to light amber with a large, creamy, persistent white head, and moderate to moderately high carbonation, while alcohol content ranges from 6.3% to 7.4% by volume. The flavour is typically less malty than a traditional bock, and may be drier, hoppier, and more bitter, but still with a relatively low hop flavour, with a mild spicy or peppery quality from the hops, increased carbonation and alcohol content. 

Has an interesting logo of a big goat, that’s the billy goat representing its name “Ein Bock”

Appearance isn’t the best to be honest. The head does die in seconds and it has a general appearance of a flat beer with no lacing.

Having said that the beer does have a lovely golden colour, and it is a very clear beer with some small carbonation going on.

But head is shit, really no head, it fizzles away quickly, falls flat.

Eichbaum Maibock  Get a lot in the bottle though.

A nice sweet smell, pleasant on the nose. I got malts, and some caramel, and a bit of a general lager smell. It was nice on the nose. 

No standout tastes.

Got a caramel taste, bit bitter sweet in the aftertaste, not much in front end. Very boring beer, dull. Not nice at all. Certainly not a session beer.

Very hoppy and bitter. A struggle to drink.

Can’t feel the alcohol, no kick. Very dry in the mouth

Very dry cardboard. Too hoppy for me, yuck, what a disappointment.

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Estrella Galicia

Estrella Galicia

Estrella Galicia 

https://estrellagalicia.es/

Brewed by Hijos De Rivera
Style: Pale Lager 
A Coruña, Galicia, Spain

Estrella GaliciaIn the year of 1906 a Mr. José María Rivera Corral, who had just returned from his trip to Mexico and full of enthusiasm and bright ideas, decided to start his own brewery in the city of La Coruña, in the North West of Spain and called it the ” La Estrella de Galicia” factory whose main products would be beers and soft drinks.

Today José María Rivera, is company president. What? No not the original, he aint that fecking old, but its his great grandson and namesake, showing that for over 100 years the company has remained in family hands. 

In the 90’s the company diversified and expanded into new markets such as for mineral water, juices, ciders and vinegars. But the main brand of the brewery is Estrella Galicia, a 5.5% abv pale lager brewed since the beginning of the brewery, and a brand that is found all over Spain and also exported to the UK, Germany, Switzerland, Portugal, Brazil, Mexico and the United States, amongst others.

Review: 33cl Bottle of Estrella Galicia : ABV: 5.5%

Estrella GaliciaCame in a nicely looking brown bottle with the Estrella Galicia logo standing out. 

On pour I got a big fluffy white head and a golden coloured beer. Head does maintain well, but there is a lot of carbonation and feck me there isn’t much left to come out of the bottles, a lot of it evaporated!!!

Get a faint lagery, yeasty and malty smell, very malty smell in fact but it is ok.

Not a bad first impression, a nice light bodied taste on mouthful, easy to chug, not bad. Light, no bitter tastes.
Corn taste to it as well.

Estrella GaliciaSmooth and crisp, very smooth.

Smooth, no great standout tastes. or complex flavours, but its a regular lager so dont expect too much. Light in the mouth. Overall not bad, solid.

Lager taste. Barley malts. Light and smooth. Nice mouthfuls. Good session beer, pleasant and easy enough to drink, I liked it overall.

Ok, not bad, and can imagine it would be a good accompaniment to some tapas on a hot Spanish day. 

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Insel-Brauerei Baltic Ale

Insel-Brauerei Baltic Ale

Insel-Brauerei Baltic Ale

https://www.insel-brauerei.de/

Brewed by Rügener Insel-Brauerei GmbH 
Style: Strong Ale
Rambin auf Rügen, Germany

Insel-Brauerei Baltic AleThe Rügen Island Brewery is a Craft Beer Brewery in Rambin on the island of Ruegen, the biggest island of Germany (in itself not that big, only 926.4 km² big).  Surrounded on most sides by the Baltic sea, the area is characterized by diverse shore line landscapes with many lagoons, beaches and and white chalk cliffs. The brewery is unique in that it is smack bang in the middle of nowhere, at one with nature right in the heart of the island. But it is a new tourist attraction to this wild area, as it offers visitors a guided tour of its magnificent modern brewery, has a beer garden for beer tasting, and store to buy their extensive collection. 

Founded in 2014 by Markus Berberich, who formerly worked as Managing Director at the Störtebeker Braumanufaktur in Stralsund.  These contacts and his twenty year experience in the beer industry helped him no end in setting up his own brewery in the picturesque island. 

The brewery produces a variety of different beers which, unlike most breweries, are brewed not in steel tanks, but in open fermentations, and always using natural hops. In addition, the company relies on bottle fermentation. The bottles are wrapped in paper to protect the beer from lightning, and cause it also looks cool (or at least that’s what I think!). Its most popular beers are the Island chalk (champagne ale), its Sea Maiden (Sauerbier) and the one I reviewed, the Baltic Ale. In 2016 the brewery won in the World Beer Awards for its IPA, voted the best in the world, which goes to show how good these beers really are!

Review: 0,33l Bottle of Insel-Brauerei Baltic Ale: ABV: 7.5%

Insel-Brauerei Baltic AleBottle comes in a very nice well wrapped light brown paper with a nice picture of an eagle on it. caught the eye and that’s why I bought it as it looks well cool. Also explains on the package how the beer won gold in the London 2016 World Beer Award for the category of “beste deutsche brauereri” (Best German Brewery)

As for “Baltic Ale”, I could be wrong but I am assuming it is regular ale that is developed with a Russian/Baltic tinge? Stronger than normal. But it could also be because the brewery is near the Baltic sea! 

On pour, fuck me a shit lot of carbonation, well carbonated. Calm down big boy!

But thankfully its all ok as it leaves a nice golden coloured beer that has a nice sized frothy head, and lots of good lacing.

Colour does get a bit cloudy and hazy after a while, but overall it is a decent looker.

Insel-Brauerei Baltic AleDidn’t get much of a smell, pretty faint but was yeast, fruits and coriander.

Lovely initial taste. GORGEOUS in fact!

A light wheat beer taste for me. Smooth enough. Nice relaxing beer, got the yeast, the hops, the citrus.

Lovely smooth beer. Nice beer to relax on a Friday after a hard long week.

Really good. Aftertaste is sweetish. Excellent! Lots of well balanced flavours

Hops not too discerning and manageable, low bitterness. Alcohol well hidden, pleasant to drink.

Liked it, and am very interested in trying out some of their other brews………Recommended. 

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This Drinking Life's Guide to Running that bit better!

This Drinking Life’s Guide to Running that bit better!

Tips to Run Better

This Drinking Life's Guide to Running that bit better!You are looking at the mirror and you dont like what you see? You need to lose the beer belly. Cut down on the food? But I love my steaks! Now you could give up beer, but that would be foolish. Why not try to join a gym? Nah, too expensive and full of posers. Play some five a side? Yes, but I dont want to completely kill myself, and I dont have the silky skills I once had which is so demoralizing. So there is nothing for it but to try a bit of jogging/running.

Doesn’t cost much to go running, a pair of old trainers and some shorts and that ACDC t shirt, if it still fits, and voila you are a mean running machine! You can also go running pretty much anywhere, within reason, and within your own set time. Also not only is running excellent for your health, it can also be quite meditative. Many a time after a hard day and feeling down that a good hard run has lifted the spirits. I run through a forested area at night, so I guess I am down and at one with nature, and all the teens smoking dope, it feels real good when its finished. A real high, a legal one.

So here are a few things that I do when I go for a training run or race.

Running Gear

Get yourself a comfortable pair of runners/trainers. Now I got an expensive pair and a cheap pair, and actually the cheap pair works best for me. It’s not flashy or has padded insoles but I feel comfortable in them and that’s what is important.  Remember you will be pounding on these trainers day in day out hour after hour, so you really need a good pair, so no fucking around on the running shoes. But the experts will tell you this and that, but just go with what you feel is good for you……..

This Drinking Life's Guide to Running that bit better!Warm-Up!

Now I Know for lazy feckers, you perhaps might skip this, shure isn’t the race/run enough itself, but really a warm up works wonders for loosening the muscles pre run. A little stretch here and there and a warm jog just to make sure your muscles wont snap when you start, and that you have pre heated the engine.

Music/breathing!

I would definitely recommend not using music to help you go for a run. Yes its cool to listen to your fav bands as you do your job but you are not listening to your breathing, which will help you with your pace and technique and helps you to find your breathing rhythm, which over time can help you with pacing yourself and also in relaxation.

Breathing is important, and that’s why you have to listen to it. Breathing too much, spluttering and catching the breaths, then slow it down, relax, try to slow it down a little, and you would be surprised at the results. over time you can learn to handle it. Listening to your body is the only thing you should be hearing!

Water!

Drink lots of the the stuff! It helps you to re-hydrate! Drink water before, during (if you can) and after all runs. Try running dehydrated, its hard!

But its not just water, it is also good to drink isotonic sports and energy drinks…….like Lucozade or Gatorade for example. They have all the ingredients needed to give you that extra kick and help replenish any important minerals you might have lost.

Running styles

Try to lead forward with your chest and keep the upper body straight, which will ease the tension on your shoulders and neck and help you feel a little relaxed when running. Also try to pump up your arms forward and back, it usually works for me and helps to get me into some sort of rhythm.

On thing I like to do at times when I run is to set targets on the course, or time targets, and try my damnest to make them. if I am slow then I press ahead as fast as I can, and that can mean sometimes sprinting like mad to make the next target. This fast, slow, fast running is good for getting you slowly used to quick paces. The more you do the more you can increase the targets, the more you get used to running at a faster pace at a longer time. Also it breaks up the sometime monotony of running, which lets face it can get boring after a while.

This Drinking Life's Guide to Running that bit better!As you get older I find it takes a good while for the body to warm up as you set out on your run. I am like an old car that starts its journey, spluttering and creaking, but what I find funny is that after about 5 or 6 minutes the body suddenly goes into autopilot and then I am completely fine. I can run for an hour after that without too much complication, as long as it is a steady pace. But apparently there is some science to this, as it takes six to 10 minutes and one degree in body temperature to push all the blood to the working muscles. Once that happens you will experience a light warm sweat and then the pace sets itself to autopilot.  So the thing is wait at least ten minutes before you decide to think “fuck this shit, I’m off to the pub!”, keep with it and low and behold you will get that steady run you set out to achieve from the beginning.

Also worth to note and kind of obvious, but dont go like the clappers at the start. Go slow, pace yourself, be relaxed, note your distance, and try to enjoy the race if you can.

The fast finish!

Don’t go mad at the start, or perhaps the middle, but always keep something in the tank for the end. This takes practice over time. on any run you do, try and leave something in the legs just to finish the last few stretches fast. Try running quickly over the last 5 minutes flat out of you can, to build up your technique. Pushing yourself like this will show what you can and cant do on a  finishing strait, and you might be surprised that runners generally always have something left, even if they aware not aware of it.

Track and record your running

I use Noom Coach to keep abreast of my daily calorie count, and it also records any running you do, which frees of some space for more food! Freeletics is good too, for tracking some exercise and also for runs, and it is great for breaking down your run in terms of speed, pace and average times. Of course they are many more specific apps, more particular for actual running, like RunKeeper or MapMyRun. Its good to keep track of your progress,or lack of it.

Running with a hangover

I might have been still a little drink when I started the race, but trust me I was all sober when I finished!

So as Basel had won the championship the night before I went out to celebrate. And celebrate I did, 6 beers and two shots later I think I got home around 3 or 4.

Amazingly I managed to get up early for the train to Zug, which was leaving at about 6.30…….so safe to say I was in not the best state of mind for a mountain run. I was simply dying on the train, sweating buckets and so, so tired…..and the head……oh dear.

This Drinking Life's Guide to Running that bit better!So what does a hangover do to your body and what affects would it have on your morning run/jog or in my case slow walk and crawl (up that “Cunt of a mountain!”).

Well for a start you will be severely dehydrated, have low blood sugar and low energy levels……your performance will be affected that’s for sure, the alcohol, that is more than likely still in your system, will slow you down big time. But there is no need to kill yourself, the fact you are running so soon after a great night out is an accomplishment enough, no need to try and break any records or get a high pacing. I walked 4 out of the 6K, ran the first and last 1k, happy in the knowledge that I was the fastest drunk on the course, for sure!

So what can you do to limit the pain……well as I have mentioned a few times already…..drink lots of water, try to drink a bucket load of water as soon as you get up…..or even before you go to bed, (but that’s not going to happen, eh!). Remember it takes a lot of water to purge all that lovely alcohol you had the night before.

This Drinking Life's Guide to Running that bit better!Also try and get some grub inside you, might hold some of the beer together that’s sloshing round your stomach.  Normally an Irish/British style breakfast would do just the business in a situation like this, but remember you also have to shit that out…….so something small but useful…..an omelette is good as eggs are excellent for refueling. Also a smoothie with some bananas should be efficient enough.

I mentioned shitting, disgusting I know, but it has to be done before the race no matter what, because believe me you dont want to be half way round the course holding your arse cheeks together, lol.

Are there any positives about running with a hangover? Yes there are…..for one it should sweat out all the beer you had the night before…..It also has the effect that by the end of the run or race you should have completely sobered up, or at least feel less shitty. The endorphins and the fresh healthy air, and the sense of accomplishment makes you feel like a champ. To celebrate I’d recommend having a few beers to let it all sink in, but perhaps not repeat it again the next morning so soon!

But be aware doing too much of this can be very harmful to your health. As alcohol is a strong diuretic, depleting your water volume, it means that your heart has to beat faster and harder to get the blood pumping round your body.  Anything that puts a serious strain on your heart is best avoided to be honest.

 

Running when drunk

But what about running while actually drunk, never mind about the sleeping bit or the inbetween bit, but just drink up and run? Running while pished as a fart. Is it possible to do?

I have often done it myself while going home. The trams are stopped at about 3 or 4, and any extra change I have had after the night of boozing went on the kebab and not on a taxi,  so its a long walk, but fuck that….I have often just did a jog with some short sprints here and there to make that long walk a little shorter.

This Drinking Life's Guide to Running that bit better!Of course it does depend on how drunk you are. If you are pretty legless I dont think running will be good for you, as you might just run straight into a ditch or a road sign and end up doing some damage to yourself and your ego.

I also have to mention that there are a few races where drinking is acceptable. We have the hash runs that are popular in cities around the world, and where the running is not competitive and drinking is encouraged after the event, or at times during the run!

There is also the Beer Mile, where each competitor drinks four cans of beer (minimum 5%) and runs four laps on a track. Yeah, 4 beers, fuck off. Could you be bothered for fucks sake. More like ten beers a few shots of the spirit of your choice, and a kebab and then a mountain run, now that is a fucking race. Amateurs!! 

Of course I prefer the more traditional beer crawl, where competitors run, walk, or crawl from pub to pub. I am pretty good at this one and it requires no running gear, race times, or training per say!

The actual damn race (The Zugerberg Classic)

This Drinking Life's Guide to Running that bit better!Zug, in the canton of Zug, central Switzerland, is a very beautiful town with its amazing views of the lake, lake Zug that is!

The town is quite wealthy with its population of about 30,000 people enjoying its nice low tax policy and the offer of plenty of work in the towns many multi national high end industries.

It has a very lovely old town, and the view of the lake and the nearby mountain ranges on the promenade is pretty cool. All in all its a bloody nice town.

This is all fine, as long as we dont mention that massacre that happened back in 2001, where some nutjob shot and killed 15 people including himself in the cantonal parliament of Zug. And they say the Swiss are responsible with their guns……

Getting to the city is easy enough, its near Zurich via both rail network and motorway, about 30 minutes journey for both.

This Drinking Life's Guide to Running that bit better!So in any case, I was there for the race, the The Zugerberg Classic, a race that takes place every year, usually sometime at the start of May, for runners and mountain bikers from the old city of Zug right upto the top of a small mountain! The running distance is six kilometers (6.2 km to be exact) with a height difference of 540 m and the mountain biker for a distance of 25 km with an altitude of 1000 m. The race is open to clubs, children and teenagers, men and women, right up to old folks who are on their last legs.

For more information, see zugerberg-classic.ch

So to the actual race then.

Well there are two races to report. The one where I had the hangover, as mentioned, and where I came near the end……..

And the race the year after, where I didn’t have a hangover, albeit was tired after a Gaelic football blitz the day before, but ran in a much quicker fashion, that it to say there were enough people behind me to save embarrassment.

Race one/Severe Hungover 2016

As I mentioned I had a lot to drink the night before (6 beers, two shots), only a few hours sleep and was sweating buckets and dehydrated. But I didn’t want to disappoint a friend who was waiting for me at the station, as we were doing the race together. he wasn’t out the night before though.

This Drinking Life's Guide to Running that bit better!Didn’t know what to expect really, as it was my first race in years and with the hangover my mind wasn’t straight. But start we did, near the end mind, and after about 500 metres I was beginning to notice that this seems to be a bit hilly!!! Told my running mate to go and run his own race as I didn’t want to drag him down to my level, and off he went in the distance. There was no let up in the height, up and up it went, so after the first 1K decided to speed walk it, thinking I could run any flat bits in between. Thing was there were no flats bits not until the last 1K, so I basically walked most of it. Children past me by, old people with walking sticks smiling and waving out walking me, one guy with a plastic leg fucking passed me, then a Japanese lady who had a trainer caught me……..Jesus I looked around and there was only me and this old fella with his shorts pulled right up his arse, fuck……but I beat him in the last straight, but it was close! I wasn’t going to come last. I later found out that there were a few Indians (not the native kind), about 5 or 6 who also walked it and were even slower than me…….jesus, they must have had a dodgy curry the night before!  Anyway I did it and it took me a while to recover from it. My time was a very unimpressive 56.10 (5 people behind me!) 

 

Race two/Not hungover but tired 2017

On Sunday May the 7th Sunday, 2017, I had paid my CHF 25.- entry fee online, registered and got my starting number good and early,  I was on a mission to beat my previous time. Got there early enough, unlike the previous year. Registered early for the 9.20 start time.

This time I did a warm up, a good warm up and I have to say it made a good difference as it got the air pumping into my lungs and around the body, so much so that the start of the race wasn’t as frightful as the previous year. 

This Drinking Life's Guide to Running that bit better!Also I had the advantage of actually knowing the course, or at least having an idea of how painful it was, so I knew there was a killer in the middle and that near the end there was a few high hills to get over, but also that the last 1K was flattish and down, or at least not up! Funnily enough I wasn’t as fast as I expected on the last 1k,  I had really nothing to give, everything was gone in the engine.  

I tell you how high we were up in that all entrants have a free pass on the mountain funicular (cable railway) train back down to the edge of the town, which is great cause I didn’t fancy walking back down. 

After the race all the competitors and organizers get together in the big hall to wind down, eat some food freshly cooked on the BBQ, have a chat, and relax. 

This Drinking Life's Guide to Running that bit better!So I hung around eagerly awaiting the results, very curious to know how much I had knocked off my previous time. I came in at 49.31, bettering my PB by about 6 and a half minutes which was ok I guess, and this time a good amount of slow bastards behind me, about 24. Suckers!!!

I have to say all in all the race is a well organised event, and I will be back again in 2018 to further eat away at my PB! If you want to see how fit and healthy you are then there is no doubt this is the race to do! Definitely! Roll on Zugerberg Death Run 2018

 

 

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Sagres Cerveja 

Sagres Cerveja

Sagres Cerveja 

http://www.sagres.pt/

Brewed by Sociedade Central de Cervejas e Bebidas, S.A (Heineken Group)
Style: Pale Lager
Vialonga, Portugal

In 1855 a brewer called Jansen Ceverjas started making beer in Lisbon. In the decades that followed, brewers cooperated together and by 1934, the biggest four brewers merged into a collective called Central de Cervejas. In 2008, Central de Cervejas was purchased by the Heineken Group.

The Sagres brewery is located in Vialonga, near Lisbon.

Sagres Cerveja The SCC (Sociedade Central de Cervejas) produce a wide range of beers, mainly pale lagers, but they also produce a dark Munich called Sagres Preta, which has won many international awards, a Sagres Bohemia an auburn beer with an abv of 6.2%, and a Sagres Radler. Its not only beer too, they also produce soft drinks and bottled water. 

Sagres Beer is one of the most popular beers in Portugal and is produced and shipped to countries all around the world, and particularly wherever there is a large Portuguese community. The beer has won many international awards, including the World Beer Competition (in Belgium way back in 1958!) and one that caught my eye on their webpage……”Reader’s Digest Trusted Brand award in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015″. Well that’s some achievement, wow well done Sagres!

The beer has a long-term sponsorship deal with the Liga Portuguesa Futebol, the highest level of professional football in Portugal. As a result, the league is officially called Liga ZON Sagres. Sagres are also official sponsor of the Portugal national team since 1993.

Review: 25cl Can of Sagres Cerveja: ABV: 5%

I do really like the brown bottle and the Sagres logo, its nice and colourful and stands out. 

Sagres Cerveja On appearance it had a dark golden colour, with a nice big sized white head that maintained very well. Some lacing. Some carbonation, fizzing away 

Faint smell but nice, malty, grainy, slightly metallic, but its ok, albeit very faint.

Light to drink, very smooth, not a whole lot of tastes or flavours, but does the business.

Light malts.Light lager. Bit corny.

Drinkable, good considering it is cheap pish from Aldi. Not bad to pass the time, though can’t feel the alcohol or any real taste, but overall it wasn’t bad. I did enjoy them, and look forward to the day when I can try them out on draught on a beach in sunny Portugal. Some day, not in the far off distant future,hopefully….

Anyway cheap lager from Aldi. Nothing to blow your mind, but nice on a hot day to enjoy with some cheap beer

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BrewDog 5 A.M. Saint

BrewDog 5 A.M. Saint

BrewDog 5 A.M. Saint

https://www.brewdog.com/item/6/BrewDog/5AM-Saint.html

Brewed by BrewDog
Style: American red ale/Amber Ale
Ellon, Aberdeenshire, Scotland

Brewdog. The whipper snappers from Scotland that have set the craft beer world alight. Started in April 2007 by two good friends James Watt and Martin Dickie, BrewDog is a British multinational brewery and pub chain based in Ellon, Scotland.

Bored with the usual industrial brewed lagers and stuffy ales all around them, they decided to start brewing their own beers catering to their own tastes. Sure why not. Both only 24 at the time, they leased a building in Fraserburgh, got a bank loan and started producing some pretty strong but exciting brews. 

BrewDog 5 A.M. SaintStarting small, they brewed very tiny batches, filled bottles by hand and sold their beers at local markets and out of the back of their beat up old Skoda pickup.

By 2008 they got more money from the bank which was used to further invest in the beers with a bottling machine and more tanks purchased. They then went straight for the kill by producing a particularly strong beer, “Tokyo”, with 18.2% alcohol, which unsurprisingly created a shit storm in the media and in the drinks industry. The Portman Group, the trade group body responsible for drinks producers in the UK and for regulating the industry, banned a lot of their initial beers, but they could still export to Sweden, Japan and America.  As you can imagine all this hoo-ha resulted in increased sales and massive public exposure for the new Brewery.

In 2009 their Punk Indian Pale Ale was popular on the craft beer scene not just in the UK but also in Scandinavia, and getting major supermarket chain Tesco to stock it was a great coup for the young company at the time. They also created the Tactical Nuclear Penguin with a 32% alcohol content which at that time was the strongest beer in the world but it was their share issue that really caught the headlines. Offering people an opportunity to buy into the company via online, with 1300 initially investing in their share venture, later to become over 10,000! This and their various other crowd funding platforms have made the company very wealthy indeed. 

In 2010, BrewDog opened their first bar, in nearby Aberdeen. More bars followed in Scotland and in England and eventually to include establishments in Stockholm, São Paulo, Florence, Gothenburg, Helsinki, Tokyo . It was also in 2010 that their signature beer Hardcore IPA got the gold medal at the World Beer Cup in the Imperial IPA category which was some achievement for a very young brewery not long in operation.

BrewDog 5 A.M. SaintIt was also along this time that they had a running battle with a German brewery, Schorschbräu, to see who could come up with the strongest beer in the world. Brewdog produced Sink the Bismark ,a beer with 41%  alcohol to take the crown of the worlds strongest beer, from Schorschbräu, who had produced a 40% ABV version of their Schorschbock.

Not long after they produced arguably their most controversial brew The End of History, a 55% abv Belgian ale, which was to be stronger than most whiskies, vodkas and gins. The name was a reference to Francis Fukuyama and his long since discredited book “The End of History. Was this to be the end of beer as we know it? Only 11 of the beers were for sale, and the beer came packaged inside a small stuffed animal, seven stoats, four grey squirrels, and costing between £500 and £700 each, not a beer then for the ordinary skin down the pub. Naturally animal rights groups were up in arms, but the stunt did the intended trick, getting the brewery unlimited coverage in the national press. To be fair to the boys, the animals were roadkill so I dont necessarily feel the outrage there, but I do think it was well naff and corny as a publicity stunt, a really cheap gimmick.   

Here was their promotional gibberish highlighting the beer as a “an audacious blend of eccentricity, artistry and rebellion”, and that the distinctive bottles were “disrupting conventions and breaking taboos – just like the beer they hold within them”. Really, what cunts talk like that, eh? LOL

But this is their style. Among other stunts they have pulled include driving a tank down Camden High Street, brewing beer at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean as you do, projecting the naked images of its two founders onto the Houses of Parliament; dropping stuffed cats from a helicopter onto the City of London;  and especially for the royal wedding of 2011 of William and kate they produced a beer called “Royal Virility Performance” ,a beer containing natural aphrodisiacs such as “herbal Viagra”, chocolate and horny goat weed, or so they said!

BrewDog 5 A.M. SaintToday Brewdog is an internationally recognized beer brand, while also winning a tonne of awards and prizes for their beers. They produce roughly over 65 different beers shipping to over 55 countries worldwide,producing bottled and canned beers in a variety of styles such as ale, stout, India pale ale (IPA) and lager, some of which are also available in keg containers.
The bottled beers are distributed to British supermarkets and exported worldwide.

Its really hard to know what to think of Brewdog. They call themselves and their operation postpunk and that they are redefining what it means to drink beer, “to revolutionize the British beer industry, and redefine British beer-drinking culture”, etc etc, but they dont half talk a lot of pretentious hipster wank. Easy known that one of the guys father was in the oil industry. Common working class fellas they are not. But I guess Punk itself, apart from the Sex Pistols, was also a bit too middle class to be really as edgy as they’d like to portray. Give me heavy metal any day of the week!

Also a lot of their stunts are very silly and juvenile, and might appeal to people who live sheltered lives but its not classic or cool. A bit like Ryanair or Paddypower in their advertising, trying too hard to be cool, yet their product is still shite! For example this is from one of their advertising slogans on a beer “let the sharp bitter finish rip you straight to the tits” That’s childish stuff. I mean Scotland produced Robbie Louis Stevenson, Arthur Conan Doyle, and Robbie burns for fucks sake, so try better than that. 

This is how they describe themselves so you be the judge. They call themselves a “post-punk, apocalyptic, motherfucker of a craft brewery” and rallying it s supporters, “This is the revolution – so help me Dog,” and “Changing the world, one glass at a time.”  “We bleed craft beer,” “We blow shit up, and “Without us, we are nothing. We are BrewDog.” Yeah, that’s great, now can you give me a fucking pint please love!

BrewDog 5 A.M. SaintWas in there BrewDog bar in Manchester, and although the draught beer was good, the place was a kip. Fuck me, it was all over the place, was like an office, people talking and acting like dickheads, with angry staff and modern decor that didn’t really work. You know its a shit bar when you see people playing fucking snakes and ladders, that’s giving up for fucks sake! But let me put my disclaimer out there, I’m not hip enough for these kind of places.

But hell they are popular, they have their own TV show called Brew Dogs in the States, and they are opening bars all over the place and producing new beers all the time, exporting to 50 countries or more, so what do i know then, eh?

I have to be fair to them though, there beers certainly seem exciting using a wide array of mad and exotic ingredients from chilli, honey, chocolate, hemp, and mustard to name but a few. They also do know their stuff, winning many numerous beer awards for their produce. If they just kept to the beers and enough with the other shite, please! 

Review: 330ml Bottle of BrewDog 5 A.M. Saint: ABV: 5%

This is what is said in their description of this beer

“5am Saint is The Holy Grail of red ales. At BrewDog we are on a mission to open as many people’s eyes as possible. Cast away any aspersions and let the crook of BrewDog be your guide in a whirlwind of conformity and mediocrity. Once this ruby liquid forms a foamy halo around your glass, you’ll never want to look back”

That’s a load of bollix, isn’t it!! 

Anyway 5AM Saint is the five malts and hops used to produce a beer at 5% ABV, and can be drank at 5.am to start the day off.  In the hops Nelson Sauvin, Simcoe, Cascade, Centennial and Ahtanum were used. The malt, Maris otter, Caramalt, Munich malt, Crystal and Dark Crystal Malt.

BrewDog 5 A.M. SaintComes in a typical BrewDog design. The label decked out in a strong red, with usual style of distinctive lettering and logo. I do like their labels and bottle layout, its eye catching and colourful. 

On pour got a nice big decent sized frothy head, pouring a deep ruby reddish coloured beer, dark red/purple, Not much carbonation, very slight amount. Head dies a little but maintains throughout which is good. Some good lacing present.  Looks ok, nothing special.

Loved the smell, a really nice aroma. Got a hint of fruit…..grapefruits and blackberries. Lovely,, lovely smell. Malty and fruity aromas but not overpowering, just right.

So what about the taste, any good?

Well certainly very hoppy and strong in taste, a lot of flavours on the old taste buds, but nothing that would be extraordinary 

BrewDog 5 A.M. SaintVery typical of the craft beer style beers, overloaded with hops. Also got a lot of the sweet malts. 

Can taste the fruits, grapefruits and berries 

Is a slow burner and was slowly getting to appreciate it in the end. It certainly is a very tasty beer and its ok if this is your kind of thing, but I like my traditional red ales, and I do drink them a lot when I’m home in the old country, but this is no where that level. Also nothing to compete with Sierra Nevada efforts. A tad bit disappointing truth be told considering how much hype surrounds their beers. 

A bit of a dry bitter finish to the beer. Definitely wasn’t sessionable for me. Ok, if you like this sort of shite, I don’t!! Truth be told it is very bland and nothing new or exciting.

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St. George Beer from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

St. George Beer from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

St. George Beer 

http://www.addismap.com/bgi-ethiopia

Brewed by BGI Ethiopia PLC (Industry) 
Style: Pale Lager
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

St. George Beer from Addis Ababa, EthiopiaA beer from Ethiopia??? Yeah you bet ya I’d like to try that. Apparently Ethiopia has a thriving beer industry. Well you learn something new everyday, eh!?

St. George Beer is the most popular and oldest beer in Ethiopia. Founded in 1922, it is brewed by BGI Ethiopia in Addis Ababa, St. George is named after the patron saint of Ethiopia, a patron saint it so happens to share with England and which underlies the country’s deep Christian past.

The founder of St. George Brewery was a Belgian called Mussie Dawit, who later sold it to a German company. At the beginning, the factory used basic raw materials like barley and hops all imported from Europe, and the management staff of the factory and the leading technicians who controlled the brewery’s activities were all foreigners. Eventually, however, an Ethiopian company took over the brewery in 1952. This company was said to have been organized as a share holding entity, the larger share of which was owned by Emperor Haile Selassie, the Rastafari messiah and big time leader of Ethiopia. 

Over time the brewery grew and grew and became increasingly popular in the country, with the locals proud to drink an Ethiopian beer and not some import from afar. The factory is now owned by BGI, an internationally acclaimed Brewing Company that exports to Europe and to North America. 

Review: 33cl bottle of St. George Beer: ABV: 4.7%

St. George Beer from Addis Ababa, EthiopiaThe beer has an interesting cover on its bottle. We get to see a medieval type knight slaying a dragon. Well of course that knight is St George, the geezer that slayed that big old dragon back in the day and I think might also have something to do with the Knights Templar (See my article on St Georges day). Plus there is funny looking writing on the label which I’m led to believe is the Amharic language, the ancient language of Ethiopia. Overall it is a nice stand out distinct design and in a lovely looking brown bottle. 

On appearance we get a nice golden colour and a nice big head on the pour. A lot of nice carbonation going on. Overall it looks a good beer, very clear and a decent head but colour and head both fade a little and there is no lacing. 

St. George Beer from Addis Ababa, EthiopiaAroma is faint but I got a sweet malty smell and some barely, bit tinty and lagery as well. 

Taste: Has an off taste, initial taste of cardboard? Not nice at all, like unprocessed straw. Not nice at all.  Very sweet grain flavours and sweet malted barely tastes. 

Second pint, slightly better but still not great to be honest, very sweet, too much so, and very corny.  Not a session beer for sure, or for anything to be fair. 

I so wanted this to be a good beer. but I guess its a long way to Ethiopia, and I’m sure it tastes better under an African sun…………… 

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