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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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Sligo Rovers Football Away Days

Sligo Rovers, football away days

So off on another League of Ireland ground-hop, first for the 2017 season, and 6 out of the 20 completed to do tick off the LOI list! This time heading to the west of Ireland to see Sligo Rovers.

Sligo, a small coastal seaport of about 20,000 people, is the county town of County Sligo, in the west of Ireland. Sligo (in Irish “Sligeach”) which means “shelly place”  in reference to all the shellfish found in the Garavogue river.

Sligo Rovers Football Away DaysThe town is surrounded by numerous mountains, with the well known picturesque Benbulben looking mighty from afar, with the Atlantic also in view.  

Sligo has an abundance of ancient historical sites from some ancient megalithic tombs near Carrowmore to a cairn at Miosgan Maeve, amongst other archaeological sites all around the city and county, showing that their was civilisation dating back here pre history.  Also the fact that the Greeks and Romans knew about Sligo as a harbour area shows the historical importance of this small town.

Sligo Rovers Football Away DaysIt was the Normans who really progressed the town of Sligo with their Castle and developed the port, a port that brought so much trade and wealth to the town down through the years. But strangely enough the Normans never really controlled the town as that was left to the Irish chieftains the O Conors.  

Sligo is probably most famous for the Yeats duo, poet and Nobel laureate W. B. Yeats and his brother the artist, and illustrator Jack Butler Yeats. As people say, this is Yeats country!

Sligo Rovers Football Away DaysBut its not only the two brothers, Sligo also have a bit of a long history for Irish music, and the famous Irish music competition that attracts thousands every year, the Fleadh Cheoil, was held in the town on five separate occasions, the last been 2015. This festival has to be seen to be believed as its virtually a must for anyone even remotely interested in Irish music, regularly attracting crowds in the six figures, easily becoming one of Ireland’s biggest cultural events every year.  Sligo having it just goes to show how important Irish music is to the area. 

With two full time theatres on the go, the poetry of Yeats, and all the Irish music, Sligo is a real den of culture and the arts, and we didn’t even mention the lads in Westlife , no lets not go there!

Getting to the town is relatively simple. Get the N4 from Dublin if driving, or get Bus Éireann from Dublin Bus Station, but it does stop in Mullingar and Longford so be careful! Or the easiest would be to get the Irish Rail train from Dublin Connolly, roughly a 3 hour journey (bus is a little under 4 hours but cheaper!)

Pub watch

The Swagman

Address: No 5 Wine Street, Sligo

http://www.swagman.ie/

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Sligo Rovers Football Away DaysFirst pub of the day was The Swagman, a little bit of a walk from the train station, but eventually found it. Had a massive crowd in it which was impressive for the middle of the day but I guess the rain has people in with nothing else to do on a Saturday! Was hard enough to get a seat but did in the end. Bar man charged my phone which was gracious of him. 

Sligo Rovers Football Away DaysBar was doing well with food, and had the rugby on the box. Not really my type of place, I am not a huge fan of bar/restaurant combos or at least places that dont separate the two crowds, the beer drinkers and the foodies. 

A lot of options to drink from the usual to some interesting craft beer options. Apparently they have got over 30 craft beers on offer! Got an ale from local brewers The White Hag Brewery, on the recommendation of the bar man. Found it a bit tough to drink to be honest, but its always good to try something different.

Sligo Rovers Football Away DaysBar had a very interesting decor, traditional feel  but also with a lot of Australian references, which was very interesting to look at, and overall it is a nice bar, just a bit too crowded and cramped for my liking, albeit service was efficient and quick enough which is always important!

I would like to visit this bar again away from the midday food crowd as I’m sure at night it can be a place to have some fun in. And I see they do have some live music and trad nights so I guess will have to be back to test that!

 

Tricky’s McGarrigles Pub

Address: 11 O’ Connell St, Sligo

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Sligo Rovers Football Away DaysNext up was McGarrigles Pub, a smallish pub with some pretty cool relaxed decor. I think they call this style Berlin retro or something, where the bar looks like your old living room with wall paper, lamps, old chairs, and framed pictures all around. Have certainly seen this style before, and I like it a lot, as it creates an inviting atmosphere and gets you relaxed in no time.

Small bar but had some good beers on offer, but I played it safe and just went for Smithwicks, in fact I had two as it was a nice relaxing bar I decided to break the one pint one pub rule. 

Bar man was friendly, and there was a nice crowd in, and a nice ambiance in the bar. no TV blaring out or loud music, just people enjoying conversation and relaxing over good pints. 

Sligo Rovers Football Away DaysSeems to be a second floor as a few came in and vanished upstairs. I should have checked it out, but I was too lazy.

It seems they do food as well, and going by the reviews it looks popular, but to be honest it doesn’t look like a place for food as I didn’t get that vibe or see a menu, and I certainly didn’t see anyone ordering food while I was there anyway. 

Apparently they have a lot of good live music happening here at night time, again its so small but perhaps that’s part of the charm, unless upstairs is massive. 

Anyway liked this place, was very relaxing, had a nice chair at the bar and felt very comfy. Could have had another few beers and that’s what its all about really. Will be back next time nearer the night to check out some of the good live music they have

 

Thomas Connolly

Address: Markievicz Road, Sligo

http://www.thomasconnollysligo.com/

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Sligo Rovers Football Away DaysNext port of call was Thomas Connolly in the centre of the town. Pub has a beautiful and traditional exterior, old style and inviting. As the rugby was on, and more specifically Ireland against England, the place was packed to the rafters.

Here since the 1860’s (officially Sligo Town’s oldest pub), the bar has an extensive collection of whiskies, over 60 according to their website, gins and craft beers as well on offer, the bar also has live music on most weekends

Lovely looking bar with some old style wooden decor, and a nice long bar with a decent selection of beers (A really long bar!). I played it safe and just went for a Smithwicks, as the bar was busy and I didn’t want to dilly dally! Was very impressed at how quick I got served considering it was standing room only in the pub. Hats off to the barmen in this place, quick and efficient. 

As Ireland seemed to be winning in the game, there was a jovial atmosphere building up in the pub. Have zero interest in the egg chasing but any sport we get one over on the English is always to be welcomed. 

Pint was fine, but it was hard to scout out the pub what with the huge crowd in the pub, so its a bar I’d like to return to in the future for another time. 

 

Rendezvous Bar

Address: Holborn Street, Sligo

Sligo Rovers Football Away DaysAs I was wandering around I decided to pop into this bar which was off the main drag. Place was heaving and what was unusual (or normal) was that the clientele were more interested in the horse racing than the rugby, which might tell you a bit about the type of bar it was. Got a pint and sat down and rested my legs, recoup the old batteries. 

Decent bar, good service, and a bit of an atmosphere in the pub. Best to go with a friend as they probably dont take kindly to strangers round here, lol, or that could be the mad state of me!

Anyway I like bars like this, rough and ready, do the business and no pretentiousness, its a real town pub.

 

Hargadons Bar 

Address: 4 O’Connell Street, Sligo

http://www.hargadons.com/

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Sligo Rovers Football Away DaysWas getting a bit hungry, so with luck I ventured into Hargadon’s bar, a lovely inviting pub from the outside, in the centre of town, which serves delicious food all day long.  Lovely look decor, very old style and a traditional bar which was small but had regulars relaxing while the rest of the bar was quite narrow where there are many snugs, at the back, where people can have quiet chats and good pints, or in my case sit down rest the legs and order some food and a beer. 

Sligo Rovers Football Away DaysThe bar has been here a long time, since 1868, and as usual for a lot of these old bars it used to double up as a grocers and a place of liquor!

Staff were friendly and efficient, the food came very quick which was great. This bar has a reputation for good food (and all locally sourced) and I have to say its not wrong. I ordered some pasta (pasta with broccoli and almond cream…as far as I can remember!)  with a side plate of chips, and some soup to start, all washed down by a pint of Franciscan Wells Red Ale, a Cork brew I haven’t had in a long, long time. All together it was fantastic, very tasty and really refreshed me no end, good portion size too.  Cant beat good food. The food was so good that the beer was an afterthought, which is unusual for me!!

Sligo Rovers Football Away DaysThe place had a laid back Saturday late afternoon crowd in, wasn’t too busy as I found it easy enough to get seated. Atmosphere was good, and not loud or with music or TV blaring out. Has a real charm to it and the booths at the back are really cool.

My only regret was that I didn’t sit at the bar to get the banter with the locals, and have a sample of their various craft beers but if I’m ever back in Sligo I will definitely return. Recommended

 

Mooney’s Bar

Address: Maugheraboy Road, Sligo

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Sligo Rovers Football Away DaysThe best thing about Mooney’s is its right beside the Showgrounds, so you will get a good dose of pre match banter with all sorts of fans congregating in and around the pub. Was here before, so know its a great place for a chat and some high jinks from the football mad Sligo fans who are always up for a laugh. It was here I met some of the Forza Rovers lads, but also got into conversation with a few other fans.

Lovely exterior, traditional, and inside not too bad either. Good pub, great and efficient service, always easy to get a seat, always guaranteed to be talking to someone, mostly about Sligo Rovers, but that’s fine. Had a pint of Smithwicks, was perfect, might have had two, but wished I had come earlier as I was enjoying myself here, but time crept up and I had to toddle along to the damn game! 

Love this bar. Recommended, and a definite must if going to a match just up the road. 

Sligo Rovers FC

Sligo Rovers Football Away Days

Arena/Stadium: The Showgrounds 

Location: Churchill, Sligo

Capacity: 5,500 (4,000 seated)

Manager: Dave Robertson (Since sacked!)

Founded: 1928

Leagues: League of Ireland Premier Division

Honours
• League of Ireland/Premier Division: 3
• FAI Cup: 5

Club home page 

media@sligorovers.com

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Nickname: The Bit o’ Red

Sligo Rovers Football Away DaysSligo Rovers Football Club, founded in 1928, have been in the League of Ireland since 1934. The club is supporter owned and have played in the Showgrounds since their inception.  Sligo is a real football town and the supporters are a loyal bunch with the Showgrounds regularly getting decent crowds for games, averaging around 2000 per home game, which is pretty decent for the LOI.

In terms of silverware, they have won the league three times, the most recent in 2012, and the FAI Cup a total of five times.

Sligo Rovers Football Away DaysThe History of the club (skip if not interested!)

With some good initial success at non league, junior and intermediate football (Winning the Leinster Senior League in 1933, not bad for a team from Connaught!), they decided to step up and joined the Free State League on 28 June 1934. Manged by English man Bob Preston , Sligo came a very impressive third in their first season playing top level football,  with forward Gerry McDaid finishing as top scorer. Not bad. 

The good work continued as in the 1936–37 they won the title for the first time, pretty good for a club less than ten years in existence, trained by Jimmy Surgeoner with the Englishman Harry Litherland scoring 19 league goals, a record that wasnt surpassed until 2011 by Eoin Doyle scoring 20 league goals.

In 1939 they had a double dose of bad luck as they came second in the league to Shamrock Rovers, and also second in their first FAI cup, losing to Shelbourne one nil.  1939 was the year that Sligo somehow managed to pull of a coup of a signing when they got the legendary Dixie Dean to play for them. Ok he was an old fella at the time, but to get a big name like this was pretty impressive. Dean, of course, is best known for his time with Everton, where he is still the club’s all-time leading scorer and his record of 60 league goals in a season (1927/8) still stands today, and I doubt it will be beat anytime soon. 

Scoring on his debut Dean drew a big crowd to the games, and went on to score nine goals in seven league appearances, before the impending World War curtailed football everywhere! And that was the end of that!

Sligo Rovers Football Away DaysAfter the war, Rovers went through a long period of ups and downs, mostly downs. They did come second in the league in 1951, and got to an Fai Cup final in 1970 where they lost to Bohemians, but it was a period with no titles and the odd re-election to the league, having to reapply to play in the league on four separate occasions. 

It was in the 1976/77 season that Sligo won its second league title, after a long 40 years wait. On Easter Sunday Sligo Rovers beat the other and lesser known Rovers (Shamrock Rovers) 3-1 to claim the title from Bohemians by a solitary point. Scottish Manager Billy Sinclair, in only his second season at the helm, had a winning squad made up of Irish and British talent, including local lad Paul McGee the seasons top scorer, and who later went on to play for QPR in London, and also get 16 caps for Ireland. 

In 1983 they finally got their hands on the FAI Cup, beating Bohemians 2-1 to win it for the first time in their history. It only took about 50 odd years, albeit they did get to 6 finals beforehand! Local lad, Tony Fagan, who holds the club record for most appearances (590 appearances), was the man to lift the trophy aloft.

It took them a while to win the FAI Cup again, in 1994, on a wet May day they beat Derry City one nil, a Gerry Carr header to clinch their second Cup, with another local land, Gavin Dykes lifting the trophy and managed by Willie McStay (Paul’s brother!) 

Sligo Rovers Football Away DaysThe arrival of Scouser Paul Cook in 2006 really changed fortunes for Sligo. By playing an attractive brand of football, getting them into Europe for the first time in 12 years and also into an FAI cup final, the first in 15 years, against Sporting Fingal which they lost 2-1. A game I actually attended and played out in gale force winds and torrential rain. Summer football Irish style. Building on this Cook managed to get Rovers into another FAI Cup final in 2010, this time against their hated foes, Shamrock Rovers. After a pretty dour 0-0 the victory was achieved, and their third FAI Cup, when Ciarian Kelly saved all four penalties in the shootout. A pretty amazing thing for their second choice goalkeeper to pull off!! There was also a huge crowd of 36,101 at the game, the highest attendance for 32 years, to see the FAI Cup final in the newly revamped Aviva Stadium (ex Landsdowne Road) 

Sligo Rovers Football Away DaysIf Sligo fans thought that was good then they had another reason to celebrate, as the next year they just went and done it all again, winning the FAI Cup two years in succession, another win in 2011. This time beating Shelbourne, but again winning on penalties. after the game finished 1 a piece at full time.  Cook did something that was quite extraordinary to watch. Just before full time he took off his regular goalkeeper Clarke to replace him with Kelly the spot kick hero from the last final. It worked a treat as Kelly saved two penalties, with Sligo native Raffaele Cretaro taking the decisive penalty to keep the cup in the town for another year.

Unfortunately for Sligo, Cook got a good offer to return to the UK to manage Accrington Stanley (“Who are they?”), but they had nothing to worry as their new manager Ian Baraclough, just given the job 5 days before the league season had started, by the end had cemented on the good work done by Cook, to win the title in his first season in charge, winning Rovers third ever league title, and a long 35 year wait. The league was decided during a memorable home game against St Pats, who were also going for the title. About 6,000 people crammed into the Showgrounds to see Rovers edge out a 3-2 win in a pulsating game that will live long in the memory for the bit of red fans. Barraclough followed that success up with another FAI Cup win in 2013 (Their third in four seasons) , beating Drogheda 3-2 with a last minute winner from Anthony Elding to send the Rovers support into raptures. 

Sligo Rovers Football Away DaysWinning their first league title wasn’t enough for Sligo as they shortly after got rid of Ian Barraclough in the summer of 2014, and sure enough they haven’t won or even come close to winning anything since. That’s Ireland for ya!!! 

I have to mention Joseph N’Do, the Cameroonian start who played for Sligo Rovers and played a big hand in all three of those FAI Cup victories for the club. In fact he was man of the match in the 2010 final and was always the type of player fans would love to see, with his mazy dribbles and fancy flicks. 

But possibly the best player to come out of Sligo is Seamus Coleman, who got his big break when Paul Cook played him as a sub against Derry in 2006, quickly establishing himself as the teams right back. He was slowly making a name for himself and it wasnt long before a top team from across the water took not. That team was Premiership team Everton, who introduced him fairly quickly onto the first team where in 2010/11 season he was a nomination for the PFAI Young Player of the Year. He has also established himself as a regular in the Ireland national team, and an essential player that Ireland needs if they hope to qualify for the World Cup in Russia 2018. 

As they play in red their nickname is the “The Bit o’ Red”. It is strange to me though why they play in red and not in black, as the GAA team play in black and it is the county colours, but there you go!

The Showgrounds

Playing in the Showgrounds, one of the oldest football grounds in Ireland and home to Rovers since the club was formed in 1928. Located in Church Hill just on the outskirts of the town. The ground is a publicly owned ground to be used solely for sport and leisure. 

Sligo Rovers Football Away DaysStadium capacity is around 5,500 with 4,000 seats, and it must be said one of the better stadiums in the League.  Sligo Rovers are one of the few clubs that have made a concerted effort to improve their ground and spectator facilities with a lot of that hard work, it has to be said, down to the huge voluntary effort of their supporters. There are three stands, a club shop, plenty of parking space and the most important thing of all, a decent playing surface for good football.  This is one reason why the club has such a strong bound to the town, it really is a supporters club, they virtually built it and maintained it through the bad old days,  and now they have pride in what is easily one of the top grounds in the LOI. Hats off to Sligo and their fans here. 

The record attendance was set in 1983 with 13,908 fans coming out to see Sligo Rovers take on Cobh Ramblers in a semi-cup final replay.

My ticket cost 15 euros. I must say I enjoyed my visit to the Showgrounds, and it really was refreshing to get a great vibe off the fans, you really can feel in how proud they are of their club. And the amount of young people, teens and children, with their Sligo Rovers gear, and all the rest, was great to see……this is how you build a football club, from the ground up. The place had a buzz, ok the football might not be too hot at the moment, but I’m sure the glory days will return soon enough. 

 

To the game

Sligo Rovers Football Away DaysSligo Rovers 3 – 2 Bray Wanderers  

18.03.2017  the Showgrounds
3 ‘Gary McCabe (Bray)
26’ Derek Foran (o.g)
27’Chris Kenny 
37 ‘Gary McCabe (Bray)
55’ Kieran Sadlier 

Attendance: 1’387

Exciting game, end to end, with some nice goals to boot. 

Kieran Sadlier the stand out player, constantly beating his man on the wing all night, and to top it all he managed to clinch the winner with a lovely free kick from 25 yards out on 54 minutes to win Sligo’s first game of the season. 

But a Sligo win didn’t look very likely after just 3 minutes into the game, when ex Sligo rovers player, Gary McCabe slotted home from close range after a weak clearance from the Sligo defence. 

I have to say I was quiet happy having backed him at 7/2 with a fiver on him to score. The simple old player returns tip that surprisingly often comes up! Thanks Gary.

Sligo Rovers Football Away Days

Sadlier, a constant thorn in the Bray, defence hit the post, and not long after whipped in a low dangerous cross where Bray defender Foran managed to put into his own net to put the game one all. 

Sligo Rovers Football Away DaysBarely a minute later, Sadlier once again cut back to cross in another dangerous ball which was cleared, but only to fall to Chris Kenny to thunder it home, for Sligo to take the lead. 

But the lead only lasted about ten minutes as that man again McCabe scored a cracking free kick from just outside of the box, top corner, goalkeeper with no chance, excellent goal. Wonder why Shamrock Rovers let him go, perhaps Bray are paying him more, I dont know but he is having a cracking season. 

Excellent first half, four goals and end to end football. Second half had more of the same, and it wasn’t long before Sadlier finally got on the score sheet, no more than his hard work deserved. Another free kick, another goal, this time Sadlier swung it in from right to left, top corner and a great goal for Sligo to take the lead again. 

Sligo Rovers Football Away DaysSligo sat back a little after that, or Bray increased the tempo, I am not sure but either way Bray had a handful of scoring chances that they really should have scored from, some simple misses, that had the Bray supporters aghast. I know as I was sitting with them in the second half! But 3-2 to Sligo it stayed and Bray had the long journey back to Wicklow pointless, they deserved a draw but alas that’s football. 

Excellent game, both teams playing some pretty good football, some cracking goals, good decent atmosphere at the game, and with Sadlier I now have a new favourite player to follow in the LOI. Oh yeah I also won some money. Cant do better than that! 

 

Highlights of the game here

Interview

Short chat with ………… from the supporters group, Forza Rovers, Sligo Rovers most fervent supporters who one can see in the small Jinks Avenue StandSligo Rovers Football Away Days

Sean for Forza Rovers

Group’s going now 9 years. Next year will be our tenth year

It was going great for our first you know 5 or 6 years

The last few years it kind of died down a bit

A lot of lads getting old, Emigration you know, things like that

But actually our group was nearly Coming to an end at one stage there last year

And we were kind of saying, you know….the numbers weren’t really justified calling ourselves an ultras group so

So we started kind of recruiting a few young lads again and…..

Things are on the pick up again so………..

 

But you have a very impressive social media, I have to say…the website and on Facebook

Yeah but that was part of the drive of getting young lads, more young lads involved

We kind of kept to ourselves a lot of the time, it was kind of a very close, very close knit group but we kind of opened up things a lot more the last while

 

Sligo has always been a soccer town, I mean what’s the history about that, why….. I mean even in the rough times you do have a general good support in the town

I suppose traditionally it is a garrison town going back…………….and football has been played in Sligo since the 1880s you know so….. Gaelic never really took off here, you know it’s kind of more seen out in the county more so than in the town itself.

So that’s probably why

 

And how far is that reach from the town, does it go into the country. The county of Sligo, or?

Oh yeah, yeah, like myself, I’m not from Sligo town myself you know, So like a lot of lads

We got fans from you know like all over the north west really

I know a lot of fans from Leitrim, mayo, all over sligo

Like there’s North Sligo, it’s like a massive community

Course because Summerhill school used to be a boarding school, years ago, so you got a lot of lads coming in from Roscommon, Mayo, staying there, that’s kind of how it took off

 

And what about yourself then, how long have you been supporting the rovers?

Mid 90s my dad started bringing me, the early mid 90’s

Then, the first time we used to stand on the terrace kind of beside the shed

And then when I kind of got old enough I was allowed into the shed!

Some crazy nights there as a young lad

So its kind of a progression then is it?

Ah yeah, yeah it was like that, it was good, you know it was good

 

So what about the best season all those years you followed them then?

Oh it has to be when we won the league you cant beat that you know

In fairness, like I know the last two years people are saying things have gone downhill a bit but still when we were in the first division, and struggling and you know and 600 people in the ground, you are looking round the place and no atmosphere, the place was dead

I still think its good now you know

We won the cup in 94, that was when I started getting involved following rovers, and my dad started bringing me back then

 

What about your cult heroes then, what are the cult heroes of the club?

Of the club in total? There’s plenty

but at the moment

Raf is the cult hero at the moment, local lad

Is has been here a long time hasn’t he? I cant seem to believe he is still playing!

Ah no he is something else raf is

Probably score tonight

Hopefully anyway yeah

But no we have plenty of cult heroes down through the years

Ndo was unreal there

Myself I always kind of have something for local players, it’s the main thing to kind of support

 

The guy that won you the league, was it right to sack him? It’s like Leicester a little bit!

Barraclough. A lot of people weren’t happy with his tactics, his signings and blah, blah, blah. Personally I think he deserved to see out the end of the season and his contract

It left an awful lot of instability there

When he left we had caretaker managers and this that and the other

I think we are still suffering from that time but hopefully things will improve now

This season, what the hell is happening this season, Jesus!

Yeah, a look it….its a bit soon to call for a managers head and all that but…….

It was 6 games last year before we got a win so it was a struggle

Look, we will see how it goes….

 

The LOI is a small place but are Sligo too big to go down!?

No, there’s nothing like that. Look, we have been down before and we have been up and down…..a ten team league so its really going to be tight this year. It;s not looking good at the moment but hopefully…

Are there any players that perhaps people wouldn’t know coming in from the outside, any young players we should look out for or any up and coming talent?

 

Ah I don’t know, we don’t really have anyone at the moment. Maybe it’s the way the manager is playing the side…..there is no one really that I could see. There are a few lads there but there is no one really that I can see that’s going to…..….

 

Is it difficult to get people into the showgrounds?

No…..last week weekend against st pats the crowd was down, think it was down 1300,  cause it was Friday night football.

But if a game is on Saturday and we dont get our games moved by television or FAI poor fixture listing, no but a Saturday night traditionally great support and it’s always the way

 

So what should  I expect tonight, in terms of atmosphere, going into the ground?

Bray isn’t ….is not a crowd puller, never will be

They are never going to be a crowd puller, you know there’s no rivalry with Bray. they are doing alright this year and they will do well but Its not going to be a massive crowd puller

Hopefully with st Patricks weekend there should be a big crowd down
Atmosphere? We will see how it goes?

Just a few more questions

Rivals? I guess its Derry and Galway

No no Shams, fucking shams, fucking hate them

That was my next question, the other rovers, are they not rovers?

Shams for us!

Whats the copyright for that!

Well if you are in town, everyone likes to say rovers because if you say Sligo they presume you were at the Gaelic game

So rovers are rovers and shams are shams

When they come to town then is it……everybody’s a bit on edge

Yes it can get a bit heated at times alright

Yeah everyone is fired up for playing shams obviously you know

They probably see us as country bumpkins, come down act the bollix, but …fuck them!

 

So in terms of the season we have at the moment what’s your expectations, at this early stage it’s just avoid relegation

Yeah definitely, if you had asked me when last season had ended, players signed up early and it was looking good, I was saying we could push for a top four but now survival at the moment, and we take each game as it comes

 

Time for pints, come on lets go! Thanks man

Ok lets go

Overall

I have to say Sligo is a cracking little town with some great pubs and a nice friendly vibe to the place. Was surprised, as Galway tends to steal all the thunder out west, while Sligo is often overlooked as a “fun” destination. Along the riverside with its nice stone bridge, developed since the 90’s, looks fantastic, and some nice buildings and monuments, yeah Sligo is a happening place, you really are spoilt for choice here with great bars and good eateries, and definitely I will be a returning. 

The Forza boys certainly created some good atmosphere at the game, and I really enjoyed my time at the Showgrounds. Everyone is so chilled and friendly. Its a shame they dont sell beer there but anyhow.

Sligo Rovers Football Away DaysWould like to say one thing that was a slight dent in all the positively. Seen this pig of a man throw a big pile of rubbish on the floor without a care in the world. Now I know in itself this happens at grounds, but what was shocking was there was a bin right beside him and I happened to catch the reaction of three young kids who were left gobsmacked at the sight of this. Normally i would confront someone like this, but I really wasn’t in the mood for some agro as i really had a great day so i did the next best thing i guess, took his pic and a little of his soul……I guess!! repent he should!

I was right not to get into a confrontation, and keep the good ambiance kicking along, as I eventually ended up with the Bray fans who despite their team losing were in decent spirits and kind of enough to give me a lift near my home in their mini bus (for a small price, naturally!) as they were using the same route back to Dublin I had taken on the bus earlier. Saving me the 4 hours or so hanging round waiting for the night bus……..cheers fellas!

Anyway, here is my day out in video form!

 

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an excellent Eco-friendly beer

Höss Allgauer Ökobier, an excellent Eco-friendly beer.

Höss Allgauer Ökobier Helles Export

https://www.hirschbraeu.de/allgaeuer-oekobier/

Brewed by Privatbrauerei Höss der Hirschbräu
Style: Helles
Sonthofen, Bavaria, Germany

Allgäuer Ökobier  which translates as Alpine Environmental Beer, is a German beer brewed by the privately owned brewery of Hirschbräu, Bavaria, situated in the Alps and belonging to the Höss family.

an excellent Eco-friendly beerThe brewery was founded way back in 1657 when Hans Pope was awarded a “Bräustätt” (“brewing law”) for 30 guilders and set about to brew his beer. In 1859 Josef Anton Höss buys the brewery and since then, the Hirschbrauerei in Sonthofen has been owned by the Höss family.

The brewery has won in the World Beer Cup, in 2012 for its “Double Deer”, and in 2014 for its “Hirsch Gold”, so clearly the brewery knows what it is doing. It also exports to over 20 countries all around the world.  

Of course, this beer is brewed in accordance with the “Bavarian Reinheitsgebot” of 1516, which states that beer can be brewed only from water, malt and hops. But on this occasion as a special Eco friendly beer, it is with the purest Allgaeuer water, the best hops from organic farming and, of course, organic malts from ecologically controlled cultivation!

Review: 0.5l Bottle of Höss Allgauer Ökobier Helles Export: ABV: 5.2%

Comes in a lovely looking brown bottle with a fliptop and a nice looking picture of a barley farmer at the harvest in front of some Bavarian scenery. It has the certified BIO sign signifying its eco friendliness and shows that all its products are produced and grown without any chemical fertilizers. Ökobier standing for Eco Beer!

an excellent Eco-friendly beerHad a nice frothy head and a golden yellow colour. Very clean and clear, looks great.

Has a nice lagery smell, faint on the nose but got malts, grains and fruit

Nice taste, was very smooth. Liked it a lot. Got a nice wheaty malt taste.

Not much aftertaste, goes down pretty smooth. Light malts, and the barely all noticed, and all well balanced. 

Also nice from the few swigs I took from the bottle, very pleasant. 

Thinned taste of barely perfect, just in the background.

Perfect for a session, a good light drinkable beer, nothing amazing but does the job on a hot day.

A really excellent light tasting beer and I strongly recommended anyone to check it out. 

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Coop Prix Garantie Lager Bier

Coop Prix Garantie Lager Bier

Coop Prix Garantie Lager Bier

http://www.coop.ch/de/labels/prix-garantie.htm

Brewed by Heineken Switzerland
Style: Pale Lager
Chur, Switzerland

Coop Cooperative is one of Switzerland’s largest retail and wholesale companies. Headquartered in Basel, it is structured in the form of a cooperative society with around 2.5 million members.

Coop Prix Garantie Lager BierPretty much everywhere in Switzerland you will find a Coop (or its rival Migros), albeit at least in North Switzerland. 

Coop has a low-cost product line, “Prix garantie”which has a “guaranteed” low price for certain foods, drinks and products . Actually I say “low price”, silly me as this is Switzerland, I actually mean the least expensive products on offer!! This isn’t Iceland or Morrison’s in the evening, no last minute bargain basin shopping here!! So they have decided to extend this scheme to cheap discounted beer, Coop Lager.

But before you get too excited, apparently in a recent study, Coop tops the list of Swiss beers with glyphosate, a pesticide considered by the World Health Organization to be “probably” carcinogenic. But dont panic, for it to be anyway toxic you would have to drink about 1000 litres of Coop beer per day. In fact if you drink that much the last thing I’d be worried about is glyphosate!! 

Review: 50cl Can of Coop Prix Garantie Lager Bier: ABV: 4.8%

Can also be known as The Coop Lager! 

On pour I get a pretty nice clear golden yellow colour and nice frothy head. It settles well and looks pretty fantastic truth be told. Is this really a cheap supermarket brand, what the hell!!!

Coop Prix Garantie Lager BierBit of carbonation, bubbling away nicely
A lovely head that maintains, has good lacing, nice lively carbo, fizzing away, heh this looks good!!

Has a nice lagery smell, very nice on the nose.  Detected corn and some malts.

The taste is surprisingly not bad at all, all things considering, albeit  it has a slight sour taste
Very strong flavour and sweet to drink with a bitter aftertaste, but for the price it is ok, Can taste corn and starchy pale malts. 

When you factor in the cost, Coop lager is not bad. Coming at you for about 50 Swiss cents a can, I will drink to that, cheers.  Could argue that its better value than its parent company’s main brew (Heineken), which from what I can remember of the top of my head is roughly 2 Francs per can.

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Anker Lager Beer

Anker Lager Beer 

https://www.coopathome.ch/en/Anker/Anker-Lager-Beer-24x50cl/p/3458809

Brewed by Feldschlösschen
Style: Pale Lager
Rheinfelden, Switzerland

Anker, a Swiss beer, another cheap beer that the Migros Supermarket sells. Brewed by Swiss beer giants Feldschlösschenin in their brewery in Rheinfelden, not far from Basel. 

Review: 50cl Can of Anker Lager Beer: ABV: 4.8%

As there are a few discount supermarket beers in Switzerland…….Coop Lager, and Tell to name just two, Feldschlösschen have decided to get a leg in on this market with their own offering, Anker, available in Coop at a cheap price.  

Colour is very light yellow, very bubbly with a good bit of carbo resulting in a decent sized frothy white head. Perfect lacing, and a lot of it to boot. Looks good, this looks promising!

Smell, none! Or very light, of a lagery aroma, disappointing. 

It is tasteless really.

Had it cold. Yes it is easy to quench and very smooth but I couldn’t for the life of me find any taste from it at all. Basically it was just cold water. Very light body and no flavours, weak malts, 

Smooth but ok. Much better cheap beers out there………this is dull and boring.  Ah well, least I didn’t spend much on it!

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