Monday, December 28, 2015

Christmas and beyond

Beer number 22: Traquair House Ale - Rich dark raisiny goodness with bitter sweetness
(Birthday) Beer number 23: 8 Wired Sour Side of the Moon - sour, fruity, dark beer with chocolate aromas and sweet dried fruit flavours
Beer number 24: Leffe Royale Whitbread Golding - fabulously Belgian blonde with yeasty flavours and English hops
 At last, two days before Christmas, it is time to put up the Christmas tree (with Shakespeare on top, in a Santa hat, obviously).

Incorporating the Christmas foot-bauble from the G-Ps
I have released the cuddly toys from the box in which they have been packed for several years and house moves. They all look jolly comfortable and happy on the spare bed...

...but Chester shows them how it's really done.

We went to Christmas Dinner with friends, and for postprandial entertainment, they tried to teach us how to play mahjong. Results were varied.


And Boxing Day involved the traditional pilgrimage to the pub with friends for a cheeky lunchtime pint.

At the George Harcourt
Specials at Bar
And finally, a jog with Him Outdoors at Aranda Bushland to attempt to counter some of the festive excesses, while revelling in the sun, blue sky, and wooded hills.


Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Festive beer, bike rides and a play

The next week long of advent beers:

Beer number 15: Young's Special London Ale - a subtle beer with lots of malt and light, floral hops.
Beer number 16: Brakspear's Triple III - strong (not sweet) malt aromas with fruity hop flavours and late bitterness
Beer number 17: Brew Dog 5 AM Red Ale - sweet malt and citrus hops; light chocolate with grapefruit bitterness to finish
Beer number 18: Red Duck White Garden - deliciously dry and refreshing sour rhubarb with a touch of raspberry
Beer number 19: Founder's Dirty Bastard - rich sweet malt with strong alcohol flavours
Beer number 20: The Little Brewing Company Mad Abbot Tripel - Sweet malt and Belgian yeast with strong alcohol flavour
Beer number 21: Brewcult Thanks Captain Obvious - strong, hoppy, resinous, bitter IPA
Once again, of the few things I did that weren't strictly beer-related, bike-riding around Umbagong District Park on a clear morning (before it turned into a very hot day) was a highlight. The hills are so dry, and with the heat and the strong winds combining to form perfect bushfire conditions, I urge everyone to stay safe out there.

Umbagong District Park
Cara Carissima came to the stage at The Courtyard Theatre, and we played to very respectable audiences, who seemed to enjoy Geoff Page's verse play about public servants and their relationships set in a coffee bar and performed in the round. It was a small cast of five, and we got on well both on-stage and off.

Backstage at Cara Carissima
Nikki's birthday cake

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

More Advent Calendar Beers

Beer number eight: Stone Dog Meadery Whiskey Barrel Cider -The sweetness of the honey smooths out the acidity of the apples; delicious alcoholic apple juice.
Beer number nine: Bear Republic Racer 5 - citrusy heavily hopped IPA
Beer number 10: Brew Dog Brixton Porter -Some chocolate aromas, dark with tan head, strong roasted bitterness; smooth and dark
Beer number 11: Panhead Vandal -Lots of grapefruit, orange and resinous hops, as one would expect from a NZ IPA.
Beer number 12: Feral War Hog - A great American IPA from a great brewery
Beer number 13: Antigoon by Brouwerij De Musketiers - a Belgian blonde ale with sweet golden orange and pear juiciness
Beer number 14: Oude Kriek Boon by Brouwerji Boon - a very good sour cherry lambic

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Advent beers, acting and jogging

December brings advent, and the start of our advent beer calendar.

Beer number one: Silly Saison - a Belgian brown with Saison yeast
Beer number two: Brew Dog's Restorative Beverage for Invalids and Convalescents - hazy golden with sweet malts and plentiful citrus hops
Beer number three: Mighty XP Old World IPA - strongish, goldenish, IPA-ish beer
Beer number four: Stone Dog Meadery Loud Mouth Braggart - earthy honey tones on a seriously good ale
Beer number five: Hop Dog Abbey of the Dead - Belgian red ale with added hibiscus and marigolds
Beer number six: Woolshed Brewery Judas the Dark - coffee and chocolate on the nose and palate, also gentle spices and roasted wattleseed
Beer number seven: Bateman's Mocha Porter - liqueur chocolates; chocolate malt flavour, some coffee and hop bitterness
A visit to the shop from the sales dude at Prancing Pony
And just to prove that it's not all beer, I went for a jog around Umbabgong District Park.

Graffito at Kippax Playing Fields
Rehearsing for the play Cara Carissima, written by Geoff page and directed by Tanya Gruber.

Peter Robinson as Barry, the public servant
Bruno Galdino as the barista
Cara Irvine as Cara, the EA, and Peter as Barry
Director, Tanya Gruber, with Cara
Tanya films Cara and Nikki, the wife
Bruno having a rest with Nikki in the background
Cara (Cara) and Barry (Peter)

And another run; this one at Woodstock Nature Reserve.

Bounding up the steps! (Or not)