Category Archives: 5-6% ABV

Theakston Old Peculier

Theakston Old Peculier

Look how dark this is, almost halfway to a stout. This is a lovely beer and is very smooth to drink. There is an interesting story behind it’s name and it’s brewing history which is best read on the Theakston’s website. It doesn’t taste as it looks and is surprisingly refreshing despite it’s strength at 5.6% ABV.

Nothing really more to say about it – go try it yourself.

Marston’s Pedigree and Old Empire IPA

Marston’s Pedigree

I used to drink Pedigree more or less every day when I was in my 20’s. It was what we had a lunchtime and it was on draft at one of the City’s (now disappeared) pubs. Obviously I liked it a lot so this bottled version , which I hadn’t tried before was a bit of a surprise: I found it had a strange after taste which was different to what I remember.Now I look at it the label speaks of bottle conditioned and explains how it continues to ferment in the bottle, maybe this explains it. Also a bit of surprise was that it is described as an amber ale as I had always assumed a bitter. It is a sensible 4.5%.

Marston’s Old Empire IPA

I had seem Old Empire on the Marston’s website when I was deciding whether or not to invest in Marston’s Brewery (I’m looking for dividends these days) but I had never had it. I loved it what a refreshing beer. I could imaging drinking this all day at a summer BBQ; only slight problem might be that I’d end up rather drunk because, although it’s easy drinking, it’s 5.7%. I will definitely be buying this again.

Proper Job

Proper Job

When I saw this I thought of Scrapheap Challenge and the team that appeared several time. Typical west country expression though and this come from Cornwall so why not? It comes from the St. Austell Brewery which has been going since 1851 (is it breweries that are the oldest companies?) – I’ve only had Tribute before, but there is quite a choice on their site.

It has a golden colour and a slight bitter after taste. I liked it but I’m not sure I’d want to have two in a row. This might be better a little colder and in warmer weather. An IPA at 5.5% which deserves its name.

Badger – Poacher’s Choice

This is quite a strong flavoured ale (they call it a ruby beer).  It’s also quite strong at 5.7%.   The neck label says Fruity Plumage and it says it all.  I found this too sweet and too fruity, in fact I really didn’t like it and it’s the first beer in a long time that I haven’t been able to finish.  Maybe it suits you, but too far away from my taste for me to buy again.

13 guns

This one is a bit special!  13 guns apparently is a salute to the original 13 states of America, can you name them?  Hint: they are on the eastern seaboard.  Answer here.  It claims to the an American IPA which is a an interesting concept!  The first thing you notice is the almost overpowering hop flavours and slightly fruity finish.  I really like this beer but I think it’s one for small quantities as I think the hops would eventually be too much.  The label is full of technical data but really who cares because it’s all about the taste.  5.5% ABV.




Sam Smiths Pale Ale

IMG_20160602_130856It’s been a while since I had a bottle Sam Smiths Pale Ale.  It is smooth and super tasty and now is organic (maybe it always was but now it’s obvious on the label).  I could happily drink several of these but at 5% its a little strong for lunch!  Do not confuse this with the draft bitters that are on offer in Sam Smiths pubs.  I enjoyed this particular one with lunch in the Cittee of Yorke pub in Holborn, if you’ve never been there you must now.  Go right to the back of the pub and there are booths (you need to be early in the evenings) but seem pretty available at lunch; there is also a wonderful three sided real fire with no chimney (it must go down somehow); if you visit in the winter you can stand around the fire and put your pint on the top!  Just a quick note about food, I had the gammon steak – it was huge and good value at £8.95, you can just see the remains in the picture.

Nearest tube: Chancery Lane on the central line.  Trip advisor review


VedettWent to Southsea between Christmas and New Year to visit a friend and we had lunch at the excellent Southsea Beach Cafe fish and chips and a pint of beer.  Well the pint of beer was Vedett extra blond.  Never heard of it?  Well it comes from Belgium and from the brewers of Duval and is an excellent larger – keeps it’s sparkle to the end of the glass and is really refreshing.  So when I got home I went to their site – it’s worth a visit and they will even customise packs of beer for you.  Interesting and unusual.  Very impressed!


IMG_20140831_125648869I’ve always been a big fan of White Beers.  I first saw these in Germany and the Berliner old ladies used to drink this with a fruit cordial (but I’m going back a long way here).  I lived in Belgium for a while and there are some great ones there including one with cardamom.  They are now common and popular all over Germany and although I didn’t have any at this year’s Oktoberfest I did two years ago – not sure I mentioned that in the post.  Anyway here’s one from Iceland – I bought on impulse in Majestic but probably available elsewhere as well. Very smooth – more refreshing I would say than Hoegarden.  I really liked it but it is a little pricey.