This is my original blog – all my blogs  since I started in 2009 - are here including those from The Ale Archive – all the beers I’ve sampled at home and on our travels since 2012.

Since 2012 most of our travel has involved a caravan. I now have a specific caravanning blog called (Get Your) Legs Down which documents all our trips and includes product reviews and pubs! It too is on Facebook and Twitter.

Sunday, 22 May 2016

Surrey Hills - Shere drop (Btl)


What they say: The flagship beer is pale in colour with a subtle hint of grapefruit and lemon in the aroma. The wonderful hop bitterness is complemented by a balanced malt flavour. The beer has a long finish, which is moderately dry.”

Just as enjoyable as the cask version and the last ale from our Easter getaway. Not as fruity as their description might suggest. 4.2% A.B.V.

Tillingbourne - Hop Troll IPA


WP_20160510_21_06_30_ProWhat they say: “A full on 7 Hop IPA style monster with a citrusy rich sweetness followed by a powerful Hoppy bitterness – all perfectly balanced and extremely drinkable. Epic! This is our first permanent IPA packed with 7 American Hops. Developed from our experimental beers previously known as – Evolution #2 & #3.”

The first of two bottled ales from our last stop on our Easter getaway in Surrey and brewed just a few miles from our campsite in East Horsley. From a young brewery (2011) this was - not surprisingly a little too hoppy for my taste but a pleasant ale nonetheless 4.8% A.B.V

Thursday, 19 May 2016

England Rugby at Brighton College

The England Rugby Squad – well those that were not still on playing duties with their clubs -  visited our school for a number of training sessions prior to a ‘friendly’ with Wales before heading off Down Under. Coach Eddie Jones was so impressed with the set up here when we provided training facilities for the Japanese team for the Rugby World Cup that he was happy to return. Here’s a few photos:


Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Staffordshire Brewery – Rudyard Ruby Premium


WP_20160503_21_08_18_ProWhat they say: “A ruby coloured ale with a malty character”

I like a nice rich ruby ale for a change and was really looking forward to this. The colour was great, but sadly it was almost completely flat. I’m sure that wasn’t the intention and I look forward to trying it again when the opportunity arises. 4.8% A.B.V. May 2016.

Monday, 9 May 2016

Kilrock - Moisture Trap and Mould Killer

Time - at last -  for another product review. I’ve been sitting on these for a while - not literally - because they arrived just before we departed on our Easter break up north - and since we’ve been back the overtime has been flooding in at work. Anyway, here goes.

We have two products here that the good folk at sent for me to have a look at. The first is their Damp Clear Moisture Trap.

WP_20160318_13_53_52_ProNow, we may be fortunate but we don't have an issue with damp in the  caravan - not one that showed up in her annual service anyway. Yes, there’s always some condensation when it’s been really cold at night but nothing out of the ordinary. Our flat however is a different matter. WP_20160509_08_57_48_Pro


We’ve used moisture traps  for sometime now - particularly in the problem areas such as the bedroom and toilet - and the traps certainly collect plenty of moisture. I have a couple of different makes but the designs are largely the same. The crystals sit in a cover tray with a chamber to collect the water underneath.

The product from Kilrock is a little different. The profile of the unit is higher and the design means that more of the moisture attracting crystals are exposed to the air, making it more efficient. In a thoroughly unscientific experiment this certainly seemed to be the case - and this is what makes it better than it’s rival products. For comparison here are the units side by side, the Kilrock one is on the left:


The retail price is £4.99 - and this includes a fill of the hydroscopic crystals which should last around three months. It’s available from the usual DIY stores as well as online at and a quick search on the ‘net revealed this to be around the going rate for this type of product and is in line with what I paid for mine some years ago.

Next up is their Blast Away Mould.

WP_20160509_09_12_54_ProAgain, I have some experience of this type of product. There are a few specific locations in our flat that suffer from mould during the damper winter months, thanks in the main to ageing and ill fitting double glazing units. Once a month or so I use a spray on product around the problem areas - and in the main it is effective.WP_20160509_09_13_16_Pro

The product from Kilrock works in a similar way - you apply it, wait thirty minutes, wipe off and the mould is gone. The method of application here is different though and this is where it has some advantages. It is in gel form rather than liquid, so there is less chance of it running off to where you don’t want it. In addition it is applied with a brush, making it easier to target specific areas more effectively, rather than just spray and hope.

It was equally as effective in getting rid of the mould as my existing product - the strong smell of bleach was again present which would suggest that the ingredients are similar, but the method of application made for more precise targeting of the problem areas.

The retail price is £3.99 and is available as above - and again seems to be around the going rate.

So, a couple of really useful products from Kilrock that may be equally of use at home or when you are away in the caravan. If you are in the market for these types of products, check them out.

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Wold Top - Scarborough Fair IPA



What they say: “Interestingly brewed and triple-hopped, this IPA is a strong and Gluten Free beer………Strong  and well hopped for the voyage sending IPA from the Wolds to the World. Interestingly brewed with a pale Wold grown malt base, a  triple hop blend and Maize for the head retention”

After sampling the excellent Wold Top Bitter on our stop in North Yorkshire I was delighted to spot another of their beers on the shelf of a supermarket in Ripon. This didn’t disappoint either - a ‘proper’ IPA and at 6% A.B.V one to be savoured rather than sloshed back. May 2016.

Monday, 2 May 2016

Little Valley - Withens Pale Ale



What they say: “Withens Pale Ale uses refreshing floral Cascade hops and hints of spice, orange and citrus, giving a delicious dry bitter finish. It’s great with most types of foods, especially pasta and fish dishes”

My first beer from this brewery was not my favourite, as regulars could easily tell from the description. Again though, a little more chilled and on a warm summers night it would be most welcome. 3.9% A.B.V. May 2016

Staffordshire Brewery - Black Grouse Stout


What they say: “A smooth stout with rich chocolate undertones.”

Clearly not one to waste words, but it adequately sums up this tasty stout. Staffordshire? Well, yes, we stayed in the Peak District but parts of it we travelled through on the way to our site were indeed in Staffordshire and this was bought at the Co-Op in Bakewell.

A nice drink and not overly strong at 4.5% A.B.V but I’ve preferred other stouts more. April 2016

Yorkshire Dales Brewing - Askrigg Ale


What they say: “Award winning ale, a crisp, golden ale with a strong hoppy finish from the Amarillo hops and a good underlying sharpness.”

The last of my selection of ales from Askrigg was probably the least enjoyable. Not because it wasn’t good but because the bar had been set so high by the others which were simply more to my taste. A great ale for those that like a golden hoppier beer. 4.3% A.B.V.

April 2016

Yorkshire Dales Brewing - Castle Bolton Bitter


What they say? Well, nothing as usual and searching on the usual suspects -,, proved unproductive.

However, what we have is another mighty fine ale from the gang at Askrigg. An amber coloured bitter hitting all the right notes for me, striking the right balance between, malty, fruity, hoppy and bitterness. 3.9% A.B.V.

April 2016

Wychwood - Black Wych

So! Nearly three weeks after our Easter getaway ended I'm up to date with the draught beers that we got to sample on our travels. Now it’s just the few remaining bottled ales that need my attention….


What they say: “Black Wych is a beguiling traditional English dark stout, silky smooth, soft and seductive. A heady brew, which entices you to lose your senses and fall for the charms of The Black Wych.”

Ok, so there’s a lot of what could uncharitably be called twaddle in there, but I like Whychwood’s whole tongue in cheek spooky thing going on. More to the point I’ve liked every single on their beers I’ve tried and this was no exception. Another quality brew from Oxfordshire.

April 2016

Sunday, 1 May 2016

Todays Uniform - 1st May


Going smart  today. I do like the shirt/tie/cardigan combo.

Black button down shirt, leather tie, cardigan and plain black leather jeans. I much prefer a shirt with a collar pin, but that was in the wash.

The occasion? Nothing! Just a lazy day at home catching up on some writing for my other blogs

1648 - Triple Champion

What they say: "Triple Champion 4.0% abv. Deep chestnut, old fashioned English bitter with a rich malty back taste"
Our first beer back in the ‘local’ on return from our Easter getaway and very tasty it was too. Yes, it was an  old fashioned bitter but that’s just fine by me.

The Rottingdean Club, East Sussex. April 2016


Gales - Redwood

WP_20160409_12_56_49_ProWhat they say: “The Australian pride of Ringwood hops give Redwood a spicy kick, which combines with the citrus & fruit like tones to give a complex flavour profile.”

From the Fullers Stable comes this latest guest in our local and a lovely pint it was too. I didn’t find it as fruity as the description suggests. 4.0% A.B.V.

The Rottingdean Club, East Sussex. April 2016

Surrey Hills - Shere Drop

WP_20160406_17_09_32_ProWhat they say: “The flagship beer is pale in colour with a subtle hint of grapefruit and lemon in the aroma. The wonderful hop bitterness is complemented by a balanced malt flavour. The beer has a long finish, which is moderately dry.”

Brewed just up the road in Dorking from our campsite in East Horsley. Thankfully, the aforementioned hint of citrus fruits was subtle. I really enjoyed this, and have the bottled version to sample at some point too. 4.2% A.B.V.

The King William IV, West Horsley, Surrey. April 2016

Unknown - The Old Welly

WP_20160405_14_37_56_ProOur final stop on our Easter getaway saw us in East Horsley in Surrey and if we ever needed reminding that we were back down south, the cost of a couple of pints provided it!

That being said, this - our first pint was delicious. A dark malty bitter weighing in at 4.1% A.B.V. I have no idea who actually brews it, and have asked the pub via the wonders of social media if they could let me know. If and when I get a reply I’ll update this entry.

The Duke of Wellington, East Horsely, Surrey. April 2016

Derby Brewing - Red Bullet

WP_20160403_18_46_54_ProWhat they say: “Ruby red in colour, this well balanced Rye IPA showcases the rich spiciness of the rye malt. Loaded with an intense citrusy aroma.”

Yeah, I like this, but then I’ve generally enjoyed red ales. The citrus aroma didn’t overpower or put me off. Sadly the last beer we got to sample during our time in the Peak District. 4% A.B.V.

The Pack Horse Inn, Crowdecote, Derbyshire. April 2016

Howard Town - Hope

WP_20160403_18_11_54_ProWhat they say: “Pale and refreshing with nutty malts, crisp and fruity hops, and blackberries on the nose.”

From not too far away - in Glossop, this was another guest at the good old Pack Horse Inn.

Reading the description, you will not be surprised to learn that this wasn’t really my thing - but again, a great beer for a hot summer’s night. Should we ever get one…. 4.1% A.B.V

The Pack Horse Inn, Crowdecote, Derbyshire. April 2016