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Published: November 3rd 2008
One of the beer jugs
From the Brewery tour
For some reason it seems that all we really have to tell you about this weekend is alcohol! I hope you don’t all get the wrong impression…really we’re not that big drinkers…I like my wine, and Daniel likes his wine, beer, whiskey, rum, bourbon…!!!
On Friday night Daniel and I headed out to the Hog Back Brewery, with about 20 people from my work, for a brewery tour. The tour was fun and we learnt lots about the process of making TEA. Yes TEA. I’m sure you’re wondering what TEA has to do with making beer, but TEA is a brand of the beer that they make at this brewery, coincidentally named the same at the Brits favourite drink (we now know from experience!). TEA, in this brewery, stands for Traditional English Ale. The brewery makes over 40,000 pints per week! And that only goes to supply the south/west areas on England. The brewery makes a range of beers, ranging in alcohol ratings from 3.7% to 9%!
During the tour we got to sample 4 of their beers. Now when you think of a sample you normally expect a mouthful or two of the product. Well, think again. Here we
were given 4 jugs (as in those pitcher jugs that you normally serve punch in on a hot summer day) full of beer at the first stop, 3 at the second and 2 at each of the third and fourth stops! And contrary to popular belief, and to the relief of Daniel, the English don’t drink their beers warm (unless they come from some dodgy pub).Unfortunately, beer did not grow on me at all during this tour, so I drank very little, and since we have 5 drivers, they also drank very little, thus leaving the remaining beer for the rest of the crew.
As the Hog Back are a speciality, smaller brewery, they can make different varieties of beer, and one-offs. So when something goes wrong in the process, if the beer still tastes OK, then they will market it under another name. For instance, the power went out once so they had this different tasting beer, still good (apparently) but it needed a different name. As Halley’s Comet was out they decided to name it after that, because they figured then people couldn’t ask them to make the another batch of it again until the next Halley’s Comet
(in 75 or so years), by which stage all of these guys will be retired or dead, so they won’t need to worry about figuring out how they made it in the first place!
Some of the other brews they make are called ‘Rip Snorter’ (a 5% beer), ‘A over T’ (a 9% beer), ‘OTT’ (a dark 6% beer), and ‘Santa’s Wobble’ (a 7.5% beer made over Christmas time).
After the tour we went out for dinner to an Italian restaurant. A nice, yummy, flash one, you know the one, where they feed you a small portion so Daniel has to go home afterwards and cook up twice as much again to fill himself up!
The dinner was good and we had a great evening. It was really nice to go out with some people from work and get to know them better. We also caught up with Chris, who works in this office but came over to my office for a 4 month secondment last year. So if anyone is reading this from my work, Chris says hello to you all and was asking after you.
On Saturday we didn’t really do a whole lot. We were going
to go to Portsmouth Harbour but the weather was so horrible, rainy and windy, we decided to stay in instead. Daniel packaged up a box of stuff to send home and I watched Pollyanna (I didn’t realise it was such a sad movie!). Anyway, Daniel wanted to weigh the box, but we don’t have bathroom scales, and we didn’t want to bring it down to the post shop since it was raining, and no-one in the building had bathroom scales, so he got out a paint roller and balanced a plank of board on it, then he put the box on one side and slowly measured (using the kitchen scales) and poured water into a bucket on the other side! Just like the good-old olden-day scales.
On Sunday Scott and Amanda came down to visit us for the day. Amanda is an old school friend of mine, we went to high school and University together and Amanda is also an accountant. Amanda and Scott live just above London (we stayed with them when we first arrived in England 3 months ago). We had a great day with them, showing them the sights of Guildford, and going out for lunch
Step 1 - Colour
"Is your whisky light gold, bright copper or rich amber in colour?"
and catching up again.
At night, Daniel and I decided to do some of our own whisky tasting. Last weekend we bought a 6 pack whisky tasting kit in Scotland, so we thought we better try it out. You can check out the photos for our scientific findings.
Anyway, that’s about it from us this week. Only one more weekend in England left for us now. Next weeks blog will be from our trip to Rome, yah! It will be great to have nice weather again!
I have 4 weeks left at work now, and already I’ve been getting e-mails on leaving procedures. Time sure goes fast. And it’s Monday morning and I’m still without work, so I guess I’ll be making a lot more Christmas cards this week! Last Friday I spent 5 hours making cards. The managers even come over to see what I’m making each day!
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