Today's little victory? Twelve bottles of craft beer and some meaty snacks
Who's to be thanked for that? Grant at Looking for the Postman blog and Oliver at Craft Metropolis
Craft Metropolis source craft ales from that there London so you don't have to, which is handy for someone who lives in Derbyshire. There are a huge amount to choose from, or you can let CM choose for you. I'm a big IPA fan so went solo and picked the prettiest labels and most amusing names mostly from that section. A more discerning drinker would read the tasting notes but I like an element of surprise. Setting up an account gets you the same order on a regular basis (every 1, 2 or 3 months) at £36 for a dozen bottles (P&P is free). The quality of service is impeccable - quick responses to queries from Oli and a very well packaged box arrived a few days later (see the Instagram photos). I even got a text to say that delivery would be between 1438 and 1538 on the day, which was accurate.
Most of the bottles are bottle-conditioned so there's sediment around, yet this wasn't affected that much during transit. Any cloudiness in the photos is probably due to my extravagant pouring style or greed in trying to get every last clear drop from the bottle. I've got to say, of the 12 beers selected only 2 really disappointed.
This impudent chap exploded when opened. Bottle conditioned it was the fizziest of the lot, Mrs Blog liked this - I'm a British chap and prefer my ales much flatter. It's light and slightly bitter - think Chris Packham.
Riding Ale (3% Pale Ale)
Full of body in several ways (taste and hue) the taste of this chap belies it's weakness. A true session beer with a lemony taste. Charles Hawtrey.
Peel Sessions (4.3% Blonde Ale)
A warmer, caramel taste made this a favourite. A pleasant flowery taste made me want to spend more time in it's company. Slightly cloudy, but they might be my clumsy introduction. Noel Fielding.
Sandycombe (4.4% Golden Ale)
Mildly hoppy, the first sip is of rosy creaminess but a lingering bitterness lurks beneath. There's a dustiness here, a slightly spicy taste that doesn't quite burst through. Ben Kingsley.
Quartermaine (6.2% IPA)
A mild taste for a strong beer, in fact surprisingly little taste for a beer of this stature. What is there is pleasant though. Big Pat Roach, the gentle giant.
Besko (6.5% IPA)
Pressure Drop Brewing
Classy little bugger, this. Deep and wholesome. On first taste this is your standard IPA but as the experience wears on you realise this is a cut above. Quite obviously Fiona Bruce.
Hepcat (4.6% IPA)
Oh dear. Cited on the label as 'jazzy', it's a bit more quickly thrown together muzak. The label also says it goes well with roast lamb and a rimmed hat, I regret I drank without the hat. And the rim.
This is the most disappointing bottle of the lot. It's not foul, just unsavoury - a footpath through a field that runs a little too close to an abattoir. Jamiroquai.
Mariana Trench (5.3% Pale Ale)
Oh, oh! Raspberries! I'm finally getting a taste I recognise and I've come over all Jilly Goulden. Am I right, does it say raspberries on the label? [checks] 'Mango and passion fruit'. It's fruit - I win!
The label also says to drink it with South East Asian food, but I only had Sou-Sou West so went hungry. An interesting brew this, fun and fruity - Jimmy Carr. And it's raspberries, the label must be wrong.
Brockwell IPA (5.6% IPA)
Canopy Beer Co.
Like the elephant on the label, rampant in trousers and tails, this is entirely run of the mill. Citra hops always sounds more exciting than they are, they're really not citrussy and all the beers I've knowingly had made with these hops have been fine but average. An unobtrusive tipple, try with a sunday roast. Matt Baker.
OA (6.5% IPA)
I say 'IPA', the label calls it 'Centenniel Mosaic Pacific Jade IPA'. Pretentious hipsterism. This is a confused beer. It tastes like a half decent beer left under the bed for a week. It's dusty and soon forgotten, which is a shame. Les Dennis with a very late aftertaste of...no, it's gone again.
West Coast Special (6.9% IPA)
Oh, that's lovely. Dark, rich and proper hoppy - the Beach Boys wouldn't have coped with this. Unless by 'West Coast' they mean Aberystwyth - those lads would do it justice. Dafydd Jones.
This beer was the one supped alongside the meaty snacks spoken of later, well suggested.
Five O' Clock Shadow (7% American IPA)
A brute of a beer: rich and bitter but in a good way, not pathetic like Farage. Don't turn your back on this swine. It's lovely but could turn nasty. Hairy, outwardly dastardly but actually quite lovely. Giant Haystacks.
Hot strips of beef
Oh yeah. Very hot and peppery. Cured with chilli jam for an extra kick, these are muscular and would have a moustache. Stunning.
Dark and lean, salty and spicy. A decent chorizo, that's all.
The fennel really stands out in these beauties. These are squat and funny, aniseedy pals have your back when you're supping.