Where travel and thirst collide



Wychwood – Snake’s Bite

Hello all,

Today I bring you my first, shall I say, hybrid beer. A unique offering from the Legendary Wychwood Brewery (, a mix between Lager and Cider, this one certainly intrigues.

Beer: Snake’s Bite

Brewery: Wychwood (Marstons), England

Wychwood Snake's bite - England - very smooth ale with very sweet apple notes married with light cereal beer notes very odd fruit beer confusing medium low carbonation - 4o2 abv - 6o5 () 10
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Impressions: This is a very smooth cider / beer combination. However, it is very sweet. Strong apple notes are blended with light cereal hops and bitterness. Medium to low carbonation.

ABV: 4.2%

Score: 6.5 / 10 (Average)

Verdict: This is an odd one. It’s beer.. but.. but it’s cider. And a very sweet one at that. It wasn’t bad. But it wasn’t great. Definitely different and definitely worth a try if you enjoy Belgian style fruit beers. Weird.

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Blackthorn Cider

Hello cider drinkers,

Today I bring you another ubiquitous cider widely available in any supermarket. There are two versions of this, the more palatable 4.7% (this) and the higher strength 6% version typical geared toward students.

Cider: Blackthorn

Brewery: Matthew Clark Cider, Shepton Mallet, England

Blackthorn Cider - medium carbonated sweet cider mild apple flavour low abv 4o7 - 6o5 () 10
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Impressions: This was a semi-sweet apple cider. Altogether mild in apple flavour with little in the way of additional notes. Medium carbonation.

ABV: 4.7%

Score: 6.5 / 10 (Average)

Verdict: As with many mass market ciders, this is very drinkable. It does nothing to excite, but also nothing to offend. It’s cheap, refreshing, and can do the job. Much better alternatives out there.

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Banks’s Lion’s Roar

Hello ale fans,

Today I bring you an ale from the ubiquitous Banks’s brewery. Typical of these brewers are creamy, low ABV ales, which is exactly where this one falls. Check out their beautiful website here:


Beer: Lion’s Roar

Brewery: Banks’s, Wolverhampton, England

Banks Lion's Roar - England - smooth ale mild hops bitterness semi cereal flavour creamy aftertaste low carbonation - 3o8 abv - 6o5 () 10

Impressions: This was a smooth, creamy ale. A nice rich head to the pint, with low carbonation. Very mild bitterness with low hops hidden in the cereal notes. A nice creamy follow through and after taste.

ABV: 3.8%

Score: 6.5 / 10 (Average)

Verdict: This beer has many qualities that I look for in an ale. Creamy, smooth, easy drinking. But that’s where it stops. It needs more bitterness, more flavour in general. The low ABV drags this beer down further as it lacks any real punch and leaves it a bit on the watery side. That said, amongst the low ABV ales, this is very pleasant and will do the job if that is what you’re after.

Athenian Brewery – Alfa Beer

Hello worldly people,

Today I bring you a lager from the Athenian Brewery, which I enjoyed poolside on my recent holiday to Santorini. This ice cold lager, conveniently sold in an ice chilled glass, was around $3 euros, which is standard for a pint on the island.

Beer: Alfa

Brewery: Athenian Brewery S.A., Athens, Greece

Alfa Beer - Greece - very smooth lager light and refreshing odd hops cereal taste medium low carbonation - abv - 6o5 () 10
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Impressions: This was a very smooth and very refreshing lager. Light in body and bitterness, with a novel (odd) hops taste. Cereal notes throughout. Medium to low carbonation.

ABV: 5%

Score: 6.5 / 10 (Average)

Verdict: Beers on holiday are hard to judge. Especially when in a hot climate. Not only are we elated to be on holiday, but I suppose any cold drink would seem extra refreshing. That said, this was a nice light lager, with a decent amount of carbonation keeping it lively, but easily quaffable. Remarkably average though.

Take a look at more beers I had on holiday in Greece!

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Badger – Poacher’s Choice – Hall and Woodhouse VII

Hello Y’all,

Seventh in my compendium of Badger Ales is one that didn’t quite match up with my expectations (based on their previous 6 ales!).; however, read on as it might be to your taste!

Beer: Poacher’s Choice

Brewery: Badger, Hall and Woodhouse, Dorset, England

Badger Poachers Choice - England - very smooth ale strong strawberry and blackberry flavours with a strong notes of liquorice slightly too sweet low carbonation - 5o7 abv - 6o5 () 10
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Impressions: This was a very smooth, very sweet ale. Deep in colour and deep in flavour. Strong ‘fruits of the forest’ flavours permeate this beer. Strawberry and blackberry are what I pick up most, with a strong notes of liquorice dancing between. Little bitterness within. Low carbonation.

ABV: 5.7%

Score: 6.5 / 10 (Average)

Verdict: Unfortunately this beer wasn’t greatly to my taste. Far too sweet for what I look for in an ale and the fruit flavours were overpowering. It was put together well if you’re looking for a more full-on ‘Frutti di bosco’ experience, so maybe one for those who don’t enjoy bitter beer, or perhaps want a subtle introduction to beer! At 5.7% I’m surprised I didn’t enjoy this more as I’m very partial to beers with a punch, but this had very little. Maybe best enjoyed on a hot summer day, sipping on an ice cold bottle.

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Check out my other reviews of Badger ales here!

Alexander Keith’s India Pale Ale


Today I bring you a lager from my homeland. Alexander Keith’s is one of the oldest breweries in North America, established in 1820. Today, they produce mainly lagers for Canadian and American consumption. Read up on them here

Apparently they’ve started brewing Cider (Hard Cider – to Canadians), which is something I’ll have to check out when I’m over next.

Beer: India Pale Ale (Nova Scotia style Pale Ale in the States)

Brewery: Alexander Keith’s, Labatt, AB InBev, Canada

Alexander Keith's India Pale Ale - Nova Scotia Canada - smooth Canadian lager creamy with a medium light bitter hops odd notes of olives medium carbonation - 5 abv - 6o5 () 10
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Impressions: This is a  smooth Canadian IPA. A somewhat creamy somewhat bland body with a medium to light bitter hops. I found some odd notes of olives hidden in the background. Medium carbonation.

ABV: 5%

Score: 6.5 / 10 (Average)

Verdict: I found this to be a squarely average IPA. A nice amount of bitterness brings the fairly low body to a more enjoyable level. The odd olive background might appeal to some! As beer is somewhat expensive in Canada, I would probably look for an alternative.

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Adlerbrau Cerveza Especial

Today I bring you a beer from my recent journey to Barcelona, Spain. I can’t find much on the internet about this beer, but maybe a Spanish reader out there could help me out? Purchased for 29 cents (Euro) from a local market.

Beer: Adlerbrau Cerveza Especial

Brewery: Grupo Cervezas Alhambra (Grupo Mahou-San Miguel – Carlsberg), Spain

Adlerbrau 5o4 abv 29p decently smooth lager  light bitter refreshing not great a after taste great value corn 6o5()

Impressions: This is a smooth lager that is light in the way of flavour. Light also in the body, and bitterness. Refreshing. Medium to low carbonation. Light corn and cereal flavours, with a somewhat unpalatable after taste.

ABV: 5.4%

Score: 6.5 / 10 (Average)

Verdict: Not a great lager, but not bad one either. Refreshing and light, but with a bitter aftertaste. For the price (and the ABV), it’s a pretty good alternative for those on a budget.

Stella Artois Compendium

Today I bring you 2 beers and 2 ciders from the Stella Artois family. Started from a brewery dating back to 1366, “Stella Artois was launched initially as a seasonal beer for the Christmas holiday market. First sold in Canada, it was such a commercial success that it became available all year round, and, apart from the duration of the Second World War, has been produced ever since.”


Beer #1: Stella Artois

Brewery: Stella Artois, Anheuser-Busch InBev, Belgium

Stella Artois - apparently called wife beater in England - highly carbonated light flavour mildly bitter - not as good as the Canadian version - 6o75 [] 10

Impressions: This is a very smooth lager, with medium bitter hops notes, and little else. Medium to high carbonation (in this bottle) makes this lager very lively, but is also quite refreshing.

ABV: 4.8%

Score: 6.5 / 10 (Average)

Verdict: A fairly standard lager. Refreshing with a decent amount of bitterness, but no real outstanding qualities. In England this is apparently called ‘Wife Beater’.. not really sure why. In Canada it is sold at 5.2%, so it has more kick and is overall a better beer.


Beer #2: Stella Artois Black

Brewery: Stella Artois, Anheuser-Busch InBev, Belgium

Stella Artois Black - Belgium - cold smooth ale very refreshing light hops flavour less bitter than normal but cleaner finish medium carbonation - 7o25 () 10

Impressions: This was an even smoother version of Stella. Very refreshing with a light bitter hops. Less in the way of bitterness than the original (above), but with a much cleaner body and finish. Medium carbonation.

ABV: 4.9%

Score: 7.25 / 10 (Good to Very Good)

Verdict: This has a slightly higher ABV than above, but oppositely, is a much cleaner beer. Very smooth. Not much in the way of stand out flavours, but very refreshing. Pleasingly served very cold. Worth a try.


Cider #1: Cidre

Brewery: Stella Artois, Anheuser-Busch InBev, Belgium

Stella Artois Cidre - Belgium - very smooth mild cider 4o5 abv mild semi sweet apples create a warm mouth feel medium carbonation - 7o5 () 10

Impressions: A very smooth, full bodied cider. Mild in strength, but a strong apple flavour throughout. Clean, semi sweet apples, with a warm mouth feel. Medium carbonation.

ABV: 4.5%

Score: 7.5 / 10 (Very Good)

Verdict: This was an enjoyable cider. Much better than I had anticipated from a large beer brewery! Slightly low on the ABV leaves a bit of punch to be desired, but it’s very smooth and easy drinking. Definitely worth a try.


Cider #2: Cidre Pear

Brewery: Stella Artois, Anheuser-Busch InBev, Belgium

Stella Pear Cidre - Belgium - very smooth pear cider not too sweet notes of vanilla nice sharpness medium low carbonation - 4o5 abv - 7o5 () 10

Impressions: As above, a very smooth cider. Strong pear notes, but not too sweet. Notes of vanilla blend in the background. Medium to low carbonation mix with a slight sharpness, creating a tangy lively cider.

ABV: 4.5%

Score: 7.5 / 10 (Very Good)

Verdict: Again, a surprise from the Belgians. I’m not usually a fan of ‘Perrys’ as they are often sickly sweet. This was a nice blend of warm, but also sharp, pear notes with an acceptable amount of sweetness. Again (as above), a higher ABV would have given the whole package a better kick, but as is, this is an easy drinking cider and would be perfect on a hot summer day.


Welcome to Davy Jones’ Locker

Ahoy everyone! Today I bring you a one off beer crafted for the Wetherspoons Real Ale beer festival, 2010.


Beer: Flying Dutchman Junibier

Brewery: Caledonian (Heineken), Scotland

Flying Dutchman - Scotland - smooth maple flavour lightly carbonated but poorly executed was warm - 6o5 () 10 b


Impressions: This is a smooth ale, that was unfortunately served warm. With that in mind, there were soft maple notes amongst the malt and gentle bitterness. Low carbonation.

ABV: 4.3%

Score: 6.5 / 10 (Average)

Verdict: This was presumably brewed with juniper berries, though I didn’t get any scent or taste of it. Again, served warm (and this isn’t me just being Canadian). Perhaps if it was served cooled/chilled, it would have made it smoother and more enjoyable. At any rate, it gets an average. I’d like to try it again at proper temperature though. The idea of juniper intrigues me.

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