Sunday, 11 June 2017


A not so random Shed Seven reference there...
I would say this week was a 'normal service is resumed' week, in that it was my first 5 day week at work for a while and we didn't do anything much out of the ordinary. The small matter of a General Election made it not a remotely normal week in reality.  Don't worry, I'm not going to go into this in much detail - this is supposed to be a beer review blog after all! All I will say, is that I woke up on Friday with a bit more optimism than I went to bed with on Thursday, not because I think the Tories and DUP are the dream team we need to be negotiating Brexit, but because it feels like Labour could win the next one, and it also feels like it won't be that long till that happens.  Maybe I'll have to eat my words on that one, and I'll regret putting it in writing, but it definitely feels like the tide is turning.
Anyway, back to the beer! On Friday Brewdog Dundee celebrated their 3rd anniversary with a Kernel Brewery showcase, and free cake, so obviously we wandered in to town to join the birthday party...
It was a bit too busy to order a flight - we weren't confident we'd get a seat, though actually we timed our arrival okay and did manage to find a table to perch on. So I started with their current Biere de Saison, a barrel aged citrussy saison.  The woody notes from the barrel ageing made it taste almost like a good Chardonnay - a good beer for wine drinkers. Not as tart as some of the sours I've had lately, making it an easy drinking first of the night, which would explain why it went down  so fast...
Not the best picture, but you can see how cloudy it was - definitely a farmhouse beer!
Next up I finally got around to trying a beer that's been on draft at Brewdog on and off for a while now - the Framboise from Kirkstall Brewery.  This is one of those dangerous fruit beers that tastes like fruit juice. At 3.6%, it's not a huge ABV but you could drink a lot of this without giving the alcohol content a second thought - I'm thinking beer garden on a sunny day. A delicious drink, but doesn't taste like beer in any way! Not that you can tell from the picture, but it pretty much looked like a glass of raspberry juice too. Having just had a quick look at their website I'm thinking a brewery visit might be in order at some point!
I ended the night in traditional fashion, with a dark beer - in this case one of Kernel's many stouts and porters. There were two on offer, and after some deliberation I went with the lower abv 1890 London stout, apparently made to an 1890 recipe.  A lovely nutty, slightly smoky beer, and a lovely way to end the evening.
I had planned a quiet weekend after a few busy ones, but the local cinema was showing Colossal last night, and based on the limited information I'd read about it, I really fancied going to see it.  We didn't have long for tea before the film, so it was probably a good thing we were the only customers in The Mexican Grill when we arrived.  Granted, it's a bit of a worry at 8pm on a Saturday night, but the food was pretty good, and a couple of other groups (well, a group and another couple) did arrive whilst we were there.  I would have loved to take the manager/owner up on his offer of churros but we had 5 minutes to get from the restaurant to the cinema and buy tickets so sadly we had to pass up that one - maybe next time!

I decided to embrace the cliche and ordered a margarita with my prawn bobo. It was actually a pretty good shout as the lime in the margarita really complimented the coconut sauce on the prawns.

I really enjoyed Colossal, probably all the more for not having read anything much about it.  I think I can avoid any spoilers by saying it's an indie romcom meets godzilla movie, which obviously shouldn't work on any level, but absolutely does.  If you're going to reference Wes Anderson in the script you're setting quite a high bar, but I'd say they just about got away with it!
We could have just headed to Brewdog after the film, and would have made last orders, but I've been hearing good things about a 'secret' bar in Dundee, which is obviously a slight contradiction, but as we were passing it's *rumoured* location it seemed like a good time to go looking for it....
Again, I won't say too much - spoilers and all that, other than to say it's modelled on a prohibition era speakeasy (oh, now I get it!) and is called Draffens.  The main focus is on decadent cocktails, priced accordingly it has to be said, but they do have a small but decent range of craft beers in the fridge too. I thought I'd best get into the theatre of the place and had a pretty heady cocktail, in a gorgeous glass.

Not the best picture, but it was really pretty! I'd definitely go back, though I might have to make more of an effort on the dressing up front next time - it's a perfect excuse to go full vintage if that's your bag. 
I'm going to say, the fact this place is in Dundee makes me think it was right that the City of Culture went to Hull instead, as Dundee's doing a pretty good job without that title, and that's before the V and A's even opened.
Well, that's the new series of Poldark about to start so I'm calling it a night, and hoping for another uneventful week!

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