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Pie and Pint

A Pie and Pint Tasting Evening was recently held at The Feathered Nest, with a selection of six interesting ales and beers to taste and enjoy with one of our delicious homemade pies available. The ales and beers selected were chosen from a recent trip to local breweries, by one of our staff members, Ed Blacklock. (Read more on the breweries visited below.)

Ed's Ale Odyssey

“In the beginning there was ‘The Jug’.”

This diary records my journey to find out more about one of the loves of my life, beer. I first fell in love with beer in my local village pub, Ye Olde Jug. Colin Dexter, the creator of the beer loving Inspector Morse, describes the attraction of pubs and their relationship to beer as follows:

"The pub is a separate circle of existence. You have your job, your family, circles that intertwine and overlap, but the pub is somehow outside that. It’s another little world – like going to another country, but not very far away. It’s a different ambience, a sense of independence, and that sort of feeling is very valuable. Above all, for me, it is the magic combination of friendship, conversation and beer – that form together a sort of alchemy of a very enjoyable piece of existence." (Read more ...)

Day 2

More bad news, the legend of Small Paul and the Chocolate Factory”

Leaving Cheddar behind me I was reminded why I love driving on small country roads that force you to think and act rather than just operate an automobile. (Read more ...)

Day 3 

“The first porter of the year and The End of the World”

In the morning I headed off to Ringwood with a spring in my step. The night before, I sampled several different ales in the Goat and Tricycle, a renowned real ale pub in Bournemouth, before meeting up with some of my friends in my old local, the Porter House, for a few pints of Ringwood beer. (Read more ...)

Day 4

Festivals and Birthdays”

I drove on to Wantage, where a local beer festival was being held. I had arranged to meet another microbrewer there, the award winning Shawn Cunningham, who was going to be in attendance along with one of his ales. (Read more ...)

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Day 5 

Brewing in dairies and in factories”

I started the day full of hope and enthusiasm as I had two visits to breweries in and around Bristol arranged. The first, The Severn Vale Brewery run by Steve, was based just north of the city in an old milking shed near Dursley. (Read more ...)

Day 6

“Beer... now it gets serious”

I had booked myself onto a foundation course on beer run by the Beer Academy, and so I made my way to the venue at the George just outside of Bristol. The course was being run by Tim O’Rourke, a well known beer writer, who had recently returned from Russia after recreating the journey of British stouts to Imperial Russia, where in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, the aristocracy had developed a taste for our beers. (Read more ...)

Day 7

“Heading home and brewing trouble”

I left Bristol early in the morning to return to my home county of Buckinghamshire for a visit to the Chiltern Brewery, where they brew a range of traditional English ales. (Read more ...)

Day 8

“Family brewers and tasters”

The final day of my tour had arrived and I drove down to Swindon to visit the final brewery on my itinerary. Arkells is a family owned business that dates back 160 years, making it the oldest brewery I would visit. (Read more ...)

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