Thursday, 31 December 2015

My 2015 in Beer

In 2015 i tried 3537 new beers from 1034 different breweries.

My Average beer score for 2015 (on the RateBeer scale) was 3.4

My 5 most tried styles of 2015 were
340 India Pale Ales
268 Golden/Blond Ales
239 Imperial Stouts
236 American Pale Ales
167 Saisons

My 5 most tried countries of 2015 were
England 1431 Beers
Scotland 659 Beer
United States 485 Beers
Denmark 167 Beers
Netherlands 140 Beers

My  5 most tried Breweries  of 2015 were
Stewart Brewing with 127 beers
Brewdog with 61 beers
Mikkeller with 61 Beers
Alpha Project with  60 Beers
The Kernel with 50 Beers

My Top 5 Styles of 2015 were
Imperial Stout  with an average score of 3.86
Imperial Porter  with an average score of 3.84
Sweet Stout  with an average score of 3.77
Black IPA  with an average score of 3.6
Stout with an average score of 3.59

My top 10 Breweries of 2015 were (min of 5 new beers)
Alesmith  tried 5 with an average score of 3.86
Avery tried 5 with an average score of 3.86
Põhjala tried 5 with an average score of 3.84
Prairie tried 15 with an average score of 3.8
Jackie O's tried 7 with an average score of 3.86
Buxton tried 17 with an average score of 3.78
Hawkshead tried 15 with an average score of 3.78
Loch Lomond tried 5 with an average score of 3.78
Magic Rock tried 20 with an average score of 3.76
Cellarmaker tried 7 with an average score of 3.57

My Top 10(well 11 as score changed at 11) beers of 2015 were
Cellarmaker Imperial Coffee and Cigarettes  with a score of  4.6
Magic Rock Bearded Lady Dessert Edition with a score of  4.6
Pipeworks Coffee Break Abduction Imperial Stout with a score of  4.4
Nøgne Ø Quadrupel (Red Wine Barrel Edition)  with a score of  4.4
Magic Rock Bourbon Barrel Bearded Lady  with a score of  4.4
Beavertown / Prairie Ales  Barrel Aged 'Spresso  with a score of  4.4
Fyne Ales / De Molen Mills and Hills  with a score of  4.4
Struise CapSoul    De Struise Brouwers   with a score of  4.4
Perennial Barrel Aged Abraxas  with a score of  4.4
Founders Backstage Series #11: Big Lushious  with a score of  4.4
Loch Lomond Jaffa the Hutt   with a score of  4.4 

But a special mention goes to both
Hawkshead / Crooked Stave for  Key Lime Tau
Mad Hatter for  Tzatziki Sour
Both of which Scored 4.3 as unlike the whole  top 11 these were not BIG beers.

Monday, 15 June 2015

Fun Fyne on Cairndow

I know i dont blog that much and as i told Adam at the start of the festival, i know im no great writer, and i tend to only try to put words down (with all the letters,though not necessarily in the right order, and come to think of it not even all the right ones) when i get inspired. And guess what. Thats what Fyne Fest did.

What is FyneFest? 
Is it a Beer festival? Is it a Music festival? Is it a Family Holiday?

 I guess we will never really know

But for me its of all that and more.

Most importantly FyneFest is an opportunity to relex, and enjoy the slow pace of life in good company. Its not a beer festival to dash round and try and get all the lovely new beers, its not a family holiday to be crammed with as many exciting things as i can make fit, Its one of only 2 times in the year that i truly stop and relax.

The festival is nestled between two hills giving a stunning 360 degree view of some of the most wonderful scenery that  scotland has to offer. The site of the festival is amazingly well laid out (well apart front the single entrance/exit that doesnt half get muddy) with camping not to far from the car and even closer to the bar, with a decent range of food and non beer stalls and  plenty of space for camping. 

Friends from near and Far gathered as our tent village  grew to over 15 tents, some containing people i  know well, other not so well,yet more ive only met at previous FyneFest, and more still being friends of the previous, but all there with the same aim, to relax and enjoy the event what ever the weather.

 Welcome to the Village

This is my 3rd FyneFest and each year the beer list gets better and better. Despite neither of the previous two years catering to my love of trying new beers, the beer list contained many gems and keep me very happy. This year prior to the event on seeing the beer list i couldnt help but drool at the number of new beers and few other favorites. But what surprised me most was that unlike most beer festivals i didnt dash round trying to complete the set but found myself casually picking them off one at a time, inter-spaced mostly with the delightful Mills and Hills, the number of these climbing beyond my capacity to count.

I dont know any one thats been to FyneFest that doesnt want to come back again and again, some of those who have been coming for years have build up traditions, and i enjoyed hearing from some people i was chatting to on the Friday evening about their tradition and how they stop off at the same pub on route up from Cumbria for a pint of Tennants Lager, and how on Saturday morning they had to head off to Inveraray for a Pie before returning for the 2nd day.

The Three Musketeers

But on asking one the Saturday how the pie was, i discovered Disaster had struck, and the shop had changed hands and no longer did pies. Wandering around they found a pub, had a pint and on way out passed a butcher as disaster was averted, of course now tradition demands a visit that same pub next year. 

So heres to tradition, 
and long may FyneFest continue to be traditional part to my year

Sunday, 1 February 2015

USA vs the Rest of the World Part 2

This time i took 4 Beers and ONE HUNDRED random users, ignoring any with less than 10 or that country wasnt clear.

Beer 1  Three Floyds Dark Lord Russian Imperial Stout  USA average 4.25   ROW average 4.28

Beer 2  Westvleteren 12 (XII)  USA average 4.44   ROW average 4.41

Beer 3  Samuel Smiths Oatmeal Stout  USA average 4.0  ROW average 3.79 

Beer 4 Sierra Nevada Pale Ale (Bottle/Can)  USA average 3.73  ROW average 3.53

Interestingly the Highest Regarded beers showed no real difference but the other 2 beers showed about a 0.2 difference in favour of US rating

In everycase there were more US raters: 66, 59, 79, 68 repectivly

Now again while it hints that there maybe a small difference i dont think this proves anything. But it does make me want Database access that would allow a much more in depth look

Friday, 30 January 2015

USA vs the Rest of the World Part 1

The RateBeer best awards have always made me think.

All awards hove there Pro and Cons and im a big fan of RateBeer but the Dominance of US beer and breweries in the RateBeers best and top 50. Along side this some surprising UK entries that seem to have a much higher placing than me or the beer people i know would expect but on closer examination have a large distribution in the US.  All this has regularly made me think that maybe US members rate beers higher then Non US members.

Now without Access to the Database where im sure some large scale analysis could be done, im going to try looking at several beers  that will hopefully have a reasonable number of ratings from both US and Non US members.

So for Part 1, I have taken
Three Floyds Dark Lord Russian Imperial Stout vs Westvleteren 12 (XII)

I looked at distribution of the Top 20 and Bottom 20 raters of each beer. (excluding as is ratebeers way any with less than 10 rates)

So for
Darklord all 20 top raters were from the US but only 10 of the Bottom Raters were
Where as for
Westvletern 13 of the top raters were from NON US countries but 11 of the bottom were also NON US raters

Now Its a  small sample of only 2 beers so id be fairly certain its statistically insignificant, but i hope to look at other beers in this way and others and see if a pattern emerges

Sunshine on Corstorphine

Way back 4 Years ago i got solar panels installed by EcoSunPower, which you can read more about here and i talked about the FITS scheme here and though the payments have dropped so has the cost of installing solar panels , making it still a worthwhile investment in my eyes.

But today im going to look back at my first FOUR years

What we see here is a month by month reading of what solar units i received vs the sight i used to decide on the viability of installing the panels. As can clearly be seen my use of the site consistently underestimated how much solar units i would produce. Only one in the 4 years did i produce less than the prediction.

From this days we can see the odd numbered years do better . Fingers crossed for this year then :-) That the sunniest month was July this year and the least sunniest was December 2011 and that February is 50 to 100% percent more sunny than January so things are looking up as we head into February.