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Movies, Craft Beer and Geek Stuff

Musings

Being a Human

The most heartbreaking thing I’ve seen in recent times is the media making people truly believe that those who are in genuine need and those who just want to cheat the welfare system out of every penny they can are one and the same.

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In the minds of the uninitiated public, modern craft beer tends to be synonymous with lofty ABVs. I’m sure this is probably to do with all the press generated by beers like BrewDog’s Tokyo*, an 18.2% stout or even their End of History coming in at 55% (at one time the world’s strongest beer). While it’s true that the craft beer world features some really boozy delights, and indeed some of the best ones are 7% and up, there’s a lot to be said about low-ABV “session” ales that are becoming more and more popular. It seems like pretty much every craft brewery is now releasing at least one beer in the 3-5% range to fit this purpose.

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I should start this by saying I don’t normally review restaurants. In fact, this will be my first attempt so sorry if it’s not great, I’m just trying something new. Since opening a few weeks back, there have been mixed reviews of Derby’s new gourmet burger restaurant The Forge. Opened by seasoned (pun intended) restaurateur Brad Worley, The Forge promises great artisan burgers made from locally sourced, top quality ingredients served in a non-formal, relaxed atmosphere. Well that sounded just my cup of tea so I had to check it out.

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Craft beer, as a concept, is nothing new to the UK. For decades pubs have been priding themselves on their selections of “real ales” which typically means ale from small, often local breweries served cellar temperature, hand pulled from a cask. These beers *are* craft beers in the sense that they are not mass produced, they use top quality ingredients, and have limited distribution. This hasn’t just existed for longer than the US craft beer scene has existed, it’s existed for longer than the US itself has existed.

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Yesterday I placed my first order from Buxton Brewery’s online shop which is operated by drinks distribution outfit Eebria. Eebria basically drop-ship direct from manufacturers which means not only is your beer the freshest it can be, having not sat around in their warehouse for ages, it offers the cheapest delivery I’ve seen for an online beer seller at £5.99. The only downside; you have to pay one delivery charge per manufacturer. That didn’t apply in this case however because I only bought from Buxton Brewery.

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When you talk about craft beer in the UK you can’t do it without mentioning BrewDog. Formed in ’07 in Scotland, BrewDog have made it their mission to cultivate a craft beer scene in the UK that is more akin to the edgy, adventurous US scene and less about warm, bland, flat “real ale”. And they’ve done it well. Seven short years later their beer is available in most supermarkets, online beer stores and, most prominently, BrewDog’s own bars which seem to be popping up all over the world like a freakin’ zombie hopocalypse (see what I did there?) Throughout those seven years the brewery’s branding has remained much the same across the bottles, bars, online and print material but this year that is all changing. This month James Watt (founder and MD) revealed the new branding on the company blog and it was met with, shall we say, mixed feelings.

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Musings

Renewed

I used to write here all the time. I loved seeing a new movie and writing a review here or reeling off a bunch of movie recommendations for you. I even loved having a good old rant and exercising my bitter demons. But some time a coupe of years back I stopped. I’m not sure whether it was apathy or a lack of what I deemed to be worthy content or a bit of both, but the desire to blog just faded away.

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Why do I never learn? I should expect the Daily Fail Mail to poublish stuff that defies logic, common sense and, most of all, decency but I keep being shocked by it. Just the other day I found my ghast well and truly flabbered by Jan Moir’s well circulated gay-bashing and today they’ve done it again… this time though, it’s not the queers, it’s the darkies. Scary eh?

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I’ve often thought about why movies are so important to me. Why do I love the cinema more than most other people? To this day I couldn’t tell you with 100% certainty why this is the case but I can give you my best guess. It’s the town where I lived in Canada until I was 9. More specifically the local movie theatre, the Forest Kineto theatre. This little one-screen theatre holds some of my fondest childhood memories. I saw some of my all-time favourite movies there. The Back to the Future trilogy, E.T, Honey I Shrunk the Kids, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the list goes on and on. I went pretty often with my parents and my sister, mainly because it was 5 minutes away from home and because it was so cheap. To this day the ticket price is just $5 Canadian, about £2.

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Stress. Weather it’s from work, home or other it can be a real pain in the arse. It can kill your productivity and make you lose sleep. Companies have made millions… no, billions out of treating stress. From hypnotherapy to stress toys, to self help techniques there are a huge number of things available to help with your stress. Personally I manage mine with some fairly simple objects. Here are my top 5 stress busting…. erm… toys, I guess?

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