Golden Pints 2016

Here’s my contribution to this year’s Golden Pints. 2016 has been a weird year, both for beer and for me personally. I think my consumption has completely changed. Overall it has been a nice time.

Best UK Cask Beer

This is where one of the biggest changes in my consumption has happened. Since leaving the Hanging Bat in May my cask consumption has nosedived. That said, Swannay’s Orkney Porter on cask is a very special thing to behold, so it takes the award.
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Golden Pints (Schooners) 2015

Here’s my contribution to this year’s Golden Pints. I’ve probably forgotten half of the things I would really have wanted to put in here. I’m seeing that as more of a sign that beer this year has been incredible.

Best UK Cask Beer

Probably a candidate for most improved Brewery too, Fallen Brewing’s Platform C is consistently stellar on cask and is easily the cask beer that I’ve drank most of in 2015. Special mention goes to the one off cask of Six Degrees North’s Chopper Stout that we had for their bar takeover at The Bat. Another special mention goes to the guys at Pilot down in Leith, their beers are always tremendous on cask. Another special mention to Weird Beard’s Dark Hopfler, an almost perfect cask beer. Continue reading

Poznan 2013 Homeless World Cup Diary (Day 2)

Bit of a restless night. Can’t really complain as it was the sound of people being happy that kept me up. People of all nations gathering together outside of my window singing songs till 2AM (none of them were lullabies).

Today was a particularly good day in terms of the Scotland team. Two wins from two, 9-6 over Argentina and 5-2 over near neighbours Wales, seeing the team through to the secondary group stage of the Homeless World Cup.

The games were entirely different to each other and showed how flexible the Scotland squad are. Argentina were small, spry and able to pass the ball very well, whereas Wales were big physical guys, lacking in pace but equipped with massively powerful shots.

I feel a fair bit of conflicting emotion surrounding the tournament. As a symbol of what those cast out by society can achieve, the Homeless World Cup is an incredible beacon of hope. But there is something unsettling about seeing some of those on the fringe of economic and societal survival running around sponsored by Coca-Cola and other such giants. Although it is a nice gesture that a company of that size would contribute to a cause like this, I can’t help but think it’s their fault that a tournament like this exists. From deforestation, to barefaced economical brinksmanship these companies play a massive role in destroying our planet.

That said, without massive financial support the Homeless World Cup and the dozens of Street Football programmes around the world would not be able to function and the hundreds of smiles I’ve seen over the past two days would not exist.

Onwards with positivity, Scotland have been drawn against reigning champions Chile, as well as Denmark, Namibia, The Netherlands, and Romania. A challenging group but one I’m sure they will be ready for.