Bier vandeStreek

Broeders and Dark Roast
A few days ago here at Libertus Towers we received a lovely gift from a friend in the Netherlands: Free Beer!

vandeStreek Beer is from

Two enhusiastic brothers from Utrecht, the Netherlands who enjoy tasteful craft beers. After several years brewing on a micro scale, we are now sharing our beers with the world.

Thankfully our friend, a brother of the two brewers above, knew our love of all things beer, and thought it would be a good idea to let us sample his siblings’ art…

There are two brews called BROEDERS and DARK ROAST.

After leaving them for a good session in my fridge I thought I’d start by cracking open a Broeders…

I’m a big fan of very hoppy beers with a good bitter finish (think really good IPA) and this Broeders is right up there for me. The first taste thought I had on the palette was “nutty”, very nutty, then the hops kicked in followed by a gentle breeze of burnt caramel. The beer was lovely and dry, clean tasting, surprisingly refreshing for a beer of this strength, and the head, whilst not deep, kept it’s consistency right to the bottom of the glass.

Broeders a strong beer by UK standards at 6.3% ABV so probably not one you’d want to do a long session on, but the high alcohol content didn’t destroy the flavours unlike some high-strength beers tend to do.

Whilst I was drinking Broeders I did think that the finish (the length of time the flavour lingers afterwards) might be rather short but how wrong I was! When I tottered off to bed, probably a good hour or so after I’d finished the glass, that hoppy, nutty complex of flavours was still there; it seemed a shame to have to clean my teeth!

To conclude then, I really liked this beer. So if you fancy trying something different I’d recommend vandeStreek Broeders any day.

Next week I’ll give you my take on the Dark Roast. To be honest I’m not expecting to like it so much. I’ve never really liked dark beers, many seem to me to be too sweet and a bit “thick” & sickly. But hey ho – I’m not going to not drink it; that would just be rude wouldn’t it… 😉

A Good Pub Guide: The White Hart, Sherington

The White Hart, Sherington

The White Hart, Sherington

If you travel around the country on business it can be a very tiresome and soul-destroying experience. Especially when you end up having to stay in one of the bland, clinical, plastic and totally soulless hotels that the TV adverts would suggest are something altogether different. I’ve never liked these places and so I do try to find interesting, more characterful lodgings to stay that are not expensive. Often the best to look out for are Pubs with accommodation.

Earlier this week, we had a bit of a road trip on our hands… A day discussing OpenERP in Cambridge and the next day vtiger CRM consulting in Milton Keynes which is not too far away, so we needed somewhere to stay to avoid driving a 200+ mile round trip.

We found a real gem of place! A very attractive country pub with extremely pleasant rooms, very friendly service, fantastic food (the Mixed Grill was really, really excellent), good beer and entertaining and congenial locals too.

If you happen to be working around the Bedford, Milton Keynes, Newport Pagnell area and want somewhere to stay, I whole-heartedly recommend you check out The White Hart in Sherington.

Choo Choo! Beer, Steam and Free Software

One of my actions from the recent Ubuntu UK team meeting was to organise a evening out on the Real Ale Train.

The Watercress Line is a small steam powered railway line in Hampshire. It runs from Alton Station to Alresford. Alton is the end of the line for scheduled services from Waterloo. Every few weeks or so they run an evening special, the Real Ale Train, or RAT.

Basically the train turns into a very very long bar for the evening. There are several converted bar carriages and plenty of seating (comfy old seating in groups of 4). Steam, Beer and Software Freedom seems an irresistible combination so it sounds like an ideal evening out for the Ubuntu UK community.

Firstly we need to decide on a date, we have created a poll to find the most popular date from the dates far enough ahead to be organised, and skipping the date when the next Ubuntu Developer Summit is likely to be happening. Please vote on the poll and we will announce the most popular date on IRC, the wiki page and on the Ubuntu UK mailing list on January 24th. When the date is announced you will need to book your ticket, tickets can be booked online and cost £10 each. This includes a voucher for your first pint. Beer is not “Free as in Beer”, but it is just £2/pint. Don’t hang about and try to book late, they sell out months in advance.

Beards are strictly optional – it may sound like a male dominated event (and to be fair, it is) but it has a very friendly atmosphere and all are welcome.

Other alcoholic and soft drinks as well as snacks are on sale at the on-board buffet. Hot food can be purchased on board the train with vegetarian alternatives available. You have to be 18+ to buy beer, but there is no age limit (at either end of the scale) for joining in.

The RAT starts from Alton at 19.20 and tootles gently up and down the line a couple of times, returning to Alton in time for the 22:44 train back to Waterloo. (This is a connecting service, if the RAT is late, the mainline train will wait for it)

Dress – something Ubuntu related.