The diet has gone really well these past two weeks and my total weight loss now is half a pound short of two stone and just a further two and half pounds shifted will see me reach my target. My original plan was to reach my target by the end of April and with three weeks to go that is now looking easy but a few days away next week and an Easter weekend of chocolate and hot cross bunnies to come perhaps I will need the full three weeks to lose these last couple of pounds.
The cask ale update this week will be much shorter than usual because I have been spending much of my drinking time at the Wetherspoons International Real Ale Festival which I have been documenting in a separate post and you can catch up on that one here. However, there has been a few CAMRA social events I can tell you about which were far from mundane.
The CAMRA social to Chichester last week began at the Belle Isle, my new favourite bar in this lovely cathedral city. The beer selection seemed pretty good as usual and I opted for a pint of The Full Nelson (4.8% ABV) from Welsh micro Tiny Rebel. Nelson Sauvin hops from New Zealand combine with a sweet Munich malt to create an interesting beer. There was a slight sharp tang of grape mixed with an underlying fruity sweetness which made for quite a complex beer that wasn't totally to my taste. I was in the minority though as it was going down a storm with my CAMRA friends.
After a short stop at the local 'spoons, the Dolphin and Anchor, we moved to the Chichester Inn. This pub is a GBG regular and I was finally able to enjoy a pint of Plateau (3.5% ABV) from new Sussex micro Burning Sky. The former Dark Star brewer, Mark Tranter, has an awesome reputation that is totally well deserved. Finding this beer has been a long time coming and it was definitely worth the wait. Despite the low strength this pale straw coloured beer is packed with hops from the US and New Zealand giving off a massive burst of zingy citrussy notes. It has an amazingly crisp bitter finish and this beer gets top marks from me. To finish off the evening I had a half of the Dark Star Seville (4.0% ABV). I'm not a fan of sweet fruit beers but my CAMRA friends praised it highly when it was brewed last year and although they were disappointed with it on this particular evening I absolutely loved it. The taste from the bitter oranges complemented the bitterness from the hops perfectly to give a refreshing spicy bitter twang that I thought was superb.
Last Wednesday I was able to join up with the CAMRA Sussex Bus to the Pub Group as they invaded my local pub, the Inglenook. They could not have timed their visit any better as the beer selection was top notch. I began with a Duke IPA (5.2% ABV) from the Highland Brewing Company based in Orkney. It may have had a long way to travel but it was on fine form. A lovely mix of grassy hops, tropical fruits and English bitterness. It was only a lunchtime visit for me but I could not resist trying the Magic Rock High Wire (5.5% ABV) to finish off as this happens to be one of my favourite beers. The mix of rich tropical fruits such as mango along with a tangy citrussy burst of grapefruit leads in to a superb bitter finish which is slowly eliminated by the rich tropical fruit flavours that pervade throughout.
To bring this update to a close we had our monthly Western Sussex CAMRA meeting at the Maypole, a superb village local I have mentioned previously. Unfortunately it was my turn to drive so I could only enjoy a pint which came from North Yorkshire Brewing Co. Their Yorkshire Porter (4.4% ABV) wasn't as rich as I like but it had some lovely coffee bitterness and liquorice notes to enjoy.
That's it for this time. Hopefully my next update will be my last and I can concentrate on giving you a regular cask ale update without the weight loss figures.