It is two weeks since my last update and the rate at which the weight is coming off has slowed which is to be expected but I have stuck rigidly to my diet with no moments of weakness. I still can't believe I've managed to go a month without any snacks at all but it's true. A further three and a quarter pounds have been shed which brings a total weight loss to date of 12 pounds. I've continued to enjoy the meals in the Anna Richardson diet so my sugar intake continues to be very low. My wife has been following the diet much more strictly than me (not consuming the alcohol for one thing as well as avoiding bread) and has also lost 12 pounds. We are both feeling much better for it. It really does work.
That's enough about the food and weight loss figures though. What beers have I been enjoying over the past couple of weeks? As usual I will concentrate on the cask beers as the bottled beers have been reviewed elsewhere in my blog. At the newly reopened Rainbow in Chichester I had an excellent pint of American Pale Ale (4.8% ABV) from the Longman Brewery. Longman is based over the border in East Sussex and I have enjoyed this beer previously so knew what to expect. It is a typical APA with a lovely citrussy aroma and a full sweet hoppy flavour from those delicious American hops. Grapefruit, lemon, pineapple and mango can all be detected in there and the finish is long and dry but with a little cloying sweetness among the bitterness. A lovely beer that is highly recommended.
My local pub the Inglenook was a little disappointing the week before last as I got there at the end of the available guest beers so the Palmers 200 was not on top form and the Tally Ho was undrinkable and quickly removed from sale. A half of Gribble Wobbler (7.2% ABV) was ok but did not greatly improve matters. My next visit more than made up for this with Dark Star Revelation (5.7% ABV) alongside their Winter Meltdown. The Winter Meltdown is too spiced for my tastes having tried it previously but when Revelation is available there would be no other choice anyway for me. This strong American Pale Ale is one of my favourite beers and it was in perfect condition. This beer is packed with hops (Liberty, Cascade, Centennial and Citra) and dry hopped too. The citrus flavours are not dominant with this beer though as there are plenty of other flavours in there too. There's some rich sweet fruits, some grassiness and a little earthiness too. The combination is superb.
The CAMRA social last week did not go quite to plan. I was driving so the beer choices were not too important for me as long as I got to enjoy a decent pint. The first pub was closed so after visiting the Fullers pub, The Murrell Arms (where I sat miserably with a diet coke whilst everyone else was enjoying an Adnams Ghost Ship), we ended up at the CAMRA Sussex Branches Pub of the Year, The Wilkes Head. Here I enjoyed my one pint of the evening immensely. As usual with the Wilkes Head the choice was impressive but the only lower strength beer I had not tried before was the Gooseberry Blonde (4.1% ABV) from Yorkshire's Wharfe Bank Brewery. This very pale beer was fantastic. Crisp, zingy and very refreshing with a lovely dry bitter finish. Could I detect any gooseberry in there? Not really but there was more to it than simple citrussy notes. It did have a bit of an edge to it that added grassy, floral and aromatic notes. This would be a perfect session bitter and it was difficult having to restrict myself to a single pint. I must check out more from this brewery.
Last week I visited the new micro, Firebird Brewing Company, and enjoyed some samples as well as purchasing a couple of bottles which were reviewed here. Afterwards I popped in to The Fox Inn at Rudgwick, a former favourite K&B pub of mine now owned by Hall & Woodhouse. The Tanglefoot (4.9% ABV) was available and quite pleasant. It's a nice golden fruity beer with a dry bittersweet finish but not the beer it once was.
On Monday I had to go and survey a pub for possible inclusion the 2015 Good Beer Guide. I won't say the name of the pub but I was disappointed to see the only cask beers available were Doom Bar and a house beer brewed by Hancocks (Molson Coors). I really should have held off on the visit as Burning Sky Plateau was due on and I am yet to try this. Anyway, I could not bring myself to drink either of the available beers so I opted for a bottle of Brewdog Punk IPA. This was perfect.
Over the weekend I had enjoyed some more bottled Scottish beers for Burns Night (including another from Brewdog) which will be reviewed later. Last night it was football at St Marys to see the Saints take on Arsenal. Traffic congestion and heavy showers meant there was little time to walk down to the excellent Rockstone pub so we went to The Alex for pre-match drinks. This pub used to have a decent selection of four real ales from Ringwood, Timothy Taylor, Hop Back and Fullers. Last night only the Landlord (4.3% ABV) and the Ringwood Best Bitter (3.8% ABV) were available. I had a pint of each and both were perfectly drinkable without setting the taste buds alight. Landlord is a classic well-balanced beer that has never really excited me. The Ringwood Best was better than I expected. It is a traditional chestnut coloured Best Bitter but it did have a nice bitterness to it which went down well.
More weight lost and more beers enjoyed. Only another 18 pounds to lose in 13 weeks and a beery Manchester trip to look forward to at the end of May as my reward.