Abbeydale Heathen

Not can conditioned
Abbeydale Heathen [baron rating 5/5] - 4.1% gold ale,tropical piney sulphur smell,resinous fruity piney very bitter taste,dry bitter finish
Listen to what Chris and the Baron have to say about it

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Boon Oude Geuze 2013-2014

Bottle conditioned with perfect carbonation
Boon Oude Geuze 2013-2014 [baron rating 5/5] - 7% gold beer,fresh hay cut grass smell,so balanced tart sour taste,juicy fruity tart finish
Listen to what Chris and the Baron have to say about it

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Thank you to Chris for bringing this round for a baron rating!

Buy Boon ales from Source Deli

Twisted Barrel Ale It's Aliiive!!

Bottle conditioned with perfect carbonation
Twisted Barrel Ale It's Aliiive!! [baron rating 5/5] - 6.3% copper ale,piney hop smell,very bitter grapefruit taste,grapefruit bitter finish
Listen to what Chris and the Baron have to say about it

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Thank you to Twisted Barrel Ale (@TwistBarrelAle) for handing this over for a baron rating!

Buy Twisted Barrel Ale beers direct

Vedett Extra White

Bottle conditioned with perfect carbonation
Vedett Extra White [baron rating 5/5] - 4.7% hazy pale gold beer,lime coriander smell,zingy creamy lemon taste,vanilla ice cream lime finish
Listen to what Chris and the Baron have to say about it

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Thank you to Emanuele from R&R Teamwork for sending this through for a baron rating!

Looking forward to baron rating Williams Bros ales

Williams Brothers have been one of my longest supporting breweries, having first sent samples through back in 2010. They are one of the breweries that brew a consistent 'solid' range of ales as well as loads of one offs and stronger more specialist beers. They have supported a number of the Beer Blogger Conferences including sponsoring one of the evening meals.

I bumped into them again this year at BeerX and we got talking about what they were up to (as well as watching them win yet another SIBA Gold award for their "Williams Black".

This was the contents of their latest "care package" for the Baron:

Smart looking cans
Williams Bros. Brewery
  • Caesar Augustus - 4% Lager IPA hybri, crisp clean notes of the finest lager, but with the discret, bitter finish of a well balanced IPA
  • Double Joker IPA - 8.3% bitter sweet, with a big US hop punch, a bold Scottish style Imperial IPA
  • Joker IPA - 5% fresh citrus aroma and bittersweet, full flavour
  • Impale IPA - 5.5% hoppy insurrection, through biting bitterness and big tropical fruit aromas
  • The Scorpion & The Frog - 8.9% mid-atlantic brown ale,a mistake during a brew of Double Joker IPA where dark malts found their way into the brew

Some really nice labels
Williams Bros. Brewery
  • Iconic - 4.4% American Pale Ale, brewed with a blend of Scottish golden & crystal malts, the hops are all-American
  • Paradigm Shift - 6.2% Enhanced Red Ale, brewed with a large amount of Crystal malt,this generously hopped red ale might be best described as a red IPA. Big, citrusy hop aromas and a bitter, malty-caramel flavour
  • Perfect Storm - 4.5% epic IPA, delicious light IPA, full bodied with a striking bitterness and intense fruity hop character
  • Re#Dial - 4% cold fermented craft lager, delivering a crisp & refreshing citrus taste
  • Redact - 4.4% red lager/IPA hybrid, notes of sweet toffee & molasses, and the aromatic punch of Citra & Calypso hops
  • Stravaigin - 6.4%  Scottish craft ale, a floral, light malt ale with a refreshing fruit & herbal finish
Thank you to Williams Bros. for sending these through for a 'baron rating'!

Buy Williams Bros ales direct

Hardknott Long Drop

Not bottle conditioned
Hardknott Long Drop [baron rating 5/5] - 4.8% gold ale,clean minty citrus smell,big bitter citrus taste,very bitter grapefruit lemon finish
Listen to what Chris and the Baron have to say about it

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Edinburgh Beer Factory Paolozzi

Not bottle conditioned
Edinburgh Beer Factory Paolozzi [baron rating 4/5] - 5.2% gold lager,sweet grainy solvent smell,slick slight honey taste,honey bitter finish
Listen to what Chris and the Baron have to say about it

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Thank you to Emanuele from R&R Teamwork for sending this through for a baron rating!

Looking forward to trying these #BeerNow17 ales

I was at the beer bloggers conference last weekend, which was rebadged the Beer Now conference. I had a great time meeting brewers, beer bloggers and tweeters as well as trying a load of new beers. As always I went collecting samples for review, here are the bottles that will be receiving the 'baron rating' treatment over the coming weeks:

  • Abbeydale Heathen - 4.1% pale ale, wonderfully refreshing American-style pale ale showcasing the marvellous Mosaic hop. Light and sessionable, bursting with tropical fruit flavours and a pleasant citrus bitterness
  • Hardknott Long Drop - 4.8% exhilarating session IPA, great flavours, mouthfeel and huge satisfaction
  • Hardknott Rheged Fjall - 4.5% pale ale
  • Ilkley Alpha Beta - 4.5% rye session IPA, distinctive American hop character. Body and depth from the rye. A little beer that's big and bold
  • Lost Industry Black Licorice Gose - 3.9%
  • Lost Industry Serie Saison Le Pays Noir - 7.3% dry-hopped black saison

  • Sharp's Cornish Pilsner - 5.2% bottle conditioned pilsner, fermented with Czech yeast then lagered on a bed of Saaz hops to create stunning, zesty herbal notes and a delicious clean, citrus flavour
  • Twisted Barrel I was made for lovin' - 8% imperial stout
  • Twisted Barrel It's Aliiive!! - 6.3% hazy IPA
  • Twisted Barrel Soup Dragon - 5.8% lime and chipotle saison

Look out for 'baron ratings' of these beers soon, and a big thank you to all the breweries for handing them over to me!

Live beer blogging: Ilkley Lotus

Ilkley Lotus 5.9% IPA copper coloured ale, thick musky hoppy resinous aroma, tropical grapefruit piney bitter taste, dry bitter piney finish

Live beer blogging: Sentinel RRG

Sentinel RRG 3.4% rhubarb raspberry gose. Cloudy gold colour, rhubarb smell, sweetish refreshing raspberry balanced fruity taste with a slightly salty start. Fruity finish

Live beer blogging: Twisted Barrel Soup Dragon

Twisted Barrel Soup Dragon 5.8% lime and chipotle saison. Copper coloured beer with a nice thick white head. Smokey lemongrass smell, fresh spicy lime citrus chilli heat taste, long chilli finish

Live beer blogging: Abbeydale Heathen

Abbeydale Heathen 4.1% gold ale, huge fresh green hop aroma (Mosaic), fresh clean slight honey big hoppy bitterness taste but balanced. Dry bitter finish

Live beer blogging: Sharp Boscawen

Sharp's Boscawen 6% smoked beer (via mini cask) amber colour, nice smokey aroma but not over-powering. Much stronger smokiness on the taste, some caramel/toffee sweetness in the taste. Slight herbal note in the finish.

Live beer blogging: Lost Industry and Steel City Peach Melba Yogurt Sour

Lost Industry and Steel City Peach Melba Yogurt Sour - 5.7% hazy copper ale, sour peach smell, very fruity, zingy sour taste, really juicy and sweet (like a fruit juice rather than sugary). Finish is a gentle fading one.

Live beer blogging: Thornbridge Eldon

Thornbridge Eldon - 8% bourbon oak imperial stout, black beer with a dark creamy head. Massive bourbon plummy smell, big rich roasted malt & vanilla taste, boozy warming finish with an edge of toffee.

Email Marketing by Neil Walker

Four key areas
* build an audience
* what's the aim
* distributing your message
* measure, improve, measure, improve
Build and audience
The emails are people, not just an address. Make sure your email list contains people who will be interested in what you have to say. Add a simple signup form to your website, request a few basic details, not just the email address. Use Facebook and customise the page to fit your product or event.
Work with your existing busines contacts to build collective audiences, collaborate with pubs, suppliers, etc.
What's the aim?
* Buy something
* What do you think of us
* News
* Follow us on Twitter
* Come to our event
Who are you talking to?
CAMRA - very large consumer audience, mixed knowledge levels & interests
SIBA - trade audience, highly knowledgeable brewers, commercially minded
Give before you take - offer value to customers through engaging, original content or a genuinely special offer
Distributing your message
Deliver great content, easily - use existing platforms: MailChimp, GetResponse, ConstantContact, SparkPost, ActiveCampaign
Visual, bitesize content driving at clear aims. SIBA sends a focused newsletter several times of year.
Measure, improve, measure, improve
Measuring is key here to see what is clicked and what's not, follow the numbers, let them guide the content. Move content around until it starts to follow the click patterns.
Perform A/B testing using alternative subject lines, try content in different places, try rewording various phrases to see which ones hit the audience. Measure the response rate when you send emails at different times of day.