2014 End Of The Year Roundup

Happy Hogmanay!

I’ve made it my tradition to look back over the year come December 31st and it seems to me that this year has been seriously busy and, as a result has flown by. As well as much great music, film and tv which I’ve mostly enjoyed alone (all below) as a family we’ve had great food, great holidays (Durham, Braehead, Norfolk, Hawick, Berwick, camping and Ardnamurchan), great gigs (God Help The Girl and Penguin Cafe), great day-trips (falconry, the Highland Show, the Kelpies and the wildlife park) and so many great Martha moments (the Nativity and the Ryder Cup photoshoot to name just two!). Ruth did the Moonwalk, made cakes for Cakes For Kids and joined a choir – all great to be involved in with her. We also fitted in a fab wedding (and Stag Doo), the Book Festival, Fringe and Festival Fireworks, I went to Rome with work and I brewed approximately once every month… what a crazy year!

Music – My Favourite Music From 2014

Aside from the Disney Princesses playlist, Nick Cope and the Frozen soundtrack here’s what I was listening to:

  • Nine Inch Nails – saw them again and listen to them loads at work
  • Foo Fighters – loving the new album and the documentary that went with it
  • Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross – Gone Girl awesomeness
  • Muse – loving the Live in Rome performance
  • Royal Blood – so much noise from a 2 piece!
  • Ленинград – some crazy Russian-ness
  • God Help The Girl – a real labour of love
  • King Creosote  – From Scotland With Love is a pretty impressive album
  • Machine Head – the heavier end of my year’s listening
  • Chvrches – saw them… it was great

Films – My Favourite Films From 2014

  • Argo
  • Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • Contagion
  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier
  • Safety Not Guaranteed
  • Guardians of the Galaxy
  • God Help the Girl
  • Where Eagles Dare
  • Gone Girl

Films – My Least Favourite Films From 2014

Nothing could beat “Plan 9 From Outer Space” from last year… but I have seen several films that I gave less than 40% to

  • Priest
  • Godzilla
  • Bullet To The Head
  • Cleanskin
  • Green Lantern
  • Rock Of Ages
  • Now You See Me
  • Riddick
  • Oldboy

TV – My Favourite TV From 2014

  • The Walking Dead
  • Twin Peaks
  • Agents Of Shield
  • Under The Dome
  • The 100
  • Game Of Thrones
  • House of Cards

Books – My Favourite Reads Of 2014

I’ve done even less reading than last year 🙁 but here are the highlights:

  • Gillian Flynn – Gone Girl
  • Neal Stephenson – Snow Crash
  • Tom Acitelli – The Audacity Of Hops
  • Dave Eggers – The Circle
  • Andrew Davidson – The Gargoyle

2015 Resolutions

There are so many things that it would be awesome to achieve and I’m not so sure that resolutions help… instead I’m going to try to just keep aiming for awesome in everything that I do!

Oh Deer!

I was inspired to try to rebrew my Lorem IPAsum IPA with a hint of the orange and some spice that has worked well for “Better than a pair of socks” and Kev&Jono’s ESB and lagers.


  • Boil hops were same as last time but no secondary hops
  • 1,100g Pale
  • 100g Golden Promise
  • 100g Lager
  • Small piece of ginger (50g max) grated (full boil)
  • 60 min mash, 60 min boil, no chilling (instead it went into demi overnight to cool)
  • Mangrove Jack West Coast yeast
  • Roasted orange peel in secondary for 7 days
  • 3.48 litres with 20g demerara sugar for bottling
  • OG: 1.044 down to FG: 1.012 making it around 4.7%

Brewclub Tasting Notes:

  • Called it an IPA, really liked the orange ness. Not getting much in the way of spice.
  • Love it, spice works well. A unique take on a Christmas beer.
  • Lots of Orange, hint of ginger, maybe needs more ginger.
  • 1st impression is ginger, then something sweet, maybe dates.
  • Lovely bitter orange develops. Wish there was more left

Overall I’m annoyed that I didn’t put hops into secondary as originally planned but I’m really happy with the end result. I hope that people enjoy their Christmas presents (along with Kev&Jono’s Imperial Stout AND my treacle chilli stout!).