Learning about traditional rum making at St Nicholas Abbey, Barbados

St Nicholas rum distillery Barbados

Find out about my visit to the traditional rum distillery and plantation house, St Nicholas Abbey in Barbados.

The most famous export of Barbados – excluding pop star Rihanna and many exceptional cricket players – is rum.

Naturally then, many visitors to the island flock to the island’s famous Mount Gay Distillery – the oldest rum brand in the world.

Nowadays, Mount Gay – which dates from 1703 – is produced on a mass scale and owned by multinational sprit company Rémy Cointreau.… Read more

Are kegs taking some of the ‘craft’ out of UK craft beer?


Last week, I caught an article by beer writer Pete Brown on the varying quality of cask beer.

In the piece, which was aimed at the pub trade, Mr Brown says he’s mostly stopped drinking cask beer.

The main reasons?

Too often, the beer isn’t ready to drink or has been on sale too long.

Sometimes, this means it’s hazy when it shouldn’t be.… Read more

Beer52 craft beer club [review and voucher code]

Beer52 is a monthly beer subscription service that specialises in modern-style UK and world beers. Read on to find out what I thought of the service and get a voucher code for £12 off your first order.

With the UK going craft beer crazy over the last few years, it’s easy to forget it’s not just in Britain where we’re seeing a glut of new breweries and beers.… Read more

A taste of Hampshire and beyond at some of Southampton’s newest craft beer bars

Find out how I got on when I did a mini pub crawl of some of Southampton’s newest craft beer bars and pubs – Olaf’s Tun, Caskaway, The Dancing Man, Belgium and Blues and Chalk Valley.

Southampton is fast becoming the south coast’s premier destination for craft beer and real ale.

Not only do you have many excellent pubs dotted throughout the city, but there are also several new bars and micropubs focusing on great beer, much of it from Hampshire’s 35+ breweries.… Read more

Sunday roast dinner at the Black Boy pub, Winchester [review]

The Black Boy is a quirky and cosy pub in Winchester. Here’s my review of the pub’s simple and delicious roast dinner.

The Black Boy in Winchester might just be the perfect pub.

There’s a great ever-changing selection of well-kept beer, open fires and low ceilings, a sheltered beer-garden, lots of cosy spots to hole up on a rainy winter afternoon, board games, table football, a retro arcade machine, books, newspapers, humorous graffiti in the toilets…

And if that’s not enough to keep you occupied as you sip on your ale, the walls, shelves, windowsills, ceilings and corners are stuffed (literally in the case of some of the dead animals) with bric-a-brac of all descriptions – a collection of fire buckets, a moose’s head, a job lot of blow torches, empty medicine bottles and much more.… Read more