Wednesday, 4 March 2009


Today I graduated from my Masters degree. It felt kind of odd because I handed in my dissertation over six months ago, but it was still great to get all dressed up in the cap and gown and feel special for a few hours. Plus I worked damn hard to get that!!

After the ceremony I went a few miles up the road to the Real Ale shop. I hadn’t been there for a couple of years; it’s a little magic box of treats and I was inspired by this post over at Impy Malting. I picked up some crackers: the three Thornbridge Alliance’s and a Bracia, an Admiral’s Ale after watching this video, a Downton Chimera IPA which I tasted at the Battersea beer fest a few weeks ago, a couple of Stone IPAs (which have so far eluded me!), a Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier which I’ve read loads about recently, a Hog’s Back O.T.T (my Dad’s choice, but a great one) and a Saison Dupont, which I've never tried before and figured I should’ve. They’ve got a great selection over there at the shop or you can buy online; I like that place a lot.

I have also received a delivery from beermerchants. I’ll be picking that up tomorrow. Very exciting. I love getting beer in the post!!

Then I came home and recorded a quick video blog which will be up at the weekend. The beer: a Westvleteren 12. This seemed like a worthy-enough occasion to pop the golden crown off the bottle.

Later we ate, my mum made a congratulatory pie (pictured), we drank the O.T.T which was excellent, then a Meantime IPA with dinner and a Paradox Smokehead to finish.

It was a good day.


  1. Congratulations, Mark. A fine list of beers with which to toast your degree. Are you the new Master of Ale now?

  2. Another victim of those cunning Germans and their impenetrable gothic alphabet. That's "Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier", believe it or not.

  3. Zak, I think I'll stick to the Master of Arts and leave the Master of Ale to Wurst!

    And cheers Beer Nut, that was laziness on my part, thank you for correcting my ways (I've edited it)!

  4. Don't piss on my parade Avery. Much like Highlander, there can be only one! I would be willing to offer online courses though.

    Good work Liam! Now get that degree in ale.

  5. Congratulations Mark - now you are even more qualified to write your great Irish novel

  6. Congrats indeed, Mark. Next stop, Doctor Beer?

    You've got some cracking beers there (mmmmmmmm Bracia!). Let us know what beery goodness you get from beermerchants.

  7. Well done Mark. We'll pick up the celebration tomorrow evening!

  8. Cheers all!

    Haddonsman, the Bracia is an incredible beer. I was so tempted to buy a whole box full! The one I've got is getting tucked away for a while.

    I now have a Halcyon too, thanks to beermerchants (along with a load more cracking beers!), so I'm looking forward to poping that cheeky monkey open soon. And I'm at Thornbridge next week so hopefully I can fill my boots and bring back a huge stash on the train!

  9. Congratulations are definitely in order, Mark. Enjoy that Westvleteren, you've most certainly earned it!

  10. That's huge! Congratulations on the degree.

    I am curious to see what you think of the Saison-- I've only had one before and have forgotten what it was like.

    The Meantime IPA is such a subtle, lovely beer! Did they have that at Real Ale also?

    I might crack open one of my Smokeheads in solidarity! Cheers!

  11. Open the smokehead and let me know what you think. It's uniquely wonderful. The Meantime was from sainsburys (£4 very well spent). You must've snapped up the last bottles of a few of the bigger beers - bourbon county, brooklyn choc, etc. good work!

  12. congrats, mate. I'd buy you a pint if we were'nt at opposite ends of the country! But it probably would'nt be a lager...!