Ale Festival 30 award winning breweries 22 March till 2nd April 

Sounds like a dream come true, let the battle of true ales commence.

The day starts out with a walk in our local park not knowing where we would end up. We decide to sit on a park bench, out of the wind, warm in a little secluded area away soaking up the sun.


Spring has arrived here in the UK, red breasted Robins show up digging away for small bugs, Greenfinches, Blue tits arrive, all busy chirping away. MR Squirrel comes out chasing another squirrel, dogs and cats tails held upright, everyone and everything appears happy.

The coming of spring is upon us, clocks change, more day light hours, sun, vitamin D.

Life feels chilled, relax, so much my wife and I found it difficult to get up and continue the walk.
No rush I said we will sit here for a while longer taking in the new bird songs of spring with sounds of wind blowing through the trees.
Later with our renewed vitamin D we headed off, over the South Downs along the under cliff around the harbour wall.

View of part of our walk today

Hours later we called in for a pint and some spicy natchos, Brighton Marina Weather Spoons, its annual festival of ales.
So now is the time to try porters and many more ales, Rob the manager is on hand to offer his personal advise on these ales.

Here are my views from today’s tasting.

Dorking Brewer Black Noise Porter, lady pulls the pint, just ran out she says, but enough to taste, not bad I say, smokey she asks, yes I reply.


Generally in a U.K. Pub once Porter off that’s it, but here at Weather Spoons in Brighton Marina, Rob the manager keeping us all happy.

The lady suggests the Titanic, but not like the Porter Titanic, but a cappuccino Stout ! Sounds interesting I say, also I order a Robinson’s Trooper Red N Black Porter.

Both Porters arrive, wife has a Guinness let the tasting begin.
Titanic Stout Cappuccino standing next to the Robinson’s Porter, Cappuccino on the right of image.


The Cappuccino head looks more inviting, sits rather nicely I am sold on visual experience alone.

Porter trooper on the left

First impressions of the Stout Cappuccino, wow too sweet this kind of confused my taste buds at first. Wife and I had been walking and a thirst was upon us, Cappuccino Stout will not quench your thirst, but I gave it my best shot, gulp.

Cappuccino Stout

Also the spicy natchos are arriving soon, the wife who’s now tasted the Stout Cappuccino suggests this will probably spoil the ale and food.

This Cappuccino Stout is probably more suited with a oat meal flap jack or dry fruit cake, do not get me wrong as after I finished my food. I went back and tried another pint of Cappuccino Stout just to be sure, the experience is starting to grow on me.

The Porter made by Robinson’s I have seen before but never tired, one of the reasons was the name and design of the image, looks more like death, Skelton image suggests drink me look like a skeleton, add in 5.8% I not a Trooper.

Or should I try🤔 well I had ordered a Porter, Trooper and this did work well with natchos.

Walk ends back home, temperature dropping quickly, it has been a wonderful day, how lucky we are to live in this magical world.

Arrived home for a lovely sun set

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St Patrick’s Day 

Normally you would be thinking Guinness, so I lined up a Bedlam Porter, Franklin’s Porter and a Guinness.

See if you can spot the Guinness?

The Bedlam porter 5%, brewed locally in a micro brewery north of Devils Dyke, easy to drink, kind of nutty coffee flavours.

Sold in St James Pub Brighton


Franklin’s smoked Porter

St James pub in Kemptown Brighton, Franklin’s Smoked Porter 5.5% this little beauty not half bad number, that smoked taste really comes through rather strong, maybe too strong for some.

Malts are smoked on beech wood giving this very distinct taste or should I say flavour as the taste stays in the mouth.

The head of the Ale is like a milk Stout with that oatmeal combined taste on top of the extra smokey flavours.

If you follow this pint with a Devils Cut Whiskey I find the combo excellent.

Smokehouse Porter Arudel 

One place to look out for Porter is in Brighton marina weather spoons, Rob the manager likes Porter and brews his own at home, so your be sure to have a person keen on his ales.

The Smokehouse Porter is thick in texture, malts are smoked over Sussex apple wood. Alcohol content is 6% so 2 pints is enough even with food.
Worth noting weather spoons has an Ale festival during March and October each year, during these months your be sure to find a porter to your liking. They even produce a booklet in advance to show you the ales coming up with a small description, just circle the ones you like the sound of and pop in.

Arudel Brewery’s in Sussex sell on line cans and kegs of Porter.

This Porter from Arudel Brewery, I like the darkness of colour, the head I prefer to sit more heavy and not fade away, in a way the head keeps the flavours inside throughout the pint. The taste is um, bitter, apple smokeyness pumps through, but somehow something missing, the texture correct, but the flavour lacking somewhere maybe a more intense apple smokeyness maybe.

I think I would prefer thick heavy head on top poured through the Guinness nozzle pump at the bar, increase the smokeyness by 30% and make the Porter heavier in texture, add in a bitter dark chocolate taste to round the Porter off and serve with some French meats and rich cheeses.

Itching Valley Ale Stout
I love Itching Valley Ale Stout, it’s so so dark, rich in tastes, nice head more porter in in style, however it’s a Stout and very proud Stout it is, once past the first mouthful you’re be thinking I am going to have another of these soon.

Short time later your at the bar, oh boy can we not have waitress service in the U.K. whole of Europe uses this simple method, Asia the same, just U.K. Backward thinking we do like to que in the at the bar in the U.K.

It be worth it for this rather nice nutty brown slight coffee taste Itching Valley Ale Stout.


Cream flow Porter best you go to the Hand in Hand in kemp town and try wow this is superb porter probably the best ever I have ever tasted I really mean this, it is well, coffee with a taste of plum sweatiness just a little, but so more depth with dark coffee taste.

I like the taste so much I bought the company 🙂 well  I wish, but by far this is the best tasting porter I have ever had.  I need to go back and try more Porter just to be sure. Cream Flow Porter.

Hand and hand pub kemp town porter 

What can this be Porter Heaven yes yes yes Porter heaven I do love my Porter.
The Ginger Dog Pub Brighton Kemptown

The Ginger Dog pub well what can I tell you about this pub ?

Little hidden gem in the heart of Kemptown Brighton, first impressions as of January 2017.

I walk over to the bar and ask for a pint of Porter or Stout, sadly no Porters or Stouts on pump at the Ginger Dog Pub.

However the Ales sold here at the Ginger Dog Pub tastes as if someone really cares about their Ales.

Never a dirty, water stained glass has been handed out, yes you have to hand it to the Ginger Dog Pub they appear to actually like serving people it feels very refreshing.

I often go to Japan and when I come back to the Uk, well I am disappointed at the customer care in the Uk it can feels as if the staff are doing me a favour.

At the Ginger Dog however I have seen a different way with which the food, interaction between staff and people work, the Ginger Dog actually cares about you!

Napkins good thick material, feels crisp and clean, a polite well mannered Polish man arrives with a smile and places our little snack on the old sturdy wooden table by the open fire.


Ales service in a straight pint glass, wine glass shines superbly clean.


These Olives are so massive like they should be I eat one the texture so just right 3 times bigger than you expect in fact this is the way olives should be, another bowl please.


Open fire and menu I am in heaven Caramel Tulle.


Bitter not bad, local from Arundel, taste very clean and prestige, I will be back for sure.


St James Pub Kemptown Brighton

HammerPot Wreck Porter

Dark black Porter, the taste reminds me of Guinness bottled Porter.

The feel of  Wreck Porter from Hammer Pot might go down well with some people more than you think, especially if you have not ever tried Porter before.

Wreck Porter not heavy and will not sit on your tummy the taste will be more softer and not so over powering for a first Porter. I prefer my Porter after a long walk over the downs or maybe a hard bike ride in the winter air.

Wrecked Porter very nice, easy to drink the first sip not sharp just right on those winter days some food is always a good idea with Porter Ale’s. Wreck Porter percentage 4.7 not too high for a Porter so an all good round Porter to have in front of the fire.


The company just down the road if you live in West Sussex, you can order online contact details HAMMER POT PORTER or call Hammer Pot now on mention my site if you would please AsahiArt01903 883338 


Gun Brewer Milk Stout sold at the St James Pub Kemp town.

St James Pub does have a open fire which I am rather found of makes me feel good all over and the food is very good as of 2017.

This Milk Stout not at all bad you can really drink it easy smooth laced with full flavours maybe a little too easy to drink, it flows rather well and with food complements your taste buds I fine the Pad Thai’s great with this Milk stout.

Gun Brewery Milk Stout is a local brewer based in Sussex, like many a micro brewery they are passionate about Ales and this does come across in their Milk Stout’s.

Web link here

Milk stoutGunn StJames.jpg


Yebisu Ale

Not sure if Yebisu is only brewed in Sapporo but it sure does taste yummy and I have never ever been disappointed with the taste colour flavours wonderful it just say have more with my food.

Its like a Guinness in colour but heavy in like a porter but you appear to be able to drink as much as you like but not become bloated, is it me or is this Yebisu just perfect, in a way it feels like a twin pine porter I think the secret in brewing technique if you use quality materials you have a quality beer.

If only I could have this on pump in a pub in the uk.

The stout is heaven.


Chinese Stout Tsingtao Brewery Co.Ltd.

Probably the best ever Stout so far that I have ever tasted was in North Japan Sapporo city, but that Stout came from China no way.

Tsingtao Brewery was founded in China, 1903 by German settlers at the sea port of Qingdao  North East China.

The first time I ever tasted this Stout was in 2015 in Sapporo Japan, my sister in law had won on the horses and she was treating us all to a night out to a Chinese restaurant. I had unfortunately during traveling over to Japan had picked up a flu type bug and felt terrible for the first three days and stayed in bed for the duration.

Not sure if I had just got better this day but once I eaten had some Stout I felt full of energy, the Tsingtao Stout looks very dark in colour and small bubbles form a top layer, the flavours with the Chinese meat balls bathed in rich dark sauces made for a taster supper and the Stout really went well with the food, I am a strong believer that food and drink should be suited to gain the best from both.

This Tsingtao Stout really well balanced very dark colours small tastes of coffee after you once swallowed, easy to have another 6.7 out of 10 on this Stout.

Stout copy.JPG


Langham smoked Porter

Great taste,  probably best to have after a long walk in the winter with some hot food, be careful as the Baltic porter is smooth, velvet and moreish.

Reasons to be careful is due to the 7.5% it will creep up on you for sure.

The taste is deep dark full of body and smoked which your taste straight away, not a complex mixture but simple and to the point.

Titanic Plum Porter 

This Porter probably not everyone’s cup of tea, taste is not so sweet but the smell leaves a sweet smell on your breath which everyone can smell.

Taste rather interesting as your taste the plum part later as you swallow the taste is actually rather a smell as I sense this in my nose to be more accurate and probably this is why I like this pint, not my favourite but fun to try.

Brewed locally in Brighton, sold at the Hand and Hand Pub in Kemptown Brighton.
For a porter it is quite low in percentage at 5.1% which is quite surprising, most porters tend to come in at 7%.
This local  twin pines porter I give 7.2 out of 10, comes in a pressurised barrel which makes the ale cold, I let mine stand and warm up for a while.
The hand in hand pub and local brewer recently added what I think is a Guinness nosel, which gives a good head to the pint, which improved the flavours, smells, taste and pleasure.
I would now give the twin pines porter 7.8 out of 10 for quality for this cheeky little local porter.
Last thought it is often hard to find
A: pub that a has porter on pump.
B: a pub that has porter for any period of time.
If you like Porter and like to recommend some please add.
Twin pines porter

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