Is Craft Beer Going Mainstream?

My Twitter timeline has been pretty full today, full of Iron Maiden and FHM; not exactly common bedfellows it has to be said. Evidently, this months FHM features a load of craft beer, as you can see from the image above. The double page spread appears to have beers from some of the bigger craft beer purveyors like Thornbridge and Dark Star, plus some from the newer, or less well known ones like Wild Beer Co. and Tiny Rebel. I’ve not actually seen the issue in question, as my local Tesco didn’t have any copies of FHM in stock when I popped in at lunch, Hopefully they’ll have some in at some point this week so I can have a proper look, as evidently, there is also a six page article featuring that Scottish brewery.

It makes me wonder though, what with events like Craft Beer Rising having just been, SIBA Beer X (with a cracking craft keg list) just about to kick off and the Liverpool Craft Beer Expo, Birmingham Beer Bash and Independant Manchester Beer Convention all still to come, are we at a tipping point? Now that lads mags like FHM are running craft beer articles, are we about to see craft beer going mainstream?

By mainstream, I mean not niche. We beer geeks live in a bit of a bubble, we’re pretty irrelevant in the big scheme of things, a tiny enclave in a world of industrial beer. I doubt that a few hipster beer festivals and lads mags articles are going to change the drinking habits of the majority of the beer drinking population, no matter how much we hope they will. However, I’m assuming the target audience for FHM is mainly late teens, early twenties, so they have the vast, vast majority of their drinking lives ahead of them. If even a few of them become curious due to articles like this and start asking for some of these beers in their chosen night time drinking establishments, then maybe, just maybe we might start to see a few places dabble with getting some more interesting beer in stock. That has to be a good thing, no…?

Update: here’s Hardknott Dave’s take on being one of the featured breweries

The Cambridge Brew House

Herbs everywhere, I wonder how long that'll last...

I posted some Cambridge Pub News the other week and I’m pleased to say that one of the pubs mentioned has now opened.

The Cambridge Brew House is located on King St and has undergone a massive refit, which has included the installation of a micro brewery on the site. I’m not going to go into any details about the history of the place, as Adam over at Pints and Pubs has already produced a fantastic blog on the subject.

I managed to visit at lunchtime on their opening day last week and enjoyed a few halves of the beer on offer (they had two of their own on, Adnams Broadside, Black Bar Standing Talking Bitter, Lord Conrad’s Pheasants Rise and Nethergate Growler Bitter). I wandered around and took a few photos, which you can see below. I’m not the biggest fan of going to the pub on my own, even though I seem to do it quite a lot and since it was a flying visit, I think I’ll reserve judgement on the place until I’ve been in the evening with some friends. Having said that, there are a few things that I think they could improve on, but given that this was their opening day, this might sound a bit on the harsh side.

Of the six hand pumps mounted on the bar, three of them were dispensing bitter, two dispensing premium bitter / best bitter / ESB (call it what you like) and just the one pump dispensing anything remotely pale and hoppy, which from my personal perspective, doesn’t bode well. I’d liked to have seen a larger selection of beer styles on offer and while they are obviously keeping it local, which is all well and good, if the local produce on offer is all a bit samey and average, then maybe you need to look a bit further afield. Instead of a couple of those bitters, I’d rather have seen one or two beers from a few of the UK’s more progressive and new wave breweries (Thornbridge, DarkStar, MagicRock, Summer Wine to name but a few).

Of their in house brews (currently being brewed in Henley until their brew house is up and running next week) the King’s Parade was nice and balanced, but tending to the maltier side of things and in my view inferior to the Black Bar Standing Talking; mainly as the later had more bitterness. The Misty River was similarly nicely balanced, but this time slightly to the bitter side of things with a pleasant bitter tickle lingering in to after taste, it also had that smoothness you get from a bit of wheat in the grist and I would happily have another. While both were good solid beers, neither of them would get a beer geeks juice salivating though, but then I don’t think either are aimed at the beer geek, so will probably do very well for the kind of clientèle that the place seems designed to attract.

They do have plans for other beers though, with a US Pale ale already having been brewed. So hopefully with the micro brewery on site, we can only hope that there will be a range of more esoteric and interesting brews to go along with the core range.

I must admit to not paying too much attention to what was was available on keg, as there was nothing that instantly stood out as being different for the norm. I think they could easily give over a couple of keg lines to something interesting from the Bacchanalia or Beautiful Beers like some De Molen, Rogue or anything kegged from the afore mentioned progressive UK brewers; it appears to be working for Benson Blakes in Bury St Edmunds and Cambridge is crying out for somewhere to do some decent craft keg properly. It was a similar story with the bottles, I stopped looking when I saw they were stocking the triumph of marketing over taste, that is Innis & Gunn.

I can’t comment on the food, as I didn’t eat any while I was there, but it sounds positive from blogs like The Moving Foodie and what folks have been saying on twitter.

I’ve not really enjoyed trying to write this bolg, as I feel I’ve been ridiculously over critical for somewhere that had only been open for only for 30 minutes when I walked through the door. I wasn’t expecting a Cask Pub & Kitchen, or Craft Beer Co type place, even though Cambridge desperately needs one. It’s just frustrating walking into a new place and being uninspired by the beer choices on offer, especially when there are plenty of pubs opening around the country with impressive cask, keg and bottle ranges on the bar. I also realise that I’m probably not the target market for this place, there’s too much herbage on the tables for my liking for a start, but I just feel like it could have been so much more beer wise.

I’ll be going back though, I can’t say how often as I’m not the biggest pub visitor, but it certainly another option along with The Mitre and The Maypole, for a quick half on the way back to the office after a lunch break in town. I’m also looking forward seeing brewing return to the City for the first time in a few years and will definitely be paying a visit to try the new US Pale Ale when it hits the bar in a few weeks time.

The guys behind the venture obviously know what they are doing, as they’ve built a pub company before and then sold it to Greene King. This begs the question, are they in this because they love beer, or are they only in it for the money, what ever the answer to that question is, The Cambridge Brew House is certainly a welcome addition to the Cambridge pub scene and I look forward to seeing how it’s evolves over the next few months.

Same But Different

The definition of craft beer in the UK raised its head on Twitter again at the end of last week, it has also appeared on a few of the blogs I read since then too (here, here, here and here). I was going to blog about it on Friday before it all blew up, but ran out of time and any motivation to make time after work disappeared once I’d cracked open a beer. After much toing and froing, it seems to me at least, that the general consensus ended up with it, yet again, meaning something along the lines of: beers made by brewers I like. Seems we’ve not progressed at all since I last wrote about this stuff.

I do think we need to stop chasing our tails on this one and just let it lie. The phrase craft beer means different things to different people, which is completely unworkable and the main reason why using it is a load of cobblers. Even though we all think we know what it means, as there is no hard and fast definition, like there in the US, it is therefore in our reality, meaningless. I still think we should be using phrases like new wave and progressive to describe brewers, although I quite like Adrian Tierney-Jones’ comment on Tandleman’s post about using the term artisanal (even though the usage of that word can end up being a bit wanky).

The main reason I was going to post though, was about a comparison between craft beer and heavy metal. The idea had been running around inside my head for a while, but it took Simon Johnson’s New Wave Of British Keggy Metal blog to give me the necessary kick to write it down. I’m not going to give a definition as that’s not what this is about, it’s more an observation. Essentially it boils down to this, I think that what is happening with beer in the UK, is just like what happened with rock and the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal.

Just as bands like Iron Maiden, Saxon, Diamond Head, Judas Priest et al replaced Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and the like, on the record players, tape decks and walkmen of the youth of the day. So brewers like Thornbridge, Dark Star, Magic Rock, Summer Wine, Marble and so forth are replacing the likes of Greene King, Wadworth, Shepherd Neame, etc, etc, etc in the glasses of the next generation of drinkers. Now I don’t know if it’s a similar thing as happened with Porter, it falling out of favour as it was seen as an old mans drink, but the whole thing does have that kind of aura about it.

Nothing happens in isolation though, the NWOBHM was built on the foundation of those that went before; we wouldn’t have the likes of Iron Maiden without Black Sabbath and their peers. They listened to those bands and used them, amongst others, as inspiration to forge their own paths and sounds. The vast majority of todays new wave and progressive brewers will have grown up drinking beer from this country’s old school regional and family brewers, but are taking their inspiration, not only from them, but from what’s happening in the rest of world, especially the US.

I suppose that if you’re main inspiration is the US Craft Beer movement, then you’re going to want to identify with that by trying to label yourself accordingly. However, the beery environment in the UK is not the same as that in the US and never has been, hence why I don’t think the phrase is transferable. At the end of the day, it’s all wet, brown* and alcoholic and I think there are plenty of other things we should be worrying about, rather than getting our knickers in a twist over the definition of two words. To be perfectly honest, I think the Magic Rock tagline sums up craft beer in the UK best; Same But Different.

* Other colours are available…

28.845 Units

I thought it would be interesting to jot down everything I drank on Friday and add up the units. More to scare myself at the amount I drank, rather than to prove any kind of point. So here, in order, is what I imbibed and where (just to clarify, I drank half pints):

Pub Brewery Beer ABV Units*
King William IV Brodies Kiwi 3.8% 1.08
Brodies Citra 3.1% 0.881
Brodies Silver Bullet 4.7% 1.34
Brodies American Brown 4.8% **
Brodies Hoxton Special IPA 6.6% 1.88
Tap East Tap East Pale Ale 5.6% 1.59
Tap East Extra Stout 6.6% 1.88
Thornbridge Chiron 5% 1.42
Lovibonds 69 IPA 6.9% 1.96
Cask Pub And Kitchen Mikkeller / Redemption Mild Interpretation 3.5% 0.994
Dark Star Hophead 3.8% 1.08
Magic Rock Curious NZ 3.9% 1.11
Dark Star Green Hopped IPA 6.5% 1.85
The Southampton Arms Camden Town Show Boat 4.5% 1.28
Marble Chocolate Marble 5.5% 1.56
Magic Rock Cannonball 7.4% 2.1
The Euston Tap Magic Rock High Wire 5.5% 1.56
Thornbridge Raven 6.6% 1.88
Nøgne Ø Pale Ale 6% 1.7
Rogue Ales Brutal Bitter 6% 1.7
Total units   28.845

I was also in The Castle Inn on Tuesday lunch, The Cartlon Arms on Wednesday lunch and The Devonshire Arms on Thursday lunch. So all in all, last week was rather on the alcoholic side, not the worst week, units wise, that I’ve ever had, but certainly the worst for many, many years. I think I owe my liver a break and am planning on having this week off the booze, although there is an Adnams mini keg in the shed and my wife is away next weekend…

* Units calculated using the calculator here.
** I took this one back as it tasted funny, so it’s not inculuded in the calculation…

Imperial Märzen and India Pale Ale Nelson Sauvin Citra

This Imperial Märzen was another beer that I’ve had hanging around from my July order with BEERMerchants.com. Out of all the beers I got in that box, this is the one I’ve been looking forward to the least. I’m not the biggest fan of German beers at the best of times, so I really wasn’t looking forward to an amped up version.

It poured an almost crystal clear coppery burnished amber colour. It would have been crystal clear, apart from a little bit of sediment that found its way into the glass. The tan coloured head was easily formed, but dropped to a patchy coveting very quickly. The nose was all super sweet sticky malt that reminded me of oranges, for some reason.

In the mouth it was huge, with sickly sweet notes working their way into every crevice of my mouth. There was the impression of alcohol burn at the front of the mouth, rather than any actual alcohol burn, although the front of my mouth was tingling for a bit after each mouthful. The after taste was all sickly orangey sweetness, that eventually tapered off and left the whole mouth drying out. I’m sure there must have been some hops added to this beer, but whatever flavour they added, was crushed under a tonne of malt.

I don’t really like Bock’s and I really don’t like Doppelbock’s, now I can add Imperial Märzen’s to my list of don’t ever buy again beers. I’m not saying it was a bad beer, I’m just saying that it’s not my kind of beer and while I didn’t like it, your milage may vary.

I decided to have the India Pale Ale Nelson Sauvin Citra after the Imperial Märzen, as I had an inkling that I’d be in desperate need of some hops. Although I have to say that I was a bit apprehensive, as I knew that this combination of hops would likely result in a beer that would be loaded with rotting mango and cat wee.

It poured a very slightly hazy orange amber, the haze being due to a bit of sediment getting into the glass. The vast, vast majority of the sediment stayed welded to the bottom of the glass though. A huge rocky off white head was easily formed, but dropped to a blotchy covering fairly quickly. The nose was as expected, with full on thick, pungent rotting tropical fruit notes and the odd wiff of cats piss.

It was full in the mouth and surprisingly smooth, probably because it ended up sitting for an hour and a half after pouring, before I got a chance to drink any. It didn’t appear to be terribly bitter, although there was a lovely bitter spike and prickle before the lasting bitter after taste. The tropical fruit flavours weren’t quite as in yer face as I was expecting, while there was quite a bit of the rotten mango and cats piss, I didn’t find it too off putting for a change. The after taste was all lingering juicy tropical flavours, with a touch of sweetness.

  • RateBeer The Kernel
  • India Pale Ale Nelson Sauvin Citra, 7.1%, 330ml

I’d not rush to buy it again, it has to be said, but it wasn’t as bad as I’d been fearing. Maybe letting it sit for an hour or so is the way forward, allowing the rotting mango and cats piss to evaporate off…

London Brick and Big Brick

I’ve had these bottles kicking around for a while now, they were part of an order I made with BEERMerchants.com way back in July. London Brick was a collaboration brew between a load of London brewers and Dark Star, you can read about it here and here. Big Brick was London Brick’s bigger brother and another collaboration brew, which you can read about here.

London Brick poured a burnished mahogany colour, with a fantastic light brown head. The head stayed pretty stable at about a finger, as it was being fed by loads a wee bubbles. I’m struggling to describe the nose, it reminded me of that aroma you get with lots of crystal malt, not not quite the same. I’m not sure I got anything else to be honest.

It was pretty smooth in the mouth, with a lovely, just sweet enough, malty backbone that laid a perfect platform for the hops. The bitterness was perfectly pitched, just peaking above the malt in a medley of grapefruit and orange. The after taste was fantastically juicy and left lingering fruity notes fading away for ages. A totally brilliant beer.

Big Brick poured a similar colour to London Brick, but just a bit darker. While the head was a similar colour and just as easily formed, it didn’t last and dropped to a covering relatively quickly. The nose was an amped version of London Brick, you might be seeing a pattern here. It was very thick, pungent and vinous, with the rye notes pounding the nose.

For such a big beer, it was amazingly smooth in the mouth, at least at the start, then the bitterness cut in. It really rampaged through the mouth and brought some prickly malt with it. The balance between the malt and the bitterness was pretty good, with plenty of sweetness to balance out the immense bitterness. The wasn’t quite as fruity in the after taste as London Brick, I found it to be a bit dryer, but still pretty juicy though.

  • RateBeer The Kernel
  • Big Brick Collaboration Red Rye Ale, 8.9%, 330ml

I’m not sure why I’ve not got round to drinking them earlier. I think I was scared of them, as I’ve not really had any beers made with rye before and big red ales are really not my favourite style. As is normal though, I should have got round to them sooner as they were amazing, especially the London Brick. I can only think what it must have been like when it was fresh, damn my prejudices, damn them to hell…

Does Familiarity Breed Contempt, Or Is It A Safety Blanket?

Way back at the end of July, I won a Don’t Drink Hophead t-shirt from Dark Star via Twitter. The idea appeared to be to get people wearing the t-shirts at GBBF, as some sort of reverse psycology subversive stealth marketing. One thing I didn’t expect I’d get while wearing it was abuse from other GBBF punters. Most of which was good natured, I have to say, but there were a few people who made it be known, in no uncertain terms, that they thought Hophead was shite.

Their complaints seem to be along the lines of it’s not what it used to be and this got me thinking. I came up with three possible reasons for their complaints, one, the beer has actually changed for the worse over time. Two, they have drank so much of it, that they have now become so used to it and are thus ambivalent toward it. Three, they have under gone some level of Lupulin Threshold Shift and can’t taste the hops anymore.

Let’s look at each of these points, firstly, has the beer actually changed for the worse over time? I doubt it, but like all real ale, it’s susceptible to variations in malt and hops from year to year, so I would think the recipe gets tweaked every now and again to compensate. It’s also at the mercy of pub landlords and we all know they can fuck up a perfectly good beer and make it taste like shite. However, I really doubt Dark Star would deliberately modify one of their flagship beers to make it taste worse, as it just doesn’t make good business sense.

Secondly, have they become ambivalent to it? I know that I go through phases of drinking certain styles of beer or certain beers, but then I want a change and I don’t go back to those beer styles or beers for ages, if ever. Take BrewDog Punk IPA, I’ve drank loads of it, it’s still the beer I’ve checked into more than any other on Untappd. It’s not a bad beer, but I’m just so over it, it doesn’t excite me anymore, that coupled with their legendary consistency issues and knobend (IMHO) marketing and I’d rather spend my money on another brewers beer.

I’ve also drank loads of Thornbridge Jaipur and I now ration it, so that it doesn’t go the same way as Punk IPA. If I’m in Waitrose, which I’m not that often anymore, then I might buy one if I see it, but gone are the weeks of drinking it endlessly. So it’s perfectly possible that these people have drank so much Hophead, or had too many duff pints, that they’ve become ambivalent to it and in some cases quite anti the beer.

Finally, could these punters have suffered from the mythical Lupulin Threshold Shift? While this last point is slightly tongue in cheek, it’s certainly possible, as one of the most vocal abusers works in a Cambridge pub and I know he’s a bit of a beer geek and has tried all sorts of exotic beer. Maybe Hophead is now too subtle for him and he craves more bitterness, more ABV or more of something else. Having said that, he was highly critical, scathing and negative about practically everything, so you have to take these things with a pinch of salt…

For the record, I’ve only ever had a half of Hophead, it’s not a beer I’ve come across very often, in fact, I think I’ve only ever seen it for sale twice. I really liked it and I can see why lots of people hold it in such high esteem. I’d love to try some more, but I always feel that I’m missing out on something if I don’t try beers I haven’t had before. There’s something to be said for the familiarity of a certain beer though, a know quantity, especially with some of the shockers you end up trying in your quest for the next great beer.

Bailey, of Boak and Bailey fame, commented on my bemoaning of Free Houses that serve the same beer as tied pub in the same locale. He relates a tale of locals haranguing the Landlord:

And, a bit of insight – we were in the George Inn at Middlezoy in Somerset last year where the landlord had gone to a lot of trouble to get local beer from Moor, Butcombe and (I think) RCH, but was being harangued by his regulars: "Get London Pride on!"

He explained that it cost more for him to buy, had to travel a long way and that he liked local beer.

They didn’t care. "Get London Pride on!"

This got me thinking again, while familiarity can breed ambivalence and contempt, maybe it can also act as a safety blanket. Bailey’s comment reminded me of an incident at my wedding, I’d gone to the trouble of getting in a couple of polypins of beer from the local Milton Brewery and was quite chuffed to have some decent beer to offer the guests. I told my parent’s next door neighbour, who I’ve known since I was a child and so was a guest, as I know he likes his beer. I was shocked at the time by his reply, as he said he’d rather just have a few pints of John Smiths, as this is what he drinks down the pub on his weekly outing with his friends.

To him, the constant nature of John Smiths is a safety blanket. He goes out once a week and knows that the few pints he has, will all be the same and will all taste the same as they did last week and the week before that. If they choose to go to another pub and it serves John Smiths, he knows it will taste the same there, he has his safety blanket. He’s not interested in trying different styles of beer, chopping and changing between pale and hoppy, stouts, lambics and the like. Maybe he doesn’t want to run the risk of having a bad pint, he’s only out once a week after all, so just wants to enjoy himself with a known constant.

I used to have a regular beer too. When I was a student at Heriot-Watt, I lived just off Leith Walk for a year and we used to frequent Robbie’s. The round was two pints of Scrumpy Jack and a Harviestoun Ptarmigan and we were in there so often, we didn’t need to ask, just a nod and the drinks were poured. I couldn’t tell you what other beer they sold, I only had eyes for Ptarmigan 85/-, as it was called back then. I don’t go to the pub often enough to have a regular beer anymore and the pubs I like to frequent, don’t normally have a regular beer either, which suits me just fine.

I started this blog because I’d got stuck in a rut, I was drinking the same old beers at home, week in week out. I suppose drinking them week in and week out was a safety blanket of sorts, I knew what I was getting. However, I can’t remember the last time I had a bottle of Adnams Explorer, Fullers Discovery and Wychwood WychCraft at home. I wouldn’t say that familiarly bred contempt, I’ve just moved on, my tastes have since changed.

I’m not really sure what I’m trying to say with this blog, I feel like I’m rambling, so I think I’ll try and conclude.

Just because one person likes to drink John Smiths at the exclusion of everything else, doesn’t make them a bad person who has no taste, they just want something different from you and me. Also, just because a beer tastes different to how you remember it, doesn’t necessarily meant that beer has changed. Our tastes can change over time, the change can be quite subtle, or happen in a heart beat. Just because we no longer drink a certain beer due to our tastes changing, doesn’t suddenly make it inferior or bad, just different.

If I were to make a point though, I suppose it’s that everyone is different and wants different things from beer. Just because someone wants something different from you doesn’t mean their wrong, or that you’re wrong. I don’t think there is a right and wrong when it comes to beer, just a difference of opinion.

My opinion? I’ll be drinking Hophead at the next available opportunity. I’m a sucker for reverse psychology…

Coalition Old Ale

This beer has been a long time in the making, as it was brewed on the 25th February 2009 and spent twenty months in a conditioning tank and a further four months in bottles. You can read the brewers thoughts on the beer here and here.

It poured a slightly hazy auburn, with a good creamy brown tinged head. There was lots of carbonation, with loads of bubbles streaming up the glass. The head dropped slowly to a covering and stayed until the end.

I didn’t really get anything on the nose to start with, maybe some faint hints of a Fuller’s-esque marmalade type note.

It wasn’t as lively in the mouth as I was expecting, it started off prickly, but then smoothed out. It really reminded me of a Fuller’s beer, as it was all juicy marmalade with some yeasty mouth dryness in the aftertaste. There was also some bitterness, but just enough counter the malts, the bitter prickle never dominated, but wasn’t a supporting actor either.

As it warmed, other flavours appeared, mainly around the edges as a compliment to the main marmalade flavour. A slight alcohol warmth also appeared round the edges too, it wasn’t very much, but it did get more noticeable the warmer the beer got.

I really liked this beer and not because reminded me of some Fuller’s beers that I like, but because I really like beers that taste of marmalade. I didn’t think it was perfect, I can’t put my finger on it, but I thought it was missing some sort of spark that was raise it to another level. I should really buy another couple of bottles from the Bacchanalia though, as when they’re all gone, they’re all gone…

Advent Beer: Imperial Stout 2009

As I’d been been in Rome over the weekend, there will be a blog about that soon, the Advent Beer took a bit of a break. This meant that I needed to play catch up and double drink for a couple of nights. Sunday wasn’t one of them though, I was just too tired and needed to just sit and switch off. I’d been hoping for an easy beer, something simple and quaffable, instead I got another monster from the selection.

Dark Star Imperial Stout 2009It poured a really, really dark brown, so dark that I could only tell it was brown when I tilted the glass over a white surface and looked through the edge. A tan coloured head was easily formed, but never got above about a finger and dispersed to a tiny ring round the edge fairly quickly. The nose on this bottle wasn’t as large as I was expecting, I just thought it would be, well, more. There was some subtle dark roasted notes and hints of chocolate , but it was all quite muted.

Again, I was surprised by the taste, it wasn’t as large as I was expecting either, it certainly didn’t drink like it was a 10.5% beer. The body was full, but really quite smooth, with just a hint of throat burn at the very end. There was definite bitter dark chocolate taste, with maybe a bit of coffee and maybe some fruity, but mostly the dark chocolate playing off the malty backbone.

  • RateBeer Dark Star
  • Imperial Stout 2009, 10.5%, 330ml

It wasn’t what I was expecting, I’d certainly buy another bottle to try, but on this showing, it isn’t my first choice of Imperial Stout.

Advent Beer

So Christmas is fast approaching, as is evidenced by the amount of tat that has appeared in all the shops since the beginning of the month. My kids are quite excited about it all, especially their advent calendars, I couldn’t really care less as it’s not December yet.

In an effort to regain some of the childhood wonder for the whole thing and be less bah humbug, I’m going to do a beer advent calendar for myself. I know this has been done before on blogs, but I’ve got a backlog of beer to blog about and this seems like a good enough reason to get through some of them.

I’ve selected twenty fives beers from my stash, they are listed below. I’m going to print their names out and put them all in a hat, then each day I’ll pull one name out of the hat and that’s the beer I’ll drink and blog about. I thought it was easier to do it randomly than try and put this lot into some sort of preference order.

There will be a bit of a break over the weekend of the 10th, 11th and 12th as I’m Rome, but I’m sure I’ll catch up when I get back.