On our last meeting Billy RBF let it slip that most English beer sucked. Hailing from Burton-on-Trent- the home of Bass/Coors and Marstons we happily disagreed and set out to change the guys minds!

So the aim of the task, we have nine beers and you are going to taste each one and match the beer to the description. With some fun questions in between!

So if you want to start with this one (Siberia from Ilkey Brewery)

Billy: Doesn’t really smell that good, just kidding. I think it’s the rhubarb saison Siberia. (to Matt) Is that it?

Matt: No conferring with each other Billy because one of us has to win!

Your first beer related question: Tell us your best drinking/drunk story.

Matt: Well just last night we had to carry our bass player back to the bus, which is why he’s not here right now. We haven’t seen him.. I hope he’s alive actually.. He was weaving, we had to stand either side of him to hold him up and I had to push him up the stairs.

What had you been up to?

Billy: Drinking!

Matt: We had a show in London last night so all our London friends were there. We were drinking with The Skints…

Billy: There was a lot of people.

Johnny: Back to the original question, I have a story. When I first got in the band ten years ago we played at Worcester Polytech.

Matt: Oh, this is a good story.

Johnny: It was a time when I was drinking a lot before the shows, we had two bottles of Vodka on the rider every day. Every day two bottles of vodka, and it would either be Belvedeer or Grey Goose. So I was drinking Red Bull and Vodka before the show. We were playing with, why I can’t I remember there name?

Billy: The Beatles?

Johnny: No, another ska band out of the New England area.. Oh, fuck, The Pie Tasters!

Billy: Not really New England.

Johnny: Sorry. Sometimes you get people who run these festival shows that are a little nervous, and the Pie Tasters are old guys. Older than we are, so by the time an hour passes they are pretty far into it and the student that is running the show comes up to us and says “hey, the Pie Tasted are pretty drunk. I don’t think they are going to be able to play. Would you be okay going on earlier?” and we are like “they’re going to be fine” but we agreed just to ease his mind. So Red Bull Vodka before the show, Red Bull Vodka during the show, Red Bull Vodka after the show. We wind up going to a frat party, and I take a water bottle half full of vodka and half full of Red Bull, and I get into the frat house and there is sand and I’m like “its a fucking beach party” so I’m running around barely coherent at this point. (When I drink a lot eventually I get tired and I want to leave) And I’ve got to leave now, I just disappear. It was raining, pouring cats and dogs and I was piss drunk. Somehow I got into a cab, and went “take me to the University” so he winds up taking me to the university but talking me to the wrong university.

Matt: Worcester Massachusetts has like ten universities all within the town limits, all almost within walking distance of each other.

Johnny: And we were within walking distance of the college that we just played at, but he took me to a different college. I don’t remember which one. So I didn’t have any money to pay for the cab fare and he’s taken me to the wrong school, so the driver was wound up, I couldn’t get my phone to work because I was drenched, plus I didn’t know how to use my phone, so he took me to the campus police of this other college. I proceeded to vomit in their voyeur and they get my phone to work, and they call our tour manager and say “hey, we’ve got one of your boys can you come and pick him up?” So the whole bus comes to the other college police station and Tom comes in and gets me. They didn’t arrest me, they were just kind of laughing at me. I walk up onto the bus and Rylan (our old drummer) has a shoe box ready for me to vomit into and he got me into my bunk and I lived! And ten years later I still have my job! That’s Tom fault though.

Beer No. 2 (Ilkey’s Holy Cow)

Billy: I know what that is, shall I tell you what that is? I think it’s that one (points at a bottle).

(Professional sniffing going on) Would you like a spit bucket

Johnny: Absolutely not, that’s for amateurs.

Billy: I think that’s the Boring Brown Beer.

Johnny: Either that or the Holy Cow.

Matt: I’m saying the Brixton.

Beer related question: What is you best hangover cure?

Billy: Weed!


Billy: Yeah, final answer! Weed, without tobacco in it.

Simple question, easy answer! Ok!

Beer No. 3 (Ilkleys The Mayan)

Billy: Oh my god, I know what it is before even tasting it. I know what it is without a taste.

Johnny: Chipotle Stout!

Matt: Mine two.

Billy: Mine three. Don’t you think it smells differently to how it tastes?! It smells like a candy bar. We know it’s the chocolate chipotle stout.

Beer related question: What is the weirdest place that you’ve woken up?

Tom (Tour Manager): Once again Johnny on the lawn of a college in the pouring rain.

Billy: He’s already told that story once. Weirdest place I ever woke up?

Tom: Don’t say your Mother’s bed!

Matt: I’m really good at getting back to my own bed.

Billy: Or getting back to some body else’s bed!



Beer No. 4 (Jackhammer, Brewdog)

Billy: (Laughs) Oh, it smells so good! This is going to be tough.

Matt: It isn’t this one, because that’s 9.6% and this is not 9.6%.

Billy: It’s this one, the Jackhammer.

Matt: I don’t think there is another IPA here. I vote Jackhammer.

Billy: We were at BrewDog the other day, and I had a Jackhammer and I thought it was darker. Although I agree. This is the Jackhammer.

Beer related question: What kind of a drunk are you?

Matt: It depends what I’ve had to drink. I do get a bit hitty, (Hitty?! Genius) and hit people, I wrestle and throw things.

Johnny: This needs a back story, we were in Pokcan Washington and Matt had gone to a karaoke and was drinking Tequila at the bar. Matt should never drink straight alcohol of any kind, ever! Whether it be Whisky, Tequila or Vodka whatever, but beer is fine. Derek, myself and Dan are sitting in the back lounge, Matt comes in and the first thing he does he looks at us and screams, then proceeds to get down to his underwear and jump on Dan.

Are you still in the karaoke bar at this point?

Matt: No this is back at the bus.

Johnny: So he jumps on Dan, and Dan kinda throws him off and then he tries to jump on me and I throw him off. Somehow Dan stands up, and Matt jumps on his back. It was just a mess of wrestling. Matt turns into a crazy WWF- not WWE- like Hacksaw Jim Duggan when he gets drunk. Eventually he passes out in the hallway of the bus, so we had to pick his ass up and put him in the top bunk.

Billy: He gets hitty and naked! He beats the shit out of you, but he takes his clothes of before he does it. Niiiice

Beer No. 5 (Brewdogs Tokyo)

Billy: Oh yeah, I can guess that this is going to be the Bearded Nurse.

Matt: Yeah, it smells like a barley wine.

Billy: Bearded Nurse, final answer.

Johnny: Oh England you are doing it right! You’re putting hair on my chest.

Billy: That’s a kick in the balls right there from Weird Beard.

Matt: Weird Beard, Bearded Nurse definitely.

Beer related question: Who in the band is the most lightweight drinker?

Matt: That’ll be me, right?

Billy: A lightweight drinker in our band, is still a heavier drinker than most people. Like nobody drinks just one drink or two drinks.

Matt: Wait, I change my vote. I’m going cranberry milk stout for that last one.

Johnny: Really?

Matt: The Holy Cow! No wait, I’m sticking with the Bearded Nurse I just looked at the ABV of the milk stout.

Billy: And it’s not a fucking milk stout!

Matt: I just panicked!!

Johnny: We can all drink a lot now..

Beer No. 6 (Brewdogs Brixton Porter)

Billy: It doesn’t smell like anything. Oh I fucked up, I don’t know. I think this is the Brown Beer but it doesn’t taste like 8%.

Matt: This might be the Brixton Porter and you were right with the Brown Beer. I think!

Billy: Yeah, this is the Brixton Porter.

Billy: Oh oh, looks like you guys were wrong!

Beer related question: Who is your dream drinking buddy?

Billy: Dan Regan, my dreams came true.

Johnny: Yeah, all of us. I wouldn’t want to drink with another group of people, and Dan too we miss him.

Billy: Or Johnny Cash!

Beer No. 7 (Weird Beard’s Holy Hoppin Hell)

Billy: Holy shit balls, this is going to be the Holy Hoppin Hell.

Johnny: It smells so good.

Billy: It has to be Holy Hoppin Hell, starting to think we fucked up the Jackhammer now.

Matt: I was starting to think we fucked up the Jackhammer too.

Billy: We are all second guessing ourselves now.

Matt: I’m going to reverse my decision about the Bearded Nurse now, I think that was the Tokyo.

Billy: You can’t revoke your decision.

Matt: I can revoke my decision.

Billy: No way absolutely not, no fucking way.

Johnny: Holy Hoppin Hell.

Matt: Again Holy Hopping Hell, but I’m still taking back that decision and calling that I got the Tokyo wrong. I don’t care if I don’t win because of it, but I’m going to say it.

Billy: Fuck you! (They’re taking  our little game very seriously!) It smells so good!

Johnny: We’ve had a beer drought since we went to Brewdog like five days ago, so this is making us very happy..

Beer related question: What would you name your signature cocktail, and what would the secret ingredient be?

Johnny: Well I make an amazing margarita so it would be ‘Johnny Christmas’s Margarita Madness!’ and the secret ingredient is tequila and then more tequila oh and lime.

Billy: Mine would be ‘Wild Bill’s Bloody Mary’ and it would be made with vodka- me and my friends once saved all our weed stems for maybe a year and we put them in Vodka and let it sit for six months and then strained it and you get weed infused vodka, and that’s what my bloody mary would be made out of. The secret ingredient weed, weed again. Every answer weed.

Matt: These guys both had good answers, I don’t have one!

Down to the last two beers. Beer No. 8 (Boring Brown Beer from Weird Beard)

Billy: I’m confused because there are some many stout bottles on here, and non of these beers have really felt like stouts. I’ve no fucking idea, I’m going to say the cranberry milk stout.

Johnny: I think this is the Tokyo.

Billy: The Tokyo is 18% though.

Matt: I’m telling you the Tokyo is the one we said was the Bearded Nurse we fucked that up. I think this is the Holy Cow cranberry milk stout.

Billy: Oh Matt you’re right, we did fuck up the Tokyo I still have the Tokyo right here. You hear that microphone? We fucked it up!

Johnny: When you take a wiff of it, it burns your nose. Don’t smell it?!

Matt: I’m certain this is the cranberry milk stout.

Johnny: Where is the beer that I should be drinking right now? Oh this one..Slightly citrus, I think it’s the Holy Cow.

Billy: I can’t believe with the amount of times we’ve drank Tokyo that we fucked that up.

Beer related question: Have you ever been drunk on stage, and if so what’s the worse thing that’s happened?

Billy: Yeah, drunk every night.

Johnny: Okay, so we were in Southbank and the space was a little small. We were playing with Less Than Jake-one of our favourite bands in the world- and it was like the first or second song, and Aaron is out spinning circles and the stage is really small and he steps on a mike chord, stands on the monitor and then whoosh, he goes off the front of the stage backwards. Right in front of all three of us.

Billy: ..Into the barricade area..

Johnny: I’m like “Oh my god he’s going to die” because the barricades have those brutal steps that I totally thought he was going to hit is head on. He just went BAM straight into the moat and Dave had to go pick him up because he was like a turtle on his back, with his guitar, he couldn’t get up!

Billy: But he hopped back up really fast.

Johnny: He got back up, but he had hit is arm on the barricade and it was all numb so he couldn’t play for like a whole minute. It was epic!

Billy: I’m not even sure he was that drunk, but it’s a good fucking story.

Last one! Beer No. 9 (Bearded Nurse from Weird Beard)

Matt: This is the Bearded Nurse.

Billy: Yeah, Bearded Nurse.

Matt: God, I hope I got some of these right.

Billy: Dude, I think I got them all right except for the Tokyo which is the only one I’ve had a million times. Confidence, we like that..

Johnny: Doesn’t taste like a barley wine though?

Billy: But what the fuck else could it be?!

Beer Related Question: Out of ten how drunk are you right now?

Matt: Four.

Johnny: Four.

Matt: I ate a nice big Venison and Lentil Pie before this.

Billy: Yeah, I ate, it soaks it all up.

You’ve held up well, we’re impressed.

NINE strong beers between THREE guys in THIRTY minutes!

Let’s see who won! IT’S A DRAW! Not bad guys 6/9. 

As they stumble off we are left thinking, aren’t Reel Big Fish fun?!

For the delight of our Fishy friends the lovely people at the following fab brewery’s donated
some alcoholic beverages..

1. Ilkley Brewery – (www.ilkleybrewery.co.uk)
Bring a collection of “deceptively different, characteristically curious and uniquely unconventional” ales. The RBF guys particularly liked the Mayan which is a chocolate and chipotle stout.

2. Weird Beard – (www.weirdbeardbrewco.com)
“No gimmicks, no crap and never knowingly under hopped. Just great hand-crafted beer brewed in West London with the best ingredients, knowledge, and respect for process, and a little insanity.” With the funky bottles and caps these were an immediate hit, as was their fragrant Holy Hoppin Hell beer.

3. Brewdog – (www.brewdog.com)
The forefathers of the independent brewers movement, and are especially relevant to this with their popular Punk IPA beer. The guys especially liked the 18.9% Tokyo Stout and the Punk IPA- you may even see Reel Big Fish hanging out in Brewdog bars which they often frequent.