porter ale


Some of the actresses of colour suggested by my mutuals for Jyn Erso, following the reveal that there are no WOC in the Rogue One cast. The Star Wars film franchise as a whole so far has been a majority white driven franchise and it needs more actresses of colour in non-CGI main roles.

Zawe Ashton
Sofia Boutella
Doona Bae
Fo Porter
Yasmine Al Massri
Julia Jones
Stephanie Beatriz
Nicole Beharie


In my ongoing and utterly hopeless quest to try ALL the beer I sometimes neglect peeps I’m already a fan of, like Manchester’s Marble Brewery, whose beers have been brewed at The Marble Arch pub since 1997 and are a cornerstone of Manchester’s beer scene. So, in a measly, half arsed excuse for an effort I picked up a couple o’bottles o’their brews, one I’ve had the pleasure of previously, the other entirely new to me.  

I’ll start with the familiar. A silky smooth dark ale that takes inspiration from dark milds and porters, Chocolate Marble is sweet and malty with flavours of cocoa, coffee, and caramel, undertones of dark dried fruits, and hints of liquorice. It’s semi-dry to finish, light-med bodied, and softly carbed. A quality brew, tasty without being a flavour bomb, which just helps it go down all the easier.

Ginger “5.1” is a ginger, coriander, and clove infused amber coloured bitter. There’s unsurprisingly plenty of lovely fresh ginger in the aroma and taste, the subtle floral and citrusy hops, spices, and malts all working together nicely to bring balance whilst still allowing that ginger to shine. Medium bodied, softly carbed, and medium-dry, it’s a refreshing and really quite charming easy drinker. 

I like Marble. Everything I’ve had from ‘em to date has been, well, solid. If you’re in the market for a couple of tasty, effortlessly well made, mooreish English ales that stray a little from the all too common (here at least), I’d recommend these in a heartbeat. Cheers y’all, and have a great weekend!

Black IPA by Last Stand Brewing Co.

It’s actually been a little while since I’ve had a Black IPA. They used to be everywhere but now seem to not be quite as popular which is a shame because I think they combine the hoppiness of a standard IPA with the malty flavors of, say, a porter really well. Last Stand, located right at the border or Austin and Dripping Springs, has this Black IPA that is definitely true to style. There’s good hop bitterness with a hint of citrus. Toasty malt and coffee flavors help balance it all out nicely too. A good beer. 

Happiness is a sunbeam which may pass through a thousand bosoms without losing a particle of its original ray; nay, when it strikes a kindred heart, like the converged light upon a mirror, it reflects itself with redoubled brightness.  It is not perfected till it is shared.


I finally made a trip to the mothership, Sierra Nevada in Chico, CA. I visit their Torpedo Room in Berkeley quite often, but this was the first time making the trek up to the brewery.

I started the day with their tour first thing in the morning. Because I was visiting on a Sunday, the Beer Geek Tour was not available as parts of the brewery were not operating, so I settled for the standard tour. Very impressive facility that finished at their gift-shop tasting room where we sampled a small lineup of Sierra Nevada beer; Pale Ale, Kellerweis, Porter, Beer Camp Hoppy Lager, Ovila Quad with Plum, Hop Hunter and a 2015 vintage Bigfoot.

After the tour my girlfriend and I moseyed over to the restaurant. I’ve heard nothing but great things about their faire, so eating there was a must. I started with a flight of Sierra Nevada beers I’ve never tried; Old Chico Brown Ale, Golden IPA, Blonde Ale, Harvest Wild Hop IPA- Neomexicanus, and Draught-Style Pale Ale. A mediocre flight having just tried some of my favorites after the tour, but tasty nonetheless. And, as promised, the food was phenomenal (and surprisingly affordable).

I headed to the bar after for a few more drinks and to get growler fills of Bigfoot and Hop Hunter. Overall, a fantastic trip. I’ll definitely be making another trip back in the Spring to take that Beer Geek Tour.


Soapberry Springs Brewing Co.

Established in 1995 the Soapberry Springs Brewing Co. operates out of the Historic Oliver House creating delightfully drinkable ales, lagers, porters, stouts and the like. Soapberry Springs Brewing Co. is always concocting new surprises in the brew house patrons will see on the way up to the pub which serves all of the companies own beers, as well as seasonal drafts and beers on tap all year round, and basic pub foods. The brewers thrive on the history that is ever present in Soapberry Springs, devising drinks of all kinds, while still incorporating innovative ideas to craft well balanced recipes and produce some favourite brews. Whether you are hungry for pub grub, a lite-fare lunch, or a good steak, Soapberry Springs Brewing Co. have the perfect beer to pair with your meal.


A Seahorse Tail Could Inspire Better Robots, Surgical Tools

by Michael Keller

An advance in understanding why the seahorse’s tail is made of square plates could inform the next generation of robotics and armor. In an engineering study that looked at the mechanics of how the fish’s tail works, researchers found the structure’s shape is optimized to resist crushing and to grasp while bending and twisting.

An international team modeled the stresses and strains of the tail bones with a computer and 3-D printed prototypes to subject them to engineering tests. They believe that the superior resistance to compression is an adaptation to protect the fragile spinal cord that runs the length of the tail.

One of their primary questions was why evolution would select for square prisms in the seahorse skeleton when other animals that do similar things with their tails have developed cylindrical ones. Learn more and see images below.

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Noel Fielding hosts Live at the Apollo, with guests Dane Baptiste and Al Porter (S11E03)