The Pinter: A Simple Way To Brew Your Own Beer

As I’ve mentioned recently, I’m a bit obsessed with craft beer at the moment. I’ve even been considering going down the route of brewing my own beer at some point in the future. Although I know I’ll end up messing it up and it will come out tasting like cat piss.

I have memories of my step-grandad brewing up beer in his kitchen, and while I was too young to really understand just what the hell he was doing at the time, I always thought that it looked a bit of a faff. A cursory Google of ‘how to brew your own beer’ shows I’m not wrong. You need a lot of space and equipment, and even after all that effort the results may be terrible. 

Luckily, there’s a solution in the form of The Pinter.  I found this little gem via a promotion on the Untappd app.

The Pinter home brewing kit
It definitely looks like a nice bit of kit.

Marketed as a ‘world-first innovation’, The Pinter is a home brewing kit that’s committed to making the brewing process easier, more affordable, and sustainable.

The Pinter brewing kit contains a barrel, brewing dock, yeast, purifier, and a Fresh Press pack. The latter is what contains the alcohol-free drink you’ll be making. It’s alcohol-free because the alcohol is created during the fermentation process. Choices include the likes of cider, IPA, stout and lager, with more added over time. There’s also a subscription service where you can get a new Fresh Press popped through your letterbox every month. 

The barrel itself looks eye-catching, with six different colours that include jet black and hot red. But how does the Pinter actually work? 

First, you purify the barrel, before adding water, yeast and the Fresh Press. The brewing dock removes the yeast and residue during the fermentation process, leaving you with pressurised beer. All this will take a few days, with 4 being the standard, but it does depend on which drink you’re brewing.

The Pinter beer maker

The cool thing is that The Pinter holds on to the CO2 that’s produced during the fermentation process, and it’s then used to help carbonate the beer. It also kicks out excess CO2 through a valve system. 

The conditioning process, where the brew is carbonated so that it’s not as flat as that beer you fell asleep drinking, needs to be done in your fridge. While the barrel is nowhere near as big as your standard pub beer cask (it will supply 10 pints of chilled beer) you do need to be aware that, after the initial brewing process is complete, you’ll need to stick it in the fridge to allow it to cool for even more days. I can see that being an issue with a lot of people, as you’ll no doubt have to sacrifice lots of space and possibly even have to remove a shelf. If you’ve got one of those big American-style fridges, then you’ll likely be ok. I’d probably be shit out of luck, as my fridge is full of cheese. 

I love the idea of The Pinter. Making brewing simple and stress-free is a great way to get more beer lovers into it. Plus, the £75 price tag isn’t too high considering how much beer you’ll be getting out of it. However, there is the issue that the only beer you can brew in it are those in the Fresh Press range, so you couldn’t ever try your own creative combinations (it voids the 1-year warranty if you do try this). Hopefully The Greater Good Fresh Brewing Co will keep coming out with new drinks to try.  

I’m also thinking that if they went out of business in the future, you’d be left with some kit that you couldn’t do anything with as they wouldn’t be making Fresh Press drinks anymore. But I suppose that’s the risk you take with anything that relies on products you can only buy from the equipment manufacturer.  

Still, it’s a great idea and I’m very tempted. Find out more and buy your own over on The Pinter website.

Review: It’s The Golden Goo-Beer-Lee Creme Egg Beer

It's The Golden Goo-Beer-Lee Creme Egg beer
It’s darker than a Creme Egg.

Just when you thought the craft beer world couldn’t get any weirder, Goose Island Beer Company make a Cadbury’s Creme Egg beer. The Golden Goo-Beer-Lee Creme Stout has been brewed in collaboration with Cadbury’s in celebration of 50 years of the wonderful Creme Egg. What a time to be alive.

Before I give you my thoughts on what it tastes like, I need to point out that you won’t be able to drink this unless Goose Island changes its mind and decides to make more. 

It was an extremely limited supply, limited to one pack of two per person. The first batch, available last week, sold out within a couple of minutes. The second and final batch, released yesterday at 11am, only had 500 available and, again, sold out within a couple of minutes. Goose Island says that’s the end of it and they won’t be making anymore, which is a shame and has led to a lot of pissed-off responses on social media from people who didn’t manage to buy a pack.  

But I was one of the lucky ones. I made sure I had the website open before 11am and created an account. I also had my payment details saved so I could instantly check-out, which is likely why I managed to grab one before they sold out at 11:02am. 

The Creme Egg beer can.
The marketing team at Goose Island did a great job with the name.

The two beers arrived this morning, but obviously I put off trying one until I’d finished work for the day. The can design features the famous Cadbury purple, as well as the yellow and red that make up the Creme Egg colours. This being Goose Island, you also get a giant goose that’s done in the style of the yellow egg-splat we see on every egg. 

Golden Goo-Beer-Lee Creme Stout is made of a blend of malted barley, oats, wheat, milk sugar (lactose), cacao nibs and vanilla beans. It’s supposed to have a rich and creamy texture, just like Cadbury’s famous gooey chocolate egg.  

After I opened it, I gave it a quick sniff and was met with a sweet chocolatey wave. But you’re not here to read about the smell, so what did it taste like?

The taste was heavy on chocolate, which was more bitter than I expected. You’re also left with a creamy after-texture. If you’re expecting it to taste exactly like a Creme Egg then you’ll be disappointed, although Goose Island did point out that this beer didn’t contain actual Creme Eggs. It could also have done with being a higher percentage, as 4.5% for a stout leaves it tasting quite thin. 

Back of the Creme Egg beer can with a giant yellow goose.
The back of the can is full-on goose!

I drank the beer straight from the fridge. A few people who had already tried it and logged it on Untappd suggested that leaving it to warm up helps unlock the flavour. I did this and can confirm that it did have a much creamier texture once it had warmed up to room temperature, which I enjoyed a lot more than when it was cold. 

Goose Island suggests biting the top off a Creme Egg, licking out the goo and using the chocolate shell to drink the beer out of. I didn’t end up trying this, but I have another can, so I’ll have a go next time and then update this post. 

All in all, it’s not a bad chocolate stout. Am I disappointed that it didn’t taste exactly like a Creme Egg? Not really, because that would have led to drinking something that was overly sweet and sickly. Instead, you get an average stout that goes down easy, with a nice creamy texture that lingers on the tongue.  

Related reading: My current obsession is craft beer

Book Review: James May Oh Cook! Cookbook

James May has done a cookbook? The James May of Top Gear and The Grand Tour fame? Yep, that’s the one. Not only has he made a cookbook, he’s also got a TV show of the same name on Amazon Prime Video. James May Oh Cook! Is described as ‘60 easy recipes that any idiot can make’ and, as Mr. May himself shows you on the show, he’s right! 

James May Oh Cook! cookbook
As you’d expect, it’s in hardback form, but it’s not as heft and thick as those giant doorstop cookbooks that gather dust on your shelves.

It’s perhaps not all that surprising that James May has gone down the cooking route, given that May founded FoodTribe, a spin-off from DriveTribe, with his The Grand Tour co-stars Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond. It’s also the third show he’s done for Amazon, with the other shows being The Grand Tour and James May: Our Man In Japan.  

The show itself was a fun watch. May isn’t exactly fond of the way that cooking shows are normally filmed, so he fills the time with his usual brand of random facts about things like history and his life. He also likes to show you the bits of television production that you normally don’t see, so you’ll see him talking to the crew and complaining about how long they’re taking to get the perfect shot when he just wants to eat the food he’s managed to cook. 

Shakshuka recipe from the James May Oh Cook! cookbook
This turned out pretty good!

The whole point of the show, and the accompanying book (which, as May points out in the introduction, was written after the show was filmed), is to teach people who can’t cook the basics of making a satisfying meal. May himself says he can’t cook, often calling for the help of Nikki, a ‘home economist’, who appears from a cupboard (a joke that quickly gets old). But, to be fair on May, he does a pretty good job for someone who supposedly can’t cook. 

Curry night chapter from the James May Oh Cook! cookbook
We all love a good curry night!

Each episode of the show is dedicated to various categories of meals, and the book mirrors this. For example, chapter one is all about brunch, so you’ll get recipes for a classic omelette to shakshuka. Chapter five covers curry night, while the final chapter is all about store-cupboard saviours. This latter chapter has recipes involving things such as Spam and sardines, to give you some ideas of what you can make from leftover basics in the cupboard.  

Unlike other cookbooks where recipes can be complicated and involve a thousand different ingredients that your local supermarket doesn’t stock, May does his best to keep things simple. He stresses that while fresh ingredients are obviously better, you don’t have to use them if you don’t want to and can use packet or frozen ingredients instead.  

I’m not a regular cook myself, as my wife is much better at it and we’ve got into the habit of her doing most of the cooking while I handle most of the cleaning. But this book is perfect for the likes of me, when I do get around to trying some of the recipes myself. However, my wife has done a great job at trying out some of the recipes, and most of them have turned out to be pretty great.  

Black pudding hash recipe from the James May Oh Cook! cookbook
This was the best recipe we’ve tried so far.

Highlights include the very tasty black pudding hash (I only tried black pudding in the last few years, in Edinburgh of all places, and I’m a little annoyed that I avoided it for so long), the shakshuka and the sticky buffalo wings. We also tried the boiled egg with avocado and prosciutto ‘soldiers,’ but this was a disappointment. Nothing can beat toast soldiers dipped in egg. 

If you’ve watched the show and want to try the recipes out for yourself, then the James May Oh Cook! cookbook is a no-brainer. But even if you haven’t watched the show and you’re just someone who hasn’t cooked much and wants to get to grips with the basics, this is the perfect place to start.

You can buy James May Oh Cook! On Amazon through this link*. You can also watch the show by signing up to Amazon Prime Video*.

Please note: Links to products on Amazon generate a commission that helps pay the costs for hosting this website. These links have a ‘*’ next to them. Find out more in my disclaimer.

Read more posts about books in my book category.

My Current Obsession Is Craft Beer

I’m a big whiskey fan, but there’s two issues with this. One, trying lots of new whiskies is expensive, especially if you’re expecting quality (not that you can’t get decent whiskey for a low price, as there’s an Aldi one I particularly like *look it up in whiskey book*).

Two, there’s a time and a place for whiskey and it’s something I enjoy every now and again. I can’t, for example, drink a whiskey with my dinner. So, in lieu of loving whiskey I’ve been rediscovering my love for craft beer. 

This is my current craft beer situation: 

My collection of craft beer

It was sparked by my wife signing me up for a free box of 8 craft beers from Beer52.com (we just paid for delivery). The box that was delivered had beers from Melbourne, Australia and it was exciting to try beers I would normally never come across.  

By the way, the photo above isn’t including my next box from Beer52.com that’s due in a few days. I have so many right now as I’ve just received a crate of 24 I ordered from BeerHawk.com, who were running a deal of 24 cans for £24.