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February 2016 – Active Bookings

Home Brew Kits – Drinkers DIY

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Home Brew Kits – Drinkers DIY

brew3We’ve all been there. A special someones’ birthday is right around the corner and our minds draw a blank when considering a gift. Well, here’s a great gift idea that will be easy on the wallet and always result in a very happy ending, a home brew kit.

Home brewing your own beer is not a new concept. Folks have been brewing beer for centuries.

Like everything else locating the right home brew kit can be a small challenge. There are so many variations online these days that it can be quite confusing. However, if you keep in mind that it’s not necessary to overpay for a home brew kit, you’ll quickly find the right kit at the right price.



Home brew kits are a lot like automobiles. You can always purchase the fancier model, but be prepared to pay a premium for it. For beginners, purchasing an expensive home brew kit with all the bells and whistles might in fact be a huge waste of effort and money. Therefore, just keep in mind that a starter home brew kit will produce the exact same beer as one of those expensive fancy kits, it’s just going to be about half the price. Below we’ve put together a quick list of mandatory equipment when it comes to home brew kits, so here they are;

1. Food grade buckets
(at least two, one with a tight fitting lid)

2. Airlock
(a device that keeps oxygen out yet allows CO2 to escape)

3. Thermometer
(without a thermometer you won’t be able to monitor the temp of the wort)

4. Siphoning system
(either an auto siphon or siphon syringe will work)

5. Hydrometer
(you’ll need this to test the gravity of your wort)

6. Test jar
(you’ll need this in conjunction with your hydrometer)

7. Racking cane
(used to siphon your wort between buckets)

8. Sanitizer
(an important step in home brewing)

9. Muslin bags or cheesecloth
(eliminates the straining of hops and other particles)


That’s it! Believe it or not with this basic equipment you can easily brew beer in your kitchen. Now there are a couple of other items you’ll need to consider, but they aren’t normally sold with a home brew kit. Those items are;

1. A brew pot or kettle with a 3 to 8 gallon capacity
(a 5 gallon batch is the standard, so an 8 gallon pot is required)

2. An ingredient kit
(sold by the same retailers, this is your recipe)

3. Beer bottles.
(12 oz. or 22 oz. sizes, you’ll need 48 12 oz. bottles for 5 gals of brew)

The above ancillary equipment is not expensive. It’s usually purchased from your local brew shop since shipping bottles is expensive and bottle breakage during shipment is always possible.

brew 2Now, should you purchase your home brew kit from your local brew shop? Well, in short the answer is “compare prices first”. Local brew shops charge a premium for their home brew kits simply because they have tons of overhead. We’ve never seen a home brew kit at a local brew shop that was in fact a good deal. A a matter of fact most kits sold at brew shops are over priced. Again, nothing wrong with the over priced kits, brew shops do need to pay rent.

There are a number of online sites that sell brew kits at really good prices.

So there you have it. Next time you’re looking for a special gift and you’re all out of ideas, consider a home brew kit. It’s a fantastic gift idea well under £70 and you’ll definitely be the most appreciated gift giver at the party!


February 20, 2016 / by / in
Top Restaurants and Attractions near the London Eye

The area around the London Eye is a great place for a day trip if you’re staying in London, especially if you’re at one of the hotels near Waterloo. As well as the calming pleasure of taking a trip into the skies of London on a huge wheel, there are plenty of other nearby attractions on the South Bank.

The National Theatre is a great place to visit even if you’re not seeing a play, as it’s worth admiring for the architecture, art installations and frequent free events that happen in the court outside. As well as the National, visitors interested in theatre are within easy reach of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, a reconstruction of the original 17th century building which is now used both as a museum and for productions by the RSC.
Skip The Lines With The London Pass

A little way up the road, we also have the Tate Modern, a huge converted power station that is now Britain’s home of modern art, and is credited with bringing art to the masses like never before. It’s featured turbine hall exhibits have been among the grandest and most innovative shown anywhere in the world.

For a more family-friendly activity, the London Sea Life Aquarium is right next to the Eye, and holds one of Europe’s largest collections of marine life.

When you’re finished with a hard day’s sightseeing, why not cap off your South Bank excursion with a visit to one of the many fine restaurants around Waterloo and the London Eye.


Here are a few of our favourites:


–  Canteen is a small London chain with one of its branches at Royal Festival Hall. A friendly place with an emphasis on quality British food and a vaguely nostalgic feel reminiscent of school dinners. The food is the real treat, though, and may make tourists realise why Britons remain so fond of our culinary history, disparaged as it is throughout the world.




–  Ev on Isabella Street is a loveEvly Lebanese restaurant under the railway arches. A classic interpretation of one of the world’s best cuisines, set in an atmospheric and charming Aladdin’s Cave of a building. Ev is right next to Southwark Station.





Oxo Tower Restaurant–  The Oxo Tower Restaurant commands one of the best views over the city short of the eye itself. The restaurant serves amazing modern European cuisine in a tower that is a London landmark. In the summer, guests can even dine outside on the terrace, for an unforgettable evening dining experience. Prices are steep, but it’s obviously not just the excellent food that you’re paying for.



February 6, 2016 / by / in

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