It's that time of year again when Wetherspoons commission some interesting beers and like moths around flames the beer-curious flutter in.
I tried Firestone Walkers California Pale Ale (4.5%) - fresh, (too) cold and indifferent. Somehow there seemed to be a hole in the flavour even after the beer had warmed up. The bitterness seemed not to be integrated. This is a style I have a lot of experience of: I've even judged the category at the GABF.
On the other hand:
Mikkel's Viking's Return (4.5%), a smoky, malty dark ale was a work genius. It was excellent. Danish brewer Mikkel Borg Bjergso brewed it for the festival at Jennings in Cumbria. A message to Jennings: don't let him leave with the recipe, steal it off him.