The Tuesday Stat Attack: 2 Isle of Man

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This is the second ‘Country Stat’ following on from the hugely popular ‘County stat attacks’ that finished recently.

The Isle of Man, 221 square miles most famous for a few miles of it’s roads used for the annual TT races, it’s electric and steam trains or this:
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Only 9 beers would get you onto the top raters leaderboard for the place; @fonefan has 34 and is the top dog (or should it be cat?).

5 Active breweries with 2 closed.

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OK, I will go first:

I have a friend who lives in Ramsey, which is in the north of the island and we have visited him once. April 2015 to coincide with the IoM CAMRA Beer Festival. We really enjoyed our trip, we flew from Liverpool and Bob drove us around for five days (we also used the railways, just because we wanted too).

That visit allowed me to rate quite a few beers and 4 places (could have been more). We also got driven round the TT circuit and over the island’s most famous bridge, Fairy Bridge; you must make a silent wish as you pass over it.

My 23 beers gets me to a very healthy equal 8th on the leader board alongside our friend @harrisoni.

I’ve managed to try 4 different breweries as well.

We went to see and walk on the Laxey Wheel too, very impressive thing just for taking water out of a mine and beautifully restored.

If you’ve never been to the IoM, I can highly recommend it.

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It’s a quick one for me this time. Never been to the Isle of Man. I did plan to about 20 years ago, but the ferry cost was just outside our budget at the time. How interesting.

Unsurprisingly my five ratings are dominated by Okells, which I have either tried at the Okells-owned Bear & Billet pub in Chester or bottled from B&M bargains. Have tried only one other brewery Bushys at GBBF.

I will get over to the Isle of Man one of these days. When I do I’ll tick like there’s no tomorrow.

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Quick one for me also, have never been and only have 2 beer ratings and no ciders!

My Rating [Avg]
Okells Jiarg 3.3 3.14
Bushys Norseman 2.9 2.86

There are 2 active cideries listed for the Isle of Man (Apple Orphanage and Manx Cider Co) and the top 5 cider and cidery raters are:

Isle of ManCider Ratings

Isle of ManCideries

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I enjoyed 6 days on the Isle in 2014 as my wife was working on the island fairly regularly, staying with friends only 1/2 mile from the TT circuit. We visited the back end of the TT week, doing a trike tour of the circuit at a good speed & also managing to see 2 days of racing, once from a local pub garden right on the circuit & secondly pre booking a grandstand ticket in the north. Motor biking or car racing is not my cup of tea at all, but thought if your going to visit the island you have to on it’s biggest week by far. I have to say I really enjoyed it as a general sports fan, you can get so close to the action, a few metres away as the bikes pass you at 170mph is something else!

Beer wise I tried most of my 16 ratings, from 5 breweries on that trip, placing me 23rd.
8 from Okells
4 from Bushys
2 from Doghouse (closed)
1 from Old Laxey
1 from Hooded Ram (closed)

Best rated beers - 4 on 3.5 all from Okells, Dr Okells IPA (cask), 1907, Aile, IPA (bottled)

Best beer place - Old Laxey Brewing Company at the Shore Hotel, Old Laxey. It sadly seems they no longer brew at the pub, contacted brewed at Bushy’s. I spent a enjoyable visit one quite weekday afternoon after the TT had finished after a visit to the very interesting Laxey Wheel & a trip up Snaefell (621 metres) on the electric mountain railway.

Other places worth visiting - Peel with it’s castle & harbour but fairly ordinary pubs.
Douglas was a pretty average as a town set on what could be an appealing bay, most enjoyable pub of the few I visited in the town was the Terminal Tavern.

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I have never had a beer from the Isle of Man. I do have a photo of me aged 4, sitting on my mother’s lap and looking scared shitless on a ferry over to the Isle some time in the early 1960s. Despite my conspicuous need for Dutch courage, no alcohol was supplied to this toddler. Hence I can’t even use the proverbial–‘drank gallons of the stuff in my pre-RB days’ excuse.
On a clear day, you can see the Isle of Man from Blackpool Tower. These words from the oracle were intoned by countless people in my hearing whenever IoM came up in conversation. Then again we were living in Blackpool at the time. Other points of random conversation was the use of the birch as a punishment for public disorder offences by the Manx courts. It should be noted that the practice tended to be viewed approvingly by downtown Blackpool hoteliers cleaning up or boarding up windows after a ‘busy weekend.’ Many were equally keen on doing to wrongdoers what the Manx community had done to the local cat.
And of course it was/is a tax shelter for those who don’t like the idea of their money getting sunburned in the Cayman Islands. Given my limited sampling of ales from the peripheral islands of this archipelago, this may become typical of my contributions in future. You’ve been warned.

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Visited the IOM once in 2006 … what a shit hole

2006 regressing 1976 … place stuck in a time warp

Weren’t even any decent restaurants as everything seemed to be set up for full board dining and we ended up having some crap school dinner type meal in our hotel

Went to a few trad pubs and drank Okells

Will not be rushing back … only saving grace was it was just a one night visit in my mates 4 seater plane

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Three - two GBBF and one from the Prince of Wales Beer Festival in Farnborough.

One of my colleagues got offered a job on the IoM. His main worry was there there was a Jehovah’s Witness Temple on the island, plus a plentiful supply of sacrificial victims. Went out for a drink with him a year later and he’d dumped the Mrs, moved in with a flight attendant, spent all his free time at the casino and been excommunicated by his cult. However we pointed out that he owed us 10 years of office birthday cakes so have not seen him since.

We have some customers on the IoM… so have said I am always happy to go there for a meeting.

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I have a measly 10 beers from the Isle of Man, but that gets me into 42nd place on the leaderboard. It’s pretty hard to find around these parts.

The beer I’ve had from IOM is pretty traditional but not bad for the most part. The average rating is 3.27 which is below my average but still decent enough. Top beers are:

I’m pretty fond of the Okells beers I’ve had, and even in my pre-ticking days I felt like they were worth seeking out (a lot less choice in those days though). I’ve not been to the IOM, although it would be good for ticking purposes it does seem a bit old-fashioned for my liking. I have been to Liverpool a few times, which has a decent smattering of Okells pubs so that’ll have to do for now.

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Well most of this write up is pretty simple, never been there and never really thought about going. We once lived next to a couple that came from there, in our first house together, and we used to have them round from time to time and they were pretty scathing about the IoM, probably put us off for good. I’m not sure they allow caravan’s but I’ve never really checked.

So it’s all about the beer for me. Genuinely I had never checked before but I appear to be in 4th spot with 27 beers, 7 behind the chap that loves his phone. I have had beers from 4 different Breweries, 2 still running, 2 sadly closed. The most productive for me is Okells with 15 beers, followed by Bushy’s with 6, Hooded Ram with 5 and Doghouse Brewery with 1. The highest average is also Okells, but this is only 3.187, so it’s fair to say most of the beers from the Island are not so great. The best beers I have rated are –

  1. Okells, Dr. Okells IPA (Cask) – 4.2
  2. Okells Aile – 3.8
  3. Okells Olaf – 3.7

Obviously no favourite places for me, so that’s my lot.

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I’m another that has never visited the IoM. I nearly went once, with a bunch of friends who are bikers for the TT, but never made it

I’ve ticked two beers. One from Okells, in a bar in Liverpool and that Hooded Ram beer at GBBF a few years back.

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Back when I used to go to UK on occasion for work I looked into maybe attending the below if timing worked out one year.

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The IoM CAMRA beer & cider festival is held in the lovely Villa Marina, a great building with some outside seating too. Easy to get too and well worth the effort.

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It’s a big fat zero IoM RB rates for me, although I’ve had 4 before I rated here: 3 from Okells and 1 from Hooded Ram. Unlike many earlier contributors, I have actually visited the place! Back in about 2004 I spent a weekend there, flew in from Liverpool and stayed in Douglas - it was the 2000s but nobody told anyone on the island so it was a step back in time. Spent a day on bicycles having a little tour, saw some sights (that big wheel for example) and lots of fields, went too far and had to cycle at least half the way back with no lights and fast diminishing sunlight to guide us! Certainly remember a pub in Douglas with a shrine to Blackburn Rovers, and also definitely drank some Bushys beers, but it was before I had any thought to note such things down so I’ll obviously have to go back and do it all again one day

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Bump, for more posts please!

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Never had the pleasure of visiting and only the 3 IOM rates for me from 3 different breweries…

Hooded Ram
Okells
Bushys

All scooped at GBBF’s

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Sadly no Isle or Man ticks for me. Anyone know how to get IoM beers in England (preferably South East/London)? It would be a new country tick for me.

Beer festivals tend to be a good place to get IoM ticks. If you’re ever around for GBBF in August you’re sure to get a few.

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Found this for you @YantarCoast: Get Our Beers | Okell's

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Pretty much the same story for me as many others here… never been there, although I did see it once from Scafell Pike on an unusually clear day.

I’ve managed to scrape together 5 rates over the years… 3 from Okells, and one each from Bushys & Hooded Ram. My top rated brew scored a mere 3.3, which was Amber Ram from Hooded Ram.

I did know a Manx girl at uni… sadly not well enough to get invited to the island. She loved the place. I would love to go, as it looks an interesting place (with lots of hills to climb!). One day I’ll have to go there, although the ferry and flight prices are a bit steep.

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