Over the past six months the coronavirus pandemic has dominated the world, changing how we live our lives. With lockdown easing and a bit of normality returning (at the time of going to print!) I will try and keep the blog non Covid related and give a brief respite from the daily coronavirus updates and seemingly endless flow of bad news stories in recent weeks.

Firstly, Panther news

Without wishing to repeat ourselves (but we are!), the Panther team would like to once again thank all of you who have continued to support us through buying our beers for home deliveries. You have truly been a lifeline to us at a time when, literally overnight a large majority of our customers (pubs) were forced to close. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank our lovely shop stockists, we realise how often space is limited in your businesses and with the quantity, and quality of Norfolk’s microbreweries, we are very grateful that you continue to be loyal to us. Thirdly, as pubs adapt to the world in which we live, special mentions to a few of our loyal pubs such as Lollards Pit, Louis Marchesi, Coach and Horses (Bethel St) and the Jolly Sailors at Brancaster Staithe for your support.

Brew News….

We are pleased to announce that at the start of October we have scheduled in another brew of Decade, celebrating ten years of Panther brewing. When we launched it in March it got a little bit lost with certain worldwide events (that I’m still trying to not mention in this blog!), and so we thought we would brew our tenth anniversary beer again, but this time with a little twist! Still brewed to 4.2% using Norfolk barley (from our friends at Crisp Maltings) and rich amber in colour, we will be using English hops for this brew and we are looking forward to the results. When we brewed Decade previously, we limited the brew to casks but I am pleased to announce that there will also be 500ml bottles of Decade available for you to be able to savour in the comfort of your own home!

Markets and events….

Keep an eye out over the coming weeks as markets and events begin to appear. We have continued to attend Creake Abbey Farmer’s Market on the first Saturday of each month (since reopening in June), and also battled the elements at their recent Summer Fair. We will aim to be at several of the festive events, and once we have worked out where we are attending, we will update you on both here and on social media. We have had recent contact from several organisers who are looking to hold events, and it looks promising that these events should go ahead…fingers crossed.

Messi, Bob and Paul, Bill Bailey in sequins and the return of Little Alex Horne..

Previous readers of my blog will recall that football banter plays a key role at Panther. Norwich’s demise, Wolves’s continued rise and the promotion of Fulham to the Premier League have all been hot topics in recent weeks. Unfortunately, following lengthy talks with Delia at fortress Carrow Road during which he was allegedly offered an unlimited supply of her steak pies and co-hosting a late-night football phone in with Alan Partridge, Lionel Messi will not be joining the Canaries as he has opted to stay with Barcelona. An opportunity lost Lionel but we wish him good luck with his meagre £600k weekly salary, and hope we can pick him up on a free next year!

For those of you looking for a little pick me up on a Sunday evening look no further than BBC2 at 8pm. Without question the most life affirming half hour of television that you will see all week, Mortimer and Whitehouse Gone Fishing is now in its third series and goes from strength to strength. Featuring two national treasures in Paul Whitehouse and Bob Mortimer, the half hour generally consists of Paul (a keen angler) attempting to teach Bob (his enthusiastic pupil) how to fish, whilst Bob struggles to maintain his balance and quite often his dignity as he battles with the creatures in the waters. Bob’s role is primarily to organise accommodation and cook them some ‘heart healthy food’ since they have both had heart issues in recent times. The look on Paul’s face at some of Bob’s kitchen creations is worth tuning in for alone, but their chemistry, allied to the beautiful camerawork and background music makes it a must watch, and I personally wish they would extend it to an hour. The creators of the show have managed to create something almost magical despite the often-total lack of any fish being caught (however, boy does Bob celebrate when he does!). If this series has passed you by, catch up with previous series on Dave where you will see a certain brewery feature in series one!

The line up for this season of Strictly has just been announced and the phrase scraping the bottom of the barrel comes to mind. Yet more z list celebrities, You Tube bloggers and former boyband members will no doubt feature….  I genuinely didn’t know most of the line up! However, the brilliant Bill Bailey is in it so I may tune in to see how he gets on, although I fear that despite his musical training he may have been brought in to fill what is termed the ‘John Sergeant’ role this year, I hope to be proved wrong! Without wishing to ruin your enjoyment of the programme, spoiler alert…. I’m guessing a former pop star who did a bit of dance classes as a youngster will probably walk off with the Glitterball!

Finally, in a major scoop for the much-maligned Channel 4, they will be showing the next season of Taskmaster. If you haven’t seen it before, firstly where have you been!

Previously on Dave, five comedians are set completely ridiculous tasks by the Taskmaster, Greg Davies and his able assistant, fellow comedian Alex Horne. Whilst a bit more high octane than Gone Fishing, it is always great fun and the sheer absurdity of the tasks and the willingness of the celebrities to make complete fools of themselves makes the show compelling viewing. Past contestants read like a who’s who of modern comedians such as James Acaster, Sara Pascoe, Ed Gamble, Aisling Bea and the ever cheerful Romesh Ranganathan. Most series also include a, shall we say, more senior comedian and they have proved very popular with the fans. Hugh Dennis, Jo Brand, David Baddiel, Frank Skinner and the king of the one-liners Tim Vine have all taken part in the fun and games! So, if you want to see comedians tackling tasks such as how many baked beans would it take to go all the way round a caravan and making a businessman out of a coconut, this is the show for you!

Hopefully, you have enjoyed this blog and it has briefly taken your mind off the world we are currently living in.

Cheers and thanks again for supporting us,