What is the best ale in the world?

Would you risk all on a quest to gain it?

Hops was a desperate man. His beloved inn lay in ruins, thanks to sabotage by a rival. But would he dare all in the wilds to claim a prize that would restore his fortunes? No! Not a chance! He'd got underlings for that type of thing...

Barbarian troubleshooter Terry Testosterone and junior barman Roffo are plucked from their comfortable lives and sent with a mysterious monk on a quest to find this paramount brew. But can they survive the strange peoples and cultures that lie in their path? Will they be able to elude the attempts of their rival's minions to stop them? And should they do so, will they be able to best The Ale's bearded guardians and master The Ten Trials Of The Wise? One thing is sure: succeed in all this, and they will truly have earned a good drink!

About The Authors

Gene was born in the exotic town of Bedford. He rapidly escaped - though only as far as Suffolk, where he was condemned to attend a rural comprehensive school. In spite of this, he managed to get into Bristol University, where he was sectioned into the psychology department. There he gained the only first of his year after the lecturers got confused and mistook him for a student rather than a case study. He has remained in academia ever since, and now lives with his partner and children somewhere in The Mysterious East.

Andrew came into this world fully formed; a bit like Venus except for the beautiful bits. He too survived the state school system, shining in the subjects of skiving games, acne and chemistry. His ability at science sent him to Bristol University to study the dark arts of the test tube, crucible and distillation apparatus (particularly the distillation apparatus). He still lives in the British university system where he survives in The Cold North as a plaything of physicists.

The two authors met at university whilst standing outside a geology lecture wondering why they were here when they'd each signed up for something completely different. After much beer-drinking, curry-eating and world-travelling in search of the perfect night out, they decided to write a book about such a quest. This is that mighty tome.

At this point, Gene would just like to make it very clear that the rudest jokes in the book come from the depraved mind of Andrew. This is funny really, because Andrew is keen to take credit for all of the rudest jokes, but would like to disassociate himself from all the 'psuedo-literary nonsense', for which he blames Gene.


'A masterpiece of comic genius' Groucho Marks c.o. Madame LeStrange, medium to the literati

'The new Terry Pratchett' Tyrre Pretchatt

'Funnier than a phallic shaped vegetable' Bananaman

'cricket and booze! What more does a man need!' Andi Flyntoff

Book Nominated for a Co-authors Regale Amusing Potboiler prize

Where To Acquire This Page Turner

To purchase this book go to Amazon, Waterstones, WH Smiths or Blackwell online retail outlets. Also, our publishers Melrose Books will flog you a copy.

Actual physical copies soon to come to a bargain bucket near you. Failing that, Oxfam, Ely High Street may get the rest.


The cover artist's web pages can be found by following the link.

People and Places We Like

CAMRA. A fine bunch of hearty people promoting good quality real ale and pubs. We are both members

Cask Marque. The award for pubs serving great cask ale and runners of the world's biggest ale trail. At the time of writing, Andrew is apparently the 83rd biggest drunk in the country as measured by their mobile app!

The Fat Cat, Norwich. Gene's favourite watering-hole. He likes its so much he's dedicated the book to the place.

Woodfordes Brewery, Woodbastwick, Norfolk. A class act out in the fens. We are both members of the Woodforde's club and they have agreed to stock our book in their brewery shop.

CAMORA:- the Chosen Alcoholic Monks Of the Righteous Ale

CAMORA are dedicated to solely and exclusively brewing and drinking BOOZER'S VERY PECULIAR - an ale so fine that one sip will send your tastebuds off on a two-week, all expenses paid trip to paradise. The ale is available for purchase... but only to those with a Fort-Knox-mungously huge supply of gold. The ale's recipe is a closely guarded secret known only to the members of the order, being one of the top mysteries in the world of food and drink, along with:

   the secret ingredients in the coating of KFCs,
   the coca-cola recipe,
   how they get the iron into Irn-Brew
   if a 'value' sausage contains 40% meat what's in the rest of it?

To learn the recipe and help rescue their boss' inn our heroes must join the order. However, to get into CAMORA you need to pass The Ten Trials of the Wise... and once in, you are not allowed out (not even out of the monastry door). These tests are fiendishly difficult and designed to assess the candidate's knowledge, stamina and all-round beer drinking ability. Most are physical trials where the aspirant is tested to the limit of their individual durability but one is a written exam - an exam designed to evaluate the personality of the hopeful and make sure they are of the right moral character and have the integrity not to stray from the righteous path (and go for the occasional glass of wine or, heaven-forbid, a lager).

Could you pass this test? Are you a true real-ale drinker? Below, smuggled out of the monastry at considerable cost (many Bothans died to bring us this information), is part of that test.

The CAMORA Aptitude Test

Are you a true real ale drinker? Do you think you could pass the initiation into CAMORA? Below is the written exam as completed by one of our heroes. Could you do it?

Question 1) You spill half your pint into your beard. Do you a) go home and wash it in a nice scented, herbal shampoo b) swear violently and look for someone to blame and hit C) wring out your beard, making sure all the nectar flows back into the glass and carry on drinking it?

Question 2) The barmaid is a bit too buxom and knocks your drink over with one of her ample bosoms. Do you a) Demand another one claiming your uncle Tarquin is a top barrister and he'll sue if you are not fully recompensed b) shout 'Oy Oy Saveloy' and get your mates over for a good laugh at the poor woman's expense and thus prove that she's not the only big tit in the room or C) Be embarrassed about being in the presence of such a lovely but still have the fortitude and grace to accept her apology without comment upon her well-developed figure.

Question 3) What is the best snack to accompany a drink a) A bit of raw carrot, celery and an olive b) Chips, they are the best accompanyment to any food, drink, occassion c) pork scratchings, they are the reason pigs were invented.

Question 4) Tasting notes. These should contain words like a) Cheeky, young, nose b) fizzy, yellow, tasteless c) chocolately, hoppy, full-bodied

Question 5) What are the best clothes to wear on a night out a) Blazer, Old-school tie, cuff-links b) Football shirt, Trackie bottoms, Knuckleduster c) sandals with socks, woolly jumper, hat with a feather in it

Question 6) Morris Dancing? a) a past-time of sad has-beens b) a chance to hit somebody with a big stick c) an important cultural heritage that has the advantage of building up a thirst.

Question 7) The interior of a pub should contain a) prints by some young trendy artist, armchairs, yuppies b) sporting memorablia, broken furniture, blood stains c) dark wood, horse-brass, a log fire

Question 8) Toilets. These should contain a) piped soothing music, warmed seats, a man who gives you the towel b) a condom machine which also sells an inflatable sheep, absolutely no toilet paper, advertisements opposite the urinal for things like personalised number plates or C) extremely cold air, an odour of stale urine, a fly to aim at whilst having a wee

Question 9) The best shape for your belly is a) A six pack b) a pint pot c) a full barrel big enough to rest your drink on.

Question 10) A lady drinker starts to talk to you. Do you try to impress her by a) sniffing your drink and declaring to have an aroma of the valleys (south slope) and to be from a particularily good year even though you're only drinking fizzy water b) drinking 20 pints, beating up the biggest bloke in the room and tattooing her name on your forearm/head/skin c) sitting around in embarrased silence trying to think of something witty to say, buying her a pickled egg, explaining the rules of cricket

Alternate 10) should you be female; A male drinker starts to talk to you. Do you a) brush him off like the speck of dirt he is b) have ten children with him c) explain that you actually understand cricket even down to the Duckworth-Lewis equation

Answers If you answered all (c) then you are eligible to continue the 'test of the wise'. If you answered all (a) then you are a wine drinker. Nothing wrong with that but it won't get you into CAMORA which is rather an exclusive club. As you are the type of person who rather likes exclusive clubs this will probably annoy you. If you answered all (b) then you are a lager drinker. Whereas you can get real ale lagers you wouldn't know what they are and would probably complain about their flatness, slight cloudiness and taste. You are definitely not wanted!