as threatened yesterday, here are some of the details of my second night out with friends over this last weekend, supping in some decent, and less than decent venues (but all of which sold real ale....)
This was our agreed meeting place for the evening and it was completely rammed a good 2 thick at the bar as we entered. Our progress to the pub had been retarded by a surfeit of peasant waggons, my injuring my shins on a black bottle box left on our dark street, and a lack of cash machines in working order. These may all have been contributory factors to my lacking patience on an epic scale at the bar.
Once at the front I ordered a half of Paulaner for Chala, and spied an SWB logo on a pump clip. Knowing that I was furthest from it, I asked the barman for a pint of the Summer Wine brewery beer. He did not know which this was, but did not attempt to spin the clips round for a peek. Without time to explain that i can hardly see I simply pointed impatiently at it, but still to no avail, in fact it was only a half remembered half recognised word that enabled me to purchase the beer at all - I thought it was called Diablo, which it was. Jesus wept, what a chuffin rigmarole!
Anyhoo, seated at the bottom end of the pub were John, Steve from the night before, Fluff, and Trudi and Paul. Here we were all at different stages of drink, and chaos reigned early on as those all important rules on leaving and reordering were not in place. Plus, annoyingly, the Diablo was at the end of its life and heading for diabolic.
Unperturbed we went back to the bar, John had a half of Rock or Bock (we weren't sure), and me a pint of Spire Porter, which had a little tang, and wasn't as good as it had been at the Ship.
We were off across the dual carriageway next to go into the Fat Cat, which being perhaps the second smallest venue on our route was rammed as well. Mind you, that we found this in every venue is surely notice of a burgeoning drinking scene, which can only be applauded.
Out back were Miss Wish, Angela, Mr C and Si, and we were soon joined by Saul and Dan. Here I happened across my favourite and most peoples favourite beer of the night. Finally now able to name the bugger, I had a number of pints of Spire Candleriggs 1909 Porter. This was in excellent condition, and clears up the mystery from earlier posts on the subject of what I had in Tarlequin.
We stayed here for a while in the beer garden, where I enjoyed a fabulous pork pie to be washed down by my excellent beer (didn't try the Black Iris bitter alas) before moving inside and getting our ordering and drinking speeds all wrong - it doesn't matter though, when you are only going round the corner next...
And so it was we reconvened in the Kelham round the corner. Here recollections become a little interpretive, and this I am sure is in no way connected to my having a pint of Gorlovka Stout. And surely, there is no suggestion that I had more than one, even though it was delicious..... To be fair we all ended up on something strong in here, and I know we had at least 2 each, before last orders was called. Below is a helpful picture of the pub, at the time. Sort of.
West Street Live
Music was the main draw, well, for't young uns any roared, as Wee Beefy is a slow moving hairy object, as opposed to a slick dance move machine. Here we were joined by the last of our party Chris, who showed the dancers how to do it whilst I stood awkwardly but not unenjoyingly (is that even a word?) on the sidelines. Beer in here was Wychwood Hobgoblin, which I had a pint of, and, undoubtedly, tasted of beer. I can't confirm that though.
Washington BC (before catatonia)
Our last stop at gone half one was the Wash, which was a seething mass of sweaty thirsty people and music played too loud for the speakers. We didn't care though, at our venerable age me and Chala were just pleased to be somewhere interesting, her with half a Staropramen and me with a pint of yellow cloudy Moonshine which tastes like it only does in the Washington, but somehow alright. We lost track of a few of the clan in here alas, and despite fleeting glimpses of Si, Wish and Dan we were awaah by 2.15 and off for the night bus, the timetable for which helpfully reads "last bus 23.44", which, at the risk of losing some journalistic kudos here, I have to say is just downright fucking stupid.
All in all this was a fab night out with great people and fantastic real ale for the most part, and ironically, this time, despite not being a beer crawl as such, I did have an excellent beer, the Spire 1909 porter in the Fat Cat.
Now for a week without alcohol methinks...