Tuesday, 27 May 2014

How much is too much ££££???

Me and t'other 'arf were off this Bank Holiday. A rarety indeed. After a day down the allotment on Sunday, I could feel a thirst coming. Now, with a holiday on the horizon and funds already looking a tad iffy, we decided to have a wee snorter before we went out. Home brewed Rhubarb wine. Potent. A couple of glasses of rocket fuel & then nip up to "The Wheatsheaf", an Ember Inns establishment, because a) it was Bank Holiday and the clientele are not usually too boisterous and b) the surroundings are a little more welcoming than some of the other haunts we frequent. We decided on sitting outside on such a lovely evening and went to choose our favoured brews. I decided on the "Gadds Dr Sunshine" a wheat beer from Kent at a sunny 4.2% whilst t'other arf decided on an "Aspalls Suffolk Cider" Then came the shock. £5-29 !!!Wow. Now I don't mind paying a decent price for a decent drop when I am on my travels, but this is Grimsby.That said the Gadds was a lovely pint, and having tasted a few of their beers in Kent and firmly a fan, it certainly traveled well. The cider,apparently, was cidery. Not to be too disheartened by the lighter feeling of my wallet, We followed this round up with "Gales Spring Sprinter" a 4% pale ale which, to me was a little tasteless but still in good condition and another "Aspells". We would pop in to the "Sheaf"  more regular if the prices were a tad lower, but, alas, being part of a chain, price controls are obviously not part of the manager's brief.
With the evening still being young, we decided to have a stroll into town and,after by-passing "The County", which seemed to have a childrens' party going on, we settled in "The Yarborough" I had 3 different brews in here, "Hambleton's Nightmare at 5%, "Exe Valley Darkest Devon Mild, 3.9% and "Arundel's Wild Heaven" at 5.2. After 2 more halves of apple juice T'other arf ended on a "Woodforde's Wherry" All served very well and at £2 cheaper per round, most welcome.
Well on early shifts this week so I shall be keeping it very real for the next few days.

Monday, 19 May 2014

Phew ! What a scorcher

After a few bottles on Saturday at home in the garden ( & a failed promise to take t'other arf out. Nodded off oops) I had a few gardening tasks to attend to on Sunday. Another warm 'un and with my tasks almost completed, and pledges to the affirmative on there conclusion, we decided to pop into Town for a couple of hour. Shorts and t-shirted up (brave man) off we went...........Is it me or is the air at least 10 degrees lower after 6-30.
Well, first stop was The Parity. Walked in with goosepimples on my goosepimples. Nice boozer, bit noisy on footie days but never any hassle. This being a end of season Sunday ( Don't think anyone was in celebrating Cambridge's play-off success) all was quiet. Three beers on the handpulls and we had the Butcombes Gold. Very nice beer at 4.4% just a touch too sweet for my taste but each to their own.
We finished our beer and set off to the other end of Top Town for one in The Ice Barque (Wetherspoon's Lloyds No1).
Just lately both this and The Yarborough Hotel (JDW's other pub ) seem to be showcasing Milestone's brewery's wares. Being brewed just down the road in Newark it certainly travels well. I decided on "Black Pearl" Dark and typically a no nonsense stout it pressed all the right buttons. 'Er in charge went for "Shine On" from the same brewery. A refreshing light coloured ale at 4% a total opposite to mine. Both well poured. It's a shame that this pub doesn't offer much in the way of ambience. Cavernous and wharehouse-like it does lack a bit of character evident in most pubs, although the staff are very friendly and efficient. Drinks finished and ever onward to The Yarborough. Not many in tonight, but the usual faces were there. A good selection as usual on the front bar including the Milestone's. T'other "arf left the choice to me so I went for the "Hook Norton Special Dark Mild" at 4.6%  and I chose "Milestone's Fletchers Ale" for t'other arf. My beer was lovely and smooth and very moorish, but the Fletcher's ale was not to t'other arf's taste. Very dry and bitter with a pale colour, but what of the beer you ask. Well I would have had it but it was an acquired taste and at 5.2% not really a session beer. We decided one more and home so I had another Dark Mild and presented a perfectly drawn Abbot's to the appeased partner. A good pub this at times and you could never call the beer selection lacking. Although we didn't do so on this visit, it is always worth seeing what is on offer at the back bar here as you usually find something different in choice. The clientele are on the whole, a little more mature here and it can be like a library atmosphere, but you can assure yourself that the beer will be "on" and selection plentiful. That was that. After a brisk walk through the "subbie" to try and get some warmth circulating round my uncovered limbs, we were home. We have decided to go out a little less over the coming weeks due to finances, but I dare say the odd pint will be taken, and I have got my home brew to start. So cheers and keep it real.

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Starting Over

What's it all about ??

I was, about, 22 I think when, fed up with Lager (where you Hemling??) I started to turn towards Bitter and expand my tastes. Unfortunately this was the 80's. A time for Yazz and the Plastic Population to tell us that "The Only Way is Up" and Blondie never did "Call Me". Even though "Wherever I Laid my Hat" seemed to be my home, I could never find a decent pint to savour. Having turned towards bitter my only options seemed to be Stones or Worthington's. Very little choice and I can't remember seeing a working hand-pull on the bars I frequented. Oblivious to this, I endevoured to tell myself that actually enjoyed these gas filled, insipid drinks. It was only towards the end of the decade that I experienced "Real Ale" for the first time. I had been away somewhere, probably watching football, and ended up waiting for a train connection in Sheffield , I think. Bored and wanting to kill a bit of time I wandered into the surrounding area and sampled one of the local's wares.Nothing I had tasted before had satisfied my thirst as this. That was it. A convert. The only problem was sourcing it. Most pubs back home were still "fizz" palaces and it was some time before I found a decent "local". Into the 90's and the revolution started to take hold. Real ale started to appear in more and more pubs but choice was still limited. If you stumbled upon it  and it was "on" you had struck lucky.As I started to socialise more with my footie fans, we began meeting up at a pub in Grimsby called "The Rutland Arms". A good boozer with some "interesting" characters and best of all good beer. "Old Mill, Snaith" were the brewers for this little gem and the beer was excellent. I had come of age. After this, we would find solace from many a game and it's dissappointments in the "Rutters" and then move on into town and we started to frequent the "Tap and Spile" and eventually  "Wetherspoon's" opened. Love em or hate em, they do add to an alehunter's experiences.
During this time, I had become an Avid Grimsby Town Fan, travelling all around the country to see them. This also opened my mind to the many and varied brews available, and enriched my beery passion.No longer a travelling fan (not even a regular at Blundell Park either) I thought that trying to remember and log some of my experiences would be interesting, hence this blog. My travelling days have not come to an end, merely changed to a more family experience and I hope to blog  my latest days out as they happen. 
Cheers and keep it "Real"