Friday, 30 January 2015

Since you been gone

Since the turn of 2015, it seems that I have been in a hermitage, if you look at my blog, and my Google+ postings, which, is not strictly true. I have been kicking of my work boots, when opportunity arises, and helping to clear some space in the kitchen by removing those bottles of home brewed Bitter and Stout that T'other 'arf keeps tripping over and tut-tutting at.
Never mind the bloody juniper bush,
 there's a new bar open in Cleethorpes!!
Dedicated to the cause, I have also made space where the Whisky, Vodka and Port live. I am sure the Glayva and Gin are in the way and soon to be tidied up too ! (At this point I would like to stress that I, angelic and almost salvationist, am not the only one in the Ancestral home who has partaken in, and removed us of the Spirits lurking in the dark cupboard, I suppose, like an exorcism.) I have managed to escape the immediate environs of The Homestead, making it to the relaxed atmosphere of those debauched bars one frequents, on occasion, which I will review now.
Two weeks ago, on a cold,bright Wednesday, T'other 'arf and I, jumped on the train for the short journey to Cleethorpes. With a brisk, biting wind swallowing us , we huddled up, and bent over, like penguins, strode, or waddled, down the seafront. A delightful walk was taken, as bracing as it was, and after ending up at the far end of the resort, behind Pleasure Island, an unimpressive 2 miles had been completed. Invigorated, I suggested, whilst in the immediate area, we pop into the new Premier Inn's Brewer's Fayre. This agreed upon, we entered and were greeted by a spotlessly clean and tastefully decorated bar. The staff were friendly and attentive, with an air of confidence in their newly taken positions.Beer choice was the usual keg varieties, with the addition of “Black Sheep” Bitter and, if memory serves me right, Fuller's “London Pride”. We opted for the 3.8% “Black Sheep” which was expertly dispensed, even with the polite enquiry if a top-up on the pint was needed. Now, the only criticism. Our beer was too cold. It was served at a temperature more suited to those “special” lagers, and real penguins. This had the effect of tainting the flavours slightly, before the warmth of the room, and our cupped, gloved hands came to a partial rescue. Shame really, maybe it was the outside air temperature which knocked the cellars' temperature down too far, but I will visit when the weather warms up, just to clarify that. Drinks finished, we headed off for the return to our point of departure. I had it in mind to visit another new Cleethorpes bar, The Bobbin, situated on the High St. Billed as a venue for “craft” beers, I wondered what it would offer. Approaching, the place was open but empty, so we decided to try it another time, when we could also sample some atmosphere, as well as those quoted “craft beers”. You are also slightly more noticeable if you decide on leaving, should the “craft” beer not be as one expects, or hideously priced. We will give it a look in the near future, though, so watch this space, but for now, diplomacy reigns. We opted for a couple in The Coliseum Picture House instead. I went for the locally brewed 3.4% “Mild Midlander” from The Black Horse Brewery, whilst my half pinter chose “Thanks PA” a very floral, dry finished 6% IPA from the same stable (I'm sure I have used that as a witticism before, but we all recycle now!). Jane didn't go a bundle on her beer, so later switched to an “Abbot Ale”. I found my brew a touch bland. The rich creaminess and slight coffee undertones promised to excite the palate but, sadly disappeared quite quickly. I followed this with a pint of the “Thanks PA” myself. This is beer with a punch.It is full of flavour from the US hops used, and has a dry bitterness that never ends! The citrus taste prevails throughout with hints of grapefruit apparent. I thought it a very good IPA. After these, we popped into The Number 2 (Under The Clock) back at the station, to await our mode of transport home. We both chose the Cottage Brewery “ Somerset and Dorset Ale”, a traditional Bitter, which, at 4.4%, was rich, malty and carried a lovely red hue. It was also served at the correct temperature, allowing the beer to give off all it's deep flavour and hop aroma.
Look what's blown in.
The following week, I met Jane in town after a trip the Ice Barque, giving it a trial after recent disappointments. I tried a couple of US beers in here I had not tasted before. First was “Full Sail Wassail” brewed by Wadworth, in conjunction with the Full Sail Brewing Co. I found this Winter Ale full of malt flavours with a wonderful fresh hopped aftertaste. Very moreish, but at 6%, one to respect. I also tried the Sixpoint/Adnams “Xporter” another  6% Ale full of chocolate and roasted coffee flavours, with a citrus kick to it. An excellent tasting beer of this style. Now in company, we made our way to the The Yarborough, where we sampled a couple each of the Oakham “JHB”. A classic Golden/Blonde Ale with plenty of fruitiness in the hoppy flavour, mixing amicably with malt, this 4.2% beer is always a welcome sight. We could have stayed for more, but we had other plans, so, content with our lot, we sloped home.

I have decided that 2015 may not be so much quantity driven, more quality. I intend to try more places, new and old, home and away, many either never visited, or last enjoyed a few years ago, to give my blog a little more “depth”. With a friend of ours, Steve, recently taking retirement, it seems we may have another taster to bounce opinions and views off. We, Jane and I with Steve and his partner, Dee are already planning a meal out, back in Cleethorpes,which will also be enjoyed with a few drop-offs on the way, soon, followed by an idea of mine to try a few local pubs by public transport at a later date. Anyway, as always, Cheers and keep it “Real”

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