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Sunday, 1 November 2015

Right Back Where We Started From.

Towards the end of September, after our Algarve holiday, I managed a couple of really enjoyable sessions out in North East Lincolnshire. The first was a get together from work, With the rarity of a Saturday off, and no Sunday early start, we agreed to meet up in Cleethorpes, to chew the cud, and let our hair down. T'other 'arf was absent on Grandchildren duties, so I was flying solo. After a couple of bottles at home, I set off for the train, missing it by seconds. Oops ! Never mind. There was a new bar in town which had recently opened,
A New bar in Town.
The Curious Cat, so I decided to pop in to check it out. Well, very nice, indeed, was my first impression. It is quite modern, with mood lighting and an easy going atmosphere. The beers, Heineken led, are mostly keg, but some “craft” bottles are available. I hope that they may consider a cask offering in the future, as it would certainly be well accepted. My choice of drink was Meantime Brewery “Chocolate Porter”, a 6.9% bottled beer. The chocolate flavour certainly comes through, balanced perfectly with vanilla, and sweetness from the malt and, overall, this lovely Baltic style Porter, seems to belie its reasonably high ABV, and is an excellent bottled beer I look forward to sampling again. After this little visit, I moved across to The Yarborough Hotel, as I still had 30 minutes to wait, and in here I opted for another dark brew, namely Springhead “Drop o' the Black Stuff”, a 4% Porter with hints of coffee, liquorice and a bitter dry finish to boot. I thought this another good brew from this Nottinghamshire brewery, and my only criticism was it had a rather thin mouthfeel about it, but, alas, that is the way many Porters and Stouts are heading nowadays, possibly to pamper for the “younger” market ? I had a second pint of this, before jumping on the train to meet up at The Coliseum Picture House,in Cleethorpes. On arrival, before tracking down the rest of the posse, I ordered a Springhead “Roaring Meg”, a beer I have had a few times, and which never seems to disappoint. I joined the rest of “Gang” in the roof garden, enjoying the late September Sun. Other beers I sampled in here were Exe Valley “Autumn Glory”, a 4.5% Bitter that was full of malty flavour, with slight fruit and floral hints, but a little lacking in interest, Wychwood “Dirty Tackle”, a mildly caramel led flavoured brew of 4.4%, which was quite bland, to be honest. My last beer in here was Yeovil Ales “Glory”. A Bitter of 3.8%, this was just a typical English style beer. There was a slight fruit hint and a touch of nuttiness, but not a lot else going on, a pretty standard, uninteresting brew. I finished off with a glass of the cinnamon flavoured Whiskey liquor, Fireball, which was the best drink I had had in this JDW's all afternoon, apart from the “Meg”. We headed to Bar Babylon, in The Market Place, and, as I had a sticky badge slapped on my chest, entitled me to a free shot of something looking like, and probably tasting like, mouthwash. This was followed by another shot, bought by one of our party, (Cheers, Dave, but I think my mouth is clean enough now), before I managed to order a Sharp's “Cornish Pilsner”. By this time, my senses were beginning to leave me, but I do recall a fruitiness to this cold, fizzy beer. After another couple, and I recall a bit of an attempt at “boogie-ing” on, or near, the dance floor, some horrific karaoke by Tara and Jess, and then the need to get a taxi, before the brain cells recovered from the mouthwash, and demanded something with a beery flavour to re-awaken them. It was a good night though, even if the casualty list read that Jim's white shirt was ruined by wine of the rose variety, and Dave ended up in a leg brace after”strutting his stuff” and pulling his ligaments in another nightclub later in the evening, which necessitated a trip to A&E. Oh, the joys of drinking.
My last outing before October started was to The Wheatsheaf, in Grimsby. With a month of the booze awaiting me, I kissed the Ale a fond farewell in here with 3 really good beers. The Cask Club in these Ember Inns are quite good, in selection, and with a discount for CAMRA card holders, they are worth a visit. Those I enjoyed in here were, Moles “Mole Catcher, Itchen Valley “Godfathers”, and Exmoor “Silver Stallion. Mole Catcher is a 5% Strong Bitter, is a big malty brew, which is a well balanced bitter-sweet beer, containing a lovely spicy kick, with a nice dry, but refreshing finish. “Godfathers”, a 3.8% session Bitter, was rather biscuity, with a vein of sweetness and a hint of toffee throughout. The finish is a very bitter one, but not unpleasant. Exmoor “Silver Stallion” was my last beer of that evening, and had quite a lot going on within. Malt,biscuit,spice and berry fruits all make an appearance, but do not detract from each other. At 4.3%, this beer was one to savour, which, gladly, I did. We called it a night after that, and strolled home. That, for me, was the last alcoholic drink I faced for a full month. As I sit here, gazing at the clock, I notice that it is now 00:15. My Macmillan Cancer Support “Go Sober For October” challenge is over. I had planned a celebration at Mid-night, the opening of a beer, with the flourish that a celebrity may bestow on the ribbon outside a new Supermarket, but, truth is, I can't be arsed. I am just draining my coffee cup, and then to bed. Tomorrow? Yeah, too right, the beer will once again flow.

Cheers, The Beermonster is back among you, so, Keep it “Real”.