Lewisham Wetherspoons. Friday, 9pm and I have the distinct feeling thre is a psychic about. One who can read into the depths of my dreams and who, for some reason, wants to make all my wishes a reality.
At the official end of the latest Wetherspoons Real Ale festival, I had had 39 of the 50 beers. A memorable evening around The City's selections kicked it off, followed by several trips to our locals, Lewisham and Lee Green. We made a couple of stop offs in Mark Dredge's haunt Tonbridge, spent an evening in our wedding venue The Knights' Templar (where I was given a festival T-shirt which I am going to turn into the coolest bag around) and finished it all off on the last official day of the fest with an eye opening (and nostril torturing, in some) Northern Line JDW crawl. And with that, I thought it was over and I'd get all ticked off in my Good Beer Guide, with Wadworth's stunner Pixley Blackcurrant Stout getting my vote for beer of the festival.
But lo and behold- the wizard that is the Lewisham cellar manager must have snuck a peak over my tasting note booklet and decided to reward me for getting through another week with five festival ales. Four, beautiful, untried, pristine pump clipped ales that I had not yet ticked off in my guide. (I say ticked-the black paper made ticking impossible, so I used glittery little star stickers, making my fest notes more glam than Cheryl Cole).
Okay, so I understand neither Mystic Meg nor Professor Dumbledore were skulking outside Primark and Iceland on Lewisham High Street on Friday night wating for me to appear before running into 'Spoons and bewitching the mnager into putting my need-to-try beers on. I admit that deep down I know that they have a tactic of ridding their festival beers from the cellar to make way for the rather exciting looking Christmas brews. And also being able to charge 30p more for them post-fest.
But I'm going to indulge myself in the fantasy that we were being rewarded for trudging from pub to pub, clutching our untickable tasting notes on bus, tube and train, only to find the same three beers on as in the pub before. The fantasy that if you look hard enough, work hard enough, wish hard enough, you may just find what your looking for, even if it is just a beer called Black Squirrel.