Wikio - Top Blogs - Wine and beer The Real Ale Girl: January 2010

Sunday, 31 January 2010

its only mini- its my birthday!

It is my birthday today and was tempted to leave the blog, but I could'nt go back on my Every Sunday resolution. But it'll only be brief.
Friday took us, and 63 lovely pals to the Wheatsheaf near Borough Market (weird to go there without stopping in the old MP first!) for our engagemnet shindig. We chose it for the buzz and the beer, and well and truly enjoyed both, but sadly, due to the level of this enjoyment, I can only recall one beer by name, but that's because it was beautiful- Wayland Smith's Giant. The rest of the selection was undoubetdly consumed, but will have to remain sorrowfully unticked in my Good Beer Guide.
Speaking of the GBG, we were in Hastings today for a my birthday lunch when we stumbled upon a guide stalwart, the First In Last Out brewpub which we were all embarrased to admit we did'n't know anything about. Thier Cardinal Porter and Crofter's ale were tasty treats to try as we peered into the blue lit brewing space, and they were also serving a Cottage ale and Dark Star's Old Chestnut. Yummy stuff. Maybe we could try and find a new brewpub on every birthday.

Sunday, 24 January 2010

An argument, some haggis and a tasty blonde

I started off this week's aleness with an awkward confrontation in the Clannanch, a Nicholson's near Carnaby Street. I asked if a particular beer was on. The barman, in the tone of a headmaster talking to a naughty 5year old, stated that if the pump clip is facing me, the beer is on. So I had to remind him of the last time I was in that exact spot, three pump clips were facing me and not a single one was actually available and we had left, and I'd emailed the head office (yes I am a grass). He didn't really reply.
Thursday saw the best deal Wetherspoons has done in ages, with their Burn's week special, Haggis, neeps and tatties with a pint of scottish ale for £3.99. Beautiful- at the risk of sounding a bit Oz Clarke, the Caledonian Auld Aquaintance brought out the oats and went perfectly with the turnip. Dark but light, I came over all och aye.
We just got back from  another London Bridge session- it seems to be coming a Sunday/ lazy day regular. A good selection in the Market Porter ( Loddon's Firsty the Snowman and Bradfield's Farmers were the best of the bunch) were accompanied by the permanent problem of insufficient seating and a debate over stealing the beer mats (we have a very good but very secret reason for wanting to do so). We then ambled round to the Wheatsheaf, which despite having a sign outside advertising Sunday night jazz, was shut. With a padlock. So yet again, the Horniman got our custom, and we got to try two Lancaster ales, their blonde and their amber. I never thought I'd say this, but just this once, blonde was better.

Sunday, 17 January 2010


So it has been ages since my last post, but certainly not because there has been nothing to write about. A very busy real ale girl, but my 2010 pledge is a blog every Sunday, perhaps another on a Wednesday if you are lucky.
  So, the busy month. What could have possibly kept me away? Lets go through this chronologically, peeps, for the sake of thoroughness.
  After the pure joy that was Pig's Ear 2009, came the ale free Staff night out, painful being so so so close to  Market Porter and Wheatsheaf holy graildom without getting through the door to either. I had to drink vodka. Quite refreshing, actually.
  Christmas concert rehearsals saw me spending a lot of time at The Blackheath Halls, making my way though the Meantime range (the raspberry is very good for the vocal chords, I've discovered), and a lot of time in a selection of Wetherspoons, ticking off Christmas beers form their winter offering. Lovely stuff. I love Christmas beer.
  With that in mind, we made a pilgrimage to the temple that is the King William for the Brodies Christmas Beer Festival, and yummed our way though Ho Ho Ho and had a sneaky sample from Lizzie of the sacredly rare Pink Pride. Good ol' stuff ad nice T-shirts. Pink and Beer, what an amazing combo.
  Christmas itself brought with it an 18 pint box of Westerham's Godswallop, incredibly easy to drink all day by a roaring fire, under wooden beams (not a Christmas card, but my parents' place in Kent).
  In the post Christmas lull, we pepped ourselves up with a Good Beer Guide led trip to Salisbury, where, as well as getting engaged (yay!) we made our way round the historical streets and Cathedral, and all the pubs in the guide, as well as many that should be. The glorious Village Freehouse is the sort of pub that you want to move house (and city) to be near to; I have major pub envy of those locals. Lots of Hogsback beer drunk, we made our way back to London with the warm glow of love and the buzz of yet another storming Good Beer Guide trip. It was surely meant to be.
  The snow kept us indoors, but have no fear- a marvellous Christmas present of a selection box from meant we were suitably entertained and satisfied, with a flat full of polystyrene.
  So here we are, snow survived, back to the grind, but with a rather beer related wedding to plan. I'll try not to bore you with too much wedding chat. I'll try.