So I'm a mum now. It inevitably changes your life- new bits wobble, going to bed at 11pm feels like a late night and the living room floor looks like a Fisher Price catalogue. But it doesn't need to stop you going out and drinking beer. Not if you own a breast pump and a cosy pram.
We still go to the pub. A lot. I am not overly tolerant with friends who moan about not being able to go out since baby has arrived. It just needs a relaxed attitude and some forward planning.
And it is oh so worth it. Beer tastes all the sweeter when you have spent chunks of your mornings expressing your mum juice just so you can drink it guilt free. A single half pint in the pub after a day making googly noises into nappies feels like the ultimate reward; a bit of adult based fun, a glimpse into the child-free days of yore.
We have a little Friday night habit (and often Saturday night and Sunday afternoons too) of popping to our local in the early evening, the glorious place recently rescued from the brink of supermarketerisation, that is The Catford Bridge Tavern. Our little lady is welcomed lovingly by the staff, they love seeing her even more than us, despite the fact that we are are the ones spending the money.
My pregnancy and the birth of little lady coincided neatly with the huge growth in London breweries. An exploration into the link between baby boom and brewery boom is a task for another day. To me, this just meant I was severely out of the loop- reading on twitter about cool new breweries and funky beer events when I couldn't take part just felt like the ultimate carrot dangling . So the first time I read some beer blogs and logged onto twitter after the birth felt like I'd landed in an alternative universe. Cronx, Partizan, Shamblehouse... who were these strange sounding breweries? And even stranger- a brewery in Penge? Blimey.
The Catford Bridge Tavern, an Antic pub, has gone some way to guiding me about this new world, with beers from Cronx, Late Knights, and Clarence and Fredericks, as well as new brews by more familiar breweries and those from further afield- Summer Wine, Marble, Kernel, Dark Star and Hardknott. Little lady gets cuddles from Francesca, the friendliest barmaid in South London, while we get to chill out and feel like more than just mummy and daddy for an hour, whilst drinking some damn tasty beer.
New parents- get thee to the pub!