Wikio - Top Blogs - Wine and beer The Real Ale Girl: November 2009

Saturday 21 November 2009

ale is cool- its official!

So the Wetherspoons fest finished with a flourish in the guise of the Crosse Keys Superfest. We made it down for the rather quiet but actually very relaxing Sunday, which despite being nothing on Saturday, apparently, still had a full cohort of beer beauties, including the yummily fund raising Armistice by 1648 and the crippling X- terminator by Oakham.We left that one for last. Enjoying a constant commentary from the fellow next to us and chats with some festival reguars, we made the most of a fine 24.
Last night, however, brought a rather different type of ale festival-  the week long ale fest at Spitalfields ultra cool Pure Groove records. Oh yes, in case you doubted, ale is officially cool, with three aes at a terms being served from casks on the counter in this record shop/cafe/bar/live music venue. So this trendster of a venue needs cool beer, so who do they go to? Brodies, of course! I enjoyed a couple of pints of Amarilla, despite it not being my normal choice of style- it just goes to show those Brodie siblings know what they are doing. The manager/DJ said the festival has been amazingly successful and they may well get an ale on permanently. Let it be a Brodies, being East London and all that!
This morning took to me to school football on Blackheath, and then to the Princess, which is another cool place that is recognising the grooviness of real ale, with Holden's spooky pump clipped Horn Dance (so yummy it made me exclaim with delight, even though I was alone)and Springhead's un-chocolate orangey Chocolate Orange Twist. I couldn't decide between the two so ended up having a half of both. Before 12.30. And I was on my own for the second one. Oh dear. Sometimes a girl just can't choose.
Probably because I'd virtually downed these halves, I then decided it would be a good idea to go to ZeroDegrees for a 5l minikeg. The special, Rauchbeer is beautiful and looks very nice chilling on my window sill. Problem was,  I bought it before I went shopping, and so fumbed around the boutiques of Blackheath knocking things over, with condensation dripping down my arm. Sometimes though, some beers are just worth the effort.

Tuesday 10 November 2009


So the weekend arrived with the rain pouring down, soaked through shoes, mud splashed tights and a stackfull of work left on my desk that I didn't finish. Only one thing for it; The Crosse Keys, mid fest. It was the first time I'd been able to get down to the Megaspoons during this festival and despite having tried a few of the 24 at other wetherspoons over the last couple of weeks, there was still a whole Powerpoint presentation's worth of ale to get through. Having munched our way through the de riguer bargain sausage, chips and beans, we settled in and I worked my way through 19 thirds. I love that you can drink 19 beers and still come out walking, its pure anti-binge genius. Sort Of.

Star of the night, and possibly the festival, although I am only just over half way through the programme, was Oakleaf's Old Navy Custom. Nutty, caramelly, yummy. Bring back Old Ale, I say.
I've got a couple more opportunities to find a rival though- the normal Wed night meet up on Lewisham Wetherspoons and then back to the Crosse Keys on Sunday for the Superfest. Bring on the ever changing Powerpoint.

Monday 2 November 2009

1000 ales!

Welcome to Naughty November!
Having spent a few days in Swansea for a lovely wedding in a groovy, modern hotel (which sadly only served a rather warm and vinegary Reverend James), I was back in London on Saturday night and ready to wipe away the late night, all day wine drinking of the wedding with a good ale session.
Luckily, we heard about the Halloween festival at the amazing 'gothic' Patriotic Building in Wandsworth. Having never been to its normal freehouse Le Gothique, the sight of this eerie, intimidating pile was perfect for Halloween night, and the beers were gloriously as dark and spooky as the costumes. (My 'costume' was only my Brodies Special T-shirt, but it did lead to a weird conversation with a man who claimed to love Brodies and their pub, but didn't actually like any of the beer.)
Anyway, this wasn't just any old beer festival event for me- this fest would hold claim to my 1000th different real ale (since records began), and I celebrated it in style with Dark Star's Winter Meltdown, the multi -talented and bewitching Seasick Steve's music and a cheers with our long haired friend from The Pigs Ear Festival Games Division, who offered us some homemade pickled onions if we attend the next one.On that note, I am intending to volunteer on a couple of nights- will keep you posted.
My 1002nd beer Downton's Chocolate Orange Stout, however, was the business and had me making all sorts of inappropriate noises of appreciation, but then so, surprisingly, did the 10% Thomas Sykes from the fabulous Burton Bridge. Drinking any of their beers takes me back to our Easter Burton pilgrimage, but being 10%, I was expecting to find this too sweet and overbearing, but it was dangerously easy drinking. Seek it out, strong beer fans.
I finished the night having been made to jump 5 times by the same masked man but on a new score of 1011. How long until I reach 2000?