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Thursday 8 April 2010

A Pineapple, a mug tree of beer and 5pm dancing. Easter!

Most folks spend Easter eating chocolate, but of course, for me, it is prime beer drinking time. A long weekend with beer festivals left, right and centre, with the odd sprinkling of sunshine to remind you that there is a use for beer gardens other than  freezing smokers' asses off.
We kicked off our festivities at the Pineapple in Kentish Town on Good Friday. With casks setup in the garden, and pie ploughmans' platters, I thought we'd stumbled our way to Kent itself. But the hip and groovy yoofs told us otherwise, even if only 1 in 5 of them were brave enough to move away from Stella.  After being shouted at by a punter becuase I was lucky enough to get money off using my CAMRA card, we proceeded to drink our way through all 24 beers available that day. Surprisingly for me, I went with a popular choice for my favourite of the festival- Derventio's Cleopatra- fruity (masses of apricot silkiness), pale and girly- all the things I usually avoid in an ale. But this one was something special, a perfect Easter treat. You could almost see the bunnies and chicks frolicking in it.
I also made a new celebrity pal, with Suggs being intrigued by my beer ticking antics - he'd clearly never met anyone who gets kicks out of trying new beers, and bombarded me with questions about festivals and ale, declaring to the barman "That girl has got it right! What a hobby!" He stuck to Hop Back Crop Circle for the afternoon, signing my beer list, rather than starting his own!
We finished off a perfectly good Friday wih another trip to the glorious Southampton Arms, where we made it through all the beers and most of the ciders. And still had room for some chocolate on the way home.
Saturday, and we are off to the airport, to Geneva, and the Alps. An Exmoor Gold in the Gatwick North Terminal Wetherspoons started off a trip of great beers- who knew the Swiss had so many beers around? The Austrian Gosser was a perfect accompaniment to fondue whilst Switzerland's own Feldschlossen Lager, whilst a bit bland and fizzy, was a treat after climbing 300 odd steps up the cathedral towers. We found two amazing brewpubs in Geneva, who mercifully both did tasting selections. At the brasserie du Molard, these tasters came on a mug tree for beer, and contained the intriguing Ambree, which was so good, even my mum had one.
 At Les Brasseurs, they had a special seasonal beer on, a bright, bright, bright red 'Spice beer' which was flavoured with what tasted like jalapenos and cinnamon. It was both delicious and hideous at the same time, I never quite decided whether I loved it or hated it.
From Geneva, we wound our way up and up and up into the Haute Alps and the land of ski, and more importantly, apres-ski. With a bit too much Grimbergen wiggling around inside, we made our way in a cable car from Brides les Bains to Meribel, the heart of  SkiBunnyVille.  Not wishing to take part in any activity involving voluntary breaking your own bones whilst hanging out up a mountain, the apres-ski is what I'm interested in. Especially when it invloves dancing to live music, drinking Mutzig Old Lager, at 6.9 % at 5pm. If it weren't for all the skiing, I could get into that lifestyle.


  1. Yeh Suggs! Be very careful at these beer festivals. You might run into Tony Hadley of Spandau if you're not careful.

  2. "... there is a use for beer gardens other than freezing smokers' asses off." That very well may be the funniest thing I have ever read.

  3. Christ, I've seen it all now.

  4. Suggs is everywhere! I've a photo somewhere of him holding a gate open for everyone at Glasto a few years ago. I thought he'd stick to music festivals though, not beer festivals...

  5. Hmmm, your eyes match the beer - perhaps that should be the new thing 'in' thing...