Thursday, 6 November 2008

The Good and the Gooder

Last night I had a few pints in Manchester. I'll just list the highs, as this time, there were no lows at all. After a long visit to the Manchester Evening News Arena to discuss CAMRA business, we were thirsty. So it was up the hill to the Angel, formerly the Beer House where with our usual luck, all the beers were dark. Damn. Graham plumped for Titanic Lifeboat and when I saw how good it looked, so did I. We thoroughly enjoyed a classic full bodied dark bitter, with some roasty overtones and a good hopsmacking finish. Brilliant stuff and once again I was struck by the incredible courtesy and welcome here.

Next the short hoof to the newly redecorated Smithfield. Much better, though they could do with boarding up the open part of the kitchen in my view. This time we chose Durham Gem, a pale, deliciously hopped peach of a beer, which went off after our first pint. Glory be, a new cask was put on and it was even better than the first. I've thought Durham had lost an edge recently, but on this showing, it's back to stunningly good form. A short stride took us past the boycotted Bar Fringe to the Crown and Kettle where Phoenix Thirsty Moon awaited our verdict. Guilty of being dangerously drinkable, despite being 4.6%! The full body was luscious and the hop finish was sublime. Well done brewer Tony Allen!

Our last call was the Marble Arch where Graham was again seduced by Durham Gem. I went for JP Best and was rewarded with a pale, dry hopped beauty, in top condition, bursting with juicy malt and a wonderful lingering cascade hop finish. Organic too, should you be interested and so good I had to have another. My final beer of the evening was a modest half of Greenmill Treacle Toffee Stout. It didn't reach the heights of the others, but was by no means bad to my palate, still tingling with organic cascades!

So, later today its London where it is expected to be raining all weekend. What can I expect there? Dunno, but I'll let you know.


YCC - Dubbel said...

You can still expect pub after pub of London Pride, Bombardier, Courage, Adnams, Greene King and Spitfire - with the few well-documented exceptions, of course.

The Crosse Keys have removed six of their handpumps now but still have 18 in use, so you should be able to get through some more Spoonfest beers at least.

Tyson said...

As usual where you lead, others follow. As I shall shortly be there myself, I eagerly await any pearls of wisdom.

Wurst aka Whorst said...

Get yourself over to the Bricklayers Arms in Putney. Christ, every Tim Taylor beer, and some phenomenal guests!

Tandleman said...

Every Taylor's beer? That's easy enough in my own neck of the woods.

Phenomenal guests? Manchester is full of them. I thank you for the suggestion, but I'm not off to Putney any time soon.

Tandleman said...

YCC Dubbel - Don't I just know it, despite the apologies and bleatings from some who imagine otherwise.

jocko said...

Camras London Drinker magazine records any pub selling real ale Usually its one of the beers mentioned.The big regional brewers seem to have a strangle hold on London.Presumably the price they supply beer at is the main reason.