Sunday, 31 May 2009

In My Liverpool Home

Having lived in Scousely for nearly ten years, it is always a pleasure to go back, particularly when the attraction of drinking in one of the finest boozing cities in England is enhanced by seeing old friends. My mate John emigrated to Australia nine years ago and when he comes "home", we always get together along with another mate Mike. We worked together many moons ago and the attraction of a reunion and chewing over old times never wanes. Along to act as referee was the lovely E, who knows all of us of old.

We met in the Doctor Duncan, a Cains tied house which was rather quiet, being one of the few pubs that didn't have the FA Cup Final (featuring Everton) on. Cain's Mild was cool, creamy and moreish and for me, easily the best beer of the day. Mike had the bitter, E had the IPA and both were pronounced good and John surprised us all (he's a Toohey's New man now) by ordering bitter too, reminding us all of the countless pints of Higsons we consumed back in the day.

Now I could go on about this beer and that, but I won't. It wasn't about the beer. We moved next to the re-opened Vernon Arms watching Liverpudlians support Chelsea and drinking beer from an old pal of mine, Mike McGinley of Betwixt Brewery which I will mention. Betwixt Sunlight was pale and golden with a delicious biscuity nose, but a lot too heavy on the crystal malt and light on the hop to demand another. Amid searing reminiscences, bickering, nostalgia and raucous laughter, we moved on to Rigby's for Manx beers, The Lady of Mann for more Manx beers, The Lion for very tasteless Youngs and the final stop at the Ship and Mitre where Lees, Paulaner, Veltins and other stuff was drunk. Oh and I had a couple of pints of Hoegaarden too, possibly in the Vernon Arms.

We tottered out of there very much the worse for wear and back to Lime St for our train. I had hiccups all the way back to Manchester and we were both starving, food having been overlooked. Today I had a hell of a hangover which is still lingering. As I said, it wasn't about the beer.


RedNev said...

A good crawl, picking up the best pubs in the Dale Street area. As for the Lion: I like the pub, and the beer is usually well-kept, but I often find the range there uninspiring. I also find Youngs beers have lost much of their flavour in a fairly short period of time, perhaps due to the Wells merger.

Stuey said...

liverpudlians supporting Chelsea in a real ale pub....but surely it's only us Everton fans who are indulge in bitter!!!

Jeff Frane said...

How the hell do you overlook food?

Southport Drinker said...

ditto on Youngs at the lion - not quid the essential pub it usedcto be but glad you've kissed and made up with the Ship and Mitre. Sad that previous favourites like ma boyles and pig and whistle no longer on list

MikeMcG said...

Ha! On Sunday afternoon, I was on the other side of town, overlooking food while concentrating on beer (see, it can be done, Jeff) :~)

Tandy - when you're next in town, walk up the hill to the re-opened Belvedere (behind The Phil. Hall) It's now run by the same folks behind The Lion & is a lovely pub - well-kept beers, often locals, incl Betwixt, Cambrinus, Geo Wright, etc.

(& if you do, stop off at Cain's finest pub - The Dispenary, with a great range of Cain's, other locals & well-chosen beers from further afield, all served in impeccably good nick).

Just to say, Betwixt Sunlight has no crystal malt (100% Pale Maris Otter) but we mash at quite a high temp, to leave some unfermentable sugars behind & there's a fair whack of orangey East Kent Goldings in there, but we keep most of them as the late hop, so, no, not too much bitterness.

We were aiming for a simple beer, showing off the good ingredients; almost an "introduction beer" (or what Yanks call a "lawnmower beer") good on its own, but with enough body & flavour to go with lighter food.

I can see why it might not have been your cup of tea, though. If you get the chance, try the 3.5% bitter, "Skyline" (with a good bit more bitterness & drier too).

Be good to see you, if you're back over any time soon?
MikeMcG (McGuigan not McGinley)
Betwixt Beer Co.

Tandleman said...

Sorry Mike. I used to work with a Mike McGinley. Must have regressed.Got to say the sweetness gave me "crystal malt". It was just too sweet for all of us.

As you know with Liverpool, it's either up the hill or down it. Next time up.

Jeff - All of a sudden you realise that you are pissed and the beer you enjoyed with reckless abandon has caught up with you and you aren't invincible.

Jeff Frane said...

On Brit Beer? You're joking!

It's funny, but I never noticed that you had to be forced to the table whilst pubbing. These old mates of yours are clearly a very bad influence.

Tandleman said...

Ha. When in Rome and all that. And of course drinking with you Yankee pussies was self limiting.

Jeff Frane said...

You mean the "Yankee pussies" who regularly consume beer 1.5 to 2 times the strength of your sissy ales?

Now we know the real reason you didn't join us at the end of April -- couldn't keep up on eating or drinking!

Tandleman said...

Ah yes, but you tend not to drink a dozen imperial pints at a time.

And I'm not that against Doritos, I'd go that far.