It was busy. A lot busier than Tuesday and on BSF we were like British soldiers at Rorke's Drift. Wave upon wave of thirsty punters swamped us. We saw them off and the next wave appeared. Unlike Rorke's Drift, there was a happy ending for us though. We sat down stunned and satisfied. The customers seemed happy too, or was it just pissed?
Given the stick GBBF gets in some quarters I looked carefully at the dynamics of it all. There were very few beardy weirdies, though of course you could seek them out. There is a LOT of women. I wouldn't like to say exactly how big a percentage, but knocking on for 40% I'd guess. Believe me few were roly poly types - serving a lot of them is very distracting even to a dedicated bar professional like me. And know what? They all seemed to be having a very good time and were drinking beer of a standard and variety that they will rarely see elsewhere. Isn't that a good thing?
"Talk about beer" Tandleman I hear you say. Well in the interests of you my dear readers, I did some serious American tasting. I liked the beers from Cricket Hill a lot, thought Deschutes Twilight Ale, a good solidly balanced beer, felt rather better about Sierra Nevada Torpedo IPA than Zak Avery did - a lot better in fact - disliked Gritty MacDuff's beers, disliked Sly Fox, The Tap's Berliner Weisse take off was only fit for putting on your chips and I didn't care for the plasticine nose in Victory beers, but underneath the beers were good. Tuckerman's Headwall Alt, was far too grainy for the style and just didn't capture the essence of alt at all. Opa Opa Pale was a bit dry, but otherwise good and Redhook Sun Rye was a excellent beer using a malt that can overcome everything in a beer. It deserves great credit to it's brewers and only3.8% too. I also had various tastes of some of the monster beers. A lot suffered from too much alcohol burn and too much crystal malt. The dark beers fared better and though most were drinkable in a sort of "force it down" sort of way, you can tell they don't ring my bell that much.
Moving on, I tried some Irish beers. Galway Hooker was my first target and I liked it's hoppiness and general feel, though perhaps it slightly thin. I'd guess though in a pub cellar it wuld be a grand beer. Franciscan Well Blarney Blonde was all talk and no action, being rather thin and tasteless. Two stouts from Carlow were both appealing, with Celtic Stout getting a big tick from me. I think the other earthier stout was just called "Stout". I must try more of these beers today if there are any left.
So what's ahead today? More hard work and a litle light schmoozing. And maybe some beer?
Two or three subnotes. I picked up a bottle of Nigerian Guinness and a couple of Yankee bottles - both stouts - Stone Imperial Russian and Rogue Shakespeare. Do you see a theme here? I had a lovely Italian beer whose name I can't remember, but was part of a Woodcraft Series, poured some Belarus Olivaria Beloe Zoloto wheat beer down the sink - don't give up the day job boys - and lastly for Erlanger Nick, Greiff Annafest was a mess that nobody behind the bar liked.
AN URMSTON UTOPIA - While everyone else bleats on about Huddersfield and Wigan and Thanet, the real pub action is going on in Nuneaton and Dulwich and Carlisle. And Urmston....
6 hours ago