Tuesday night I was in Deansgate, walking back from a magical Julia Jacklin gig at Gorilla (keg Beavertown) to the equally magical Trivelles Hotel (£32) in Salford.
It is possible that none of those names will mean anything to you, but I do hope that you remedy the absence of Julia Jacklin’s music from your life before you die. Motherland may just be my favourite song of all time. Shame it’s about Australia rather than Stockport.
As I crossed Deansgate at 10.15 I met 3 American lads in their 20s (is drinking even legal there ?) who politely asked me,
“Say, you know any good bars round here“.
Obviously I had to admit I didn’t live here but thought the city was probably closed now. Oh no,sorry, that was in Newbury. Actually, despite being light-headed (from the gig), I immediately replied,
“It’s Cask you want”*. 5 minutes down the road, turn right into Liverpool Road“.
They knew where I meant, they’d been to the Science Museum. Hope they made it.
Was that a good recommendation ? The lively Sir Ralph was closer, Briton’s Protection the sort of place we’re expected to recommend to visitors, but they all involved complicated directions and their phones were out of charge, weirdly.
But why didn’t I suggest the even closer BrewDog ? Discuss.
In Leicester last month our intrepid bunch avoided the lure of the Punk’s branch that had recently had its kitchen closed, always a good sign if you ask me.
But in Norwich last week I’d succumbed to the bright lights, and been mightily impressed again. The location, in Norwich’s street of converted churches, certainly helps.
And it’s a lively subterranean bar that will appeal to the CAMRA purist. Perhaps.
But most significantly, it has Real Ale. If Spoons can define “Craft” then BrewDog can define Real Ale.
£5.10 for a pint of the Saint, £2.30 for a half. That’s a business model I can live with. Perhaps it was a CAMRA discount.
It was superb, whatever the state of it’s reality. Cool, un-carbonated, full of berry flavours. A beer to convert Mrs RM away from the Punk IPA, if it ever makes it to a Punch tenancy in Waterbeach.
Let’s skip the high tables, games and low lighting, shall we ?. Go for the beer and the chips.
As on Tuesday, a post-Punk IPA gig in Norwich for the ages from Jane Weaver, pulsating Scouse Krautrock that rather shook the little Arts Centre, particularly on “I Need A Connection“. Another song everyone should experience once in their lives.
More BrewDog musings from Leeds to follow, though Richard may beat me to that.
*I get CAMRA brownie points for saying that.