Yes, it’s a desperate title, but you do better.
Charles and I headed for GBG pub No.2, a whole 3 minutes from the Chapel, through the admirable Westgate shopping centre.
It’s what we call a colourful entrance to the Alex.
Inside, one other customer at 4.51pm, and much (very neat) writing on beer boards.
As a new tick, I’m obliged to go for the cask (no idea – Richard will know) but Charles can choose the 7.2% Alefarm Lactose Cinder IPA just because it sounds weird. Three time the sensible barperson asked “Are you sure ? It’s lactose“. Three times we said “We’ll drink anything“.
Guess what. It tasted of lactose. Mine tasted of beer.
Charles (a rare shot of him below) was rather taken by the crafty cans. In Dereham Tesco the craft choice is Punk IPA and Goose Island.
“You should take back this one for Mrs RM” he said, handing me a can of 10.5% murk that probably cost a Dereham farmboy’s wages (vaguely XTC reference for Mark). I didn’t.
Yes, it had gone to pot by 5.02 pm.
Just as I was letting the Halifax legend Chris know our whereabouts for a catch-up, a conversation broke out. Guess what it was about. Yes, HMV. And B****t.
So, even though I’d just realised the Alex was weirdly familiar as I’d popped in pre-emptively less than a year ago, we stayed a bit longer. And it was great. I had another pint, a Hawkshead that the barman pulled through for ages before serving, and was therefore nectar (NBSS 4, anyway).
It is possible I got a half of Wylam “Reality Asylum” (named after the Crass single) as well, in which case Charles would have said “Good gracious” but drunk it anyway.
The artwork in the Gents was strangely appropriate.
By 5.45 we’d cancelled plans, and arranged to meet Chris in the Lantern. Which luckily was next door.