That gallon of Nike from Milton Brewery was gone by 11am this morning. A pint and a half each for breakfast.

Beer is at its best when drunk immediately, I always think.

Matthew Thompson, in his lovely tribute to Florian Schneider, reminds me of Uerige in Dusseldorf whose lovely Alt is best drunk fresh from the barrel in the Old Town streets surrounded by bemused Australians.


Not much chance of doing THAT for a while.

Today’s good news, criminally left off the Government Briefing, is that Chung Hwa is reopening on Wednesday. I felt oddly emotional at that news;  everything’s going to be OK.


I’ve reached 1966-67 in the football programmes, and stumbled on the most beery club so far.

A young 5 Towns Mart
Dennis Viollet’s last season; Terry Paine had another 34 to go

StokeCity actually went top of the League after their 3-2 win (and Gordon Banks was still to arrive), and the Potters fans no doubt celebrated with a gallon of Bents Bitter in the local micropub Beehive.

Stafford Paul marched against its closure, no doubt

Bents, Bass, Pedigree, Joules and Dennis Viollet. What a time to be alive.

And in pre-VAR days, the main topic of debate on football forums was the use of elastic in players shorts. Innocent times.





      1. But thanks for a new verb for me – “to kern”.

        Just wait until I come out with that on the Guardian crossword blog…


    1. Matthew,
      You’ve reminded me of when I did letterpress printing on an old, 1930s I think, Adana machine.
      Only after I had printed several dozen certificates – of several variations for categories and for 1st, 2nd and 3rd – did I notice STAFFORD, one of the three words in 72 point, with that gap between the T and A. Had I realised beforehand I would of course have added six little gaps to make the word properly spaced.


      1. We’ve still got one somewhere at home – vuvuzela, that is, not a football rattle.


  1. “Stafford Paul marched against its closure, no doubt” – No, Bents was taken over by Bass Charrington when I was eleven, but I did march through Stone several years later.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, we did that didn’t we?

        Funny really – if you made a “rocket”, then you ended up with a bomb, and if you made a “bomb” then you often created a rocket.

        There’s a moral there, somewhere.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Etu,
        I successfully made a rocket that travelled several yards.
        The gunpowder that I made wasn’t much good for anything. Best was rolled up newspaper sun dried after being soaked in a warm solution of weedkiller.
        The youth of today spend all day long on modern electronic gadgets as they can’t readily get the ingredients needed for making fireworks. I blame the IRA.


      3. Yes, Paul, the impregnated newspaper worked very well 😀

        I made a rocket, which travelled several yards too, and vertically I must say, in an instant, before exploding and rattling all nearby windows.

        But as you say, the making of proper gunpowder required patience beyond that of our kind.

        It’s perhaps just as well, that the ingredients can’t be easily got these days though.


      4. Etu,
        Yes, impregnated newspaper worked very very well but the problem was that I hung it over the washing line to dry on a sunny day and – you’ve guessed it – for years afterwards in the lawn beneath was a straight line of dead grass. Anyway, ‘you live and learn’ as they say.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. I know nothing about breweries, Mark, never heard of it, which is surprising how much time I’ve spent in the company of Stafford Paul.

        Someone in the North-West will discover the recipe for this “Old Tom” strong ale and recreate it. Robinson’s is my guess.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Mark,
        Bents was before my time but I’ve heard of the two Stone breweries that Bents had the best beer and Joules had the best pubs but there was certainly nothing wrong with the proper Joules beer I drank in 1973 and 1974, and every pub in Stone then had Joules Bitter as the only real beer with nobody crying out for ‘choice’.


  2. T’other Paul, glad to learn I wasn’t the only one tinkering with pyrotechnics at a relatively young age!


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