An important day for blogging, as Runcorn Kirsty returns (here) and I get onto Aldershot.

In fact, he highpoint of my Great Southern Tickathon, a night at a the Westy Beer Festival. Me at a beer festival ? With more than one beer ?

Well, the West End Centre, host of the Westy, was in GBG21, so I guess it counts as a post-emptive/pre-emptive.

Here’s a picture of pub legends Pubmeister and Maltmeister reading the minutes of the GBG Tickers Convention to determine whether a half at a beer festival can truly count as a tick for a venue.

Don’t smoke in bed, kids.

Duncs and Malt had bagged the Spoons Hotel (Spotel ?) in the town centre; I’d played the discount game and got a Premier Inn under £40 half a mile out as prices tumbled in Stay-At-Home Britain.

If I’d signed up as a Premier Inn VIP a month ago, rather than booking as a guest, I’d have earnt a free night in Maidenhead by now. Win some, lose some.

There’s drizzle in the air, it is Hampshire, and I’m grateful for the respite offered by the underpass whose art reminds me Aldershot is a military town.

It’s also smaller than you think, with very few central pubs, but at least they’re Proper Pubs.

It’s a town in transition, closer in feel to Wigan than Wokingham,

with loads of cranes dotting the north end of town, and a lovely exhibition documenting the Gurkha contribution to town life.

Which included this place I earmarked for post-festival curry.

Though as Johney Ghurka was threatening 22:00 closure (due to Covid as it comes out at 10pm) I had a back-up option.

Right, it’s raining, let’s so a beer festival.

One chap wasn’t happy;

but if this was a super spreader event I hate to think what the Spoons was. Reduced capacity (I counted 45 punters spread over 3 rooms), distanced tables, mask wearing enforced if you weren’t sat down, and no licking of handpumps.

Let’s not pretend I enjoyed it. Plastic glasses, half pints only, variable beers, but the conversation was good, mostly about Wet Leg and jellied eels.

There weren’t any jellied eels with Uncle Bill’s pies, but they looked good enough, so how we resisted I’ll never know.

After 8 halves each the conversation had reached a peak;

Mark Twain was Shania’s grandad“. Uncle, actually.

At 21:45 I phoned Johney and asked if we could get a curry.

I’m sorry. we’re too quiet, we’re closing soon“.

Within 5 minutes we were seated and scoffing poppadoms.

Nepalese cuisine is varied (try momos), so the clue is to pick the dishes you can’t pronounce. ALWAYS.

It was gorgeous. Dry, feisty and tasty. Just like me.

Malt over-ordered, so I had a whole cheese naan and Gurkhali Chicken for breakfast, and Duncan made a fuss about an out-of-date After Dinner mint.

It wasn’t really out-of-date, just over-refrigerated. You can’t take some people anywhere.


    1. I saw this sentence in Kirsty’s post “Marston’s do Hobgoblin IPA and Shipyard, both of which I’ll happily drink and which are not available anywhere else locally, so not the eye rollingly pedestrian choices they are at other places.” For me, this sums up the real issue for BBBs. Familiarity breeds contempt. Drinkers now obsess on what they haven’t had rather than what is familiar. Until this changes I think the smaller beer lineups are going to be rare.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. “Until this changes I think the smaller beer lineups are going to be rare.”
        Personally I’m hope it doesn’t change, as far as I’m concerned variety is the spice of life, only poor pubs keep poor beer, I go to the good ones,(most of the time) 😁

        Liked by 1 person

      2. For me, variety means going to a different pub every day, talking to different people, seeing different sights (#PubMan). I don’t much care if the beer choice in those different pubs is Bass or Plum Porter or Unicorn (not #BeerMan).


      3. In general I agree with your point. Choice is a good thing. However, what I see too often is that choice boils down to 10 highly hopped beers and choice becomes “which one haven’t I tried.” Choice for me is better offered with one stout, one IPA and one bitter. That is more choice than ten offers of the same style. I literally saw a menu with an Ales section of 25 beers. Every one of the 25 was an IPA. That’s not really choice when you think of how varied beer styles can be. It’s more of a treasure hunt for an obscure beer.

        Liked by 2 people

      4. A greater variety of beer will attract a greater variety of people. Currently sat on a caskless pub in Croydon, like the pub but the punters are predictable.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. I went there on holiday some years ago – on a canal boat. I think we did find some decent pubs.

        Incidentally, halves don’t count (ask BRAPA) so you’ll have to do everything again one day (or one decade).

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Yes, good to see Kirsty’s long-overdue return to blogging, and some topical (Dry January) and slightly controversial (tipping) subjects discussed as well.

    The latter, of course, only applies in America, where staff are expected to work for next to nothing, and rely on “gratuities” from customers, to make up their wages.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s