“Talk about your father or father figure in your life” is today’s Word Press prompt for the blogger with writer’s block. But I’ll leave that post on Duncan till I’ve caught up with the blog.
Just a reminder; I don’t choose what to write about. This is basically my diary.
That said, I’m going to skip writing about the Battle Tap for now, even though their New England IPA was incredibly gorgeous, possibly the beer of the year unless I get an NBSS 5 Doom Bar on my birthday.
That’s because the weather was grim and I couldn’t do Battle itself justice for you, so let’s go straight to a day when the sun did shine on the righteous, just as the train chuntered (?) through Selhurst.
16th November 2022.
It must have been Will Hawkes or the Shirker’s Rest who are righteous, as this was the day I was chatting pubs with Will and had spent all of 12 minutes compiling some thoughts on the best places for pubs.
On the train into London Bridge I suddenly realised my hastily-constructed Top 5 was a bit “Northern-heavy”, even though the idea was to get sofa-bound Telegraph readers in Tunbridge Wells (not YOU, father-in-law) to brave the ice wastelands and explore lesser known towns.
I was being interviewed by Will at 3pm (appropriately lazy half-hearted micro hours at the Shirker’s). Three hours to visit a few pubs in the City.
Be honest, who hasn’t been for an interview after a few pints ? It’s how I joined the NHS all those years back.
In all honesty, nothing really beats that first exploration of the new GBG pubs in The City and East London on a crisp morning, finding nooks and crannies
and despairing at London beer quality.
With the late October arrival of GBG23 this was a late start to London ticking, but where better to kick off than a Spoons opposite Farringdon Station ?
It’s a surprise to see Spoons debutants in the Guide in 2022; you’d assume London had dozens of new taps and craft bars to pick from, so the beer in the Sir John Oldcastle must be good.
How much !
As the quote goes, “When your Spoons charges nearly a fiver a pint, drown your empty selves, for you will have lost the last of England”.
How will Simon cope ?
At the bar an Old Boy buys a bottle of Ghost Ship (n/a) and a pint of Coyote.
“It’s a good one, that !” he says, noting me staring blankly at the pumps and a £4.39 Doom Bar (£2.05 in the pub near Sheffield station).
I told him it’s from Wolf of Norfolk. He looks oddly impressed, rather than horrified at being in the company of a beer bore.
“It’s very good !“. My sort of beer critic.
It was very good, cool and crisp (NBSS 3.5), and this busy Spoons seems to have a lot of gentlefolk and tourists in it for a Farringdon pub at lunchtime, but it’s not a place to linger.
Suddenly I feel like a ticker again, ignoring the undoubted charms of the Bleeding Heart,
and Ye Olde Mitre,
whose alleyway should surely be packed ?
Strange times, indeed.