DOWN (or is it up ?) TO ZERO (DEGREES)

30th January 2023.

Apart from not getting a gig at the end, and the absence of the usual trip out to the more colourful northern suburbs, Monday in Bristol was as good as it gets for the GBG ticker (not that I’m ticking, just “tick curious”).

Two good hours walking in dry, bright weather, a few new quarters to explore, five Guide pubs, a pre-emptive and an old favourite revisited. Oh, and noodles at the end.

Five newbies in distinct quarters of this great city. Bedminster, the Old Market, Kings Street, Redcliffe (Oxford comma) and the posh bit near the Christmas Steps, which Google Maps have kindly marked as a blue line crossing over Colston Street or whatever you’re supposed to call that these days.

It’s a LONG time since the Beer Guide brought me to a Zerodegrees; I think only Reading and Cardiff have been in the GBG so I guess Bristol deserves a spin, and it’s always great to read CAMRAs asking “But where are the handpumps ?“,

I care little about cask v keg v KeyKeg, all I wanted to know was “How’d you get in this place ?“.

I could see it up there, but where’s the door ?

Must be up those Joker steps they’ve brought over from the Bronx.

And so it was.

In truth, I could have saved myself those 44 steps by walking a bit further round Colston St like normal people, but where’s the fun in that ?

It’s a vast rambling place that’s less twee than a Brewhouse & Kitchen,

though I doubt the average Bristolian could tell them apart.

I pick the first beer on the board, “Overwhelming Influencer“, and am not remotely surprised it’s £3.75 a half, “a Super hoppy IPA with Sabrina and Talus USA hops” apparently, as if you or I care.

It’d very tasty, to be fair, but served in one of those monstrous glasses that emphasise the carbonation, and my pathetic attempt to join the only two other drinkers at 15:30 on the outside terrace, where the sun may have helped, failed due to my inability to open a door.

Never mind, it was drunk in five minutes, before I’d even had time to open Pints West and find out about the latest microbrewery openings in Portishead.

Talking of trip hop,

I’m really using pubs to improve my musical knowledge now. I can even name a Fall Out Boy song, and though Mumbai-based Nate08 only had 374 Shazams (it’s the new measure of popularity now no-one buys records) I liked his lilting electro.

You get a far better quality soundtrack in Zerodegrees than Brewhouse & Kitchen (or naff BrewDog, come to that).

Right, time to climb the 15 floors to my Premier Inn room for the night.

16 thoughts on “DOWN (or is it up ?) TO ZERO (DEGREES)

  1. Yes remember a similar experience pondering how to get in the place and wishing the Colston Yard was still open on my last Bristol visit. But is the bar area still “downstairs”, so you walk up the stairs to get in then walk all the way down again to end up no more than a few metres away from where you started.

    But Bristol seems to have more pubs with stairs than most places, and I’m not just talking about Wetherspoons.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve never thought of Bristol being particularly hilly, bar that stretch around the Christmas Steps and parts of Clifton. I suspect my part of Sheffield north to Hillsborough is the hilliest bit of Sheff.


      1. Legendarily, the Hatchet has the tanned skin of a hanged man nailed to its front door. Just the thing to get you in the mood for your noodles.


      2. Also, the Hatchet used to have some strange goings on upstairs. I used to drink with a bloke who we’ll call Kevin on account of that was his name, who was the straightest guy you could meet, apart from the weekend when he went to the Hatchet and was apparently known as Catwoman.


  2. Ah understandable. The noodle bar at the back of the Hippodrome that always has long queues. I’ve never tried it but it must be good. The Hatchet has improved significantly in the last year or so though.

    Liked by 1 person

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