I recently realised that my beer life has become pretty uneventful. Last year I only managed a measly two beer festivals, the Mikkeller Beer Celebration Copenhagen and the Great British Beer Festival and even though both were very enjoyable in their own right, I felt rather sad that I had lost touch with what is going on in my own city. I live in South West London, which is getting there in terms of places to get a decent beer and work centrally, near the least fun to get served in branch of the Craft Beer Co, which is in Holborn. Whenever I can, I will still try and steer an evening out towards somewhere selling decent beer. So what had gone wrong? Perhaps I was having too many beers that I was rating under 4 stars on untappd, or maybe I was tiring of the chin stroking attitude you can get in these circles, or maybe I just wasn’t going to the right places.
So a few months after another excellent time at the MBCC in May and the trade day at GBBF last week (more on that soon), it was a weekend in Bristol with some new found fellow beer geek friends that made me remember that beer and drinking it and even talking about it, should be fun. So, a short recap of the day. Stop 1 was at 11 year old pioneer of the hazy beer Moor Beer Company which coincided with their Frankenfest of rare Franconian beers (German) and their own vast selection of always easy to drink hoppy beers, while we all shouted at each over the DJ who desperately needed some extra bass in his speakers. Still I was very happy with my beers (Fort– Altfrankische Lager, Moor– Zero Brew, Red Ale/hoppy amber) and look forward to going back to the brewery whether in Bristol or in their new tap room in Bermondsey. Stop 2- a ropey pink drink in a pink can, that smelled of metal and that none of us had any idea what it was supposed to be at a newish brewery called Good Chemistry Brewing who were having a birthday party but with sadly none of their beers on tap. Was it an IPA? Was it a sour? Was it even a beer?? It is called Roar Power for those who want to try. And finally stop 3 of the brewery tour at the excellent Wiper and True where I had one of the best pale ales I have ever had under 4%, Bristol Crush and the coldest I have ever had at a brewery, which did not affect the flavour at all, delicious. Overall this was the favourite of the day.
After saying repeatedly to my good hosts that I was going to save myself for the final stop which was drink-in bottle shop Bottles and Books on Gloucester Road and a promise of many a tasty special bottle and can to come, I arrived a little tipsier than planned, filled with Bristol Crush and ordered a beer from another local Bristol brewery, Left Handed Giant (the name of the beer escapes me). I then spent the rest of my time there taking sips from other people’s drinks that weren’t quite to my liking until my friend shared a bit of her Sippin into Darkness with me, a collaboration Imperial Milk Stout between Lervig and Hoppin Frog, my first ever I believe and very good it was too. And then quite randomly ending as you do, on a perry, that is pear cider for those who don’t know. Respect to Lewis the owner for having this in stock. I feel guilty for not making the most of this place as the fridge was full of good stuff but if you are in the area do go and see Lewis. The night ended with me attempting to rap Money Trees by Kendrick Lamar with another guy there which no one should have had to witness but I was having a grand old time.
The next day, via stops at Small Bar and the Beer Emporium (both highly recommended) I returned to London with a revived desire to really find out what’s going on in my home town and carry on the fun. Gipsy Hill Brewing you’re next.