As my housemate Pete said, “There is no such thing as a pointless pub crawl.” He’s right but the point of this one was to show my brother the sights of Cardiff.
We started in the Ernest Willows, ‘What the hell are you doing?’ I hear you cry, ‘That’s a Wetherspoons.’ You are correct. It is also the pub with the most glorious gents toilet in all of Cardiff.
Advancing though frosted glass doors, you step into an expanse of mosiac tiles not seen since the formation of Newport Council’s demolition squad. There is room in the centre for a jacuzzi and I’m almost certain the back wall of one of the cubicles spins around into a Mafia gambling den. Spectacular.
Me & Pete – Bath Ales Festivity.
Smells of liquorice, tastes of a gothic Christmas. More Edgar Allen Poe than My Chemical Romance. Would probably go well with Reindeer.
Greg – Amstel
Smells of lager, tastes of lager.
Next stop, Splotlands. This isn’t a pub known for its real ale but what it lacks in that, it makes up for in gold plaques and as it turns out, Christmas decorations.
My favourite Cardiff plaque is below. She did it her way.
The decorations were slightly terrifying. Too tasteful really, it was a cross between being morphined off your head in a hospital ward and waking up in a slightly run down heaven.
Me – Brains Cold Smooth. Smells of fuck all, tastes of cold.
Pete – Brains IPA Smooth. Smells and tastes of nothing mixed with washing up liquid.
Greg – Carling. Smells of lager, tastes of lager.
We make the short journey to Gwdihw. We choose the pub/cafe/bar/venue/whatever it is because they serve Numbface IPA, a name given to all Pipes brewery offerings by myself and Neil (guitarist in Los Campesinos! and next week’s Wednesday drinking companion), as once you’ve had 3 pints, you start slapping your own cheeks to check your body is still functioning. It’s supposed to be 5%.
At this point, my other housemate Simon shows up. People the world over know him as the musical act, Quiet Marauder.
Me, Pete & Simon – Pipes Vienna Red. Smells of gummi bears and tastes of a magical party with unicorns and other crazy shit.
Greg – Kozel, tastes of Man In A Box (one for Samuel Smith fans there).
We’re supposed to go to Porters next but I make everyone go to the Traders Tavern because it’s awesome. One day I will buy this place and turn it into a country punk bar of the like you might find in Austin, Texas. It’ll be brilliant.
Me & Pete – Rhymney Bitter. Smells of skirting board. Tastes of Jane McDonald’s fingers.
Greg & Simon – Grolsch. Lager. Scentless. Tastes of fizzy blood.
Now we go to Porters. Aside from being generally a great place to hang out, Porters has two things; mini golf and a barmaid everyone falls in love with at first sight. I’ve fallen for the love spell thing before so I drag the others out to play golf.
After a close 9 holes, Simon and I need a 3 hole play off to separate us. He beats me. I sulk. There is video evidence of this. It may or may not be added later.
Me, Greg & Simon – Estrella Galicia. Smells of lager, tastes of a golden, glowing hangover.
Pete – Motley Oh Ho Ho. Smells of cider, tastes of weird.
On to Urban Tap House. Greg has never been here. Given that he drinks lager, it seems a waste to bother bringing him. He’ll have to make do with the good atmosphere and the company of some of the bar staff.
Me – Thornbridge Brother Rabbit. Anything I ordered would taste of bitter sporting failure. I’m not reviewing this.
Pete – Wild Swan.
Simon – Movembeer.
Greg – Camden Hells Lager.
We might have had too many beers now. It’s the only way I can explain the decision to buy me and Pete and sharing bottle of Rogue Chipotle Ale. It smells of a combination of Captain Beefheart, smoke and irresponsibility. Oh god, this genuinely tastes of being chased by a witch through some woods. I love this. I want more. I can’t though, it was about three thousand pounds.
Pete goes home at this point, he has work in the morning. It was a brave effort. The rest of us stay out for another couple of drinks but I couldn’t tell you what they were.
I think I had a strop at the lack of sugared bacon too. It’s all a bit hazy.
Once again, Burger King enjoyed our custom on the journey home. I might buy some shares.