Saturday 7th December 2013. It’s a friend’s birthday do upstairs in Tap House. It starts at 8pm. It’s only 5.30. We head to The Goat Major for one. That one is a Yankee Doodle, number 8, 419 in the Brains Craft Brewery series. It says ‘Scottish ale, American hops’ on the pump crown. Smells like whiskey, honestly, not just because it’s Scottish. Tastes of barley and throwing massive logs. Because it’s Scottish.
Next up, City Arms. I go for the Whittlebury Brewery, Nomad Dusk. Partly because I’ve actually spent time in Whittlebury (at a hi-fi show, not prison, although I’m not sure which I’d prefer) and partly because we’re going for the mildly racist crown picture double. It’s a dark ruby ale. I’m going to say it. All ruby ale tastes the same. There, I feel better now. For the purposes of the blog, it’s a bit like a cross between cough medicine I had as a kid and shit car sweets.
Navajo. Not sure that it’s made by indians. It has ‘citrus notes’ apparently. Pete said it has citrus notes as played on a violin by a man with no fingers. Hard to disagree with that. After the fruit fest of Wednesday, this is a let down in the citrus department. I don’t like this at all, it’s just flat and wrong.
It’s 8pm! It’s Tap House o’clock! I go for the emo beer, Kill Your Darlings. It’s a Thornbridge. It tastes of broken hearts and rucksacks. When I say that, I obviously mean fruity leather.
More Thornbridge. Raven. Tastes like liquorice allsorts dissolved in Coke. This is really hoppy apparently. I didn’t clock this because ‘I drink with my eyes’, or so says Sean from City Arms who loved this beer. He was on his break.
The staff have poured a Gower Gold to taste. It’s passed around. My instant reaction was ‘Holy fuck this smells of shit dogs’. It tastes of an 18th century drainage system. Pete wasn’t present at this tasting but later defended it and said it was nice last time he had it. I don’t believe him.
We go back to City Arms to meet a mate, I get bought a bottle, it’s Goose Island. I like Goose Island. Sort of oaty. Crucially it tastes of beer. Doesn’t try to be too clever. I’m sounding a bit serious here. I was so glad of something nice that I forgot to take the piss. Handily though, a man has a flashing Christmas jumper.
Sean is back at work. I ask for a recommendation, he pours me something dark. Abbe the barmaid looks sheepish and states that I can’t blame her for this. I ask how strong it is. Food should not be 10.5%. Celt is from Caerphilly isn’t it? Russian porter? This is going to fucking ruin me. Ogham Ash tastes of chocolate. Halfway down it tastes of rum and despair. The last few mouthfuls taste of wool and creosote.
We end on a Hitachino Nest. Japanese Classic Ale. Dry and lovely. That’ll do. It wasn’t a massive effort to consume and after the last one, I am grateful for this.