On the 22nd we caught a bus to Horsham to collect a sheet of brass Jackie ordered. It will become a fine Equinoctial dial or two. The plan was to catch the bus back to Partridge Green for lunch at the Dark Star brewery tap before walking the disused railway route down to henfield and another bus home. But good fortune intervened.
We saw a sign for Kings Brewery and decided to see if they sold hops and brewing grains. It proved to be at the far end of a lane, and the far end of the subsequent industrial estate, which made my opening line less tenable, ‘We were just passing and thought we’d ask . . .’
The young fellow who answered our knock insisted on fetching the brewer (Ian), and that was our good fortune. Ian proved very generous with his time, taking us around the various store rooms to gaze at rows of packing cases of hops and sacks of different grains. He said if he has it in stock he will be cheaper than any other source, and if we had a homebrewing circle he’d be delighted to supply us.
Then he took us to a double row of tapped casks and insisted we try Brighton Best, Brighton Blonde, Scrummy Bitter (my favourite), Horsham Best, Festive and Market Porter. We missed our bus.
I bought a gallon of beer and the country walk lost its appeal. We had lunch in Horsham, at the Black Jug (Clarks of Wakefield’s Classic Blonde and Hook Norton’s Lion). Then a bus home. Not the plan but a grand day out.