Saturday 26th April in the Greenwich Tavern, Greenwich: Long Blonde – seeing this around a fair bit, pleasing beer from the Long Man brewery at Litlington, on the east end of the South Downs. Pale, hoppy and delicious. Then Hop Stuff brewery’s (based in Greenwich) Fusilier – hoppy plus an underlying caramel, like what Dark Star APA has. Finally Adnams’ Ghostship, which I see I described as hoppy with a curious extra, but I don’t recall what that meant., and the Adnams website offers no quick clues. Please note – these are halves or less (tasting Jackie’s drink).
Thursday 1st May at the Evening Star, Brighton. Now don’t go thinking this pottering and drinking is easy – I walked to Wickes in Hove, bought 5 litres of fence stain and carried it all the way to the Star – that is work, man. After all that effort I got the drinking all wrong. had a half of Rapture from Magic Rock. Absolutely delicious, got to be one of my most favouritest beers. BUT not first, when everything else fails to compare. Waen brewery’s Festival Gold was thin by comparison, and even the Dark Star’s American Pale Ale struggled. So I had to finish with a second half of Rapture.
Friday 2nd May at the Preston Park Tavern, Havelock Road, Brighton. Walked past here whilst delivering my subscription to Bricycles, the cycling campaign group. The lucky membership secretary lives close by. You may ask, “Why walk, why not cycle?”. I did make an active choice to walk – its easier. No heavy iron steed to get out the front door, no chain and key to find, and most of all no need to concentrate on traffic if strolling along the pavement. Entered the bar at quarter past noon and saw Mark Tranter’s Saison on gas dispense. Bought a schooner (two thirds of a pint) of it to avoid an overdraft. Delightful beer. I don’t know if its brewed with wild bacteria, but my summer copy of CAMRA’s Beer tells me Mark has installed special kit for making sour beers including saison, at his new brewery in Firle. And Mark’s website makes the story more complicated, I’m not even sure which saison I had, but being spring I guess it was the spring one – with nettles. Followed that with a Firebird’s (a US brewery) Paleface American Pale Ale – an American style pale ale from Americans, and very pleasing too. Finished with a half of Pale #39 from a brewery I’d not met before, but seen several times since – 360 Degrees Brewing Co. Not so very hoppy, and a touch of caramel – pleasing enough. Another recent Sussex brewery, this one near the Bluebell Line.