Down with the pigs

The idea was to go see what I could do on a Sunday and then find out which beer was best at satiating my thirst.

So I walked to the next village, Via a geocache, for the the first time ever. That's a new hobby that's going to be infuriating for ever more.

The way to the pub looked like this:

 When I got to the pub (Royal Oak, Ockbrook) I had copious amounts of Thornbridge Raven. It looked like this:

When I got home, I had an intensive hour of hardcore weeding, it looked like this:

( image removed because no-one wants to see weeds)

And so then I drank Jever. Jever looks like this:

And then I needed something else to work up a sweat with. So I listened to this guy be out. And then not be out. And then be very out indeed:

And then I drank Cantillon Vigneronne and Saison Dupont.

And I watched Jenson Button win the Hungarian GP. BTW - Hungarian GP? I've got to go to that next year. Fast cars and goulash. Full of win.


I then sat down by this eer laptop and thought - what was the best part of the day?

That first geocache? Inquisitive hoverflys at the pub? Those delicious licks from Thornbridge Raven? The undeniable willy-tingle of a cold Jever? Button sticking it up the outside? Every damn mouthful of Cantillon Vigneronne, a beer that makes you glad you have a pulse and a forgiving palate? Or those last gasps of Saison Dupont, almost demanding that you've cycled through pendulous countryside before uncorking it?

Nope. It was this:

Ladies and gentlemen, they are pigs. In shit. And you could tell by their little snuffles that they bloody loved it.

I have no illusions concerning the afterlife. But if I could laze around in the sun and provide bacon 'n chop fun to others when I've gone, I know what I'd like to come back as.


World-class beer on your doorstep?

Sometimes, even great beer isn't good enough.

The lunchtime pint of Budvar, full of bubbles re-arranging themselves into serried ranks, was satisfying and satiating. But it left me wanting.... something else.

The afternoon pint of Thornbridge Jaipur, poured straight from the cask, was lip-smackingly citric. But it left me wanting... something different.

There's something about the lazy heat of the city, about the kick-off-your-shoes-and-do-sod-all-because-it's-Saturday feeling that makes me want to find a shaded bar with a suntrap patio. And drink the beers that are indelibly imprinted with the sense of summer for me.

Jever. Orval. Saison Dupont. Cantillon.

But those beers are rather adventurous for Derby. The odd bottle of Jever, maybe, but that's about it. We don't even have a decent offie. So, what's a poor, thirsty toper to do?

Take the bus to Belper. To Liquid Treasure.

Julie Wyllie's shop lives up to its name. Superb wines from family-run estates. Unusual liqueurs. And plenty of world-class beers. Truth be told, I don't spend too much time looking over the ample shelves, crammed to the gunwales with locals heroes from Thornbridge, Spire, Amber et al. Because in the tall fridges that fill the shop's left flank I know I will find...

Jever. Orval. Saison Dupont. Cantillon.

It's about an hour and half round bus trip from Derby for me. And it's worth every minute.

And it got me thinking: where are the great offies in the UK? Where can you wander into and come away with a cool Cantillon? Or even a brewer's minicask? They don't seem to be in the cities - I can't think of any in Derby, Nottingham, Sheffield, Manchester, Birmingham - so are there gems tucked away in the burbs?

Because sometimes, great beer isn't enough. It's got to be world-class. And it's got to be on your doorstep.


Harder. Better. Faster. Stronger. Fatter.

"Once you label me, you negate me" - Soren Kierkegaard

"I've got the hiccoughs. I blame craft beer"

"Cheese cob. Pork pie. Salted crisps. IPA. Lunch of champions"

"Not where I should be but glad to be home"

"Any reason why I shouldn't have another pint of Jaips?"

"Having sat down, I'm going to struggle getting up. Mentally, not physically"

"If anyone tells you that imperial stout is a bad choice on a hot day, they're an arsehole"

"I'm thinking burger & lager"

"Lots of rabbits out tonight. If only I'd packed a .22"

"Orval update: one ladybird in glass, two ladybirds on their backs next to glass, one spider perched halfway down glass"

"What I did today: rode a fly, walked a dog, moved nuclear waste, used a zimmer:"

"Sat outside the Anchor, Walberswick. Wishing this holiday didn't have to end"

"So maybe I have another career option - freelance ATP luminescence swabber. So it's that and making gravy. Too specialist?"

"I really can't be arsed"

Labels: random. idiot. drunkard. contentment

Sorry, Soren. I'm a big fat staggering label.

Looking back on two months of Twitter: it seems to be saying...

Have A Good Time All The Time.

Those random  tweets over the last two months show that, although I've been away, I've never been away too far. Like your 'uncle' who went to 'work on the oil rigs'. Even though there are no oil rigs in Lincoln.

Two months almost-away has been educational. Informative. Entertaining.

Much of it has been spent reading. Bamforth. Hornsey. Jackson. Cornell. Pattinson.

Some of it was spent doing meaningful things. Honestly. Like bottling other people's beer and not fucking it up. Like being mesmerised when legends try to tell you technicalities and you have to stop them, embarrassed, because the science escapes you.

A very small part of it was spent in the sudden realisation that Fergus Fitzgerald, head brewer at Adnams, morphs into Dylan Moran at a certain point of the evening. As he bloody well ought to.

Let's go round again. Maybe we'll turn back the hands of time.

Or maybe the 'craft beer revolution' will fold like a cheap hooker who got punched in the stomach by a fat guy with sores on his face.

Frankly, I don't give a tommy-two-tits either way.

But, sheesh, it'll be one hell of a ride.

Let's go. Let's Scoop again.

Reluctantly ;-)

Moochow grassyass to Ian Dingman for allowing the repro of his most excellent illustration c/o Time Out Chicago.