Seven years

It's Easter 2004. I'm sat in a hotel bar in Brugge, mispronouncing Duvel and about to have my beer epiphany.

In the grounds of Thornbridge Hall, Derbyshire, a stonemason's workshop is empty. The building that will witness the birth of Jaipur is still semi-derelict.

Over five hundred other UK breweries are still stainless-steel dreams. Five hundred.

Pete Brown has yet to begin blogging about beer. Facebook is only for Ivy League students. Twitter is just what birds do.

Many of the pubs that I drink in now have yet to have their renaissance. Many of the bars that I now visit in London (and a fair few of the beers I drink in them) don't yet even exist.

Seven years. Thousands of beers. A wholly different outlook.

In seven years. If I'm excited about beer now, how am I going to feel in 2018?


  1. It's Easter 2004, we bought the pub only a few weeks earlier. I had only ever brewed Boots kits. Just 12 months earlier I generally only ever drunk Guinness, unless I could find Old P. I had only been to London twice, never to Sheffield and never to Brussels.

    I wonder what I'll be doing in 2018....

  2. Seven years ago my drink of choice was malibu and coke! (although I had just about discovered Newcastle Brown Ale but that was only because a hot girl who used to go to the same pub as us drank it and had a belt made with Newcie Brown caps on it).

  3. What a good post.

    I think you could have condensed most of the change to the last 3 years certainly when talking about bars in London and some of the more interesting microbreweries.

    Seven years ago I was planning a wine tasting trip around Europe. I knew about and drank good beer when I found it but was passionate about wine.

    I still plan and do such trips but they would be planned around breweries rather then wine regions these days.

  4. Its Easter 2004. I finally start getting ID'd in pubs since the governmnet introduced more stringent regulations. Only 6 months until my legal age though. Wetherspoons is yet to reach my home town and the only draught ale I've tried is Butcombe Bitter. I know virtually nothing about beer, though have visited the bass museum. I'm still more likely to drink Worthington's smoothflow than anything proper.
    Far too much happened to me beerily in the intervening years.
    2018 is too far off to even contemplate right now.

  5. "how am I going to feel in 2018?"

    Older, wiser and fatter!

  6. I had been working at Kelham for 2 months.
    I didn't even know what Champion beer of Britain was let alone how hard we'd all have to work after winning it.

  7. 7 years ago I couldn't legally drink beer!! (so I didn't of course ;))

  8. Nevermind seven years ago. Don't most of CAMRA think it's still 1980?!;-)
    1990, now that's a year, drinking Mountain Dew (half DBA half Double Diamond)in the Ind Coope social club in Burton.

  9. Easter 2004, I was in my last year of senior school. And spent my weekend drinking Carling in the Green Man, Ashbourne. How times change!

  10. 2003, I was running a real ale freehouse (the one that I had "grown up" in) in the arse end of Kent, buying a brewery with my mum and mooching around Germany and Belgium. People still read Roger Protz's stuff, and Micheal Jackson's books were my source of direction about the foreign lands. I'd been to California a couple of times already. But, I am the sort that did go to Watou and Westvleteren for his 21st, some, but a few years prior.

    Cor, when Watou was a place on the scene... ah fresh hoppy Hommelbier. Memories.