The first dark beer of autumn

Breeze in trees. Bit of mist. The clocks went back last night. So today I went on one of my four favourite walks.

There's the one on midsummer's day where you walk and walk and walk and end up in a far-flung pub as the sun finally sets. There's the one after the first proper snowfall, all powder crunch and sneaky mid-field snowballs at crows. There's the one on the day when the daffodils come out.

And there's today. Into the woods, through Locko Park and Dale Abbey, to release my inner six-year-old and kick piles of leaves all over every path. To end up at the Royal Oak where an open fire would be warming the backs of punter's legs and I could tuck in to the first dark beer of autumn.

Except the weather hadn't been following this script.

Blue sky, dappled cloud, warmth radiating from brown clodded fields.

No fire in the hearth. No dark beer on the bar.

So I sat outside with a pint of Oldershaw Autumn Gold, which was more than soft and nutty and fresh-baked lemon muffin. It was moreish. As in, I must sit here and drink another two pints moreish.

Summer stubbornly refuses to move on. With beers like this, a perfect segue between seasons, it could drag its heels for a few weeks longer for me.