Drinking About Life

Get my hair cut, go meet an old mate in the town where we grew up, go to Nottingham for a gig, drink beer.

It's good to have a plan.

As the day involved walking into some pubs I hadn't drank in for over twenty years, I'd no idea what beers I'd find. So maybe looking into what I drank, where I drank it and why would give me clues as to why this scooper is getting ever more Reluctant.

Babington Arms, Derby. Good George Pacific Pearl (cask). Because the barber's was shut and I fancied a pint. And I was glad of the opportunity to try the beer (which was lovely: hints at coffee, treacle, grapefruit, marmalade)

Standing Order, Derby. Vasileostrovsky Siberian Red (cask). Because the barber's up the road was shut too. And a few people had mentioned that this beer was one of the more impressive ones in the Wetherspoon's festival (which is was; strawberry on leather)

Exeter Arms, Derby. Thornbridge Chiron (keg). Because I was waiting for a bus and had twenty minutes to spare. And I bloody love Chiron (which was born to be kegged and let no cask evangelist tell you otherwise)

Sun Inn, Eastwood. Stella Artois (keg). Because I fancied a lager. And this pub, birthplace of the Midland Railway and mentioned in the works of D.H.Lawrence, is where I began as a largar drinker. Good to be back.

Old Wine Vaults, Eastwood. Blue Monkey Infinity (cask). Because I drank nothing but Guinness or cider in this pub when I warra youff. Because the cask beer were Shipstone's. And it was shit. So I fancied trying a decent cask beer here. And it wa.

Wellington, Eastwood. Greene King IPA Chilled (keg). In a branded handle glass. Because I'd never drank Greene King IPA Chilled. In a branded handle glass. And now I have. Verdict: not hemlock.

Hayloft, Giltbrook. Stella Artois (keg). Because I drank nothing but Guinness or cider in this pub when I warra youff. And I can't remember what the lager used to be. So I fancied trying a Stella here. And it wa.

Brewdog, Nottingham. Punk IPA (keg). Because I like it. Because I like the bar. Because I was with friends who'd never been and I wanted them to try Punk in a Brewdog bar. They liked it too. We liked the black pudding pork pie even more.

Spanky Van Dykes, Nottingham. Sierra Nevada Pale Ale (keg). Because the Tap And Tumbler nearby was busy and looked shit. Because I've never been to a place billed as an "eatery / funhouse" before. Because it was just round the corner from the gig we were going to. Because I was about to order a pint of Aspalls cider and then saw the SNPA.

Rock City, Nottingham. Red Stripe (can). Because I was there to see The Wildhearts. And cans don't smash and lacerate people. And if you're going to a gig that celebrates an album's twentieth anniversary, you may as well drink the same beer that you drank when you first saw them.

So, what does this reveal about my drinking habits?

I guess I'm happy to go with the flow. I guess I'm well past the snob-point of passing on a pint just because I don't think it'll rock my world. I know that beers with friends in places old and new are the canvas onto which you daub your day; they're not the masterpiece to stand back and admire.

And it reveals that ten venues for beer plus a hot, heaving, sweaty, air-punching, pogo-jumping, bruise-inducing, ear-pounding, fuck-yeah gig leave you gagging for nowt more than a pint of iced water when you make it up the hill to the Organ Grinder. Sorry guys, I'll drink twice as much there next time.

That's me, three rows from the front. Credit to the band's manager, Gav McCaughey, for the pic.

"It's my body, and if I choose to abuse it with my lifestyle and my music, what the fuck! I can't lose! It's my life..."

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing that day with me. And thanks for all the memories, music and fun since I first got to know you.

    "Nights I'll never remember, with friends I'll never forget"

    Your friend