Archive for the ‘beer’ Tag

The blog in the rear view mirror   Leave a comment

New-Belgium-Slow-Ride-Session-IPA

Warmest regards to Fatty from Tucson for spotting this beer label (if anyone knows where to get Fat Tire in Swindon or Oxford please get in touch)

 

It has been a good run — one of nearly 6 years, nearly 1300 different pubs, a few marathons and a bunch of halves (and shorter races), good entertainment, fulfilling work, and a couple of laughs.  But, it is over … at this address, anyway: I’ll continue on in much the same vein at the Endless British Pub Crawl (continues) but this site will just be an archive for the first 1292 pubs and memorial to itself and a lot of ill-advised fun that went into gathering the material herein.

EBPC1 hits 2015-01-03

I want to do a retrospective of this blog’s 6 years but it deserves better than what you have before you.  Them’s the breaks…here it is in tedious detail.

delivery-at-stretham-local-shop

In 2177 days, there have been 2537 posts.  Of those, 1292 were specifically for 1st time pub visits, 367 were for last year’s Daily Tipple (with added Haiku), 210 have been for the Chippy Challenge and the Kebab Challenge, and 169 were for the 2012 Yellow Beer Challenge.  The remaining 499 involved running, mocking the serious beliefs of others, laughing at the weak, bitching and moaning about one thing or another, obituaries, and other things that serve to strengthen my bona fides of Britishness.  According to WordPress, these pages have been visited just over 350,000 times…get a life, losers.

pigeons

Most frequent pub names so far (and how many of each):

43 Red Lions
24 Crowns
22 Ploughs
19 (tie) Bells, White Harts
15 Greyhounds
14 (tie) Black Horses, King’s Arms, Queen’s Heads
13 (tie) Rose and Crowns, Swans, White Horses

in-free-press-4

Best names: Five Mile From Anywhere No-Hurry Inn, Far From The Madding Crowd, Cafe Rene, Sally Pussey’s Inn, The Bee’s In The Wall, The Roaring Donkey, Who’d A Thought It

Fuck that place: The Angerstein Hotel, The Woodman Inn, The Black Horse

London Marathon last mile

Personal favourite pub write ups: The Chequers in Cottenham, hangover after a night in the King’s Arms in Ely, handing the puzzle over to the Dog and Duck in Linton (Cambs), the Crown in Penzance (a low-key 25th anniversary), the Glue Pot in Swindon after my first Wildcats Hockey match, the Blackfriar in London (not so much the write up as the architectural details), and the Rose and Crown in Chippenham for the fantastic people watching.  Certain there are other decent ones but this list contains the two or three I’m really pleased with.

dog and duck puzzle

 

Other pubs worthy of mention (good or bad):

The Red Lion in Southampton for architecture and Henry V connection
The Hop Inn for the locals’ alternative names
The five Red Lion Run back in 2010
The New Inn, Blists Hill (a historic museum town)
The Goldfinger (accidentally found Ian Fleming’s grave on run to this one)
The Blue Boar, Aldbourne (Dr. Who link)
The Blind Beggar, Whitechapel (Kray Brothers link)
The Red Lion, Aston (a town of ‘tards)
The Brass Monkey, Teignmouth (George W Bush on their sign)
Wernham Hogg’s, Slough (The Office tie-in)

wernham hogg slough office

The writing isn’t brilliant but it was never meant to be stunning. I have occasionally stumbled into something I’m happy enough with (to mention here) but never anything I would attach a real name to.  Some of those are:

What a Bunch of Dicks”  (September 2011)
Our Ex-Neighbours”  (September 2011, with links to the whole saga)
Risk Assessment: Proper Use of Bins”  (October 2012)
British Citizenship Exam”  (November 2012)
My Pet Leeches”  (September 2013)
Me and the Queen”  (June 2012)

closer magazine leech orgasm story

It wasn’t all drinking and knob jokes.  Occasionally I ran, sometimes quite a lot (although usually whilst stopping regularly for drinks and to tell inappropriate knob jokes).  I even race a bit with some of my favourite racing efforts here:

Grunty Fen 1/2 Marathon and general thoughts on the finisher’s medal (September 2009)
Snowdonia Marathon pub crawl (October 2009)
The River Run — Cantabrigiensis HHH (October 2009)
New Year’s Eve 10K Little Downham (January 2010)
Historical notes on the 30 Pack Marathon (April 2010)
Thame 10K and morning chunders (June 2010)
Florence Marathon (December 2010)
Bupa 10K plus bailout for the London Hash (May 2011)
Run For Heroes 5K or thereabouts (August 2011)
Chippenham Half with a sponsored pub stop (September 2011)
Swindon Half whilst hitting every pub within 1/2 mile (October 2011)
Cricklade Half + 8 mile warm-up (October 2011)
London Marathon pub crawl (April 2012)
Great British Beerathon Like the 30-Pack only smaller and including food (August 2012)
Great Bustard 5 or getting there’s half the fun (July 2013)
Beat the Bore at Night (September 2013)
Malmesbury Carnival 10K done twice to hit some pubs after  (August 2014)
Isle of Wight Marathon pub crawl (October 2014)

11:58 My big head notwithstanding, this is the Joe Strummer Subway

11:58 My big head notwithstanding, this is the Joe Strummer Subway

In fact, I started the blog for people in the States that already knew about my running idiosyncrasies (i.e., running to get to a bar, drinking heavily there or at one or more other bars, then running home).  So, for them the “racing” entries are no surprise nor are some of the other efforts, which I enjoy as much or more.  These three Birthday runs are typical:

2010
2013
2014

I also used to ‘hash’ before I found the one true way; my life as a hasher came long after I started drink-running (and drug-running, for that matter) and that it has become just a passing fad baffles some of those folk although I still encourage hash virgins to go to a hash as a kick start to Hashlam.  I would, indeed, encourage all of you to go hashing at some point.

We saw some good shows and bad shows and some shows.  I saw Springsteen in the Atlanta Fox Theatre in the 70’s but Jackie never had so we booked a trip to Maastricht to fix that…and it was awesome.  We causght Neil Young in Hyde Park and Paul Simon there as well another year.  Two of the best shows were Lloyd Cole in Stroud and George Thorogood in Cambridge, and you can’t go wrong with the BeatHoles.

beatholes poster from sunday

Tourism ideas:

No trip to Wales is complete without a ride down this highway. (November 2009)
Find out why they refer to Oxford as the City of Dreaming Spires. (September 2010)
You can wait for English Heritage or the National Trust, but the loving family fits their own plaques (like this one to Arthur Stanley Eddington).  (August 2011)
If you get to Germany, indulge in the local folklore like the Bremen Musicians. (June 2012)
Nothing is more fun than old buses. (June 2014)
Get out on the street furnishing trail, maybe starting with post boxes. (November 2014)
And, to be serious, here are a few ideas for London.

shark house oxford

Recipes and food:

A friend that travels in China sent some delectable menu items to look for but I still haven’t found them in any Chinatown restaurants.  On the other hand, you can find the most interesting spices in the Caribbean markets, here.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day so you shouldn’t shy away from complicated recipes like this one.  Or, as an alternative you could start your day with one of these.
There were, of course, a lot of booze recipes, but these are worth the efforts involved and better than the pictures would suggest:
Lupini
Cassoulet (one of several versions blogged herein)
Rabbit

chinese menu 1

Finally, no look back wouldn’t include obits.  Mostly, I obitted people I don’t know but knew of but on occasion I actually had a relationship with the deceased (Rest in Peace, y’all):

Vic Chesnutt (December 2009)
Bus Job (October 2010)

Andy Holden (whom I did not know but feel a special connection to, January 2014)

This blog (January 2015, which you are reading right now)

 

 

DT #366, 1 January 2015 and the Year of DTs   3 comments

Toretta Prosecco

This is the last of
Three hundred sixty-seven
Consecutive haikus.

Alright, then, maybe this one would have been more appropriate:

Woke up this morning.
Got myself a beer. Future’s
Uncertain, end near.

I’m really glad to see the back of the haiku, though.  Some amused me, fair enough, but most were uninspired as, indeed, most of the DT entries themselves were.  The tyranny of the daily post is not conducive to creativity in many of us (or, at least, in me).

Raw numbers (ignoring today and 31 December 2013):

144 Beers (of which there were 60 bitter; 22 lager; 10 stout; 9 pilsner; 8 mild; 6 each of blonde, golden ale, and porter;5 IPA; 3 dark ale; 2 ‘other’ pale ales; and, 1 each Belgian ale, Belgian brown, brown, dark IPA, dark pilsner, IPA/mild, and weissbier).

21 Ciders
5 Perry
1 Cider/Perry mix
4 Ginger Beer

166 wines (of which there were 122 red, 18 white, 18 rose, 3 Champagne, 3 other sparkling, and 2 port)

24 Booze (6 from Drunken Bunny Liqueurs, most of the mixed drinks experiments from Mr Boston)

The number and volume of Gin and Tonic is highly underrepresented, as was the beer but you had to choose one thing per day.

Location, location, location:

Pretty much the homebody, 221 of the DTs were in our house (43 in Eastcott, the other 178 here in Old Town). My pub visits tend to come in flurries of 4 or 5 on a run (therefore on the same day) and those were underrepresented. Because of some overlapping categories, this list won’t add up to only 365:
221 at home
130 British pubs
4 Bremen Germany pubs
2 pubs in Holland (one of which was also a Coffeeshop)
5 in restaurants
4 outside
1 beer fest
1 Church
1 dog track

As far as towns go, 256 Swindon, 57 Oxford (or very close to work), 5 Bremen, 2 Holland, and the balance explained by the multiple pub visitations, next paragraph/list.

Four Candles, Oxford: 20
Far From the Madding Crowd, Oxford: 6
White Horse, Oxford: 4
Steam Railway Company, Swindon: 4
Greyhound, Besselsleigh: 3
Red Lion, Marston: 3
White Rabbit, Oxford: 3
Savoy, Swindon: 3
Hop Inn, Swindon: 3
Beehive, Swindon: 3
Old Crown, Faringdon: 2
Prince of Wales, Shrivenham: 2
Messenger, Swindon: 2
Clifton, Swindon: 2
76 others.

DT #356, 22 December 2014 (Hobsons Postman’s Knock)   Leave a comment

Hobsons Postman's Knock

 

Oh, Mister Postman
Look and see. Is there porter
In your bag for me?

Name: Hobsons Postman’s Knock
Type: porter
Venue: house

Review/notes: No one sends Christmas cards from the States.  We got five in 2009, three in each of 2010-2012, and one last year (which arrived in mid-January this year).  We get a few from folks in England, Holland, and Germany and I got a ‘cancer-is-all-clear/no-more-surgery’ letter from the NHS which counts for a lot; but, a stamp and a note from far away would be nice, too. Bah, no one writes anymore.

CORRECTION: One card this year (in the postbox on Jackie’s arrival home, of course) from our Debra…you can always count on Debra:

2014-12-22 deb's card arrives

There’s hardly anyone in the lab now but we are still about ½ staffed when you pass the group office.  There were a couple of minor issues to sort this morning but I feel like I had time to work on my camera repair (and could kick myself for not bringing it with me).  The weather was mild but windy and I was a bit tired after the 27 mile weekend (more Friday-Sunday than I had been doing in a week since mid-October).  Today, it was a minimalist run down the Mesopotamia Walk and through the University Parks, for me:

2014-12-22 Mesopotamian Minimalist Meander

[DT =Daily Tipple, explained in DT #000 here]

Monthly consolidations/compilations: January
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DT #354, 20 December 2014 (Pecker Wrecker)   2 comments

Pecker Wrecker

“Is this for Christmas?”
“No, Love, this is the Solstice.
“It’s something for REAL.”

Name: Pecker Wrecker
Type: bitter
Venue: Green Dragon, Market Lavington

Review/notes: I got on the bus to Devizes and sat near the front hoping one of the large-window seats would become free in a few stops only to immediately recognize the couple in the left-most seat were trapped in a moronic conversation with the Tardette to their right. The bus pulled up to the very next stop and a middle-aged dude in biking leathers toting a very large backpack and reeking of campfire smoke (he must have kipped the night on the rail trail below) found his way upstairs.  We met as I was moving back a row or two for leg room and he seemed to be thinking the same thing as me: “who let this old freak on the bus?”

The old couple escaped at Wroughton and Mr Natural pounced on the seat only to face the Tardette’s interrogation, which he suffered with great humour (the haiku is made from direct quotes of their conversation). He was heading to Avebury for the celebrations along with countless old hippies and New Age tossers you could see milling about with their billowy garments and self-satisfied countenances.

I like the Solstice well enough but I don’t get any sort of spiritual kick from it.  I hadn’t even clocked that it was tonight until this moment on the bus, but during the run through muddy trails to Market Lavington with the Sun blinding me, hung as low as it gets all year this time of day, I kept thinking about how nice it is that the days will now extend a little every day for 6 months.  Well, that and the fact that I could get a beer soon.

Pecker Wrecker pump clip

[DT =Daily Tipple, explained in DT #000 here]

Monthly consolidations/compilations: January
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Holiday Running Streak Day 29   2 comments

 

There have been days when meeting the 3 mile minimum for the Holiday Run Streak have been daunting (hangovers, bone idleness, actual injuries).  Today was a joy, though.

I caught the 9 o’clock to Devizes and headed south into the slimy mud, down one steep ridge and up another and emerging, eventually, in Market Lavington.  The timing was actually rubbish, though, as the only pub open before noon is the Green Dragon (no complaints, mind; it was a self-inflicted wound I would have avoided by taking the 10 o’clock bus instead).

2014-12-20 Devizes - Market Lavington - Great Cheverell

9.4 miles out, with a beer break in Market Lavington

2014-12-20 Great Cheverell to Devizes flat out no GPS

5.8 miles back after beer break in Great Cheverell

 

I thought I could kill a little time by inspecting the pubs on offer for another day and the Churchill in Littleton Panell looked worthy.  The Owl in Little Cheverell was turned into a private residence a year or so ago to the dismay of the old fellow I spoke with there and the Bridge downhill from the Churchill got a recommendation from a kind gentleman I met at the Bell in Great Cheverell which I wandered up to just as it opened.

To be honest, the 9.4 miles run up to then had been like forced labour but the longer than planned (and greater fluid volume than planned) stop at the Bell recharged me.  Although I thought I had restarted the GPS I arrived back in Devizes with no additional miles.  This was easy enough to manually map (5.8 miles) and the voice recorder — which I failed to turn off, as well, upon leaving — showed this last leg to be 40 minutes long.  There was a bit of sunshine and mostly good surfaces to run and I made the most of the opportunity…plus, I was afraid the chippy in Devizes would close at 2 and I really hankered for a bit of cod.

Good run, pleasant company, fine ales, and a treat at the end.  Not a bad way to start the longest night of the year.

DT #353, 19 December 2014 (Hooky Mild)   Leave a comment

Hooky Mild

Friday pre-Christmas:
The best early escape day.
Back at it Monday.

Name: Hooky Mild
Type: mild
Venue: Greyhound, Besselsleigh

Hooky Mild pump

Review/notes: With work all day last Sunday in my pocket, I took off at lunchtime for a run to get some fish and chips then head on home to Swindon.  The route was cold but I was soon drenched in sweat from the muddy hill climb and by the time I rolled into the Greyhound I just wanted my beverage and then to duck outdoors to strip down and put on my dry kit.  With steam pouring off me in the sunny garden I should have been the most appreciative taster on the planet but, unusually for Hook Norton and milds in general, this was thin and reedy.  Better runs planned for tomorrow, but this is today.

2014-12-19 early Friday to Besselsleigh

[DT =Daily Tipple, explained in DT #000 here]

Monthly consolidations/compilations: January
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DT #346, 12 December 2014 (Full Sail Wassail)   Leave a comment

Full Sail Wassail

 

Only one full week
And two more days after that
Til Xmas pig out.

Name: Full Sail Wassail
Type: dark ale
Venue: Four Candles, Oxford

Review/notes: 6% abv and bitter but with a fruity finish.  Stuck waiting for the next bus as a delay made the last one packed to the gills (expecting two at once, soon, and can see them from this window).

Full Sail Wassail pump

 

Today’s run while waiting for users to finish with instruments (have to shut down the lab over the weekend) was 3.9 miles looping up Marston Ferry Road.  Brrr.

2014-12-12 lab shutdown run

[DT =Daily Tipple, explained in DT #000 here]

Monthly consolidations/compilations: January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
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October
November

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