Monday, 7 March 2011

Arsing about in London - day 2

Well we've got some work done today!

We visited one old friend Andy (@partizansmith) and one new friend Andy at the Redemption brewery in the depths of Tottenham. Now I've been extremely lucky to try a good few of Andy's home brews and they are seriously good work, his Christmas beer was one of the top beers I drank last year. This brewery is without doubt one to watch, the range of brews we tried was lovely and they brew in a modern British style - that is the beers have depth and balance with plenty of thoughtful hopping.

I can also say that due to the beer spotting bun fight that appears to be hitting London currently I have decided to rise above and transcend the beer 'box ticking' stage and am now a brewery malt delivery system spotter. Every brewery I've been to has a different Heath Robinson type contraption for this job. I feel that this is going to be the new 'passion' for many as they tire of yet another conversation that entails what rarities they have quaffed, where and when and why they know more than you when they patently don't! I could perhaps of course be guilty of this on this very blog but then I do try not to be a cunt.

Anyhow perhaps we should get back to the point with a soothing picture of Andy Smith and his homemade heat exchange...

Ahhhh that's better - thanks Andy you're a true gent.

We had lunch in the wonderful BaShan on Romilly street, I can confirm it's one of the best Chinese meals of my life and Chairman Meows braised pork is a gift from the gods.

Next up the harp, CAMRA pub of the year no less, lovely joint, kinda mostly brown and slightly theatrical feeling. Good knowledgable staff and brilliant beer.

I've been using facebook to 'check in' to places which simply to wind up everyone that's at work. It's also been quite funny as a good friend of mine who's been in more pubs than most, posted that when he was in this award winning pub he found the atmosphere a bit snotty, which is exactly what I got when I answered my phone in the Harp. Admittedly in a slightly loud Northern way but was a slightly discomforting air of self satisfaction and some rather large red noses were being looked down, this really grinds my gears so onwards...

Pip pip to the White horse! The aforementioned Andy and many others say this is their favourite watering hole in the big smoke. I'm inclined to agree with them as I've just had a chat with a brilliant bar man who took me through the finer points of the three Vintages of Lees harvest ale that they stock! Really comfortable, wecoming and not too pretentious .

Which is more than I can say for the Euston tap. Don't get me wrong this is a great bar, it's an inspired location and really interesting US style set up but I do have a gripe or two.

This leads on from my experience at CASK and a general feeling from people I've spoken to. These places lack atmosphere! You can find the beers you want and the rarest of beers you didn't even know you wanted but really they are for ticking boxes and geekery. This is fine but fails to address the reason most people drink in pubs, in cask the music was like listening to a car stereo in a ford fiesta, in the 80's. Same in the tap.

I'm FIRMLY in the music in pubs and bars camp by the way. It should be as diverse as possible and at appropriate levels for the atmosphere, no music only suits busy old school pubs - too much is made of silence!

Both places are also a tad uncomfortable, I'll let the tap get away with this as it's in a teenytiny building which is interesting in it's own right but CASK should sort out the badly designed chairs and planks of wood that you have to sit on immediately!

Hey ho - I'm sounding old now, that'll do...

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