Friday, 22 April 2016

The Wrong Un

The Wrong Un - Thursday 21st April 2016

234-236 Broadway, Bexleyheath, Kent DA6 8AS

I met up wth MB again for our weekly budget beer and curry at one of the two Wetherspoons in Bexleyheath town centre. There was a stark comparison to last week as it was extremely busy. I got to the pub first and was lucky to grab a table just as my pint was poured.

MB arrived a little later, so whilst I waited I supped my pint and watched a bit of TV (without sound) on one of the large screens dotted around the place. Today was yet another sad day in the lives of our entertainment stars - Prince died today, aged only 57! Sadly, we can add him to a long list of others who have died this year; Lemmy (musician), David Bowie (musician), Ronnie Corbett (comedian), Paul Daniels (magician), Victoria Wood (comedienne and actress), Chyna (WWF wrestler) and Terry Wogan (entertainer). These were all people that had some effect on my early years. I am sure there are one or two I have missed. What a year so far :-(

After a bit of maudling whilst waiting for our curry, we had one of our usual put the world to rights chats that meandered all over the place. These chats make sense to us, but would rarely be followable by an outsider due to the many changes of subject, direction and timbre throughout. Our moods lifted once we got onto our next beer though.

There were several good beers on tonight but all were very strong, so we decided to go easy. In the end we only had two and a half pints, primarily due to the fact I started a new contract of work on Wednesday and I didn't want to turn up hung-over the next day. Unfortunately, as a result, we missed what looked like a couple of good beers.

Also, my work commitments meant that we did not go onto another pub after. I missed the rock music at the Kings Arms tonight and probably will do for another week or two as I have some more trips out planned in the coming weeks. I am due to meet up with SH next week and maybe GW the week after.

Beers drunk on this visit :
1) XPA (4.8%) - Exmoor Brewery, Wiveliscombe, Somerset - a bitter-sweet, strong golden ale
2) IPA (5%) - Redpoint Brewing Co., Taipei, Taiwan brewed under licence by Adnams - a strong pale ale
3) Powerhouse Porter (4.9%) - Sambrook Brewery, Battersea, London - a rich, dark chocolatey beer with a hint of fruit
Number of visits :  dozens

Sunday, 17 April 2016

Cornet Beer, Belgium

Cornet Beer, Belgium - Saturday 16th April 2016

Palm Belgian Craft Brewers
Steenhuffeldorp 3

I was very lucky this weekend. I attended the wargaming show Salute in London's Excel Centre this Saturday and met up with some of my great friends from the Tin Soldiers of Antwerp club. For writing an article for their show guide and providing them with some goodies for their goody bag at Crisis 2015 show in November last year they presented me with a gift box set of four bottles of Cornet Beer and a special glass to drink it from. They also gave me a box of chocolates and some very sweet treats called cuberdons, or in the local dialect neuzeke, which means "little nose". I must say I was very taken aback and not a little misty eyed with gratitude. It was very kind of them to think of me in this way. Thanks guys and girls.

This beer is being brewed again at the newly re-opened micro brewery De Hoorn, so it is a very new beer on the scene in Antwerp. I have yet to sample this brew as it has only just arrived in my clammy mitts and I want to savour it. I will choose an evening in the coming week or two and have a drinks session in front of the TV with Mrs. Odo, who is slowly developing a palate for real ale and quality beer.

Thursday Night outing

The Wrong Un - Thursday 14th April 2016

234-236 Broadway, Bexleyheath, Kent DA6 8AS

MB and I have now had a regular Thursday night session in our local town centre for the last few weeks now (we did the same around this time last year for several sessions too). We try to fit in a cheap curry at either of the local Wetherspoons and a few pints of decent ale.

Tonight was no different. We headed to The Wrong Un this evening after the last few weeks at The Furze proved to be a bit of a let down. The staff were great this evening and we were served in a very timely manner; the manageress even managing to find the time for a brief chat about the beers that were on tonight.

We started with a very tasty dark beer that did not look anywhere near as nice it tasted. After that pint slipped down in record time we grabbed our curry - this time we both chose the beef madras for a chaneg. Unfortunately we couldn't go large this week with the extra samosa and onion bhaji but it was still very tasty and filling. The pint that went with it complimented it nicely even though we just ordered the enxt on the list that we fancied.

Unfortunately when we returned to the bar after our meal the other two beers that were on that evening were off. So, we had another pint of the Twickenham as it was also very tasty.

Beers drunk on this visit :
1) Dark Lord (4.4%) - Bateman's Brewery, Wainfleet, Lincolnshire - a malty, caramel flavoured light porter
2) Spring Ale (4.4%) - Twickenham Brewery, Middlesex - a light, hoppy golden beer

Number of visits: dozens

The Kings Arms

156 Broadway, Bexleyheath, Kent DA6 7DW
As the beer was now off at the Wrong Un we decided to grab a bit more rock entertainment at the Kings Arms just up the road. The barman poured us a pint each of the Caledonian ale, but it was off again - our timing with the barrels is impeccably terrible.

As a result we started on the Guinness again. We only had a couple of hours in here, but it was a great atmosphere and we felt like regulars. A few of the bar flies nodded in recognition when we arrived and the barmaid involved us in her conversation on at least one occasion.

Beers drunk on this visit :
1) Guinness Extra Cold - Guinness Brewery, Dublin, Ireland - a very popular Irish stout

Number of visits: dozens

Sunday, 3 April 2016

The Prince of Wales

The Prince of Wales - Saturday 2nd April 2016

The wife and I were invited to an engagement party last night in southwest London. I used to spend a lot of time around the Clapham and Balham areas over the years as one of my very good friends used to live over that way. It was nice to get back over there again for a brief visit.

169-171 Lyham Rd, London SW2 5PY

The pub is split into two saloons, one on either side of the central square bar. The side in which the party was held contained the pool table which acted as the banquet table. Service was quite quick considering it was busy with the engagement party on one side and the regulars (presumably) on the other.

Unfortunately the choice of beers was limited as it was really a lager house with only John Smith's Smooth and a guest ale being available otherwise. However, the guest ale tonight was very much to my liking as it was Brakspear's double dropped Bitter; one of my favourite session ales. This was accompanied by a great selection of nibbles and a glass of champagne to toast the happy couple to be.

Beers drunk on this visit :
1) Bitter (3.4%) - Brakspear Brewing co, under licence Wychwood Brewery, Witney, Oxfordshire - an aromatic, tasty session bitter
Visits : 1st

1000 Page Views

Wow! Not only did my gaming blog hit 100,000 page views this weekend, but my little beer blog also hit its first milestone...

I thought it was only a couple of my friends that were taking a look at this blog but it appears from the Blogger stats that there are people all over the world that are reading it too. Thank you so much for looking in and I hope you enjoy reading about my drinking exploits in some great British pubs.

I will keep blogging my exploits if I can as it acts as a great aide-de-memoir for me, and I hope you all keep reading and gain a little insight into the culture of an average British middle-aged beer lover.

Saturday, 2 April 2016

Beers in Bexleyheath

The Furze Wren - Thursday 31st March 2016

Broadway, Bexleyheath, Kent DA6 7DY

After last week's debacle I was hoping for a quieter evening and a nice curry. Alas, it was not to be. Although it was far less busy than last week it took around 15 minutes to get served - MB arrived five minutes before me, and after a further ten minute wait at the bar we finally got served. Now, if it was busy in there like last week then I would not have minded so much. Unfortunately, the competency of the barman who served us was atrocious. Several people who arrived at the bar after us were served before us. I reprimanded the barman when he finally got around to serving us, but I think it fell on deaf (and stupid) ears.

We decided to order the curry on our next round and again I encountered gross incompetency from another barman at the food ordering section of the bar; and to cap it all off the curry I wanted was not being served that evening.

We decided to follow up the Lazy Dog with a Crafty Fox after the play on the words in the IT ditty "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog".We had one more pint thereafter (amazingly MB was served in a timely manner this time), which tasted very "soapy" straight after the stronger Crafty Fox, but after a few more sips the full flavour came through and very pleasant it was too. We decided to leave for pastures new after this pint.

Ordinarily, I like this pub, but the last two visits have really spoilt my view of it. I think I will see about visiting the Wrong Un at the other end of the Broadway for the next curry night and let the last two visits fade in my memory before going back again.

Beers drunk on this visit :
1) Lazy Dog (3.9%) - Elgood Brewery, Wisbech, Cambridgeshire - a pleasant session bitter
2) Crafty Fox (5.0%) - Hook Norton Brewery, Oxfordshire - a strong red beer
3) Red Ale (4.2%) - Sambrook's Brewery, London - an American style red ale

Number of visits : dozens

The Kings Arms

156 Broadway, Bexleyheath, Kent DA6 7DW

As we had enjoyed the Kings Arms last week as our alternative to the Furze Wren, we decided to head back there again this evening. We were greeted warmly by both of the bar staff, the music soothed my nerves and the Caledonia Edinburgh Castle was back on - what's not to like? We had a couple of pints of the Edinburgh Castle and then moved onto a beer I have not had in many a long year; Newcastle Brown Ale - and they served it along with half-pint glasses. I know it should be Geordie Schooners, but it wasn't with a pint glass.

I found out recently that the brewery are changing (have changed?) the recipe for Newcastle Brown Ale due to an issue with the American market - apparently it contains a colouring ingredient on the list of banned (carcinogenic) substances in the US which has been passed on at least two occasions by the European standards agencies. Who to believe? I don't know. Which is the bigger market (Europe or US) and which market should be listened to? Again, I do not know. Will it taste the same? Apparently they will be using malt to colour the beer going forward, so it may change the flavour. Hopefully it will taste the same and therefore still be drinkable on all continents again.

We had another great evening in the Kings Arms listening to the rock music and supping some very tasty beer. We also began to get recognised by a few of the regulars, so that is not a bad thing either. I think this may become more of a regular haunt in future.

Beers drunk on this visit :
1) Edinburgh Castle (4.1%) - Caledonian Brewing Co., Edinburgh, Scotland - malty, spicy full-bodied ale
2) Newcastle Brown Ale (4.7%) - Joh Smith's Brewery, Tadcaster, North Yorkshire - the classic red-brown strong ale
Number of visits : dozens