Sunday 25 October 2009

Drinking Around

You know what I want to do more of? Drinking around. I feel faithful to the few pubs which I regularly visit, but there’s so much more out there that I’m missing out on. After the visit to the new Thornbridge Brewery, Brad and I were faced with a mini-dilemma: where next? We had a few hours of drinking time left and Chesterfield station was our starting point. Sheffield was nearby, as was the Coach and Horses, or we could’ve gone to Derby or Leicester or even back to London for a few. As we were with the Reluctant Scooper we went to Derby and visited three incredible pubs and it made me crave going to new pubs.

I want to drink in Sheffield, Leeds and Norwich. I want to do a massive tour of Manchester, its breweries and the surrounding area. Huddersfield is calling me to The Grove. If BrewDog are opening a bar in Aberdeen then that’s calling, as is Glasgow or Edinburgh and I want to grab a few pints of Moor beer in Somerset. And this is just the UK based drinking, don't get me started on the other places…

The places I want to visit will serve me beers that I know about but they will also give me an opportunity to try new beers from breweries that I haven’t encountered before. And that’s important. While I’m happy drinking the beers from the breweries I know, I want to know about more breweries and the best way to do that is to get out there and drink the stuff. And this is one of the reasons that I wanted to get a beerswap going. But I need you to tell me, where should I go and what should I drink?

There are also the rumblings of a big blogger meet up early next year, so this might help us decide where is best to go!


  1. Mark,

    Norwich is a must. It's my home town & a beer drinkers haven. Norfolk in general has over 30 micro brewers, including Woodforde's, Wolf, Fox etc. and is home to Beers of Europe(!)

    Spoilt for choice in terms of pubs too, but one you don't want to miss is the Fat Cat as I'm sure you've been told. Always 20+ cask & gravity served beers with a selection of draught Belgians, a handful of ciders & over 50 bottled beers.

    Another one to check out is the Duke of Wellington, which serves 10+ each day, rotating regularly.

    If ever you do decide to visit, let me know & (as long as I'm home i.e. Christmas, Easter & summer breaks) I'll show you around if you want.



  2. Look forward to seeing you in the grim north at some stage. However this week all roads lead to Bodegraven - here's the latest list from this coming Friday's festival at De Molen brewery. Read it and weep:

    Brouwerij de Molen, Bodegraven:

    Netherlands Eisbock (tap)
    Eisbock Simcoe Dryhopped (tap)
    Eisbock aged on Cognac soaked woodchips (tap)
    Hemel & Aarde Bruichladdich Barrel Aged (tap & bottle)
    De Molen Herfstbock 2009 (tap)
    Tsarina Esra Reserva (bottle)
    Imperial Kopi Lowak Coffee Stout (bottle)

    Picobrouwerij Alvinne, Heule,

    Alvinne Rookbok (bottle)
    Melchior Bourbon Barrel Oak Aged (bottle)
    Melchior Bourgogne Barrel Oak Aged (bottle)

    Bierbrouwerij Grand-Café Emelisse,
    Kamperland, Netherlands:

    Emelisse Herfstbock (tap)
    Emelisse Winterbier (tap)
    Emelisse Imperial Stout (tap)
    Emelisse Espresso Stout (bottle)
    Emelisse Double IPA (bottle)
    Emelisse Helles Bock (bottle)

    Mikkeller, Copenhagen:
    Denmark Mikkel & Menno Weizenbock [USA hops] (tap & bottle)
    Super Sour Kriek (tap)
    Beer Geek Brunch One-for-One Port BA met Brett (tap)
    Beer Geek Brunch Weasel [Islay] (bottle)
    Beer Geek Brunch Weasel [Highland] (bottle)
    Beer Geek Breakfast Cask [Speyside] (bottle)
    Black Cask [Smoked] (bottle)
    Black [Whisky] (bottle)
    Frelser Trippelbock (tap)

    De Struise Brouwers, Woesten,

    Doppel Strausse Doppelbock (tap)
    Struise Dirty Horse (tap)
    Cuvée Delphine (bottle)
    Pannepot Reserva (bottle)
    Pannepot Grand Reserva (bottle)
    Pannepeut (bottle)
    Tsjeeses (bottle)

    Närke Kulturbryggeri, Örebro,

    Närke Kaggen Stormaktsporter [2 vintages] (tap)
    Närke Stormaktsporter [2 vintages] (tap)
    Närke Tanngnjost & Tanngrisnir [smoked] (bottle)
    Surprise beer by Närke (tap)

    Revelation Cat, Rome:

    Italy (Alex Liberati) Revelation Cat Triple Hop Bock (bottle & tap)

    Surprise Brewery Surprise beer (tap)

  3. Shaun, it's on the list!

    John, that is total beer erotica!! what an AMAZING line-up. I definitely should've gone to this... If any of you have space and money then grab me a couple of the good bottles and I'll cover the costs and postage ;) And if you can hand bottle some Stormaktsporter then I'll be very happy indeed!!

  4. Dominic thinks we need a plan to get through the De Molen list. It will certainly require careful consideration - could be slightly heavy going as, apart from a few notable exceptions, this appears to be a sort of imperial stout festival! I'll let you know how e all get on.

  5. John, there doesn't seem to be many session beers on the list, that's for sure!

  6. Absolute musts include a trip to Sheffield's beer valley, Huddersfield's train station area but I think Manchester and Leeds, whilst essential, can be done in 1 day! Perhaps a trip beginning at the Marble Arch and ending up at North Bar or the Cross Keys in Leeds, via a couple of other watering holes, would constitute a grand day out.

    I don't go down south very often (passport control at Watford Gap takes too long) but I vaguely remember some super sessions in Cambridge whilst my twin brother did his phd there..others may fill you in on the pubs I probably went to.

    And I'll try to pick you something up from Holland!

  7. Cheers Dominic. I'll let you know when I'll be in Manchester - I expect a brewery tour :)

    And if you get me a little something then I'd be mega grateful and that's be another good reason to come up and visit!

  8. get your self to Sheffield there are loads of differant beers here, from all over the place and I know some were you can stay!

  9. Cambridge, as I believe I said when we met, has a fine collection of worthy establishments.

  10. Go to Sheffield for a week. Then, days out to Huddersfield, Leeds, Manchester, Nottingham. Get the bus to the Coach & Horses, Dronfield. Stop off in Derby on the way home.

    Then you'll need a few long weekends in Oxford, Liverpool, Norwich and Cambridge.

    Each city has it's fair share of galleries/castles/cathedrals so it's not all about the beer.

    On my radar next year - a long weekend in Kent. Time for me to come and see what this flat Southern beer is all about ;-)

  11. Man, there's so many places to go!! I've got plenty of holiday left for early next year so I guess I'm going on tour!!

    And Simon, get your arse down here to Kent soon, the beer might be flat and it might be exactly the same stuff as you can get up norf just that it's travelled further and is less fresh, but it's pretty good!!

  12. Give us a shout when you visit Leeds, Mark - would be happy to meet up for a few (!) scoops.