Internet dating is fine in theory but when you’re sat on a cold bus station waiting for your phone to ring the theory begins to wear thin. Anyway, after a while I gave up and decided that I wasn’t going to let the trip go completely to waste. I’ve not been for a beer in Beartown for a good few years. The last time was with an old friend, now sadly departed, so I had a stroll around town for old time’s sake.
The White Lion had “12th Man”, from The Manning Brewers, yet another local brewery, it must be something in the water! Quite drinkable but I moved on after one. The next port of call was the Bull. Hogarth’s “Harlot’s Progress” was a very hoppy pale with a grassy sort of flavour, a bit sharp for my liking so I went next door to the Counting House.
As normal for ‘Spoons the initial impression upon entering was the smell of stale chips and the noise of shrieking children… However, this did the pub an injustice, don’t always go with first impressions. I bought a pint of Butcombe’s “Union” – WOW! My journey had not been a waste at all. This pint alone justified the bus fare. A lovely smooth hoppy pale ale with a soft peachy sort of taste, a truly amazing flavour.
I reckoned that the Butcombe was not going to be bettered so I returned to the bus station and waited to catch the number 38 home.
Not much of a pub crawl, just three pints in three pubs, because I really don’t like drinking alone any more. When I was younger I would quite happily have tried every pub in the town centre but I just don’t see the fun in that nowadays.
Drinking should be a social, not solitary, activity. With friends, maybe over food, or a game of dominoes, or chess. Sometimes sat at the end of the bar doing a crossword while listening to, and occasionally joining in with, the surrounding conversation or flirting with the barmaid. Sometimes in the heat of the excitement when United are winning on telly. Sometimes not so excited when they’re losing.
Maybe even with a blind date, if you’re lucky, but never alone.