Well another exciting beer adventure, however this happened to be in my home town Glasgow. It was time for the Euro summer gathering and after stressful moments almost everyday in the month running up to it; it was Thursday 23rd August 2007.
Meeting place was Glasgow Central Station 11:30 for the 12:00 train. When I got there everyone was already waiting on me which made me feel like a bit of a fool as surely the organiser should be there first! However Jacob and Phil were staying at my place and I already had a reeking hangover.
Train to Mount Florida, short 5 min walk to Clockwork Brewpub. We were having lunch here so it was a case of sit down order food and get the ratings in. It seemed everyone at the table ordered haggis, which was in fine form; however my hangover had only one cure. Straight to the bar 4 half pints in front of me rating pad out, 2 of clockworks own beers and 2 guests. The clockwork beers were thankfully in good shape, although sometimes I find them to be warm, oxidised, hazy and underpoured. They have an excellent Ginger beer, which to be honest has more ginger in it than anything else and after downing this I felt ready for a day of serious banter!
Train back to Glasgow Central, bus to Dumbarton Rd and a short walk up to Tennents Bar. We met 3 Swedes in here and started working our way through the 10 hand pulls that it had to offer. 8 of them are regular beers and 2 guests. I previously have had all of them so decided there was only one thing for it, Broughton Old Jock on cask. If one thing would finally defeat my hangover this must be it. Thankfully it did so, however it was in terrible condition, tasted infected and to my disappointment none of the beers were that hot. Iíd a tight schedule to keep, however we were early arriving in the Tennets so thought a small stop off in The Chip, for some Fyne Alesí Chip 71 would keep everyone on their toes. Itís the only place it can be found, so a must for the likes of Per and Jens who I suddenly realised why they have had almost 9000 beers.
Off we were again, this time to the all and mighty 3 Judges, my own personal watering hole in Glasgow. 9 hand pulls on offer, including one cider, There was even 2 Canadian fellows there to join us. Helen the manageress had kindly got Crouch Vale Brewers Gold Extra in for us as well as a good few other fine beers. Again only 1 rating for myself, but for most the entire board of 9 were all new. The 3 Judges is excellent in that, itís bordering onto a bad part of Glasgow, so there are numerous scumbags who come in, but it has such a homely feel to it that you are always relaxed. We had scheduled to come in here for almost 3 hours, however after under 2; people again seemed to want more ratings.
After a short and I must say unnecessary on my part, bus journey, we went to the 78. A new bar for I only discovered it a month before, however it has an excellent bottled range. Itís also an entirely organic pub, with vegetarian food being served all day. It was a pleasant surprise for most to find somewhere with loads of bottle conditioned ales rather than a bank of hand pumps. The Pitfield range was good and I worked my ways through quite a few different ones that were even ratings for me. But as usual and no doubt to the annoyance of some of your Swedish raters Ė hehe - it was time to go for dinner.
A 10 min walk down to Charing Cross leads us to The Bon Accord. The owner Paul was waiting at the door for us and had kindly given us the entire eating area of the pub. Another large selection of 10 hand pulls and a guest cider sitting in a bag in box on the back bar and another Norwegian rater waiting for us. There are about 5 regular beers in here and 5 guests; it also has a few decent bottles including the Brewdog Paradox Islay edition. The food is remarkably cheap, 2 course special for £3:95. So once everyone had a pint, or 4 halfís in some cases, again the Swedes, a round of soup for everyone followed by a seriously hearty steak pie or veg pasta bake and everyone looked a bit ruined. There didnít seem too many new ratings for us in here as many of the beers were in previous bars. There seemed only one thing to do, squeeze in another pub that wasnít in the schedule to keep these hardcore raters happy!
A short walk and we were off to The State Bar. This is another traditional Glasgow boozer with a central island bar. 4 regular beers with 3 guest ales. This is right in the city centre and is often filled with art school lecturers from the art school close by. It has a decent selection and the regular beers are a little different to most. Everyone seemed to be coming to an end here, the food had made everyone a little tired but I assured them the best was to come!
Short walk, The 62 bus and we were off to Blackfriers. This is my work, Iím cellarman and charge hand here. Thereís 4 hand pulls and 1 air font, also one of the best selection of bottles in Glasgow. I had put on a few specialities for the fellows, initially Dark Star Hophead, however it was finished by the time we got here. There was the highlight for many people of the trip, Brewdog Paradox Speyside Edition. We were the first people to get our hands on this Paradox and the local CAMRA branch also attended to put their dent into this 10% monster. So straight to the bar I went for a pint of the stout and also bought a bottle of each of the other paradox editions which I stock to do a head-to-head. The Islay Edition was peaty as hell, but may have perhaps toned down slightly. The Grain Whiskey Cask has a good amount of tart fruit character to make me really appreciate the stuff. The pint was quite a serious imperial stout, lots of roasted barley and chocolate malt, however the whisky was subtle with added spice and fruit.
I was not the only person to start sessioning 10% stout, it seemed everywhere we looked there was another person buying some more. The other Brewdog beers, Hardcore IPA, Punk IPA and Hoprocker were all getting seriously punished. The 2 Ĺ hours in Blackfriers eventually died into a big blur, but I think it was the final tequila with Jens and Duff that finished me off and left me ready for the stealing a pint of Paradox for the long walk home. Iím almost certain everyone there stole some bottle or glass with booze in it for the journey home, thank f**k my manager Jon didnít notice!
So the pub crawl was over some seriously good banter with the whole Ratebeer crew. Even though at times it did reek of lime!