Saturday brought me another day in Liverpool. Having to wander into town to get a birthday present for my little sister, a walk down Bold Street and beyond, had to take me past a few choice hostelries (there would be no surprises on this walk).
I had £3.10 in my pocket before going to a cashie, so it had to be the Fly in the Loaf first with their consistently excellent beer these days (knowing I’d have to walk back up the road and past the Bel, and the Cali later).
Journey’s End – Wapping – at the Fly in the Loaf
The rugby was on but with nowhere to sit down and not a massive interest in it I headed for one of the big window booths to read and sup on an excellent Wapping ‘Journey’s End’. This is the last of Stan’s Wapping Brewery beers. It is a whopping 6.1% and doesn’t taste like it – it will be a shame not to be able to see it for that long (unless Wapping Mad take on the brew?). He’s ended at the Baltic on a beer high.
Three guys came into the booth with their overnight bags and I heard them enthusing about how many good pubs they’d been to within half a mile of the station. I struck up a conversation with them discovered that they were on a recce mission for a stag do later in the year. On top of that they proved to be brewers from a new craft brewery in Coventry. It was my duty to point them in the direction of more pubs around the area and in the direction of Bar 23 with their craftilicious offerings. I’m sure they went on to have a good time in the city – they seemed enthusiastic as they tried to type in the recommendations into their smartphones. I’ll have to keep an eye out for the Coventry micro-brewery!
Then it was time for shopping – didn’t take tooo long – and popped in to say goodbye to the wonderfully eccentric Kitty at the Curious Orange. Good luck to Kitty on her trip to the Far East and New Zealand!
Now where was there to go to from the Curious Orange? Could only be the Dispensary really. As ever, they didn’t disappoint with their offerings. One of my fave tipples – Hawkshead ‘NZPA’ was on. But as a drink so early on, and intending to have a few more, it was a bit much (on top of an already 6%-er). But it was fine, help was at hand with the beautiful Fyne Ales ‘Jarl’. Help indeed!
Chatted with Dave about the evils of the internet as I typed up the beers on offer on to Twitter. There was much jubilation at Man Utd losing to Stoke and a little cheer for Everton and Tranmere both scoring late winners.
After my farewells (and a few comments from the staff along the lines of ‘blog off’ – very droll) it was onwards to the eternally GBG’d Roscoe Head. Not too many options there to get my taste buds tantalised, but there was Castle Rock ‘Harvest Pale’ so I was happy enough and it was on good form.
On the small telly above the door I saw England fall behind France within 35 seconds of the start – with an amazing lucky bounce. Didn’t bode well at all – time to leave.
I walked up the hill and I had one of my occasional visits to the Philharmonic. It wasn’t very busy and I managed to get a seat in the Brahms room so I could do a little tipsy editing of some old flash fiction work whilst supping on a Rooster’s ‘61 South’. It was quite okay but it was not on the best of form, will have to try it again as Rooster’s are generally excellent.
Then it was Belvedere time, to see what was on there. It was busy – it doesn’t take many to be fair though. Half the drinkers were on ale and the other half on gin. Well, I was straight on the Brimstage ‘Trapper’s Hat’, served by the ever amiable Kelly. It is certainly one of my top 3 session ales – plenty of clean flavour, never had a bad one, and always on top form in the Bel – I could drink it all day.
A couple of Evertonians I knew came in and made a grand entrance when the woman knocked two or three gins glasses off the table with her handbag. It guilted them into staying for a second half! Pretty sure that wouldn’t have paid for the glasses.
My mate turned up and we talked all things beer and footy related – blokes hey, easily entertained. A second Trapper’s then ensued – as it so often does.
We then went on to the Caledonia for a couple of swift Liverpool Craft ‘American Pale’, which were fine. Though my friend had to take one beer back which was passed its sell by date – it was replaced without fuss, as it should be.
At this point I was recalled to home – it really was my Journey’s End, which was probably not a bad thing – though I’m sure I could have fitted in one, or maybe two, more.
Oh, and despite falling behind France in 35 seconds England beat the Frenchies – always a very good thing.