Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Pubwatch: Bradley's Spanish Bar

First off may I say, best jukebox in London(a proper 45 one, not those mp3 monstrosities). And have to say its nice to see a proper old 70's style bar with ripped seats, chipboard tables and horrible, horrible toilets. However I didn't go in there to soak up the ambience (which is friendly and surprisingly - spanish)

As you walk in there is a large display of Younger brewery memorabilia 'excellent' I thought 'there must be a ale on'. But nay. The barstaff stood behind the great mass of tall lager taps that plague the modern bar (why do they have to be so tall?)and looked out over a crowd who I don't think could be bothered about how many IBU's their pint had. After pursuing their quite interesting lager selection I settled on a Budvar. But it was not to be, the budvar was off. So he offered to get something similar - San Migel. Weary and desperate for a drink I relented and drank the san migel. I don't do Beer reviews but then it wasn't really beer, cold fizzy and sticky it tasted like someone had dropped sunblessed bread into a glass of sprite. Ewwww. Anyway what was I charged for this abomination? £3.60. The mind reeled. 'Why in whetherspoons thats two pints!'.

However. I enjoyed my time in the dingy little dive. It was warm, it was cosy, it was a bar. And I enjoyed the fact that despite looking like a dive, it had a rather nice winelist. But I also enjoy the sensation of change in my pocket. So...

...4/10 (it got 2 for that jukebox!)

Saturday, 14 November 2009

There is a light that never goes out

My first memory of ale is perhaps not the most auspicious: a can of John Smiths (Can't remember if it was smoothflow)warm and flat. I only drank it because all of the other beer (Carlsberg/Carling and San Migel for special occasions!) had been drunk by overly eager christmas guests and I was a very thirsty boy. However this one can of John Smiths has a lot to answer for. From the moment I tasted it I was hooked, suddenly beer could be more then cold and fizzy, suddenly beer was a drink not a means to an end.

From that point on I resolved not to go back to cheap fizzy stuff but to stay on the straight and narrow path of Real Ale, Craft Ale and pork scratchings the size of your fist. For the past year this has been relatively easy: I had a job and could afford to buy interesting bottles and £3 pints. But coming to University has changed this outlook. From whence a interesting bottle would be a given, now all too often I walk past and pick up the cheapest lager, ale or even *god forgive me* wine.

So what is the point of this blog? For me to moan about how unfair being a semi-tax funded student is? Of course not.I am extremely lucky to be in my position and I know that. I read many beer blogs. I read about ordering crates of beer or traveling hundreds of miles to attend tastings. That is a separate world to me. A world I very much admire but a different one nonetheless. Hopefully this blog will illuminate some of the problems of trying to appreciate craft beer and real ale on a tiny budget.

And the title of this blog? Well that comes from the student pub next door to the Uni. Its called the New Globe and does a pretty decent pint of London pride. However they also do 10 bottles of carlsberg for £10, which comes in a classy metal bucket with attached bottle opener!. The pride is £3 and comes in a glass. All too often I have gone with the bucket. All too often I have regretted it.