Enjoy Playing Away From Home . . .

Saturday 28 March 2015

Congratulations to Louisa at the Tower!

Congratulations to Louisa, and her colleagues at the Tower, London Road, Bohemia, for winning the local South East Sussex CAMRA 2015 Pub of the Year, and Cider Pub of the Year too, nice one, or two! I've known Louisa, the manager at the Tower, for 3 years now, and can honestly say that I've never had a bad pint there. In fact, she has brought this pub into CAMRA reckoning by maintaining ales in excellent condition, with many local Sussex ales too, along with excellent value. 

Consequently, I have been writing about the Tower for 3 years now, and have had a look back over my blogs to help with this one. However, I didn't really need to, because Louisa has continued to sell good quality and good value ales. I first noted the cheapest ale as £2.30 a pint in 2012, now it is still usually just £2.60 a pint, a fair comparison relative to other pubs regarding changes in pricing, but still so much better value than most, and in lined glasses ('spoons apart for price!). The Tower has also been in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide for 2 years now. 

Also, that early 'cheapest' ale was the excellent Sussex brewed Dark Star Hophead (3.8%) at £2.30 a pint, and the other virtual regular from Dark Star brewery (website) American Pale Ale (APA, 4.7%) at £2.40 a pint. They were both on for my most recent visit this week at £2.70 a pint and £2.80 a pint respectively, great stuff!  

Over those 3 years, Louisa has also added 2 handpumps from the 4 when I first visited, meaning usually at least 4 regularly changing ales in addition to the 2 virtual regulars. Other ales on this week were the even more local Franklins (website) Pudding Stout (4.2%); from the North West, Robinsons Voodoo Dawn (3.9%), a 'deep red ale'; and from South Yorkshire, Abbeydale Accent Compensation (4.1%), a pale bitter.   

Oh yes, and the 6th ale on this visit, from Peterborough, was the excellent Oakham Bishops Farewell (£2.90 a pint), 4.6% of pale hoppy, citrus fruity, dry and bitter ale. I've written so often about this ale, as I have the Dark Star pair, that I really don't have anything else to add, except, I continue to love drinking them! 

And to add to Louisa's collection of awards was the local Cider Pub of the Year! She sells 2 keg ciders, Strongbow and Symonds Founders Reserve, and 2 real ciders, as can be seen from the photograph. There is Shepton Mallet Somerset Snuffler (4.8%), and the legendary Westons Old Rosie, 7.3% and dangerous!   

Congratulations Lou!

Sunday 15 March 2015

Another trip to London & Two Excellent Ales

A crackin' weekend in London with my brother, the Routemeister, and about 35 miles walked. The first round trip being to Richmond and obviously including our favourite pub there, the Watermans Arms (website), where we had...

OK, I know I always drink this, when they do sell Youngs ales, being a Youngs pub, but also another Twickenham (website) ale this day, their 3.8% Grandstand Bitter, but we had to drink the Naked Ladies again: 4.4% of pale, dry, bitter, hoppy delight, packed with flavours from Pilgrim, Celeia and Chinook hops, excellent!  

On our walk back to Dan's we decided to visit the Halfway House (website), near Barnes, walked past it a few times, but never been in! Really friendly place, great music venue, and beer in good form, sadly though, I forgot to make a note of what we drank, and my brother can't remember either, but it was certainly Scottish, from Edinburgh, I believe. I seem to remember 3 ales were on the bar (handpumps), maybe London Pride and Doom Bar the other two, anyway, a 'tick' pub...  

Our second round trip was to Borough Market/London Bridge/Southwark Cathedral (where a set of our great-great-grandparents were married). Oh yes, and to The Rake (website) of course, where I drank the also excellent...  

Oakham Ales (website) are another of my favourite brewers, and we were very lucky to find that, in addition to their Citra, oft tried and quality, they had this unique "Limited Edition" The Racketeer (5%). Oakham describe it as "Full on citrusy golden beer with powerful New Zealand hops dominating throughout." I wrote in my notes, thankfully written this time, as a 'tick' ale: "pale golden bitter, citrus aroma, citrus flavours, tangerine and grapefruit" - I liked it a lot!

I should also say they had a third beer on, as usual, this one from West London brewer, Dragonfly (website), their 4.3% "London Stout" Dark Matter. Anyway, a good chat with the two staff members, and another customer who used to run a bar in Putney, the excellent The Racketeer being imbibed, and a walk back to Dan's in prospect, meant I didn't try the stout, sorry... Cheers anyway!   

Sunday 1 March 2015

Happy St David's Day!

I would love to raise a pint of beer brewed by my favourite Welsh Brewer, Tiny Rebel (website) today, sadly, none on locally, so will have to be a local Hastings ale (from the FILO Brewery) instead, whatever, cheers!