Tuesday, 13 November 2012

What I learned at the weekend

I was briefly in Folkestone for a shopping run last weekend. The first time in ages.

Not much had changed in Folkestone. But something had on the way. And not for the better. We usually stop at the first service station on the E17 after Antwerp. It's about half way to the chunnel. I've got into the habit of picking up a couple of cans of Gordon's Finest Gold there, which, at 10% ABV, is the perfect breakfast beer.

Sadly, they no longer seem to sell it. Or Leffe Bruin. Now it's all Pils except for a few cans of Hoegaarden and Palm. Bastards. Completing the trip beerless wasn't on, leaving me no alternative but to get two cans of Jupiler. At least they were half litres. But Jupiler's never going to warm your belly the way Gordon's does. Warm belly and fuzzied-up head. Just what I want before lunch.

We always stay at the Portland Hotel. Which handily has a pub on the ground floor. Good enough reason to have a few beers while checking in. No cask beer, but they do have bottled London Pride. That'll do me. Luggage dumped, it was time to head to Asda for pies, salt and vinegar crisps, cider, cheese, Scotch pancakes and bacon. Now there's a properly balanced meal.

On the way back, I thought I may as well check out The Chambers, a Good Beer Guide-listed basement pub. They usually have some local beers on cask. As they did on Saturday. A dark number from Gadd's. Perfect. Especially with an accompanying double Bells. Or two.

Refreshed and loaded with shopping, it was time to return to the Portland to meet Mikey. Where I had another couple of London Prides before we decided eating might be a good idea. Fortunately, not only does Folkestone have a proper chippie, there's also a licensed fish restaurant at the back. Where I had pie, chips and mushy peas and a can of Guinness.

Once I'd polished of my health-food supper, it was back on the lash. This time in Harveys, another basement pub. Not the most exciting beer selection, but the Courage Best is usually in decent nick. I knocked back a few of those while Mikey got stuck into some Strongbow. After a few pints Mikey went off to the Tesco Express for a few bits and bobs, leaving me to have a few more Courage Bests while I waited for him. And waited. It turned into quite a few Courage Bests before I realised he wasn't coming back. He's done this before, crawling off to sleep mid session.

I went back to the hotel to see if he was in the pub there. Time for a few more London Prides and a dance. Until I realised my legs weren't working that well. Must have been all the walking. Time for bed.

What did I learn? That, with enough time and a bit of determination, it's possible to get legless on watery British beer. Even for a pisshead like me.


eavyumble said...

Next time you`re over in Folkestone, try a proper pub. Find the East Cliff Tavern (even many locals don`t know it!) Great beer, and like a trip into the past as regards the inside. (By the way, I brewed a batch of the Whitbread KKK 1877 as a giveaway for its 125th anniversary in August. Went down very well.)

eavyumble said...

What am I on about? It was the 150th anniversary!

Bryan the BeerViking said...

I have to admit I'd never thought of Folkestone as a destination, to me it's more sort of somewhere you zoom past on the motorway.

But taking away all the interesting stuff and elaving only Pils. Bastards! Sounds like more of the bars in Germany.

Ron Pattinson said...

eavyumble, that East Cliff Tavern certainly looks the part from the outside. No surprise that it's a former beer house.

The Whitbread KKK is appropriate, seeing as it's a former Whitbread pub. Fremlins before that?

eavyumble said...

Hi, Ron,

Yes, former Fremlins,George Beer and Rigden, and George Beer, in reverse order. Since the festival it has been concentrating (thankfully) on small Kentish brewers.