It got me thinking: which are my top beer cities? (And also worrying that I'd visited 8 of the 9 cities on the list.) Not just in the US. And not just in the present.
I'm old. 4-D bloke. More of my life lies scorched behind me than greenly beckoning ahead. Why should I limit myself to the now? What could be more nowist? ("Or just modern, dad" "Shut up, head Andrew, I'm trying to bash out some billocky bollocks before I go on holiday that doesn't require me sticking my head up a library's arse for six months." "Just don't bother to post every day." "And disappoint my readers?" "Dad, you don't have readers. Just a few weirdoes with nothing better to do. And home brewers.")
That's why best a best town answer needs to be in 4-D. Talk about pushing the envelope. I'm giving it a whole extra dimension. Eat innovation shit Cranberry Gose.
Before I annoy you with my random decisions from the past, with a sauce of wilfull obscurantisms, I'll explain my pretend criteria. Or how I define "best" "beer" and "town".
Best: better than better
Beer: alcoholic thing
Town: any settlement with a pub
Beer heaven is subjective. My choices wouldn't be shared by everyone. More likely, by anyone.
Here are a few hollow phrases to give you give you the impression there's some thought, however small, at the back of this:
quality over variety.
reliability over novelty
general beer quality
maybe today isn't the best
overall quality vs. elite beer
working class vs. middle class (Mild, Porter)
Sorry. They were just the notes I scribbled down after having that Hawkwind session last night. I'm in a rush so they'll have to do. I even quickly ended a call with Lucas, despite Arsenal losing yesterday.
Best beer cities. A carelessly assembled 4-D list by someone who can't remember his best nights out:
1. Prague 1984
By a street. Using one of my main criteria: overall beer quality. Never had a bad beer. And lots of cracking ones. Dirt cheap. Great, down to earth pubs. I can still recall that first Urquell on air pressure.
Best Beers: Pilsner Urquell; Branik 12º Dark and 14ºPale; Fleku 14º Dark.Best pubs: U Rotundy, U Zlateho Tygra, U Dvou Zpevacku.
Today: Remnants remain - U rotundy, I believe, survives - if you want to get a sniff of this particlar past's arse.
2. Leeds 1976
My second year at university. And when they put handpulls back in loads of Tetley's pubs. Including the Cardigan Arms. The landlord, and Irish bloke, knew his stuff. Through electrics it was a damn good pint of Mild. When he changed to handpulls* it was as like moving from a muddy footpath to a motorway.
Best Beers: Tetley's Mild
Best pubs: Cardigan Arms, Black Dog, Rising Sun, Adelphi, Garden Gate, Brassmoulders Arms.
Today: Adelphi is still pretty good, but without Tetley's. Without proper Tetley's, what is Leeds?
This is too much to finish now. If I go to a full nine towns. Or ten, if I'm being more decimalist. Maybe I should go for an octal revival by picking eight.
I've spoilt the tension a bit by starting at the top. Bit late now.
* Obviously with a univac.