Tuesday 11 June 2024


I rise a little later today. Almost nine. And have a quick shower and a shave.

I've nothing much on today, other than hanging around in Zebulon.

After a quick morning coffee, Mike whisks me off to Zebulon. Pausing only to drop by the supermarket to get sandwiches for lunch.

While Mike sets up the taproom, I sip on a 1943 Tetley Mild. Which is pretty similar to the version I knew and loved from the 1970s and 1980s. It’s a good start to the day. The drinking day, I mean.

As soon as he opens the doors at 1 PM, punters start drifting in. Where they can groove on down to the 1940s music being played. Not that much grooving of any sort goes in any direction.

I'm working my way through the beers. I only sampled a couple of them before today. I try to do them in a logical order. Following up Tetley Mild with Tetley Bitter. Which is also very nice.

I’m tempted to order a pint of mixed. Just because I can. There must have been drinkers who chose that back in the war. When they wanted something posher than Mild, but didn’t want to splash out for straight Bitter.

I've set myself up with my books next to the bar. To my (and Dolores's, no doubt) joy, I manage to sell a few copies. Weirdly, I shift all the copies of "Porter!" I have, but none of the "Stout!". Even the expensive hardback copies go.

About 2 PM Chris Lackner turns up and spirits me off to his Air BnB in Asheville for an interview. He has a pretty professional setup with lights and everything. It takes about an hour.

Back at Zebulon, I'm back in book-selling and chatting mode. I flog a few more books. Which is pleasing.

Whitbread Double Brown is, as always, a treat. Malty and full. With some balancing bitterness. I’ve had several different vintages brewed by various brewers. All were crackers.

A variety of people wander up. Either to buy books or just to talk. I’m a sociable chap. Perfectly happy to talk to anyone. Especially about beer.

Trying Perry Porter and Barclay Perkins Best Stout back-to-back is a revelation. The Perry, which is just pale and lots of black malt is intensely roasty. While the Barclay Perkins, with quite a lot of brown malt in addition to black, is softer and more nuanced, with a cocoa-like character.

What’s the revelation? The difference between London and Irish Porter.

By the time 7 PM rolls around, I've tried all the beers. And enjoyed every one. Not that it's a surprise. Mike is a very skilful brewer.

Mike cooks spaghetti when we get back to his place. I don't stay up much longer. Feeling kanckered once again.

Zebulon Artisan Ales
8 Merchants Alley,
NC 28787.


Mike said...

That brewery looks absolutely fantastic

Anonymous said...

What an interesting line up of beers.