View Full Version : Shut up about Barclay Perkins - An afternoon in Folkestone

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30-03-2010, 08:09
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We start fairly early, at 08:15, on Linaeusstraat. I nip into the bakery and get a broodje gezond. Lekker, hoor.

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It being Saturday morning, the road aren't bad at all. Just after Antwerp, we stop at a service station. Mikey has a dump and I pick up, true to tradition, three cans of Gordon's Finest Gold. Slightly superior tramp juice. Perfect to get me in the mood. But I've made a slight miscalculation and all three are drained before we get on the chunnel shuttle. I'll remember to get four next time.

13 minutes after pulling off the train we arrive at our hotel. Thirty seconds after that, pints are in front of us. Just a bottle of London Pride for me, as the Scuba Bar sells no cask. Mikey quickly disappears off to London. I've a free afternoon. A good chance to visit the real ale pubs he hates.

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After a stroll down the high street, I dive into the Wetherspoons. It's in what looks like a former Methodist chapel. Mikey definitely won't come in here. I can see his point. It is a bit of a dump. I order a Whitstable Brewery Kentish Reserve. I am in Kent, after all.

My beer is very dark. If it's supposed to be a Bitter. At 5%, who knows? I'm not in style nazi mode (am I ever?). What do I care? It's just about drinkable. Just. About 5 minutes away from Sarson's. I do something I very, very, very rarely do: I leave it unfinished. Those Gordon's have got me nicely warmed up. No need to knock back crap just for the sake of it.

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Just before entering Wetherspoons, I spotted a pub I'd not visited before, the Guildhall. It's my next stop. Inside is mobbed by diners, but I find a stool at the bar. I order a Titanic Lifboat. This is definitely in Mild country, colour-wise. [RateBeer classifies it as a Bitter. So a Bitter it is. The brewery describe it as "fruity and malty,red brown bittersweet beer". Nicely unspecific about style.] If I'm not mistaken, it tastes like there are some American citrus hops in there. Bit weird, but at least it isn't going off faster than a TGV going downhill.

Knacked. Je suis un peu knackré. Don't know why. It's Mikey who's been driving for 3.5 hours.

The landlord is trying very hard. Maybe this is one of his most profitable sessions. It reminds me why I wouldn't want to run a pub. I couldn't keep up the front of friendliness all day. I'd be the traditional miserable bastard type of publican.

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http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_CHrKKDU9290/S7ENOzjjV6I/AAAAAAAAGww/ENtUHQ6Zvlk/s200/Gunhill.jpg (http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_CHrKKDU9290/S7ENOzjjV6I/AAAAAAAAGww/ENtUHQ6Zvlk/s1600/Gunhill.jpg)I do finish my pint of Lifeboat. Then head on to my next stop, the British Lion. I've been here before. Eaten here, too. Quite a nice Sunday dinner, it was. I order an Adnams Gunhill. This one has both feet and its arse in Mild-land. British brewers - can't they decide what style they're making? Bastards. They just brew what they feel like and call it Bitter. Or nothing.

It tastes OK. But has that funny mouth-coating thing. Probably the best pint so far. Strong Mild, that's what I've decided to call it. So I have to like it. there. [RateBeer has it down as a Mild. Adnams website describes it as "as a cross between a dark mild and an old fashioned brown ale". That's cleared things up.]

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Next it's the turn of the Pullman. It still smells of paint from its recent refurbishment. In the smoky old days, it would have just smelled of fags after the first session. Two blokes at the bar ask jokingly if I'm folowing them around. They'd been in the Guildhall.

I'm served a pint of Harvey's best, served by a fit young Polish barmaid. Does life get any better? It has the enchating farty smell of an authentic Bitter. Deliciotastic.

It's a proper pint of Bitter. Like it used to taste when I were a lad in the 1920's. (I feel sometimes as if I grew up in the 1920's. Too much time spent looking through old books.

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The final call on my mini pub-crawl is Chambers. Down in a basment. Hey daddy - o, I don't wanna go down in the basement.

"A pint of Mild, please." "I haven't said that in a while" I quip to the barman. My repartee is shit. Finally something not Mild-like, but the real thing. Rudgate Ruby Mild. A bit generic, to be honest. But still Mild. I feel like I've done my bit for Mild Month March. Self-satisfaction keeps me warm as I wait on the freezing terrace of the Scuba Bar for the Asda delivery man to arrive.

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