Friday, 13 November 2015

Brighton Bier Weekend

"Hey I've got tickets to see a chick sing in Brighton, want to come?"
"Er, sure, why the hell not?"

This tends to be how my weekends, evenings and well, just about anything I do, seem to come about. Unbeknownst to me, or my chap, the weekend in Brighton would be more unplanned and spontaneous than even we had foreseen. And would also include a metric fuck-tonne of beers.

Sunday - 
After a bit of a 'mare booking the hotel, and then cocking up my train tickets, we grabbed a couple of 'crikey we deserve these' beers for the journey and got onto the Brighton train. I'd never been there before and was excited to say the least. I love the seaside and I love going to new places. Brighton also had a carousel. On the pier. Give me a decent beer and that's heaven right there. Off the train and straight to the pub (it's a good job my chap likes drinking as much as I do, or we'd be short lived). First stop was The White Rabbit, a brilliantly quirky looking pub, fairly standard for Brighton I was pleasantly surprised to see, with outside seating. The ladies loo door had a poster of horror clown on it. After getting fella to open it for me (I really, REALLY hate clowns) I discovered there were similar posters on each cubicle. *gulp*
A pint of 'Free State' by the Brighton Bier brewery helped (see what they did there?). It had a reassuring bitter taste, a beer with a decent colour and some body to it but nothing outlandish. Sat outside with us was a guy playing acoustic guitar and various hippy / student / arty / weirdos filed passed as we drank. I declared my undying love for the town and I was only half a pint in.
Next pub, near our hotel, was a Brew Dog fortuitously. They were having a mash-up event (or something). I was left to choose the beers. A rye IPA for myself from Moor Beer // Brew dog Bristol and a black coffee IPA from Crafty Devil Brewing Co. // Brew dog Cardiff for the chap. It was then I decided rye IPAs were my favourite (it's only taken, what, twenty years of drinking beer to find that out?) and I even liked the black coffee brew. The barman happily chatted to us about the beers, even after I'd told him I wanted a pint not a half, thank you very much, then he told me they were served in two-third pots. Oops. He even gave us a little glass each of 'Wild Gift' as he had over poured. Apparently this beer had 'infections' in it. Charming. Tasted slightly sour but nice if that's possible. Not sure if a pint of it would go down as easily though.

Checked in at the hotel and there was still enough time for a pint before the gig. The Mash Tun looked promising, if the gig posters in the windows were anything to go by. Unfortunately the place smelled of vomit, but fella being the gentlemanly type he is (and having an inferior sense of smell) told me to grab a table outside while he got the beers in.
Two quick, but very enjoyable, pints of DNA by Dog Head Brewery later we were watching Joanna Newsom while sipping mediocre 'large venue' beers. Yawn (the beers not Ms Newsom).
After the show Brewdog was still open so we had one there (probably the same that I had before, but to be completely honest I was a little tiddly by this point and didn't write it down). After a quick stop in a corner shop we were sat on the pebbled beach of Brighton, drinking bottles of Tyskie, while I drunkenly tried to point out constellations in the sky in the hopes of being romantic, but actually just being a plum. In an extra act of plumness I dropped my phone on the beach and had to go back looking for it. I blame the sea air. And the many beers.

Monday - 
OK not technically the weekend but I'm freelance so every day is the weekend to me. First port of call was Irregular Choice. This wasn't a brewery but a shoe shop. I like shoes as much as, if not more than, beer and IC are my favourite shoe designers. Ever. Beers tend to be cheaper but don't seem to last as long, but too much of either make it difficult for me to walk. After trying on about eight different shoes, and running around like a loon with a manic grin on my face we wandered round some other vintage junk and gem shops before, you guessed it, stopping for a beer. Hey, we're on holiday, alright?

The Prince George was having a beer festival. Win. I chose the W.G.V. (I think) by Firebird Brewery, on gravity. I wish I drank dark beers as I would have totally been swayed by the 'Scary Man' beer with a picture of death on it. The description of mine said 'earthy' which I would totally disagree with. It was bright in colour and had an odd zingy taste to it, with a lingering after taste too. After a pint I was undecided whether I liked it or not but we were off anyways.

After a bit more wandering we stopped at the Fiddlers Elbow, an Irish pub that didn't seem to be a pastiche. How refreshing. They had Darkstar on and it was one I'd not seen before. 'Revelation' had an almost religious and very beautiful pump clip, like a stained glass window and was a nice beer but nothing to blow my mind.

After this we went into the Hope & Ruin, a very trendy looking bar in the shabby student / fairy lights and DIY chic style. I had another Brighton Bier I believe and then my favourite Velvet Underground track came on. Was quite literally having the best day. On the way down to Brighton I had googled 'Brighton rock pubs' and found the Caroline of Brunswick. It had a giant three-headed dog hanging over the bat and a dread-locked barmaid. Pints of Hobgoblin (of course) and some very cheesy metal, sat under a Siouxsie album cover and I was over the moon.
It was about then that we decided to stay another night in Brighton. Earlier that day I had been told that my 9am Tuesday meeting had been cancelled, effectively giving me the day off (told you I was freelance). Initially I was livid, having booked a timed train ticket for Monday evening, even though my fella had Tuesday off, cutting our trip short. I looked at him and said 'Shall we stay another night?' and I think I had time to blink before he said 'Yeah why not?'. More googling and one flash of my MasterCard later and we had trendy accommodation booked at The Artists Residence. We went for food in the Hobgoblin (a pub that should have been a rock pub but disappointingly wasn't and I'm fairly sure they served us our beers in plastic glasses). A pint of Gun Brewery Pale Ale and a Hellfire burger later, we checked into the hotel and went to another pub.

The Victory Inn had a gorgeous front with those deep green gloss tiles and a traditional sign. Inside it was wood and brass and we got chatting to the chaps sat next to us at the bar who, despite initial reservations turned out not to be drunken lecherous idiots. I genuinely have no idea what I drank, I may have stopped caring by this point.

Tuesday -
I didn't drink today. I know, unbelievable right? I did, however, go into an awesome bottle shop and buy my flatmate a present for feeding my cats - a bottle of Zodiak with a black label and luminous green alien logos. He assured me that when he drank it later that it was awesome. Instead of pubbing we went on the pier and had an awesome breakfast outside a cafe. My journey home was a bit of a 'mare (I traveled for about 8 hours that day) but it was totally worth it. We're going back again very soon.