It Hasn’t Led Me To Drink

13 04 2010

Well after an absence of about 6 weeks I thought it was about time I lifted my head above the parapet and made a couple of posts here.  I have a number of half written things lurking about on my hard drive that need a bit of spit and polish and a couple of ideas that I want to take forward so I hope to get them on here in the next couple of weeks.

So where have I been? I hear all none of you ask.  Well the best description of my recent location is probably Planet Zog, that well known haunt of stressed out people the nation over.  I’m not saying that I had lost my mind or anything, I’ve been there in the past and have no intention of heading down that road again, rather, I’ve been putting my coping mechanisms into place.  As a result a number of ‘superfluous’ activities have been removed from my daily routine including, as you may have deduced, writing stuff for this blog and even posting on Twitter for the last couple of weeks.  Instead I’ve spent some quality time with the Good Lady Wife watching some quality DVD’s such as…errr…2012, visiting the odd pub and generally taking things a lot easier whilst the chaos of work was pointedly ignored.

Whilst I’ve been enjoying the rarefied air of Zog I’ve noticed a distinct change in my drinking habits.  Rather than finding solace in a bottle or at the bottom of a glass the quantity of booze that has passed my lips has increased, it may even have slightly decreased; instead I’ve found that what I want to drink has changed quite a bit, at least at home.  The amount of beer I’ve drank at home has fallen to perhaps one or two bottles a week, if that, to have been replaced by wine, brandy and whisky.  Even then when I have had a bottle of beer I have been reaching for a nice, uncomplicated session ale, mostly of the *gasp* pale variety (Bath, Golden Hare please take a well deserved bow).  The bottles of Dark Island Reserve, Marble Decadence, Dogfish Head Palo Santo Marron and countless other ‘exotics’ have been relegated to the back of the beer cupboard for the time being.

The wine is obviously a social thing to share whilst watching a movie and the brandy and whisky are my comfort drinks of choice; whisky always has been, but pale beer? Not sure where that has come from.  It’s also not something I’ve felt the need nor want to replicate in any of the pubs I’ve visited, I still look for which dark ales are on sale first.

So why mention any of this? Well this week see’s Newcastle Beer and Cider Festival take place and I find myself wanting to write about it plus I’m interested to see what beers I’m attracted to.  Will I head for the usual stouts and porters or will my newfound taste for pale bottled beers lead me to stray from the dark and into the light?  I’ll be there each day once again this year tweeting away and may even attempt to do some posts live from the event.

It’s good to be back.

Local Beer Fest News – Beer & Sausages, Brandling Villa

9 01 2010

This is the closest pub to Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital (I think) and therefore the watering hole of choice when the work day has been too stressful to take home with me.  To be honest it’s proximity to work has been the only thing going for it until recently with both the drink selection and bar staff being piss poor in the past.  All quite handy in some ways because I was never seduced into  staying for more than a pint or two before escaping to the comforts of home.

That has all changed recently with the introduction of a new management team who have given the place a kick up the arse and brought real ale and cider onto the bar and overhauled the food menu.  Along with the introduction of live music at weekends the changes have made it a very dangerous place to visit now as the need to get home seems less pressing.

Anyway, new manager Dave Carr has decided, in his obvious wisdom, that a real ale and sausage festival was called for to blow away those post crimbo blues and has duly organised one for January…what a hero.   The flyer for the event is posted below and my contacts tell me that there will be vegetarian options available, although why you would bother…