I am bringing to an end full-time working on 30th September after 27 years with CACI Location Planning. My mum probably has the best take on my working life – so it’s your fault that all High Streets look the same. That labels me as a ‘real ale socialist’ I suppose. Anyway, every new journey should start from a port loaded with victuals so many thanks to Jeff at the mighty Finborough Arms in West London for hosting my leaving do.
In many ways the Finborough reflects recent changes in beer and pubs but it also harks back to an earlier era. The most important element for me (sorry CAMRA) is the welcome. I’d rather drink a Guinness in a friendly pub with an interesting landlord than a pint of the finest ale where the landlord wishes you dead for daring to cross the threshold. The Finborough scores on many counts – the beers whether keg or hand-pulled taste interesting and it feels good to walk through the door. As the great Richard Boston said don’t forget you’re being invited into a private house when you enter a pub.
On the beer front I’ve come to accept that some people like beers flavoured with the spawn of the devil otherwise known as Citra hops, but as my drinking buddy Clive reflects, each unto their own. For me there is nothing better than a pint of Harvey’s Best but I can agree that if I was Ice Cold in Alex perhaps a cold Citra-fuelled beer would be fine & dandy. I guess that for someone brought up in Burton and of the Draught Bass tendency my tastes were formed at an early age. An IPA, mild or a porter on a cold night is worth a try but I am a man of traditional bitter tastes (sorry craft beer hipsters).
I’m looking forward to my evening at the Finborough and in future posts I’ll give you my thoughts why tasteless lager caught on, why Pedigree is just wrong, and how I sold gin to old ladies whilst standing on a metal box full of crisps with a twist of salt.
Interesting blog old chap. Personally, and I know it really is all a matter of taste, I have an aversion to Burton beers. Must be summat in’t watter.
Yes I admit that I like American craft ale and its imported hops including Citra, now prevalent inn the UK, especially in brews by Kernel (often available bottled at The Strathmore Arms). What happened to the Preston walk by the way?
Tales of your Grandad’s recycling and watering down are depressing, as is his Gin scam on his own clientele! Makes me wonder why I’m putting so much money across bars trying to keep pubs alive!
Sorry, that wasn’t meant to sound so curmudgeonly! Like the blog thanks.
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No problem. But this was some 50 years ago. At least kegs are sealed these days.