Wednesdays can be beautiful.
Last night was a night dans le boozer, which unusually, involved spending time in the company of other people - people I know. Amazing and much needed.
The Wellington beckoned and was pleasantly empty. The pre-Christmas crushes experienced at this venue had become exceptionally tiresome - a trip to the Welly usually involved squeezing through the front door, flighting to the bar, just about managing to get my order heard, then necking it and legging it, having shifted my own body weight in sweat during that time. But last night, aaaah - a seat, some chums and I didn't have to shout to make myself heard. Bliss.
So what of the beers: first a fittingly mediocre Elland Diablo, which was a bit thin and taste like chocolate melted on a bar-b-q [that word has been spelled in a deliberately annoying way]. I also had a pint, yes a whole pint, of Oakham Citra which is the epitome of reliability. It's tasty too.
The best offering though, was Beowulf Killer Stout, a 7.9% UK Imperial Stout, from a brewery I have made my own - by which I mean that, according to Ratebeer, I am the top taster/reviewer of Beowulf beers in the World. That may make it sound like I love all of their beers, which is not true at all. But I do appreciate their dark efforts - Dark Raven, Finns Hall Porter, Dragon Smoke Stout and now this Killer Stout, which is a very flavoursome, drinkable and balanced attempt at a beer style usually only mastered by our American cousins. It's a real shame that more of these stronger beers simply so not turn up on tap in Birmingham pubs; but then again, if they did, I wouldn't have been inspired to begin this blog.
After leaving the Welly, and having popped into Tesco, I followed some good Twitter advice from the previous night and was lucky enough to sample Moor Unfined Confidence on tap in the Lower Temple Shakespeare. It was a ruddy tasty and ruddy coloured ale, which the lack of filtering had rendered mushy in the mouth and with some murkiness added to the hoppy bitter.
Finally, a dash through the Post Office Vaults en route to the bus stop; a flying visit which yielded a well priced bottle of De Molen Op and Top - a strange beer which sat somewhere between a UK IPA and a Belgian Ale ala Leffe. Largely pleasant.
A good evening's work.