SMALL BAR – BRISTOL

Small Bar
King Street
Bristol
BS1 4DZ

FOURTH VISIT: THURSDAY 4 DECEMBER 2014

THIRD VISIT: SATURDAY 20 JULY 2014

A little deviation from my original Bristol Beer Week crawl. But it was a good deviation as it gave me the opportunity to catch up with some Bristol buddies and drink a pint of Moor’s Nor’Hop and can of Beavertown’s Gamma Ray. I love Small Bar as there’s always a buzzing vibe in the place. I look forward to the day they open a branch in Swindon.

Small Bar

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SECOND VISIT: FRIDAY 18 JULY 2014

A brief pitstop en route to the beer fest at the Bag O’ Nails. A little cluster of people occupied the outside table and few more milled around the bar. I ordered two thirds of an Evolver IPA by Wild Beer. It’s an interesting take on an American IPA but one I’m not particularily bothered about trying again. Outside it was a gloriously hot day and even though the air condition was working impressively you could still feel the heat poking it’s head around the corner of the door. I’ve only been to two drinking dens on the entire planet where customers have free and easy access to a drinking water tap. Most places are happy to give you a free glass of water if you ask but the Great Divide Tap Room in Denver Colorado and Small Bar in Bristol have a self service water tap. The water in Small Bar is amusingly served via a beer tap topped with a Stella clip. While working my way through my two thirds of Evolver I knocked back three pints of water. Shortly before I left Bruce, the owner of Small Bar, stopped by for a little chat about the joys and perils of importing beer from far flung places. Then it was time to get the crawl back on the road. I headed to the Tuns.

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FIRST VISIT: SATURDAY 18 JANUARY 2014

Small Bar is the newest of the King Street Three and, in my opinion, the best of the bunch. Despite the name it isn’t really that small – something to do with switch from the original intended location I believe. The interior is fantastic: dimly lit, distressed wood, barrels – it’s like a smuggler’s den but with trendy bespoke fixtures and fittings. The upstairs ‘library’ is a bit brighter than downstairs but I always feel like I’m crashing a private party when I venture up there.

I’m not entirely sure why but I was way more drunk than I should’ve been when I rocked up here. I can remember ordering a Bad Seed IPA – I think I enjoyed it. I remember wolfing down a Chomp burger – I think it was good. I remember ordering a bottle of beer – I have no idea what it actually was. I vaguely remember chatting to loads of folk I know – I have no idea what we chatted about or how annoying I was. I had a pint of Vader Shuffle by Tiny Rebel – I only know this because I logged it on Untappd.

At some point we left and went to the Academy for the Half Man Half Biscuit gig.

THREE TUNS – BRISTOL

Three Tuns
St George’s Road
Bristol
BS1 5UR

THIRD VISIT: THURSDAY 4 DECEMBER 2014

SECOND VISIT: FRIDAY 18 JULY 2014

It was a hot day so I decided I should have a refreshment stop at the Tuns before heading round the corner to the Nails.

A few folk occupied the outside tables – I didn’t know the Tuns did outside tables – but the inside was devoid of life except for the barman. I ordered a pint of Petit Grand, which was billed as a Saison with Elderflower. Hmmm… it tasted like a pale ale that had been dryhopped with some elderflowers. Don’t get me wrong, I did like it but it wasn’t the kind of beer I’ve come to expect when I see the words Arbor and Saison on the same pump clip. With the pseudo-saison gone I decided to score a half of the Bravo, which is a single hop 7.2% IPA. And damn fine it is too. I used to watch Juliet Bravo when I was kid but I don’t think that fact contributed to my appreciation of the Bravo IPA.

Time to go check out the beer festival at the Bag O’ Nails…

Three Tuns

FIRST VISIT: SATURDAY 18 JANUARY 2014

The Tuns has been serving excellent beers to Bristol denizens long before BrewDog and the King Street triumvirate rocked into town. And it still easily holds its own. Being the Arbor tap house you will always find several of their finest on sale – from both keg and cask. Other breweries known to make appearances include Kernel, Summer Wine, Bristol Beer Factory, Art Brew and Moor. It’s a small place but it manages to use its space well so even when its busy it still feels nice and airy. The covered outside terrace pretty much doubles the available space. The Gents are grotty as fuck but I suspect I would be a bit pissed off if they were ever done up.

We were in town for a Half Man Half Biscuit gig, which meant we had a damn good reason to visit some of Bristol’s finest hostelries. No Bristol beer trip is complete without a beer or six in the Tuns so I figured that would be the perfect starting point. When I arrived my mate was already approaching the end of his first pint. I was playing catch-up. I kicked off with a pint of Arbor’s ¡Ay, Columbus! It’s a pretty solid tasting 5.8% BIPA and it went down super quick. My next beer was an Axial-Tilt from Hardknott. It was good but had I took the time to realise it was a saison before ordering I would’ve opted for a half and got a half chaser of something dark and moody. Nevermind. When the saison was gone the decision was made that we should get going. We were leaving the Tuns far sooner than I wanted to but we had another 4 drinking establishments to visit before the gig and when you’ve got such a punishing itinerary there’s no time to get sentimental.

BREWDOG – BRISTOL

BrewDog
Baldwin Steet
Bristol
BS1 1QW

NINTH VISIT: THURSDAY 4 DECEMBER 2014

Not one. Not two. But three visits in one day.

The initial plan had been to go shopping and then, and only then, go drinking. Sadly, that plan didn’t come to fruition. As is often the case when I hit Bristol my first port of call was Baldwin Street. I wanted a Hoppy Christmas but there was no Hoppy Christmas at the inn. Actually, the choice was a little limited as they were starting to get ready for the Siren tap takeover that was happening that evening. I ordered a Zeitgeist and took a seat. The place was sparsely populated. Only myself, one member of staff and a couple who had just popped outside to share a fag. There was a faint rotting cabbage odour that made it easy to leave after just the one beer. I’d planned to go to Fopp and then Rise but instead of going the more direct route straight down Baldwin Street I decided to walk along Welsh Back then cut up King Street. Uh-oh.

While walking from Colston Yard I’d hoped to stumble upon the newly opened Belgian beer bar, the Strawberry Thief. I knew it was somewhere between the Yard and BD but it wasn’t on the route I took. It was roughly 4pm but my concept of time was getting a little hazy. The place was still relatively quite but the staff were gearing up for the evening’s shenanigans. I asked manager Lucy where the Strawberry Thief. Ah, it’s on that street. This visit I decided to try the Konnichiwa Kitsune. It was a pretty tasty little number. The staff were whipping a batch of mulled Dogma. I quite fancied giving it a go but it was quite ready. Then I heard it was going to be four quid for a third pint, which seemed a little pricey. Perhaps the cost of electricity has gone up again. I left on a quest for the Strawberry Thief.

It had gone six so the Siren beers would be on so I headed back to where it had all began six or so hours earlier. The place had filled up nicely but I couldn’t see any of the Siren crew. I looked at their beer list. There was nothing super-exciting on it. It was all core range or stuff I’d encountered before on many occasions. I asked for a Broken Dreams. I knocked it back in a couple of gulps then left and undertook the long stagger to the train station.

BDB Tim Burton

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EIGHTH VISIT: THURSDAY 6 NOVEMBER 2014

I was in Bristol to see The Wedding Present play Watusi, which is very possibly my favourite album of all-time. Naturally, I made sure I had enough time for a few pre-gig beverages. As it was Stout Day I ordered a Cocoa Psycho but, as is the BD Bars way, it was served way too cold so I ordered a Lobos from Mikkeller and Fort Point to give the stout a little bit of warming up time. Lobos is billed and an experimental IPA, or so the dude behind the bar told me. It was okay. Kind of like a slightly sour barley wine. The Cocoa Psycho was still a little on the cold side so I popped back to the bar and bought a half of the Wild Beer & Fyne Ales Cool As A Cucumber, which, via the magic of the hopinator, has been jazzed up with lime peel and mosaic hops. It cost £3 (after EFP discount) for a half pint. When I sat back down it dawned on me that it is only £4.90 a pint (without discount). That’s a crazy bit of mathematics! The stout still wasn’t at optimum drinking temperature but it was getting towards stage time so I scooped it down and departed.

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SEVENTH VISIT:THURSDAY 25 SEPTEMBER 2014

Two visits that were split by a Wayne Hussey solo gig at the Bierkeller.

The night before Dieu du Ciel were in town and had staged a meet the brewer and tap takeover at BrewDog. As a rule I don’t work Thursdays so I’d initially planned to attend but circumstances dictated otherwise and I work a full five days in a row. (Oh the indignity!) But it wasn’t too disastrous as I knew I was going to be in Bristol the very next day for an acoustic goth gig and I’d have a little bit of time to mop up the DDC dregs. I asked a couple of folk I know what two beers they’d recommend if I only had time for two. Other people also chipped in with suggestions and the overall winners were Moralité and Aphrodisiaque. My favourite bartender was behind the bar working his last shift before jetting of to Colorado for an epic beer tour and to attend the GABF. (Scumbag!)

There were still a wide range of DDC beers to choose from but I decided to go with the two that had been recommended. Moralité is a 6.9% IPA that’s brewed in collaboration with The Alchemist (of Heady Topper fame). It’s a damn fine IPA. Not the finest I’ve ever had but I’d more than happily drink many many more just to be certain. The Aphrodisiaque was another great tasting beer but I felt it could’ve done with another 4 or 5% being chucked onto the ABV.

Time to go see Hussey…



… who was far better than I was expecting him to be.

The beer in the Bierkeller was poor so I’d quelled my thirst with a couple of cans of cider so now I was wanting something super tasty to bring the evening to a suitable close (and I wanted the Great White North Badge on Untappd). I decided to go for a Rosee d’Hibiscus and, to win me my badge, a Peche Mortel. The Rosee d’Hibiscus tasted like strawberries and cream sucky sweets – an interesting diversion but not one you’d want to consume all day long. The Peche Mortel was a very pleasant stout but one I felt needed and extra 2 or 3% chucked onto the ABV.

There we go. Two visits. Four beers. All four very tasty (although the stouts needed a bit more boom!) The winner was the first win I tried – Moralite. Maybe one day I’ll get to try a Heady Topper.

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SIXTH VISIT: SATURDAY 20 SEPTEMBER 2014

It’s becoming a bit of a tradition that when I’m on my solo pub crawls around Bristol I pay two visits to BrewDog – one of the way in and one on the way out – and today was no exception.

After having two excellent Wiper & True beers up the Goods Yard I decided I may as well have another of the beers. Triptych, and I might be making this up, is a brewed blend of three W&T beers. Anyway, it makes no difference what it actually is because what it actually is is ace. I first tried Wiper & True at the Bristol Beer Week fundraiser last year and really enjoyed the beers of theirs that I tried. A year on and they continue to impress me more with every beer.

I sat down to enjoy my beer and noticed that Andy was in the pub. Such a realisation prompted me send the following Tweet: ‘I’m in @BrewDogBristol and @BrewDogBarAndy isn’t here – I’m pretty sure that’s illegal.’ Within a few moments he replied that he was on his way. He’s a damn good lad is Andy. I wanted to be heading up the hill to check out what the Colston Yard was up to now it was under new management – management that promised to return the Yard to it’s former beer glory. But. There’s always a but when you try to leave a BrewDog pub. But I decided to ask Jenny a question that I’d been meaning to ask online for a few weeks: Is This.Is.Lager just a rebrand of Fake Lager or is it an entirely new product? It’s a new product. I ordered a pint. It was decent. It’s not likely to make me away from the like of Jackhammer or Dead Pony too often but should it ever make an appearance in cans it would be the perfect beer to stock up the fridge with when the sunny times return. Andy hadn’t arrived by the time my pint was finished. I’d no doubt catch on my back through in an hour or two…

… after a visit to the Colston Yard and, an initially unplanned detour, to Small Bar I arrived back at BrewDog. Andy was on duty, as was manager Lucy. I started my second visit with an ABCED from Wiper & True. I don’t know why it’s called ABCED but I believe I was told. Next up was a hit of Hardcore. For a while Punk was the BrewDog beer that was the poorest shadow of its former self but at the moment I think that it’s Hardcore that holds that dubious distinction. I felt I was just getting in the way of couples and groups so I left but not before I’d once again written DEAD on the bar using beer mats. Oh I’m so fucking hilarious. NOT.

BD Pirates

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FIFTH VISIT: THURSDAY 28 AUGUST 2014

When walking from the Grain Barge to The Exchange you pretty much have to walk right past BrewDog so it would’ve been rude not to pop in for two or three. And, besides, I had to meet the main man of Bristol Beer Week to buy a (a specially made fatboy sized) t-shirt off of him.

As I looked at the beer boards I knew there was a beer that I especially wanted to try but I couldn’t remember what it was. Then I remembered. And it wasn’t on the board. Evidently, Stone’s Wee Erky had been finished earlier that day. No big deal – there were still plenty of tasty delights up for grabs. I decided to start with an old favourite: I Hardcore You. As usual, Molly asked if I’d like a sample. She’s the only Bristol BrewDogger who still asks if I’d like a sample. I can only assume that she looks upon me as the old man I am and thinks that I’ve inadvertently stumbled unawares into her bar and she’s being nice being by trying to save me some cash and a crazy and unpalatable taste sensation. As usual, I declined the sample. We decided to go outside where it was less crowded and cooler. The I Hardcore You seemed to be in fine form so it was glugged down super quick. Acid Mothers Temple weren’t due to be on stage until after nine and we had no desire to see the support band (having seen them before and not en joyed them) so it seemed like a good idea to hang around in BD for a little longer. I decided that drink number two would be a pint of Gyp Wit from relative newcomers to the world of beer, Gypsy Inc. I’d heard folk say that Gypsy Inc. is some sort of collaboration between BrewDog and Mikkeller and that all their beers are rubbish. Well, Mikkeller are definitely involved and as BrewDog are selling the beers I guess that means they are also involved so the first point is true. The Gyp Wit was pretty decent. Not remarkable. But certainly not rubbish. So I guess that means the second point is 100% inaccurate.

While scoring my Gyp Wit I had a wee chat with my favourite Bristol BrewDogger, Andy. He wasn’t working. It was good to see him on the other side of the bar. Back outside Manager Lucy was chatting to my girlfriend. I’d later learn that my girlfriend had informed Lucy that her soft drink range (or BrewDog’s to be exact) is rubbish. She does have a point. ‘Craft’ beer is great but ‘craft’ soft drinks seems like an unnecessary indulgence. I left the two of them talking and nipped back inside for a Cocoa Psycho. Since the move to the new brewery some of BrewDog’s heavily hopped beers have taken a bit a quality tumble but the same can’t be said for their stouts. BD have always brewed great tasting stouts but they’ve been reaching new heights over the last year or so. I’d love to see a return of Lumberjack but in it’s absence I’ll more than happily drink Cocoa Pyscho.

AMT stage time was fast approaching. It was time to go.

The next time I’m in BrewDog Bristol will be during the forthcoming Bristol Beer Week…

BBW 2014

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FOURTH VISIT: FRIDAY 18 JULY 2014

Two visits for the price of one!

Andy was on duty. He’s from Scotland. Every BrewDog bar should have at least one Scot on the payroll. I like Andy. He’s one of the best staff members I’ve encountered in a BD bar (or any drinking establishment). I’m certain he’d be a great BD bar manager. We chatted about beer and general nonsense then he dropped the bombshell that he is going to Denver for the GABF. I love Denver. I no longer like Andy.

Andy suggested I try a hit of Founders Rübæus. It was good so I thought I may as well go for a whole glassful. It’s very probably the best raspberry beer I’ve ever tasted… admittedly the competition isn’t overly stiff.

I decided to have another drink before heading to the ticket shop to buy tickets for the forthcoming gigs by Acid Mothers Temple and The Phantom Band. But what should I have, what should I have… of course, I should have been enjoying Enjoy By but a customs hold up had destroyed that little dream. The night before I’d decided to bring my growler with me and fill it with something tasty but when it came time to stuff stuff in my manbag I couldn’t be arsed carrying the growler so it got left at home. As I stared at the beer boards wondering what to drink next I saw the reason I’d planned to bring the growler – Mikkeller Green Gold . Damn! I eased the pain by having a one on the premises. Then I said my goodbyes and headed off.

On the way back out of town I popped in for a swift hit of BD’s Jamsmine IPA and a can of Ten FIDY to go.

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THIRD VISIT: FRIDAY 30 MAY 2014

I was in town for a gig: Melt-Banana and decided that after last week’s annoying visit to BD I should give the place a chance to redeem itself. The place was busy but seemed devoid of the idiots that had taken over the place the previous Friday. Barman Andy wished me a happy birthday – obviously he’d been paying attention to Twitter.

I ordered a Mikkeller Schwarzbier. It was acceptable enough but not a patch on the Schwarzbiers that German breweries create. Next up was a Paradox Heaven Hill. In my opinion big hefty stouts are what BrewDog excel at and this one was no exception. It a dark and complex but prefectly formed brew. Lovely stuff.

It was tempted to have another beer but decided to drift back over the river and have a pre-gig beverage at the Seven Stars.

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SECOND VISIT: FRIDAY 23 MAY 2014

When did the assholes takeover BrewDog Bristol?

Not a pleasant visit. As soon as I walked in I could tell the place was populated by drunken dicks. There was a group of lads near the entrance who were taking great delight in making it as difficult as possible for anyone to get past. When I said excuse me they just stood a glared at me with a drunk arrogant fuck look on their faces. I didn’t ask a second time and shoved my way through the middle of them. I expected some comment or abuse but to their credit they said nothing. I made it to the bar and ordered a Titan and an AB:16. They place was rammed and I didn’t fancy my air being polluted by the ignorant space hoggers so I made my way back outside. The same scenario that greeted my arrival heralded my departure.

My girlfriend had headed straight to the toilet and on her return she didn’t see me at the bar so assumed that I had gone to the gents and subsequently waited at my usual bar spot for my return. I willed her to turn round and look out of the window so I could attract her attention and get her to head outside. I tried phoning her but the music was being pumped out at a volume that made it impossible for folk to hear their phones. I didn’t fancy have a third round with the assholes as I felt it might finally lead to fisticuffs and me lying broken on the floor. I could see Andy passing my girlfriend a cloth but couldn’t quite make out what happened. I finally caught my girlfriend’s attention and she joined me outside. I asked why she was handed a cloth. A manky bastard had puked all over the bar and the floor and my girlfriend had received a bit of collateral damage. Not the kind of thing you expect to happen at a BrewDog bar. The offender was ejected quickly and leaned against a lamppost while his friend tried to convince the bouncers that they had no legal right to refuse anybody a drink. Eventually the two drunk buddies staggered off down Welsh Back holding on to each.

But what about my drinks? The Titan was okay but a little past it best. The AB:16 had the aroma of a wet dog and tasted only marginally better.

Not the greatest ever trip to a BrewDog Bar.

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FIRST VISIT: SATURDAY 18 JANUARY 2014

The winner of my Drinking Establishment of 2013 award. BrewDog Bristol has everything you need from a quality boozer: great beer, great staff and, regardless of the time you visit, a great atmosphere. I always feel a little special whenever I walk through the door of BDB. Of course, I am a little bit special.

After several pre-gig beers in the Three Tuns, TFRNV, Beer Emporium and Small Bar we hit the Academy for a Half Man Half Half Biscuit gig. BrewDog would have to wait. The gig was excellent. So excellent that between the gig venue and BrewDog I managed to fall over and walk out in front of an ambulance and consequently fall over again. Oops.

The bar was buzzing but thankfully not too rammed as my back was hurting like hell and I needed some space. I ordered a Gigantic IPA, which I think was almost as tasty as my back was sore. I chatted to a few folk that I know and probably pissed off a few folk that I don’t know. The Gigantic was gone so I ordered a Plank Dunkler Weizenbock. I was happily supping away at my Plank and then my friend reprimanded me for drinking half of his AB:14. Oops. I finished the Plank. It was time to go home.

SEVEN STARS – BRISTOL

Seven Stars
Thomas Lane
Bristol
BS1 6JG

FOURTH VISIT: THURSDAY 6 NOVEMBVER 2014

You can’t go to a gig at the Fleece without popping in the Stars for a beer!

Sadly, none of the cask offerings were crying out to me so I opted for a bottle of Spaten Oktoberfestbier. I guess that was a sign that the evening wasn’t going to pan out the way I hoped.

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THIRD VISIT: FRIDAY 18 JULY 2014

Two visits for the price of one!

As I walked from Temple Meads to the main drag of Bristol I decided to take a little detour and visit the Seven Stars. A few folk were congregated at the outside benches. Inside was devoid of life apart from the barman. I quickly scanned the taps and decided on a pint of Bristol Beer Factory’s Nova. Me and my pint went outside and took up residence at the one bench which was lacking occupants. The Nova was good. Not Double IPA or Southville Hop good but more than good enough to get the day’s beer exploration underway. It was gone in a few hearty gulps. I took my empty glass back inside, placed it on the bar and said thanks and bye. The barman seemed genuinely surprised that I’d bothered to bring my glass inside before heading off.

On the way back to the station I decided to pop into the Stars for a farewell beer – it seemed a good way to bookend the trip to Bristol. I ordered a pint of Greenjack Mahseer IPA. It was okay but seemed a tad chewy for an IPA. I checked the train times. One was in 20 minutes and then there was a gap of an hour. I couldn’t be arsed hanging around for another hour so I jumped up and went for a quick pee then left. I was halfway to the station before I realised I’d left almost half a pint of the Mahseer on the table. Doh! But I caught the earlier train.

Seven Stars

SECOND VISIT: FRIDAY 30 MAY 2014

There were a fair few folk milling about outside so I expected inside to be rammed but thankfully it was relatively sedate. I scanned the pumps and decided to go for pint of Lightening from Three Castles Brewery. I’ve had a few beers from Three Castles before – they are acceptable in a traditional kind of way. This one certainly seemed a little more forward thinking. Not uber-forward thinking but an interesting development.

A couple of guys swaggered up to the pool table. From the posturing and talk I assumed they were going to be shit-hot. They weren’t. They were just shit.

There was enough minutes left to squeeze in another pint before heading next door for a gig. I ordered a Chimera Dark Delight from Downton. It’s a no great thrills beer but it’s well constructed and decent enough – a solid multi-purpose everyday stout.

It was time to head to the Fleece to see Melt-Banana…

… they were fucking a-Mazing!

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FIRST VISIT: FRIDAY 23 MAY 2014

The Seven Stars has been open since the late 1600s and for every year it has existed it has won the CAMRA Bristol & District Pub Of The Year Award… well, that might be a bit of an untruth but it has won the award a fair few times. It’s a small pub but even when it’s packed it never feels crowded – even when people are chucking darts and shooting pool – and although it has a faint resemblance to a ‘local’ back-street boozer it always feels relaxed and friendly and has a very broad and varied clientelle. Of course, the quality of the beer on offer is what truly makes a pub worth visiting and, as it is a geniune Free House, providing great beer is something that the Seven Star excels at. With eight ales on offer it’s not hard to find a few you want to sample.

The reason for this trip to Bristol was to catch The Wonder Stuff gig – they are usually a good night out (even though I’ve never really taken to their recorded output) and the fact that Dan Donnelly had been added to their lineup gave tonight’s gig an extra slice of gravitas. Anyway, the gig was taking place in The Fleece and, as everybody knows, it is against the law to go to a gig at the Fleece and not have a couple of beverages in the Stars beforehand.
The place wasn’t as rammed as it is on some gig nights but it was standing room only. I started with a Gloucester Chinook. I like chinook hops and find they work very well as a single hop. The Gloucester version was delicious. So delicious that I was tempted to go order a second pint of it but decided instead to go for a change of direction and bought a Mocha Mild from Hammerpot. Sadly, it was disappointing and contained practically no mocha hit whatsoever. Oh well, you win some you lose some. We decided to move next door.

The gig was good. Arguably, the best I’ve seen from the Wonder Stuff but I bailed out 20 or so minutes before the end. It was all going swimmingly and then Miles made a plea for Scotland to Vote No. If that wasn’t bad enough he then spotted the much spread untruth that without Scotland the rest of the UK would forever (past and future) be confined to a Tory government. Hey ho, even Stewart Lee has succumbed to that lie. Arbor’s Motueka had arrived on the bar so I ordered a pint of that. It’s certainly not Arbor’s best but it is pleasant enough. The gig ended and my girlfriend appeared. The last orders bell sounded from within the Star. I darted back in and got myself a pint of the Chinook. It was the best beer of the evening so it seemed the logical way to bring the festivities to a close.

GOODS YARD – BRISTOL

Goods Yard
Creative Common
Temple Quay
Bristol
BS1 6DZ

FIRST VISIT: SATURDAY 20 SEPTEMBER 2014

Without indulging in any research the Goods Yard sounds a bit dodgy. Only the most achingly cool or dangerously psychotic would readily accept an invite to get drunk in a shipping container that’s located out the back of a train station. But the Goods Yard is no ordinary shipping container. Back in the mists of time it was possibly responsible for making sure that Nike running shoes and tins of tuna were kept safe while they travelled from one side of the world to the other but these days it is a very cool and relaxed bar. On most days the bar is home to the likes of Butcombe, Bath Ales and Bristol Beer Factory. But today is different. Today it’s home to a tap takeover from Ashley Down and Wiper & True. Of course it wasn’t meant to home to a tap takeover from Ashley Down and Wiper & True but let’s not dwell on that little fact.

I arrived around 1.30pm. The place wasn’t exactly rammed but it certainly wasn’t devoid of life. I sidled up to the bar and perused the beer menu. There was a lot to choose from. Then the bartender informed me that there was even more to choose from as there was an additional bar over in the corner that was home to different beers. Hmmmm… Eventually (probably only 30 seconds after my arrival) I ordered a Litha Rye-Te, which is a collaboration between Wiper & True and The Celt Experience. The bartender said it was her favourite. I took my beer outside to the wooden patio. Sadly, the sun was shining but it was pleasant enough to be outside. I took a gulp of my beer. Oooooh! Delicious. Bubblegum! I could easily see why the bartender said it was her favourite. But like the majority of beers brewed these days it’ll probably be a one-off and then it’ll vanish from existence. Shame. A man a the table was smoking what looked like a joint but smelled just like a cigarette. A 3-skinner rollie – what a dude! My beer was finished at the same time as the man’s pseudo joint so I headed back in to score another. This time I decided to head to the corner bar. It was being manned by Vince who the owner/brewer of Ashley Down and the man responsible for the tap takeover happening at the Goods Yard instead at the actual brewery. I’ve met Vince a few times before but he never remembers those past encounters, which is fair enough as if I ever met me I’d want to forget about it. We a pleasant little chat about the Goods Yard, Bristol Beer Week and beer in general. Then I ordered a Stout Milkshake – another Wiper & True success – and allowed Vince to return to serving beer. I gulped down the Stout Milkshake then sauntered off to the Barley Mow.

After visiting the Barley Mow then BrewDog then the Colston Yard then Small Bar then Brewdog (again!) I returned to the Goods Yard where I came across Stephen Powell, the main man of Bristol Beer Week. We sat at a table on the patio and chatted about beer and music and general nonsense. The only beer I can remember drinking was a pint of Bitter from Ashley Down. I know I had several more but by that time I stopped caring enough to log them on Untappd (or perhaps I was just so drunk that I wasn’t capable of doing so). At some point in the evening Stephen announced that his group was heading off. I took this as the perfect opportunity to go catch the train home. I missed one by a couple of minutes and for some reason there was wait of an hour before the next one. I popped back to the Goods Yard to drink more beer… freak knows what it was but I’m sure it was very tasty.

Goods Yard W&T