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.