Category Archives: Beer

Light Ale, Dark Ale, Those Are Your Choices

Before going to see the Blue Man Group, and courtesy of a mandatory trip advisor search, we find our way to McSorley’s, the oldest tavern in the U.S.

It’s relatively dark, there’s sawdust on the floor and old old pictures and news clippings on the wall. Trip advisor tells us that nothing has been removed from the walls since 1910 and its only since the 1970s that women have been allowed in. This is an old old pub.

Continue reading Light Ale, Dark Ale, Those Are Your Choices

Beer, Sausages and Scotch Eggs … aka Heaven

Corrr Sausage Board

So the challenge:  “brother and his girlfriend are in London for two days, show them the best of London, but what??” … tonight I introduced them to two of London’s iconic (in my mind) beerage places – one because it’s the oldest pub in London [Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese] and the other because it serves the best selection of craft beer and scotch eggs and a sausage board worthy of a trip from out of town!!

I adore The Old Red Cow (ORC) for many reason – food, beer, atmosphere, food, lots of men in suits, sausages .. the last two are indeed unconnected…

We met up with some friends at the ORC and laughed the night away … there may have been a little bit of beer, maybe a little too much – but if you leave London without a hangover, then you haven’t experienced remotely enough of what it has to offer!

Occasionally I stand back on a moment and look on with happiness at life – tonight Melissa captured that moment ~ some of the friends and family I love, all from disparate groups, having fun together.  A happy happy night.

Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese

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First stop on our London beer experience was, and naturally had to be, Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese, being the oldest pub in London.

It’s as though the old spit and sawdust has just about being swept from the floors – it has a comforting charm from the sign outside to the vaults you have to near double in half to get down to.

A quick low (by accident) alcohol beer pitstop later and we were on our way to the main event for the evening at the [Old Red Cow] for beer, scotch eggs and a sausage board that makes me smile wistfully at the mere thought of it.

Au Brasseurs, Brussels

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On my final evening in Brussels, I ached like a demon from walking endlessly for two days ~ hips felt out of place and sciatic, scoliosis back felt compacted and in need of realignment, I felt fcuked. Over the two days my confidence had grown about walking into busy places alone ~ restaurants I’ve been able to cope with for years, bars, nope, not at all. But I’d had my eye on this bar, Au Brasseurs while planning the trip, thanks to Trip Advisor and also a friend recommended it … “we had a fun time there” she said, so I thought *deep breath* I’ll try this. It was relatively early and not that busy, so I slinked in after another couple and sat at the bar.

What I know about beer can be written on the short side of a fag-packet – so browsing the beer menu didn’t help a tiny bit, so I opted for the *point* “what’s that? … I’ll have that” option and it worked a treat. On the basis of ooo that’s a funky glass I had Kwak to start off with. It was, I recall, quite fruity, it was, I recall, rather nice, it was, I recall, damn potent and before I knew it, I was heading down happy lane to pissed-ville!

“I’ll have *that* one” I said next (all French, other than Merci, had long flown out the window), pointing to a horn-like glass nestled in a sling attached to a stand with a ghost in a noose as a logo.


And that’s when it got a bit messy. Still perched at the bar, the music was all in English and we’re all singing along ~ the beer has joined us in indefinable camaraderie of fine brussels spirit. Staying Alive comes on and the dancing starts, not me for once, and then two strangers walk in and before you know, we’re chatting, laughing, singing … and then there’s two more guys … and before you know it, with another beer in us, we’re a very happy bunch.

We fell out of the bar at 8pm and went our separate ways, but thinking about it now, the memories of that night makes me grin and giggle. It was, without doubt or question, in the words of Ron Weasly “Bloody Brilliant!”

Das ist Gut, Ja!

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Seeing as last night’s dinner was apparently somewhat less than authentic I thought I’d try harder tonight.

Armed with the phrase “can you recommend anywhere for dinner?” I headed to the hotel reception … oh you weren’t expecting any form of German were you? “What do you fancy?” came the response. Seemingly “You!” is not the right response, so I opted for “I dunno, anything” … helpful I know. After a few options said fine receptionist directed me to Brauhaus Lemke “they serve German food and brew their own beer” … no more discussion to be had. Off I slipped and slided through the snow. … Did I mention it was cold?? Did I??

The friendly waiter with a mesmerising moustache talked me through the menu and their own brewed bier ~ *this* is the Pils ~ *this* is the large ~ *this* caused amusement in my moustachioed waiter … *this* wasn’t the last.

And then … then this huge hunk of pig turned up ~ crispy skin on the outside, squidgy and succulent meat on the inside with sauerkraut and crispy potatoes. Oh how I closed my eyes, rolled them back in my head and groaned in piggy heaven… wrong??

You have to realise that I live alone and therefore talk to myself a little more than normal, and this sometimes happens in public .. bit too often, anyhoo..! Delicious … then moustachioed waiter comes along and enquires how it was …

“Das *points*, Das ist Gut, Ja!” … Then “eine grosse bier, ja!” *points* “Pils?” “Ja!” … anyone else detecting a slight propensity for the use of “Ja!”? .. JA!

German bier is strong or this stuff is! Ja!!