Thursday, 15 January 2009

Sussex Supping

I had rail tickets to go to our game in Accrington but decided to not bother - uncertainty about the weather, the fact I hate using the West Coast mainline unless I really absolutely have to plus the need to work at various anti-social times over the weekend all convincing me to stay down south.

The correct decision as it turned out following a mid-morning pitch inspection decided their pitch was not fit. Despite this I still had to get to Euston by 8:30am to give Martin Deans his rail tickets.
That did at least offer me the chance to pop into the Double Six for breakfast which was up to it's usual standard. I was joined there by Chris Stockdale who had just arrived from a week snow-boarding in Switzerland - getting a baldy sprained elbow for his troubles - and who was getting the next train to Accrington.

With Rotherham's match being postponed on the Friday, frenzied discussions took place with members of the London Millers to decide on somewhere to go for a pub crawl instead - these guys didn't want their pass-outs wasted!

It was Brighton that got the nod over St Albans and I was the first to arrive there just after 11am. I headed to our first port of call, the well-known Evening Star, but found it doesn't open until 11:30am on Saturdays. Cue idle thumb twiddling...

(left) Evening Star - not usually this quiet!

No difficulty in deciding on the first beer - it's got to be Dark Star Hophead - a very nice pint elsewhere but here it was in beautiful condition, the perfect first pint.
I then went onto Dark Star's American IPA which upped the ante significantly - according to their website it is supposed to be available between March and May - but I wasn't complaining.
As I was getting stuck in, the Millers arrived in the shape of Paul, Chris, Andy and Andy's mate Mike.

There was a great range of beers on offer - further beers from Dark Star of course plus local guests from Wolf and the Rectory brewery. They also had Brigand IPA and one of the Stone brews on tap as well.

Much as we were loath to, this was a crawl and we had to move on (after another couple of pints) and probably the next best pub to go to is the Lord Nelson.

This was my first visit here despite previous good reports from John and Bev.
On arrival, we bumped into the Fast Show's Mark Williams who was making short shrift of a pint of (real) cider. Apparently the Fast Show star is a regular in the real ale pubs of Brighton.
(left) Chris and Paul enter the Lord Nelson
This place is a Harvey's pub and I went for the Old Ale and what a cracking pint it was - a beautiful black pint, lovely and smooth, just the thing to complement the pork scratchings.
From here, Andy and I made an early move on the Basketmakers Arms leaving the others in the Lord Nelson for a bit longer as we were going to meet Martin Duffy, Steve's brother.
The Basketmakers Arms is a former Gales house, now a Fullers pub but it does have some decent guests - today Castle Rock Harvest Pale was one of them, not dissimilar to Hophead so we settled for that.
Whilst Andy quizzed Martin on whatever happened to 80s indie outfit Felt and whether they'd ever reform, the rest of the gang joined us, including Clarkey who decided that football or not, he wasn't missing out on the crawl.

Mr Martin had been shopping - the search for a pair of large yellow loons for his slightly fuller figure proved to be fruitless but he did manage to find an item of headgear that appeared to be a little on the tight side. Perhaps these Peruvians have small skulls?
(right) Paul Martin tries it on
When we left the Basketmakers after several pints, I made the wise decision to curtail my drinking and head for home - I was due to be working in the small hours of Sunday morning and didn't really want to do so with a hangover - whilst the others headed off for more.
Lucky, lucky bastards...

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