Wednesday, 6 May 2015

even-star Extra: Adventures in Little Venice (Don't Worry, There is Also Beer)

I get an extra day off so you get some extra even-star in between beer reviews.

First Monday in May is always a day off here. We went to Little Venice in London for a Canal Cavalcade. It was a random thing that came up a few days before in Time Out. Do they have Time Out in other countries? Let me know.

Anyways, this is what a Canal Cavalcade looks like:

Little Venice is a canal basin in north-ish London. Maida Vale basically where I have not been for like a million years. Once a leafy upper middle class suburb. Now a weird jumble of social housing, million £ town houses, and nomadic water folk.

It was rammed. And there were lots of street vendors and street food and the sun was out with all the narrow boats all decked out. It was a pleasant afternoon.

And BEER! yes there was beer of course. Hang on I am getting to it! I am not a big fan of beer at festivals and things like this (like Beer Tent beer) because it is usually poured from a key keg and not pumped, it isn't cellar temperature, the cask/keg has been heaved around in the back of a truck to get there and hasn't had time to settle, and, probably worst of all, they put it in one of these thin stoopid plastic pint cups.

Beer was represented by a new-to-me brewery called Enville who are from the West Midlands. Odd at a London festival but never mind.

We tried this Simpkiss bitter and it wasn't bad considering the conditions. If it had been done properly in a pub it would have been a really good pint. Quite sweet for me and, it is probably a totally psychological thing with the bee on the pump clip, there is a strong impression of honey. Very like other real honey beers I've had (see Waggle Dance. Very similar beer). Looking at the Enville website it seems that they do indeed make a beer with honey. Just not this one.

After having a beer and a spicy sausage, and looking at all the boat things we decide to take a stroll down the Edgeware road to the toob and it was really funny because it was quite a long stroll and by the end we were so thirsty. We were looking for a pub but that area of London, we realised rather hilariously, is largely Muslim. NO PUBS! Which you can't blame the neighbourhood for. If you don't drink you don't and the pubs have all shut up or become middle eastern cash and carrys. (carries?).

And then, you cross one road to Edgeware Road station and the demographic totally changes. And the first thing on the first corner is a fucking pub. GASP!

We go in and it is a fairly regular old London boozer. The Green Man it was called. One of a London based chain of pubs and hostels called Pub Love. They did sell craft beer (mostly in bottles) but apparently everyone and their uncle makes GIN in their bathtub in London. They stocked about 20 gins from all these London distilleries. They also sell a burger called the Juicy Bastard. Another time I might have said go for it but it was three in the afternoon and we stuck to beer.

Bear would not let me steal this totally awesome beer mug from the pub. To be honest, considering the price of the beer, I thought this was like one of those fancy Hawaiian cocktails where if you pay a bit extra you get to keep the fancy glass.

 Bear had a Meantime lager and I had a poured ice cold (no objections this time I was sooooo thirsty) Longhorn IPA and it was laaaaav-lee. Unfiltered. Delicious. But unreasonably expensive. It was a spit and sawdust old boozer in north London. They had no business charging £5 a pint. Bars in the City don't charge you that for beer. Purity Longhorn is hardly limited edition nano brew.

A really good afternoon if you are ever in Maida Vale for May Day weekend. The Canal Cavalcade. Drink, Eat, Do peoples. The only way to live is drink, eat, and do all the things.