Wednesday, 18 March 2009

You win some you lose some

Tonight I'm in Nottingham, away on business, and not for the first time. Normally I don't get much further than The Trip but tonight I was determined to try at least one other pub. As I was dining with six other work colleagues, whose tastes were unknown, I took out a little insurance policy by slipping out before we met up for the evening. I was keen to try the Salutation Inn which I knew to be close to our hotel. I wasn't disappointed. My first impression on entering this fine establishment was that it was what, in my youth, would have been referred to as a greebo hole. A lair for bikers, Goths and assorted creatures of the night, juxtaposed with a few office types on their way home. A seemingly incongruous mix but it seemed to gel. Great choice of ale with about a half dozen hand pumps along with five casks of stout and porter on a stillage that looked to be the remnants of some pseudo shenanigans from the previous evening. It was a good choice of ale but there was only one choice for me; Brewdog 77. This was the first time that I had ever come across cask Brewdog and I wasn't going to pass up that opportunity. It was bloody gorgeous. A golden coloured ale with lashings of flavour including a pronounced citrus finish. The ghost of lemon meringue pie in a glass, it could be suggested. Sadly I only had time for the one pint.

I hate buffet restaurants with a passion. Particularly those that offer ‘all you can eat for £X.XX’. They tend to be full of loud, common people, with fewer manners than pigs with snouts in troughs. Hygiene is also a worry. Unfortunately most of my work colleagues appear to be somewhat bereft on the discerning front. Even more unfortunately was that the will of the majority prevailed. I hope I don't have the shits tomorrow that all I can say!

Post meal our party was keen for further liquid refreshment. I only blogged a post or two ago about 'spit and sawdust'. One of our party offered to guide us to one such place frozen in time. Sadly the time was early 1970s. I looked up and down the bar and announced that they didn't have any beer, much to the bemusement of the staff who tried to point to the array of gas taps offering their mediocre fare. We walked back out again. I would suggest that that was at least fourteen drinks that they lost selling to us, all because they had no real ale. No idea what the pub was called but they deserve to go out of business soon.

We finished up at The Castle, where I was very pleased to see Castle Rock Harvest Pale. This beer is one I have known and loved for quite a while. A great example of a perfect golden ale. It also went some way to anaesthetise the pain of the dire self-service dining experience.