Come, fair web-traveller, join me on a journey twixt two public houses so to sample the ale-libations and delights that are contained therein. Would you like to know more?
First place on the itinerary, as if there was anywhere better to start a trip with beer in it, was the Burnt Pig, because it is my local and I love it so. Not as busy as it was last week (here) and that was good for someone such as myself, and so I got to sit in relative comfort down in the back room and soak up the atmosphere in the gloaming from outside. Alas, it is now too late in the year to enjoy a roaring fire in the middle room or even candles down the back as it remains a little too bright in the evenings.
here) but that isn't necessarily a problem, the smoothness does allow it to make up for the thinness on the palate. It moves swiftly to a full mouth and then it rushes like a sprinter to the back of throat. Overall, this is only very slightly carbonated with a malt-like smoothness that persists throughout toward a soft aftertaste with a lingering smoke from the nose. This is, therefore, a good technical mild and I rather like it.
At this point I felt the urge to decamp. Originally I was going to head home, honest, but once in town and seeing the welcoming lights in the Observatory I thought it churlish not to pop in. I do tend to tell people who visit the area that the converted supermarket is actually a decent pub and, well, I thought it was high time I sampled the place again after the rather nice evening I spent there when they had a 'beer festival' on sometime last year (you can find that experience on this finely crafted link). Also, I knew that Willow would be hard at work and would likely benefit from me being out just a little bit longer.
By this point I had noted that the Observatory was being staffed very well indeed. The crowd was thinner here than in the Burnt Pig and the decor was less to my tastes, and there were more people here out for the lager which led to some almost rudeness by other patrons. And yet the bar-staff were quick to serve me and answer my ridiculous questions about beer sourcing. Very nearly entered a conversation with another drinker but they decided I was too strange and walked away.
here for a comparison). Yet, on tasting, it was unexpectedly light and fizzy, having that almost champagne quality to it that I do love about Belgian beers, maintaining its malty aroma into the taste. It was dry and full of woodsmoke, thus matching the warmer day and the tang of barbeque on the breeze that I sensed earlier. But that woodsmoke was from wet wood, and thus rather lovely. There were clear hops on this one, but the whole was reliant on its ice cream quality. There's no doubting the strength of this brew despite it being so nice and thus it has significant strength and is very heady indeed. In fact, it rather reminded me of the evening in London (here).
After that it was a swift walk home at a rather later hour than I had planned, mainly because the Chimay had been one of those bright ideas one has when one is already into one's cups. That said, I think Blue won the evening for me as it most closely resembled what I had been searching for in an ale when I set out. Even so, the better ale house was, and perhaps always will be, the Burnt Pig. I think they do some Chimay too, so I must remember to get some in some time.