Real Ale Lover Or Wanker

bth_old-speckled-hen-2Some stories just can’t be made up.  For some reason, I always manage to get myself into strange situations when I travel overseas.  First, the strip search in France, then, the near boating disaster in Cambridge, England and well here goes another one.

We had the most fortunate opportunity to travel back to England learning our friend was getting married and wanted us there. Well duh. Good enough reason for me.  A wedding celebration over seas. I was pumped.

We stayed at Caroline’s once again, this time Caroline’s fiance Dave took the week off.  We thought he was staying home to play host to us.  We guessed wrong because he had no interest in taking us anywhere or leaving his house.  Did seem strange but with the awesome public transportation, we managed to hit all our targeted spots.

I will not go into the entire vacation.  This is a beer blog after all.  Apparently, the night before we arrived, Dave and his mates celebrated a stag party.  It wasn’t a traditional party but it did suit Dave well. They raced go carts and just goofed off.  I do wish I could have been there but this would not be the only pre-wedding celebration.

The night before the big day, Dave’s brother and his wedding party decided to take him to the local pub for a last bachelor celebration.  We started off at a place called The American Diner.  You heard right. Just what I wanted on my European holiday, American food.

I did learn a few things though.  One, Mass produced lagers are taking over England and two, a teenager can drink beer at a restaurant (non-pub) at the age of 14. We all had burgers and a pitcher of Bud.  Dave’s brother and I were talking beer and banking and he was quite surprised and impressed that I preferred real ale, even though he and the other’s didn’t.

We just hung out for a while and walked a couple blocks to the local pub.  This place was packed, bth_bar-fightloud and young.  There was a live singer and the pub was jumping.  Dave’s brother made his way to the bar and brought me back a cask ale.  Now we are talking.  I asked what it was and he proudly said “Old Speckled Hen.” Cool”  but I wondered.  Were all the young partiers drinking real ale or was this just for middle-aged men with long beards, not that I fit any of the two examples.

I was just enjoying the atmosphere and my beer when I noticed Dave’s brother {I really wish I remembered his damn name} talking to a huge young intimidating looking fellow.  The big bloke kept looking back at me.  Oh boy here we go.  “I do not want to get into a bar fight” the night before my mate’s wedding or in England for that matter.  Why the hell is he still looking at me?  What is his problem?  They pointed at my beer.  Was I drinking a pansy beer?  “Old bth_BarfightSpeckled Hen” is hardly a tough name.”  Oh hell, He’s walking back toward me. I was ready for him even if he was twice my size. I am from the hood after all.  He looked at me and said what you drinking?  I reluctantly said “Old Speckled Hen”. I asked him the same and expected him to say Bud and call me a wanker.  Instead  he called out “me too!” and we clanked pint glasses and drank the night away.   See, Real Ale is still alive, thank God.

Oh, I forgot to tell you what I thought about the beer.  Well, before I made a new friend, the ale was amazing and afterwards, well let’s just say anywhere else and it just wouldn’t be the same.  I did try this bottled here at my local store but I should have known better. You just can’t re live a great moment like that.

Any interesting bar stories you want to share with us?

For more funny travel posts read these:

Punting For Pints – A British Story

For The Love Of Beer And Cheese, Worth A Strip Search?

Well I hope I entertained you and if I did, please follow our blog and join us on twitter and faebook


2 comments on “Real Ale Lover Or Wanker

  1. Glad you had a good experience in the UK! Honestly, I found that most of the drinkers were fairly indiscriminate with regards to their beer selection. Did you try out many of their real ales? Which was your favourite?

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