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Kegnitive dissonance

Two men came into my local, The Great Northern Railway Tavern, just now. They scrutinised the beer range, sighed in unison, and one remarked to the other 'You go into a pub nowadays and don't know what the fuck the beers are'.

The changing nature of pubs, particularly in certain parts of London (let's say Zones 2-3) is certainly a cultural phenomenon, and one worthy of comment.

While they were getting served a very posh-sounding young woman came to order drinks. I mention her age as she was paying with her sister's card, and made very clear to all within earshot that she'd  never heard of the concept of contactless payment. In fact, she stated that in her opinion it's downright dangerous and intended to warn her sister off of using them in future.
Pubs, eh?
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Greater than the sum of its parts

Like beer, pubs require cohesion. I've always liked pubs that embrace modern beer without alienating the local community and the regulars who have called it their second home since God knows when.

A woman has just walked into the pub I'm in, which had 20 taps, and ordered 8 Guinness. Before that, a seasoned solitary drinker ordered a Perroni.
I do believe my experience, and even my drink (Kernel pale ale) has been enhanced by this.

The glacial pace of the final hour

You watch the clock as the passing of time decelerates to a glacial pace. You glance from your monitor to your phone and back again, but frustratingly they correspond. Eventually it’s 4pm, and the butterflies intensify. You’ve been there countless times before but you check Google for the optimum route regardless, always endeavouring to beat your personal best. You’re anxious, because it can be busy even on a Monday never mind Friday, and you don't like busy. A seat is desirable but will doubtless transpire to be no more than a forlorn, idealistic hope.

You arrive, through the back entrance so that the chalk board is before you as you enter. You immediately feel the intense pressure to view, process and choose from the 20 or so offerings, concerned that the group of six students will reach the bar before you, only to order individually. You then do what you always do and order a pint of Kernel pale ale; it's not a platonic relationship but it is an enduring one. You’re polite …

It's Friday

The Compton Arms, Islington. We have a table at Trullo booked for 6pm which gives me time for a pint or two beforehand. 
This pub came under new management last year, and a very nice establishment it is. It's cosy, does food, has a great beer range and a nice garden. Best of all, however, is the fact it's down a side street and relatively hidden from the hustle and bustle of Upper Street. It's a 37 minute walk or a 40 minute walk from my work according to Google (which means it's a 30 minute walk). I took the more tranquil way, leaving City Road for the backstreets and canal bridges of the Islington and Hackney borderlands.

I've not had a beer since Sunday so here goes, I'm diving in ๐Ÿ’ฆ

By thunder it's fantastic. It's Beyond The Firs by Burnt Mill and is citrus fruit and lime zest, with a distinctly dry finish. It's a real scooper which is a dilemma considering I'm counting the pennies (£6 per pint). 
Well one more won't hurt. It sounds lik…

Rye and Folkestone

We spent last weekend in the picturesque towns and villages of Sussex and Kent, and bore that I am I sourced beer recommendations in advance. We started the weekend in Rye.
My immediate concern was to find somewhere to watch the Scottish Cup Final, but as I didn’t fancy my chances I resolved to find a pub with WiFi and watch it on the iPlayer. So it was that I found myself in The Old Bell Inn, a beautiful historical pub brimming with character. As I settled down with a pint of Harvey’s Best I was utterly content as I watched Celtic lift the cup, thereby securing the 'Treble Treble'.

We then wandered to the nearby Mermaid Inn, a huge, rambling and supposedly haunted pub before making for the Ypres Castle Inn, and dinner. This is a pub I would assume needs no introduction to anyone reading this (hi mum). The beer was good and the food was better - it's a fine pub in a wonderful location, sitting as it does in the shadow of the castle for which it's named.

The following …

Whiling away

I found myself home alone today so naturally wanted a break from myself. I'm infinitely more comfortable in a public house than a cafe, doubtless because they sell you beer.

My local is great; if I can walk in and not fancy any of the 21 beers pouring (as often happens) then that's on me. I'm really conservative in my choice of beers nowadays. 
Fuck. Manchester City just scored. 
We moved recently, not far from where we were previously. We're on a street rather than a development now, and have come to know our neighbours here better after six weeks than we did at our previous place after four years. I've always wanted to be a part of a community, but it's fucking difficult when you're an introvert and hate 95% of the general public. 
I jest, to an extent. 
The reasons I've not established myself as part of a community are myriad, but fundamentally it's about the precariousness of private renting. Here, however, I feel I (we) could be a part of some…

The curse...

.. of the drinking classes - so goes the witty, inverted saying. The curse is work of course, and for me it's over till Monday. As is increasingly my habit I visited Tesco on my way home for affordable but tasty beers. This is largely a financial decision - my circumstances have altered somewhat recently (in a good way). To which end I find myself sitting in my kitchen listening to the mostly bland output of the Manic Street Preachers, albeit punctuated by occasional bursts of emotive greatness (just take it as a given that such statements are subjective).

I'm sure some will judge me more harshly for buying beer from Tesco than for my dubious taste in music, but I don't care. Beer Puritans and music Nazis are two same sides of the same coin. You do you and I'll do me. This is not a masturbatory call to arms, by the way.