Beer Gossip

I love being back in the UK pubs over-hearing drink fuelled conversations (the amount of b*shit seems to be less creative in Sydney)… I thought I heard it all when the rumours started streaming about the father of Prince Harry many years ago, but the gossip I picked up this evening takes the biscuit. Allegedly, the Queen used to hang around certain stables – anyway, there’s a more than uncanny resemblance to a certain person at said stables and Prince Andrew. So there you go – either the rumour is as old as he is, or I just scooped an unlikely story.

Just as incredible, coming from the same table of gents, were the other two tales regarding the Royalty: again, allegedly, the Queen once came across a man with a weapon threatening her on the Mall, and before his arrest, Her Majesty was reported as saying, “phuq off”; whereas the Duke of Edinburgh, on appearing out of his rolled, crashed Range Rover, apparently shared his thoughts to the gathering onlookers, “you phuqing lot, phuqing move on!” (Ed.)

The good news is that the dynamics of the web could mean that this may go viral in minutes & MI5 will be knocking on my door at dawn. So in case your correspondent gets deported to Australia for unforgivable crimes, it would only seem appropriate to share my thoughts on 3 splendid ales sampled this evening.

Going from left to right in the picture, my first in this evening’s beer journey in the Castle was Side Pocket (from Toad) – I assume as in “Toad of Toad Hall” – from Tring Brewery… a true summer ale, crisp and hoppy, completely unideal for a 4 degrees autumnal evening, but at least an entry point at 3.6% for the next couple.

Pint number two (that being poured by Ben the landlord), is from Vale Brewery (Brill, near Thame), and is a stronger winter ale, at some 4.5% – a delightful copper brown premium bitter, akin to the weak Australian Pacific Pale Ale.

Finally, Wychert, also from Vale Brewery, is a wonderful medium strength (3.9%) malty beer – wychert is white clay mixed with straw to make buildings, localised to Haddrnham (the original Vale brewery was based there), their Methodist Church being the finest example.

I must remember to go to the dentist tomorrow morning to get my filling replaced – damn pork scratchings!