Saturday, 16 July 2011
Pedalling towards a pint
Perhaps it’s that beer always tastes best when you’re thirsty and you can convince yourself that you’ve earned it. Or the cycling helps burn off the beer calories. Although personally, having a bike makes getting about the city so much faster that I just go to the pub more often.
So there were a lot of reasons to have a cycling-based event during Beer Week. To recognise the cyclists who turned up at Market Gallery Pub last year and helped make it a success. A nod to Portland, Oregon, where cycling is almost as trendy as beer and brewpubs cater for bikes. Because it was a bank holiday and people want to get out into the countryside. To visit the Antonine Arms, an out-of-town pub that was keen to take part in Beer Week but which isn’t really accessible any other way.
But most of all, to give me an excuse to post my favourite video in the world ever. Watch the first part for context; the beer is in part two:
Here we can see the continued relevance of beer, as the chap at 1:12 sinks a delicious glass of what looks like dark mild. Observe, too, the glasses of bitter at 0:38 and 5:46. Pretty pale, not what you’d call brown, and at 0:28 there even appear to be two varieties, judging by the difference in colour (There is a prize for whomever can decipher the name of the brewery on the pub at 4:26, and if you feel like being a real smartarse, name both the pubs in the film and state their location).
As we left Glasgow to the north, the heavens opened and we all got soaked, but fortunately it cleared up again soon and by the time we passed Kirkintilloch we could discard our kagouls and let the sun slowly dry us out. If only there were a decent pub halfway along the route we would have stopped for a break, but there’s a Spoons and a riverside Tennent’s-n-cider house and that’s about it, so we kept on.
On arrival in Twechar we crowded into the bar to find a selection of Houston beers on sale. Now I think Houston beers get a bad rap; the hideously tacky pump clips and beer names like Top Totty and Helga’s Big Jugs surely contribute to that, but the beers (at least the ones I can bring myself to buy) are perfectly palatable. In good condition Killellan Bitter is a very nice beer with a subtle but satisfying smack of hops, and a pint of that went down very well indeed after a 12 mile cycle.