On different sides of the bar

Did you know that moving house sure is expensive? There’s deposits, new bills, and various things you didn’t realise you didn’t own. If it wasn’t for the several hundred books myself and the housemate own, my beloved cafetiere and an old mini fridge from freshers Number 42 would be a tad tragic.

There’s something about the British pub that sits firmly in the history of the working classes. A respite from a hard day’s toil. Now, I’m not even close to that particular genre of poverty but it works the same no matter your paycheck. 

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Outside of The Move I’m usually a tad broke, rocking it below the “living wage” in spite of being in job I downright adore. But with a bit of forward thinking in the good weeks my beer supply grows and I get to enjoy something delicious and forget for a moment that I’m doing my washing in the bath tub.

But now my supply is dwindling. It’s the dregs of my collection, Christmas beers and such. There’s a bottle of Raging Bitch IPA that I’m saving because once I drink it there’s nothing new, nothing exciting left.

Wanting to write about beer is harder when you’re too broke to buy beer.

Every now and then I find myself clasping a glass of some tasty beer or other and I get to enjoy that moment, geeking out over dry hopped goodness or the opacity of a good porter (“Look, Nik! It’s like fucking tar!” “Is this good?” “YES!” I roar.) much to the eye rolling of my friends – sat on a collection of folded duvets and blankets we call the “second sofa”. I don’t care. In that moment I lose myself in the lovely niche of beer geekery. Give me a tasty brew and my favourite company and I don’t care that we can’t yet afford to get a telly.

Having worked in both the delightful Wetherspoon’s and a Stonegate pub (that, in its defense, had a fantastic knack for real ale) I’ve oft times heard moaning regarding the price of a pint but invariably from old boys propping up the bar throughout the day sinking a multitude of £2.50 pints.

You’re drinking double my food budget for the week over the weekend, gents. I don’t beseech you that but you’re really in a different world to me.

I really don’t mind splashing out four quid for a pint. It’s a treat to me at the moment and to me, sitting in a bar with a great atmosphere, great people and a delicious new beer is worth that. Sinking six pints of Ruddles (it’s only £1.95!) throughout each morning isn’t anything special.

Last Sunday I finished a long shift (a long weekend for that matter) with a sudden burst of energy and found myself in the latest bar in Lincoln offering a good keg selection. It used to be a Varsity but the Mailbox’s revamp has done it no end of good. Stood at the bar I had such a delicious set of options I was already pleased with my Sunday night treat. Then, behind me appeared an old friend from my last job, then another. This ended in sitting in the beer garden at 1am with a group of people I hadn’t seen in a while with a much appreciated pint of pale ale.

To me, that was something special.

And yet, I have so many aspirations for this blog. All of which involve trips around this gorgeous isle. Even a trip home to see my favourite brewers is a hefty train fare and it’s disheartening to push aside ideas constantly. I feel there’s so much I’m missing out in London and around the country. I’m stuck behind the action on Twitter and missing out on the fantastic community of beer geeks in the UK that I can only dip my toe into (Metaphorically. If and when I eventually meet the lovely beer folk I talk to online I won’t try and insert my toe into them.)

In the end, I guess I’m lucky. I happen to work in an industry where I get to follow my passion. With new beers in every week I get to try some fantastic concoctions and spread the love with my customers.

But sometimes you just want to sit on the other side of the bar with good friends for the evening. 

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