At the start of my week I found myself (once again) in the Gents, this time with a big hose in my hand getting all wet. Yes it was Gents deep clean day. Of course the loos are cleaned daily, by my own fair marigold covered hands, but once in a while it’s time to clean out the crevices. Just like you do (I hope) with your own loo, but just imagine if yours was visited by 100s of blokes a week, usually with ale inside them and quite possibly a curry – you get the picture? Well I get it in smelly vision too!
So after that the week just had to get better, didn’t it? Well yes and a great big NO too. No because I had eagerly awaited the arrival of the new CAMRA Good Beer Guide. I had been told that the front section, containing a pub crawl around Norwich, had a picture of me in it. And there I was, leaning against my bar as if I had nothing to do in the world(!). But the picture wasn’t a problem, the text was. Apparently our pubs sell ‘Norfolk Square beer rebadged as Norwich Bear’. I can tell you quite categorically Norwich Bear is no such thing, but I will not rant about it just yet – I’m gonna save that for my ‘Absolutely Totally Livid And Fuming Gonna Get Revenge Landlady’ blog. You have been warned (and so have Norwich CAMRA now).
But things did get better. On Friday, myself and brewster Jenni Nicholls of Palate 4 Hire, hosted our first joint Beer Tasting event, complete with food pairings of lovely local produce. It was a sell-out and The Ketts Conservatory was filled with eager ale enthusiasts and absolute beginners. Somehow, a West Ham fan called Roger Protz snuck in – yes the world renowned beer writer (and something to do with THAT beer guide too, but I’ll let him off) – well at least he knew where to come to learn a thing or two about beer!
Jenni lead the tasting, whilst I ran around serving the beer (what am I, a barmaid?). We had some awesome Norwich Bear (not anybody else’s beer rebadged whatsoever, I am so gonna get the person that said that) – Classic, Indian Spiced Ale, Boudicca, and Coconut Pawter, plus Saison Dupont, Lindemans Gueuze, Williams Bros Fraoch (Heather Ale), Flying Dog IPA and Dark Star Espresso Stout – but in an order that made more sense and paired with the likes of Brays Cottage award winning pies and the best homemade truffles EVAH (she’s talented that Jenni).
Feedback from the evening suggested we hadn’t done too badly, thank you very much, and we will definitely be hosting many more tastings, keep an eye out for them, cos if it’s good enough for a certain West Ham fan…