The Friday Lunchtime Pint
In theory, the Friday Lunchtime Pint is a wonderful thing. It is a reward after four and half days of hard graft. Or four and a half days of avoiding hard graft, which is just as much hard work in its own way. It is a way to warm up for the weekend. A little loosener before the main festivities. If nothing else it makes the last three hours of the working week a little more bearable. Ideally it makes the last three hours of the working week nearer two hours, if you plan it right.
In practice, not so much. The culture of lunchtime drinking on a work day is nearly dead, yet people still head out on a Friday lunchtime, so every pub is crowded, slow to serve and full of, well, people. You know the sort.
People who really don’t get the art of lunchtime drinking. People who think it is fine to just sit hogging a table, nursing a lime and soda. People who mull over the menu at the bar while everyone else is waiting, gasping. People who pay by credit card.
Don’t these people realise that with the lunchtime pint time is of the essence, and we haven’t the time to watch them arse about guzzling up our valuable drinking time?
So, the brilliance of the lunchtime pint is often dulled by others. That, and I suppose I am very anti-social.
But then there is that oasis, that pub a little off the beaten track. That pub that serves good beer, is welcoming, but is not stuffed full of people who love the idea of a lunchtime drink but don’t quite see it through and clog the place up with daft drinks, daft food orders and daft means of paying.
I would tell you where I went for a pint, as I know you are a good person. But you never know, the wrong person might read this and before we know it another pub is ruined.
It was quiet. There was a great selection of beer. And I could get to the bar to get myself a beer. I have simple needs, and this place fulfilled them. And I sat, and mulled over the day, and the week.
I drank a smoked stout, Dirty Stop Out, from Tiny Rebel Brewery. It was lovely. There was that smokiness as advertised. It was a good smokiness, not the taste of swallowing an ashtray. It was pretty prominent at the start of the pint then eased off. This seems common with some beer. A strong flavour from the first sip that then mellows. I don’t know if that is the beer or my palate adjusting.
There was a lovely sweetness too, without being cloying, as it was balanced by some subtle dry hoppiness loitering about. It wasn’t too boozy, so I could appreciate all the components. It was not too syrupy, to make it a slow-drinker, but not too thin to make it underwhelming.
It might not have been the obvious pint for a sunny Friday afternoon, but it worked for me. I tried to pin down the flavours and aromas a little more, then decided it was too good for that. I should just sit down and enjoy it. And enjoy the peace and quiet.
I obviously didn’t want to return to the office.
Loving the proper pub feel of that place, not converted into a funky hang out place or swallowed up by conglomerate sameness. I’m feeling thirsty now, if only they did Dirty Stop Out at my local.