How to bimble for beer
How to Bimble For Beer: A Toper's Guide.
You will need:
- city with great pubs offering range of beer styles on a range of dispense, ideally situated no more than five minutes from one and other. Sheffield is an ideal choice.
- transport, public
- shoes, walking (stout)
- strangers, occasional (bitter)
- sense of direction, calibrated roughly
- constitution: solid. Cast iron preferred
- newspaper; crossword for early doors, restaurant review to laugh at later, financial pages that double as emergency toilet roll if required
- pork pie
- bunch of Scotsmen
- more pork pie
1) Find a pub / bar close to your chosen public transport option upon arrival in the city. Order pint of something to be drank slowly whilst cogitating. Attempt crossword. Read half the newspaper.
(If you plump for the bunch-of-Scotsmen option, add them now).
2) Move to next pub depending on
- likelihood of favourable beer there (smartphone may influence choice)
- likelihood of good pork pie (brown meat, thin crust, short on jelly are all preferable)
- likelihood of Orval (as the ever-redoubtable backstop)
- bitterness of locals when you're sat in their seat, ogling their wife/girlfriend/mother, using words with two or more syllables
- attention-span of Scotsmen (whale-tails and obvious cleavage will buy time for at least one more round)
- degree of sunburn attained in beer garden. If you're blonde, amplify this factor by two. If you're ginger, amplify this factor by four. If you're either/or of these factors and a Scotsman, amplify this factor by eleventy and wrap yourself in gauze before attempting to visit a beer garden again.
3) Repeat for a half-a-dozen pubs or so. Ish. Sort of.
4) Return to public transport. If you're feeling fairly louche at this stage, buy sushi and Orval for the train ride home. If you're feeling fairly funky at this stage, buy an egg mayonnaise sarnie and a four-pack of Belgian Lager from M&S Simply Foods for the train ride home.
5) Share the sushi and Orval with an attractive, witty student and regale her with tales of your European travel exploits. When you wake up from your dream, scoff the sandwich and knock off a couple of tins. Laugh at Giles Coren by proxy. Try not to fart uncontrollably. It is the quiet coach, after all.
6) Feel the need to go to the toilet. Make it to the toilet. Realise, with your trousers around your ankles, that you didn't lock the door. Waddle to the door and lock it. Realise there is no toilet paper. Feel smug that you chose the financial-pages option from earlier.
7) Return to your original destination. Decide against a last pint at the pub by the station. Change your mind again. Change your mind again when you remember you still have a couple of tins left that will only need a couple of minutes in your freezer to chill back down.
8) Arrive home. Put tins in freezer. Wake up at three in the morning with
a) a massive urge to pee
b) the sound of a can ripping itself to pieces in your freezer.
Thanks to Craig Walker and his motley Caledonian crew for trusting me and sending them down Murder Mile alleyways in search of Sheffield's finest.