The other night, the Drinking Traveller began his assault on Brighton’s 2013 Ale Trail. This year it’s called the “Underground AleWay”, in reference to the 150th anniversary of the London Underground. There’s even a little map parodying Harry Beck’s world-famous “diagrammatic map” of the Tube. Doesn’t look like it’s anywhere to be found online, so here’s a photo:
Basically, you get a “Passport”, like the one pictured to your left, and the aim is to hit all 40 pubs on the list, trying various real ales as you go. Now, 40 pints in one day is a bit of a stretch by anyone’s standards, even for the Drinking Traveller (God, I need to stop referring to myself in the third person), so you get until September to work your way through the list at a nice, leisurely pace.
The passports are free from pretty much any pub on the list, and the more you drink the more you win! 20 pints will get you a t-shirt, 30 a pint glass, and so on. There’s also the “Cider Rider” for those who fancy it, and special anniversary prizes, but you can get the details on the Brighton CAMRA website, so I won’t bore you with them again here.
First Stop, The Prince Albert!
The Prince Albert is one of those pubs I walk past all the time when already on my way to somewhere and hear the great music coming from upstairs, see all the people sitting outside on a nice day and think “I’ve got to have a drink in there at some point”. But of course, when I’m free, it never crosses my mind. It’s been going on like this for quite a while now – and it’s only just down the road from my place – so, when I heard about the ale trail, I jumped at the chance to finally check it out.
We went down to meet some friends (some of whom already have a couple of stamps in their passport…I smell a competition on the cards!) and it was as I’d suspected: great pub, great people, friendly staff. We “sampled” the Day Tripper, from West Yorkshire’s Elland Brewery, and the Waggle Dance from Wells & Young, of which “Waggles” came out the superior, as felt by all, with its hint of honey well-balanced against the hops. Though it has to be said, it was a close call.
Though right next to a dripping station underpass, the Prince Albert makes up for the less attractive aspects of its location with plenty of character…and the fact that it doubles as one of Brighton’s best live music venues.
And that’s it for now, I suppose. It wasn’t one of my heavier nights, as many of you will know, but you may be surprised to hear I do enjoy a quiet drink with friends every now and then as much as the next guy/girl.
Stay tuned for the next installment (expect another 39 before this thing’s over) as I plan to hit the trail again this weekend!
For those locals (or anyone travelling the UK this summer) who want to tackle it themselves, the pubs are mostly in Brighton, with a good portion in Lewes, and the rest scattered about the countryside. There’s a bus heading out on Saturday 27th July, which’ll hit some of the more hard-to-reach pubs, such as The Cock (tee hee) in Wivelsfield Green, so expect to read a full “report” on that.
To make sure you don’t miss anything, stick your email address in the box on the right.
Thanks to everyone who’s already subscribed…You’re in for one hell of a ride!