Peeling plaster, the guts of the walls visible as if wounded in a titanic struggle; metallic ducts range freely alongside one wall just beneath the ceiling; a concrete floor, implacable in the face it offers to the world, the scrape of the metal legs of a bench on which you sit; a bar built from…

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I know who you are, I’ve seen you in my dreams, read about you in a book, glimpsed you in a film, I know who you are. It’s that moment of recognition when you arrive somewhere, which could be a city, a town, a locality, a shore, a pub, the home of a person who…

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So you’ve been drinking a brewery’s beers for years; you know the beers of theirs that you really enjoy and at times have drunk far too much of them (remember when a London licensee had a keg of the brewery’s strongest and you made serious inroads into it, yes that moment of inebriation?). You also…

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It seems kinda funny now this feeling I recall, but back in 2003 my taste buds were all shook up in a small room above a pub, whose name I’ve forgotten, in central London. It was one of the bi-annual beer tastings that Safeway’s, as it was known before being swallowed by Morrison’s, used to…

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Some journeys never end, which is why the other day I was like a wide-eyed child of the recent past transfixed in an old school sweetshop, surrounded by all manner of tooth-rotting, blood sugar-spiking delights: gobstoppers, sherbet dabs, liquorice all-sorts, and chocolate buttons. However, I wasn’t in a sweetshop, but instead was in one of…

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So there I am thinking about the beers and the corresponding moments that have been the staging posts on my journey that has brought me to now. I am thinking of the beers that transformed me, that changed me from believing that beer was something to get drunk on, the beers that made me stop,…

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As anyone who read about my visit to Munich in the previous Beer Insider might guess, I have been thinking a lot about beer pilgrimages; are they routes that take you from dissolution to dissipation, spiritual pub crawls, or is there a deeper meaning in the journey, a more metaphysical understanding of the nature of beer,…

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Where is this? You emerge out of the Hauptbahnhof, the central nervous system of the city, and are immediately floored by its noisy, car-laden, babel of voices as people flurry about as if in a snowstorm. It is a place where you have your mid-morning brunch of a long, slim glass of Weizen alongside either…

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What shall I write is the question that anyone who lives by the pen (or laptop these days, naturally) all too often asks themselves? Where shall I wander on the page, what shall I dredge from the deep river of memory — which beer, which brewery, which brewer, which city has attracted my attention, has…

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So is this the best city in the UK in which to drink beer? I’m talking about Sheffield, naturally, which several years ago was declared the top of the ringing, singing tree of UK beer (much to the wry smiles of those who live in, say, Norwich, Bristol, Leeds, Manchester, Edinburgh, London and Liverpool no…

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