Sunday, 18 October 2015

Stag Do Part 2 - London's fabulous East End (and a bit of Dulwich)

Following the success of visting a whole two breweries on the beer mile, we headed on over to Dulwich Hamlet FC for a"pay what you feel" charity match. Hamlet are a local team who the hipsters of Dulwich have taken a shine to, and the supporters section is filled with men with immaculate beards accusing the referee of being a lib dem and shouting "Tuscany" a lot. Normally this would annoy the hell out of me but I was pretty tipsy by this point so found the whole thing amusing. I'd also heard rumours that decent real ale is served at the ground, and it's always good to support your local football team. We headed in and I must have had a few beers in me as I handed over a rather generous £10 to the chap on the turnstiles.

The place was packed which was great for the team but it also meant that the queue for the bar was terrifying. The real ale queue was very long and not moving very quickly so I had to settle for the lager bar, and enjoyed a pint of Hamlet Lager. I was reliably informed that it's just rebadged Oranjeboom, and the atmosphere of the place made the lager taste much better than it had any right to be. The game turned out to be a bit of cracker, with seven goals in all, although the last two came in the last few minutes when we had already made our exit. The Hamlet won, the supporters were in good voice and beard form, and it was a very jolly way to spend an afternoon. I'm looking forward to going back - although I'd get there earlier to secure a proper ale before the crowds build up.

We headed down to Whitechapel for dinner at Tayaabs, a barn of an Indian restaurant that pretty much only caters to large groups these days. Following a recommendation from the Craft Beer London app we stopped into Indo for a quick pre dinner refreshment. I tried the Lagunitas Mozango (Fusion XXXI), which was basically mango juice in beer form. It was pretty good if very sweet, and a half was more than enough. The bar had a run-down, student vibe which was fine on a quiet Saturday afternoon but I wouldn't fancy being crammed in here when it's busy. We left and made our way over to Tayaabs, which is BYOB, and I got a bottle of  Anchor Steam IPA and a Goose Island Honkers Ale from the local off license. Both went down nicely with the well prepared curries at the restaurant.

By this point I was well fed and (very) well watered, so apologies if things get a little vague. We made our way further into the East End, stopping into The White Heart. Microbrewery One Mile End are based in the basement and there was plenty of their beer on offer. My brain was running too slowly to bother seeking out handpumps so I stuck to the keg offerings, with the Salvation! Pale Ale a solid beer. The place was busy so we sat outside and enjoyed the beers in the chilly breeze. The rugby was on and it was England vs Australia, a lone Aussie punter in the pub was very bravely cheering for every try as the Aussies soundly beat the Brits.

Everything was a bit of a blur by this point but I do remember finishing the night at the Redchurch brewery in Bethnal Green. There is a spacious taproom upstairs, complete with dart board and a brewery cat. Strangely I was still able to operate Untappd by this point and apparently I enjoyed a pint of Great Eastern India Pale Ale. I also managed to fit in a game of darts, where miraculously nobody was injured or killed despite the fact I was seeing two dart boards by this point. The cat quickly clocked that our group was a soppy bunch of bastards and plonked himself firmly in the middle of us ready for a fuss, and a fuss he received. Sadly I forgot to take a picture of our furry friend! There was good music playing, the time flew by, and before I knew it I was bundling out of a cab and dancing like a idiot at The Shackletwell Arms in Dalston, drinking sambuca before crashing at my best man's flat down the road.

I woke up the next morning in surprisingly good health - maybe it was because all the beers were good quality, maybe it was because I had eaten plenty of food to sop up the booze. Either way after a delicious breakfast at Cafe Z is Stoke Newington I was ready to head home, and I managed to remain somewhat functional for the rest of my Sunday. Good booze, good football, good curry - what more could a man want from a stag do?

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