A few miscellaneous thoughts, not long enough for separate posts but too substantial for Twitter.
Firstly, Marble. What’s going on there at the moment? They seem to have gone bottle crazy. The local CAMRA mag mentioned that they’d bottled a Tripel and a Weizen (the latter brewed at 5% and bottled in a 500 ml size, which is nice to see) – but that’s not the half of it. There’s also a re-brewed Vuur & Vlam (now labelled Manchester Vuur & Vlam), and – to go with the Tripel – a Dubbel. Sadly I’m unable to tell you what most of these are like – for me, Marble’s big-bottle prices tend to come in the wrong side of a sharp intake of breath. I did succumb to the appeal of the MV&V when I first saw it, but I’m afraid the D. and the T. are going to remain a mystery for a while longer. (Unless there are any bottles going for review…?)
Secondly, Morrison’s. I mentioned this on a non-beer blog, so I might as well mention it here too – Morrison’s are currently doing rather good things with beer, including an own-brand ‘green hop’ beer brewed by Titanic and selling at £1.50. (It’s a beer in the currently popular style of Hoppy Yellow Bastard, and very drinkable indeed. On the down side, clear glass. Worth a punt, though.) They’ve also got a “four for £5.50” offer, which is stupendously good value – particularly when the beers involved include Summer Lightning, Ringwood Fortyniner, Castle Rock Harvest Pale, Butcombe Bitter, Bateman’s XXB… the list goes on. If you’ve got one locally, get down there.
Finally, That London. Where’s a good place to drink in London, then? We’ll be staying in the King’s Cross area and spending most of the time wandering around the usual Zone 1 tourist-y areas, so don’t bother recommending anywhere in Whitechapel or Archway. Also, must be big enough to swing a cat, have adequate seating, not be rammed with men in suits & generally be (Mudge, look away now) family-friendly. Family-friendly pub, central London, good and/or interesting beer. As many as you like.