7.15am, just about to set off for a WHOLE DAY beer hunting in London. Watch this space for a full report later...
Right... what a day. EVERY detail of what I have to report is true. This is just as much a political report as a beer blog today, but will try to keep it short and to the point and not a rant...
Got early lift with mate Jason as far as Greenwich, and looked at my dog-eared list of beer specialists, with only the south and west of the capital left to be combed. Got tube to London Bridge and went to Otobeer in Borough Market (v highly recommend). What a find. Lovely guys, couldn't be more help - and there I found:-
1) BEER#11 Greece - Mythos - £2.00
They may be having problems at the moment but it didn't take Archimedes to get a new angle on searching down this lager.
2) BEER#12 - Denmark - Mikkelle Stateside IPA £2.00
More about this one later, when our tale washes over you like the North Sea over the Little Mermaid - or something like that.
3) BEER#13 - Paraguay - £6.00 (yes, six of your English pounds!)
This is American, but stored in Paraguayan wood, which is enough of a link in this magical pystery tour...
4) BEER #14 - South Africa - £2.00
Durban Pale Ale - this is one of those ones that needs to be decanted from the bottle as its got yeast and bits of kids at the bottom of the bottle - intriguing.
5) I also found lovely chaps and a great chat about our quest, with the basic message being that COGH was impossible and that we needed to make some compromises in order to get 32 representatives together. This confirmed our need to find logical, or not so logical replacements for the following because they don't export their beers to the UK:- N Korea, Chile, Ivory Coast, Slovenia, Uruguay and Honduras.
On I went to Elephant and Castle to a South American shop - not a beer in sight. Undettered I went to Brick Lane to check out its exotic wares. Surely this melting pot would hold many glories? Well, it held two.
BEER #15 - Ivory Coast £1.79
Tusker is from Kenya - ok, that's cheating a bit but I've never had it and we've got to have some ringers.
BEER #16 - Algeria - 79p
The biggest selling beer in Algeria is Skol. Yes, that's right. Yuk. Still, bought a can of it so that North Africa can have representation, an inauspicious way to reach the COGH halfway mark.
I then went to Ealing to have a few beers with a mate. With it being such a lovely day the park was the option of choice and Leffe Blonde was the preferred tipple. Oh Belgium, why did you not qualify?
Arguably the best beer in the world, but not in COGH
To cut a long story short, Andy and I were a few bottles down each, causing no bother whatsoever when two Community Support Officers came to harass us. Quite why they picked on us when lots of people were drinking in the park is quite beyond me. To cut a longer story even shorter, despite attempts to just leave the park they pursued us and called for back-up. Jesus Christ - what kind of country is this!
After arguing the toss with all five - five! ****ing police (well, three real ones and two wannabes) I was given an £80 on-the-spot fine - which I have less than no intention of paying.
All this commotion made me late for my lift back to Brighton from Greenwich, and in my haste to get there I stumbled on an escalator and two of the beers (Tusker and Mikkel) smashed in my bag, all over my iPod, which at the time of writing no longer works. What fascist bastards - they've caused COGH to only have 14 rather than 16 beers so far. Nuff said... onwards and upwards next week...