Sunday, 21 August 2011

A splendid day out in London

England vs India, day 3 at the Oval

Ahh the cricket. Binoculars in hand and lunch box at the ready, that's the ideal way to watch our lads totally dominate over the teams of the old Empire.

But wait, an hour later and the dark clouds loom over and play is delayed. This cannot be, our lads need enough playing time to totally destroy India and further prove that they're a bad invincible world dominating superteam. But luckily enough for us our research had previously indicated that the Oval cricket ground is close to a place called  Borough Market, home of the much blogged about specialist beer bar The Rake.

Damn right
Since the early days I have hoped to one day visit The Rake. Mentioned in many British beer blogs and the host for countless product launches and beer tastings it was time for me to finally discover this beer haven that one could almost call the very centre of the UK beer blogging universe.  


As expected the the place was small, with a big extravagant beer range covering cask, keg and bottled beers from around the world. The big question mark: no Thornbridge, Brew Dog or Dark Star on tap (shock) but I'm sure the big trendy new-world brewers have adorned the Rake taps many times already.

First up for me was a nice chilled schooner of keg Raging Bitch, from the Belgian yeast influenced IPA from the Denver brewer Flying Dog. I was shocked that my Dad, usually the 4% session ale man, also thought it was great. But I think the effect of being surrounded by beer geeks drinking IPAs and the desire for something different took me to my second choice.


  Nogne Porter is a hop forward 7% Porter style beer from Norway. Opening with big dried dark fruit over sappy citrus hops it leads into smooth coffee chocolate notes before more pithy hops resins and warming alcohols continue in the finish. A totally awesome and individual Porter that seemed to make rain and lack of cricket play seem insignificant.

A wall of written tributes decorates the far wall

So as the rain continued so did the session. It's been a while since I've got hold of Great Divides mighty Yeti Imperial Stout. Bold, smooth, warming, chocolatey and one of my all time favourites of the style.  

At 9.5% it sure made the walk back to the cricket ground more interesting

 So as the sun came back out back to the Oval we went. The Rake sure was a better alternative than waiting around in the rain, and returning to a score line of India 8 for 1 was also well received. 


6 comments:

Mark said...

That's a long way to travel for a cricket match! Glad you liked The Rake, pretty impossible not to really. :P

BeerBirraBier.

Leigh said...

Some lovely beers in there, dude! Good work!

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