Saturday, 6 March 2010
This isn't just Beer, this is M&S Beer.
Tonbridge is a pleasant enough market town. It's got a bit of history attached to it, and even has its own 12th Century castle, with a largely intact gatehouse, even though the Parliamentarians did manage to demolish the rest of it! So far as shops go though Tonbridge is a bit of a "one horse town", with few really "big name" retail outlets.
That doesn't bother me, as like most blokes I don't care for what the fairer sex (and certainly the lady of this house), refers to as "retail therapy". Occasionally though I do need to venture further afield in order to purchase things that are unavailable in this town, so this afternoon I headed over to nearby Tunbridge Wells, my mission being to acquire a new pair of walking boots. Unfortunately, despite visiting four "outdoor-leisure pursuit" shops I was unable to find boots that fitted the criteria I was looking for, or if they did, were either not available in my size or, at a price I could afford.
The trip was not entirely wasted though, as I popped into Marks & Spencer and, after perusing their food hall, was pleasantly surprised to see the beers they had on offer. What's more, many were available on a "four for the price of three" basis. Consequently I purchased a Chocolate Porter from Robinsons, a London Porter from Meantime Brewery, a Southwold Winter Beer from Adnams, plus a Staffordshire IPA produced by Marstons. All the beers are brewed exclusively for M&S, and I look forward to trying them in due course.
Earlier in the day I also picked up several bottles of Co-Op Organic Ale; a 5.0% beer, brewed using a percentage of Fairtrade sugar by Freeminer Brewery. Many retailers are promoting Fairtrade products this week, and the Co-Op were selling this beer at just £1.00 a bottle. I'm planning to crack one open tonight, and given Freeminer's excellent brewing credentials, I'm optimistic that it will be a good beer.