Wednesday, 2 May 2018

A bit of a mix-up

I’ve never been in the habit of keeping a diary, and now that I’m in my early sixties, this is unlikely to change. Normally I have a pretty good idea of what’s going on, and whilst none of my immediate family have what could be described as a hectic social life, we still seem to manage keeping track of things.

We do have a calendar hanging up in the kitchen on which, by mutual agreement, we’re supposed to write important engagements, but apart from holidays, dental appointments, plus the occasional rock concert, none of us are particularly good at adhering to this. My wife is better than me, and I’m OK when I remember, or when I can find a pen. (I’m sure our household can’t be the only one where there’s dozens of pens lying about, but none of them seem to work!)

Well my laziness has well and truly caught up with me, as  tomorrow night I am double-booked. I’m not  actually committed to attend both events, Vicar of Dibley Christmas Dinner fashion, as one function has had to go to the wall, but if nothing else, this mix-up has taught me a lesson, and from now on I will be writing things down. (Actually there’s a calendar on my phone, which is pretty good for noting appointments . I’ve used it in the past, so must get back into the habit of using it again).

So what two events have I double-booked, and why did this come about? Well the first is the much vaunted, and eagerly anticipated tap-takeover by Moor Brewing, at Fuggles in Tonbridge. I wrote about this a while back, in my article about Moor Brewing’s “tap-room” opening,  in Bermondsey. 

You may recall me saying how much I was looking forward to the event, which is why it is so frustrating that, without double checking the date, I accepted a friend’s invite to a “meet the brewer” session at the Humphrey Bean, our local Wetherspoon's,  on the same evening.

The brewer in question at JDW is Firebird Brewing; a company I have not come across before, but after looking at their website, I noticed that Bill King was involved with this concern. Older readers may remember that Bill was one of the family owners of the late, and much lamented King & Barnes, of Horsham. K&B sold out to Dorset brewers Hall & Woodhouse, back in 2000, after which Bill King set up his own small brewery, W.J. King, which was also based in Horsham.

In 2013 W.J. King found itself with new owners, and now trades as King Beer. Enter Firebird Brewing Company, which was formed by Bill King and Richard Peters, who as well as both being  qualified Master Brewers, were old friends. Their friendship began at The University of Birmingham's Brewing School, where both studied for an M.Sc in Brewing Science and Technology.

On completion of their studies,  both went their separate ways; Bill to join and eventually run his family firm, King and Barnes,  and Richard to continue his career with Courage. After re-establishing contact in 2012, they decided to start a joint venture in brewing, and  acquired a site in an old converted brickwork's in Rudgwick. Their first commercial beer Heritage XX was sold at the end of June 2013, and five years later Firebird produces a wide range of beers, so why hadn't I heard of them until the other week?

No doubt all will be revealed tomorrow, when I pop along to the session at the Humphrey Bean, but before going any further the reason why I'm going to the Firebird session, rather than the Moor Brewing event' is the former is a ticket only event, and my friend had already purchased the tickets.

The price of the ticket includes a meal, as well as a 20% discount off the price of the Firebird beers, so it’s not all bad. There are also several other friends going along; some of whom I haven’t seen for some time. It will be good to catch up, and I’m certain our local JDW will be far less crowded than Fuggles, and also less noisy.

Perhaps I am just saying this to myself in order to make up for the disappointment of missing the Moor beers, but whatever the case, I will in future pay a lot more attention to the calendar, and my phone, before accepting future invitations.

A full report about the "meet the brewer" session and Firebird Brewing's beers, will follow, in due course.


Dave said...

You're getting closer and closer to that age where you need to write it down... The phase where the real issue is remembering what you meant to write down.

BryanB said...

This is where smartphone diaries, which can then be synchronised to your PC diary and even shared with family members, come in.

Firebird's been around for a couple of years, but I think their distribution was mainly very local.

Ethelred The Unsteady said...

Once upon a time, my life was ruled by a very crowded and highly irregular working diary. It's left me with something of an allergy to fixing commitments per se, I must admit.

The thing is, the probability, that come the day, there will be a reason why you don't feel like doing it anyway, is rather high. That doesn't improve with age either. Maybe the weather will be dreadful, or you'll have a cold, say.

So perhaps I should write everything down, but each with an excuse for that eventuality.

Ah. I see that we have a wedding on the 25th. Tricky...



Paul Bailey said...

Dave, I think I have already reached that age, but agree that the issue is actually remembering what I am supposed to be writing down.

Bryan, I obviously need to become a bit more tech-savvy, but the problem still is getting in the habit of inputting the data in the first place. As for Firebird, they do seem to have a rather wide range of beers. I think sometimes brewers over do things on this front, but I will reserve judgement until after this evening’s event.

Ethelred,those occasions when you don't feel like doing it anyway, crop up quite a lot, especially when you’ve made a rather rash commitment to attend something. What seems like a good idea at the time, particularly after several pints of beer, often seems far less attractive a proposition in the cold light of day!