The Wisdom Of Solomon

Sunday lunchtime in Ramsbottom. A walk round the Farmers’ Market (Tomato & garlic Bread, blueberry pie and various chutneys), proved so exhausting that the only remedy was drink. Well it would have been rude to say no.

Down at the Hare & Hounds, I kicked off with George Wright Partridge In A Pear Tree. Nice and lively, this strong (5.1%) pale beer promised much. Unfortunately, probably not one of their best, being rather unbalanced with too much sweetness coming through. Outlaw Vanilla Porter (4.7%) wasn’t quite right either, with the vanilla component outstripping the Porter element, making it rather one-dimensional. A quick sample of the Leyden Christmas Stocking proved it was indeed Leyden. Leyden by name, Leyden by taste.

Back to the pale beers with Hart Snowella. This did have a pleasant floral aroma, but lacked the hops to follow through. Moving up to the Major proved a good move, as Hornbeam Christmas Champagne Beer really delivered. Golden coloured and bursting with complex fruit aromas, this went down quicker than Jonathan Ross’s Xmas bonus. An excellent beer-score one to Hornbeam. Reluctantly dragging myself across the road, I called in at the First Chop. Here I supped Outstanding Ginger and heard tales of Eddie, the eager, legal beagle, and how he had drunk them dry last night. God, I hate people who don’t know when to quit-you won’t catch me doing that.

Final stop was the reopened Grants Arms. Here, sat with my Moorhouses Premier, I was asked to settle a heated philosophical debate. Pub arguments can require the wisdom of Solomon-for instance, is Noam Chomsky correct in his interpretation of Plato’s Problem? What is the meaning of life? Or, in this particular case, who would win in a fight between Spiderman and Iron Man? Clearly, Iron Man, but Spiderman is way cooler. Having brought peace to two restless souls, I could retire home happy. Or at least as far as the Towler, where the lure of Golden Pippin proved just too much.


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