Posts Tagged ‘craft beer’

Ο Μπαμπάς

December 3, 2019

Although very tired, nearing midnight and had wanted an early night, I decided to head to Duente for a craft beer. When I have passed by in the past told they have craft beer. No craft beer.

I try Little Tree, too late, already closed.

I then headed for the craft beer bar Ο Μπαμπάς that I found a few days previous.

I sat outside as a warm evening. It would be nice if they cleaned the tables though were cleaned when my order taken.

Nightmare using internet, access through a third party which appeared to be nothing but a trawl for personal data. I complained, they relented and gave me password for their wifi router.

Excellent craft beer but at 7 euros for a small bottle expensive.

I found by heading down the side of Acropolis Museum, on past Coco-Mat and keep going. On my way back, a different route along a busy main road.

As I pass a bar on a corner, red strip lighting, a man sat outside comes to life, tries to drag me in, tells me it is free. I decline his insistent offer, if for no other reason sounds dodgy. Blinds down the window, I peek through the gap, bar empty, a large circular bar, no one there but scantily dressed women around the bar.

A brothel?

Kik Project

December 1, 2019

On my return from Exarchia Square I passed an interesting bar.

Kik Project, craft beer, lunch and coffee.

I stopped and had a craft beer.

The guy behind the bar told me of other bars with craft beer.

He kindly offered to write for me, but no time to follow through his offer.

Occasional live music.

Bar serving craft beer

November 30, 2019

An interesting bar serving craft beer, but no time for a beer.

Yogurt and cappuccino at Little Tree

November 27, 2019

Wednesday four weeks ago, end of October, I was intending to climb Hill of the Muses, last warm day before the weather changes.

Last warm day end of October before the weather changes to cooler weather. I got as far as Little Tree, and no further.

AirBnB causing major problems in Athens and other major cities. In Athens dirty Turkish, Russian and Chinese money buying apartment blocks, local residents forced out creating ghettos.

Graffiti most apt.

Synchronicity: Passing by the derelict mansion behind the Acropolis Museum a lady stopped and spoke to me, asked was I interested in buying as she had similar properties for sale. I learnt such properties were protected, could not be demolished, expensive to buy and would cost as much again to renovate. She was on her way to an appointment, could not stop and chat.

I regret I did not ask how much to buy?

Derelict mansion featured in Walking in Athens, a collection of essays by Nikos Vatopoulos, in an essay A forgotten staircase beside The Acropolis.

Yogurt and cappuccino at Little Tree bohemian bookshop cum coffee shop located behind Acropolis Museum.

I made a mistake ordering a freddo cappuccino not a cappuccino. Waiter brought me a freddo cappuccino before I could correct my mistake. I said a mistake, he took away freddo cappuccino, brought a cappuccino, billed me for both.

A chat with a young lady who had a white e-scooter, her own not a rented e-scooter. She agreed the dumping of e-scooters everywhere is a menace.

I mentioned Mallorca was now taking action on e-scooters. We agreed long overdue Athens did the same.

Then a very long chat with a young guy, H G Wells, democracy, AirBnB, Greek financial crisis.

By then it was dark and turning cool.

Craft Beer at The Brewery

October 21, 2019

Following a trip to Larnaca Monday two week ago and souvlaki at No 1, a craft beer at The Brewery.

The Brewery one of those rare places where can obtain quality beer. The only place I am aware of.

Everywhere else serves cheap low quality beer from corporate chemical conglomerate.

Half a pint of quality craft beer Humor IPA from The Brewery 4-50 euros, a pinto of Keo in a local bar 2-60 euros.

Humpor IPA excellent.

Growlers & Cans

June 28, 2019

Popped in Growlers & Cans.

A rough bar, through not really even a bar, more of a shop where can also have a beer.

High quality craft beer, far better than would find in any local pub, though currently limited selection.

Strange set up. Buy a bottle of beer, then pay a pound to drink it. I’d rather take it to the park.

Beer on tap, 2/3 or a pint. I asked did they do a 1/3? I had a 1/3 of an excellence beer. At £2 for 1/3 that would make it £6 a pint, though cheaper if bought a pint.

Crap coffee from Redber. I advised ditch it and buy better quality coffee, but would also need to employ a top quality barista.

Never buy cheap low quality coffee, it is false economy. Spoilt for choice for quality coffee roasters. Try River Coffee Roasters or Chimney Fire Coffee.

These days it is coffee shops where find quality craft beer not pubs. It would be an interesting combination craft beer and speciality coffee, add food too.

Later I walked through the Tunsgate Quarter zombie shopping centre to find Redber had pulled out.

Craft beer at Warehouse

May 16, 2019

Not somewhere I would go for coffee as not good.

Craft beer not that great either.

Where pretentious people gather.

Cappuccino at The Brew Dog

October 27, 2018

After much deliberation, I settled on a cappuccino. It was to have been a V60, but where I wished to sit by the window was taken after I walked in. Also no V60, clever dripper.

A choice of coffee from Guatemala or Brazil, I let the barista choose, he chose Brazil. For filter, from Ethiopia or Kenya.

The bags of coffee beans on the shelves, bottom row for espresso, top row for filter.

Excellent cappuccino.

I sat and watched the drinks being made.

I was curious why was the freddo cappuccino different to that in Cyprus. different glass, only two not three layers. The coffee not frothed, the milk is frothed.

Another dink, espresso poured on ice, milk to be added later to suit,  freddo latte.

I counted twenty one crafts beers. Better chance of getting a craft beer in Greek coffee shop than a failing English pub.

Had  I stayed, as a hot day, though cool once sun drops,  I would have had a Japanese iced filter. Different name, iced dripped coffee or cold dripped coffee, not to be confused with cold drip coffee.

I have previously had excellent cold brew coffee. I thought, brewed in Chemex then stored in the fridge. I was wrong. Immersion, the Chemex simply used as  a carafe before being decanted into bottles. Served from the bottles which are stored in a fridge.

 

 

The Brewhouse Project

July 25, 2018

The Brewhouse Project is a joint crowdfunded venture between Edgcumbes Coffee and Arundel Brewery.

Should they raise the funds they wish to create a café, roastery and brewery located on a site outside Arundel serving and selling craft beer and freshly roasted speciality coffee.

It will be possible to drink a coffee and smell the beans being roasted, drink a beer and see it being brewed.

It is hoped to have a food truck at weekends and evenings.

Death of the pub and the rise of coffee shops

January 1, 2018

Has the pub had its day, can it be replaced with something better?

According to a snippet on ITV News at the tail end of last year looking at the reopening of a pub, closed for a year, now reopened owned by the community, 29 pubs a week are closing.

If this figure is correct, and not simply regurgitating old statistics, then rate of pub closures as was several years ago. Actually the closure rate accelerating, four years ago it was 26 pubs a week.

Why? Why are pubs closing at an accelerating rate?

Pubcos are one cause of pub closure. These are property owning companies, zombie companies that make no money, can barely service their debt by screwing pub landlords and selling off assets, have large property holdings in pubs. They charge unaffordable rents, landlords are forced to buy drinks through the pubco well in excess of market rate, the landlord goes bankrupt, along comes the next mug to be fleeced of their life savings, or the pub if occupying a prime site sold off for redevelopment.

Pubcos are the classic example of extend and pretend. The banks keep them afloat. Kept afloat they can be listed on the balance sheet as an asset, when in reality they should be on the opposite side and would be if allowed to go bankrupt. There is no realistic possibility of loan repayment.

We also have an example of the Law of Unintended Consequences.

Pubs were owned by breweries. The pub forced to buy from the brewery. The punter left with little or no choice, price hikes, especially if the brewery maintains a local monopoly.

The breweries were stripped of their pubs.

What should have happened, landlords bought the pubs, ran as independent businesses free of the brewery tie. Unfortunately this did not happen. Property developers, the pubcos, borrowed heavily and bought the pubs.

For a brewery, a common interest with the pub in doing well. The more beer the pub sells, the more beer the brewery sells.

For the pubco, no common interest. If the pub closes, find another fool to part from their money or sell off for redevelopment.

Pubcos though are only part of the story.

Too many pubs are badly run, very badly run. They are not pleasant places to be. Noisy, dirty, moronic music blasting out, widescreen TV, pub quizzes, drunken loud mouth idiots, rude and bored bar staff wishing they were elsewhere, serving disgusting rubbish from a global conglomerate chemical factory.

Too many examples could be given. But to list a few. A pub that served excellent, if expensive meals, changes to serving disgusting food but still overpriced; a pub where it was possible to sit in the back courtyard, relax over lunch, clueless new landlord takes over, insults the chef, chef leaves, where once excellent food, choice now burger burger or burger, illegal structures built in the courtyard, goes down market, noise and nuisance alienates neighbours and local council; historic pubs, heritage buildings, destroyed by inappropriate developments; a pub where is was pleasant to sit by the river, until smokers took over — the list is endless.

I have not named the pubs, but others could easily write similar lists, and some will know the pubs I am talking about.

Why have no lessons been learnt from Tim Martin and Wetherspoon? I am no fan of Wetherspoon, or the food they serve, but at least they try, they serve real ale. A pity they insult coffee drinkers and serve LavAzza coffee, even worse from a  machine.

But have the audacity to say pubs badly run, and the pissed trolls emerge from under their bar stools to add their ill-informed two-penny worth. And this included an abusive Camra regional official. A bit like being in a pub.

What we are seeing is an example of postcapitalism. The economy goes one of two ways.

  1. Serfs working for apps, eg Deliveroo and Uber, low paid part time temporary soul destroying McShit jobs, eg bar work, companies like Wagamama and the coffee chains.
  2. Open coops, collaborative commons, sharing society.

If pubs are to have a future, and looking at the current crisis, this is doubtful, pubcos have to be stripped of their pubs, as was the breweries, run free of tie, run as open coops, and far better managed than too many are currently.

Indie coffee shops are rapidly becoming the third place, the place to be to relax, not work, not home.

A well run indie artisan coffee shop, pleasant ambience, clean, art on the walls, live music, acoustic, jazz, classical, people sat chatting with friends, or sat reading a book or working on a laptop, craft beer, quality food and wine, books to browse, and of course serving excellent speciality coffee. And for lone females, added advantage of not being sexually harassed.

It is somewhat ironic, more likely to find craft beer, wine worth drinking, in a coffee shop than in a pub.

Warehouse Speciality Blends is known for its wine, The Underdog for craft beer,  Taylor Made for its cocktails,  Just Made 33 for its food. All serve speciality coffee, either roast their own beans or source from a reputable roastery, take a pride in their coffee.

Atlantis Cafe is a coffee shop in Liopetri, a one horse town, difficult to get to, where tumbleweed blowing through would not look out of place, a coffee shop with a pleasant ambience, where people relax, chat with their friends, play backgammon, that is busy until late. In the tourist areas, the slum bars attract the drunks, the bottom end of the tourist market, stay open until late, but are not busy, many are facing closure. The tourist industry spiralling downwards, the situation in the Middle East granting a temporary reprieve.

Atlantis Cafe, middle of nowhere, is busier than the tourist bars.

Coffee shops in Europe were the places of intellectual dialogue, political and philosophical discourse, haunts of artists. This did not happen in the English ale house, violent political discourse would have rapidly led to blood being shed.  The amount of alcohol consumed leading to retarded offspring.

When was the last time you saw bouncers on the door or a fight break out in a coffee shop?

What if a pub closes, a building that has historic value, is registered locally as a building of historic value, its community value recognised by registering as an Asset of Community Value (though it is difficult to claim a pub an Asset of Community Value when a myth it ever was), sits empty for several months, is stripped bare, restored to how it was as an historic building, reopens as an artisan coffee shop by people who are passionate about coffee, maybe in the evening a restaurant, where the emphasis is on ambience, service, good food, serves craft beer, wine, a venue that hosts cultural events, live music, book discussions and book signings, poetry reading, serves as a gallery for local artists, have we lost anything, or has the community and the local economy gained?