Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Dr. J's Excellent European Beer Adventure Part Two

Once I had exhausted the beer supply in Ireland, it was time to bring my taste buds to other countries. Europe, with all of its different countries in close proximity, has unique travel advantages. For instance, in the United States, one can hop on a plane and fly for 1 - 2 hours and be in another state. In Ireland, a plane hop for 1-2 hours gets you in another country. Weekend trips to other countries are common place. Even better, the price is right!

Europe, Ireland specifically, has a low cost airline called Ryanair. It is a no frills airline with very, and I mean very low airline prices. One weekend, I had got the notion in my head that I wanted to drink Newcastle Brown Ale in Newcastle , England. So, I flew overthere for about $18.00 round trip. There was one catch on this outing. Ryanair flights that fit my schedule were not the best for a rewarding and relaxing trip. I flew out of Dublin at 8:30pm Saturday and booked a return flight for 10am the next day. 12 hours in Newcastle. 12 hours that I had to make the best of. It didn't work out as well as I planned.

I landed in Newcastle and hailed a taxi around 9:30pm. By the time I had got to the city and checked into my hotel it was 10:00. I noticed that there was a very busy English "old style" pub across the street. The pub was named the Crown Pasada and it was my target for Newcastle Brown Ale. Since I hadn't eaten all day, I figured I would grab a bite to eat at Japanese buffet a few doors down. Most pubs do not sell food, especially in the evening. Prime drinking hours.

The Japanese food went down as fast as I could eat it and I then scurried over to the pub. Much to my chagrin and anger, the pub door was locked and nobody was inside. It was 11:05pm. I had forgot the pubs in England close at 11:00. My only choice now was to visit a night club. Night clubs are open most of the night. They are crowded with loud music and twenty something-year olds. Thankfully, I found Buffalo Joes.

Buffalo Joes is a night club that is similar to the college night spots in the states. Live bands that jam out on songs that everyone knows the words to. It was cool to hear songs like the Scottish eighties hit, " I can walk for miles" with everyone singing at the top of their lungs. Even better, the bartenders, girls dressed in skimpy cowboy outfits would jump up on the bar and do a song and dance number every 15 minutes or so. Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, the beer. I managed to get my New Castle Brown Ale that night. Buffalo Joes provides the Dog in 20oz bottles. Alas, no draft, which is what I really wanted. For your info, the Dog is what locals call New Castle Brown Ale. It seems Gentlemen would tell their spouse they were going out to walk the dog in the evening and they would end up at the local pub drinking a NC Brown Ale.

So, was the trip worth it? I didn't get the draft beer that inspired the trip, but I managed to have a fun night out. The bottled brown ale was very good, after all it was a big bottle. After two, how could it be bad? The next morning, I spent an hour walking around the city taking pictures of all the bridges. New Castle is the city of Bridges and a very beautiful city to take pictures of.

Next Blog, my adventures continue as I will discuss my trips to Paris, Brussels, Switzerland and Hamburg.