Well we did it, IT ONLY TOOK 9 YEARS! we all bellowed at the end of the penalty shoot out. I planned to do a sort of diary style thing for the day, keeping up with what I had imbibed but that idea fell over straight after leaving the house at 6.30am when I realised I'd left me note pad at home! Epic Fail, right there!
I did however, remember to pack some beer for the train up to Manchester! Epic Win, right there!
Mark Dredge, it was a can of 21st Amendment's Back in Black, the beer that inspired Evin(O'Riordan, Kernel Brewery Owner) and I to do a Black IPA.
There's a couple of reasons why I like this beer. Firstly, before you even taste the beer the packaging in superb, great art work on the can and only 330mls to boot. Secondly of course, there's the beer itself, now although this can tasted just a wee bit sour, it was still really drinkable and I necked mine just fine.
Even if it was a little sour it still beat the slops Virgin trains were serving in a can.
Next up we had the third version of the Kernel Black IPA, just goes to show this beer and it's style are so popular that Evin keeps on having to produce it! God I fucking love this beer and I've found out that it's great for calming the nerves on the way to play-off finals!
Third up was another bottle of Black IPA from Kernel, only without a label as it was so new when Evin gave it to me that it hadn't reached labelling stage. The hops were different and forgive me but I can't remember which hops were used in this one, Summit and something else (Mt Hood?). Still a great beer and I'm looking forward to getting it in The Rake soon!
So with the decent beer finished it was time to get off the train and find a pub that was open at 10am! It was highly unlikely but we eventually stumbled upon the Old Devonshire for a couple before heading to the Marble Arch. I went for a pint of Kelham Island Best to start with, very good nick it was in too, I like Kelham Island, they brew good beer. When I went up for another pint, the Kelham Island was gone so I went for a Thwaites Original(I think), not quite on the same level as the Kelham Island but still a decent beer in good nick.
Then it was off to the Marble Arch pub to meet up with Tandleman for a couple of beers before he went off to his CAMRA meeting(Am I the only one imagining silly handshakes and stand up confessions?).
The Marble Arch has good points and bad points, there are more good points than bad but the really niggling point was the service. One of the main things that I had to sort out at The Rake was service, and it always will be, it's one of the things you can't take for granted, so when I get bad service, I try and give people a second chance but was informed that it was standard practice at the Marble Arch to keep their backs to the customers. It's a pity because in my two experiences of the Marble Arch are ones that speak volumes about the quality of the brewery and the beer it produces.
Then it was time to get to Eastlands.
So we won on penalties, got promoted to the league and off we went to find a pub in Manchester to celebrate in. We spotted Mr Thomas Chop House, which has a good reputation for beer and food. So off we trotted towards that. By the time we got there, I was so thirsty only apples would do and so I opted for a pint of some refreshing fizzy cider and out into the beer garden we went. Pint of something else I don't remember afterwards(what? you want me to remember everything??) and it was time to find alcoholic supplies for the trip home.
Champagne and G&T's all round then! And I was nicely blotto by the time we got back to Euston 45-odd minutes later due to some incident or other(probably due to the fact that the police had de-classified the whole train, so even if you booked a first class ticket, you we're fucked if someone was sitting in your seat). It didn't ruin my day though, we got into the league and justice is almost done. Now if only Milton Keynes had been destroyed in our Rapture!