As I write thins I’m sat wondering if anything at all if going on tonight, a lot of plans changed and a couple of people have either vanished or just aren’t looking at the group chat, so who the fuck knows.
Tonight is meant to be our fantasy football league meet up, Sara has spent the week making the trophy and hopefully Jack will actually show up tonight to claim it, if not I guess it’ll hang out here for a while longer. I was really looking forward to having a few beers with the boys but because my gout, which has mostly gone down now thanks to my magic pills, I volunteered to drive so Sara could drink. I don’t think she will be either though, she’s currently at minor injuries as she fell last night at work and possibly dislocated her shoulder on the bar. For the wrestling fans reading I’m picturing it happening a lot like Seth Rollins and Finn Balor at Summer Slam last year. Owch.
She’s a trooper though and will be out to meet us at some point.
Despite not being able to drink I came up with the ultimate Southampton craft beer bar crawl. We never planned to do the whole thing this evening but I present it here so that A, I don’t forget it when I do eventually get round to doing it and B, just as a bit of a fun post for the day.
Overdraft - Shirley Highstreet. This is my personal favourite of the small bars with a rolling selection of cask and keg beers. They generally only get one barrel in at a time, much like a few of the others places on the tour so when that beer is gone, it’s gone. The staff are knowledgeable, the music is good and the vibe is just cool.
The Dancing Man Brewery - The old wool house building on the water front in town. One of the nicest bars in town, great old building, beers brewed on site. Love this place. The food upstairs is great. This is the biggest venue on the trip except Sara's place.
Steingarten - It’s just up the road, honestly its nothing special but they have some German beers in big steins, its a one drink kind of stop.
Caskaway - Oxford Street. Another small tasting room type bar. Haven’t been in since not long after they opened, it felt a little sterile at the time but hopefully now its got a bit more character. It all comes down to what they’ve got on at the time really.
Olaf’s Tun - Woolston. Cross over Itchen Bridge and you’ve got another cool little tasting room. This place has more character and is nice, but again, down to the beers on tap, they’re friends with Chris at Bittre Virtue though so usually have a good selection including some local micro brews.
Butchers Hook - Bitterne Triangle. A little north on this side of the river is the half way point and one of the first of the cool craft beer places to open up in Southampton. Always a good selection on their chalkboard, mostly cask but a few kegs too.
Unity - Portswood. Back over a bridge and a stop at Until brewery. This one isn’t even really a bar, its a warehouse space that Jimmy has as his brewery, he’s put together a small tasting room area at the front though and at weekends has tables and chairs out for people. Great local beers inspired by Belgium.
The Bookshop Ale House - Portswood. Yup, it is literally a second hand bookshop and bar all in one. Very cool, nice vibe, a bit more of a chilled place than say Overdraft.
The Rockstone - Bevois Valley. Heading back into town you are going to be passing Mitchell’s workplace, this pub always has a really good, ever changing selection of beers. It has the most classical ‘pub’ aesthetic to it of all the stops.
Belgium & Blues. You actually have to go past the last two on the trip to get back to here but they’re all pretty close. What was once Goblets has a new lease on life and is thankfully a lot better these days for it. It’s a cool basement bar with lots of nooks and crannies to find somewhere to sit. Lots of good beers.
Brewdog. You kind of have to hit this one if you’re going everywhere else and it’s right by the last stop too. It’s a good little Brewdog bar. It has a good selection of guest beers in the fridge too.
London Road Brew House. Sara’s bar, definitely the busiest and open latest so it makes a good final stop, good beers, both guest and brewed on site. Good atmosphere, especially when there is a band on or something.
If someone is able to make it through that house trip I would be very impressed. I would love to give it a go one day.