NES branch socials report for Jul16-Sep16

Monday 3 October 2016

North East Suffolk branch

Mid-month meanders and other socials: Jul16-Sep16

Our meander in July was in Lowestoft where we met in the Joseph Conrad, a Wetherspoon's pub on Station Square opposite the railway station. This busy pub was serving its regular beers – Ruddles Best, Sharps Doom Bar and GK Abbot – and five guest beers. After seven members – mostly wearing shorts as it was a hot, sunny day - had gathered and we had partaken of a couple of drinks and a bite to eat, we moved on to Hearts Of Oak, a fairly spacious pub where GK IPA and Old Speckled Hen were available. Soon it was time to move on and we found ourselves at the Lord Nelson, a pub that we knew did not have hand pumps but where we received a friendly welcome and were informed that the pub had some bottled beer available in the fridge and some on the shelf, if preferred. Our group tried both before a walk in the sun found us in the Lake Lothing where Doom Bar & GK IPA were being served. At this point I had to leave the group who continued to our final venue, the Mariner's Rest, where I am told that several beers and ciders were available.

In August on another hot and sunny day our meander took us to Walberswick. I walked from Southwold and met with the others at the Anchor, a large pub with several drinking areas to enjoy the Adnams Southwold Bitter, Ghost Ship and Broadside. This includes a rear garden and tables to the front, both areas very busy on the day serving food. We walked around the corner to Walberswick's other pub, the Bell, another large and family-friendly establishment. This was serving Adnams Mosaic in addition to the Bitter, Ghost Ship & Broadside. We sat in their large, busy garden drinking and chatting until it was time to catch the ferry back to Southwold. Those in the know will be aware that the ferry is actually a large rowing boat crewed by a single oarsman who managed to take all of us in a single journey. On the Southwold side we had three pubs to visit which were in different directions so we agreed to split into two groups. My group went to the dual-level Harbour Inn where we sat on the rear terrace with our choice of Adnams Bitter, Ghost Ship or Broadside and views across to the town. The other group went to the newly discovered Sail Loft on Ferry Road, which is open all day in summer months for food and drinks. It serves Adnams Ghost Ship and a guest beer that is normally from a local brewer which, on this visit, was Lacon's Falcon Ale. Both groups then met up at our final pub, the Red Lion, for a final Adnams beer from their range before heading to the bus stop and home.

Our September meander was to Corton on the coast at the northern end of our branch area. Expecting cool weather, I decided not to wear shorts for my walk from Lowestoft Station and soon realised that I had made a mistake as the clouds parted to reveal a rather warm and sunny day. I met a fellow member (wearing shorts) on the way and we joined the others at the White Horse which serves four beers. GK IPA, Sharp's Doom Bar, Fuller's London Pride and a guest ale were available on our visit. This cosy pub serves food and has a dining area and small conservatory. Following a chat with the landlord, we drank our chosen beers at tables outside. We moved down to the Corton Inn, a large pub at the other end of the street, but their three hand pumps were undergoing cleaning and maintenance so we decided to move on to our next venue, Potter's Kiln, a Harvester restaurant on Leisure Way in North Lowestoft. This had a small outside drinking area and was serving Adnams Broadside plus Doom Bar & Atlantic from Sharp's. After a pleasant little session we walked to our final pub, the Foxburrow, a Beefeater restaurant on the A12 where we sampled its regular beer, Woodforde's Wherry, before making our way home.

Also in July, we visited several beer festivals. These were at the North Norfolk Railway at Sheringham, Lowestoft Town Football Club and Humpty Dumpty's annual beer festival on the playing fields near Reedham Railway Station. In August, we visited the Bell Inn, Old Red House, Carlton Manor & Crown Inn in Carlton Colville and attended a beer and cider festival at the Norman Warrior in Lowestoft. Early September found us on the village green outside the Oddfellows in Pakefield attending their beer festival and later in the month we met in Southwold to visit the Sole Bay Inn, Lord Nelson, Swan Hotel and the back bar of the Crown Hotel.