A Short Cut to Beer – Apologies to JRR Tolkien….

Sometimes, it’s nice not to organise something. To ride on someone’s coat tails. Just follow.

So, on Saturday, it was rather lovely for TLO and I to ride in the slipstream of Les (who isn’t called Les), Jock (who isn’t called Jock) and Steve (who, disappointingly for poetic continuity, is actually called Steve) 😁

The trip was going to take in my favourite brewery tap, everyone’s favourite beer man and one of my favourite pubs in the UK. And 4 hours of train. To Wokingham.

Where? I hear you ask! The closest town to Finchampstead. And…

Ahhhh…… Elusive. And “The Nicest Man in Beer ™” Mr Andrew Parker.

Now then, I’ve shovelled grain on a few occasions at this exceptional (and – topically – AWARD WINNING) brewery. But had never had a beer in the tap room. The joys of the Pandemic eh?

We made up for it.

Did someone mention AWARDS?

You might as well not talk about the beer we drank. Other than Oregon Trail – natch.

Lots of breweries get reams of text spaffed on them in Fan Homage. Well, if you don’t think that Andy’s brewery isn’t up there, you don’t know beer. I’ll die on that hill. I’ve been ranting to anyone within Twitter reach about Oregon Trail. Simply the most delicious and drinkable West Coast IPA. And when people drink it, they get it.

And the same can be said for all of the Elusive beers I’ve had over the years. Other than T*t* Lyric quotes. That was a low point. (And he thought I wouldn’t notice….) Bless The Rains indeed……

Wise Monkeys Drink Elusive

Did I mention the complete power outage across the district? No?

Ruth assaulted my new St Pauli shirt…..

Simply put, just magnificent beer. Even better service. Ruth is an absolute ⭐. The whole set up is small, but oh so perfectly formed. And they coped with that power outage amazingly well! You really ought to get here. We stayed till closing. And when Ruth and team were closing up, we nipped 50 yards across the road.

To Siren Tap.

Yes. You read right. Almost a triple jump away….

Again, superb beer. This taproom is a bit like a micropub built as an extension on to the old brewery. More delicious beer was drunk. Don’t ask for details, I was beyond recording & recall. But it’s a lovely spot, with plentiful greenery for the kids to have a play while you enjoy delicious brewery fresh beer.

Loads of space for seating indoors – should the elements conspire. We were lucky, twas a lovely day.

There may have been a couple of ill advised pints back in Wokingham. The Crispin – for one – was a lovely pub with a fine pint of cask and a lovely beer garden arrangement mere seconds from the hotel….

The next day, not quite bushy of tail, we headed into Reading for another double header that I was really looking forward to…

Pic courtesy of Steve.

Now then. I’ve been to a few brewery taps. But this place grabbed me from the off the first time I went to Reading. One that will linger long in my memory if not Malcolm’s…. 🤣. To put it bluntly, Double Barreled is my favourite Brewtap. A quite magnificent space that was planned alongside the brewery build.

12 lines of direct draw. Cans in the “fridge, chilled direct from the cold store. All the details thought of, considered and done….

Yes. That’s baby changing. In the “Gents”.

I’m a confirmed fan of DB beers. The Parka Pale was juicy and soft, full of flavour. The Ding Pilsner was crisp, light and refreshing. Both came with their own logoed glasses…..

See what they did there?

I even enjoyed a Sorachi Pale (words that predictive text will NEVER connect on my sentences) and thought I would write that before one of the fellowship tried to “beer shame” me. A rare occurrence. Still believe that Sorachi belongs in Stouts though…. 😁

Luci & Mike have expanded operations considerably since my last visit and can be justifiably proud of what they have achieved.

I love this place. Grabbed some cans to reminisce with. Including the Punnet fruit sour which some of my co-travellers cooed over….

Chuckled when I saw those….

It’s not often that I spend five hours in a Brewtap, but was lovely seeing the Divine Mr Parker (even without “Supergran”) and ace talking with Luci & Mike. This is a brilliant space, just outside Reading centre.

Just go. And afterwards, follow our tracks…. To….