They Brew it, I sell it, You Drink it... and so do I..

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Down Time

What constitutes down time to us? I suppose it means different things to different people, or even multiple things to the individual. It could be enjoying a good book by an open fire, or a pint in your local in the window seat as you do the crossword, some people even do exercise! Your down time is your time to rest and rejuvenate, to relax and unwind. Another important part about down time is that it gives you much needed time to think.

Last night I had some down time. It started around 8 o'clock. I got my big coat and gloves on and walked to the bus stop whilst I tried to avoid falling over on the ice. The usually quiet Wednesday evening bus trundled along the twenty minute journey into town with an unusually large number of revelers. I was able to drown out the rowdy chants with a bit of soothing iPod beats. I also avoided any eye contact with any sort of different creature in fancy dress by scrolling through iPhone tweets...

I swear the inventions made by Apple are only purchased to allow me something to distract from the surrounding world..

I get to my destination of down time. A short walk takes me to the usual, the classic, the ever 'good call' - North Bar.

North is a place where all types and kinds of down time unfold for me. I quite often enjoy a nice quiet drink or two sat at the bar. Other times I like to sit at the bar and get smashed and order lots more beers than my wallet should really allow. The quiet drink though, is one I had last night. During a quiet drink I'll usually be surrounded by other like minded people and enthusiastic bar staff, who enjoy the finer beers in life. I very often like to have a chat with random strangers who also sit alone at the bar. You can have a lot of fun chatting to someone you don't know over a beer... that is, as long as they look like they're up for a chat!

A party group of about 30 walk through the door and the two bar staff give each other the "every time December.. why!" kind of look. A couple leave quickly but I stay sat at the bar. I won't be letting a rowdy group spoil my half of Gadd's and De Molen's fresh hopped Bohemian Pilsner! Besides I'm at the end of the bar and I'm not in anyones way.

Faces coming in look red from the cold. Faces going out look red from the beer.

Time passes, another half is ordered.

Another big group of people of about ten strong walk in and straight back out again. The staff don't look too displeased... after all, the bar is rammed full on a Wednesday evening.

I take a look outside for a while and see a car and a van driver try to turn into a side road at the same time. Fingers are flipped and shouting ensues. The van driver gets out and the car driver speeds away quickly, narrowly avoiding the van diver. It kind of makes me feel better in that one instance. The knowledge that I'm having a good time, and that I don't have that kind of anger about me is soothing.

I have another chat about whisky this time with the man to the left of me. As I said, I don't mind talking to like minded people on my down time. People drunk out of their skulls... I actually don't mind talking to them either.. It's highly entertaining!

Pork Scratchings? Yes please!

Sure I could be on the comfy couch right now drinking this Duvel Triple Hop, dry hopped with Citra (which btw, was phenomenal!) reading a book or two about beer - which sounds pretty perfect, don't get me wrong! But I'm at the bar, being engaging. Talking to people about passions and life, and you know what? It's a fantastic way to spend my down time!

I leave North Bar at an undisclosed or unremembered time...

Did I move onto another bar in the morning hours? Well I was on down time, but that's all in my history now. And it was in this down time which I had last night, when I had some time to think, where I wrote this on a few scraps of paper.


  1. Sounds like a pretty damn good bit of down time to me

  2. Love nights like that!

  3. When it comes down to it, beer culture isn't really about beer, is it? It's about people and places. Love this post.