” Oh, to be in England
Now that Spring is here
Oh, to be in England
Drinking English beer
D-r-i-n-k-i-n-g English beer”.
I was reminded of this ditty by two things. 1) Spring seems to have arrived . 2) a little squib in Gourmet magazine saying that sailors in the English navy in 16th century got beer rations amounting to 10 pints of beer a day. 10 pints! a day!! It’s a wonder some of them them didn’t get drunk and fall overboard.
On our trip to England, more than 25 years ago, we greatly enjoyed drinking at village pubs. There was a warm clubby feeling in those pubs.It was like going to a gymkhana in India with the added bonus of being able to have a beer. Unlike American bars, where drinking is the main order of the day, we got the feeling that socializing came first and the beer was merely to facilitate conversation. Most of the other customers were regulars but they made us feel welcome.
Prior to our trip, I had heard that the English liked their beer warm , that they had something called “bitter” and so I ordered my first beer with some trepidation. What a revelation! It was at not bitter; it was fullbodied and flavorful unlike the Schlitz, Miller and Bud that I was used to. And it wasn’t warm; it was at room temperature, just perfect in the cold, damp climate of England. I seem to remember that the bitter was ” Double Diamond”; I had nothing else during our stay but have not run across it in the States. I’ve had NewCastle Brown Ale and Fuller and Bass and Boddington’s and even Foster’s Special bitter ( made in Australia, it comes in large green ” oilcans”) but nothing compares with the Double Diamond that I had long ago at those pubs around Tottington.
” Oh, to be in England…….