Monday, 28 May 2012

It started with a kiss...

It started with a kiss…

G - There’s only a few people out there that know the events of the night me and Kerry met (and I don’t mean dirtiness either). Let’s put it this way, she didn’t particularly like me, I mean I liked her and thought she was beautiful, but she still didn’t like me. Well needless to say, and after being rejected by Kerry during the week, we ended up together and are still very happy.
As much of our lives revolve around the glorious nectar it comes to pass that our first ‘official’ date revolved around the glorious stuff.
After my rejection night we still continued to text each other and for some reason Kerry asked if I wanted to go on a mini ale trail with her on the Monday.
K – As the majority of my friends in York drink the dreaded Fosters, I felt the need to find myself a new drinking buddy, despite his dress sense….
G – So I donned my casual, but smart, glad rags and set off, late. Ok, this was not the best start to the day but luckily Kerry was still there waiting for me.
K – I wasn’t overly bothered about him being late, but slightly nervous he wouldn’t show which is probably why I’d managed to drink most of my pint by the time he’d arrived.

G – Now I haven’t the foggiest what I drank that day but, being the ultimate professional she is, Kerry kept a record of her drinks and the places we visited.
I had no expectations for the day, if anything I was relaxed, thinking I had gained a friend in York who was into her ales. Both good points.
So we settled down in The Snickleway to our first drink sat in a little corner away from everyone so we could have some time to chat.
K – I had chosen Snickleway as our meeting point for a couple of reasons. 1 - It was just around the corner from my house (lazy I know) and 2 - I was hoping they would have my favourite ale at the time, Rudgate Jorvik Blonde. They didn’t. I settled with something else I hadn’t tried before (and forgot to write down what it was) and decided to find out a little more about my new drinking companion.
G - While I was happy I was still a little nervous. Kerry after all is beautiful and I wondered why she would come out drinking with me.
Well, I have no idea what my drink was. As it has been recently The Snickleway has been a little lapse with its ale choices with the occasional new ale on tap. I probably plumbed for a bog standard ale they were serving.
Needless to say the conversation flowed as if we had been friends for years.
K – We were chatting so much I only had one or two pints while we were in The Snickleway. I have a sneaky feeling Gareth was trying to impress me with his knowledge of ale…
G - After a little while, and finishing out pints, we moved on and chose to move towards town. The next establishment being the wonderful Old White Swan. This has become a firm favourite of mine over the last few years and I am always grateful of the live music and relaxed atmosphere they provide (and the 50p discount they give to CAMRA members).
We entered and chose two ales, one of which is brewed locally. We took our York Brewery Yorkshire Terrier and Downtown Brewery Honey Blonde and sat on the comfy sofa’s.
Bear in mind we were out drinking and no tasting notes where taken this time. As normal I’ve provided the links to their websites so you can have a look, find them in a pub and decide for yourself.
K – I was used to taking tasting notes, but didn’t want to appear rude, so other than managing to jot down the name of the pub and a couple of ales we had I have nothing. The White Swan was at that point my most frequented pub, serving a variety of real ales alongside the more bog standard drinks, allowing a perfect meeting point for my non real ale drinking friends. The conversation flowed, though I can’t remember what we talked about in this place.
G – So things were going better than well, a little unexpected, but brilliant non the less. We pondered our way from White Swan taking a somewhat long route to the next pub (this was to become a theme for the night).
As we wandered down Petergate towards the next pub I hoped that the friendship that we had started to form was going to last. I had found a good drinking buddy in York at a time when I needed friends. To say I was happy was an understatement.
We stumbled along on our merry way and ended up in the History rich Guy Fawkes pub, and what a pub it is. During the day light by natural light and on an evening they light the heavily laden candles that adorn the establishment. It’s romantic and eerie in the same flicker of light. It engulfs you and sends you on a roller-coaster of alcohol and atmospheric emotions. A grand pub.
Well this, as Kerry tells me, if the pub where she started to like me in a way more than friends. Something happened to make her change her mind.
K – It may have been the beer or the atmosphere, but this is the moment I remember most about our mini ale trail. We had settled at the bar with our drinks and had begun to talk about our backgrounds and family situations. The more Gareth talked, the more I began to like him, and thought that my first impressions of the arrogant little man in the hat were wrong.
G - Well we settled down with our pints, one of them being a Marston Moor Matchlock Mild and the other we haven’t got a clue, and continued to chat the night away.
After a while of delicious and stimulating conversation we decided to make a move to the next pub. This being The Hole in the Wall.
So after a few beers we decided it was time for some food and Curry Night is as good as any. Now bear in mind Kerry’s astute observation skills (not noticing I was only eating Vegetarian Food while having Chinese) I was not holding on to her remembering that I am indeed Veggie. We noshed down on our well deserved food and ale and continued to chat all things us.
We only have one note for this pub and it was Brakspear Oxford Gold. I haven’t got a clue what I was drinking.
K – When Gareth and I had met up previously for a Chinese buffet I was so interested in my food I completely bypassed the fact that Gareth doesn’t eat meat. This only became apparent to me when he ordered the vegetarian curry in Hole in the Wall. Whoops.
 G- Now being a lightweight the alcohol was starting to affect me and I was feeling brave. Well that’s the only way I can explain what happened in the next pub. I’m a chicken when it comes to do with females and approaching them but this was a little different. I’ll let Kerry explain.
K – We both agreed Pivni was next on our list. It was (and still is) one of our favourite places to have a quiet drink. I was particularly interested in the board game selection upstairs and proceeded to play Ludo, getting slightly agitated when Gareth let me win! After our game, he decided to make his move. He very smoothly came to sit on the benches next to me, and after I had made it apparent I was not going to slap him, he put his arm around me and we ended up snuggled up choosing songs to play on the free jukebox.

G- So that was that. We were ‘comfortable’ around each other and I was loving it.
We decided that we had time for another drink we pondered over to The Last Drop Inn.
K – The Last Drop Inn was next door to my house, hence our reason for choosing it. The selection of ales on offer wasn’t great but by this point we didn’t care. I chose the York Brewery Willamette and we settled in the wooden booth under the stairs (not comfortable but never mind). It was getting to closing time and our Ale Trail had to come to an end, so Gareth walked me to my door (all of 10ft away), and I went to bed happy (and alone!).

G - So that’s the story of our first Ale Trail together, our first date and the start of something that has changed my world.
Happy drinking fellow alers and I promise it won’t be as long till the next blog.
Gareth & Kerry


  1. You two are adorable! The comment 'arrogant little man in the hat' made me laugh out loud! This is a great blog, even though I don't drink beer (or ale) :D

  2. This isn't a beer blog.... a lot of the time you don't know what you were drinking. Not here for a "im happy with my relationship" blog. Don't advertise this as a beer blog. It is not at all informative.
    Here are a few links to some real beer blogs you should probably take notes from...

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. I would just like to say that there is a difference between constructive critisism and just being plain hurtfull.

      I understand that everyone has a point of view and everyone should air these but when it could affect the authors of the post then maybe these should be curved a little.

      This was a one off post relating to how both of the authours met, over ale, and I feel sure that if you took some time to read the others posts in our history then it would be more to your liking.

      Thank you for the links but I have already subscribed to these on my eReader and as such I have a few here for you to read as a little thanks for posting an anonymous comment.

  3. The following statements in a real ale blog are frankly ridiculous:

    " I settled with something else I hadn’t tried before (and forgot to write down what it was)"

    " I haven’t got a clue what I was drinking."

    " I probably plumbed for a bog standard ale they were serving."

    "Bear in mind we were out drinking and no tasting notes where taken this time"

    I did take the time to read your blog, I've read all of your posts and all of the other ones have in fact been about ale. I was simply pointing out that this did not belong in a real ale blog. Save it for your memoirs, please.

    1. And please may I ask why not? It is a post that has some content about ale but is for our readers to see the story behind how we met over ale and how this blog came about.

      Look at Melissa Cole's latest blog, it's a recipe for oven roasted chicken. The vast majority of the post covers the cooking of the chicken (yes with Chimay in) and an accompanying beer, but it still has about the same content of Ale Related Talk as our last post.

      Boak & Baileys post from June 12th is all about electrical equipment apart from this "Maybe some people simply can’t taste the difference between good and bad beer, however often they try? If that’s the case, it doesn’t make them idiots — it makes them lucky."

      If you are that bothered about the post I suggest that we meet over a pint of ale and discuss this further.

      Our email address is and I feel that we can arrange a time that suits to bump some gums and sup a few pints (unless you like to hide behind a veil on anonymity?)

  4. I take on board your points, however Melissa Cole does give the name of the accompanying beer she drinks and suggests good matches for the chicken she's prepared. You suggest on your blog that you would like feedback so I gave some. Obviously you didn't find it constructive, I'm sorry that you've found it hurtful. Like I said before, I have read all your posts and when you're talking about ale it's an entertaining read.

    Unfortunately I'm not local so will be unable to meet you

  5. Please can you remove the photograph of the Guy Fawkes Inn as it has been used without permission. The original photograph can be found here.