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Enjoy your Trip

Our local pub, The Sportsman in Reading, is having a bit of a beer festival at the moment – half a dozen cask ales – so we popped along yesterday evening for a couple of pre-dinner “sharpeners”.  Most of the beers are from the Greene King stable – some familiar ones like IPA, Abbot Ale and Old Speckled Hen, but a couple I hadn’t seen before – Hare Raiser and Olde Trip – plus a guest beer – Hyde’s Jekyll’s Gold (according to a number of items I found on t’internet, this is quite a regular guest beer in Greene King pubs).

Hare Raiser is a new seasonal beer brewed specially for cask ale week at the start of April, and only available until the end of April – a pity it was off last night – must have sold well over the weekend!  Olde Trip is a Hardy & Hanson’s brand (now part of Greene King I believe, like so many other small breweries) and is named after the famous Ye Olde Trip To Jerusalem pub in Nottingham, which claims to be the oldest pub in England.

I decided to try a pint of the Jekyll’s Gold (4.3%).  It’s a very pale golden colour, dry and refreshing without being particularly bitter.  At first I thought it tasted a bit “thin”, but it grew on me as I progressed down the pint.  Meanwhile, Sarah was trying the Olde Trip (4.3%) (probably a sentimental choice as she was born and spent her early years in Nottingham).  An exchange of slurps showed that we both preferred the Olde Trip, so I decided to have a pint of it.  Certainly more body than the Jekyll’s Gold, darker, more bitter, and a bit more flavour.  I enjoyed the Jekyll’s Gold, but I think I preferred the Olde Trip.  Sarah went for the Greene King IPA, and enjoyed it.

From there, home to a couple of bottles of Fuller’s London Pride and a pizza.  Thinking of going back up to The Sportsman this evening to see what they’ve got left – not least because they have an offer that if you buy 5 drinks from the festival beers you get a 6th one free, and I’ve got 4 stamps on my card!

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