What did you do during lockdown? Did you fiddle with your codpiece and wait till the pubs re-opened? Did you grow some Togmeister?
Or did you set a new world record like Joey ‘Jaws’ Chestnut, described on Wikipedia as a “professional competitive eater with Major League Eating”. Chestnut smashed the world hot dog eating record, guzzling a whopping 75 in ten minutes. In the Guardian Hannah Devlin explained how won his 13th title in 14 years.
“Elite eaters started to follow elaborate training regimes, with some ingesting vast volumes of liquid or gas to expand the stomach. Chestnut claims to train for three months leading up to the competition, including weekly practice runs, a carefully controlled diet, and yoga and breathing exercises to help him focus”. And you thought you just had to stuff yourself. The LA Times caught the great man in action.
Luckily the pubs (or some of them) re-opened before any of us were tempted to emulate Joey so I managed a few more ticks before returning to the cask deserts of Renfrewshire.
First was Tivi Ale in Tividale, where fresh air fortnight, as they used to describe the Glasgow Fair holiday, had officially started. The windows were getting replaced but fair play to them, they stayed open and served up a refreshing glass of Enville Ale and a cheese roll.
Next the long postponed Stafford double, Bod (or should that be bod) and Slater’s. Stafford has generated plenty of pubs in the Good Beer Guide, I’ve been to 28 there since keeping score. Stafford’s very own pubman Paul Mudge will have been to at least 128. Bod is in the suburbs, part of a small parade of shops. It is light, airy and a pleasant place to quaff.
It’s a Titanic Brewery pub so a case of being spoilt for choice from their excellent range. The 4% Iceberg was as crisp as promised by the clip. As was the operation of the corvid procedures
There’s another Bod in Stoke that will have to wait as the priority was Slater’s Bar, serving beers from the brewery of that name. The One Hop here was in superb condition, the staff member attentive and welcoming. Though I was the only customer and there weren’t many in the Spoons next door.
The final Staffordshire tick of a strange year (does it really matter?) was the Greyhound at Burston. A foodie sort of place with Hobgoblin and an ok Pedigree on the bar. As keen readers will know I love a good Greyhound sign, especially one where you can count their ribs.
I did practice social distancing while in the bathroom as there is always room for improvement.