Nottingham Camra Stout & Porter Stroll 09/03/2010

The start of another years Stout and Porter stroll, the chance to sample some different porters and also an excuse to visit some pubs I don’t normally see too much of.

Starting off in the Sir John Borlase Warren with a pint of Soar Head stout from the Cockfighter brewery. Nice and smooth with a chocolatey flavour. Very easy drinking and I could have easily had another couple relaxing in the nice sofas watching the world go by, but we had other pubs to visit.

Quickly dropping down Derby Road, passing by the Hawksley which none of use knew about we reached the Hand and Heart. Here they had a porter – “Drop of the black stuff” from Springhead – and a stout – Amber stout, apologies for forgetting the brewer but I was drinking the porter :)  (Updated – Thankfully Jen’s memory worked and it was Original Stout from Amber Brewery) . A nice middle of the road porter, well kept. The ‘incoming’ board looked interesting as well, and given the closeness to work I might have to check if they’re going to change them soon. Very friendly welcome there with the Landlord coming over to have a chat with us, and we ended up discussing old drinking haunts out in Beeston.

Deciding to let gravity help us we dropped further down to the Gatehouse , here we found “Drop of the black Stuff” from Springhead on offer again. Nice pint so I wasn’t too heartbroken, though if I’d have known I’d have had the Stout in the Hand and Heart.  Never really been in this pub for ale before, only occasionally for lunch. Was pretty quiet, but they had the football on which none of us follow. Handily they did have the schedule for the England World cup games in the gents, so I now have a list of dates to avoid the city centre in June.

Now the next pub was a complete mystery. I couldn’t remember the name, and when making the map I just couldn’t spot it anywhere on google maps or streetview, so armed with a plethora of smartphones we decided to set off and find it.  Well we found the  Roundhouse and very nice it was. Just the one on –  Noir Rouge which I believe is by Full Mash – but again another great pint. We were all taken by the pub, it’s very nice and comfortable, and if it wasn’t for the porter plan I’d have been tempted by their taster set, 3 beers and a selection of bar snacks for £5. Think this is one pub I’ll have to go back and visit.

Dropping in to the Salutation always feels comfortable, the mix of Ale and Rock always works for me. 2 beers on – Salem Porter, which I drink a lot of in there, and Oatmeal Stout for which I completely forgot to get the brewer, this lapse I blame on doing the stroll on pints rather than halfs. The stout was good, nice ‘porrdgey’ taste to it and a good feel in the mouth.

We had planned on stopping in at the Contemporary Arts centre’s bar (an unofficial venue on the stroll), but they shut early on a Tuesday so we carried on to the Keans head which was serving  Hopback Entire stout. The Keans head is s a nice little pub but I don’t get to that side of the city centre that often and usually when I do it looks like the rest of Nottingham have decided to drink in there.

Decided to call it quits there, and I managed to avoid the pull of the lincolnshire poacher for one more as I wandered home up Mansfield road with my chips.

Still plenty on the list so I might sample a few more over the next couple of weeks.

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