Beer and Loathing

Categorised as GENERAL.

drunk, wasted, hammered


The Defector’s Weld, Shepherds Bush

So even though a few weeks ago I furiously comdemned West London as being an insufferable shit hole, I found myself back there this week. This was because I was due to meet up with a group of people that soon I am going to be gurning in a Butlins with for three days whilst Chase and Status or whoever whip up the chavvies around us into a frothy rage. As this is so clearly a dangerous endeavour we thought it best to decide on a plan of action in a pub somewhere, unfortunately as all three of them are West kids I got outvoted and had to go back to Shepherd’s fucking Bush.

This is not as bad as it may first seem though because I had once been, albeit briefly, to quite a rad pub in Shepherds Bush and thought that perhaps, just perhaps if we went back there I wouldn’t want to slit my wrists and bleed to death. This pub is called The Defector’s Weld. Which is a silly name. I’m sure that ten minutes googling could tell me why it’s called that. But I haven’t done ten minutes googling. That can be your homework. For now we are just going to say this pub has a silly name.

With silly name comes great responsibility. If you call your pub ‘The Swan’ it can be a shit pub. No preloaded expectations with a name like ‘The Red Lion’ either. However, call your pub ‘The Radish and Bastard’ and immediately people are going to think “ooh, special times are coming” and woe betide you if it turns out special times are not coming. Fortunately for The Defector’s Weld, special times were coming. There was a DJ in the corner, trendy arts everywhere, attractive customers and well dressed bar staff. It was almost like we weren’t in West.

Due to the fact that she is the world’s worst bird, upon being sent to find us a table, my friend picked us the only table with a huge speaker right next to it and as such we all spent the evening shouting at each other. It was so loud that we were effectively lip reading. Important issues such as “how much like freshers week is this stupid festival in a Butlins going to be?” were being discussed too so this disruption in communcations was beyond a nightmare. Whilst I am more than happy to lay the blame for this at the feet of my useless m8 I also have to lay another little pile of blame at the feet of the pub. Turn it down a bit. It’s Sunday night, man. That has never been party time. Not even for students or people who work stupid hours. Anyone out drinking on a Sunday is going to be having little chats about who the fuck Hudson Mohawke is and whether he is worth seeing, not raving hard then getting off with each other furiously in the corner.

This memo had, however, apparently not been received by the couple at the other end of our table of sonic doom. They were indulging in what I think is technically termed ‘sociallly unacceptable’ levels of PDA. Like, ‘legs akimbo laying on each other and sticking tongues down each others throats’ PDA. The Americans have some sort of base system to describe this business and I think they were reaching one of the higher numbered bases.

They were a weird couple in other respects too. I’m not sure what the average cool pub clientele are in West London but if these guys were a classic example then eurgh. Gross.

The boy had some bizzarre emo lion style haircut going on. Like lots and lots of hair with a vague fringe thing going on. Actually if you google image search ’emo lion’ then the 8th picture that comes up is almost exactly what he looked like. This haircut was then countered with a Jack Wills hoodie underneath some denim jacket. I can’t remember what his bottom half consisted of but my brain wants to say that he remembers this guy wearing those elasticated bottom chino things and big white nike airmaxes. But I’m pretty sure I didn’t see his bottom half so I don’t know where I’m getting this from. Basically he was rubbish.

The beer selection was awesome, Brooklyn Lager on tap being one of the highlights. As per usual, when faced with a good selection of beers and bar staff roughly my age I started being a pain in the fucking arse and trying to engage these dudes in conversation about the beers. The real reason, if we’re being brutally honest, behind these discussions about beer with bar staff is a jank alpha male “I know more about beer than you” show off fest, but these brehs were so nice I got immediately won over and stopped being the worst. They knew stuff about some beers in the fridge and said if they liked them or not and if they didn’t know what the beer was they were pretty open about that too. In fact, I ended up getting one the bartender hadn’t tried and giving him a taste. That’s how good a friend he had become.

Also, their position on old people pleased me greatly. On one trip to the bar the guy getting served before me was this old dude kicking the fuck off about some minor shit. You could tell that the bartender was not used to putting up with nonsense from the elderly and wasn’t doing a very good job of hiding this fact. When I eventually got served I mentioned that the guy before me was a cock and the barman responded “Yeah he was, fuck that guy.”

Perfect. You can come work in my imaginary pub.

Hipst-o-meter 7/10

I think it deserves a high score, but I am unsure. It’s the sort of place that some person that hates on hipsters but doesn’t really know what they are would go into and be like “ugh so many fucking hipsters.” But really there weren’t that many because they were all these odd west london emo lions and I’m not sure if that counts. The bar staff all seemed pretty, legitimately cool. In my head they all liked the King Blues and spent a bit too much time in Camden though.

Location 2/10

West London, we’ve been through this before. It is right near an exit to Westfields though so you could basically fall into it with all your shopping bags. If collapsing into places with recent purchases is your sort of thing.

Price 5/10

It was an expensive time in my life. Brooklyn Lager was a fiver a pint but they did warn me before I bought it, which I always like. I must still give off studenty “I don’t have any money what am I doing here” vibes that warrant the warning.

Atmosphere 8/10

The place is peppered with art. There was this painting/massive photo (not sure) on the wall of a knight in full armour putting his arm around a sad bear on a hill that then has a tagline beneath it saying “The depressed bear is consoled” or something. I wasn’t into it in the least. Other than that the general buzz was a really good one. I get the impression that when this pub parties on a sensible night it does so with a bloody bang. Lets just hope “strange dubstep couple engaged in foreplay at the end of your table” isn’t an installation piece.


The Euston Tap, Euston

Is Euston a place? Typing that title has made me doubt that Euston is a place. I think it might just be a station. Wherever it is the Euston Tap is a specialist beer bar (I hesitate to call it a pub for reasons we will touch upon later) in one of the guard houses outside Euston station. It has 18 kegged beers on draught and 8 on cask and is honestly smaller than my living room. It’s mental. If you like beer. If you don’t like beer, then I suppose it’s just a really small room full of things you don’t like.

For this reason I decided to take some people who do like beer, in this case, 3 male friends who were as keen as I was to see this tiny place packed with beer we had heard about on the world wide web. However, they were all late because none of us go to Euston very often and so got lost. One friend managed to get some mental bus from Hackney that took him to Euston via basically the M25. Fortunately once you actually get there the tap is incredibly easy to find, being as they are the gate houses to the old station. Which, by the way, was mental. Wikipedia that shit. The Old Euston station was as grand as balls and magnificent as tits. Then in the 60s it got knocked down because the 60s mistakenly thought they were in the future so tried to build the future. But they weren’t in the future. We are. Do you know how I know? Because I am writing an article on a fucking TV you can fold in half and if I cycle up the road I can see an amazing pillar of  glass and steel called the Shard that is the tallest thing in Europe and makes we want to vomit delight. In conclusion then, 1960s, stop knocking things down you hapless pricks, you know nothing and you were all racist to boot.

Oh yeah I was talking about a pub.

So this tiny room was full of beer. Beer and men in suits drinking the beer and being richer than me. The amount of beer was silly though. There were 18 kegged beers on draught and 8 on cask. And then like 4 floor to ceiling Tesco freezer aisle style fridges full of different beers. There were two big blackboards above these fridges (so they weren’t quite floor to ceiling fridges, were they Jack? No they weren’t. I suppose they were just tall.) and they told you what the beers were in the many taps behind the bar. I picked one at random and it turned out to be rice pudding flavour. I shit thee not. The foretaste of this beer was of rice pudding and then you swilled it round your mouth and swallowed, and the aftertaste was rice pudding. So much rice pudding. So little beer. I quite like rice pudding though so I had a pretty good time.

We decided to go upstairs because it said there was seating there and being cramped round this tiny bar with the financial classes was doing our head in. Upstairs was not a pretty picture though, I am pretty sure it was a massive afterthought. The renovators/designers/whatever clearly got halfway through turning this pillar box into a pub and were like “there’s nowhere to sit” and then one was like “there’s this room upstairs, what about that?” and then the other was like “nah it’s jank though” and then the other said “fuck it, nobody will notice”.

But I did notice it was jank. The doors to the toilets which were up here and took up half of the precious, precious space were well new and from the B&Q cheapest doors section. The light fittings would have looked good if the entire pub had a world war two bunker theme. But it didn’t so they looked out of place. There were also these weird blueprint drawings on the wall, which at first glace seemed to be of something to do with old Euston station, but on closer inspection were blueprints of posh bannisters, possibly picked up from the budget bannister aisle right next to the budget doors section.

We left in disgust and sat in the garden area, which was marginally better because you could watch all the cars and commuter go by. Also, this area of London seems to be particularly inclined to kick the fuck off at every opportunity. And by this I mean that I saw a stretch limo and a fire engine.

Hipst-o-meter 2/10

Kids could feasibly go here, especially as the trend of craft beer being cool gains momentum. This place is a sort of craft beer/ale Mecca apparently so when beer is finally recognised as the rad liquid it is maybe it will be hotching with east people and not just suits having a quick £4.50 half before they go back to Warwickshire or wherever the fuck they live.

Location 4/10

It would be a good place to have a drink whilst bombing around museums during the day but this area really isn’t party central. Actually, Scala is down the road though so maybe you could play ‘being an idiot’ and down loads of 9% beer then not get in because you’re too drunk. Also, fuck North London.

Price 8/10

A pint of this unfiltered czech lager called Bernard was £3.40 which I personally think is very reasonable. Actually, everything was very reasonable, if you take into account how rare the stupid beer you are drinking is. But if you’re somebody who isn’t excited by the prospect of stupid beers as most normal shoe wearing humans aren’t then this might not be the place for you no matter how cheap it is. Because silly beer is the only thing on tap here at The Euston Tap.

Atmosphere 5/10

You get tricked into thinking the place was buzzing because there was no room in it. But the people we were rubbing shoulders with kept giving us glares like we were particularly awful members of a street gang. Who drink posh beer. So it wasn’t vibe city. One day, when the aforementioned craft beer being cool reckoning comes and this place is packed out with Vice readers and thirty year olds wearing glasses then maybe I can bump it up to a seven.

Do you have any god awful pubs in mind for Jack to go to at some point in the future? If you do please harass him on twitter @beerandloathinz

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