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  • Haydn Williams

You Windsor some. You lose some.



On the 8th August four brave Tour de Hoppers donned their helmets and set off on a pilgrimage through central London to the northernmost tip of the capital – Edmonton – no not the Canadian one.


In Edmonton we were greeted with smiles aplenty and more Beerblefish beer than you could shake a bike pump at. We chatted with owners James and Bethany for a few hours while enjoying some locally crafted beers and talked about everything from social justice to Small Brewers Tax (go and sign this petition right now).


Our group for this ride was hit by the intense weather with a couple of hopper droppers who didn’t think they could make it across London in the 34-degree heat – we can’t wait to see you next time guys.


For this ride we welcomed back Rob on his Cannondale Hybrid and Katie on the infamous Beer Barge as well as introducing Tim (sporting a dashing pink Breast Cancer Now jersey) on a rather tasty Cannondale to the crew.



Is it me or is it hot out here?


What’s the saying? You’re waiting for a bus and then two come at once.


Well. For us it’s slightly different, we’ve waiting weeks to ride without rain and when we finally do, we get more sun than the Sahara.


34 degrees. I mean, come on that’s too much heat for anyone surely?



But it wasn’t raining.


And that was lovely.


And it gave us plenty of weather related small talk to get through the first couple of beers.


Always find the positives guys.


Cycle superhighway one (or the cycling crystal maze as it should be called)



I’m a big fan of the cycle superhighways around London. Are they perfect, no far from it. But they’re getting better and they give us cyclists a tiny bit of respite from battling through red buses and angry drivers.


Riding up to Beerblefish took us along what is probably the best section of cycleway in London. We sped along the river from Westminster to Blackfriars taking in iconic London landmarks like the London eye, National Theatre and Big Ben.


It’s one of those sections that’s a real pleasure to ride.


Cycle superhighway one however, is like trying to navigate the Crystal Maze with a blindfold on and your legs tied together with unbreakable rope.


Cycle superhighway one however, is like trying to navigate the Crystal Maze with a blindfold on and your legs tied together with unbreakable rope.

It is a joke of a route. Without Komoot maps we’d still be battling our way through it as we speak. Surely a cycle route through London shouldn’t involve getting of your bike and checking a map every 40 seconds.


It’s less of a route and more of an entanglement of roads that happen to take you across London.


To be fair though, it's much nicer than riding through Dalston High Street.


Return to the scene of the crime….


Those of you who have followed us for some time may remember when we got kicked out of Walthamstow Wetlands. We weren’t proud.


(From the Wild Card Brewery Tour de Hops ride ^^^^)


So when we inevitably lost our way and found ourselves back in the wetland – it felt like fate.


Walthamstow Wetlands is a fantastic place to cycle through and is a picturesque London green space that often goes overlooked. If you get the chance to visit, do not skip it.


The ride through the Wetlands was beautiful but largely uneventful. The only memorable part was a canal crossing that took us up a small hill where Rob forgot to change down a few gears to climb it.


Cue a small TdH pile up.


Luckily, those of us at the back with clipless pedals were well versed enough to quickly snap out and catch ourselves.


Pheww!


Best Bitter, best tapper and 1892 straight from the fermenter


When we finally made it to the brewery we were welcomed by Bethany and James (and an aspiring local brewer who got fully involved) and ushered in for some Beerblefish greats.


We kicked off with a cask of Edmonton Best Bitter. Beer barge rider and Tour de Hops enthusiast Katie stepped up to the plate and tapped the cask almost perfectly and with only the tiniest of spillage.




We’re not sure she appreciated the cold water over the head though….


Although it came after co-owner James explained how he’d been keeping cool in the brewery that week so maybe it was inspired by a level of care and not a history of rugby tours.



The afternoon continued and we were given samples of some of Beerblefish’s best-selling beers including XPA, 1892 IPA (Straight from the fermenter and beautifully bitter) and Bethany’s favourite – Cashmere Brut IPA.


Cashmere Brut IPA ABV: 6.7%


“Cashmere Brut IPA (6.7%) because it’s my baby. I’m allergic to grapes and wanted something that would fill the wine glass-shaped hole in my life, so I designed a beer that comes in a 750ml wine-size bottle, has a light mouth-feel and vinous characteristics that allow it to earn its place at the dinner table.”


Cashmere was the beer that took us by surprise. It’s not a hop we know much about, but my gosh is it good. Cashmere Brut IPA is a smooth and dry IPA with low bitterness. There’s a lingering lemon taste to it and with a dry finish that leaves it close to a sparkling wine.


We grabbed a bottle to take home for a special occasion.


And to get Hector to pose with it of course.


You Windsor some, you lose some


After a good two hours of chatting and sampling the best of Beerblefish. the time came for us to leave.


We bought a few of our favourite beers including bottles of Cashmere IPA, a Black Beerble stout, a lady Mildamay and a Salted Choc Cherry Stout and headed back out on the open road.


Salted Choc Cherry Stout ABV: 8.3%


Now, I’m a sucker for a good imperial stout so when I saw this on the Beerblefish bottle list, I knew it was coming home with me.


This impy has little to no carbonation which allows the chocolate notes come through smoothly. It has a deep cherry chocolate nose and the pinch of salt adds a nice depth of flavour. For a low carbonation imperial it was surprisingly light bodied but thoroughly enjoyable.


Being totally frank, I wish I had given this more time in the bottle before drinking it. With 6-12 months this could be a real stonker.


But wait Haydn… you did buy two for that exact reason…


Well, now begins the story of our lost bottles.


After a little too much Edmonton’s Best, Katie left us and took the small ride over to Edmonton Green to catch the train home. Unfortunately, upon discovering that you can’t take a Dutch Town bike on the Victoria Line. She was forced to take the short ride from London Liverpool street to Waterloo.


This is where it happened.


Katie hit a pothole with too much enthusiasm and two precious Beerblefish bottles went bang in her bag.


RIP to our bottle two of Salted Choc Cherry Stout and Black Beerble.


You will be truly missed.


For the rest of us, we rode home through central London, we dropped Tim off in Putney with four intact Beerblefish bottles, and we sent him on the train home to Windsor.


You see.


We Windsored some Beerblefish beers.


And we lost some Beerblefish beers.


And you had to wait more than two weeks for that climax…



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