OK, Rachel and I are in Brugge, and as I start to write this are just back from a classic night out in one of the worlds finest beer destinations. Today has featured visits to the Struise shop for Rio Reserva, Cafe Rose Red, twice sampling the most delicious Troubadour Magma Galaxy, once outside for the sun and later for cosy intimacy. Cambrinus, again, for steak natural style with Belgian frites and mushroom sauce, washed down with Vicaris Generaal, and of course Brugs Beertje where the menu was scoured and relieved of many sours and a Struise Black Albert to close.
Fast forward several hours and after a decent nights kip it’s time to pack and journey onwards into Holland, to Bodegraven bound for Borefts, surely up there with the best beer festivals in the world and I’m sure it will be truly amazing.
But, in the words of Ronnie James Dio “Still I’m Sad”….
I bet your heart well and truly bleeds for me right now as I’m obviously suffering yes? But in all honesty, although normally I’d hack your right leg off with an extra dulled butter knife to be here, where I really want to be is back home and heading here..
As anyone who knows me well knows only TOO WELL, I’ve taken Macclesfield to heart, it’s folk, the beers, publicans and brewery’s. It’s a great place, friendly and has (or had until recently) a short three pronged bar destination tour I playfully named The Macclesfield Triangle. Well, someone’s well and truly buggered that one up haven’t they, Toby bloody McKenzie!!
Today see’ s the official opening of Red Willow Bar (unless the name has changed since last week), but as I’ve been really close to this project from the beginning, it feels awful not being there to see the doors open for the first time to an eager, thirsty public. I’ve watched Toby and Caroline literally slave over this empty shell, painstakingly “nit-picking” over the finest of fine detail for months to get things ready for that moment, a real labour of love brought to life with the last turn of a key.
With fifteen (yes FIFTEEN) keg lines, five cask and fifty gins amongst other things, there’s going to be something for everyone.
Despite many desperate pleas and even a consideration of sabotage, that key is turning when we are away in Europe and hence the sad face. The happy face will I’m sure return when I hit Borefts in a few hours, where I’ll be undertaking a mission to research the beers on offer, not for me you understand, all for you guys back in Blighty…
Toby, Caroline & everyone at Red Willow, we wish you the very best of luck today and for years to come, the first glass of the day will be raised to you, CHEERS!!