Well what are the chances? Deep into the second half of a lifetime devoted to music, with a significant amount of those years enjoying the odd beer or two, I wind up in a little Suffolk market town where the local brewery is run by a pair of music obsessed brothers who combine both of those passions with the naming of their products. Step forward Bull of the Woods brewery (itself taken from the title of a 1969 13th Floor Elevators LP), whose front door is just 3 miles from my own. Their range of beers includes Twisted Wheel (named after the famed Northern Soul club), Shine a Light (from the Rolling Stones tune), Vapour Trail (after the 1991 Ride EP), festive ale Season of the Witch (from Donovan's hit of the same name), Woodstock (say no more) and an oatmeal stout called Black Ark, so monikered in tribute to Lee Scratch Perry's legendary recording studio. They're all really really great beers across the board, but, if you pinned me to the wall, demanding that I choose my favourites, I'd have to go for Hacienda, a highly gluggable 4% pale ale and Rocksteady, a malty, caramelly 3.8% session ale, both of which slip down an absolute treat. I'm working up a thirst just typing about them.
Today's photo finds me in the beer garden of my local, nursing a sublime pint of Rocksteady. All being well, that's where you'll also find me the day after tomorrow, for an hour or so at least. Excitingly, Sunday is the day that Bull of the Woods are due to launch a brand new golden ale, brewed exclusively for this very pub. I can think of worse ways to celebrate my 63rd birthday.