Thursday, July 29, 2010

The quest for Tonbridge Blonde Ambition goes on....

Well last night I went out on a quest for the Holy Grail! Having heard a rumour that the Man of Kent near East Peckham may be serving that illusive of beers, Tonbridge Brewery's Blonde Ambition. It's a lovely looking pub The Man of Kent is at a tiny hamlet charmingly called Little Mill. It's next to an old bridge over the river Bourne and, looking out from the patio area of the pub, which had a spot light on the water, I noticed some large fish swimming against the flow of the river but appearing perfectly still in the shallow waters below as if being curious to know what the humans where up to above. (of course what they were really doing was eating the flies which had been attracted by the spot light.) I'm not a fish expert so I'm not sure whether they were trout, carp, bream, pike or what; perhaps someone out there knows more? Anyway I walk in the front door of the pub and realise that this building has either sunk down into the ground or else was built for the rather less well nourished people from medieval times. I'm not exaggerating if I say that I almost had to bend double to get to the bar such was the low height of the beamed ceiling of the main bar. Definitely a pub for petite landladies and bar staff! Charming at first, but you really do have to watch your head when you stand up otherwise it wouldn't just be the beer which gave you a sore bonce the next day! So then on to the beer; well here's the disappointing bit: no Blonde Ambition! They only have it as the occasional guest beer. Damn it! My quest goes on for this Holy Grail of a beer! Despite the sign outside proudly proclaiming that they served Larkins Ale, another local brewery, it turns out that there was none of that either so, instead, I had to make do with the guest beer which was Doom Bar from Sharp's Brewery of Rock, Cornwall. I a way this was quite appropriate as I do tend to go to Cornwall on holiday most years and I'd never tried it on draught before. No bad, but I've definitely tasted alot better. They also had Adnams Bitter which was only alright and, my favourite for the evening, and a bit predictably, Harvey's Sussex Bitter. Now I normally find Harvey's a bit too hoppy for my liking but, for some reason, last night really enjoyed the half pint I had. Maybe my taste buds are opening up to new possibilities. All in all a nice way to spend a couple of hours on a mid summer evening but disappointing that I didn't get to try the beer I went there in search of....

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Did they have any fosters?

Anonymous said...

You don't like hoppy? Then you'll absolutely hate Blonde Ambition. Btw Doombar is ale for people who don't like ale, better off with Fosters.

Keith said...

I've heard that it may be available at the Longmead Lounge. Definitely open when Tonbridge Angels are playing at home.

Paul Bailey said...

Still not tracked down any Blonde Ambition myself.

Hopefully there'll have some on at the Sevenoaks Lions Beer Festival, this coming weekend.

Anonymous said...

As well as WHITE ROCK INN you can also get it in the DOVECOTE Capel. Got that you dopey dodderers?

tonbridge brewery said...

Hi all followers of this quest. I am the brewer and maybe I can explain what is happening. As a new brewery, I have to accept that, with a few exceptions, my beers will start off as occasional guest beers in most pubs. In total, about 20 pubs have taken Blonde Ambition over the last few months and about half of these have re-ordered. As at today, I think it is available at the following pubs: Hop Pole Nettlestead, New Drum Tonbridge, King & Queen East Malling, Ye Olde George Shoreham, Anchor Sevenoaks and Dovecote Capel. My second beer, Auburn Myth has successfully tested at the White Rock Underriver and I hiope to put this into several more pubs over the next few weeks. As sales grow, I will brew more regularly and hope to get a more permanent place in several establishments. I try to keep updates going on twitter - look for @Tonbridgebrewer

Anonymous said...

Dear Tonbridge Brewery. White Rock Inn is a very poor test bed for your ales, as the place seems to be always packed full of BNP card carrying Telegraph reading Daewoo driving bewildered pensioners. The Drum? Banjo playing inbreds. Must try harder.

Graeme said...

Hi guys,

Just to let you know that Blonde Ambition will be at the Man of Kent's upcoming Beer Festival on the 20th - 22nd August 2010... Along with serval other Guest Ales.
Hope to see you there....

Nigel said...

I had it at both the Hoppole and the Dovecote.It just slips down.Well done to the Master brewer,
When do the Tee shirts come out.i'll be proud to wear one

Nige