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Advent Additions.

It's Advent. Derived from the Latin phrase ad venire, meaning to come. And we've got some stuff to come in Bikes, Beer and Bygone Boozers. Some stuff on all three. Yes, some stuff –and one pic – to do with bikes (sorry!), some more stuff – and two pics – relating to beer and finally even more stuff – and three pics – concerning bygone boozers. There aren't new bygone boozers, just historical ones. Historical in that they closed many moons ago and also historical in that they've appeared in posts that I've written earlier.

So let's start with the bike stuff to get it over with. Not so much an additional bike (don't forget that the optimum number of bikes that a cyclist should own is described by the equation N = n+1, where N is the optimum number of bikes and n is the number currently owned) more like one experiencing a renaissance.

My first ever time trial frame has been rebuilt into a bike of sorts using bits and bobs that I've had floating around for a while. It has been paired with something that is an addition, a new Kermit-green turbo trainer, and now lives in the cellar. As the wifi signal manages to penetrate down to the subterranean sweat-room it means that, by the magic that is t'interweb, whether it's fine, frosty or foggy I can cycle and chat with my chums in the captivating countryside offered by the Cap de Formentor, California or even Canary Wharf – although it must be stretching the alliteration to consider the environs of E14 as countryside.

1990s Reynolds steel tubes meet 2020s Kermit-green trainer.

That's the bike dealt with, now for the beer.

With the EU easing-up their travel restrictions for those wishing to arrive from Covid-consumed Blighty, Mrs. Bygone Boozer and I planned a quick dash to snowbound Sweden. Having arranged all the appropriate tests that that nice Mr. Javid had told us we needed to take on our return, the day before our planned departure the blonde, randomly-coiffured one who didn't attend any parties in his London abode last Christmas decides that we will need a PCR test within forty-eight hours of our arrival back home. Easy enough we thought. We'll just get them done at the airport we thought. Time to think again as, for some inexplicable reason, the testing facilities there shut halfway through the day. I'd be buggered if I was going to drive back there the following day to get it done so I managed to book some at a different airport that's even further away.

The journey went well and it was great to be in a country which felt pretty normal. I suppose it's understandable that things seemed quite relaxed as Sweden's capital city doesn't have 33% of its population unvaccinated unlike England's. It was also great to catch up with a couple of new additions to the brews of Jämtlands Bryggeri.

I've written about Heaven and Hell in this earlier post and now it was time to consider these two newcomers to the local brewery's range. First to be poured was their Dubbel IPA. I'll translate that for those whose Swedish isn't too hot. It's a Double IPA.

My hand was not as steady as it could've been as I poured this 8% bottle conditioned brew and managed to allow a little sediment to make it into the glass. As with all of this brewery's beers only a thin head developed and I'm sure that my nose caught traces of pineapple. It tasted great. Frighteningly great, for there was no hint in the mouth of quite how hefty this offering is. I could drink this all night long. Or perhaps I couldn't!

The second sample was a bit lighter at a mere 7%. Jämtlands Coffee Stout is a stout with hints of, err, coffee.

Darker beers are not my go-to items. My palate's preference is usually for lighter, hoppier brews but this again was very drinkable. Being dark it hid well my inability to coordinate eyes and hands when pouring. As expected the head was thin, but more off-white than the IPA's. Unsurprisingly the taste was very, err, stouty with hints of, err, coffee. Not any coffee I'll have you know, but locally roasted beans from Columbia and Nicaragua.

The above pair are not the brewery's only new brews to make it into their range. There's a Mango IPA to try yet. Watch this space! But now it's time for those bygone boozers.

Back in September I received a picture of the Canteen at Enfield Lock, painted in oils on panel in 1855. I wasn't presented with the actual painting but a digital version of it, you understand. More evidence that someone actually reads this drivel! The pub appeared in this post and I'd been unable to find an image of it where I'd been successful in getting one of all the other bygones that featured.

The second bygone I wish to return to is the former George Hotel in Taddington, Derbyshire, which first featured here. I've acquired a couple of shots of the place when it was operating in the early part of the twentieth century.

The George Hotel, Taddington, Derbyshire.

The internal combustion engine has replaced the horse.

And whilst we're back in Taddington I now know when the former Travellers' Rest closed. When I was digging about for information on the lost Potters' Arms in Woodville I was sent this which shows that the Potters' was one of a number of pubs closed with compensation in 1910. By chance, the Travellers' Rest just happened to appear in the same list.

So there you have it, a full house. Bikes, Beer and Bygone Boozers. All that's left for me to say now is that wherever you're celebrating it have a good midwinterfest, for I doubt if there'll be another post beforehand. If there is then I'll just have to wish you a good one once again.

If you've read this far, then thank you. Possibly, like me, you may have some sort of interest in bygone boozers. Clicking here will take you to a searchable/sortable index which you can use to see if I've already featured any lost locals from your locality. You can also subscribe to ensure that you don't miss any future posts. Simply click here to return to the home page (opens in a new tab), follow the 'Subscribe' link and complete the form to receive an email notification of any future post. Or you could simply follow the link at the top of this page.

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