It was good to be back in Nottingham this weekend. Our friends we went back with seemed to like it too. I can't rule out a move back at some point; when the time's right.
In the meantime it was good to catch up with old friends and revisit some old haunts. Since we left five years ago (surely the fastest five years of my life) everything's changed and nothing's changed. You'll know the feeling if you ever go back to somewhere you called home for more than half of your life.
Because it was Beer Festival weekend we felt it was only right to not only show the newbies around the festival, but also that there are more decent pubs on one street in Nottingham (make that one side of one street) than in the whole of our little town: many of which are award winning establishments serving award winning beers.
And none finer than The Organ Grinder on Alfreton Road, home to the Blue Monkey Brewery - a modest out of town enterprise owned by Trevor Vickers selling a handful of barrels in 2008, now catapulted to a thriving business with a (mini) chain of establishments across the East Midlands and a classic portfolio of beers to boot. Trevor and his good lady were in on Saturday night and I remember telling him that, not for the first time, Guerrilla was my favourite beer at the festival (as it was last year). What's not to like about this beautiful stout with a chimp wearing a beret on the pump-clip ? He even humoured my friend by signing his beermat for him.
And we've also asked him to make contact with our local up here and see if we can't introduce a few Blue Monkeys into the wilds of North Yorkshire this winter. Where they'll soon turn to brass.