Our first Away game this season takes us the short distance across town to Barking’s Mayesbrook Park stadium for our encounter with West Essex.
Technically the nearest station is Upney, but if you don’t fancy the very long hike across the park there are frequent buses from outside Barking station, where you’ll also find two pubs side by side. Of these, the Barking Dog is much the better bet – a cavernous Wetherspoons with their standard offering of a good range of beers and food at very reasonable prices (in fact this is one of the cheapest ‘Spoons pubs around).
Next door on the opposite corner is the Spotted Dog, which though a locally-listed building is sadly not what it was, though according to that essential guide the CAMRA Whatpub website (whatpub.com) it offers Bombardier plus a guest ale.
And that’s about it, though about halfway between here and the ground on Longbridge Road is the Royal Oak, a Greene King house which reportedly has real ale (no other details available).
Barking may be a bit of a beer desert, therefore – but the exact opposite is the case with the CAMRA Great British Beer Festival, which opens at 5 00 on Tuesday August 7th at Kensington Olympia.
Here you’ll find a truly amazing range of beers, ciders, perries and other drinks from all around the country and all around the world, with something to suit everybody. Add in food stalls, beer-related stalls, live music, breweriana auctions, pub games and a great atmosphere, and you have a truly must-visit event.
As ever, the Beer Hunter and his lady assistant will be taking the opportunity to conduct some thorough and in-depth research (essential for this job). Full details at www.gbbf.org.uk. The Festival runs until the evening of Saturday August 11th – see you there!