Yes, it seems you can organise a p**s up in a brewery. This one was set up by fellow boater, Rolly, who arranged for us to have a tour of the lymestone brewery here in Stone on Friday evening.
We were collected by a minibus and delivered to the premises, built a 100 or more years ago as a rival to the Joules brewery alongside the canal.
There was a bar set up outside the brewing room with a selection of the fine ales which are produced there. Our entry price included unlimited sampling and we set to with enthusiasm! We were shown the brewing process and our host explained the details, interspersed with some colourful anecdotes.
Also included was a helping of 'Lymestone Lobby' a kind of stew, which was served with crusty bread. It certainly stuck to our ribs and helped to soak up some of the delcious ales we consumed. Lovely!
All to soon the minibus was at the door to deliver us back to Aston Marina, although some of the Captains couldn't resist getting out at the 'Three Crowns' on the way past. My Captain managed to resist the temptation and stayed on board the bus, thus gaining some brownie points from the girls but, I suspect, losing some from the rest of the Guys!
On Saturday there was the monthly farmers market in Stone, so we all made our own way in, eventually meeting up in the Royal Exchange, (in lieu of friday eve maybe?), for delicious chip butties. After our enthusiasm at the brewery the night before, the guys were fairly restrained with the pints but we all had a good laugh.
In the next few weeks we will all start to go our separate ways to start the cruising season. Those of us who have put on a few pounds over the winter may see that as a blessing.
As a start towards that event, the Captain has at last started to catch up with some of the jobs which are overdue. The first was fitting some new stern fenders. Not before time. The new one has only been in the locker for three years! This week there should be a new fender for the bow.