My old man got a bit older in January -- the big 3-0! And since he likes beer, I took him to one of his favorite places on this earth: Fuller's Brewery.
(I was thisclose to keeping it a secret! But with my history of bad directions, I figured it'd be better for us to actually get there instead of wandering around in circles, so I spilled the beans the night before.)
|Gaaah, of course it was ducking gray weather!|
It's a fascinating building: whereas the breweries we're used to in the states are, for the most part, in locations where they can expand out and out and out, Fuller's is in its original London location, where they have to fill in whatever space they have left in the building if they need to install new equipment. So. Lots of narrow stairways and crammed spaces. At one point Britton said it looked like the engine room of the Enterprise. (He would.)
The Fuller's Tour is also a bit of a history lesson. Fuller's has been brewing in the same spot since 1845, a short 170 years ago — and they've kept some of the original equipment on-site to show how things used to be. Like the giant brewing drums (so big young guys would have to climb all the way inside in order to clean them) and the open-air fermentation pools (careful of contamination, and of staff casually siphoning of a pint or two...).
And of course, the guide also taught us about BEER! We got to taste some beer seeds (er, malt), smell some hops, and see the production line for the kegs. As well as most steps in between as well. (Those steps don't photograph as well though)
|"For delicious beer, just add water!"|
And finally, the whole reason you take the tour at all — the beer tasting at the end! We each sampled several of their brews, and of course it was all quite tasty. It's not like we were going to be let down... it's
(And a very happy (belated) birthday to my exit buddy! So glad we're on this big adventure.)
Oh, and we got some really delicious pizza afterward, too!