It’s bowling season again. A season that happens one day of the year. Last year I performed exceptionally well and I’m hoping for a repeat performance as the Birthday Cup is up for grabs. I pay my one pound admission fee, and wander down the corridor into the sleazy main atrium, where lurid, red lights shine down on the sugar-powered kids and booze-fuelled youths, hurling balls down the alleys in a variety of styles, while tinny pop music is pumped out at high-volume. The Olympics, this ain’t.
Team Birthday gather round the reserved alleys, waiting for someone who knows how to use the bowling computer thingy. After entering our silly bowling names, the competition is on. The technique that seemed to work for me last time, was to carefully consider the bowl before the release, stride to the line, while coolly swinging back the ball in an elegant flowing movement. Then hurl it as hard as possible, while roaring a little bit, like a crazy person. I try the same technique, and miss. My form continues in a similar vein for the remainder of the game. Hopefully drinking more cider from a Coors glass will relax my shoulders and improve my technique. Nope. Still shit. My chances of claiming the cup are down the toilet, and I accept that I’m rubbish at bowling. Let’s go to the pub.
The World’s End is just up the road. The boozer near the tube station usually feels a bit like a saloon in a cowboy film, full of whisky-soaked old men, or shifty looking guys with moustaches, but the clientele at The World’s End is a mixed bunch. It can be rammed full of football fans, or rockers watching an up and coming band. They even advertise poker nights and burlesque dancing, so something for everyone here. It’s busy tonight, but it’s a big pub, so it doesn’t take long to get served. The draft cider on offer is Mortimers.
The tap shows it’s a 5% cider from Herefordshire-based Westons. I’m expecting another band-wagon, generic cider. The colour is standard, and it’s somewhere between lightly sparkling and carbonated. It has a sweet smell. At least it has a smell. I’m pleasantly surprised by the taste, the oaky flavour of the barrels, bittersweet. Checking out the Mortimers website, which looks more like a project in cider photography, this cider is from a mix of Dabinett and Michelin apples. Let’s hope one too many of these won’t turn me into the Michelin Man! Even my bowling buddies are surprised by how scrumpy the taste is, when they have a sip. That’s enough now, get back to your insipid lagers!
Apparently, Mortimers also goes well with pub food and is a perfect end to a working day. Is it scientifically proven? And also claims to be the start of a good time with friends. Hooray, a drinks manufacturer who condone getting lashed every night. Though to be honest, just being a in a pub marks the start of good times, even if you have a hard time remembering those good times, while having a bad time walking through some part of town you can’t remember arriving at
Mortimers is not quite a ‘real’ cider, but has aspirations to be, and is a welcome addition to the pub scene.
Verdict: 4/5 for standing out from the crowd