During one of the last weekends of the year the Mrs and I decided to blow away the cobwebs with a long walk along the coast at Whitley Bay and Tynemouth here in the North East of England.
We live about 20 minutes ride on the Metro from the coast, we therefore partake in this most Victorian of perambulatory pursuits a few times a year.
When I say “a long walk along the coast” what I really mean is – we pop into a couple of pubs along the blustery seafront to sample what’s on offer away from Newcastle’s fantastic beer scene.
First stop was just along from Whitley Bay Metro, The Rockcliffe, a proper local.
Beer selection here is designed not to surprise those locals, middle of the road malt mediocrity being the name of the game.
I had a ‘Stella Spark’ something from FireBrick Brewery of which the tasting notes wrote cheques it couldn’t really cash for me.
Onward then, along the seafront towards Tynemouth we got talking about what we would hope to have at the next pub – laughing at the zero chances of our crazy choices.
I said something on the lines that I would love a sessionable cask pale ale, something with bite but great hops, ideally something less than 4% ABV. Maybe something from Magic Rock, you know, something like Ringmaster, yeah I would LOVE a pint of Ringmaster. That would sort out Sunday. Ha, right “what are the chances of that?” We scoffed.
Next stop was the unfortunately named (yet thoroughly decent) Sir John Fitzgeralds pub on Front Street Tynemouth – ‘Hugo’s at the Coast’.
Hugo’s, although a nice looking place in a good location, usually pours the type of beer that doesn’t push the punters’ expectations too much.
Don’t get me wrong, I think I’ve seen the likes of Thornbridge and Red Willow on before but Hugo’s main fare wont get beer fans queuing out the door.
Here we were then, coming in from the cold not expecting much, but hang on…..
What was that on the very first handpull at the end of the bar? No it couldn’t be. Could it? You’re having a laugh yeah? What the hell?
Only bloody Magic Rock Ringmaster !
So, what are the chances of that..?
Purely using surmised figures and dodgy maths let’s work it out.
Even if only visiting one pub, how many pubs on Tynemouth front street would I genuinely choose to visit? Probably 3.
Hugo’s as the choice comes out at 3 to 1.
How many times has Hugo’s had Ringmaster on this year – no idea, I’m guessing twice.
Let’s say the beer lasts 5 days.
Chances of Ringmaster being on never mind if I visit or not = 10 days out of 365 = 36 to 1
Chances of the beer being on, on a Sunday 1.4 to 1
How many times do I actually do this circuit on a Sunday? Maybe 4 or 5 times a year = 5 in 52 or around a 10 to 1 chance that I will be having a beer in Tynemouth on a Sunday.
Odds of this happening then, are over 1500 to 1.
After I thoroughly enjoyed my pint of Ringmaster, feeling lady luck on my shoulder I bought £10 worth of scratch cards at the local Co-Op. I would love to tell you that I’m writing this from a seat on my private jet but alas not. I do however have £1 to collect when I can bothered to cash it in.
So that lovely fortunate pint of Magic Rock Ringmaster effectively cost me about £12!
Just my luck.