Scraps of conversation swirl in the air, torn pieces of paper, rising, whirling, falling, settling on the ground — sour mango salt two weeks same pale ale cold chain time — phones are handled and deployed, words tapped out, memo to self, this is what I drank last night, the rumble of trains above, deep, brutal, an imagined blow to the solar plexus, the echo inside when I knuckle tap the corrugated metal that lines the walls, reminiscent of the kind of container architectural fantasists might call home and the rest of us a container. There’s a daub of colour on a banner at the back of the railway arch (for this is where I am), with more colour-filled banners tacked to the curved ceiling. The bar in the corner has wood for its counter, but below, its base looks as if it wouldn’t be out of place in a garden centre feature. The beer menu is printed on plain paper, with the beers listed beneath the titles of yeast, malt and hops. I have a 2/3rd glass of the Helles Tettnanger, which with its light grainy malt, clean lemony notes and dry and juicy finish reminds me of fresh Augustiner Helles. I then have the Super Noble, an amber lager brewed in collaboration with US brewery Notch. It’s rather delicious, cool and crunchy, full-bodied and boding well for my soul with every sip. Meanwhile, more drinkers talk and amble and gesticulate about me, a crowd of boots and trainers and the odd pair of brogues and hoodies and pea-jackets and a couple of dogs. Not bad for the first night of the Cloudwater Bermondsey tap.
• Early days I know, it needs time to warm up, it’s a bit cold perhaps, but it’s early days and I will be back.