If the year 2020 was a movie, then I guess Abandon All Plans would be as good a poster tagline as any...
We've got a portrait-shaped photo's worth of space to fill, so let's recap on where we are currently. The last time one of these BrewDogging pieces appeared on the site, it reported on a visit to the Cambridge bar back in early March 2020: that weekend when we knew that there was a lurgy out there in the world, but weren't quite sure yet how it was going to affect us personally. The drinkers in the Cambridge bar on March 7th 2020 were having a generally relaxed time of it: the drinkers we encountered in the Clapham bar just one week later were a lot more twitchy, as we all started to realise that pub nights out were about to become a lot more limited.
You can count the number of times we've been in BrewDog bars since then on one hand, literally: two trips to Shepherds Bush, and one each to Dalston, Paddington and Soho, all in the brief gaps when they've been open between one lockdown and the next. Inevitably, some of the bars couldn't survive in such an uncertain climate. For us, the two crippling losses have been Helsinki, one of our favourites anywhere: and Rome, a city that now has to deal with the twin disasters of the closure of a bar and Jose Mourinho running their football team. But there are several bars we hadn't got to yet that no longer exist: Sao Paulo, Tampere, Norrköping and Budapest. We've also had the announcement that Old Street AF is transitioning to just become plain old Old Street, because who on earth would want to lay off the booze in these times?
So, we come to April 12th 2021, the day in which restrictions in England were eased just enough to allow people to drink in pub gardens, but not inside the actual pubs themselves. And the day on which BrewDog decided, just for shits and giggles, to open up three new bars in England for the first time. One of which was literally within walking distance of Château Belated-Monkey. So here we are.