Wednesday, 25 November 2015






How Dry...

Winter has definitely arrived in the UK , or at least so I'm told by friends and family. I, however, am spending the week in Saudi Arabia (business of course). At the moment I'm spending about one week a month here and this is about the fifth time I've been.

As you may have gathered by now I usually try to spend my free time on these international jaunts looking for good drinking establishments, but alas this is not possible here. Whilst it would be fair to say that the craft beer revolution hasn't quite reached Saudi yet, it wouldn't exactly tell the full story. Saudi is dry in more or less every sense of the word. Specifically in this case, it is dry of any form of alcoholic beverages. It's sale and possession is entirely illegal and has been the subject of some news recently.

My Local

When I have to be in Saudi I stay at the Intercontinental Hotel in which the décor could best be described as 'Set from obligatory black tie event at the villain's mansion in a 70's bond film' by which I mean it's more or less a bunker done out on the inside in dated furniture and garish chandeliers. It is, however, very comfortable which makes staying in Saudi for short periods of time entirely bearable (even for a craft beer fanatic like myself) and offers a great chance to relax, rest up, plan future trips and catch up on blogging. In fact it's kind of like being in a detox retreat. Which is why I think that the hotel 'bar' is so perfectly named that it can't be a coincidence!

"They tried to make me go to Al Rehab..."
The last time I ate at Al Rehab I ordered a camel burger and a fruit juice. The camel tasted dreadful (and it was dry too!) and the juice was so acidic the only thing it was good for was getting rid of the taste of the burger. These days I stick to the sparkling water and a choice of excellent Lebanese dishes.

...Not So Dry!

You'd be forgiven for thinking "Well at least a little winter sun can't hurt" but the last two days have rained and whilst it hasn't been cold it hasn't exactly been hot either. Four days rain a year and I get two of them in one week!

In case you didn't believe me!

What's Up Next

So no beer tasting to report this week but on the brighter side these few evenings staying out of trouble have given me a chance to plan the next two weeks adventures which will be in the USA. I'm planning on a few days each in Texas, Pittsburgh, Denver and the one I'm looking forward to the most... New York City! So stay tuned!

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