The Quest for the Holy Ale

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I took my first sip of ale at 22, a few weeks after graduating from college and deciding to sell my car and buy a one-way ticket to post-punk London. Fresh-hopped and smoky sweet, the flavors splashed across my tongue in waves: first the gritty taste of grain, then a blast of clearing hops. Someone had put a whole lot of love into this beer, I thought. From that moment on, I was determined to love it right back.

Still, it took me 25 years to make another pilgrimage to Sussex—work, kids, the usual—and by then the trail had gone cold. My journey had been made more difficult thanks to the diminished state of the traditional English pub. Of course, you can still find a pint.

With 52, pubs, there's one for every or so Brits. I started at Lewes's St. Thomas-a-Becket Church—after all, he was the patron saint of brewers.

So for my mission, I started at Lewes's St. Architecturally, well-preserved Lewes is one of England's gems; the town dates back to the 9th century, when it served as a Saxon fort overlooking the river Ouse. Culturally, the town is known for its history of creative defiance. Once infamous for its riotous Bonfire Boys societies, Lewes was also home to the novelist Virginia Woolf and the revolutionary Thomas Paine.


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But it was a current resident I wanted to visit most: Harveys Brewery. Crossing the iron swing bridge leading out of town over the river Ouse, I paused to watch steam tumbling out of the brewery's vents. For a moment, I considered bowing toward the red-brick building that houses it. I scooped up handfuls of Fuggles and Goldings hop cones, which coated my hands with an oily aroma that clung to me, like a welcome natural air freshener, all day. I'd begun to realize that my search for the perfect beer represented something bigger than a mere drink.

Jenner and I then walked across the cobbled street to the John Harvey Tavern, to sample the product. As we watched him pump it up from the cellar, I braced for my long-awaited reunion. But it didn't blow me away the way I remembered. Maybe it was the cold I was nursing. Or maybe I'd begun to realize that my search for the perfect beer represented something bigger than a mere drink. There was clearly a part of me that wished I would stumble upon my younger self in England, the more adventurous and impetuous me who was buried under the swirling dust of my adult life. A rather daunting responsibility to ask from a pint of beer indeed.

The Quest for the Holy Ale

That afternoon, I made my way up to the town's magnificent 11th-century castle, stronghold of the First Earl of Surrey, a brother-in-law of William the Conqueror. I took my time ambling down the narrow backstreets called "twittens," stopping into antiques shops and rare-book dealers tucked into crooked wood-and-stone buildings shaded by sprawling beeches. Then I took off for my odyssey on the South Downs Way. Completely understand your concern. This will be a intended 1 shot with a possiblity of becoming a monthly or every other month type of game.

The idea isn't to get anyone black out drunk Hence some of the intended penalties so it's knowing my players have A. Huge tolerances and B. The plan is to have them want to use these occasionally, not every single roll. To prevent it being used for 'every single roll' -- I'd still cap the 'bonus granting' drinks to a reasonable level of drunkenness, then.

Good luck, dude! I might rip it off for a toned-down version of my own!

Monty Python's Holy Grail Ale

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Log in or sign up in seconds. Submit a new link. Submit a new text post. Get an ad-free experience with special benefits, and directly support Reddit. Welcome to Reddit, the front page of the internet. Become a Redditor and join one of thousands of communities. Just a Sip: A player may take a sip before a roll to gain a plus 1 to any roll. Want to add to the discussion? Typically, a quest will start at am and will finish when the last person goes home. There is a pre-planned route but this is very much open to variance on the day. Over the years, dozens of pubs have featured in Holy Ale adventures, some of which are no longer with us.

Since the 3rd quest, many photos and notes have been taken as a memento for future generations. Members of a quest are subject to an ancient and sacred ranking system. Newbies start as a Serf and attain greater status when they show loyalty to the cause. This includes attending multiple quests and starting quests early.

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You can read about their first appearance here. Next time you're drinking in a Sheffield pub, have a glance around at the clientele. One sunny Friday in September , two young chaps bunked off work and decided to go to the pub. Plenty of ale was consumed and many boozers were visited. The lads had a lovely time, watching the world go by and not having to worry about rushing their drinks before closing time.

Soon into their adventure, they encountered a strange beer pump that glowed eerily and captured their attention.