The Gentlemen's Ale Sampling Society

        1982-2017  35 YEARS OF BEERS





Tuesday 4th




The new bar in Rochester High Street, down at the Bridge end of the road in the Bull Hotel

Dinner in Rochester's smartest new venue  -  organised by Gary


Out of courtesy I confirmed to Aaron Stone that we were coming along and he enquired about GASS, so I directed him to our website, and here is his response:-

Dear Brian,

I cannot believe the story that I have just read - it is the MIRROR IMAGE of the story of my (our) group of friends who meet every third TUESDAY! Almost 8 years ago, I realised that with the weird lifestyle and hours that I kept being in the licensed trade and always working weekends etc, that I never saw any of my friends and that this would simply not do! At that time most of my mates had all got email addresses, so I simply put out an email saying that "Aaron will be having dinner at Frankie & Benny's in Rochester on this date at 7:30pm - please join me if you can". About 6 guys turned up and we had a great time catching up etc. One of my friends Adrian was telling us the story of how he had just returned from a family holiday to Orlando, where being a tough guy yet debilitating scared of heights, he remained in the bar whilst his wife and 2 kids did the whole rollercoaster thing. He asked the bartender to make him any cocktail and here proceeded to get slaughtered on LONG ISLAND ICED TEAS, which I'm sure you are aware are generally the most lethal cocktail on any drinks menu. At that first meeting we were all curious as to what they were like, so we made the poor F&B barman hunt down a recipe book and made us the magical drink. From then on we became known as the LONG ISLAND ICED TEA PARTY (tea party obviously coming from the MAD HATTERS TEA PARTY) or LI ITP as it is often abbreviated to.

We only have two rules.
1. No females are allowed - its a guys night out.
2. You have to drink at least one long island iced tea before we start.
Job done!
All our members (probably about 15 or 16 - although obviously not all can attend each time) are all hard working, smart, talented in some or many fields, articulate, accomplished piss taking guys that makes for a splendid evening of good humoured fun.  like you, we move around venues all the time, returning to old favourites now and again. we may do well to compare venues we have visited sometime?
New members must be recommended by an existing one and new blood gets invited to one dinner and if we like them, they are allowed to return!
We have also done other activities including a few abroad jaunts, karting etc.
It sounds like we have some way to catch up with GASS, but it seems bizarre that our genesis is somewhat the same!
It is true that for many of us now, LI ITP has been a portal to another aspect of our lives where we have met new friends, helped each other in business and achieved group and personal goals that would have been impossible without LI ITP.
The other weird thing is that on the night you guys are in swank, it is also LI ITP 129 - on the very same night! creepy!
Enjoy swank and if you need anything else to make your night more enjoyable there just let me know., depending on what time we finish eating at LI ITP, I may pop in to swank to see how you are getting on - and make sure you are all behaving yourselves!

How is that for a coincidence?


A good turnout, only missing Len (in London), Al (working), Ray (working?), Andy (Australia), and Gary..................  Well, Gary was the meeting organisor and so, reasonably, we expected him to be there.  When he was a bit late we just waited, then the manager came through to ask about sit-down time, was it slipping.  Yes it was, several members rang Gary, some texts were sent, no reply.  After delaying the whole meal for half an hour it was decided that we had no choice to but to get started, Gary would have to order on arrival.

At this point a small voice piped up - "We weren't waiting for Gary were we?".  All eyes turned to Ron.  "As it happens we were - any reason for asking Ron?".  "Errr, he asked me to apologise - he can't make it - I thought I would announce it at dinner!  MORAL:  If you know the meeting organisor is not coming to a sit-down dinner, perhaps an early release of this info is best.

The Deputy Chair took command in a most impressive way, not his old shy Chicken George at all, more Barack Obama on speed.  These are the areas he covered:-

1.  CHRISTMAS MEETING:  The Christmas Beano is at VICTORIAS in Harrietsham.  The evening is a GREASE night and so it was agreed that Brian would order 20 identical quiffs to wear at dinner.  This does not prevent anybody who wants too from sorting out their own fancy dress. 

GREASE is a sort of white T shirt, black leather jacket sort of do for the Danny Zucko part (unless of course you are of the cross-dressing persuasion, in which case you need to be more along the lines of Sandy, in a wide skirt - your choice).

The following cannot make the December meeting:  NICK (Botswana), DON (holidays), STEVE R (Work), RAY (Work).  We have a prepaid table for 18, so we could do with a guest or two in reserve at 45 a head.  Bear it in mind.  Phil Grey was suggested.

2.  FEE PAYMENT:  The treasurer sent in an email that bubbled Hew for non-payment.  Hew preferred to pay his fees a year in arrears, the remainder of GASS preferred him to pay like the other 21 members, monthly in advance.  This was based on the members justifiable fear that a man who flies a helicopter the way Hew flies, may not be around next September to settle up.  The Fines Secretary added a 40 fine, and the unpaid 50 bet from the May meeting at Stockbury was also mentioned.  Hew graciously agreed to settle the whole bill for a year in advance and the treasurer is sending out an invoice.  Hew did register an official complaint that there had been no Sherry organised for the meeting, but nobody felt this justified late payment, in fact it was to be preferred as Hew was way more sober on drinks he hates.  This error will be rectified at the next meeting.

3.  JANUARY MEETING:  Tony is organising the first Nintendo Wii Meeting ever, with the added attraction of Pig Racing.  The location is the Aviator Pub, Sheerness.

That being done we scoffed a great meal, dranks pints of wine and genreally had a ball in a very, very nice location.

Looking forward to Christmas!!