Just looking at the Good Beer Guide updates on the CAMRA website now (It’s wet outside) I was saddened to read of the closure of the Prince of Wales in Greasbrough near Rotherham, due to an accident to the licensee.

This is the pub where I began a long appreciation of John Smiths, before the introduction of a Smooth version destroyed Cask volumes, and a move away from Tadcaster destroyed the Cask taste as well.  It’s a pub with the same sort of “lived-in” appeal as Stockport’s Olde Vic.

My only visit was about the time William Hague was reminiscing about his consumption of John Smiths while delivering soft drinks to pubs just like the Prince as a teenager.  I certainly saw plenty of Johns being drunk in an hour there, and an elderly female contingent was drinking at a pace only equalled by Mrs RM.

In the early 2000s I spent a lot of weekends with our young family in South Yorkshire, and would have been quite happy with a diet of John’s, Sam’s and Wentworth, with  Robinsons an occasional treat.

The Beer Guide used to have a good number of pubs close to the short lived Earth Centre and around the A635 selling just the Bitter (and Magnet if lucky), but Smooth, the smoking ban and guest beers changed their character and stretched reduced volume over more pumps. There’s hardly anywhere in the Beer Guide now to enjoy a Johns.

Even the Prince of Wales added a guest to the Johns, and then ditched the Bitter altogether, though it continues to win local CAMRA awards.  Serving the single real ale has clearly helped.

All the best to those connected with the Prince, including their cheerful regulars.

*Sorry I have no idea about the appropriateness of an apostrophe.

2 thoughts on “A PINT OF JOHNS*

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