A GUESS THE PUB SPECIAL TODAY
You’ll notice a consistent theme in this blog, along the lines of “More isn’t necessarily better“. The number of OK but indifferent beers I get when a pump has half a dozen or more handpumps is rising by the day. Having said that, multi-pump pubs like that are still the exception, even in the Beer Guide.
There’s been a lively discussion on Pub Curmudgeon’s blog over the last week, with Mudge’s regular contributor py seeming to suggest that it’s now common to come across pubs with ten beers spanning the spectrum of beer styles in most towns.
I did wonder if, despite my own experience, there might be some truth in that as I walked Sheffield on Sunday. Aside from the obviously beer-driven places, several Greene King and Punch places had endless pumps on display (e.g. the neighbouring Ball and Punchbowl in affluent Crookes). Very limited takers for the cask in either, mind you.
So on Tuesday, after a random canal walk, in a random town, I popped into a random Beer Guide pub to test the py hypothesis. This was a stereotypical middle-class suburbia, full of Embers, Harvesters and open-plan pubs like this.
There were a lot of bottles on the vast Spoons-like display case. Clearly cutting-edge stuff, and a bottled range running from Thwaites Mild to Porter.
This is an affluent part of the world, and gets plenty of visitors by foot and boat. That’s reflected in the décor, which is very much not to my taste.
Nor was the beer. Wainwright or Bomber was my choice, the former served in a glass that would work in Cologne but not here (NBSS 2.5). So, a massive two beers on the bar in a pub catering for walkers, boaters and affluent idlers.
Service was sullen and cheerless, and the piped music seemed to be exclusively birdsong.
Which isn’t something you can say about the pub at the end of the walk, a cracking boozer when that orange cider starts flowing on Friday afternoon, if not noon on Tuesday. More importantly, one of the last place in England to advertise “vittels“.
WHERE WAS I ?