LICHFIELD – TIRED OF MICROPUBS, TIRED OF LIFE

 

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“Those who attain any excellence, commonly spend life in one pursuit; for excellence is not often gained upon easier terms”.

Samuel Johnson, on completing the 1770 Good Beer Guide.

What a wonderfully underrated little place Lichfield is.  There’s not much to do, but its streets are made for walking.  Mostly into the back of slow shoppers.

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You’ll have seen the cathedral, but the half-timbered businesses along Dam Street are the real gems. Dam Fine Barbers attempt at Amsterdam chic is commendable.

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The shops are much more interesting than those in Sutton; you can get five different types of sourdough in Hindleys Bakeries, which is almost Cambridge levels. There’s a proper market too, with a statue of someone with a highly tenuous connection to the city.

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WHO IS THIS AND WHY IS HE COMMEMORATED ?

There’s certainly a healthy collection of proper pubs in Lichfield, though disappointingly few of those are in the Beer Guide now.  That’s no criticism,  local CAMRA folk know much more about beer quality than I do.

Other factors may be at play apart from the micropub  fad explosion;  I couldn’t help notice how many beers Joule’s Duke of York has on now. Pale and Slumbering Monk are all I need, thanks. When there’s that many on I might well avoid the cask lottery by going for the Green Monkey lager.

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Just the seven on,then. Disappointing

Just like the red Bass triangle, the red Joules cross is the symbol of quality, and this is a classic town pub. Pleasingly, the Duke was packed with drinkers, which is telling. No place in the Guide for the marketplace Earl of Lichfield Arms either (sob), and that was also packed with an earthier type of boozer.

But there is another new micropub, right next to the ancient Whippet.

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Or so I thought.  “This is NOT a micropub” screams Beerbohm, just like Macclesfield’s classic proclaiming “This is NOT a free house” for years. (Until it was).

And Beerbohm is distinctly pubby, perhaps with more in common with Leek’s Den Engel than it’s excellent Herne-compliant neighbour.  For a start, it’s got Whim as a slightly challenging house beer (NBSS 3). The customers aren’t your usual either.

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Classic Simon Everitt-styled photo

QUIZ – WHAT CAN YOU DO IN THIS PUB THAT YOU CAN’T IN THE WHIPPET ? CLUE IN THE PHOTO

I walked the hour to Wall, worth it for the slightly elevated view back to the Cathedral alone.  The pub at the end will be well down my year-end list though. This was the extent of the seating for drinkers in the Trooper.

I don’t know where to start;

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The Pedigree (£3.60 a pint) was near undrinkable, a real first-out-the-pumps beer. There were no other drinkers, or diners by the look of it, so no condiment-based hilarity either. Just as well I’m a big Prosecco fan…..

 

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Love the Drinkaware logo on unlimited Prosecco offer

Unlimited Prosecco and jam jar cocktails.  “Bliss it was in that time to be alive”.

 

 

 

28 thoughts on “LICHFIELD – TIRED OF MICROPUBS, TIRED OF LIFE

      1. There`s a statue of Arthur Conan Doyle in Edinburgh, commemorating his completion of all the Scottish GBG pubs in 1897.

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      1. I just looked up what Gramaphone’s focus is on. Now I know you do have a really wide range of musical interests. Is there any style of music you don’t follow?

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  1. I like your use of vintage postcards in your posts Martin. Are they from your own collection ? Lichfield looks like a town to visit soon.
    The only Joules pub I have been in is the Cross Keys in Chester. Loved the decor, and the Slumbering Monk.

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    1. No I occasionally get them off Google when I can’t get proper light on my own phone camera. I do like old photos of places as you don’t get the cars and Poundshop signs.

      I really rate Joules, quite a few featured n the Beer Guide and therefore this blog. My main (unreasonable) gripe with micropubs is that they seem to edge out Joules/Titanic/freehouses in a few Staff/Cheshire towns.

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    2. I would have to object as Lichfield is a city rather than a town. Indeed, it is well known for its very rare example of a railway station with the suffix ‘City’ in its name.

      That menu in the Trooper is a pedant’s nightmare. Although my main gripe is the attempt to appear over evolved by writing in various foreign languages.

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  2. Have you already ticked the Horse and Jockey in Lichfield? In addition to the Duke of York, I liked that pub and the George and Dragon, which dropped out of the GBG.

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