I’m not saying Newbury is irritating, but its new (GBG-wise) micro was my only unticked Beer Guide entry within a thousand mile radius in the wild west of Berkshire. It is irritating that even BRAPA has been to the Cow & Cask before me. Simon was unusually kindly about it too, perhaps because the errant children had been made into pies by then.
This micro is tucked into an attractive little development near the station, guarded by a unicorn. The chatty owner let me in a few minutes before noon, which is never ever going to influence my beer scoring (NBSS 3.5 for the West Berkshire Stout). With the caveat that I prefer pubs where you can hide if you want to, this would be my first port of call in Newbury. After Eggs Benedict in the Spoons, anyway.
The area between the station and the Kennet has a few “proper” pubs, including a particularly attractive one beer Arkell’s house. Seeing an Arkell’s pub in the Beer Guide is as improbable as Leicester winning the Premiership, of course, but an off-licence with cask isn’t impossible.
I dropped into Inn at Home to buy Tim Thomas a bottle of Liquid Mistress. That would have made a better present for Mrs RM of course, but she warranted something rather stronger. Tim, or Mr Newbury, met me for coffee and quiche (thanks Tim) and conspiratorial chat. If anyone finds the latest copy of Ullage in Wellingborough, Cleethorpes or Wigan they’ll know whence it came.
Life isn’t just about Beer Guide pubs, and I was keen to explore the town’s impressive industrial heritage (you can see why Mrs RM sat this one out). Behind the industrial estates north of the racecourse, it’s so tranquil you could be somewhere posh.
For my money, you can’t beat demolition sites, and while this one below can’t beat the power stations and tower blocks of Sheffield, it was still a thing of beauty.
Almost as attractive as the parish church in fact.