A rare pub visit where there is little exciting to tell you about the surrounding area, so I won’t. In fact this would have been consigned to the bin if not for the unfortunate mini-trauma of asking for a pint to be changed.
I won’t name the GBG pub, and don’t go looking in the photos for clues. All I’ll say is it’s close to a Premiership football club in a desperate area for Good Beer Guide pubs, on a busy road near a railway station. It’s a typical Greene King house, open all hours, and very much the sort of boozer I go for. Simon Everitt has probably guessed it already.
As is my normal approach when a pub is quiet (1pm), I asked which beer was selling the quickest. Drawing the blank with that approach, I went for Batemans XB, a reliable beer. A couple of sips told me it was poor. Not vinegar, but unplesasant (NBSS 1).
Tandleman wrote here about taking back beer and it’s hard to argue that you should always take a duff pint back. To be fair, I reckon I take back one pint in a hundred, and most of those are clearly end of the barrel. Nearly all replaced with good grace, particularly in Wetherspoons (with one famous exception in Ballymena where I really was told “It’s real ale, it’s supposed to taste like that”
Not here. I know you love the detail. This is pretty much verbatim.
“Excuse me, this doesn’t taste right, can you replace it please ?”
“It’s fine, it’s not the end of the barrel“. Walks away.
“Sorry, it doesn’t taste right“.
Draws a bit off, looks at it. Didn’t accept my invitation to taste it.
“Looks fine to me. Not had anyone else complain about it”
“Sorry, it’s not right.”
Phones manager. Awkward wait while other customer stares at me.
“The Bateman’s only been on for 3 days, there can’t be anything wrong with it“.
Not quite sure what to say now.
“Give him a different one. Some people just have different palates”
“Thanks very much”
The replacement (an IPA/Abbot mix) was OK.
Again, to be clear, it’s a proper pub with good banter and I suspect the local branch get a decent pint if they turn up en masse on a Friday night. But the response to an average customer politely noting the beer was off would have dissuaded anyone else from trying real ale, let alone taking their pint back. The cask ale lottery.
And it was £3.95. For Batemans.
Time for a cuddly cat pic.