We spent Monday night in Newark in our campervan. “This is life, this is living”, as Allo Darlin’ once sang.
I recently suggested that craft was never going to make it as far along the Trent as Newark and Lincoln, never mind Grimsby and Skegness.
I was wrong. This is the sight that greets you in Beer Guide newbie Flying Circus, opposite Newark castle.
Despite the new Greene King craft range, and the BrewDog taps, which often come with “new GK“, I think this is another independent venture in Newark, joining the excellent Vaults and several decent cafes along Castle Gate.
QUIZ TIME – WHAT IS THE MAIN ITEM OF INTEREST IN THE FLYING CIRCUS ?
At 1pm on Monday it wasn’t busy, but ticking over. Live entertainment is clearly the big draw, particularly when the dead parrot sings.
The local Newark cask was joined by Spitfire, which seemed weird. But Kent’s finest was the only real ale I saw bought, and not in an ironic way either.
I thought this was a quirky and classy place, similar in attitude to the Dog & Doublet in Wolves. The cask was OK (NBSS 3), the GK keg again Mrs RM’s preference. They had Chimay Blue on tap, and even offered a decent sized taster of it, but at £5 a half Mrs RM was having the cheap stuff.
We then missed the train, after I looked for street art and underestimated the time it takes an old person in Newark to buy a train ticket at a rural station (9 minutes). Mrs RM had the moral high ground then, and I knew it was in my interest in letting her have that Chimay in the Prince Rupert.
That bottle of Blue was a fiver as well, the going rate for craft in Newark, but forgiveness is priceless.
You’re probably wondering if the bottled Chimay tasted different to the kegged. It didn’t. The Black Hole Cosmic was excellent though, paired with the Rupert’s giant pizzas.
The Mick Thurlby pub empire is now trading under the name of Knead. They’re a bit foody, and not cheap, but they’re the closest the east has got to a Brunning & Price/Joule’s hybrid at the moment.