My pub heroes of 2016 were Stockport CAMRA, for making a pub with one real ale their Pub of the Year. This year may well be the turn of Rochdale, Oldham and Bury CAMRA, for getting Draught Bass into two of their GBG pubs. Drink it up, Rochdale.
The downside of the Beer Guide route to enlightenment is that I rarely come across new entrants serving Bass, compared to the dozens claiming to offer the very last pint of Cloudwater cask.
So the presence of the Red Triangle in Abbots Bromley’s Crown is a big deal, and you haven’t been able to say that very often since a techno recording of the Horn Dance made the Top 10 in 1994. You may know it better as “Doop”.
This is, apparently, the best place to live in the Midlands, which will come as a shock to the people of Nuneaton. Those reports reflects affluence, not happiness or vitality, and on Friday Abbots Bromley looked the dormitory village it is.
Attractive though, particularly for fans of the black and white timber.
Last time here the Goat’s Head (above) had excellent Bass and a boisterous atmosphere, but clearly it’s the Crown’s turn this year.*
The Crown doesn’t exactly strike me as a Bass shrine, seeming more keen to promote what Tim’s Landlord from a standard Enterprise range. But it was served by a cheery barmaid into a pristine glass onto a Carling mat, which is a great start.
And it was OK, just not good enough to convince all you Bass sceptics out there. I prefer flat Bass, but a tight head isn’t a bad thing. This just had a bit too much froth and was a touch above cellar cool. Still an NBSS 3 though.
Not many takers for the Bass, or the other cask. There were a good few elderly diners in the pleasant restaurant, all wearing ties that were about to get covered in the calorific desserts they shouldn’t be eating but who cares when you’re nearly 80 ?
The main, mildly modernised, bar had a younger crowd of drinkers sticking to Carling and wine by the bottle. It was the mix of folk you don’t get at beer festivals;
- Vaping bloke with baseball cap sitting at the bar, discussing plans to “chill out”
- Stable jockey lad with his much taller girlfriend
- Casually dressed IT workers discussing creditors and disputed amounts
- Weird pub ticker taking photos of his Bass glass in different stages
Not much condiment drama, just a pleasant village pub with some decent art. Good enough for me.
*No, I’m not suggesting for one moment there’sa rotation policy for GBG entrants. It’s all done strictly by NBSS scores, after all. Must be the turn of the Bagot Arms next year, though.