I do hope Simon wasn’t too upset by my Tom obsession in the last post, which stopped me saying what a great pleasure it was to chat pubs with Si and his Dad. Now I’ve found my notes I can also reveal the conversation included the classic lines,

It’s the French in them


Colchester is an Amish town

And some people want to meet Harry Stiles. What classic lines has he got that aren’t nicked off Prince, heh ?

Having mentioned chatting briefly to Roger Protz this week, it was amiss of me not to report on the Lacons Audit Ale launch at Histon’s Red Lion on Thursday night.


I would have been somewhere in Hampshire on Thursday night, but the legendary Mr Protz doesn’t come to one of your local pubs very often.

And there was very strong beer for Mrs RM, from a brewery whose flagship pub we enjoyed immensely last year.

And the Red Lion is a fantastic pub, it’s jovial landlord the best thing to come out of Grimsby since Tom Irvin (what a link there), and you ought to visit the Cambs Pub of the Year 2017 now.

I’m going to refer you straight to Pint and Pubs account of the night, which is both better informed and has better photos than my attempt.

Mr Protz, Lacons and Stuart Bateman gave a series of short talks on the development of audit ales, stock ales and IPAs that I almost remember. I do remember the quality of the 8% Audit Ale, which as Pint & Pubs says drank a bit too smoothly.  I’ll be sticking to their 3.8% Encore, though, a beer served at its best in the Red Lion.


Mrs RM was running a bit late, but luckily I’d saved her my half of Audit, which she sank along with her own half in a little under eight minutes. Wobbling to the bar, she said;

That’s nice.  Shall I get another pint ?”

It’s 8% Mrs RM, it only comes in halves !”

I know you think I make this up. I really don’t.  I bought her a couple of bottles to drink at home, being a caring husband and all.


Lacons seem a very professional outfit, and would clearly benefit from a few more pubs like their sole outlet, the Honingham Buck, to display their beer at its very best. Not every free house maintains the cellarmanship standards of the Red Lion.

Talking of which, I had to ask Mr Protz his views on the best places to drink Draught Bass these days. Lamenting availability in general, he mentioned the Coopers Tavern, which shows Roger knows his Bass.

NB His new book on Great North Road pubs is a cracker. I’ll weave it into some posts soon.


      1. Good to hear. My Dad taught me more than school ever did.

        Colchester isn’t Amish, it’s Army, I think alcohol was involved. Simon wasn’t taking his usual notes so may not be able to resolve the dispute. I wonder if England has the equivalent of an Amish town ?


  1. I’ve really enjoyed the pints of Lacons I’ve found on trips up to Norfolk. Lacons Legacy cropped up regularly at Darby’s, in Swanton Morley – the village where my parents lived, and I’ve enjoyed it at other places as well.

    Glad you managed to have a few words with Mr Protz. I’m sure he is a man who knows his Bass. I’m pleased to report the beer was amongst the line-up at the Express Tavern, close to Kew Bridge. We visited the pub for lunch, on Saturday. Several of us tried the Bass, and it was on good form. Full report to follow.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Brewery trips I can take or leave Paul, but the trip to the Express fills me with envy ! Brentford had a sensational pub collection of pubs with high beer quality a few years back (Magpie & Crown the other).


  3. I kind of know what you mean Martin; especially as most new breweries are either in industrial units or someone’s garage, but it was an enjoyable day out with a nice bunch of people and the camaraderie made up for looking at yet another collection of stainless steel tanks!

    The Express Tavern was excellent, and like I say I will be writing about it in due course.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What is this thing about Draught Bass,it is not brewed in the union system anymore so not true to what it used to taste like and is now contract brewed by i have no idea.
    I was never a fan of it as Nottingham folk always liked Shipstones or Home Ales and it was always served flat in scum,when we Nottingham folk liked a beer with a good head on it.
    I have had a few drinks of it recently,nothing wrong with it,but i would rather drink a local beer.
    Pubs i had it in was the Mundy Arms Mackworth Village just to the west of scum and on keg in the George & Dragon in that posh area of Bristol, Redland.
    I am sure you, Dave and Richard would like to try the keg version of Bass in a pub in Redland while looking at the better side of Bristol.


  5. I think our equilivent of a Amish town is a Quaker town,so shit in having hardly any pubs,the one that comes to mind is Lethworth there are others in that area of England.
    I know spelling is crap but too many home brews and Nottingham Mild in local Wetherspoons.
    Give me a proper town like Bridgnorth which i finally went to on Saturday,all 21 pubs done had real ale on the bar and most had cobs on the bar and that is what they call them there,well impressed with the town.


  6. I thought Lacons Encore was a better beer on the night. I’ve just remembered Roger was asked to recommend a good traditional IPA and he named White Shield – did you hear the ‘fake news’ someone from Batemans came out with regarding that?


      1. He claimed to have examined the yeast in a bottle of White Shield and found it was dead – this was evidence, he suggested, that the sediment in a bottle of White Shield was a marketing ploy to fool CAMRA into believing it was real ale in a bottle! Someone gently pointed out this was unlikely and that yeast can die in the bottle. I prefer the fake account, mind.

        Liked by 1 person

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