Mention of a marvellous Palmers 200 recently reminded me how much some of our family brewers beers get written off these days, when it’s really all about cellarmanship. Arkells and Wadworths fall into the same bracket; I’ve had very good 3B and 6X this year, and you know my views on Bass.

It took me a while to realise the quality of Otter, only really getting it over a succession of August pints on the Dorset/Hampshire borders in 2015.

I still struggle with the size of the core range; you never see the same Otter twice. Still, that green pump clip for the standard Bitter is a classic in simplicity, and I’ll always go for it unless you-know-what is on as well.

You might expect a decent drop of it in a busy pub in a smart town like Lingfield.


My first trip to the Ffos Las of the South finds a charming village,


a charming dining pub in The Star, and an old-school beer range.

Note : Craft bottle range

I’m glad I had a half, because it was older than some of the buildings in the picture.  And this was at 6pm on a sunny day with a packed beer garden.  I should have taken it back, queueing with condiment-complainers to get my £2 back.  I couldn’t be bothered.  My fault for drinking cask. No-one else was. .

The glass left a bit to be desired, too.



  1. Too many cask ales for the level of drinking yet again? It doesn’t seem to be an issue that CAMRA is willing to recognise. I suspect that the next GBG will have the highest ratio of cask ales per entry that we’ve ever seen.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. When we have these “City of Ales” events concerned only with the number of different beers and breweries, can we be surprised. You don’t see that obsession in Burton or Nuneaton or Leighton Buzzard, but they’re the places to go for quality.


    2. Sadly, given its long-standing championing of “choice”, CAMRA seems pathologically incapable of addressing the issue of slow turnover. We’ll probably see Jeremy Corbyn become Prime Minister before we see an official CAMRA publication criticising a pub for having too many beers on.

      I’ve done several blogposts about this over the years. It may be an unfashionable view, but I’d say fewer than 10% of cask pubs have enough turnover to consistently keep more than two beers in good condition.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’ve been consistent on the issue. I’m sure the stats (pints served per beer per day) tell the story.

        One thing I should say, I very rarely get a bad pint in a Beer Guide pub. Some more positive stories to follow.


    3. I’d also have to say too many beers the same. How many 4% Golden Bitters do you need to have on at the same time? Back in my barkeeping days I managed to have 3 local-ish regular ales, a dark, a golden and a reddish brown ranging from 3.8% to 4.6%. A couple of guest lines with usually one on, two at the weekend.
      These days it’s too much choice, too little variety.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I guess that your average drinker (I.e.not the Ticker) will distinguish the light one (Landlord) from the brown one (Doom Bar) from the dark one, but apart from that it’s just a beer, as opposed to a lager. Or am I wrong ?

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Serves you right for shunning the Harvey’s! Unless you went for that as a second.

    Otter Amber is on at the GBG dining pub George & Dragon in Sandwich. The very few I’ve had there seemed in good form, but like Doom Bar Plus. Just meh.

    Not the new GBG dining pub for Sandwich, the King’s Head, which has Harvey’s. Both fabulous kitchens. Sandwich is a bit upscale for me though.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You know, I’ve had plenty of “so what ?” halves of Harvey’s too. Not bad, infected, off; just dull and probably on for a day too long.

      I’m visiting the King’s Head this month (prob Sun 14th) as it’s my last GBG pub for Kent. Sandwich is upscale, but hard to dislike.


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