And a nice Shipstones mirror for Alan Winfield today, as I get even closer to the Stapleford home of the great man.
I’m sure Alan has done virtually all of Ilkeston‘s 30 odd pubs. Quite a few closures of late, including the Brewery Tap, a pleasant but quiet micro.
Last year I wrote;
“The new Beer Guide entry is a Wetherspoons, rather than a micropub (that will probably come in GBG17)”.
And here it is;
I doubt I’ll go in a cheerier pub all year. You’d think Nottingham Forest had just been relegated or something. A cheery English pub is a wonderful thing.
It was St George’s Day in the Burnt Pig (and possibly other places), so I wished them a happy St George’s Day. That gained me no discount on the (already cheap) beer, but I felt better for it.
Apart from the name, this is nothing like your average micro. There’s four rooms, one of which I never found despite my nosiness.
I did find a treasure trove of memorabilia to match the Red Lion or the Dew Drop up the road.
And here’s the secret spot they’re saving for Dave when he visits in the summer.
It was bustling, but I found a seat near the bar. That’s my idea of heaven.
I had a Black Maria from Gaol of Wirksworth (NBSS 3.5), and didn’t even begrudge the handled glass.
A cacophony of noise and a really mixed crowd, with all the talk of pork pies and the Joshua fight, or “The Battle of Jericho” as they called it here. They called the result right too.
As I took my glass back the landlord said “Bless ya Duck“. I could have been in Stoke.
Perhaps the rest of Ilkeston was in Stoke, or their holiday homes in Heanor, as the main shopping streets were virtually empty. They’d been packed on the Saturday I visited.
Quieter in the Observatory too, though perhaps a Spoons decision to remove Bass was to blame. Never mind, they’d added a terrifyingly large range that stretched to Plum Porter, Citra and Exmoor, as well as the Road Crew that a group of lycra-clad cyclists homed in on.
Crushed avocado bagel and black coffee for me.
The town had come to life over lunch, most of it marching through South Street to the tune of “Galway Girl”.
A stroll round the attractive southern suburbs of the Hallams set me up for a quick look at a possible pre-emptive in the Crafty One, and every great town needs a craft bar.
This was a curates egg, whatever that is. A bit bare boards, high tables and low benches, but pleasingly busy with another mix of society you wouldn’t see in North London or Cambridge. Perhaps they were all escaping the brass band, with The Beatles playing at sensible volumes inside.
The keg line-up was “The Usual”, but the cask from Pentrich was a revelation. Cool, pale and very hoppy in the style of that Newby Wyke Yamato I loved.
The beer, decor and overall feel is much to Mrs RM’s taste, though thankfully she didn’t search for the light fitting like this in Ikea. We know where that leads.