Oh look ! Proper football fans.  In a proper pub.


Last Tuesday was the first time I’d seen Cambridge away since a 2-2 at Welling in 2013 better remembered for the Door Hinge than the game.  A four year gap between watching your hometown team away is shameful, and with two GBG ticks near the Memorial Stadium I really had no excuse this time.


You’ll notice I walked the two miles there and back from our Premier Inn. Worth the detour for the stunning artwork in St Pauls,


and some equally impressive dead pubs (I think).


Just into Horfield, ten minutes from the Rovers “ground”,the Sportsman a.k.a. Annexe didn’t, on the face of it, look like a GBG certainty.


Yes folks, that was the selection.

I’d just asked for a half of Atlantic when I casually asked “This is the Annexe, isn’t it ?”

No mate, that’s in the yard


And so it was. A little real ale paradise, albeit a bit of a blokey one I do hope Simon goes to the wrong one.


The Bathams was pulled through into the mayo pot (hopefully not the first of the day at 7pm) and was surprisingly good (NBSS 4).  In fact this place could have been the Waggon & Horses transported from Halesowen.  With a quid added on the prices.




It still felt like the sort of pub you might build yourself in a shed, or the sort of add-on a small brewery constructs as their tap for weekend sales.

Continuing a long run of non-traditional Bristol pubs, just up the road was the new micro, packed with home fans (and a bloke doing office work, oddly).

It looks like a micro, has micro type beers and pricing, and micro type customers (with a few Brizzle scarves for colour).



I became agitated at the sight of sparking Bass glasses; there ought to be a law about selling other beers in the sacred vessels.



To be fair, the Bristol Beer Factory Seven was served in the grand Bass style, flat and chewy (NBSS 3.5), so I couldn’t complain.


I should have stayed for another; I was the first away fan there.  And no I wasn’t impersonating a Bristolian to get a pint of Thatchers in their supporters club.

Bovril at the Memorial, one of those (until recently) dreadful shared grounds. redeemed by uncovered touchline terracing and a Brizzle sunset of some merit.  Unlike the Cambridge performance, which can best be described as “hoof“.



Still, proper football, whatever that means.

The walk back to the Bear Pit took in more street art, and more closed pubs, but there’s still more life on this stretch of road than in the whole of North West London.



NB What really stands out, looking at the Beer Guide, is the lack of entries in North Bristol. Nothing beyond the Drapers, and nothing in Westbury-on-Trym, a Bass stronghold of old.


14 thoughts on “GASHEADS 4 v 1 BASSHEAD

  1. Great title! Westbury-on-Trym has had a few entries listed both under the village and the city over the years so it is odd nothing there now. Bristol really is excellent to visit and not just for the pubs.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Glad you both mention Westbury on Trym. Our ‘go to’ place for early GBG trips to the Gas. Victoria on Chock Lane with irritating twog n Hoover, post office something with Olympic swimmer n pizza, and Prince of Wales with posh mum n student daughter watching Newcastle v Spurs. They can’t all be rubbed ah now can they?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Ah yes, forgot the Vic (old blokes on 6X) but remembered the others,

        Whisper it, but just up the road in Stoke Gifford the Ember Inn was in the Guide a year or so back and was actually LIVELY.


  2. “proper football” aka if we were that bad at our jobs, we’d all be sacked by the morning. Two sideways passes, a mis-control, then “man on, man on, get rid of it!”.

    You see a higher standard of sporting action down your local crown green bowls league.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Always a debate if GBG entries for a branch should be all the most supported pubs (usually within one or two locations of the branch) or as wide a geographical spread as possible. Was amazed when in Bristol at the end of last year to see the sheer number of places listed in the local newsletter which were offering a CAMRA discount.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. its a bit of an odd definition of “beer quality” that only includes a judgement of the technical efficiency of dispense and not the actual results of the brewing, is it not?

        Its like judging a restaurant based entirely on way the food has been been heated up and stuck on the plate, and not paying any attention to the quality of ingredients, flavour combinations, skill of the chef, etc.

        A tired pint of Citra is still a far high quality beer than a perfectly presented pint of Doom Bar.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Not to me it isn’t, though to be honest you’re much more likely to get a tired pint of Doom Bar (or Adnams or Pride) than of Citra.

        The GBG rewards the cellarman and the licensee. For every person who thinks Citra is a great beer, they’ll be someone who prefers IPA.


      3. “beer quality” is still the wrong term. Its not beer quality at all. Its whether the pub happens to serve the beer in the way you personally prefer. “personal serving preference” would be a more accurate term.

        what is it with CAMRA and woefully misleading claims? A great british beer festival that doesn’t feature the greatest british beers, a good beer guide that isn’t a guide to good beer, and a measure of beer quality that doesn’t measure anything to do with the actual quality of the beer.

        its almost as if they’re trying to mug us off. And we wonder why sales of cask ale plummeted under their watchful eye. The sooner it is disbanded or completely reformed, the better it will be for cask ale.


      4. Well, yes, there may be some people whose preference is to have their beer served at room temperature, devoid of condition, looking like soup and tasting like vinegar…

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Preferences over temperature definitely vary. Some prefer sparkled, some prefer unsparkled. Some object to any sign of haze, other people don’t care, as long as it tastes alright. I’ve even heard many pundits say that a little bit of light oxidation “opens the flavours” of the beer.

    So lets not pretend this is an objective science. Its just as subjective as a preference for dark beer vs pale beer.

    Personally, unless a beer is so warm or vinegary that its undrinkable (something you rarely find unless you go looking for it), then the minute differences in flavour brought on my serving condition are largely irrelevant compared to the huge differences in flavour that already exist between different beers.


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