Some of you may have noticed my predilection for Draught Bass, but it’s a complex relationship.

If honest, I’d prefer it if only a landlord who cared about Bass served it, like the Black Lion in Leighton Buzzard so clearly does.

The Black Lion’s Bass – as good as it looks

Top beers like Youngs, Adnams and Landlord saw their reputation decline as their beers went into chain pubs with more hand-pumps than customers, and I fear Bass has suffered by being served too early, or too long, in many pubs.

There are pockets of Bass survival outside the Midlands heartlands, including coastal Cornwall, Stockton-on-Tees and the cluster of villages west of the M5 in South Gloucestershire.


When Mrs RM worked near Bristol in the late ’90s (commuting from Cambridge, unbelievably), she did at least get the perk of staying in some attractive old inns in Almondsbury, Thorbury and Oldbury.  They were nearly all called the White Hart, and nearly all proudly served Bass.  A few still do.

Just north of Berkeley, which looks increasingly charming for a town famous for doing unspeakable things with red hot pokers (nothing to do with the selection process for the 2014 CAMRA National Pub of the Year) is a survivor.

The Lammastide Inn is a rare South Glos pub that hasn’t won national awards, and feels a bit remote tucked away on a road to nowhere.

But in it’s own way it is very striking.



As is the sad reality these days, only a few elderly diners on a decent Friday lunchtime, and an enterprising but underused smoking hut.


But the welcome was cheery and warm, and if the nice lady was scared when I asked to photograph the Bass pumps she didn’t show it.


Two pumps for Bass, two for Wye Valley.  Not quite the Youngs extravanganza of Bristol, but quirky in its way.



Some classic pub features, a perfectly presented pint, but perhaps not the freshest Bass I’ve had. Good enough though (NBSS 3).


Only one other pint being drunk by our dining groups, and it wasn’t Bass.  Coffees and J20s won’t support a beer range, even that tight, in 2017.

The conversation of 67 year old diners is less than thrilling, even if they are the type of exciting OAPs who ask for mango chutney with their lasagne.

Who’s going for the goat

Haw Haw”   (that’s a goat impression by the way)

I wished I’d ordered food, but we were saving ourselves for a real treat.

Job done








  1. Arguably the quality of Bass has improved in recent years as it’s now only stocked by pubs that actually want it, as opposed to being a no-brainer default beer like Landlord.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s exactly right. Landlord is a no-brainer albeit an expensive one according to one comment); you have to want to stock Bass and appreciate it, few do. I can’t think of many beers like that in the free trade.


  2. Apropos of beers from the temporary home of Bass. I was doing some work on our house when the Marston’s lorry went by this morning. Their latest lorry slogan is ‘Burton’s Got Talent’. I despair of their marketing ideas.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Couple of comments which give me the opportunity to announce the arrival of my 2018 Guide today;
    In terms of Bass outlets, the Green Dragon in Little Stretton, between Shrewsbury & Ludlow, has Bass as one of its six permanent beers;
    The Lammastide seems a rare outlet for Wye Valley Bitter. In South Shropshire I rarely see it, despite the prevalence of HPA and Butty Bach.
    Re the wholesale price of Landlord, I recently asked for a price from a local wholesaler and was quoted, for 9 gallons, £15 more than Bass (whichever i don’t sell) and £25 more than Salopian Oracle.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. “Just north of Berkeley, which looks increasingly charming for a town famous for doing unspeakable things with red hot pokers (nothing to do with the selection process for the 2014 CAMRA National Pub of the Year) is a survivor.”

    Martin, I think you’re missing a word after the closing bracket; perhaps the word is Bass? 🙂



    Liked by 1 person

  5. When a pub is serving two pulls of the same beer are they typically pulling off the same cask? Normally I see them on opposite sides of the bar and they always tell me they are the same cask. Is that true when they are side by side like this?


    1. Generally speaking there will be two lines from the same cask in the case with a pump on each side of the bar. Often when there are two side by side, one is ‘in use’ and the other is a new cask, tapped and connected with the lines full of clean water. When the ‘old’ cask runs off, you’ve only got a couple of pints of water to pull through and hey presto, a ‘new’ cask is in operation. Saves loads of time when it runs out at a busy time and you can clean the other line out in the morning. You tend to get them in pubs with just one or two beers on, it doesn’t make sense when you’ve got six lines on. If the ‘old cask’ runs out on a sunday night, you might just clean the lines out, leave them with clean water in, but not bother tapping/connecting a new cask until Tuesday or Wednesday, depending on how fast it’s selling. You can keep an eye on where you are by dipping the cask and knowing your trade – something often lacking in ‘the trade’ these days.


  6. Timothy Taylor’s are very expensive. Their beer is of the highest quality though and worth paying the premium for, IF it is well kept by someone who knows what they are doing. Never have Landlord at a beer festival (or in a shit pub that only think they know what they’re doing), unless it’s bright beer (never had LL as bright beer, but I’m sure they’d rack you one if you asked nicely), it needs at least 10 days in the cellar settling before you go near it. Boltmaker isn’t as demanding. Tell you what is nice TT’s ‘Knowle Springs’ in bottles, someone dropped by with a half case for me the other day and it is a very nice, easy going bottled ale to drink while watching sport on TV or with your tea (that’s probably Dinner to you, which is really Lunch if you live above the Chester – Chesterfield -Lincoln Line).

    Liked by 1 person

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