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.
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.