A few average beers and pubs of late, but I ended the life of GBG17, and completed Hampshire, on a high.
Wonston’s eponymous pub is in the mysterious triangle (and virtual GBG desert) between Andover, Winchester and the “posh bits of Basingstoke“. At a push this is Watership Down country, but really it’s where people maximise access to the A34, A303 and M3 without actually living on it.
In the morning I’d heard that a GBG18 had been seen in random locations that weren’t London, causing some excitement in the highly organised GBG-ticking community. You’ll have to wait ’till the 14th to discover if the Wonston Arms has retained its place, but it certainly warranted its debut in GBG17.
North Hants CAMRA clearly agree with me, with the Wonston retaining its Pub of the Year status in 2017, despite the shameful promotion of the evil fizz.
It’s an attractive if typical looking village local, which (less typically) seemed to contain the entire village at the start of Bank Holiday weekend, many seeming to be drinking a lethal looking punch.
Yes, this is your genuine community pub, with Caribbean themed decor and Hawaiian-shirted landlord, one of the cheeriest you’ll meet through the Beer Guide, keen to find out why I was there and what I thought of his beer.
Sometimes “Community” pub means average ale, but whatever it was (I took a recommendation) is likely to be the next Beer of the Month (NBSS 4.5). I guess it would help if I knew what it was then (it wasn’t Goddard’s).
The presence of children cut down the photographic opportunity inside, but here’s a picture of the goat curry, served by a local in the garden.
Cheery landlord, top quality local beer, no food except fish and chips from a van. That’s how you run a successful rural pub in 2017.