My very last tick in Suffolk Beer Guide 2018 won’t live long in the memory, but I need to rub it in with BRAPA while I can. Ten counties pinked so far, Simon (probably miles behind Pubmeister, mind).
And another place I’ve never heard of, despite driving past Stoke Ash on the A140 many times en route to the thriving metropolis that is Eye, sadly deprived of borough status in the scandalous reorganisations of 1974.
Look how exciting today’s OS extract is.
The White Horse is an upmarket hotel for Retired Gentlefolk who drive so slowly on the A140 that they need an overnight stop between Ipswich and Norwich.
They certainly don’t stop here for the views.
WhatPub suggests they’re open from 7.30am. I can assure you won’t get a beer at that time. I phoned them to find out, as you must do before visiting any pub other than a Wetherspoons. Is anywhere in the Beer Guide, apart from the Market Porter, open before 9am?
The yellow AA sign has a similar status to that sign of a blue hand pump on a yellow background.
No mobility scooters outside, and the little hut by the door was a little too cutesy. Perhaps the pub can sell it off as a micropub when that trend catches up with Diss.
Inside, it’s all reassuringly pub-restaurant. Nervous couples perusing the menu, groups of pensioners arguing over the bill, “Are you looking to dine with us ?”.
A reassuringly Old School beer range too.
In a world where any beer range lacking a mocha-infused sour is deemed lacking, I welcome beers I’ve heard of, and Boak and Bailey reminded us today that one person’s dull is another person’s exotica.
This level of brand awareness isn’t uncommon. My father-in-law in Tunbridge Wells could name Shepherd Neame, Harvey’s and Adnams,at a push. But Dark Star or Burning Sky ? Not a chance.
On the table next to me, a couple in their 30s perused the beer menu before their meal.
Almost parodying the old folk who read out all the dining options, the chap read out the descriptions of the beers and the ABVs. Word for word.
“Fresh, zesty and crisp“. Wherry sounded very exotic. Perhaps Woodbastwick is, if you live in Suffolk.
They probably went for the Aspalls. And after I’d gone to the effort of having the first drop of Wherry pulled for them. Possibly the first pulled all week based on the head;
It was the worst presented beer of the year, though rather sadly it tasted sufficiently average to deny me the opportunity to take it back.
And just to remind you folks, the Coopers Tavern isn’t in the Beer Guide. I’ve just been there. The beer was nectar.
But at least we’ll always have the Bass clock.