As Newbury Tim will know, all publicity is good publicity.  So here’s a plug for the ever-excellent Ullage, which I can confirm has equally excellent combustible qualities when read over a candle in a Burton micropub.

As is traditional, a totally pointless route map for the next leg of our journey;

Burton 2.PNG

I suppose I could play a “mark the Coopers Tavern with an X” sort of game.  This usesful map from our next pub might help;


The walk takes you past this objet d’art which I can’t remember the story of, and couldn’t prise free from the wall.


And the Crossing, which used to be Burton’s “trendy” pub when it was the Blue Posts.


Never mind swinging legs, this was the heart of swinging south Staffs. at one time. As you’ll see from the extract from the essential Burton Pub Guide of 1994, the “Posts” had gone all “coq au vin” within a decade, and was catering exclusively for blokes with bow ties drinking Boring Brown Bitter.

Now that time travel has been invented, I want to go back to a Friday night here in 1994.


I read it’s run by the folk who own the Exeter Arms in Derby, so I’m bound to be back at some point.

At this point Mrs RM was quite keen to pick all the beer mats off the tables in Spoons, but I’ve lost my 50p vouchers so we couldn’t go in. Sorry about that, Mrs RM.

A fairly drab walk to the Last Heretic, except for the world’s great breweries and Balti Towers, of course.


Looking at these photos now, I can’t believe we got as far as the Heretic.  The Towers gets famously busy at the weekend, and we’d only had two packets of Pipers fabulous crisps each at this point.

But one should never drink AFTER a curry, and the Heretic had to be ticked.

You’ll be familiar with the style by now.  Blackboards, bench seating, banter, and a goth (thanks to Mrs RM for that observation).

Goth not shown

Some very decent beer here, too, though Mrs RM took violently against the Northallerton Gold.  She’s prone to do that to any beer that doesn’t taste like Punk IPA.  Craft has spoilt her palate.


Slightly smarter than the norm, perhaps more akin to the Middlesbrough micros than the Margate ones, with an average age closer to 40 than the 55 of your Herne model.

Perhaps that explained why beer wasn’t necessarily the dominant drink, something you see increasingly in the newer micros. It might also explain why it was so noisy.


That’s an observation, rather than a criticism; I find the puritan tone of some micros a bit hard going. The Heretic does Prosecco, office parties and football coaches. And candles on tables.


Fittingly, in a pub named after the last person burnt for heresy, I then started a fire with my copy of Ullage.  “It’s from Newbury” I shouted, as if that explained it.  Everyone looked at us (well, me), horrified.

At which point we beat a hasty retreat to the Coopers.




  1. Does Mrs. RM prefer American-style hoppy beer to traditional British real ale? Actually I’ve never had Punk IPA, so I don’t know if it’s the sort of hoppy taste I’m imagining.

    Loved the line “couldn’t prise free from the wall.” And you without your crowbar!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Two hours later I’d have prised it out with my fingers, if I had any nails !

      Mrs RM will drink most beers to be fair, apart from the stuff flavoured with fruit or chocolate, but Oakham, Dark Star, Thornbridge would fit her bill.

      Interesting you haven’t see Punk IPA, ubiquitous over here, in bottles in most pubs. I think you probably can imagine it !


  2. “Goth not shown”

    Maybe it was a vampire? Oh wait, is that her in the second last photo?

    “a totally pointless route map”

    Indeed. No secondary route comes close in terms of distance.

    Oh and “Balti Towers” – heh. 😊


    Liked by 1 person

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