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;
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.
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).
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.
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.