There’s a sort of GBG completists code of conduct, alluded to in Boak & Bailey’s article on Guide ticking weirdos in the new BEER. I hope you like the photo of me.

Mainly, Duncan will alert Simon and myself to a micro pub that changed (reduced) its opening hours, or an impending local festival at which visitors might be treated with a warm welcome.

Image result for wicker man
A welcome for Si in Rotherham

So I took note when Duncan told me it was a long way from Walton-on-Thames station to the Weir.

40 minutes I’ll never get back

I can walk” I replied, forgetting that so can Duncan. If one of the few people who walk at my pace comments on the journey, it’s worth noting.  48 minutes from the station, a mile east of town, says Google; it took 40 in the Wednesday rain, past Co-ops, primary schools and leisure centres.

The Thames, apparently

I arrived to see a building covered in scaffolding, and feared the worst.

Shut !?@

But the 37 cars in the car park weren’t all on sale, and the pub was  thriving. Despite the classic decayed signage.

Not Greene King

Having only been to Ember Inns, Spoons and the odd sports-oriented corner bar round here before, the Weir comes as a bit of a shock.

With a dark and moody Victorian interior seemingly unchanged since the ’70s, you could be in a riverside local in Gravesend or Rotherhithe.

An unchanging gem

Clearly, this is A GOOD THING, even with a heavy dining trade and plenty of children seemingly absconding from nursery school.  One mum in a large family group told her daughter she’d have to “be patient waiting for her chippies“, which would have thrilled BRAPA.

You could almost have been in the (old) East End, until a tall fussy man with a scarf approached the bar with a fussy wine order.  “NOT Pino Grigio” said with scary emphasis on the NOT.

But the dining is all very informal, with dishes called “Lasagne” and “Sausages and Mash”, and the bloke with greyhound tells its own tale.

Man with greyhound

An unreconstituted beer range suited the pub.  Yes, yes, there’s Bingham’s, but who would drink that when there’s a Doom Bar just poured ?

Proper beer range

I thought I saw a wry smile as I asked for my Doom, as if to say “I put on all these local beers and you drink Doom Bar.”

A thing of beauty is a joy for ever

Those of you waiting for my Damascene conversion to the cause of Cornwall’s finest will have to wait; it was OK (NBSS 3).

I told you the Weir was doing brisk business, you might not think it from this shot.

Busy.  Really

But just as I was debating whether to succumb to the Steak & Guinness Pie, I overheard scarf man being told there was a 45 minute wait as they had a big party next door.  Chips on the walk back to the station, then.








    1. It was a GBG tick, so obviously worth the walk 😛

      Oddly, in my four years of living in that part of the world, I never visited this establishment or even knew of its existence. May have been k*g back then, of course.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You just read my mind, 2 hours before I came up with it.

        It is interesting, it looks a cask stalwart and I’ve never heard mention of it. I guess you only get on local radar when you add a local beer to your Doom Bar and Abbot, he says cynically.


  1. “40 minutes I’ll never get back”

    That map shows the Queen Elizabeth 2 Storage Reservoir. It that where they keep her extra gin?

    “But the 37 cars in the car park weren’t all on sale,”

    Funnily enough the 30 odd in the parking lot of the now closed Tally Ho Pub in Victoria that I audited last month were for sale; or at least waiting to be taken to the dealership for sale (not enough room for them at the dealership, bit of an inventory problem).

    “Yes, yes, there’s Bingham’s, but who would drink that when there’s a Doom Bar just poured ?”

    I think I would have gone for the Bingham’s.

    And once the scaffolding comes down it does look like a nice place.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. No-one drinks the microbreweries beers in those sort of pubs; I learnt my lesson years ago. Follow the crowd.

      Empty pubs full of cars for sale (not this one as it turns out) are a UK phenomenon.


      1. Oh it’s not the beer, but as with breweries like Langham or Surrey Hills round there, diners seem to avoid beers they’ve never heard of (if they drink beer at all) so you get a pint very unrepresentative of how the brewer intends it. I certainly didn’t see any Bingham pulled in there.


  2. Delightful, both this post and the comments it has spawned. I was about to say, “I’ll bet no one has ever used the words ‘Damascene conversion’ in a blog about pubs before”, but given the writing I’ve seen, I fear I’d lose that bet!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I can’i believe one of the NE is boasting about selling keg British beer at a CAMRA event, I’ve just stated that anyone who so blatantly breaks policy should be disciplined.
        It’s so easy to wind people up by just quoting their own rules and regulations at them.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Well I’m glad you asked RM – hang on while I get on my soapbox …

        I tried a couple of pints last autumn in my local – taking advantage of the ‘free pint of Doom Bar’ offer by Pub co Enterprise Inns (EI as they’re known now). I tried two – had my mates free pint as well – the ensure adequate testing. Definitely a weak flavoured beer then – though for that ‘price’ I could drink it, if necessary.

        I tried another pint this January (only because my local had decided it was the only cask ale they were going to stock in the winter). That pint IMHO was noticeably weaker on flavour than the autumn pints last year.

        Wouldn’t go near it now – in my view a clear case of mega brewers Molson Coors adjusting the recipe to fit the (cheap) price point. You’ll note that Roger P’s spotted it too in his recent ‘Why CAMRA need to embrace good beer’ article.

        I read somewhere that Molson Coors are marketing it so heavily that they even offer to pay towards landlords SKY TV subscriptions to get it on the bar (no idea if that is right).

        Anyway I think it is very unlikely it is ‘Cornwall’s finest’ in anything but name – I assume most is brewed in MC’s Midlands brewery as it is surely not possible that the sheer volume now required can be produced in the original Sharps brewery.

        In the South I don’t often find a pub without Doom Beerr on the bar. It must be more prolific than Watneys Red Barrel was in the 70s.

        Liked by 1 person

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