ALL QUIET IN THE OSWESTRY HUNDRED

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The pubs in Wolves were ticking over at lunchtime, but I’ve a real nervousness about the health of our more rural pubs these days.  Closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, open at 4pm if you’re lucky, and subject to unannounced closures.

Wolverhampton was all about revisiting proper boozers, but my two newbies on the edge of Oswestry took me back to the Beer Guide staples; gastropubs and brewery taps/micros.

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Where England gets interesting

Starting with the Queens Head in the eponymous village by the Montgomery Canal (no, I didn’t swim it).

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Canal
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Queen’s Head, Queen’s Head
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Decent seating

It’s the start of the Easter holidays, the car park is full, it’s a dining pub which will surely have enough turnover to serve the local Stonehouse beers in good nick ?

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Local beers. Except the Church End, of course

Sadly, no.

The Station Bitter looks OK. It wasn’t vinegar.  It was just warm and tasteless (NBSS 1.5).  A shame, as the bar was smart and traditional (all the families were in the conservatory), and the menu appealed.  Failing to find a pot plant inside, I took the beer outside, left it on the table, and made a runner.

Surely I’d get the beer as intended at the Stonehouse Brewery Tap, in a farm next to an exciting industrial estate that also houses Munchies Diner and FindASaw.com.

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Tidy

Perhaps I’m not made out for this beer blogging world; I just can’t see what’s exciting about small modern identikit breweries.

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Metal tanks

Or small single room tasting bars with hops and diagrams showing how beer is made on the walls.

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Are they hops ?
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Gold, then

It was OK,it was OK (Dexy’s reference for you there).  A bit cooler and chewier, perhaps NBSS 3.  I’ve had much better Stonehouse beer in a proper pub.

But tellingly, I made no notes.  I’d stood at the bar for 5 minutes while someone came from the factory to serve me (politely, but without any chat).  No-one else was around, there was nothing to do but drink my OK beer and move on.  

No doubt, if you came with a group of mates from Shrewsbury in a mini-bus and drunk them dry, it’d be great.

Anyway, on to the micro pub in the treehouse.

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27 thoughts on “ALL QUIET IN THE OSWESTRY HUNDRED

      1. That’s a proper treehouse, actually in a tree and not on stilts, and it appears to be for sale. It’d make a nice second home for someone who’s fed up with the regular minibus journeys from Shrewsbury.
        It reminds me of course of the Combermere, and that Wetherspoons have their toilets upstairs.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. If the brewery tap serves the beer in only “OK” condition, I’d have serious doubts about the brewery in general. Shouldn’t it be at its finest? It’s like getting in the car that’s come right off the factory floor and the engine’s not starting up properly.

    But yes, I’ve seen enough giant shiny tanks to last me all my life. Give me a nice, welcoming room that has at least a little bit of history to it.

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  2. The seating in the brewery tap looks a bit uncomfortable.
    Did they get it in a fire sale when Miss Sadie Whiplash’s Emporium of Pain was closed down by the rozzers ?
    Asking for a friend.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve nothing against breweries offering their beers to the public at source, but they can be very cold when empty. The Banks’s one oozed warmth. You can tell I liked Banks’s can’t you ? And I really thought them average beforehand.

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      1. Martin,
        And the actual Banks’s Brewery Tap, the Clarendon, although a large pub is welcoming and has several beers on including, on my last visit, Marstons Old Empire ( from Burton of course ) on one of those fancy new-fangled handpumps.

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      2. A lot of CAMRA members won’t go near filtered beer and will go apoplectic if it is mentioned – why do they wax lyrical about these beers produced using the FastCask system where all the yeast is stripped out and then a tiny bit of pretend yeast suspended in goo from seaweed is put back in?

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      3. I know of CAMRA members that will go near a filtered beer if it’s from a Key Keg, probably perfectly acceptable if it’s from a railway arch microbrewery ! .
        I understand that Marstons only do a small proportion of their beers as FastCask, Hobgoblin and Marston’s EPA being the only two I know.

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  3. “Where England gets interesting”

    I’ll say. Creosote (or something similar), Gobowen, Santa Claws (oh wait, that’s Nant y Caws). Just from looking at the names on the map I figured it had to be close to the Welsh border. 🙂

    “Decent seating”

    Not to mention your choice of seats. I see what you mean earlier about ‘rural’ pubs.

    “Tidy”

    For a second there I would have sworn that photo was taken near Vegas. 😉

    “Or small single room tasting bars with hops and diagrams showing how beer is made on the walls.”

    It’s hip. All the kids are doing it. 🙂

    “Anyway, on to the micro pub in the treehouse.”

    And it’s for sale! (LOL)

    Cheers

    PS – “it’s be great.”

    Ahem, it’d.

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