Next up, a bit of a minor classic. Though I suspect I’m alone in thinking this.
Into “real” Preston, not far from the Wetherspoons wherein resides the nation’s most awesome beer blogger. Here seen in a Proper Pub.
I’d have popped in one of Matthew’s favoured craft emporia to say hello, but I’d only decided on Preston late on, as the Mersey micros were closed (now there’s a shock).
I guess you’d call the residential area that the Princess Alice hides in “mixed“, and I’d mean that as a compliment.
There’s some handsome looking local boozers a mile out from our usual Preston base, though the New Welcome is sadly less than welcoming at present.
If there’s one pub detail I can’t resist, it’s decades-old Beer Guide stickers left on the windows. I may have been here in 1995, you know.
I was a bit nervous that the Alice wouldn’t open at noon, with so many pubs these days deciding that 4pm is plenty soon enough, thank you.
But it was, even if the Landlord was still setting up and presumably restoring order after the visit of Norwich City to Deepdale the day before. Canaries fans are always trouble.
So, why is the Alice in the Beer Guide when, say, the Ember Inn isn’t ?
Well, there’s lots of hand pumps. With local beers.
And it’s nearly as cheap as Wigan, which is saying summat.
And it’s a proper community local that real people, rather than just beer bores, go to.
And the charity box alone is worth a visit.
But pubs with a dozen TV screens in every possible crevice, showing 3 different sports at the same time, rarely find favour with CAMRA branches.
So it must be the beer quality then.
And it was, being a better pint of Lancaster Blonde than I got at the brewery itself, with impressive texture, temperature and smell. NBSS 4+.
For a while I had the pub to myself. Sadly they weren’t showing highlights of the CAMRA revitalisation debate, so it was a choice of the marathon, the IPL or Rangers v someone. Then they turned on the classic rock, just for me.
If I’d stayed much longer they’d have probably started the quiz and the meat raffle, just for me. I’d have come second in both.
As I left it started to fill up. That happens a lot.
Revitalisation. A posh word that means very little. Only beer of the quality served in the Princess Alice will ultimately preserve real ale.