Back in May 2016 I said the Rifle Drum was the best pub I’d never been in, and I commend Pub Curmudgeon for ensuring we visited now. He’s always game for a curveball visit to a keg emporium (see: Levenshulme).
“No pretensions to architectural merit” said Mudgie in his report, which is entirely fair. The only draw of the Drum is its location, tucked down an alley off the market place (is there anywhere as basic off a market in England ?).
What I didn’t need was a possible torrent of abuse, Offerton-style, for a series of individually ordered halves of Guinness, so I bought my PINT of Fosters and took a stool.
You don’t get pubs with this much “atmosphere” in Cambridge, I can tell you. Or as many informal retail opportunities, as Richard reports here.
I’d love to tell you that the highlights of the Drum was a citizen’s arrest by Mr Coldwell, an argument about CAMRA vouchers, or a murky pint of Cloudwater DIPA.
But I’d be lying. Nothing happened. Our group of half drinkers and myself were largely ignored.
Neither as rough as it looks from the alley or an undiscovered gem, the highlight was the banter and 60s music that gave it the feel of a central Liverpool local like the Globe.
I’m glad we popped in. But the Fosters really was rubbish. I once won two pints of Fosters at a Mark Warner holiday camp on Corsica, “owning” a bloke who’d been on Weakest Link. A life highlight. Fosters has gone backwards since then.
So we didn’t hang around. Mrs RM deduced it would get no better and headed back to the Langham to watch National Lottery Live or whatever is on Saturday nights.