The welcome committee was out for Simon today as the BRAPA bandwagon rolled into (newly shiny) Cambridge station.
I took this great photo in the Flying Pig (BRAPA tick No.1) while we compared notes on beer quality across the GBG, taking extra care to make sure Simon can’t be identified by angry landlords.
Statistically, my top town for beer quality is Prestatyn, with Cambridge, Manchestershire and Bewdley right up there. By the same token, the worst is Bishop Auckland. They and our Welsh winners are not fundamentally dissimilar towns, apart from the wet stuff at the end of Prestatyn, so I can’t explain.
Four slightly below-par pints in Bishop Auckland over the years, but I still love the town, and as soon as the Premier Inn reduces its prices back to £29 I’ll review all four again. It’s a good base for Durham, particularly if you like takeaways.
For now, the Green Tree was the first newbie for some time.
Now there’s a hundred pubs that look just like this with adequate Greene King beer within an hour walk of Simon’s Cambridge base, so you’ll assume the Green Tree has something special to get it in the Guide.
It’s not the beer range, is it ? Much as I love Old Peculier. A wild gamble on the Greene King World Cup special (sing it – “This Time, We’ll Get It Right”) causes the barman to turn the clip round. It’s clearly the first one pulled.
“Oh, is he having the Bo66y ?” It’s like I’ve asked for the Snail curry special or something. But it was said in good humour, and the atmosphere was really great. A real BeerMat of a local. They even tolerated the soundtrack by Go West.
And the beer wasn’t that bad, a 2.5 if I was pushed. It even had acceptable lacings; I’m sure the locals with their Carling were desperately jealous.
Back home, I now see Bishop has a micro pub/craft bar. Let’s see how that goes.