Take a close look at that glass. That folks, is a half of Old Speckled Hen in the Angel, the new Beer Guide pub in Andover. And whatever else it was, it was also the best beer I’ve had so far in June.
Before we get to that, here’s a lovely OS slice of unfussy Hampshire, with villages like Enham Alamein and Rugged Appleshaw.
Andover also remains in my “Good Books” because the folk there seem to walk quite fast, perhaps because if they don’t they’ll be mown down by turbo-charged mobility scooters.
And it’s a leafy enough walk from the station.
With some decent, if samey, underpass art.
Not much to say about Andover itself, which looks unchanged since my life-changing* visit of Dryanuary 2016.
But the “classic” barbers has started selling bikes. No doubt next year it’ll be a micro pub too. Good enough for Birkenhead….
I should have visited the Angel when I was here two years; not much has changed since 1976, let alone 2016.
The same modest claims to fame,
the same vaguely Pickwick Papers wall art on the way from the shopping centre,
and the same customers propping up the bar, kept safely clear of a modest dining operation for gentlefolk, who would have been as shocked by the language as Sir Humphrey would.
A Fosters stronghold like this only needs one or two pumps, and the expected dozen microbrews fails to materialise.
My request for a half of the Hen prompts a frantic root around by the barmaid, who discards several dimple mugs (clearly recognising a member of the Straight Glass Defence League).
This is what I get.
“There ya go, Darling”
Never mind the weights and measures, the frankly antique glass was a bigger concern, until I tasted the cool, rich Hen (NBSS 4+). As with Hendon last year, judge the beer, not the beer or the pub.
And that’s not all. We had barking dogs, we had “Johnny Be Good” and we had more mobility scooters than hand pumps.
I won’t be taking Mrs RM back there for our wedding anniversary (that’s Dunstable), but this is why I love the Good Beer Guide. Well done North Hants CAMRA.
*This is a lie