I feel a bit sad writing this in Cawood, near York, after three tremendous pints. And a (SPOILER) rather emotional last episode of the Bridge. But I have to tell the truth. I’ve had some woeful cask in June, nearly all in the South (below Stoke-on-Trent).

The next two are in the sort of quintessential English country pub where Americans, and real people, might expect that odd “Bitter Ale” to be palatable. Tough luck Yanks.


Just off the legendary A272 (it’s no A511) lie the Queen’s Head and the Greyhound.


They are so similar that I may as well refer to them as Queenhound and you’d be none the wiser.

I see Simon found much to entertain him in posh Cambridge last week, even he wouldhave struggled in West Chiltington (Chilts to its mates).

At the bar an old Colonel was considering his bill for £20.70 (two OAP specials, pint of Harveys, Sauvignon Blanc).”How Bloody much !!!”. I sense this was a weekly event.

Colonel and unfinished pint

He’d left half his pint; clearly a warning to me that I failed to heed.


In the garden I toyed with the idea of taking back a tired half of Harvey’s (NBSS 2), much as a Mudgie cat would toy with a mouse, but then just left it in a huff.

An Australian and a Frenchman, in a waistcoat, were debating the impact of the World Cup on Russian integration, over two bottles of Brewdog a bottle of fizz (enjoy it while it lasts). The Frenchman had no idea his team had just beaten the Aussies at Association Kickball.

The dullest pub of the year.

The Specials.  Not AKA

Down the road, the Greyhound at least had the prospect of a younger group of diners (under 60) and a few Professional Drinkers burning to a crisp in the garden.

And punnets of raspberries, hand-picked by stockbrokers.

Half that price in Wisbech

They had authentic Big Beer Craft.


And what I presume folk consider as beer exotica, before sticking to bottles of wine in ice bucket.


I clearly chose wrong again, as the Irving produced only a note on my phone that said “Scum bubbles” (see top), and another half resentfully left.

Of course, it’s possible that I had the end of the barrel four times in a row.  Equally, it’s possible for these pubs to put on a single fast-selling beer, like the classic I’ve just enjoyed near Drax Power Station. Hit the North, as someone said.

You have to wonder when beer quality gets checked before these places get entered into the Beer Guide (both are new entries). Perhaps all entries should be surveyed by a neighbouring branch on a Tuesday afternoon, like they do in selecting Regional Pub of the Year. That would keep the micros out, anyway.

And no, I’m not taking back a half.


  1. “where Americans, and real people, ”

    I hope that ‘dig’ doesn’t include us ‘faux Yanks’ oop north. 🙂

    “(it’s no A511) ”

    Ahem. Most enlightened folk now prefer the use of A514 to the A511. 😉

    “(Chilts to its mates).”

    I highly doubt anyone in that area refers to each other as ‘mates’. 🙂

    “The Specials. Not AKA”

    Is that colourful bit between his pants and his shirt his smalls or a belt?


    (doffs hat)

    “Perhaps all entries should be surveyed by a neighbouring branch on a Tuesday afternoon,”

    I think Paul and his associates did that near Tonbridge late last year?

    But sipping that quality of beer you’ve had recently would reaffirm my thought that having a beer at home isn’t all that bad. 😉


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Stop that talk of drinking at home ! I’ve some really good pubs and beer coming up.

      Yes, Paul and other branches go on tours in charabancs to judge other pubs. Great idea. I think they focus on aspects other than beer quality though.


    1. Quite brilliant. Do a blog post and copy in London, West Sussex and all of Scotland. To be fair, we’ll always have the Harp, the Bon Accord and my last Sussex tick, so we could have one pub counties.


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