After the Wasp I checked in at my “value B & B” at 26 Outram. You can see my review via that link, and speculate what I’m hinting at when I warn that shower rooms and bedrooms aren’t labelled.  Highly recommended, and my car had been returned to its same position in the morning.

You can see Outram St just below Aldi on the What Pub extract;


Anyway, no gripes about folk coming into my room at 1am (we Fen folk never lock our doors); you don’t come to Stockton for an undisturbed nights sleep.

Typical Stocktonite

The town was quiet, but the Sun was heaving as I squeezed past the cheeriest security man ever at 7pm on Sunday night.  Bass aficionados will know this is the home of “Banked Bass“, a pint half poured, stuck in the fridge, then topped up with a proper head.

Craft Union pub -my sort of craft

Last time here I was shocked and saddened by the guest beer, surely a failed attempt to regain a Beer Guide place lost to the burgeoning micro scene*.

Things haven’t improved, with a Landlord pump taking centre stage.

Do you still sell Bass ? ”  I squeaked.

Of course”  Next time I’ll ask if they’re actually open or something daft like that.

I was directed to the other side of the bar.  But where was the famous bankers fridge ?

It lives !

Still there, but with just four bankers cooling down, rather than the twenty of a decade ago.  Still looked the business though.

Be scared, Southerners

As I stood at the bar I felt a hand go down my back pocket.  “I was just putting your map back in your pocket” said a lady with six empty Carling glasses in the other hand.  No, she really was. But I bet your genteel American beer tourists would have squealed.


Now the photos tell you all you need about the Bass, but not about the Sun, which seems to be bucking social trends by being packed with folk of all ages. Just like 2007 never happened. What Pub says the beer:lager ratio is 8:1; I’d have guessed it’s the other way round now in this Carling stronghold.

No World Cup on tonight, just darts, unrepeatable banter,  and men who should know better singing along to Mama We’re All Crazee Nowand “Me and the Farmer“.  Real BRAPA heaven if/when it gets back in the Guide.


None of this froth would be of any lasting interest if the Bass was dross, but it’s gorgeous, always has been.  VERY different from your flat Bass in the Coopers (or occasionally in the Petersgate), but cool and creamy (NBSS 3.5) and gone in 60 seconds, rather worryingly.

Go there now.  You know you need to.


*(joking, Cleveland CAMRA)



22 thoughts on “BANKING THE BASS

  1. Oh, they were actually saying “That Martin, he’s a Bass banker”…

    My only near experience of Stockton was when railworks around Durham meant the mainline train I was on got diverted through Stockton. Most deprived place I’ve seen in Western Europe, most of the station was derelict, side streets visible from the carriage empty of all cars, barring one sitting on bricks. Somehow slid down my list of places to visit after that. Although still not up there with seeing an ambulance on bricks in Wester Hailes.


      1. Well obviously no-one would go to Southwold in the height of summer, but surely no-one is that daft ?

        The area south of Bradford centre was a bit intimidating last visit (hardly any pubs, let alone GBG), but otherwise can’t think of any. That Rifle Drum in Northampton looked worse than it was.


      2. You’ve not lived if you’ve not experienced the Rifle Drum.
        We took a break from some lovely pubs with great beer but we had to do it.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Well that gets my vote for the tastiest-looking pint I’ve seen on your blog so far young Martin.
    You really can’t go wrong with well-kept Bass.
    No NBSS score ? ( I’m just trying to pre-empt Russ )


  3. “Typical Stocktonite”

    A bit like Fred Astaire then, singing in the rain. 😉

    “Be scared, Southerners”


    “But I bet your genteel American beer tourists would have squealed.”

    Maybe the Yanks would, but I’d have told her the map normally goes in my front pocket. 🙂

    “and gone in 60 seconds,”

    I see what you did there. 🙂



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