Quinoa chilli not a sign of a Proper Pub

Moaning done, it’s back to the new Beer Guide, and a bit of a curate’s egg* in Ware.

You know Ware, one of east Hertfordshire’s gems.

You can’t tell but it was raining

Like Baldock, Ware has been bypassed into a quiet life providing sustenance forย  retired gentlefolk visiting garden centres and parents who want their children to speak Latin.

Great parish church.


The Riverside is the last place in town I expected to ever grace the Guide. Even though it opens at 10am, always a winner.

Riverside. Just like the pub

The sort of place you meet your friend Jean for coffee, or celebrate your divorce over Quinoa, but I can’t quite fathom its rise to GBG superstardom.

Loadsa beers

Ah right. It’s all about choice. Eight beers, most of them boring and brown (hurrah). Fairly obvious what I’m going for, though.

I ordered an Eggs Benedict. As you do. Our Spanish barman reached for a coffee cup.

And a coffee ?”

“No, half of Pedi please”

The look was bemusement rather than incomprehension.

No alcohol until 11 Sir

But it’s a Stonegate pub. Stafford Paul would be on his 3rd if this was Wolves.

I sensed that pushing the issue would get me in the Ware Watchman (Tues edition), so I smiled. Only 26 minutes to wait, and so much to explore.

No inch uncovered

As a diner, it was pleasant, and I only bumped into two gentlefolk on my travels. The excellent Eggs Benedict was made with bacon rather than gammon, clearly a political statement.

Eggs Benedict, apparently

At 10.59.55 I approached the bar. Mr barman had already poured my half. He’d be useful in Margate Wetherspoons.

Pedigree already poured

In fairness, a cool, rich, sulphorous Pedi, that wavered mysteriously between NBSS 3 and 3.5. Better than I expected, if I’m honest.

The soundtrack consisted entirely of First Aid Kit and the domestic arrangements of Ware mums, that are less interesting than those of mums (or dads) in Stevenage.

More decent beer, but perhaps the dullest tick so far this year. In Hertfordshire, who’d have thought it ?

*Curate’s egg only available on breakfast menu in selected Spoons.


  1. Forget London Murk.
    Tribute,Proper Job and Doom Bar are the Holy Trinity of West Country bland.
    I’ve really tried to get on with them over the years but I’m nearly always disappointed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Funny thing is, I can think of a Tribute (in Buckland Monachorum), Proper Job (Woking) and now Doom Bar that I’d be happy to drink on rotation with Bass and Plum Porter forever. Just shows that the other 99% pubs that serve them aren’t good enough.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Quite a number of beer writers and bloggers rave about Proper Job, but I have to say I’ve never really got it. For me, HSD is the best St Austell beer.

      I’d have been straight on the 6X there. Strangely, its declared strength was reduced from 4.3% to 4.1% between the 2014 and 2015 GBGs, but the OG only from 1041 to 1040.5 – and it was 1040 in 1978. Still a great pint when well-kept, such as in a certain canalside pub in deepest Staffordshire. And that’s also why you need paper copies of the GBG – an app would just overwrite itself each year.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Early last month in Cornwall I had three pints each of Proper Job, HSD and Tribute and enjoyed them all. I very much thought HSD to be a proper BBB, as one might expect of a beer introduced in 1976, and Proper Job more a beer for the hipsters.
        Ah, yes, a certain canalside pub in deepest Staffordshire. I had three lovely pints of 6X there on 2nd September..

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Strictly speaking I always had Devizes in Wiltshire down as the South West rather than the West Country.
      But I know what you mean.
      Probably the least inspiring pump line-up I’ve seen young Martin post for a while.
      It’s why I normally get rat-arsed on cider on my annual visit to Devon.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Agreed, I’d most likely plump for Martin’s choice too.
        Based on three days being the optimum time a barrel, in this case I’m assuming a firkin, is on sale for, the guvnor would need to shift approximately 1350 pints a week spread equally across those eight pumps, that’s a big ask especially Monday to Friday.
        I used to run a pub in Hackney and I’d take 3-4 firkins of GK IPA weekly, I reckon I shifted around 250-260 pints a week, apart from the usual Friday/Saturday/Sunday spike I was blessed with punters who came in of the afternoon after an early turn, so it turned over fairly nice and evenly.


      1. In my opinion it was never quite the same after the deal with Whitbread to make it a national brand. In more recent times can any beer be improved by dropping the ABV from 4.3% to 4.1%?


  2. Ware ?
    The Quinoa would be less risky than the Ham as it’s not served with broccoli.
    Stonegate pubs. Yes, the Stafford one does Pedigree at ยฃ1.05 a half from 9am.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve been about for a few years and I’ve yet to find “a beer for halves” – not even in the Baker’s Vaults.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Or maybe best poured away into the tulip bed? The only beers for halves are those that you’d really rather not drink a pint of.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. “Riverside. Just like the pub”

    A match made in Heaven. ๐Ÿ™‚

    “or celebrate your divorce over Quinoa, ”

    If I’d been foolish enough to marry someone named Quinoa I’d look at getting a divorce right away. ๐Ÿ™‚

    “Fairly obvious what Iโ€™m going for, though.”

    I’m still new at this but… the 6X?

    “โ€œNo, half of Pedi pleaseโ€”


    “No inch uncovered”

    You’re talking about the television screen, right?

    “The excellent Eggs Benedict was made with bacon rather than gammon, clearly a political statement.”

    Gammon? It’s Canadian bacon (which is all mostly sent to the US) or it’s not eggs benny. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    “*Curateโ€™s egg only available on breakfast menu in selected Spoons.”

    I’m not sure if that’s a good or bad thing. ๐Ÿ˜‰


    Liked by 1 person

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