With four hours ’till the CAMRA Weekend opened to mere mortals I took the 20 minute journey to Perth, home of three GBG ticks AND a Brew Dog bar.
Unlike BRAPA, there aren’t many towns left to visit with more than a lone new Guide pub to visit now (though there’s NINE in Plymouth).
The train journey is just long enough to enjoy grown adults arguing over the pronunciation of nearby Scone (it’s Skooone).
Perth, you’ll remember, is the station where we were rudely awoken at en route to Aberdeen last month. It looks a bit different at midday than at 5.30am.
On my only previous stop here, in July 1999, Mrs RM and I took a two month old James to see overperforming St Johnstone v Hearts (1-4) at McDiarmid Park. At the final whistle Mrs RM reclaimed the £6 I’d (inadvertently) been charged to take a baby in, which is why I married her.
I didn’t remember anything about the city, and it looked very handsome under blue skies.
“The Ayr of the East” I noted, at a stroke condemning both towns with faint praise.
Pub No.1 is an unusual looking thing. I stand for a second, dreaming of a Shakin’ Stevens Green Door pun before realising it’s the Green Room (Wee Inn).
And what was wrong with original name, anyway ?
Goodness me, it’s dark inside.
But it was immediately obvious this was a bit special, even before I saw the Tayside Pub of the Year award.
Not because of the gorgeous Tennents pump,
or the microbrews,
or even the Red Bull.
No, it was the welcome from the young barman. Cheery, interesting and interested, enthusiastic.
He really sold the pub, as well as the beers. I told him to expect a busy weekend with a 1,000 CAMRA members up the road.
Then I started chatting to a couple of fellow ale afficionados.
One nice lady showed me her
GBG BrewDog passport, with stamps at BD bars all over the world. She was on her way to the hipster AGM, along with 14,000 other Punks. Except she wasn’t a hipster. Or a Punk. Just a beer lover.
The M’oR was cool and rich, an NBSS 3+ in a land of NBSS 2s, but the wonderful coal fire was worth an extra point.
I could have stayed there all afternoon, particularly when the next couple in flashed cards and got that essential 23p discount that keeps us all CAMRA members.
Wonderful barman, essential pub, inessential cushions.