As you’ll remember, Dereham is the home of my Curry Chum Charles, who serves the every need of this little fella.
An April Tuesday night in the Norfolk backwaters is a time to test the very best of pubs; what we would find in Dereham ?
There were no arty French language films on at the local cinema, so we just wanted to use a couple of Spoons vouchers and then head for the curry.
But the Romany Rye was rammed with gentlefolk and lads and lasses, the busiest Spoons I’ve been in since Tim was selling Youngers Scotch for 99p a pint.
I asked Charles if he’d ever been in the Red Lion.
“Always been too busy when I’ve walked past” said Charles.
“Oooh, it’s Craft Union, always wanted to go in one of those” I said, sarcastically.
The red dustbins outside sealed the deal.
No-one turned to stare, anyway. A small pub full of blokes younger than us, a few waiting to see Man United crush Barcelona in the Nou Camp.
The landlord was friendly and welcoming, despite my Cambridge Fens accent (Charles comes from Inverness, but we’ll gloss over that).
One photo sums up the pub.
What’s this ?
“What should I have ?” said Charles.
“Whatever I have the second pint of after you” I reasoned.
We had one of each, and two packets of those expensive pretzels, and found the table where our big heads wouldn’t obscure the view of Phil Jones showing up Messi.
Well, the 6X was amazing. Cool, smooth, and leaving a superb pattern of lacings. NBSS 3.5 and a Beer Guide cert anywhere north of Newcastle. The Purity got a rare nod of approval too.
Two cracking pints and two packets of Snyder’s cost £6.10. Six pounds and ten pence. I’ve paid £1.30 a packet for those pretzels recently.
We reckoned the beer was £2 a pint, the Cooking Lager limit.
How do Craft Union do it ?
And more to the point, why can’t everyone do it ? I bet Wadworths and Purity don’t sell their beer at a loss.
NB I also though “What on earth did Cathy Price make of this place ?