12th February 2020

On Tuesday I was breathlessly reporting my blog was up to date, I’d cleared all the photos off my phone and OneDrive, and I was wondering whether I had writers cramp.

This morning I’m in Chester with 227 photos to squeeze into 7 new posts after an inadvisable night out on the £5.50 Merseyrail Day Pass.


Let’s start with some Draught Bass, shall we ?

40 years ago my hero was a bloke called Ian. In 2020 it still is, as Wickingman leads his growing band of disciples into a future where every pub in the UK stocks Draught Bass (and a murky DIPA for the CAMRAs if you must).

Ian is famously publicity shy, but I did get this photo of him from the Intranet.

Ian is the one in the middle

Saturday 11th April is National Bass Day, declared as a public holiday this week to placate Michael Fabricant whose constituency is being sacrificed for HS2.

I’m still deciding where I’m going to be drinking 5 pints of Bass on the 11th, but if you live in The North (Stoke and upwards excluding east Cheshire) you could do worse than the White Star in Liverpool’s Beatleland.



I missed the Old Codgers trip before Christmas, described beautifully by Pub Curmudgeon here.

Bloke smoking on the step, Wetherspoons behind
Pub Curmudgeon-approved seating

I’d been before, of course, a couple of times. But Bass, Otter and 2 other BBBs rarely get you in the Beer Guide these days and it’s easy to forget a pub exists when its little pint pot doesn’t show up on the GBG App.

The classic Bass pump clip

I wonder if the upsurge in good pubs serving Bass is a new wave of licensees with some affection for the beer they remember fondly from their youth. Who knows. Perhaps it’s just cheap and has brand recognition with old folk like me.

The White Star has been serving Bass for decades.

Tight head

The Bass here was £3.90, pretty much what I’d pay in Waterbeach, but I’m not about to complain. The classic ’90s pump clip adds 0.25 to the NBSS score, as does my ability to grab a corner seat by the bar,

Aerial shot

though it loses it by being served in a John Smiths Smooth glass. ONLY TINY REBEL STAY PUFT SHOULD BE SERVED IN A JOHN SMITHS SMOOTH GLASS.

That guy had a proper Bass glass

The Bass was magic; cool, crisp, fast drinking stuff (NBSS 4). Not a beer to sip in thirds at beer festivals.

Pub Curmudgeon had enjoyed a band doing Beatles and Oasis covers (same band, surely), I got the (original) YMCA, Chain Reaction and this one from Sheffield,

Oh Deborah, do you recall?
Your house was very small
With wood chip on the wall
When I came ’round to call
You didn’t notice me at all

which had the table opposite (and me, sadly), singing along. #PubLife

There’s loads of history here of course, but unlike the Scousers I’ve no interest in history, only now. This is a great pub in 2020.


Yes, I forgot to use the outside loos.


  1. I think you can pinpoint the upsurge in availability of Bass to approximately the time that Marston’s started brewing it. I have big problems with most of the Marston’s family of beers, some are just not to my taste, some not the beers they were, but they certainly know a bit of snatch when they smell it in Burton. The last few pints of Bass I’ve had have definitely had it, snatch that is, which was noteworthy because it’is something that’s been missing for a good while in my experience. Conversely, I can’t remember the last snatchy pint of Pedi I had, though I have to admit, I tend to avoid the dumbed-down modern version these days so don’t count myself as any kind of expert. In Pedi that is, not snatch, I’m an authority on snatch…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. A vital contribution to the debate, Mark, and I appoint you Lord Mark of the Snatch.

      I know and care NOTHING about the brewing process, but I noted the snatch in my pint of Bass in Rugeley last week, and I always thought it was just a Pedi thing.


      1. Mark,
        I’ve had Pedigree as good as ever throughout last year.
        Just imagine Draught Bass if that was returned to the Burton Unions as brewers Marstons would like but owners AB-InBev won’t allow.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. First time I had Bass was in the works Friday lunchtime regular in the early 80’s, some time after it had been brewed in the Unions. It was an M&B pub, just Bass & M&B Mild, everyone drank the Bass. I remember it had a bit of that flowery vegetal taste that DBA had later on that made it so moreish. It also made everyone f**t like hell all afternoon. I’d love to have tried the Union Set stuff.


      3. Marston’s Old Empire has plenty of snatch if it’s fresh. I always preferred the 80s Bass pumpclip, which was white/cream rather than black.


      4. During the 1970s I was a regular drinker of Pedigree, usually in Shardlow, a few miles downriver from the breweries, and also of Bass, by stillage, at the Chequers in Stanton-by-Dale.

        I recall quite clearly the sulphurous note on the Marstons, but the Bass was always fresh, fruity almost, and floral, and if some people caught anything eggy about, it then I wasn’t one of them.

        I’d always assumed that it was a Marston’s particularity – perhaps wrongly it seems.

        Oh dear – we’re discussing beer.


  2. The White Star is a long-standing Bass outlet, not a recent convert 😊🔺

    I had some excellent examples of Pedigree last year, most notably in the Bank House in Uttoxeter. It’s the way you keep it 😉

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, Draught Bass and Worthington Best Bitter there in the 1970s Good Beer Guides when I first used the White Star.
        Our visit on a Proper Day Out early last October unfortunately coincided with a ‘musician’ and his backing tracks doing a good impersonation of a band in the back room but it was nice and quiet when I was there again in mid December.
        We are due another Proper Day Out soon to do ‘the other half’ of Liverpool.


      2. Twenty years and more. I remember Draught Bass and Worthington Best Bitter being the two cask beers when I first used the White Star in early December 1975.
        Unfortunately I remember the White Star on the “Old Codgers trip before Christmas” in early October for the ‘musician’ and his backing tracks – so not proper music – in the back room giving a near deafening impersonation of a band. Thankfully it was much quieter when I was there – staying yards away – in mid December.
        We’re due another “old Codgers trip” soon to do ‘the other half’ of central Liverpool.


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