16th February 2020
Another day, another GBG county falls to the flood-dodging retiredmartin juggernaut (Aygo).
An underrated county, is Warwickshire, though of course Stratford is our most overrated tourist attraction (after Stonehenge).
From bucolic Bedworth, affluent Atherstone and naughty Nuneaton with their £2.30 Pedi, to languid Leamington Spa with its £4 Purity, and thence to the Cotswolds town where I headed now.
Astonishingly, Shipston has the same population as my own Waterbeach, all 5,038 of them crammed in the handsome High Street finishing their Sunday roasts.
“Cold Be My Days in Shipston-on-Stour” sang Robin Gibb in 1970, just before the Bee Gees hit big with “You Should Be Dancing (in Stretton-on-Fosse)”.
You didn’t believe me, did you?
So now we have four rules for a good pub town;
a) The pubs play Dire Straits, NOT Ed Sheeran
b) The Bee Gees wrote a song about it
c) There’s a Donnington pub in the market place, so I can ridicule their beer
d) Mann’s Brewery signage intact
OK, OK, that might be a bit controversial.
Of course, the GBG entry is a microbar.
No ordinary micro. You’re greeted by first editions (see what he did there) to give any Ipswich fans on the way to the Kassam a little thrill.
Designed to appeal beyond the “middle-aged blokes drink microbrew” crowd, and attract lone women in for a drink without fear of hearing words like “Bass is twiggy”.
Guvnor Dave was a true enthusiast, talking me through his high quality product range.
I was particularly impressed by the low-alcohol options, far better than the Spoons I was in last night.
Black Country Mild from Holden’s, too, a lovely drop, albeit in the weird glass.
As I say, quality pervades the whole place.
But first and foremost, come here for those Slabs, the best crisps I’ve ever tasted.