9th March 2020

You can choose from phantom fears
And kindness that can kill
I will choose a path that’s clear
I will choose free will


So, one Gloucester GBG newbie ticked, one unexpectedly shut, and one joyous pint of Bass.

Time for one more ?  Sam Smiths always appeals, the Craft Union place promised £2.10 pints but with the threat of Purity, and of course there’s always Spoons.


In these troubled times it’s our duty to support the independent, and use our quarter’s CAMRA cheap beer vouchers on pints of Doom Bar.

But.  I was hungry. And the Fountain has better burgers than Spoons. And they had an advert for a Rush tribute band, perhps Gloucestershire’s finest.

Burger of the month

What about those Chinese takeaway reviews we so cherish ?” you ask.

Oddly, I never feel comfortable with a messy takeaway in a Guest House, though I’m happy to spray curry over the walls of a chain hotel.

Anyway, the Fountain is as smart as you’ll get in Gloucester, reminding me of the White Hart I stayed in last time out in Exeter.

Love a courtyard pub
Special entrance for mobs
Love that yellow light

I entered to the sound of “Brown Eyed Girl” (not the Boney M remix) and a relaxed country pub vibe.

Must be a decade since my last visit, and it must have been busier in 2007.  What happened ?


But it fills up as 7pm approaches with a few gentlefolk and Cathedral evensongers and even beardies, all drawn to the completely recognisable beer range.

What would YOU choose ?

Oh. Just realised I turned down the Palmers Copper.  That’s the problem when breweries change pump clip design every year.

2 actual pints of cask served

As you’ll know I can’t resist those weird collaboration beers which sound like leftovers from the last Wetherspoons festival, so I had the Hook Norton/Yeastie Boys and said  a silent prayer to the God of Cask Beer Lottery.

The Blues Brothers gave way to Bill Withers bursting into “Lovely Day“, my X Ale was crisp and pleasing, and the mayo I asked for was served in a little metal dish by the charming lady.


Four Irish racegoers came in, looked at each other, dithered for a minute, and said “Four Guinesses”.  I reckon they saved about £10 on Dublin prices.

Three 3.5 pints in Gloucester on a middling March Monday; good beer and cheer in all three.  It can be done.

12 thoughts on “FREEWILL

  1. A very happy ending to this one. I think of Yeastie Boys as one of these modern craft brewers, but that pump clip looks (deliberately, I’m guessing?) like something from the 1920s. Which of course means I love it. Glad to hear the ale was as good as the clip. 🙂

    I always look forward to reading your blog, but after a week like this one I turned to it like a man in need of a good, strong drink!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “Oddly, I never feel comfortable with a messy takeaway in a Guest House, though I’m happy to spray curry over the walls of a chain hotel.”

    You’ve got it in one, Martin. A guest house is someone’s home, whereas a Premier or a Travelodge is just another anonymous place to lay one’s head after a tiring day on the sauce/ day spent soaking up the local culture!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. T’other Paul,
      Yes, “a guest house is someone’s home” and that’s why I’ve never use them except for three nights in the 1980s, one in Welshpool and two in Southport, and both establishments were dreadful ( nylon sheets / “Could I have some more toast please” “No” ),
      Yes, “a Premier or a Travelodge is just another anonymous place to lay one’s head” and that’s why I’ve never use them except the Premier Inns at Dundee ( four nights ) and Bangor ( one night ). Mrs Mudge likes Premier Inns and the adjoining new build dining pub offered Sharps or Brains as a nightcap.
      We / I have though stayed in dozens of pubs found from the Good Beer Guide ( remember that ? ) and its bed symbol and only one of them was unsatisfactory.
      Furthermore my significant involvement with the YHA has meant over five hundred overnights at British Youth Hostels which obviously aren’t for everyone but they’re cheap and a perfectly satisfactory place for me to lay my head after a tiring day doing whatever.
      I think we’re all creatures of habit.


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