IN SEARCH OF IPA

I’ll try to make this trip to a plain Greene King Cambridge diner for a late lunch sound more interesting than it was by giving you the arty photo of the Cam.

On conservative estimates, I last visited the Boathouse 32 years ago, when the back room hosted cover bands called things like “Swingin’ Sheilas (Midnight Oil covers)” and “The Prog Poets (Tull)” and at 23 I thought IPA was a cutting-edge beer.

Cambridge’s Greene King pubs, a good dozen of them, were all boarded up on my popular Chesterton closed pub tour.

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But in fairness it looked like it was four months furlough well spent, all shiny under wispy clouds and blue skies.

The entrance is now the exit, of course, with admission via a “greeter” round the back of the car park. Don’t turn right,

turn left.

Assault course to the door

Garden or bar, Sir ?” I choose the bar, so I can take pictures of people queueing, but I realise it’s a duff choice as any banter will be conducted by Italian tourists wondering what an IPA is.

The Greene King pubs have led the way in Covid overload (Discuss) with their table service, one way systems, disposable paper menus and App. ordering.

I could have ordered at the bar, but where’s the fun in that when I can spend ten minutes registering to order fajitas and IPA on my Huawei, so my Chinese mates can log it all on a giant spreadsheet,

Note cask choice. There was Abbot as well, but that’s your lot

I probably would have been shot if I’d wandered about the pubs, but these 3 photos will tell you all you need to know about the sub-Robinsons design aesthetic.

My elbow ?

Half the custom seemed to come from Italian tourists in regulation puffa (?) jackets, all opting for Peroni over Pale ale, oddly.

Just as I have single-handedly revived the reputation of Doom Bar, and Wickingman that of Bass, I have heard Mudgie describe GK IPA as “not THAT bad”.

Well, well.

It was wet. It was cool. It gave good lacings (top). And it was less than £4.

But it was a weird soapy flavour I can’t describe. Almost as if they’d used up the sour cream and salsa in the mash.

Which is odd, because those (half-price) fajitas were served without the customary sour cream and salsa, but with mayo and tomato sauce.

I’d have done better in the Hungry Horse, you know. But at least I’m saving pubs.

15 thoughts on “IN SEARCH OF IPA

  1. My one visit to a GK (OK, Belhaven) establishment post lockdown was the least pubby and the least enjoyable experience so far. Just too alien and offputting to make me want to go back again until life returns to the way it was.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s the lockdown policy I was blaming the Hong Kong owners for.
        I’ve found the ESB to be drinking well for 20 years but not the London Pride in recent years.
        I’ve not noticed Peroni in Fullers pubs – and with Frontier now one of their three main beers that must be the beer they’ve been pushing recently.
        Incidentally, one of my ancestors married an Ann Fuller of Chiswick in 1794.

        Like

  2. “and at 23 I thought IPA was a cutting-edge beer.”

    IPA is still a cutting edge beer. No matter what else I try, I always come back to it.

    “were all boarded up on my popular Chesterton closed pub tour.”

    Eek!

    “But in fairness it looked like it was four months furlough well spent, all shiny under wispy clouds and blue skies.”

    Smart move for those that did it (and not just pubs).

    “turn left.”

    Lefties rule! 🙂

    “as any banter will be conducted by Italian tourists wondering what an IPA is.”

    Can’t be said of Canadians. If someone over here says ‘IPA’ it basically means they’ve performed micturition (as in; I Pee, eh?). 😉

    “so my Chinese mates can log it all on a giant spreadsheet,”

    Actually it’s a small spreadsheet; we are talking Chinese here after all.

    “There was Abbot as well, but that’s your lot”

    Abbot; lot… I’m sensing a religious joke here but can’t dig it out.

    “My elbow ?”

    Indeed! Have they considered those that were afflicted by the Thalidomide crisis in the early 60’s? The nerve!

    “all opting for Peroni over Pale ale, oddly.”

    That’s your trademark sarcasm, innit? 🙂

    “Which is odd, because those (half-price) fajitas were served without the customary sour cream and salsa, but with mayo and tomato sauce.”

    Aha!

    “But at least I’m saving pubs.”

    True dat. For myself, I’m saving independent liquor stores.

    Cheers

    Like

  3. Every so often I’ll order GKIPA if there’s nothing else on, and if it happens to be a good fresh pint I’ll think “Actually it’s alright, this”, but then the flavour seems to disappear after the first few mouthfuls and you’re left with half a pint of cold stewed tea, and no desire for another.

    Like

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