My first post from Hitchin met with some kickback by other people who couldn’t get away from it quick enough.
So I’m back, bringing you more reports from the cutting-edge of craft beer.
In some towns (Stockport, probably) there’d be a hipster with a microbrewery under every one of those canvases in the market square.
In Hitchin, I was a day too early for the Old Boys with their bags of Boer War memorabilia and Dandy comics. Next time…
Now, where do you head at 11am on Monday morning for your pub fix ?
Why, your local Craft Union, of course.
There’s a sign on the door that looks like a Cask Marque badge, so my hopes of £2 Doom Bar rise, but inside I realise the Rose & Crown is as defiantly keg as it was in 1994 when I occasionally watched Sky here.
Back then big Duncan Ferguson was heading Everton to the top of the Premiership, just as they are now, and the only other change is the face masks.
A young but experienced barmaid shows me to the only free (high) table, a metre + from another chap hogging the QR codes.
“What bitters have you got ?” I ask, pretending I’m in a CAMRA pub.
Stella, Carling, Sharps Smoothflow, John Smi..
“Pint John Smiths please”
Whatever that Sharps monstrosity was it would have had more taste than the Smooth, but at only £1.90 I can’t complain, and you get Zoom by the Fat Larry’s Band, so all’s well.
And I’m sat next to the local conspiracist theorist, whose self-produced dossier you see here.
The cover is full of quotes by Roger Waters, and I suddenly recall the lyrics of Brain Damage;
“The lunatic is in the bar”
But he’s GREAT company, and I’ve some sympathy with him, though when someone does the “nutter” sign to me I realise I may be alone.
I admire the lacings, but don’t stay for a second.