East Midlands Micro Redemption

One thing I meant to say, it really is great (re)exploring a new place in the UK; I spent three hours in Heanor, visited three micropubs and by the time I left I was euphoric.

How is this possible ? Heanor hadn’t featured on the Pub Man radar this century, bar the little whoop of excitement when the GBG21 “landed” and from Paisley to York to east Cambs was heard the words “TWO newbies in Heanor !?”.

I started at Redemption for the sole reason it was open and Crooked Cask wasn’t yet.

Plain modern exterior, but you immediately get hit by a wave of pubby exuberance coming from the outdoor area. In normal circumstances you’d head towards that noise, but the joy of indoor drinking is too new, as Kentish Paul noted on his latest trip out (here).

I hope the lovely folk in Redemption won’t be burnt in the Market Place when I tell you they let me hover at the sacred pumps for 1.3 seconds to see what was on.

Yes, you CAN look at the pumps !” is 2021’s “Yes, you can lick the cake mix bowl !“.

The front room has a good mix of seating, high and low,

and on each table was a service buzzer, bought for what we will think of later as the “purgatory period” of pub reopening.

As you’ll know, I love shiny things.

I love SHINY things !” I said to the Landlady, who seemed keen to get shot of the gadgets after 21 June (don’t go there).

The local Grasshopper, chosen because it had a big shiny blue pump clip, was a cool, rich 3.5, the pub emerging as something even better as the locals talked Amsterdam, projectile vomit and blueberry muffins (a speciality, apparently).

Yes, they change colour depending on your mood, the proximity of BRAPA, and your alcohol content. I had another half of milk stout, and the buzzer changed to pink.

The landlady was giving me a complete social history of the local area, between serving the locals. It was wonderful.

Have a look upstairs” she said. NEVER turn down an invitation to be nosey.

Ain’t it gorgeous ?

Who needs glitterballs.

“Have a look in the ladies loo” shouted up the Landlady.

I spoil you, I really do.

Actually, the ladies look MAY have been more exciting than that but my attention was wandering.

Anyhow, an instant classic. And not the last of the day.

21 thoughts on “East Midlands Micro Redemption

      1. We need a clear set of rules for what beer talk is! For me it has to include something about tastes like or a specific hop reference. Styles are within bounds😀

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Now that wallpaper is what Carrie should have got Alex to fork out for in Downing Street. Gold wallpaper is for plebs, innit.

    Erm, I mean get Alex to get someone else to fork out for, obv.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. SH,
      Don’t you remember that wallpaper in the Moorbrook, Preston two years ago ?
      It’s Strawberry Thief by William Morris.
      Mrs Mudgie chose some curtains of that design but different colour and I don’t know what that proves.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Top marks for remembering Strawberry Thief, William Morris and the Moorbrook, all of which had escaped me. As you could have deduced: after all, who in their right mind would suggest William Morris wallpaper for Tory walls.

        Actually, I was referring to the hummingbird wallpaper that apparently hangs in the women’s rest room. It also looks familiar. Perhaps you know that one too?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’ve just got back from a pint in the Ranmoor Inn that was well-earned (four hours hard graft on the allotment), but the only reason I mention it is that they have not only the Strawberry Thief wallpaper but also Strawberry Thief curtains!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. SH,
        Mention of t’allotment reminds me of this

        Do you grow hops on yours ?


    1. I feel ashamed to admit this Bill but I’ve really enjoyed all the micros in the Midlands this last month, Bill. I think because the Proper Pubs feel a bit sterile with table service which is OK in micros.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Haven’t seen that Shipstone’s – anagram for “Honest Piss” incidentally – star for a while.

    Can’t recall who owns that now.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Paul,
        That is true as regards the original brewery, but the company has been revitalised in recent years and brews at what they call the Little Star Brewery (in honour of the original Star Brewery https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/bf/Star_Brewery_-_geograph.org.uk_-_18533.jpg) situated at the Fox & Crown on Church Street in Old Basford, as (The Real) Mark said. The new brewery company uses the same logo as the original, with a star and “since 1852” (see https://www.shipstones.com/), so presumably they have bought the rights from Greenall Whitley.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. SH,
        I’m suspicious of any “Revitalisation”.
        Here they probably couldn’t find a Greenall Whitley to buy the Shipstones name and trade marks from and just used them anyway.
        Is it just the name and trademarks that’s the same with personnel and ingredients, as well as premises, changed ?
        If so I think it’s a bit of a con.


      3. I think the respect they’ve shown for the original Shippos by naming the brewery after the old one is an indication that they are trying to recreate the old beer to the best of their ability. Undoubtedly it will struggle to gain acknowledgement for how close they have come – rose tinted taste buds – but to suggest it’s a bit of a con seems a little harsh, unless you are privy to information that I am not.


      4. A few years ago in the Wolverhampton Hogshead I had a beer named Springfield and it was brewed at an improper strength and colour and with improper hops. Youngsters will of course consider stronger, lighter coloured and citrussy beers to be more ‘inspiring’ than what was about when I were a lad but to call such a beer ‘Springfield’ is a con.
        Since then I’ve avoided beers with revived names except from a Market Drayton brewery with a large presence near me, and I’ve already mentioned liking their beers but not their pubs.
        I can’t really comment on the new Shipstones and just wish I could go back to the Alex near Derby railway station as it was in June 1974.


  3. Is there a correlation between your visiting the ladies, and your acquiring of Pollyanna as a name? Is retired Martin transitioning to retired Martina in a futile attempt to scare away the in-laws?

    Liked by 1 person

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