As Dave “US” Dave mentions, the joy of the GBG is that it drags you round the country, visiting places the pashmina and DIPA crowd fear to tread.
Like Bishop Auckland, whose run of poor quality beer in the Guide was only broken last week with The Welcome. Even there, BRAPA was led on to the John Smiths Smooth.
Durham’s coal mining towns have been blessed with cheery locals called Alan, some great industrial museums, wonderful countryside and a lot of Chinese takeaways with mobility scooters parked outside.
Bishop has gone down the history route, staging Kynren, a recreation of English life through the centuries. A bit like those Medieval banquet nights at Disney World, I guess.
“Bishop Auckland welcomes Kynren visitors” say the street signs, a welcome with a toothless grin.
A long street of shops from the station to “the pretty bit” at the castle reminds me of Haverhill. If you don’t believe me, go and check for yourself*.
The presence of a dedicated cupcake company is an encouraging sign,
and the outside seating suggests a confidence in a continental cafe culture that may not be entirely misplaced.
But be warned, Bishop, no good can come of Craft.
Seriously, turn right after the Craft House and be staggered.
It is wonderful, and as soon as they work out what to do with the structure to the right it’ll be even better.
Just as long as this new building isn’t going to be a Brewhouse & Kitchen.
*No, really. Don’t