CLIMBING UP ON CARLTON HILL

I promised a forensic review of the new Beer Guide and I still haven’t produced it. But one of the main themes is “a lack of churn“, with very few new entries in many counties.

Like Nottinghamshire (Spoiler : complete).

Only a couple of newbies in Notts, a Proper Pub in Retford and the Brickyard in Nottingham.

Yes, “Thank you for contacting The Brickyard, Carlton” is their actual map marker.

Nottingham is less than an hour away on the train now, and a gentle 2 hour stroll from the shiny station seemed a good idea at the time.

Past the “Weird Shop” with incomprehensible opening hours (a micro ?),

and up a long, long hill into Carlton (Hill).

At least it never rains in Nottingham (apart from last time), I thought, just as the black clouds gathered.

And the GBG app doesn’t offer much in the way of pub cover on the 1.5 miles past Sneinton market.

Which means the March Hare must be keg, and therefore good. Blimey, just seen it’s a heritage interior, my loss.

Actually, the drizzle just about holds off till I reach the Brickyard, seen here from across the road as I enjoy my post-Notts completion spinach & feta pastry (wonderful) from BG Bakery.

Before that feast I’d tucked (geddit ?) into a pint of Lincoln Green’s gorgeously silky Porter (NBSS 3.5). Well, it could say Tuck…

and some traditional pub snacks of salami and olives.

This is rather a smart little place, classy and polite, let down only by music that Shazam can’t hear.

I grabbed the last table, and noted with delight the Old Boy say “All right me darling ?” and the Young Hipster say “Ta me duck“, proving I was in East Midlands Land.

The back room is a little shrine to Hardy & Hansons, a brewery kindly rescued by Greene King 20 years ago, much to the delight of the local CAMRA branch.

If the Brickyard is upmarket Carlton, there’s respite over the road at the Spoons, where I finally got to get shot of one of those irritatingly small 50p vouchers.

What a choice. What a time to be alive. Oh, the beers at a 45 degree angle on the left are off.

But the Bath Festivity (£1.49, though I let them put the penny in the charity box to show how generous I am) was another 3.5. People think I’m joking when I say this is a golden age for cask beer quality.

And the Free Man was packed as well. Hoorah ! Actually, it was like a Spoons in SE1, full of toddlers running around and vegans berating carnivores about carrots (also hurrah).

Will it prove a wise pre-emptive tick pick, though ?

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