I would have asked Citra to join me on my visit to Andwell brewery, he only lives down the road in posh Hook, but he’d fled to Swindon on learning of my approach.

Not sure a Brewery Tap near Basingstoke would have been top of his bucket list, or mine, but I’m delighted to find out who makes Rothaus, having always assumed it was made by Benedictine Nuns in Baden-Württemberg or whatever.

There’s been a decent debate on CAMRA Discourse about brewery taps with limited hours in the GBG, the first genuinely interesting discussion on Discourse since The Great Goat(‘)s Milk Apostrophe Scandal of 2017.

Apparently some branches omit places like Taps that only open very limited hours in favour of pubs with more regular opening. I had a bit to say about this today, though to be honest I care more that published hours are correct than their actual length.

Despite phoning up the Andwell Tap to confirm they’d be open till the promised 17:00, they still considered closing early to frustrate the tickers.

And that’s what irritates us (See also : Gastropubs that close early when the last diner leaves).

Still, fresh beer at source, eh ?

Oooh, and a lakeside view.

What would you like ?

I stare at what look like keg taps.

Anything on cask ?”

Apparently, it’s all cask. “Give us a clue ? ” she says, cheerfully. Why is it such hard work.

I pick the first one, the King John I’d enjoyed then day before. “Luuuvvvvly” she says, as I find the 10p in among my sweet wrappers and tissues to pay her in cash.

It’s cool, far too cool.

(It’s the one in the glass, not the tube, they’re not that whacky).

But I have time, and Steve Wright in the Afternoon is playing “Lay All Your Love On Me” amongst other indie classics and after 10 minutes the richness comes through. My NBSS score of 3.5 will not accord with those of the other tickers, I fear.

But while I can lie about Steve Wright, I can NEVER lie about beer quality. I have a reputation to lose.


  1. “I have a reputation to lose.”

    I was going to write something suitably acerbic, like “Even Boris Johnson has a reputation lose”, but felt that you deserved something more sympathetic. After all, you’ve been all the way to Hampshire, combatting the reluctance of the pubs to open on time – and not close early – while risking the occasional keg beer or two along the way. And all so that we don’t have to.

    Have a round of applause.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. “I would have asked Citra to join me on my visit to Andwell brewery, he only lives down the road in posh Hook, but he’d fled to Swindon on learning of my approach.”

    I had to take Simon to several very poor pubs, luckily the day was saved by the Holy Grail of Hampshire ( and this was the worse by far, the keg badges fooled the pair of us but then I don’t like cask Andwells anyway.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Notable how Simon, Duncan and t’other Martin agree on most of this.

      I did think the Andwell Tap was a characterless gift shop as BRAPA said, but I also thought the beer improved when it warmed up. I suspect if I went back I’d find my thoughts on Andwell beer split 50/50 homebrew rubbish/very good, and even in a brewery tap the beer may come from source but if they sell so little they’re preparing to close early it won’t be great.

      Liked by 1 person

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