WITH EVERY HERTS (GBG PUB) BEAT

A steady start to 2022, with just 42 pubs saved in the first 12 days. I should have saved more.

The highlight is, of course, putting a GBG county to bed (particularly when it’s Beds), and it was good to see off Hertfordshire as the county is a funny shape and requires skilful colouring.

The sun shines on the righteous, and made St Albans sparkle a week ago.

If only I’d known on our publess trip just before GBG22 “landed” (ugh) that the Mad Squirrel Tap was Guide-bound, I’d have made Mrs RM stand in the rain and wait for it to open.

Mind you, I never noticed it then, tucked this lovely alley leading to the Cathedral.

I tipped up 10 minutes before licensing started (they’d have sold me takeaway beer at 11:50) so I just had time to do the tourist bit. Oddly, I never though St. Albans was that special (CAMRA HQ apart) when I worked here, but I do now.

You’ll know my views on the crafty beer taps popping up over the Home Counties, but don’t think for a moment I don’t welcome them, giving an outlet for young brewers, jobs for young bar staff, and a place where young drinkers can get sozzled without social derision because it’s craft not lager.

No, my only problem is that I’m old and I like bench seating.

I don’t even care that they had no cask on my visit; the Roadkill was tasty and not over-carbonated and some people like a soundtrack of Del Amitri and Primal Scream even if I think they’re old hat.

The helpful sign in the Gents advised me for warning signs to look for in your drink.

Cloudy – tick. Excessive fizzing – not really. Change in colour – only when I’d cleared the foam. Think I was OK.

As our greatest beer writer said, (later that same day, missed him by hours !), Mad Squirrel are a fine addition to St, Albans beer scene.

But they ought to get the cask back on; the last beer of theirs I had in Harpenden scored 4.5.

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