TENTATIVE 10 A.M. TICKING IN TENTERDEN TAPS

3 days down in Kent. 3 ticks. That’s a 100% record !

Some gorgeous countryside in the Weald of Kent, though I regretted the 56 minute journey back to Tenterden, which I’m sure I only did 2 years ago.

Ah, it was 2 years ago. Right before the Lockdown.

A pretty place overrun by gentlefolk from Maidstone and Ashford; Pauline knows who I mean.

But if you’ve only got 20 minutes to explore a typical Weald village this is as good as any.

Come here on 3 March, Pauline, and hear all about “Life at Godrington House” (not a pub) at the WI.

in the building next to the best chemist sign outside Knaresborough.

I bought a Cornish pasty from the bakery next door. £3.20 is a bit steep, but it was warm and chewy (NCPSS 4) and greatly enjoyed in the graveyard.

I may make this a regular series if I ever finish the GBG.

For now, I’m 10am ticking in Tenterden, at the Old Diary Tap.

The brewery looks just as you’d expect; the Tap is a bit more homely. Lovingly cluttered, I’d say.

A slight hiccup at the bar as it transpires that the Tap opens at 10am so they can clean the lines till 11am, meaning I can only have a bottle at the advertised opening time.

Can a bottle be a tick, even if it’s bottled conditioned ale ? I don’t care about such ecumenical matters, particularly when there’s a nice seating area in which I practice my expert beer decanting.

Nice beer, Old Diary is a favourite on cask, but it’s still a tad fizzy for my delicate tummy at ten.

But my real gripe with brewery taps is that you always feel you’re intruding on a commercial enterprise with boxes being unpacked and bottles being displayed, rather than in a pub where conversation is welcomed.

Nevermind, there aren’t many places you’ll get a beer, let alone a tick at 10am, so treasure this one.

10 thoughts on “TENTATIVE 10 A.M. TICKING IN TENTERDEN TAPS

  1. I once spent a couple of pints in the Grainstore Brewery Tap in Oakham, in the middle of brew the bags of malt and big yellow trugs of spent grain were hauled up and down through a trapdoor in the middle of the bar. Fascinating stuff, which is more than can be said for most of their beers…

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  2. My parents liked Tenterden, and I can see its attractions too, but as you discovered Martin, the best part of an hour’s drive from Southborough. I was the next village away, a couple of Friday’s ago, when I took the bus down to Rolvenden, but a long journey after a couple of pints, and you’re busting for a pee!

    It goes without saying that Old Dairy beers are worth making the trip for. I remember though, one of their former brewers (and it wasn’t who you might think it was), telling me that those converted Nissen huts, were a nightmare to brew in – both in terms of space, and for their lack of heat insulation, (baking hot in summer, and freezing cold in winter).

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    1. T’other Paul,
      My grandparents lived 3½ miles from Tenterden through the 1960s and ’70s when the Fremlins Bitter, sold as Whitbread Trophy, was as good as Harveys Sussex Best Bitter is nowadays.

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      1. Hi Paul, I agree totally with your summary. Whitbread Trophy Bitter, brewed at Faversham to an original Fremlin’s recipe (some suggest it was their Three Star Bitter), was excellent. You are correct in saying that it was every bit as good as Harvey’s Sussex Best, and its disappearance was a tragedy.

        When I moved back to Kent in late 1978, after four years living in Greater Manchester, followed by a year in London, Whitbread had just brought back the Fremlin’s name. Trophy was re-named back to being Fremlin’s Bitter, and they also introduced a stronger cask-ale, called Tusker – named after Fremlin’s famous elephant symbol.

        I believe the GBG at the time, described Fremlin’s as “hoppy and beautifully balanced,” and they were right, it was a superb beer. Things started to go downhill, when Whitbread embarked on their infamous round of brewery closures. Eventually it was Faversham’s turn to face the chop, and production of what was one of my favourite beers, was transferred to Cheltenham.

        It’s good to learn that you were a devotee of the beer, when you visited Kent to see your grandparents.

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      2. T’other Paul,
        Yes, I remember the renaming as Fremlins and Tusker but only briefly as my Grandmother died in 1981.
        I have though returned to Kent a few times over the past thirty years with my wife, staying at pubs in Smarden, Shatterling, Pluckley and Benenden.

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      3. T’other Paul,
        And here (hopefully) is Fremlins Tusker alongside two more Whitbread revivals Wethered Winter Royal and Thomas Wethered Bitter.

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