Well, this was weird. Or wierd, if you’re Reg. And let’s face it, there’s not much weird around Farnborough, apart from the pricing at Fleet Services. And the Pub Men there like Tony Lea and Citra are the finest anywhere.

The GBG Goat in the Garden became a cause célèbre when licensing issues meant it only let you in with an invitation, meaning several of us failed to tick our last Hampshire pub during the Aldershot beer festival in January. Are you still with me ?

I wasn’t very keen on all this palava for a visit to a pub. For a start, I’d have to suggest a time to be invited to the Goat, and then stick to it. I detest booking things, spontaneity is everything.

But this was an opportunity to edge ahead of the Pubmeister, so I was invited to tip up at 1pm on a Tuesday in July.

It’s the public private bar for this small but delightful looking small hotel near Farnborough Airfield, so probably full of pilots who’ve successfully avoiding crashing in Aldershot and being eaten, I guess.

Arriving at 12:50, I had no idea at all where the Goat actually was. No signs of life, so I sneaked round to the back garden. Could this be it ?

Yes, there’s the GBG22 sticker on the door of this specially built bar, the sort of place Retired Martin will build in Sheffield once the garden’s finished.

This really is a work of art. There’s the actual goat;

and there’s the goldfish. Why not Goat and Goldfish in the Garden ? I demand to know.

The chap tipped up on the dot of 13:00, leaving me a bit self-conscious as I was clearly the only “guest”, but we soon got chatting about hops cricket and it was great.

His lovely better half came along, said “oooh, CAMRA member !” and we talked animals and licensing committees over beer. I didn’t take any notes. You can’t really.

You know I never lie about beer quality.

The Church End Stout was sensational, NBSS 4.5 stuff. Cool and rich and foamy.

But do ask how long the beer lasts when you visit, as you must.

You won’t believe it.


  1. They use a cask breather?

    Or maybe the same “special bacteria” that I was told at the Old Hall in Threshfield was the reason that Timothy Taylor Landlord was on the bar for 27 day.

    Given their one customer per day policy, I’d imagine the Goat has to try to make theirs last even longer than that.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. …all 972 of them strangely absent at the time of Martin’s visit.

        Are we sure this is not a private member’s club?


  2. Back in the day, we played the odd game of cricket over Farnborough way and the pub we used to frequent post-game (hazy memories, but possibly The Squirrel) used to have an actual goat in the garden. I wonder if there’s a connection…?

    Liked by 1 person

      1. It could have been a giant squirrel, and the pub could have been called The Goat. As I say, hazy memories. The only thing I remember was that it was a noisy sod and liked eating crisps!

        Liked by 1 person

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