Sometimes, one beer is MORE than enough

7th December 2022.

Pub No. 5 on the Great Stafford Winter Wander,

which came after the massive disappointment for Paul that the brand new craft keg Empourium was shut.

I look forward to Paul revisiting and giving his verdict on the games area;

I really wanted to go in the Vine Hotel, rather than the Shrewsbury Arms that had disappointed last time, and sadly that proved to be a poor decision,

despite the promising sign of an inflatable Harry Kane at the door.

Those handpump inspectors were at the bar again.

The poster promised a veritable treasure trove of craft;

but on the bar, just the Banks’s Amber (Bitter. It’s called Bitter !).

The bar was virtually empty, and (coincidentally) the cask wasn’t very good, lacking in freshness and life.

We elected Paul, as the local, to enquire at the bar but with only one beer on it’s not as if we wanted it changed for Madri. Or perhaps we did.

I inspected the Gents.

Nothing stopping you tipping beer there, though.

12 thoughts on “Sometimes, one beer is MORE than enough

  1. Ooh, that gets my beer goat! Not one of those beers would I describe as ‘Dark’, which goes a long way to explaining why genuinely dark beers are so bloody hard to find in anything but specialist beer pubs/bars. Grr!

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    1. Totally agree.
      Hobgoblin: not dark
      Banks’s Mild: darkish
      Jennings Bitter: not dark
      Snecklifter: so long since I had any, I can’t remember
      Old Thumper: definitely not dark

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      1. I’ve noticed in Düsseldorf that bar staff sometimes describe Alt to English speaking tourists as a dark beer, when of course it’s the same colour as a pale ale and only dark in comparison to Pils.

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      2. Snecklifter was (is?) well dark, though reddish when held up to the light, and Jennings Bitter when it was brewed in Cockermouth was also darkish. Dark for a bitter, anyway. Maybe not as dark as Great Heck Dave (RIP) – see here: https://untappd.com/b/great-heck-brewing-co-ltd-dave/50096 – but close.

        At least, that’s how I remember it from visits to the Britannia in Elterwater in the past. In recent years it has been lighter, more like Doom Bar.

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      3. An earlier version of that poster was a leaflet I have that had Jennings Bitter as darker than Banks’s Mild which it was. How dark something has to be to be properly dark is something I’ve never been sure of.
        That’s the first time in 49 years I’ve faulted the beer in the Vine. Very disappointing, especially as it’s the only pub in the town centre not to have changed ownership since I’ve lived here.

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      4. Maybe but since commenting on here this morning I’ve realised what’s happened over the past three years.
        “That’s the first time in 49 years I’ve faulted the beer in the Vine”, “in the Coach & Horses and it’s the first time in 49 years I’ve had disappointing beer there”, no cask beer in the Bear, no cask beer in the Grapes and I know that pubs in the North End of town similarly now have worse, no or fewer cask beers. Then a week ago in the GBG listed Spittal Brook I had about my worst pint of the year, unrecognisable as Timothy Taylors.
        Better known towns have recovered but I suspect that there are dozens of ‘ordinary’ towns where cask beer has fared just as badly though there’s no hint of that on Discourse with many of its users rarely venturing beyond their favourite micropub.

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      5. Excellent analysis, Paul.

        The picture isn’t rosy, though again I’d say that there was excellent beer in half a dozen Stafford pubs (I include Ship Aground) which was better overall than I expected. Perhaps we should have squeezed in the Shrewsbury Arms.

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      6. Yes, I wasn’t meaning to suggest that there’s no good beer, just that it’s not as commonplace as three years ago.
        I think that in both BCA pubs their three beers are far more reliable than the seven guests.
        I don’t doubt that, with ‘just’ two cask beers, the quality was good in the Ship Aground, one I’ve not used a I’ve never used a debit card outside the house so aren’t in the habit of taking it with me.

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