Knowle was a welcome relief in the dying embers of our walk (you know you are in Knowle when even the Locks have flower beds…) as it is an absolute Mecca for pubs and they always contain some top humour.
As well as the aforementioned duo on the canal side there are a further six in the village centre as well as a British Legion and Cricket club just in case you are ever feeling thirsty… You know the place, lots of decent independent cafes (big shout out to Elderberry Blacks here), old fashioned sweet shops and a proximity to the M42 to make it a commuters paradise.
However, Knowle still has its ‘characters’ and one of them made a welcome appearance in 11 – The Ale Rooms B93 0LF of which Mrs BB was a confirmed fan.
Phil at the bar greeted Mrs BB and I like new found friends and having just brought a party of six drinks beforehand proceeded to enquire if it was our first visit. I nodded and he insisted on splashing out for a pint of West Coast IPA (Phoenix) for me and a Prosseco for my better half. I was convinced he was the gaffer but a ten minute chat with big Phil, who was necking the Jamieson’s at a rate of knots, persuaded me he was just one of the wealthy elite in Knowle happy to support the local economy!
With that he was off but a window seat meant this place was good for watching the world go by and full of a great mix of youngsters (i.e. under 30), people reading books, people playing on their phones and a jolly barman to boot. It’s only a year old but if it’s going to survive then Knowle is as good a place as anywhere to set up a bar.
At this stage I must thank (?) Mrs BB as I was prepared to throw the towel in and walk the final mile back but she persuaded me the opportunity to relive our youth in 12 – The Red Lion B93 0LY.
I am going to have my first rant in six posts here as this was undoubtedly the best time I’d had in a pub I’d been into this month….
I reckon it is people that make pubs, not how many ales they have on the bar. In fact, one of the things about beer bloggers that irks me is when they complain that the range of around ten ales is ‘uninspiring’ or the landlord ‘only has one ale on.’ Surely the purpose of a pub is to cater for the local trade and if you can grab an occasional passer by great, but no pub in Britain is going to survive due to occasional visits from Beer aficionados once every six months.
Anyway, I digress, The Red Lion is a drinkers’ pub in Knowle. Yes, it’s now an Ember Inns pub with lots of food but still has noticeable drinkers’ area both inside and the smoking area outside is still full even in 2017.
Half a Hophead (Dark Star) kept me ticking over and we were on our way when Mrs BB bumped into long-time acquaintance and a man who has morphed into a John Lydon lookalike (more PIL era than Pistols for all those anal Pistols’ fans out there…like me)
Carling (Carling) made a guest appearance as I was ‘aled out’ by this stage but a decade’s worth of stories to catch up on from one of Knowle’s chief wordsmiths meant this was a late bonus…and yes, he even did a short rendition of Anarchy In The UK (about one line’s worth) to maintain his role as a bona fide Knowle character. A top ten-mile walk!