I think 2018 is the year I start to add a few more Burton-On-Trent pubs to my blog. Of the previous 122 pubs I’ve visited in 2017 only one has been in Burton.
Considering this is the home of brewing then I have to confess this is a dereliction of duty as the one I visited was a chain pub on the outskirts of the town! There are so many obvious hostelries to visit (Martin, I promise not to mention The Cooper’s Tavern) but there are also plenty of gems in a town that possesses not only the FA National Centre, but also the National Brewery Centre as well.
However, don’t immediately assume that due to the arrival of FAHQ and Burton’s brewing heritage that this place is anything other than ‘urban’ in the extreme…What it is, however, is a fantastic melting pot of modern day Britain with all ethnicities, religions and cultures on view and appearing to rub along very nicely indeed.
However, aside from The National Brewery Centre I can’t imagine people travel from across the globe to visit Burton and therefore it still has a parochial feel to it when you visit the town centre.
Like many of its contemporaries, the shopping centres and High Street is crammed full of charity shops, Poundland and B & M as opposed to Harrods, Selfridges and John Lewis. Nevertheless, it still has a decent stock of pubs that are prepared to play to its audience like 123 – The Prince of Brewers DE14 1JE.
This boozer is next door to a Wetherspoons so you know you already have a captive audience in close proximity, but what do you do to retain them…
A quick rustle through the history books or whatpub to be honest (!) shows that The Prince of Brewers has had at least nine previous incarnations and none of them appear to have lasted very long.
The current guise has been in place since June 2016 so, by its own standards, is showing longevity and it is easy to see why. It is offering cheap and cheerful but with the added bonus of live sport (everywhere) and pool.
If I could liken it to a boozer, I would say it is similar to town centre pubs that people start at before moving on to a club. Bearing in mind that was around 5pm on a Thursday, albeit in the Christmas break, it was quite raucous with a group of four girls necking the Sambuca at the bar and one of them possessed the dirtiest laugh – a la Sid James – I have heard this year!
Their language was certainly colourful as was that of the lads at the pool table who I could see in the distance, as this is arguably the longest pub I have been in (Square Peg Brum report looming to rival this bar).
photo taken from pub website
However, there were around another 20 people in this boozer and there were groups of lads, blokes on their own of differing ages and groups of girls. Which suggest that this is a town centre starter pub and the prices reflect this, whilst still acknowledging Burton’s brewing heritage on the walls.
I paid £2.10 – yes £2.10 – for a pint of Wainwright’s (Thwaites) which was decent and I could watch the darts or football on one of the many screens scattered around the pub.
(Fake news…it’s not Bass!)
They aren’t obtrusive but you can’t escape them as they are in all of the seating booths and that is their USP in terms of premiumisation!!!!!
(Photo taken from pub website)
If you look at their Facebook page then the reviews are mixed but I am going to take this place as I found it, which was lively for the time of day, great value, clean and a bar you could clearly spend a long time in watching a sporting event of watching your money go further!
It is open all day, every day and this must be a boon given the current trend whilst its moniker arose from a reference to Michael Arthur Bass the first Lord Burton and great grandson of William Bass (he needs no introduction!)
Rather than follow the crowd, check this place out as it is proving you can sell decent beer at a decent price and survive in 2017…and hopefully beyond.