The Swan Inn – Revisited

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This Beast From The East is playing havoc for us pub bloggers as getting on the road to visit new exotic places (well not always) is tough in sub-zero icy conditions.

However, this is the time of year to celebrate the good old-fashioned local boozer and whilst it may be career ending for a member of the PUB (Pub Union of Bloggers), there is plenty to admire in the pub closest to your own pad.

I’ve already blogged about 29- The Swan Inn DE65 6EF but it’s under new ownership and worth a revisit as, even though it was in the GBG in 2017, it has arguably upped its game.

https://lifeafterfootball839.wordpress.com/2017/08/31/from-band-aid-at-wembley-to-bass-in-milton-the-paul-young-story

The previous landlord Roger Salt was a brewer at Bass/Marston’s and always kept a great pint but the new duo, Kevin and Tracey Richards have arrived with a good pedigree.

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Having run the Brickmaker’s Arms in Newton Solney (pub 5) , the Devonshire Arms in Burton On Trent and a boozer in Benidorm (initially) they are well versed in good pubs and they have already made a positive impact in this tiny hamlet.

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Evolution rather than revolution is the model and it is now two rooms of drinking rather than food and drink although a new menu is up and running but more snack based.

There was also a marvellous cheese board that kept people happy and it was noticeable that there were far more people in under the new stewardship.

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Some new faces have followed from Newton Solney but there are also more local faces than I have seen before and they are keeping beer to match the quality of Rogers’s beforehand.

However, in stark contrast to what the ‘trends’ are saying they are stocking a greater range of beers, less food, shorter opening hours but are more full.

This boozer has also been visited by one of the doyen of beer writers – Colston Crawford – https://twitter.com/CCrawfordDT who regularly uncovers absolute gems in the Derby Evening Telegraph on a weekly basis.

The fact he’s been doing this for around two decades speaks volumes for just how much he champions Derby’s excellent ale scene.  Throw into the mix the fact he loves his football and his cricket and it’s fair to say he is a top chap and his reports often shape my pub visiting habits.

His report on the new owners of The Swan Inn is here

https://www.derbytelegraph.co.uk/whats-on/food-drink/beerhunter-traditional-village-pub-thats-1096129  and he notes the subtle changes undergone since the new arrivals.

Anyway, Mrs BB and my youngest walked across barren fields (I love the fact that in two months these fields will be a different landscape)

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A Sunday afternoon isn’t always busy but another family we knew were in and there was a steady drip feed of trade all afternoon and the cheese board was a big hit!

The beer is absolutely fantastic and I had cracking pint of Belter (Leatherbritches) which meant I turned down the Bass (!) and that’s how good this pint was.

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There aren’t a huge amount of chimney pots in this small hamlet but with Repton and Newton Solney nearby there is scope to grow as long as you know your market and every time I have been in here recently it has been more full than previously.

A weekly bingo session on a Thursday and a fortnightly quiz on a Tuesday are good examples of attracting in regulars whilst Mrs BB was delighted to see some big fat Fever Tree gin bowls behind the bar.

This isn’t on any bus route but is walkable from the centre of Repton and with a huge housing development in there and Willington then hopefully the Richards’’ masterplan will come to fruition.

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Me, I love the fact I can walk 15 minutes across fields and get a fantastic pint of beer in a good environment.  Long may that continue.

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21 thoughts on “The Swan Inn – Revisited

  1. “they are well versed in good pubs and they have already made a positive impact in this tiny hamlet.”

    I admire folk who can flit about the country (or world!) taking up new jobs/positions like that. My wife and I actually toyed around with doing something similar for a while; but now she has put down roots so to speak that one is off our list (not complaining though; I love where we live now as well).

    “His report on the new owners of The Swan Inn is here”

    Thanks for that. I shall peruse some of his articles when I get a chance. Beats reading the regular Telegraph. 😉

    “(I love the fact that in two months these fields will be a different landscape)”

    I used to do story time at a local library for pre-schoolers back in the 90’s. I used to tell them during the winter that they were actually on a cruise in a way to some place warm that we’d arrive at in a few months. 🙂

    “and the cheese board was a big hit!”

    Was it free? (LOL)

    “which meant I turned down the Bass (!) and that’s how good this pint was.”

    Wow. Don’t let Martin see that. 🙂

    “whilst Mrs BB was delighted to see some big fat Fever Tree gin bowls behind the bar.”

    LOL

    And I can see why the hours are what they are. No sense being open in a small village during the day when most folks are at work.

    “Me, I love the fact I can walk 15 minutes across fields and get a fantastic pit of beer in a good environment. Long may that continue.”

    No argument here!

    It sounds great. Having a (semi) local that you can walk to (and walk to without dodging traffic!) is an added bonus. I’d certainly be dropping in on a regular basis if I lived nearby. (big thumbs up – and jealous) 🙂

    Cheers

    PS – Apologies for the number of items below:

    “as getting on the rod ”

    Is that some sort of Cockney slang? 😉

    Oh and put a closing bracket after Pub Union of Bloggers.

    “what the ‘trends’ are saying that are stocking”

    I think ‘that’ should be ‘they’.

    “a steady drip feed of trade al afternoon”

    Al needs a second ‘l’.

    “and very time I”

    Every ‘very’ needs an ‘e’. 🙂

    And finally; I couldn’t get the link to your previous post about the Swan to open.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Excellent comments Russ and even better proof reading! I think I’ve rectified all the above but let me know if you can’t access previous post? If not it is one re Paul young Bass and Milton 🍺 it’s a cracking pub with good beer that needs to survive!

      Like

  2. Thanks again for the link to the Colston Crawford articles. I just read the one on the new Peaky Blinders bar (by clicking on the Pubs link) and the Nine Great Walks (ending at Pubs). I’m off to Powell River again tomorrow so I’ll be reading some more articles over there whist sipping a Happy Hour pint (or two!) waiting for the ferry ride back to Vancouver Island. 🙂

    Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. “Absolutely didn’t write the Peaky Blinders one though. ”

        And modest to boot. 😎

        I clicked on the Pubs link and saw it there, and noticed it was by someone else. I read it because I love the show, but you may well be correct concerning it’s longevity. 😉

        Cheers

        Like

  3. Well worth a follow-up; I remember them from the Devonshire when I used to take pints of Burton Bridge into Balti Towers. You’re forgiven for not picking the Bass. I wish I could have walked to a pint of Bass this afternoon, but don’t feel bad.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Again, kind remarks, thanks Martin. I was in two minds about that piece… not sure I could get across the complexity of CAMRA’s issues in so few words, still not sure I did. But I’d certainly bore people silly if I had covered all of the issues…

    Liked by 1 person

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