Sometimes this GBG lark is just down to the luck of the draw and where you are based. Some of the absolute doyens of pub blogging such as Martin (https://twitter.com/NHS_Martin) , Dunc (https://twitter.com/mackay_duncan) and Si (https://twitter.com/StymieSi) (I’ll include Mudgie as well as he often travels big distances for a pint) ( https://twitter.com/oldmudgie) travel nationwide for a decent pint of GBG recommended beer and have remarked upon ‘quotas.’
For example, if you take a small area like Scotland (!) this seems to have a disproportionate amount of boozers in the guide despite its obvious love of Tennent’s. However, don’t get me wrong, I love going to hostelries that are predominantly lager based as invariably they are far more fun (TRUE FACT ***).
And I don’t own a copy of the GBG but I know the lengths that my esteemed co bloggers go to in order to reach the (impossible) Promised Land of ticking off every pub and club in Britain.
Anyway getting back to Scotland and I know that Martin has virtually lived up there for most of the summer and has been increasingly underwhelmed by the quality of his ale with an NBSS somewhere in the region of 3…(out of 5 if you don’t know and by Martin’s standards that is pretty abysmal)
So I wonder what somewhere like 251 – Ticknall Cricket Club DE73 7LF thinks about it all? Or in fact, if they actually care!
Their tidy little ground in South Derbyshire, which is in close proximity to three other pubs, The Grange to give it its full title, is home to one of Derbyshire’s leading cricket clubs, but more importantly delivers a cracking pint of ale.
It knows its audience and never has more than one beer on and whilst the opening hours of the club are sporadic, (i.e. when there is a game/training on) the quality of the beer is magnificent.
As a rule of thumb, they keep it local and buy from either Tollgate or Leatherbritches both of whom are within five miles of their ground.
This really is a picture of an English cricket ground…
but it’s after two months of unrelenting sun…so by way of balance here is picture from May when there was actually some rain.
Anyway, one of the Ticknall CC committee members is also a member of CAMRA and he manages to ensure there is some sort of beer festival at the club each summer and the beer is nectar.
I mean absolute nectar! On a Tuesday evening at around 8pm I chatted with the barman/chairman who wasn’t sure how many they’d sold thus far (just come on duty) and pulled it through first before offering me a taste and it was cracking.
The beer in question was The Bounder (Leatherbritches) and any beer with Terry Thomas on the pump clip is at an advantage!
He is the quintessential British cad, rogue, bounder in fact, in 1960 Michael Brooke, writing for the British Film Institute, thought Thomas was “outstanding as a classic British bounder.”
(not real grass…Gary Neville approved 4G turf as commissioned by the FA)
The bar itself has a big screen and is full of people of all ages talking about cricket and other topics, but it is a laid back atmosphere.
I reckon if this club was plying its trade in great swathes of Scotland or somewhere like East/South Birmingham then it would be an absolute shoe in to the GBG on the basis it keeps its beer well and people actually drink it.
(no rainbows in July)
“I say, what an absolute shower,” Terry would have said when asked about the GBG system of fairness but, thankfully the great and good of Ticknall and beyond, are happy to drink some top notch ale and focus on the best summer sport in Britain.
(apparently it sells gin as well…)
***TRUE FACT (Based on visiting 251 pubs and clubs in 11 and a half months)