Bass Joins The Great Cask Ale Lottery As Britain Melts!

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I had to think long and hard about my lead picture on this post (approximately five seconds) but knew a picture of a Bass pump would get Rich’s juices flowing and ensure an immediate retweet.   Martin, Ian and Mudgie might of course, be slightly more wary where Bass is concerned but, under no circumstances, would they ever show bias towards Britain’s premier pint.

Nonetheless, Martin’s bonanza of boozers this summer has seen him encounter some less than impressive Bass on more than one occasion along with far too many beers ‘on the turn.’

The hottest summer since 1976 might be increasing profits and footfall for pubs (possibly) but I don’t think it is tempting the uninitiated to switch to anything but ice cold lager (definitely).

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This isn’t necessarily a bad thing as a full pub is usually a good pub.  However, with my Midlands blogging at the heart of brewing and cask ale then I can chuckle along with Martin, Si and Dunc when they trek across the country and are met with the joyous sight of around six hand pumps serving not a fat lot in terms of quality.

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(pub beer gardens – Britain 1976 & 2018!)

But with Christmas Trees, peas and train journeys all feeling the heat this summer only Argos paddling pools are enjoying this drought as apparently demand is so high if you live in Bradford your nearest stockist is Clitheroe.

Landlords and barstaff alike must be under the pump trying to keep their cask up to scratch and even Derby is sweltering so the adage must be less is more where cask is concerned.

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Derbados has some great boozers selling fantastic beers and the look of 262 – The Masons Arms DE12 7PX, is mightily impressive as you reach the village of Donisthorpe, just on the borders in North-West Leicestershire.

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Near that woodland paradise so admired by Rich, The National Forest, Donsithorpe has a classic boozer known as The Halfway House that covers all bases…  …and this one certainly looks the part too.

In terms of a line up at the bar this is all you need…

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(and maybe Pipers Crisps, Pork Scratchings and a Cheese cob) and for 1pm on a Thursday it was full in the eating area with a gaggle of octogenarians and septuagenarians enjoying some pub grub and a chat.

(only under 60’s allowed in this room)

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It had a nice warm feel to it with the landlady chatting to punters and one sage replied to the comment “See you next week,” with “All being well!”

It’s a big two-roomer of a pub but there was a whiff of vinegar about the Bass and I probably should have taken it back as I don’t feel ready yet to challenge Martin in the plant feeding competition of summer 2018.

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However, the gaffer was in the next room and she was deep in conversation with aforementioned grey pound regulars who were spending infinitely more than I was  and I didn’t have the heart to walk over and interrupt.

It was one of those conversations that felt like you are in the queue at a supermarket checkout behind shoppers of a certain age and they like to chat to the cashier and spend an inordinate amount of time actually paying for the goods…

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…That’s a good thing though as this pub is a meeting place for many and why should conversations in boozers be rushed?  I liked the look of this place and it was friendly enough but, on this day, I chose the wrong pump in the cask ale lottery.

That aside, it’s a place that is well worth a return visit to (a) see if the Bass can return to its top form and (b) make me feel like a whippersnapper once more.


11 thoughts on “Bass Joins The Great Cask Ale Lottery As Britain Melts!

  1. I feel I have a duty to take poor beer back. I did it in a well known, busy, regarded pub in York last week. The beer wasn’t on the turn, it just wasn’t right, and it was from a renowned brewer. The barman thanked me and changed it immediately saying he would take it off and inform his manager. How many people might have been put off cask ale, if I hadn’t said anything?

    I think the problem in the hot weather is less of a cellar issue and more of a transport issue. How many brewers delivery vans have refrigeration, a few at best. The beer I sent back had come 200 miles, it may well have been on several vans sweating away?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is a good point and 99 times out of 100 I take it back but just didn’t have the inclination on this occasion…makes sense to keep ale local as less chance for it to go wrong and I guess cellarmanship plays a part too?


      1. So many factors and you have to get everyone right. Was in a bar in W.London last night and all the kegs were stacked up in the corridor waiting to go on. Keg beer or not, it still needs keeping cool.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Caymanbridge, Man Francisco, Stokelona… The list goes on.

    I’m with you Beermat, I’d only take a beer (especially a half) if I was confident it’d get changed without argument. So I did in Brewhouse & Kitchen the other week, doubt I would in a remote local.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. “(pub beer gardens – Britain 1976 & 2018!)”

    Indeed. I’ve seen some before and after photos of the UKs green countryside compared to last year and it’s bloody awful. Mind you, it’s not much better here (unless you’re a bloody golf course!).

    “(only under 60’s allowed in this room)”

    Sigh, that let’s me out. 😉

    “as I don’t feel ready yet to challenge Martin in the plant feeding competition of summer 2018.”


    “and they like to chat to the cashier and spend an inordinate amount of time actually paying for the goods…”

    Argh. Had more than my fair share of those at the grocery store.

    “as this pub is a meeting place for many and why should conversations in boozers be rushed?”

    In a pub, no argument. 🙂

    “and (b) make me feel like a whippersnapper once more.”

    You could probably get that by hanging out with any of the #PubMen, except for Si. 🙂


    Liked by 1 person

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