The Holbrook Trilogy Part 3: The Spotted Cow

The Holbrook Trilogy might have only been three posts long but all the classics come in short bursts. For example, The Young Ones and Fawlty Towers, two absolute classics, both knew it was time to call it a day after two series’.

So, finishing off the hat trick of Holbrook boozers feels like the right thing to do before it outstays it welcome, like the third series of The Inbetweeners or Minder post Dennis Waterman, or former Blues managers at Aston Villa like Alex McLeish or Steve Bruce for example.

Spotted Cow 19.09.18 (2)

291 – The Spotted Cow DE56 0TA is one of those rare heartwarming stories where a derelict boozer is taken over by the community and made into a success.

In fact, such a success it has been that it has made it into the GBG for 2019 just 14 months after reopening.  The fact that I (might) have beaten Martin, Duncan and Si here is of course another added bonus as I can regale them with tales of short opening hours, beers on the turn and how difficult this place is to find etc. etc.

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However, none of that is true as it is open lots, on a bus route and serves a cracking pint although wisely not Bass as The strip joint Wheel and Dead Poet’s Inn already offer that to punters.

It is a belting place and has 225 owners but, unlike Marston’s where the majority are shareholders looking for a few quid, this is more of a co-operative approach.

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The Holbrook Community Society owns it and despite the fact the village has two other excellent pubs, this place has filled a void.

Yes, it’s also got the Post Office attached, which was a shrewd move as well as The Spotted Calf next door as a coffee bar/café but the fact it is a community owned pub means it is likely to survive.

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Maybe these are going to be the next ‘big thing’ after Micropubs and the doyen of Derbyshire beer Colston Crawford has penned a cracking article about their whirlwind success.

I popped in with my pal around 7.30 on a Wednesday and there were enough punters in with the option of eating or drinking it was covering all bases as a boozer but somewhere you could have a bite to eat if you wanted.

It’s a tardis inside and despite the fact it has lots of beers you may well have heard of I plumped for a half of Horizon (Wadworth) which was well kept, proving the Derby CAMRA tickers rarely get it wrong.

Spotted Cow 19.09.18  (8).jpg

If you’re in Holbrook then al thee boozers are worth a visit and with Derbyshire being arguably the best county for beer (Yorkshire has a separatist movement and therefore doesn’t count) then reaching this level of recognition inside 14 months is a cracking achievement.

(70’s night if yoou’re quick Mudgie!)

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There is a lot of goodwill around the Spotted Cow and long may it continue.


10 thoughts on “The Holbrook Trilogy Part 3: The Spotted Cow

  1. Nice post on a good pub. Last May I was in Holbrook for Central Midlands League football (there are two teams in the village/town) and noticed beer festival in at the Spotted Cow. Naturally we took full advantage. Good on the 225 owners.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Although commendable, I bet there’s a real nightmare of meetings and councils to sort out the smallest issue with a cooperative pub.

    I don’t know why more village pubs haven’t gone down the ‘local shop’ route. Surely diversification is the way forward; along the lines of ‘If you do what you always did you’ll get what you always got’. What you always got being x number of village pubs closing every week.

    Many farmers have had to do it and been very successful. In these fast moving times you have to squeeze every ounce of value out of what are expensive assets.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Always get what you’ve always got is very true…they’ve added a post office and coffee bar o a good sign and I’m sure one or two senior members make the decisions…..diversification is the way forward


  4. Thank you for the very thoughtful review! Much appreciated.
    It’s hard work but Community ownership is the way forward.
    Just had our 260th Shareholder.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. “For example, The Young Ones”

    That’s the second time I’ve read about them in the last week (though, to be honest, the first may have been on one of the pub blogs). 🙂

    May have to see if I can check them out.

    “or Minder post Dennis Waterman”


    “It is a belting place and has 225 owners”

    Well done them! (thumbs up)

    “It’s a tardis inside ”


    “then reaching this level of recognition inside 14 months is a cracking achievement.”


    “There is a lot of goodwill around the Spotted Cow and long may it conti”

    The very best of luck to them.


    PS – “then al thee boozers are worth a visit”

    Missing an extra ‘l’ on al. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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