I’ve made it…that 300th boozer has been tantalisingly out of reach like a pint of Bass in central Birmingham but it’s finally in the bag.
Probably one of the most iconic images of my youth was in 1990 with Graham Gooch hitting a triple century against India in his white helmet (pre sponsorship days) at Lord’s.
Gooch’s 333 was a joy as he bludgeoned the ball to all corners and it never appeared to come easy to Gooch as opposed to a Gower or Lara style character and that was half of his appeal. (He also bagged 123 in the second innings, just for good measure)
Like Gooch, hitting the 300 mark hasn’t come easy!!! A veritable array of backstreet estate boozers along with town centre pubs and, to top the lot, a working man’s club in Hugglescote…
Nonetheless, like Gooch hitting a four, you can’t quite beat the satisfaction of a cracking pint in a gem of a boozer where you’ve had to put a bit of leg work to reach.
300 – The Organ Grinder Loughborough LE11 2TY is one such place and it is part of Loughborough’s top notch pub scene that is arguably better than it’s near and somewhat bigger (in size) neighbour, Leicester.
The Organ Grinder chains of boozers are Blue Monkey tap houses and there is a handful in the Midlands, which serve up good beer and are wet led whilst this was one certainly hitting the spot.
Even the Blue Monkey appeared to be in party mood celebrating my milestone and the fact I had stumbled across a beer festival in the boozer was an added bonus.
At 7.15 on a Thursday evening it was full and I didn’t realise there were so many rooms with little alcoves everywhere and a good atmosphere.
I was in a queue at the bar and the woman in front of me was talking about how lager makes her belch and break wind (nice) but still drank loads on a recent session with her hubby.
Despite all this knowledge she decided to order two pints of RaspbBeerry (Blue Monkey) for what was, I presume going to be a wind fest later with her long suffering partner!
Working on Martin’s theory that whatever has just been sold is likely to be fresh I followed suit and had a very decent half.
Apparently, it used to be known as The Pack Horse until Blue Monkey bought it and the name of that brewery stems from the blast furnace in Ilkeston, whereby the flickering blue flames were known locally as ‘Blue Monkeys.’
Like most industry, it bit the dust (in 2007) but it’s nice to see a bit of heritage living on, albeit in the form a top class beer producer!
I’m not sure that flammable material would have been a good idea with the pint supping woman in close vicinity but, it’s a cracking boozer with a good atmosphere selling excellent beer.
A worthy pub to celebrate reaching Graham Gooch status.