Is not strictly true as I only had one pint but that was as impressive as the pub itself and proof that backstreet boozers can survive.
Steamin’ Billy is a small pub chain that started in Leicestershire just over 20 years ago and they have gained and lost a few along the way but seem to chugging along nicely with ten in their roster.
You’ve got to like a company like this as they generally take on pubs no one else seems to think will work and make a success of them.
Take 338 – Wilmot Arms DE21 4QU in the Chaddesden area of Derby. There aren’t a lot of boozers in this area as many have bitten the dust, but Steamin’ Billy clearly know their market audience and this place was packed on a Sunday afternoon at around 3.30.
They have six food pubs and four ‘beer’ pubs and this falls in the latter so you know it’s going to be a proper local and it doesn’t disappoint.
This is the sort of place Martin would have liked to celebrate his 2,000th post recently as there was bench seating, a crackling atmosphere, couples, kids and groups of people drinking along with She’s Electric (Oasis) and Roxanne (The Police) coming through the sound system.
Oh yes, and plenty of dogs too…
(can you spot two dogs in this picture?)
This pub has literally thousands of houses nearby so the decision to be wet led in a big old boozer is one they had researched.
(yellow star marks the spot)
It’s a two-roomed pub and there was a function going on in the bar, which was rammed, so the rest of the punters were in the lounge. There were advertising a Derby County/Rams bus to home games and the place is clean, tidy and has hanging baskets, which shows the gaffer cares about this place.
The pint of Billy Bitter (Steamin’ Billy) which is brewed by Belvoir was absolutely top notch and I reckon the turnover must be high to keep beer that well.
Bearing in mind this is, to all intents and purposes, an estate style pub then the fact it serves such good beer is impressive and as befits a modern boozer there was free Wi-Fi being well used by plenty of people.
The gaffer had a terrific beard to rival Moeen Ali’s and the conversation was flowing and my lad was more than happy in there, which tells me it is a proper local.
A great pub and who says there isn’t room for proper wet led hostelries anymore? This is a classic of its kind and hopefully Steamin’ Billy can find a few more places to resurrect.