You left me necking Dancing Duck with a beer writing legend in a small Derbyshire village. In terms of being stuck in places, there are far worse places to be but I know Dave complains to the Beer Blogging ombudsman if I don’t post two new pubs a week so here goes…
A recent Tuesday evening out with my drinking pal saw us manage to avoid the delights of Wales beating Hungary and Scotland’s wooden spoon play off against Kazakhstan.
I half expected the Welsh game to be on as we walked down the Derby Road and into 495 – Alma Inn DE73 8FE as Sky Sports is inside but the punters had clearly decided against it.
The name is unusual but apparently refers to the Battle of Alma (1854), the first battle of the Crimean War, won by Anglo-French forces.
There was some reasonably loud tunes on and my pal pointed out that Tony – gaffer of The Chequers Inn in Ticknall – was having a pint, which is always a good sign.
I mean it is a good sign because The Chequers does a killer pint of Bass so he is only likely to visit pubs that sell decent beer.
Which proved to be the case, as the Saddle Tank (Marston’s) was crisp, quaffable, and reasonably priced for a half. Pool table, fruit machine and dartboard were all on show as this has the feel of a proper local boozer, which Melbourne actually does pretty well.
It wasn’t packed by any stretch of the imagination but there were a younger couple tucked away as well as a mix of ages to suggest this isn’t just an old man’s boozer.
Having completed the Melbourne set of pubs we decided it was worth having one more as we visited an old favourite 82 – The Chip And Pin DE73 8GJ
I’ve not blogged about this place since November 2017 and I’m not sure if it is still in the GBG but it is definitely a Micro that has stood the test of time and become part of the Melbourne ‘scene’
It’s bijoux with wall seating and table service and on the site of the former HSBC Bank in the village centre, you can read it about it here first time round.
There’s still a beer board, pork pies and I had a more than acceptable pint of Black Country Bitter (Holden’s) and chewed the cud with John.
An old boy Ken then joined us, originally from Nottingham, who regaled us with lots of stories and he appears to be in either the Chip and Pin or various other boozers most evenings and was great value.
Pub Life at its finest and the Chip and Pin always appears atmospheric as it is usually full and it’s an old school Micro with one toilet and no electrical as far as I can see.
There were probably a similar amount of punters across both pubs but the size difference made a difference in terms of feeling packed…which is often the appeal of good small pubs.
Melbourne is a village that has almost morphed into a town and I suspect it will keep on growing which means punters will keep on visiting both of these places and ensure #publife continues as ever in Derbyshire.