Storm Ciara might have pulled the plug on West Ham’s relegation charge with a nailed on defeat trip to Citeh but it won’t stop the pub bloggers.
A slight breeze and a bit of drizzle won’t stop the likes of Paul WME, Citra, Pete, Si, Paul, Martin, Mark, Duncan, Colston, The Wickingman, Chris, Mudgie, Garden Hermit, Mappiman, Blackpool Jane et al hitting the bar for a pint of amber nectar.
(backstreet boozers – Alvaston style)
Of course, in Stafford Paul’s case he will have jogged all the way to ensure he is there just as the doors are unbolted.
In this ever crowded world of beer blogging it is always rare to find a pub that no one has commented on before and even less likely that it is a bona fide estate/backstreet boozer.
(loads of chimney pots)
Alvaston, a suburb in south Derbyshire thankfully has an abundance of aforementioned hostelries and never disappoints.
With 17,000 punters in and around the Alvaston region there is plenty of possibilities and there is a variety of pubs.
There was the classic Blue Peter art deco pub in the centre of the shopping sprawl with both The Needles and The James Wyatt tucked away in shopping precincts on the big estates. Throw in the new build Blue Jay just off the A6 next to McDonald’s and there is a veritable array.
There are still a couple I’ve yet to reach but 530 – The Coronation DE24 8SL is a worthy entrant on the Alan Winfield Trail.
He’d have loved jumping off a bus and then navigating through hundreds of houses to reach Baker Street and a Steamin’ Billy classic.
This small chain has another inner city Derby classic in the form of The Wilmot Arms in Chaddesden and this one is arguably even further off the main drag.
There’s no way you’d uncover this unless you were looking for it and the fact that it has been rescued from fairly certain closure by Billy Allingham and his team is an example of how a bit of TLC can save the most unloved of pubs.
A two roomer local pub with food in the lounge and families whilst I turned right for the bar and the kid free option and settled down to watch a bit of France and Italy and there the initial excitement of a conversion bouncing off both posts before clearing the bar….
But, this is the equivalent of watching Derby play near neighbours Hilton Harriers annually in football and then be really surprised when Derby (or France on this occasion) win by a cricket score.
Still, I’m told Italy is a great trip for fans to drink heavily at “are getting better each year” and it was a good excuse to settle down in the bar with a big screen in front of me.
The main topic of conversation appeared to be a tree in the beer garden and whether it was going to blow over as everyone decided pretty quickly that France were going to win and it became background viewing.
The beer definitely wasn’t dull though as Billy Bitter (Belvoir) was absolutely fantastic. I don’t think I’ve ever had anything other than a fantastic pint of this at their pubs and once again, this was absolute nectar.
It’s brewed by Belvoir and badged as Steamn’ Billy but whoever brews it is doing a top class job and proves that backstreet locals can deliver killer pints of cask when the demand is there.
The barman was working overtime across both rooms but maintaining his sense of humour and this felt like a locals pub as there were families, couples, blokes and girls all having a drink and it looked like the calm before the storm.
That kind of post 3pm lull you often get in a local before the night time session starts and the atmosphere was chilled and friendly as opposed to manic.
Another classic Steamin’ Billy local boozer and, along with Craft Union, I reckon these do the best job in revamping backstreet/estate pubs.