You left me necking a Bass in a village/suburb centre boozer celebrating the ‘soon to be launched’ inaugural National Bass Day (has that been mentioned?)
Mind you, whilst I like all kinds of beers I don’t focus solely on Bass; no, I’m far more ambitious and you’ll often see me drinking Pedigree too, as I’m partial to a bit of BBB.
That’s Boring Brown Bitter to the uninitiated and Mudgie recently penned a great post on his blog about its relative merits.
Say what you like about these drinks but in the East Midlands they are often THE cask option in estate boozers.
Go into East Birmingham and whilst there are estate pubs aplenty, you won’t find any ale beyond John Smith’s unless it’s an Ember or a ‘Spoons.
Regional differences and all that but I love the fact Derby still has its share of backstreet pubs with a decent drop of cask beer on.
Alan Winfield was the ultimate pub blogger in this area and his legacy still lives on with pubs like 537 – The Grampian DE24 9NB
It’s in Sinfin, which is sandwiched between Normanton, Stenson Fields and Alvaston and is surrounded by thousands of chimney pots of the estate/backstreet variety.
My last (and only so far) visit to this Derby suburb saw me drink in a classic shopping precinct pub on the car park of Asda, where people brought their shopping trollies in whilst having a pint!
You can read it about it here with some classic Alan comments to give you a bit of background…
…The Grampian is of similar stock with a big car park and houses everywhere although it had a much bigger ale offering. Four hand pumps – two old and two new – sporting Pedigree!
In all fairness they only appeared to be using one but it served up a good pint of Pedigree (Marston’s) at £2.90!
I had a chat with the barmaid and she said “everyone likes it at that price!”
It was early Thursday afternoon and there was one other old boy in there who had a bottle of Newcy Brown with obligatory half pint glass and someone who might have been the Gaffer on his laptop.
The old boy was chatty and then got engrossed in a conversation with the barmaid who clearly knows her local punters.
She suddenly pulled a pint of Carling and about a minute later another old boy walked in to find his pint waiting and that’s what I call service!
It says on the whatpub spiel that this place has two rooms but only one appeared to be open and I reckon this is a proper local boozer where you can have the craic.
Lots of fruit and gaming machines along with Sky Sports and a big screen with German football on in the background and Jurgen Klinsmann (just as he was about to resign) and Uwe Rosler (one for Martin there) both made post match guest appearances.
It even had a boxing punch ball machine with the warning “Please do not run and punch” emblazoned upon it, I decided against it just in case.
Sinfin, Alvaston, Normanton are to Derby what Whitwick, Swannington and Ibstock are to Leicester in terms of estate style local boozers who sell a decent drop and pubs that you can enjoy yourself at.
I’m not sure how long these pubs will survive but I love backstreet pubs and The Grampian fits the bill just perfectly.