I’ve just had a mate from Hereford posting me a picture of him sitting with a pint and a ‘substantial meal!’
Of course, he also sent me the caveat that he won’t need a meal soon as life reverts back to a bit of normal in at least one county in the UK in the run up to Christmas.
As you can imagine I gave him a suitably swift response with, in true Blackadder style, “a phrase that rhymes with suck quaff.”
For the rest of us pubgoers it is basically a crock of shite until the New Year and beyond but, I like to celebrate the positives and pubmeister will be in good form after St Mirren beat Rangers in Scottish League Cup quarter final last night.
Rumours are that pubs in Renfrewshire are serving a limited amount of cask Tennent’s to celebrate and Duncan has, allegedly, already ‘taken out’ five covid officers in order to secure his flagon of ale.
Whilst the second part of that anecdote may not be true, there is certainly a feeling of normal pub-crawl life being a long way from returning.
With Herefordshire being in Tier 1, which is similar to my last pub experience way back in October (WOW!) when I spent a day in Burton.
Any place that bangs out 660 pints of Bass a month – under what is now classed as Tier 1 restrictions – must be doing something right.
610 – The Derby Inn DE14 1RU is an old school two-roomed Victorian boozer that is nestled in nicely on the Derby Road between the train station and the Pirelli Stadium.
It’s slightly off the beaten track and just looks like one of the many houses on this main road and is thought to date back to the mid 1800’s and rumours abound it was a drovers’ pub, with livestock pens sited on the opposite side of the road.
It’s been owned by many breweries and is currently under the guise of Admiral Taverns and the gaffer was happy to wax lyrical about the often derided pubco.
Of course, bear in mind this was before the current lockdown so this information might be changing as I write.
However, I walked in at around 12.30 on a Friday, I was the only punter in the lounge, there was another geezer in the bar, and the gaffer plonked himself down for a chat and was great value.
Bear in mind that this is Colston Crawford’s matchday boozer of choice when watching Burton Albion and, as the renowned beer columnist for the Derby Telegraph, is high praise indeed.
Anyway, the landlord said that Admiral Taverns had been extremely helpful with the rent and were working on the basis that something was better than nothing – I hope that is still the case.
I had a pint of Bass – which was magnificent – and he said Bass was the go to drink as they sold 660 pints of it last month.
This could be regarded as ‘quiet times’ as he confirmed that 30% of his income was on matchdays so with no Burton home games then trade was well down on usual.
The old boy in the bar was drinking Bass and the gaffer was the sort of bloke who made you feel at home and welcome back at any time. Thrown into the mix they sell an absolute bucket load of Bass and are in the GBG and there are no reasons at all not to visit this fantastic little boozer.
He said Coventry had packed the place out last season whereas Accrington Stanley had brought two fans in – only because they read the GBG! He was proud to say they had made it again and BRAPA will be fine when Hull visit as this is a pub that makes home, away and neutral fans welcome in equal measure, as it is ostensibly a locals boozer.
I sincerely hope this isn’t the last boozer I add to my tally but I worry that people are losing interest. Once people get out of the habit of going to pubs it is hard to restart and I am going to use this classic GBG boozer in the home of brewing as my barometer… If this place bites the dust then the pub world has ended as we know it!