I’ve just returned from a short trip to Long Bennington (Nottingham post codes, Lincolnshire council, Newark CAMRA zone), arguably one of the most quintessentially English villages in our region. Wide main street, good local facilities, and 3 pubs which in the past have catered for the different tastes and pockets of the residents and visitors.
Time to get controversial:-
The Wheatsheaf – Guest ales off, barrel behind the bar under blanket pressure hadn’t “got anything in it yet”(!?!?!?), John Smith’s cask had a vinegary taste of unclean pipes, giving that authentic barrel-bottom quality I remember from growing up in Newark.
The Royal Oak – Marstons’ beers (have we decided to boycott these yet?). I went for the seasonal Jennings (Honey Bole, served by a really nice landlady), which promised so much; but I’m sorry, it was DEAD. Can’t blame the Chief Exec for that.
The Reindeer – cost aside, Green King aside, our last chance for a decent pint was a pint of Abbott – but the barrel died on the previous pint. So, Bombardier, or a return to JS cask? You decide.
I would absolutely love to be positive writing this, so I will be – I had a great night in great company, all the pubs were selling real ale and all were really quite busy. Selling out of beer is a good thing! Having variety available is even better! But the beer was either unbelievably bad, or uninspiring before tasting. Utterly demoralising after.
It seems to me that the village is trying to keep the outside world from entering. Ever seen “The Village” film? For goodness sake LB, let the beer in !!!