Sunday, 5 August 2012

18 Grand Junction

[Updates, two so far, at end of post]

Visited on 2 June 2012
Here's the photo ...
... and here's the map

Having popped in at the Angel after a quick shop at Asda, I decide to look in at the Grand Junction early the same evening. Like the Angel, this is a recent build pub that replaces one of the same name, which was demolished to make way for the Market Centre.

And, like the Angel, the Grand Junction does not keep usual pub opening hours, only opening right into the late evening on Fridays and Saturdays. So what’s on offer? One large room with pool table and stage, with a smokers’ terrace out back, but once again this warning has to be deployed.

NO CASK BEER

This is despite there being two handpumps on the bar. So it’s a choice between equally grim AdMens’ MegaBland SmoothieBrown NitroKeg, then. I order a pint of John Smiths from the ridiculously flattering barmaid.

After securing the glass of mildly alcoholic brown totally dead but obscenely over-promoted fluid, I look round. There are a few punters, but not many, and this should not be a surprise: for food, there is the alternative of the Angel or the Waldron, for beer the Nag’s Head, Crown, or Wetherspoon’s in addition.

And what was the beer like? Well, like all nitro-keg, it is reminiscent of beer, but in reality is a lame imitation of the real thing. To depend on this kind of stuff – which, remember, you can get off the shelves at Asda – for any beer lover is to truly abandon hope.

In a word, this pub is Disappointing. And not worth a visit.

[UPDATE1 28 May 2013: the Grand Junction spent some time over the Christmas and New Year period closed when it would have normally been open, and now the shutters have gone up permanently. Enterprise Inns - another of the dreaded PubCos - are the owners, and are casting around for another tenant.

So, with the Angel having been put up for sale by Oakwell Brewery, that means both the new build pubs in the town centre have shut up shop. And like the Angel, as it's part of the new centre, it would not be possible to just knock it down]

[UPDATE2 7 June 2013: The Grand Junction has now reopened, and is advertising what look to be the same opening hours as before. And what also appears to be as before is the roster of keg and nitro-keg beers, so more or less the same as you can get in a can from Asda.

Indeed, the cheapness of these products was being proclaimed outside the pub earlier this week, which means another place chasing an ever shrinking market and competing on price - a competition that pubs will never, ever win, not while there are large supermarket chains in town.

Crewe's best pubs all offer the option of cask beer. This is not a coincidence]

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