Monday, 20 August 2012

26 Captain Webb

Visited on 12 June 2012
Here's the photo ...

... and here's the map

So much for the Merlin – next up is this relatively modern estate pub on the corner of Underwood Lane and McLaren Street. Dating from the 1970s, it has a separate bar room (which has the pool table). It also advertises “Cask Ales” outside. This evening, most of those visiting are in the lounge, though, and so that’s where I head. There is a sole handpump on the bar, but pumpclip there is none.

NO CASK BEER

Yep, and by the looks of things there has probably been none for a while. So what’s it going to be? I’ll have a Guinness, which unlike that at the Raven is welcome after the long trek to the Merlin and back. I even get a shamrock on the head. That’s the head on the pint, folks. And, although Guinness, being nitrogenated and pasteurised, should be the same wherever you get it, this one is better than most.

For starters, I can tell that some roasted malt went into its production, so maybe the keg has just been put on, or they sell lots of it – or both. There is no unpleasant element in the taste, suggesting that the staff clean the lines regularly. But the fact remains that, although it is advertised outside, there is no cask ale (did I mention that?).

And that’s a pity: the regulars seem agreeable, the service is good, and they seem genuinely happy to welcome folks into their pub. But, as Major Dalby might have told Harry Palmer, if you claim to have cask ale, just make sure you’ve got it.

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