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30-10-2015, 08:20
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On walking through the door of the Rusty Bike in Exeter (http://www.rustybike-exeter.co.uk/) we noted with pleasure the*comforting aroma of wood smoke.It’s an earthy, wholesome kind of smell that triggers certain assumptions in the primitive human brain:
I am home, I am warm, food is one the way.
Open fires have long been associated with proper pubs.*The Campaign for Real Ale’s Good Beer Guide*used to be sponsored by the Solid Fuel Advisory Service during which time a symbol appeared to show whether a pub had a real fire or not. The 1984 edition was a ‘real coal fire’ special with a two-page advertorial on their appeal.
As it happens, though, there is no open fire in the Rusty Bike.
‘Oh, yeah — we’ve been smoking pigeons all afternoon,’ said the red-eyed young man behind the bar, possibly suppressing a sooty cough.
But it turns out that doesn’t really matter: the smell was enough to make it feel as if we’d walked into a snug village pub, possibly via a 100-year time warp, rather than a modern gastropub a*five*minute walk from Exeter Prison.
(PS. We’re no food critics but the great big hunks of corned beef at the Rusty Bike struck us as*astonishingly good, as did*the pig cheek fritters. It’s part of the Fat Pig brewery (http://www.fatpig-exeter.co.uk/) estate and, though the beers are quite homely, a strangely coconutty cask ESB was just the job. We didn’t try the smoked pigeon.)
Smoke (http://boakandbailey.com/2015/10/smoke/) from Boak & Bailey's Beer Blog - Over-thinking beer, pubs and the meaning of craft since 2007 (http://boakandbailey.com)

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