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01-08-2018, 06:20
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I was nervous about revisiting Derby’s famous brewpubs The Brunswick, so happy are my memories of our last visit almost a decade ago.My worry, I suppose, was that anything less than a great experience in 2018 might wipe out the warm glow around the memory of 2009.
But I simply couldn’t resist when the opportunity arose to accidentally-on-purpose arrange my trains to allow for a stopover in Derby. Too many times in the past few years we’ve sailed through,*seen the pub from the train, and daydreamed about jumping off and running across the road.
I just couldn’t watch it sail past again.
So off I came, through the barriers, and out on to the road by the station (which is as lovely as most roads by stations), from where I commenced a terribly long walk over the short distance to the pub.
What if it has got worse? I wondered. What if it’s just the same but my tastes have changed so I can no longer appreciate it? What if I’m simply fussier now than I was then?
Approaching the door was odd, like being* yanked back a decade into a previous phase of my life, twenty-something and full of beans: the pub looked identical, as if it had been waiting with breath held all these years.
Inside, nothing seemed to have changed either: slate floors, well-worn wood, the buzz of conversation in local accents with beautifully twisted vowels (http://she-had-this-accent.over-blog.com/2016/10/east-midlands.html).* A choice of rooms to park yourself in. Above all, the thing that made it great then was still outstandingly good now — the welcome from the staff. I felt like I belonged there, even though I was an obvious stranger with my southern accent and enormous rucksack.
Sat there on my own, I looked up our tasting notes from 2009 (https://boakandbailey.com/2009/06/beer-with-zing/) and, yes, they still apply: “[Not] especially complex or clever, but… unbelievably fresh. When people say cask ale is alive, this is what they mean… The pale and hoppy White Feather (3.6%) was the stand out — it was easy to believe that it hadn’t long stopped fermenting.”
I’m so glad I revisited this wonderful pub and I certainly don’t intend to leave it until 2027 before going again.
Old Haunts #1: The Brunswick, Derby (https://boakandbailey.com/2018/08/old-haunts-1-the-brunswick-derby/) originally posted at Boak & Bailey's Beer Blog (https://boakandbailey.com)

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