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26-07-2010, 10:23
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Attractive pub in a prominent location, with an extensive food menu. Not as busy as you think it should be, but then again, when are most pubs busy nowadays apart from Friday nights? ďPint of bitter, please.Ē The barman serves it, looking mildly aggrieved that youíve asked him to do some work. Glass full of bubbles, slowly starts to clear from the bottom, but itís not crystal. Grip the glass, and your heart sinks, as itís room temperature, whereas with a decent pint of cask beer you would expect some sensation of coolness. Itís probably the first pint of cask sold that session, although the pub has been open for an hour and a half. Once the pint has cleared, it retains a slight but discernible haze and, while the beerís not off as such, itís distinctly tired, end-of-barrelish and lacking condition. In a pub where you were known, you might well mention to the licensee that the beer was a bit below par, but here thereís no point; you just drink it, put the glass back on the bar and leave. Not the best way of spending £2.60 of your hard-earned cash. You wonít be going there again in a hurry, and if social events took you there, and you werenít a diehard cask drinker, youíd probably choose smooth, or lager, or Guinness. Regrettably, while there are pubs where you can be confident that wonít happen, itís all too typical of the experience of ordering a pint of cask beer in random pubs at quieter times.
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