When the Sixpenny Handley brewery decided to expand it moved from one Dorset farm to another.
Locals didn’t want to lose what passed for the pub (even though it only opened seven hours a week). So they arranged for the brewery to supply to a Sports Pavilion just outside the village.
It’s up the hill and behind a hedge from the Village Hall and opens at 2pm on a Saturday. Which is why I couldn’t see it and instead joined the queue for what turned out to be a craft fair in the hall that also opened at 2.
I remarked to others in the queue that it must have good beer judging by the number of people waiting, prompting hearty chuckles but nothing to indicate it was the wrong place. Eventually the truth emerged. There was not exactly high fiving but their collective amusement at my mistake was a perhaps a little too jubilant. Maybe other tickers have been fooled this way and the hoaxes are becoming ever more elaborate. Next they will be keeping us all prisoners in the basement, sending down only crates of Miller Lite and past copies of Wetherspoons News.
One of them got a laugh – he may have muttered “it’s a craft fair not a craft beer fair.” I left them to their pranks, doilies, caribou scented soaps and buttercup jam to scurry up the hill. If only I’d seen this small sign earlier.
The tick was secured with a decent half of the 4% Gold in what is a bar in front of changing rooms for football and tennis. No, I haven’t seen a game there. At opening time the only other customers were a couple thinking of moving to the area. The barmaid encouraged them – after all they need to attract new victims.
A few miles down the road in Cranborne is the new Sixpenny Handley taproom and brewery.
The bar from the old tap is now outside.
Inside is a proper bar.
A glass of the 3.9% Best had plenty of body. Their beers seem to have improved since I last had them. A blackboard advised that Brexit had been added to the list of banned words. Note to certain bloggers: it already includes the word Bass.
Completing a Dorset triple was the White Horse at Stourpaine. It had a proper pub sign.
The village shop was in the same building and there were handpumps in the toilets.
For the unfamiliar, a Dorset Knob is a type of biscuit. At the bar was a line of good ‘ol boys enjoying a lunchtime pint or three. I had a pleasant, toffee tasting beer called English Lore from Gritchie, which is film director Guy Ritchie’s 20 barrel brewery. It used Maris Otter barley grown on his own farm and malted locally.
There were no further attempts at sabotage.