One last throw of the dice. I left you in Bishop’s Stortford over a week ago, on the day people were advised not to go into pubs. Four days later this became mandatory as all pubs were required to close. This virus has got a lot to answer for.
My plans to finish Suffolk and Essex were abandoned and I headed to see Dad in Worcestershire before returning home. It was probably inadvisable but en route I called in at the Lyon Inn, Westbury on Severn (title pic). They were putting a brave face on things.
Fittingly it was one of Martin’s last ticks before shutdown. He pointed out that the church and the steeple are actually separate. This was because a fire burnt down the wooden church before the new steeple was finished. And he took better pictures so I don’t need to. The Lyon Inn is rather charming.
Wikipedia says the pub is the Red Lion. Keep up Wiki! Sue and her husband took it on as they were fed up with local villages losing their pubs. The 4.4% Rookwood Ruby Ale from Clavell & Hind was a warming pleasure. Reading the runes accurately they had just introduced take away fish and chips and took three phone orders during my short stay. Good luck to them when they emerge at the other end of this horror.
My final tick came at Angie’s in Gloucester a small, friendly bar down a lane. As Martin also reported, Gloucester is not a twee cathedral city. Young people make their own entertainment here.
Angie’s had cut down on cask beer but had two on from the Marston’s stable. A man from the Fountain said it had done the same. The owner of the Pelican has already decided to close up to protect his family. Next door it was good to see a council seeking to preserve and protect old licensed premises. They might have to help protect some newer ones soon.
In this context of a pandemic where people are dying, being unable to go to the pub (or anywhere) is no great hardship. For the record I am stuck on 113 to go in the 2020 Good Beer Guide.
Of course the biggest concern by far is the wellbeing of family, friends and those risking their lives to help others but I do worry for cask beer during this crisis. Its short shelf life and comparatively low profit margin makes it more vulnerable than keg beer. I hope our pubs survive as this is not going to be over quickly.
So stay safe and well and be Zen like BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire (a county I still need one to complete).