I've been to this place but once many years ago and thought never again. I remember it being dirty, with fading posters on the wall, in need of a paint job throughout, desperately overdue for a cleaner who can do the job (a team) and the disgusting loo's needed a major refit. But the Guiness was quite good, if horrendously overpriced.
But then it pops up as a new venue on the Cask-Marque Ale Trail. Incredible!!
Out of about 50,800 licensed pubs in the British Isles (figures @ 2015) only 8,300 (so far) qualify for this accolade.
Unlike lager and much of the fluid coming from brass 'T' bar contraptions, cask ale requires the right conditions and lot of work to be served at it's best. The publican needs an in depth knowledge on how to keep ale - temperature, clarity, taste and smell - all that stuff. Not every publican can be bothered with the effort (nor stump up the £200+ yearly stipend)
To gain accreditation and be able to display The Plaque, a licensee must pass two unannounced inspections from an assessor and afterwards a further inspection every six months.
This means that whatever the beer sold in these premises (and there are over 1,500 possible different brews) you can be assured it will be in the finest possible condition.
I had to go, perhaps they had cleaned the place up, organised a decent cellar instead of just serving Guinness.
It was a big disappointment (as I suspected) The barmaid knew nothing of Cask Marque, there was no certificate on display and the ale? The one beer being served (I thought to qualify more was required) from one of two pumps, hardly got past my nose and a mere sip condemned even that small sample to the sink.
How they got accreditation I just do not know. As for the state of the place, see as above - no change
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