I am always banging on about how pubs need to make an effort to attract customers. This is a rule that should always be followed, but it is brought into sharp perspective when the pub is, as my local is, a mile up a rutted lane from the nearest bus stop. There is no passing trade. Trade has to be attracted.
The landlady of my local is nothing if not imaginative and enthusiastic. To entice customers on a quiet, wet Saturday night, we celebrated St David's day. This had been well trailed in advance, with a special menu promised and the launching of Lees' new seasonal beer, "Dragon's Fire". When we arrived at around seven, the pub was busy and thoroughly bedecked in Welsh things. There were giant inflatable daffodils in an equally giant vase, courtesy of Dave the landlord's visit to the Millennium Stadium the week before. Welsh flags and bunting and various other Welsh paraphernalia were everywhere. It was a little piece of Wales in Lancashire.
Everyone bought little daffodils to wear in their lapel, thus enhancing Marie Curie's coffers and the place was buzzing. I had home made Glamorgan sausages, E had home made cheese tart with Caerphilly cheese and the Dragon's Fire flowed like the River Taf in spate. It was a great night out. We tottered off for the bus around eleven, full of beer and bonhomie. The pub was still going like a fair!
Pubs can't just expect customers to make all the effort. When the pub sets out to do something different, the rewards are there for all to see. Everyone had a great time and hopefully the pub made a few bob.
Lees Dragon's Fire is a slightly darker, more bitter version of Lees Bitter. It is a very good beer, but really I expect seasonals to be significantly different from the main beer. This isn't.
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