Go to page 145 of the 2008 Good Beer Guide for a superbly accurate description of the characterful and historic Victoria Inn. I simply can't describe it better. It is old fashioned in the finest sense. The pub is a delight. The letting rooms are small, but immaculate and the welcome genuinely friendly. The breakfast with free North East banter chucked in, is well presented and tasty. Go there!
We assembled after a brief kip, in the public bar which is pictured. The gimlet eyed and astonishingly thin matron running the show gave a commentary for us on our proposed pub itinerary. It went along the lines of "Aye, canny that one", "Fine", "Just doon the road and a good one" until we came to the Colpitts. "You divent want to gan there" quoth she. "It's full of shites." Malc took the situation in hand and inquired as to what constituted a "shite" in this case. "Why" she said, "the folk there'll pick a fight wi' ye and cut yore face"!
I won't bore you with the sorry tale of boozing that went next, except to say that the Elm Tree had poor beer (Adnams was particularly dire) and high prices, the Half Moon was superb, nearly a classic in fact, with lovely toasties at a mere £1.30 a pop and excellent beer from the Durham Brewery. Our last call was the Dun Cow, a great pub too, with a traditional corridor, a warm welcome and well kept beer. What about the Colpitts I hear you cry? Did you brave it and emerge unscathed? Indeed we did. It was warm, welcoming, characterful and friendly. The only shites there were us and we didn't cut anyone's face. The beer was traditional Sam's and our usual round of three and a half pints cost under a fiver instead of the usual £8.50+
A bit of a CV. Tandleman is a veteran beer lover, local CAMRA Chairman and activist, beer writer, beer reviewer and pursuer of all things good in beer. He lives in the North West of England and London. Despite his CAMRA membership, he does not limit himself to cask conditioned beer, though he believes that cask conditioning, when done correctly and appropriately, brings a quality to beer that is hard to equal by any other kind of presentation. He is a strong supporter of Northern methods of beer dispense and avidly detests poorly presented beer and dislikes pasteurisation. He regularly visits Germany, has conducted corporate British and German beer tastings for CAMRA at the Great British Beer Festival where he has worked for years on Biere Sans Frontieres and was Deputy Organiser at CAMRA's very successful National Winter Ales Festival in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 and at the Manchester Beer and Cider Festival from 2013 to date. He admires good brewers wherever they are and has travelled extensively in pursuit of good beer to drink.
This blog mentions specifics; pubs and beer, good and bad. The opinions will be forthright, but you can always disagree, just don't be offended. Comments from those mentioned are particularly welcome and a right of reply is hereby offered.
Read my information and links and then decide for yourself. You don't have to be Sherlock Holmes.
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Beer samples are welcome, but I cannot guarantee a good review. You, the brewer, on the other hand can.
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