Saturday, 16 November 2019

As You Were - More or Less

My old friend RedNev reported that the Dispensary, one of Liverpool's finest real ale pubs, would no longer stock real ale following the retirement of the previous landlord who had ruled that particular roost for some years - and in his own very strict way.  It is a favourite Liverpool haunt of mine whenever I am there, so the news, later corrected by Nev, was not welcome.

Now I hadn't read Nev's correction, so when I was back in Liverpool last week, I nipped in to find out what was what and it seems that apart from some music being played over the speakers, nothing has changed.  Most important of all, my beloved White Rat was in its normal place and was in exemplary condition.  A brief chat with the barman confirmed that those who had taken it over intended to keep it just as is, which is excellent news, as it is the kind of traditional boozer you just don't see enough of these days.

Looking through the window to the pub next door though things certainly had changed. The Roscoe Arms has now become the Butterfly and Grasshopper which was a bit of an odd one to me, but seemingly has a Roscoe connection.  According to the Liverpool Echo, the new name is inspired by William Roscoe’s poem The Butterfly’s Ball and the Grasshopper’s Feast which I must say I have never heard of. Here's a little taste of it for you:

Come take up your Hats, and away let us haste
To the Butterfly's Ball, and the Grasshopper's Feast.
The Trumpeter, Gad-fly, has summon'd the Crew,
And the Revels are now only waiting for you.

We didn't notice if the newly refurbished pub was open or not, but with excellent beer on hand and the promise of more, we didn't care to find out.  

I thank the Echo again for revealing that the £750,00 transformation of the Roscoe Arms is by a division of Star Inns aka Heineken. I sort of regard them much as I did Whitbread in the old days, which isn't highly at all.

The poem can be found here and is a nice little nonsense poem if you like that kind of thing. Which I do. 

If you see Rat Brewery White Rat - order it.


Curmudgeon said...

Don't you mean the Roscoe Arms rather than the Roscoe Head in your penultimate paragraph?

RedNev said...

I don't know how the rumour of real ale being discontinued in the Dispensary began, but I heard from Dave, the licensee of the Lion Tavern. I assumed he would have some inside knowledge, but it seems he was duped too.

You're right that Dispensary Dave certainly had - shall we say? - a very individual style to pub management. A few years ago, I was noting down which beers were on for a blog post and Dave said loud enough for all to hear: "Oh we've got a ticker in!" I was amused by thinking that a ticker is one thing I definitely am not.

Tandleman said...

Indeed I do Mudgie. I will amend. I was in the Roscoe Head shortly after the Dispensary.

Tandleman said...

Got it right earlier though.

Retiredmartin said...

How's the Roscoe Head bearing up?

Tandleman said...

Execellent. We reminisced over the ties. Neckties that is.

Anonymous said...

I always thought the claims about Dave were a wind-up because he was always a jovial pussycat. Roscoe Arms accross the street was a shit-hole judging by the customers. Roscoe Head on the other hand is excellent.