Tewkesbury is a fine town with a very impressive abbey and the tendency toward sogginess. Indeed should you visit often enough, you are sure to end up traipsing around with water swishing about your kneecaps. Or higher. It was damp when we started out eagerly on the Friday night and finished up throwing it down - which is more than we managed. Having established that the Hop Pole was a brown beer purveyor of some determination, we set out with a list provided by our weekend guide. Did I mention brown beer? Well there was a lot of it. The Nottingham Arms provided Butcome Bitter, Wickwar BOB and OSH. Most of us tried the BOB which was dark brown and unremittingly malty. We escaped to the Tudor House Hotel where another array of brown beers greeted us, but at least the pub was splendidly old fashioned, being a bit of a nineteen seventies (sixties possibly) throwback, with a very comfortable mix of older drinkers. My tipple was Goff's White Knight which was light brown and had just enough hop to make it drinkable.
We pressed on to the White Bear (a bit rough and ready) where the range was not as good as we'd hoped. Lytham Gold was clearly a must, but it was served with a warning as to its cloudiness. Most, me included were very unsure about this beer and opted out. Now our guide is somewhat known as a cider drinker and swooped on the Black Rat cider. I was persuaded and very drinkable it was too, providing just the right level of alcoholic hit (6%) and emotional support to overcome a disappointing night of beer. Sensibly we left just before ten and had time for a quick one in the Berkeley Arms where well kept Horizon provided some pale relief at last. This tied house was a very good pub indeed and shows that you don't have to be a multi tap free house to do well.
It was all over by eleven. All the pubs (even JDW) shut at eleven prompt. Why is this?
Black Rat is made for Moles Brewery by Thatchers
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