Sunday, 6 July 2014

The Captain James Lang (Again)

This is by way of an update, so please read the background here and the initial post here first.  It all helps my stats and you, Dear Reader, to understand things.

Mum and I returned to the newly opened JDW, Captain James Lang in Dumbarton two days after our first trip.  Mum had offered to pay, so why not? (She didn't as usual!)  This time we were able to sit in one of the much coveted booths and see what was happening at the bar.  I didn't give the cask beer a go at first - once bitten -twice shy and all that - but had a couple of pints of St Mungo Lager from West Brewery in Glasgow.  Decent stuff, but perhaps they are being a bit fanciful to call it a cross between a Bavarian Helles and a North German Pilsner.  At least in my view, though I must try that as an experiment if I ever have the chance to cross pollinate the two.  Still, though as I said, it is good stuff.

I didn't see any cask being sold for a good while and then a guy asked for a pint of London Pride.  It looked clear and he supped it with obvious enjoyment, returning not many minutes later for another.  One or two more handpumps were now moving.  Things cask wise were clearly looking up.  I was deciding whether to plunge in, when I noticed a very tall guy at the bar, with shorts, a fleece top, a notebook and a mullet haircut.  Bugger me if it wasn't Timbo himself.  Tim Martin the boss man no less.  I went over and said "Tim Martin?"  "The same" quoth he amiably.  We had a brief chat where I filled him in on the lack of cask beer in Dumbarton over the years and he asked me what I thought of the place.  He was very pleasant and told me he'd been doing the rounds of some of his Scottish pubs and waved his bulging notebook at me "These are my observations" he boomed.  As I ordered my pint of St Mungo he added "I'll get that".  Splendid.  What a guy.

As I pointed him out to my Mum, he went off on an inspection.  I finished my pint and ordered a London Pride.  It was rather good as Pride goes.  There is hope as I suggested already and the staff were still trying hard.

I was very impressed that Tim was, sans entourage, going round his own pubs under what seemed to be his own steam.  Can't see many Chairmen doing that.  The photo is nicked from the web.


Curmudgeon said...

All credit to the guy for actually getting round his pubs and having an understanding of the way they work on the ground.

Apparently he went in the erstwhile Edwin Chadwick in Longsight, Manchester, took one look, and said "get rid of it!"

Can you imagine coming across Rooney Anand in similar circumstances?

Stanley Blenkinsop said...

Top marks to Timbo for still having the enthusiasm after all these years to carry out his own quality control.

If anyone needs an example of why 'Spoons are so phenomenally successful this is it.

What a great job as well - going on the piss for a living.

Cooking Lager said...

I can imagine he was equally thrilled to meet the legendary tandleman and is writing up the experience for the next spoons news.

Anonymous said...

Fantastic meeting the guy who spreads his cheap as chips(literally) crappy food with bland, badly kept cask beer to mostly, functioning alcoholics.

After the smoking ban, his pubs must have closed hundreds of pubs, by way of under cutting them.

Notice how you go certain places where the meal deals are cheaper? One pub near me Sunday lunch £6.99, another pub 5 miles away £4.99. Why?

Approach to competition, undercut other pubs with subsided prices and then put them back up when the competition dries up.

RedNev said...

Isn't it funny how the most sneering, strident and aggressive comments are always anonymous? The same applies to letters to local papers.

Tandleman said...

Like Nev said. If you have nothing constructive to say Anon, just don't say it.

Tandleman said...

Stanley: He had a small taster of Abbot. I guess that's standard for him as always available.

Cooking Lager said...

The differences in Spoons pricing appears to me more related to the property prices of any given area, than cross-subsidization.

That in a pricey area, the pub property costs more and a greater return on investment is required.

The pricier spoons are where plenty of other things are pricier