I don’t step into pubs much, and on Sunday I understood why. Every so often, about once or twice a year, I like to step into a pub. Primarily to confirm my pre existing prejudices regarding them as being primarily dumps by and large populated by losers. Well Sunday was the lucky day I decided to support a pub and buy a pint, which should keep them going for the next six months.
Stood outside Next I said “I need to scoot for half an hour to do some man shopping, I’ve got my mobile on me, so text me, yeh?” And off I was to discover the delights of a great British hostelry. I used to think you had to do man shopping to get away with this and return with a bag containing razor blades or something. You can however say "couldn't find what I was after, love"
A Sam Smiths pub was my chosen destination for one and one reason only; they are even cheaper than the Wetherspoons. Pongy old man’s ale is the cheapest grog in there, but grog it is, and as far as pong goes a pint of Old Brewery isn’t half bad. Sam Smiths pubs are a tad on the “traditional” side, if the 1970’s ever becomes a tradition. If a hundred years from now people are knocking up mock 1970’s pubs in the way they knock up mock Tudor and Victorian style dumps (presumably thinking that not only do I fancy a pint, but I fancy stepping back into a bygone era of rickets, wood beams and Sunday night TV drama for said pint), then Sam Smiths are indeed traditional pubs. Not much had changed since my last foray into the delightful world of the working man’s boozer. The usual collection of piss artists, alcoholics & losers. The trick is to buy a newspaper so none of them try and talk to you. A foreign language newspaper is useful as you can then claim to not speak English if that isn’t enough to put them off their propensity for the warm friendliness of the north.
Crikey, though, these publicans are having a laugh. Last time I was in there, six months ago, a pint of Old Brewery was £1.30. Safe to say in the intervening six months the bar staff had not remembered my face and said “Cheapest bitter we’ve got cookie?” So much for “Cheers”, where everybody knows your name. It’s now £1.40 pint. £1.40 a pint? Jesus wept. £1.40 ? Yes £1.40. Jesus H wept. That’s 10p more for what is exactly the same pisswater they were selling for £1.30 six months ago. Now don’t get me wrong, it was a decent pint of grog but robbing bastards. 10p robbing bastards. Thieving rotten robbing 10p bastards. No wonder the pub game is dying if they think they can charge £1.40 a pint. I’m scared to return in six months time, lest it’s £1.50 If I do I’m gonna claim to be a CAMRA member and ask for a discount.