The Plough was a good proper pub. The door appears permanently closed on what I would call the front of the premises, where the sad Bass lantern hangs. Customers enter through a door set under a wide gable facing what serves as the inner ring road, up a couple of stairs into a lobby area with a bar. To the left is a small room with a continuation of the bar counter and to the right a small lounge.
There’s a very nice little terrace garden which sits high above the road behind it’s own wall making it feel miles away from anywhere and not adjacent to a busy main road. The outside gents, which were spotless and boasted a CAMRA propaganda mirror, are accessed through the beer garden.
I plumped for the Herefordshire, Swan Brewery Green Swan, because it’s a green hopped beer and ticks the ‘must be tried while you can’ box. I could have had any one of five, which included Hobsons Best, Ledbury Bitter, Malvern Hills Brewery Black Pear Premium Bitter, or Beowulf Finns Hall Porter. The seasonal ale was around NBSS 3, although it wasn’t all grassy and floral as I was expecting and on that basis disappointed slightly.
I’m not sure what it was about this little pub? Unspoiled, traditional, charming, proper bar maid, a few in but not too busy? Even the glass collector was a minor celebrity.
Whatever, it brought out the sort of conversation that I enjoy the most on these Beer & Pubs Forum Proper Days Out, as they have become to be called. Sort of semi serious conversations where the talk becomes spontaneous and casual.
It’s at about this time of day that Paul Mudge produces some gem from the depths of his encyclopaedic pockets, to everyone’s delight. In this case vintage Joules beer mats in Very Good condition. Other archive material has included a 1970’s CAMRA guide to the pubs of Leicester produced during a tour of said city and, it’s at the side of me on my desk, a 1977 ticket to Stafford & Stone CAMRA beer festival – price 60p, including First Two Pints.
I’m presuming he brought the Bass beer mats he’s handing out in the picture. I wasn’t taking much notice, I was more interested in trying to capture the moment. I think I did? Anyway I’ve got them both wearing beerleeds.co.uk button badges.
It’s great though how, through the love of pubs and beer, these little excursions have developed into fairly regular events, involving folk from all points N,E,S and W. and I love it. Mind you, at this point Retired Martin and the East Anglian contingent still hadn’t arrived and we were on the fourth pub?
Verdict; Proper little pub with great atmosphere and regular music, but I’m beggared if I know where they put the musicians?