This was the best quality ale in Worcester by far. It actually got better when we popped back for a second try. Probably because there was next to no one in at the first time of asking at about 6.30pm. It was pleasantly busy later on, without being crowded.
I’d fancied trying the weirdly named Goats Milk ever since it won Champion Beer of Britain in 2017. I’ve just never seen it anywhere. We tried to get a cask for our beer festival but you couldn’t get one for love nor money as it seems Church End Brewery just kept walking, instead of running into new premises and multiplying production. Fair play to them I say.
Maybe by 9pm I was feeling the effects of a days drinking? We had been back to the digs for an hour or so. Whatever I reckoned the Goats Milk was NBSS 4 on my second visit. Had they changed the cask or had they pulled a bit through, or was it just me?
I had the Gravediggers and the Stout Coffin at around NBSS 4 too. I’d describe the 3.8% Gravediggers as a tasty dark mild, the stronger Stout Coffin (4.6%) as a proper stout. It was the Goats Milk that did it for me though and I can see why it holds the highest accolade. Oh, and they had a couple of other brewers ales on, but no point trying them when the Church End Brewery products are as good as this.
I haven’t really mentioned price in these Worcester posts. Mainly because I’m not fussed, so long as it’s within a sensible range. The pricing here is worth mentioning as the Goats Milk was a very competitive £3.20.
What about the pub itself then? Well it was nice to hear some familiar accents knowledgeably talking of places like Emley and cricket and I did wonder exactly how busy the pub would have been without the travelling cricket fans. Although everyone I encountered in Worcester were both friendly and exceptionally polite.
The Dragon is essentially a one room pub with the bar towards the rear and a nice terrace out back. As well as The Dragon, Church End have another pub called the George & Dragon in Leicestershire and a Brewery Tap at the brewery near Nuneaton.
Overall, the pub was very pleasant, lovely ladies behind the bar, nicely decorated, but the lights … Oh the lights!
At the same time too bright and too grey, and more dismal than gas lights, more like a seance than a public house. Maybe they’re intentionally in keeping with the creepy churchy beer nomenclature?
If anyone from the pub or the brewery reads this then please tell someone who has the influence to change the light bulbs to new one’s with a warmer temperature. Someone’s tried to cosy things up by putting candles on the tables but they’re no more effective than shining a flashlight down Gaping Gill.
This could be a cracking pub if the light bulbs were changed.