Beer Blog

The Robin Hood, St Albans

Mistakenly, I took a taxi to the second pub first and had to walk half a mile to the Robin Hood where Mr Protz was ordering the first round. Faced with a choice of three ales; Home Ales Robin Hood, Vale Brewery War Poet and Harvey’s Sussex Best, I took Roger’s advice and went for the Harvey’s beer.

Even without expert advice, I would have plumped for the Lewes brewer. To my mind they make those; can’t go wrong beers, unless it’s been badly kept, of course. It hadn’t been mistreated, an easy 3.5+, very nearly a 4 and as always a very good drop of beer.

As the participants of the ‘Proper Day Out’ in St Albans gathered together, we sat and chatted in the sort of long L shaped single room lounge. In terms of Pubitechture there was nothing special about the Robin Hood, it was just a very pleasant back street town boozer; if indeed St Albans is allowed to have such thing as back streets.

French windows led to a pleasant garden at the rear where some blokes were chopping down bushes. To the front of house, sat in an expansive bay window, were tall posing tables, which probably wouldn’t have suited ‘proper pub men’ who would have to placate themselves with a game of table skittles or wait until teatime to watch the European football. 

But do ‘proper pub men’ watch sport on TV in pubs, I hear you ask? I guess that depends on your view of what a ‘proper pub man’ is. There were several assembled in the comfy arm chairs at the marble topped table and everyone seemed quite suited, chatting, supping, relaxing.

It’s all qualitative though and what’s good for one doesn’t suit another. Even though it was only just turned noon there were a few people turning up for a pint, a chat, or a skeg at the complementary dailies. Personally, I thought St Albans Most Improved Pub 2018 looked like a quality local boozer, spotlessly clean and tidy, decent real ale and a good selection of other quality drinks, sport on TV. Roger told me it had recently retained it’s GBG status after an absence of a few years.

Forget your heritage pubs and those with three dozen beers on for a minute if you can, this is the sort of place you want at the end of your street. A place where decent folk go for a pint after work, for a sesh with their mates several times a week. I’ll have an even fiver with anyone that it’s got a decent teatime trade. I would have asked Roy the manager but he was too busy laughing.

9 replies »

  1. Roger said what good beer Harveys Sussex Best Bitter is and I mentioned, as I have on the Beer and Pubs Forum, that it’s just about my favourite beer.
    In the eagerness for my third pint of the day I missed “A PROPER PUB” on the banner below the window.
    We’re just about agreed on what a Proper Pub is but “I guess that depends on your view of what a ‘proper pub man’ is” could start up quite a lengthy discussion, one that maybe begins with agreement that he drinks pints not halves.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Harvey’s is very good beer. I missed ‘A Proper Pub’ on the banner until I revisited the photos!

      I’ve compiled quite a bit on what ‘I’ think a proper pub is, I know we both like the same, and at times different things, but mainly the same.

      In terms of pints I always remember, as a kid, the biggest drinkers always drank halves, often moving on to other nearby pubs, and then coming back later. I’ve never been half man myself.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Really good write-up, catches the atmosphere perfectly. I was here a year earlier when it first returned to he Guide, quieter but pleasing. Harveys definitely a beer to drink in pints rather than halves.


  3. “I took Roger’s advice and went for the Harvey’s beer.”

    Paul Bailey would second that. 🙂

    “I guess that depends on your view of what a ‘proper pub man’ is.”

    Interesting. I think that would depend a little on your age and/or former career (*cough* Life After Football *cough*). 🙂

    “It’s all qualitative though and what’s good for one doesn’t suit another.”

    No argument here. Although, as you pointed out in your previous post, the company will overshadow the location/venue nine times out of ten. 😉

    “A place where decent folk go for a pint after work, for a sesh with their mates several times a week.”

    See? 🙂


    Liked by 1 person

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