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.
Categories: Beer Blog