Whenever you go on a ‘Proper Day Out’ and stay over in a strange town there’s always that one pub you just have to go back to. So on leaving the Pub Men, myself and Mrs C headed to the nearest Wetherspoon’s; an experience I will post about shortly.
As soon as we had consumed something solid we returned to the Crafty Banker for some proper beer. The only beer that Retired Martin scored as NBSS 4, in the whole of Rugby!
The premises aren’t, as you might think, an ex-bank, but they are located on Bank Street and landlord and co-owner, Steve Jackman, told me they thought the connotations of the name created a bit of interest and artistic licence for the local populace.
I said pub didn’t I, maybe I shouldn’t because this is the one that sorts the Pub Men out from the Beer People. I don’t think it’s a pub, I’d call it a bar. A very nice bar. A very good bar with very good beer. I wouldn’t call it a micro-pub neither. The decor and total quality of the place elevates it above the typical micro-pub; many of which resemble second rate second hand furniture repositories.
It’s probably not period, but the stunning 60’s, art deco inspired table really was something else, as was the rest of the fit out, notably the bar. The big nod to a micro-pub is the uni-sex toilets, which caused some consternation and indecision. The other micro-pub style pointers were the lack of music or TV and no ‘brands’, I’ve no problem with any of that though.
Having done a trawl of eight or nine, mainly GBG pubs in Rugby, I have to agree with licensee Steve. It did seem to be the only pub in Rugby that offered something a bit different. Something like I’m more familiar with. Somewhere Martin could take Mrs RM, I know she’d love it.
Exactly what the other Pub Men thought I will leave to the pictures? Whilst sat around the table, I heard Pubcurmudgeon mention his biggest disappointment of the day was the Boondoggle in the Squirrel Inn, something his face says he hadn’t quite got over. Martin is trying to outwardly show he doesn’t like the bar, but deep down, he knows it’s the future. As ever, Paul (Mudge) looks content and although there’s no photo of Peter Allen he writes that it was OK.
I didn’t think Steve divulged who made the house Bitter but Peter has it down as being from XT? Who cares about Bitter though when there’s some excellent modern cask ales on, and some decent keg and bottles, as well as Gin and Wines.
The Dark Revolution Sonic was a pint glass full of hazy loveliness, a clear NBSS 4 and top value at £3.90 for a 5.2% beer. I had a slurp of Mrs C’s Black Anna from Norwich’s Chalk Hill Brewery, again good beer in equally excellent form.
You could tell Steve had 36 years trade experience. He mentioned a previous pub, I’d personally never heard of it. Martin said it was renowned for good Bass.
I’m glad Steve has used his wealth of experience caring for the famous old style beer (name & recipe owned by one mega brewer and brewed by a different mega brewer in both Burton and Wolverhampton (at times), depending on who you believe) and transferred it to looking after and supplying something a little more up to date.
They only opened in spring 2018 and on two Friday afternoon/evening visits they were neither quiet nor over busy, mind you I was back in the digs at 9.30pm. Either way, Crafty Banker is just a cool place with awesome beer and the Number One pub in Rugby, provided you see it as a pub. If I ever move to Rugby, this is where you’ll find me.