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Sunday, 24 October 2010

George Hotel & a relic of Whitbread

I was in the George Hotel last night for an open mike night run by Mick Cooper; it turned out to be a good, varied evening with local band the Runnies, Pete Rimmer and Bill Hackney, and me (well, you can't have everything). There were also several enormous plates of free sandwiches, courtesy of the management and very welcome.

The pub is a friendly local, pleasant inside with some original, or at least fairly old, features, and a completely separate taproom. If only it sold real ale ... So I drink the Guinness in there, which generally tastes as good as anywhere else I've drunk it, and better than some, so I assume they keep their lines clean. I did catch the last bus to the Guest House for a couple of pints of the real thing.

It used to be a Whitbread house, shown by this large stand-alone trade mark screwed to the divider between two seating areas. No one laments Whitbread, notorious for their tour of destruction of dozens British breweries, and infamous for Trophy Bitter, a mediocre keg beer. They sold their breweries and pub estate a good few years ago, and now claim to be "UK's largest hotel and restaurant company". While they're not missed, many of breweries they closed still are, such as Higson's of Liverpool.

It is a nice trade mark though, steeped in history. It's a pity a brewing legacy of more than 250 years is besmirched by the memory of their predatory antics during the last half century.

2 comments:

  1. This pub was a favourite of my late parents, and we'd call in there on many occasions over the years. It must've been a Threlfalls house at one time - the trademark outside tiling would suggest this, and it's a place I still go in, on a fairly regular basis. Sure has had its share of ups and downs over the years, and fairly recently had a decent pint of Landlord available but anyway, I agree, the present incarnation has a pleasant atmosphere as opposed to the slightly intimidating one generated by its denizens not too long ago!
    Good to see a pub with a public bar retained too, though 'spartan' is too generous a description of the side room - it's the principle that counts. Get the sign repainted please Management - the wind and the rain have reduced George to a mere shadow of his former self on the Duke Street aspect! It's good to know I'm not alone in an affection for this pub - long may it run!

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  2. I remember seeing Trelfalls pubs, but was too young to have ever drunk the beer. I understand they used cheaper ingredients to keep the price of their beer down, which as a result was popular with people with little money, much like Wetherspoons is now.

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