Branch Trip to Rutland

With witches and a magician – a Rugby District CAMRA trip to Rutland!

Off we went to Rutland on 26th January collecting tombola for Rugby’s 35th Beer Festival 1-2 March 2019 with a list of 8 pubs to visit. Nearly every pub donated to the tombola which was most appreciated, a big thank you to them. Another big thank you to Lilbourn community bus.

We started at the Blue Bell in Beomesthorpe in Stamford. This was Rutland CAMRA’s pub of the season summer 2018. A great start with an excellent Bishops Farewell and a friendly welcome. They also had Hopback Summer Lightning, Bass and another beer all in good form along with free range eggs and pheasant breasts (proceeds to charity). Look up and this is where the witches were.

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Then on to the Green Dragon at Ryhall (Rutland CAMRA’s POTY 2018). This is another community pub serving Gun Dog Bad to the Bone, Grainstore Red Kite, Greene King IPA and Hardy and Hanson’s Olde Trip.

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Next the White Lion at Whissendine, an Everards pub with Tiger and Old Original. We were treated to a wonderful display of magic tricks by the landlord Chris Stevenson who is a member of the Magic Circle, it was great fun. Beer and magic – a good combination. Next stop was the Wheatsheaf at Langham where I sampled 4Wood from Shiny brewery, a gluten free 4.5% English best bitter. They also had on Abbot, Bass and Adnam’s Southwold bitter.

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On to the Lord Nelson at Oakham, another great pub. Here we had a choice of JHB, London Pride, Teammates from Beermats brewing company, a 3.9% hoppy pale beer and Saddle Tank, a 3.8% bitter from Marstons. While in Oakham we had to visit the Grainstore Tap which had all the Grainstore beers to choose from. We even walked past Hudson’s Cottage with a Blue Plaque: Jeffrey Hudson smallest man from the smallest county in England 1619 – 1682.

Moving on to Uppingham we visited the Crown Inn which had Tiger and Old Original – dry January is hurting here a bit. From the landlady: ‘I would rather have two good beers than four bad ones.’ Can’t disagree with that but I must make a plea to the tied breweries to loosen up in January and let your pubs have a bit more choice. I took an unscheduled stop at The Vaults in Uppingham where I sampled an excellent Guinness – haven’t had one for years, also on offer were The Vaults bitter and Pedigree.

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Finally, our last stop at The Plough Inn in Caldecott – we saved the best until last – this was my favourite pub – ended on a high. We had a really warm welcome and I can say that this is the nicest pub I have been in for years. During the week they don’t open until 6pm but are open 11am to 3.30pm on a Saturday and Sunday. The beers were in very good condition and no music, no machines, no TV – beer heaven for me. I sampled as much Charmwood Salvation (3.8% pale and hoppy) as I could in the time available. They also had on Nene Valley D.X.B (4.6%), Woodfordes Wherry and Nobby’s Celeia (4.0% pale and Hoppy).

All in all a fantastic day out.

Article supplied by Christine Lewis