Friday, September 2, 2011

No. 83 The Bull & Stirrup

Visited on 1/9/11. The intricate brickwork of this late 19th century commercial hotel makes it one of the most attractive buildings in Chester. The interior is more minimalist now than it would have been in the heyday of the Arthur Parker type travelling salesman, but the décor and furnishings are actually quite tasteful. More than can be said for the ale then unfortunately, as this establishment which earned some notoriety for a brief period a few years ago as Chester’s first ‘lap dancing’ bar, remains ‘keg only’. “We’re well known for the quality of our Guinness”, commented the landlord, as if that in some way compensated for the absence of real ale. I tried it anyway. It tasted like Guinness. The commonly held belief that some pubs serve Guinness which is in some way superior to the norm is a myth. Guinness tastes exactly as it does when it comes out of the factory unless you do something bad or negligent to it. It can only taste worse – it’s impossible to improve it. That’s simply the nature of filtered, pasteurised, commodity beer product. I’d have to say this would be a decent boozer with a couple of hand pumps on the bar though - reckon they might soon see the error of their ways. One to watch maybe.

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