Friday, October 14, 2011

No. 102 Bar Lounge

Visited on 13/10/11. Who the frig are ‘the men of trees’ ? Well, I’ll tell you who they are (because I’ve just googled them) – they are men who plant trees, that’s who. And back in 1969 they planted the two beautiful lime trees adjacent to this slick city centre pub in order to commemorate Prince Charles’ 21st birthday. Strange but true. Anyhow, the trees are the main reason the patio area is so attractive and why this is such a great place to meet up at the start of a night out. Right, that’s the good stuff out of the way. Now for the bad. Frankly, I find it unfathomable that an otherwise excellent pub doesn’t do real ale. If it did, it would be one of the best pubs in Chester – provided a couple of other details could be addressed as well. Firstly, pints require beermats, not friggin’ napkins. Also, the name’s rubbish – ‘Bar Lounge’ – what the frig is that ? I don’t think the target market of metrosexualists, sophisticados and northern dandys would be alienated or even perturbed if a more traditional pub name was adopted. Like for instance, I dunno, ‘the Axe tavern’ maybe. I’m sure ‘the men of trees’ would approve.


  1. "I find it unfathomable that an otherwise excellent pub doesn’t do real ale"...."the target market of metrosexualists, sophisticados and northern dandys"

    You're answered your own question there; their target market does not demand a pint of Old Thumper and half a Grumble Belly.

    It's like complaining that your favourite Indian Restaurant would be even better if it sold Chinese food. Erm, then it could not be an Indian, would it ?

  2. Disagree - and you've got a false analogy there as well as a cliché. They serve bitter already - just rubbish keg bitter. It could easily be replaced by cask. And cask bitter is no longer simply the domain of the bearded, sandal wearing, middle-aged flatulent, 'no mates' geography teacher type. Craft brewers such as Brewdog and Thornbridge aim their products squarely at a more sophisticated and fashionable demographic - people like, well, the CBP ! One of their ales or maybe something from Beer Republic would fit in rather nicely in this house of poncedom.

  3. I feel cask bitter did indeed start to lose the image you describe (beardy, sandals, Viz Real Ale Twats - "A Pint of your finest foaming ale, bar-keep, if you please my good man" and so on ) a few years ago and then somehow it's managed to regain it again.

    I don't know quite how it managed to shoot itself in the foot really.

    For me, I drink a lot of real ale in bottles at home, but when I'm in the boozer I nearly always drink lager now. I think it's because I had so many pints that I ended up thinking "Is it supposed to taste like this, or is it off ?" so I gave up with it.

    And of course the thing with clichés is that they are true, otherwise people would not keep trotting them out or running them up the flag pole to see who salutes the. I mean, you can talk in clichés till the cows come home.

  4. When I first started drinking in Chester in the mid 80s, real ale choice was restricted to a few pubs that did a decent pint of Greenalls and that was about it. The two Sam Smiths pubs always seem to have been around, the Cross Keys did 'proper' Boddies and the Cherry Orchard in Boughton also did a decent pint of cask - although it was just John Smiths. By comparison, the choice, variety and quality of real ale available in Chester today is infinitely superior - and with micro-breweries thriving and craft brewers still gathering momentum I don't think it's peaked yet. Taste buds to the fore casketeers !

  5. The Coach House does keep it's beer very well ( The Wainwright is very good ). The Ship in Handbridge is also good, apart from it's turned into a crèche ( I don't mean young drinkers, I mean it's full of screaming children ). The Commercial Hotel's Stonehouse Bitter is very good as well. And the new Red Lion is good for real ale also ( you see,I don't just drink lager ).

    Don't forget your tasting notes. !