Since Archimedes was busy fiddling, I mean organising, his tax return, it was just us two that found a seat in the already busy Smithfield. There was a beer festival on and, as they had been visited by both the police and Environmental Health, I was willing to give the place another go. The refurb seems to have stalled and it still has the same problems as before: the misplaced pool table is still frequented by people who gaze in bemusement at customers actually drinking beer and there is a severe lack of light at the rear.
However, they’ve banished the old jug routine and now do cellar runs to placate the tickers. And all the (handpulled) beer I tried was fine. Best of the bunch was Cat-A-Tonic by Abbeydale, which was light with a crisp hop bite. Feeling in a generous mood and having been told it had improved, we called in at Bar Fringe. It’s still depressing after seeing North Bar in Leeds and service was its usual sparkling self. The beer range did seem to be a little better though and the Prospect Blinding Light was fine.
Our musings were interrupted by Eddie, the eager, legal beagle. He wanted to know if I knew the way to San Jose. The answer would obviously require a trip to the Trackside. The WHB very sensibly figured it wasn’t worth going back for a final drink, so I left him heading in the direction of the Marble. Back in Bury, having finished covering his paper trail, Archimedes joined us.
I was feeling bloated by now and had to rely on sheer professionalism to get the beer down. The first choice proved unwise. Robinsons Trouble & Strife was copper coloured and did have strong notes of malt and toffee as advertised. However, it didn’t have the fruity hop as promised, or the crisp biscuit taste that characterises a good Robbies. Hard going. Much better was Cathedral’s St Hugh’s, a light easy going session beer from Lincoln’s only microbrewery. That was the order of the day till I could get the last bus up to the Towler. Which was probably a mistake...