Today's blog is a little different and excitingly so, it's the first (of hopefully many) blogs talking about a fresh pint of draught ale from a pub, yes a real life pub, amazing! When we started bigbeerblog.com during lockdown I always fantasized about when this day would come and it's finally here!
Last week I found myself in the tiny village of Elham in Kent celebrating what would of been my now future rather than current wife and I's honeymoon, instead of being in New York city after becoming Mr & Mrs we decided to stay in a lovely air BnB in the countryside and drown our sorrows as we look forward to a postponed wedding next year.
So, Elham high street and about a 20 minute drive from Canterbury in one of the village's handful of pubs The Rose and Crown of Shepherd Neame Brewery was the venue of choice.
This classic old school village pub was great, a proper "locals" pub but without the snobbery and exclusive vibe to it, on the contrary it was very welcoming. It was great to chat to the barman who I assumed was the owner/co-owner and locals in their spacious garden area who were all extremely friendly and intrigued at our presence, talking to us about the area and how they're coping with the recent opening of the hospitality industry, and the "new normal" as it were.
My partner and I had the pleasure of having dinner here aswell, I highly recommend stopping here for food and a pint if you ever find yourself in the area, the burger I had there was the best pub burger I've had in recent memory, although going by the last 4 months it goes without saying! But nonetheless it was exquisite and from the very reasonably priced although understandably reduced menu.
Now, this is a beer blog so it's probably about time I stop digressing and tell you about that!
After being given a table outside and escorted to it by the friendly pub dog "Bruce" my pint was brought out to me and away I went! Cheers!
Master brew self titled "The original Kentish ale" is a core beer from Shepard neame and the only real ale on draught available at the time so that was my choice, it pours to a reddy/brown clear colour with the tiniest of heads - proper beer, my dad would say.
In the same fashion it tastes like a proper traditional bitter should, malty, bready with hints of toffee and caramel, next to no carbonation, easy drinking and went perfectly with the surroundings in a sleepy village pub. Nothing aggressively hoppy about it, nothing singing and dancing, just a nice enjoyable pint of bitter.
It leaves an aftertaste of which makes you desire another sip, or gulp in my case. I'd polished off my first and was asking for another before my partner had even got halfway through her Malibu and coke (not a beer drinker sadly).
Not a great deal more can be said about this beer, other than it's of decent quality and very drinkable, bringing a feeling of nostalgia, the sly "have a quick sip of that son" in the working men's club with my old man, which is never a bad feeling at all.
My rating of this beer is for the beer alone, the pub itself and my partner and I's experience there was fantastic we returned the following evening for dinner and drinks again we enjoyed it so much, definitely check this place out if your driving through and say hi to Bruce from us if you see him!
Master brew gets a 7/10
Being in a pub again and enjoying British hospitality and drunken beer garden talks with friendly strangers, 11/10