I have visited this pub before, but I haven’t been to any from the chain this year and I did wonder how they were getting on.
Everything was clean and organised, with the barman providing a friendly welcome. The menus on the tables have gone thanks to Covid, so when the barman asked what I wanted to order I said that I’d have a look at the menu that I had noticed a QR code for on the table. Apparently that’s out of date, which isn’t ideal, so the barman suggested going to the bar to see what they had.
There’s still a considerable choice of beers available, but the knowledgeable and helpful barman said that the only dark option was Broken Dream from Siren Craft Brew. This is a very good beer, but I’ve had it before on numerous occasions and was looking for something new.
Not that it bears any relation to dark beers, but I went for the Electric Mayhem from Cloak and Dagger, a pineapple sour. I’m glad that I was talked by someone a couple of years ago into trying more sours, as I’ve become something of a fan of them. Cloak and Dagger are a brewery from West Worthing, producing beers from a wide range of different styles. The beer had a pleasant pineapple flavour and sourness to it, although it didn’t feel full bodied and the aftertaste was more subtle than the zing that had been suggested by the brewery. It didn’t taste its 4.5%, it seemed a little weaker, and the reviews on Untappd seem to push this into just being an average beer. Interesting drink though and I’m glad I had it, even though I didn’t get a stout to end the evening off with.
I’m surprised that the chain hasn’t rolled out on-line ordering, or at least more of an effort to keep their beer menus up-to-date since they’re on-line. Seems a bit of a waste of time if there are QR codes on the tables for beer menus that are out of date, and I can see this is a problem with other outlets in the chain. Perhaps things are difficult for this chain at the moment, especially given they are nearly entirely located in London. The barman was excellent though, engaging, conversational and knowledgeable, so I’m sure that things will soon be back to normal here with that professionalism.