I effectively had three chances to drink in Lincoln – with the back up of a bottle of Stokey Brown from Pressure Drop. I’d come to the impression that Cathedral Heights had gone out of business and I can’t seem to locate anyone selling Poacher’s, but there were claims of a off license on the high street that was purely Poacher’s. This is a fair trudge from the hotel, and was a wasted journey. The surviving off licence on the High Street had a reasonably interesting selection of bottles – once more I mourn my dislike of Sheps – and I picked up some Bateman‘s, just in case. I went down to the Green Dragon, which has eleven handpumps but recent reviews suggested that enthusiasm be curbed. A chalk board outside promised delights, but the board inside apologised for the lack of draught ales, but real ales were available. Well, ish. A Wychwood Dirty Tackle was okay. A CAMRA magazine for Lincolnshire pointed me to a couple of possibilities, but I checked the Witch and Wardrobe first – who knew Mansfield was still brewed, albeit by Marston’s? – and then moved off to the The Jolly Brewer on Broadgate. Half a dozen pumps, and regretting that pint in the Green Dragon when a half would have done. I tried the Oldenshaw Mowbray Mash, which got me into the county. Clearly a pub to come back to, although its publicity spiel claims it’s “reputed music venue”. Is it a music venue or not? Then it was time to go to the restaurant for a meal, during which I stuck to tea, and then a bottle of Tom Wood’s Lincoln Gold, which would have been nicer warmer I suspect.
After the conference and conference meal, I led the way to the Tap and Spile on Hungate, with four or five handpumps, and a traditional boozer. Nothing local, alas, but there was Great Newsome Frothingham Best, from Hull, and an old time’s sake Theakston XB.
Saturday had more time for a wander – a lunch time drop in the Strait and Narrow, for a pleasant Grafter’s Lovely Jubblies and an interesting stouty Springhead Drop o’ the Black Stuff. Several hours later I returned to The Jolly Brewer, and investigated their third pints to tick a few boxes: Dark Horse and Ernest George from Welbeck Abbey (a collaboration between the abbey estate and Kelham Island?) and Idle Dark Black Abbot. A puzzled local asked me if these were all the same – the beers were all dark – and scanned my beer notebook. All very confusing. I wandered from here up the hill to the Stugglers Arms, behind the castle, which had an attractive range of beers: Kelham Island Pale Rider – deliccious as always – Derby Mischief – and then tactical mistakes: Salamander Best Intentions, rather dull, and Holden‘s Black Country Special, very nice indeed. It was rather confusing to be asked as I wandered back to the b&b if there was a Wetherspoons around, when there were several decent boozers. I told him he needed to go down the hill, but he still looked confused.
So, a few Lincolnshire ticks, and a few more from the East Midlands and Yorkshire. A boozy weekend, topped off by failing to have time to buy a bottle at St Pancras. This was probably just as well.