Saturday, 3 November 2012

The Good, The Bad And The Commended – 2

So now we come to the most difficult choice – not to make, but to publish. Because the time has come to reluctantly say which are, in my opinion, Crewe’s worst pubs. There are five names, and they appear in order of awfulness, ending with the pub which I reckon takes the wooden spoon as the grimmest in the town. It goes without saying that none of these offers its customers a cask beer choice.

5 Bridge Inn Despite advertising cask ales not once but twice, the Bridge does not actually offer them, and looks like it hasn’t done for a while. The locals ranged from indifferent to hostile, the service was provided only grudgingly, and the whole place was tatty at the edges. Not impressed.

4 Rockwood This pub has since closed, but that is nothing to crow about: nobody wants to see these places go to the wall, especially given the town has lost far too many of them already. But the wave of hate coming from the locals set the tone for a less than welcoming interlude. At least the barmaid smiled, but the place seemed dark and doomed. And so it was. A pity.

3 Cumberland Arms No cask beer, and they’d run out of two other offers when I looked in on the night the Alex won their play-off semi-final. While other pubs did a roaring trade that evening, there were less than ten punters here. At least the Guinness was OK.

2 Victoria Almost deserted midweek, a barman who appeared and served me a pint of Guinness and then piled off, and the discovery that the beer was off. Badly. With the Gaffers Row (Wetherspoons) just a couple of minutes’ walk away, this place is on a hiding to nothing – unless it raises its game.

1 Raven They’d run out of bitter completely, the handpumps hadn’t seen service in months, if not years, and the Guinness was the most appallingly rank bad pint I had in all the pub visits made. And it was 50p more than at the Cumberland Arms. Anyone on the Brookhouse estate who wants a decent pub and a decent pint goes to Ye Olde Manor. As I did straight afterwards.

Those three worst pubs are all under the control of the all-pervasive PubCos. As Beckermann’s widow tells Charlie Croker in The Italian Job, it wasn’t an accident.

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