Funny the things that cross your mind when you’re letting the world pass by. Take yesterday for instance… on my fourth pint of Banks’s beautiful brown bitter beer in The Blackpole, the thought occurred to me that if I was Archie Andrews with Peter Brough’s hand shoved up me back (if you don’t know who Archie Andrews or Peter Brough is/was, I wouldn’t go any further if I were you ‘cos the rest is just going to go right over your head) the words’d come out as ‘guy gourth kynte og gootigul groun gitter geer ig ge Glackcole’. Egen getter, gose gour kyntes cost ge seggen kounds and kineky kix kence… er, those four pints cost me £7.96. In short, £1.99 a pint. Now, if you’d have told me twenty years ago that four pints o’ Banks’s beautiful brown bitter beer would cost me the better part of 8 ackers, I’d probably have laughed me socks off (you will note I purposely didn’t attempt that last phrase as Archie Andrews: try it and you’ll see why). If you’d have said the self-same thing the week before last I’d probably have done the same thing – both, of course for different reasons. In this day and age, £1.99 for a fair pint and not just some amberish gunk that tastes of sump oil, is as close to a snip as you’re likely to get – a comment I make on account of the fact that the same pint, in the similarly-managed New Inn a couppla miles away’ll set you back about 50p more. That the Blackpole – a bloody big barn of a place even on a good day – was all-but deserted when I popped in (another phrase I won’t attempt as the verbally-challenged Archie) surprised me a bit, though it picked up no end over the 50-odd minutes I was there, which says something. It’s to be hoped that Messrs Marstons are beginning to see the light in realising that the cripplesome price of a pint is probably the biggest reason why their pubs might be holding their own in short-term £££turnover, but losing numbers at a rate that means that they’re on course to end up cast-off and forgotten in the long-term, just like Archie. Gou gark ky kurds – eh, Arch?
Kour kore kyntes og gootigul Ganks’s groun gitter geer, kleese!