Page 15 the traditional English pub. The dark wood bar had seven hand pumps, all serving various Spingo's. After a half of Middle Spingo at 5%, the kind bar lady offered me a sample of “half and half”, which was half Middle and half Extra Special Spingo at 7.4%. With a drink in hand I was then offered a personal tour of the brewery. It was incredible to be inside a place that had started as a Monks Meadery and had since been brewing beer for 600 years, some of the equipment was definitely showing its signs of age. Back in the bar I was introduced to Tony who had worked in the Blue Anchor for thirty years and he had so many interesting stories to tell me. The next day I crossed Cornwall from the southern coast to the northern coast at St Agnes, which I then followed for the next few days, meeting up with a number of the Cornish Brewers, as well as a beer drinking cow at Tintagel brewery! A common theme I heard from the Cornish Brewers was that there were too many breweries in Cornwall, supplying too few pubs, and that times were hard. Demand is high for Golden Ales in Cornwall, with darker beers being virtually non existent. As for craft beer, well it seemed that most of the Cornish Brewers felt it was simply kegged or bottled beer. I wasn't convinced. The sun had shone everyday through Cornwall, allowing me to bound along in shorts and T shirt and get quite a suntan, and this continued all the way through Devon. The first rain I saw was for a couple of hours one afternoon when crossing the Somerset levels with my friend Alan who had joined me for a few days. After a rest day in Bath I headed Issue 40, Autumn 2015

North along the Cotswold Way, taking delight in the beauty of the quintessential sandstone villages, and enjoying the company of the many Brewers I met along the way. Arriving in Stretton on Fosse I made my way to the Plough Inn for lunch. They were serving Moreton Mild from the North Cotswold Brewery, so I ordered a pint with my Sunday Roast. I mentioned to the bar girl that I was on my way to North Cotswold Brewery, and she laughed saying "no need, he's here" pointing to a rather surprised looking chap at the end of the bar. "I'm not here!" He exclaimed, causing a round of laughter from those at the bar. Turns out it was Guy, the owner of the brewery, so I complimented him on his Moreton Mild and we struck up a conversation. His wife (and business partner) was unaware of his unscheduled pub visit so it he looked me in the eye and tapped the side of his nose, saying “don't mention this to my wife when you meet her, and behave as if we have never met”. The brewery was only a couple of miles up the road and Guy had already made it back by the time I arrived. I met Guy's wife Sandra, and I was hopeful that Guy had done the honest thing to prevent any embarrassment, but alas no, we really did need to go through a first time meeting ritual to cover his tracks. I took advantage though, by reciting the precise ingredients used in his Moreton Mild when he gave me a taster (which he had previously told me at the pub). Sandra was really impressed at my ability to distinguish all of the malts and hops accurately and

Page 15

Mad Cow Issue 40  

Issue 40 of the Mad Cow - Magazine of the Berkshire South-East ("BSE") branch of CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale)