Pub Clips are the most recent submitted, plus those from latest 2 issues of "Worts & Ale" (ie: 6-9 month's worth) - any comments older than that are probably out of date anyway!
Feedback on the availability and quality of real ale in the area's pubs, clubs and hotels is always welcome, but before compiling a pub clip, please talk to the publican.
We would like each clip identified with the name of compiler and date of visit.
Please send pub clips to Paul Hawley (for Worts & Ale) and to Mik Potter (for this website) - see 'Contacts'.
Here is a dynamic map of the pubs in our East Hampshire area : Our Branch pubs
OR click on the "What?ub" link on the left and type in "East Hampshire" in the search box.
The Fur & Feathers, Herriard (6 November - MP)
I called in for a quick pint today, and found 3 beers on : Langhams Arapho; DBC (Dorset Brewing Company) Jurassic (4.2); and LogDog Bunny Chaser. I had the Bunny Chaser and very nice it was too- but expensive (over £4!).
Sign of the times!
The Sovereigns, Woking (2 November – PH)
Called in for lunch with a couple of friends, who'd been with us at the Woking Local History Society ancestry show at the Leisure Centre. Had Tribute and Sharp's Red Sunset, a 4% red ale. Both were in very good condition, although the Red Sunset was not to my taste.
We got stuck in to (respectively) an excellent gammon steak and chips, and grilled salmon with rice and a Eton Mess. Both good value.
This pub offer a 10% reduction on production of a valid CAMRA membership card.
The George (1 November - MP)
Dropped in here for a quick one today to return one of Suzie's dogs collar which I had found.
5 beers were on - Andwell King John; Flack Manor Double Drop; St Austell Proper Job; Irvine Type 42; and Fullers Seafarers.
I had the Proper Job - and very nice it was too.
The pub was almost deserted - only 3 in when I arrived, only 1 left when I left - bar staff said it was unusual, as the last 2 Fridays they were full.
The Selborne Arms (30 October - MP)
We went for a walk around the bottom of Selborne Common then back through the village this lunchtime, then dropped in here for lunch.
Beers on were: Bowmans Swift One; Ringwood 49er; Courage Directors Superior Ale (4.8%); Weltons Old Cocky - a craft beer (4.2%); and Langhams LSD (5.2%)
I tried 3rds of: Ringwood 49er; Old Cocky (quite nice - slightly fruity, but not overpowering); and LSD (I found this a bit heavy for my liking). All beers tried were in very good condition.
(They now have "3-4-1"-logo'd beer glasses especially for the 3rds.)
For lunch I had a starter of a soufflet-type omelette in a metal pan (very light and tasty), followed by the Salmon Salad (also very good). The other half had a jacket potato with cheese and ham which went down well also.
Recent Tripadvisor comments have not been favourable to the Arms, but, although they were busy and we had to wait for 30 minutes for our first course, the food was great.
Other comments mentioned a lack of staff, but although they only had two people on serving and on the bar, they seemed to cope very well.
Walkabout (Centre) (17 October - TD)
Four of us met up for a walkabout working eastwards from the White Horse where Fuller's London Pride and Sharp's Doom Bar were on offer, judged pretty average.
The next port of call was the Swan Hotel where one of our party was entranced by the Greene King Abbot. The other two ales on, GK IPA and Alton's Pride were deemed to be average. It is worth noting that the 10% discount for card carrying CAMRA members here has been discontinued and replaced by ad hoc short term offers, currently two pints of cask ale for £6 running until 8th November.
A disturbing bit of news received here: we met Stuart Farrell, landlord of the King's Head in Market Street, who told us the pub had been closed since last Friday because of a dangerous roof issue. At the moment there is no clear indication of how long this problem will take to sort out and we in East Hants CAMRA wish Stuart and Christine our best wishes for a speedy as possible resolution.
The next port of call was the Market Hotel where the usual Timothy Taylor offerings had been temporarily replaced by Itchen Valley Hampshire Rose and Triple fff Moondance. Both were in good order.
In the Wheatsheaf in Market Square there was just Doom Bar on but it was on good form and our last port of call, which would have been the King's Head was switched to the Bakers Arms where just a good condition London Pride was available: the two Sharp's beers, Doom Bar and Atlantic were promised to be back on from the following day.
The Original White Hart, Ringwood (16 October – PH)
Tried this pub in the Town Centre with friends and were surprised how quiet it was considering the Local Market was in full swing right outside!
Although listed as a Marston's pub the only beers on offer were from Ringwood. I had the Razorback which was poor at £3.45 a pint.
Food menu was extensive and reasonably priced; however, the quality was not high. These could explain why the pub was quiet. Wouldn't return.
The Cormorant, Porchester (9 October – PH)
Called in for lunch after visiting (as guests) the PDSA Hospital at Clanfield. This lovely pub, hard by the Castle was very busy with a large group "doing" a funeral wake. Apparently, they get a lot of this type of business from the nearby Crematorium.
On finding a table we perused the beers available (5 pumps) and opted for, respectively, Gales HSB and Doom Bar, which were both excellent.
Menu selection was impressive, and we had liver bacon, onions and mash and ham, egg and chips. Followed these with Eton Mess, served on a rectangular platter rather the usual "vase". Made it much easier to trough.
Strolled round to the Castle with its Saxon Church (still in use) before returning home. Pub and Castle (English Heritage) both worth visiting.
The Old House at Home, Chidham (15 October - MP)
We visited for lunch today, and found a lovely village pub with plenty of parking, dog friendly (although not in the restaurant), and with some good walks nearby.
There were 6 beers on:
Palmers Copper Ale
Harveys Sussex Best
Sharps Doom Bar
Chidham Best (brewed by Langhams) - I had this - a nice 4.2 ale with a slightly fruity (but not overbearing) taste.
The food was to die for - especially the (very thick) Pork Chops with mash; and the Salmon/Prawn/Avocado salad (I'd go back for this alone!).
Funnily enough it is not in the GBG - although to my mind it should be, as the beer quality was excellent.
Address for those interested: Cot Ln, Chichester PO18 8SU
Railway Arms (15 October - TD)
A good selection of ales at the Railway Arms, Alton today. The two Triple fff ever-reliable bitters, Alton's Pride and Moondance were on good form, and the seasonal "black IPA" Jabberwocky which should be around in the area through to the end of November very good indeed.
Also tried the guest from Fuller's, Rocky Red, 4.5% ABV, a fruity rye ale,complex and interesting.
Triple fff Hunky Dory also available plus a selection of bag-in-the-box ciders from Seacider.
Personal walkabout (2 October - TD)
Today in the George, Alton I had a good regular - Dark Star Hophead - together with an old favourite St. Austell Proper Job. Irving Type 42 and Sharp's Sea Fury also on offer.
Round the corner at the King's Head in Market Street the Andwell Gold Muddler was on good form but it will be gone in a day or so, to be replaced by Hot Dog from the same brewery (see pub clip of 20 September}. The Courage Best demonstrated what can be done with what many consider a rather bland beer when looked after properly.
Railway Arms, Alton (26 September - MP)
I dropped in here this afternoon while my car was being valeted at the local place opposite the railway station.
When I arrived, all they had on were Triple fff's Altons Pride (which I had) and Moondance , plus Gun Brewery's "Scaramanga Extra Pale" (a 3.9% gluten free vegan beer - details here: https://www.gunbrewery.co.uk/scaramanga - all the other pumps were turned round. I was told more were coming on soon.
When I went up for a refill, they had put on Ramble Tamble, and a new (to me) Triple fff beer - "Days Done" - a 4% pale ale.
I asked if I could have a taster of the "Day is Done" (as well as my refill) - and was served almost a third! I found it slightly fruity, but very nice.
Bus trip (19 September - TD)
A small but jolly band set out with our new (hopefully regular) community bus driver, Bryan, for a tour round the pubs off the A31 east of Alton.
First port of call was the Hall and Woodhouse pub, the Hen & Chicken at Upper Froyle. As usual the place was busy (perhaps something to do with the Thursday night buy one steak, get one free) and we had a selection of Badger beers. The Fursty Ferret, a 4.1% nicely balanced golden brown ale was my choice and the Badger best was deemed good. The strong Tanglefoot unfortunately did not seem to punch its weight. Also available on handpump was Rosie Pig Cider.
A short hop took us to Lower Froyle and the Anchor Inn, a smart dining pub but with a cosy but lively bar area on the left hand side. Here there were a choice of two local beers, the straw-coloured Itchen Valley LPA (Light Pale Ale) 3.6% (which I found full of flavour) and Triple fff Alton's Pride (which needs no introduction), plus from not too far away Brakspear Gravity, the re-badged Bitter at 3.4%.
Next port of call was the Star Inn, Bentley offering Andwell King John, a traditional dark brown malty bitter very much to my liking; Sharp's Doom Bar, enjoyed by the member of our party who tried it; and Triple fff Moondance. As we were leaving Crafty Breweries Crafty Fox was being put on. The new tenants, Chris and Lisa are keeping the place popular: several parties scattered around the bar.
On the return leg visited both pubs in Holybourne. The White Hart had Timothy Taylor Landlord which I found pleasant, and Greene King IPA which I understand is due a tweak to its recipe shortly. In the Queen's Head the current Triple fff offering was the strong, 5%, APA style Ramble Tamble along with Brain's Rev James and Otter Amber all judged good to very good by the company.
After dropping the bus back Bryan was able to enjoy a beer with us in the King's Head, Market Street, Alton. Flack Manor Flack's Double Drop 3.7% was the guest which most opted for and enjoyed. This will be shortly replaced by Andwell Gold Muddler and then, from the same brewery, Hop Dog, a 4.1% golden IPA which according to the brewery has English Pilgrim and Target hops, German Hallertau Blanc and American Citra. Sounds like something to look forward to.
Queen's Head, Holybourne (13 September - TD)
I delivered the GBG 2020 Licensee pack to the Queen's Head today and had a couple of their tasty offerings, Amber Otter, 4% and the very good Triple fff Ramble Tamble, a strong, 5%, American Pale Ale style with a heady mixture of UK and US hops and two malts, Maris Otter and Vienna. Also on was Tetley's Bitter which I understand is currently brewed by Marston's.
Selborne Arms (8 September - TD)
The Selborne Arms is maintaining its reputation for an enterprising guest policy. Tried two beers new to me, firstly Old Pie Factory's Pie in the Sky a 4.1% golden ale from Warwick. Next a really gorgeous plummy dark beer called Mad Dog, 5% from Parkway Brewery about which I can discover little. There is no mention in GBG, even for forthcoming breweries but it appears to be based in Somerton, Somerset. The website however does not mention this particular beer although it is well regarded on Untapped. The third guest was Longdog Centennial and the two regular ales, Bowman Swift One and Ringwood 49er were available.
Personal trip (24 August - TD)
Alerted by Facebook that there was a new couple running the Star Inn, Bentley, I took advantage of the August sunshine and hopped on a train followed by a walk across the fields in to the pub. Did not see the new tenants, Chris and Lisa, but the very helpful lady behind the bar filled me in on the small changes which are taking place. Opening hours are unchanged and there is a slight tweaking of the food times (see WhatPub). There has been some redecoration and the main thing is the beer quality remains good. I tried all three ales on, two guests, Hog's Back TEA, Otter Bitter and one of the regulars Triple fff Moondance. The other regular beer, Sharp's Doom Bar has had a hiccup in deliveries but I would have probably have given that a miss anyway.
I then caught the 65 bus back to Holybourne from round the corner in Station Road and checked out the Queen's Head which continues to put on good quality rotating beer range - today Otter Amber 4% and the potent Triple fff Ramble Tamble both of which I tried and Black Sheep Holy Grail.
Coming into Alton, the Railway Arms had Butcombe Rare Breed 3.8% with fruity New World hops as its guest, alongside Triple fff's own Lady Eleanor alongside the usual offerings.
Branch walkabout (12 August - TD)
Three of us met up for a walk in from the western end of Alton starting at the French Horn on the Butts. Three ales were on - Sharp's Doom Bar, St. Austell Tribute and Timothy Taylor Landlord - we all settled for the Tribute which went down very well.
A walk down Butts Road brought us to the Alton Conservative Club which is, as the name suggests a members' club, but a sign outside said "Pop in and see us: all welcome" so we did. The very helpful lady behind the bar got hold of a member who signed us in and we treated ourselves to the only ale on offer that evening, Loddon Hoppit, a nicely balanced 3.5% light bitter.
Next port of call was the Ivy House where out of a good choice of guests including Cairngorm Trade Winds, Salopian Darwin's Origin and a selection of four bag-in-the-box ciders and perries, we opted for the Crafty Brewing Crafty One, a golden ale from Dunsfold which made the most of the New World hops in its brew.
Finally in the George Itchen Valley Hampshire Rose and Dark Star Hophead (which did not appear to be suffering from its changes in ownership) were enjoyed. Irving Type 42, which was tried first, was found to be at the end of its life and taken off without argument. Sharp's Sea Fury was also available as usual.
Personal walkabout (15 August - TD)
A good choice of three guest beers in the JDW Ivy House with two dark ales: first I tried Rooster's London Thunder, a chocolatey 4.2% porter with apparently seven malts. Next up was Lancaster Black, a 4.6% stout and I'm glad even my ageing taste buds could tell the difference. Both very worth while as was the very different Cairngorm Trade Winds, a 4.3% pale ale with wheat malt and eldferflower in the mix.
In the High Street the Swan Hotel was offering Irving Type 42, a (natural) 4.2% ruby red traditional bitter using English Pilgrim hops, alongside the regular Greene King IPA and Abbot offerings. The guest is likely to alternate between a local or regional brewery and a GK seasonal or other from the group.
Note:10% off cask ales is available to CAMRA members on production of a valid membership card.
The Crown and Trumpet, Broadway (11 August - MP)
Dropped in here for lunch while on a weekend away.
An interesting pub, with many pictures etc. on the walls, and many CAMRA awards (including one "long service" given in 2013), and a Good Pub Guide (GPG not GBG!) "value pub of the year" award (not sure what that means mind).
The landlord told me he has been in the CAMRA GBG for over 30 years - and his beer confirmed that he should be!
Beers on were:
Stroud's (of Thrupp) 'Tom Long' (3.8 - session)
Stanway's (of Cheltenham) 'Broadway Artists Ale' (3.9 - I had this - a nice session beer)
TT's (of Keighley) 'Landlord' (4.3)
North Cotswold's (of Stretton-on-Fosse) 'Shagweaver' (4.5 - pale hoppy bitter).
Food was basic pub food, but of good qulity and service was fast.
The pub is located just off the main street at the western end of Broadway - on Church Street.
Broadway is a lovely town, very popular with tourists, and nearby is the Broadway Tower - a Royal Observer Corps (ROC) observation tower during WWII (identifying enemy aircraft) - open daily; and with a Nuclear monitoring bunker nearby - open on some days for tours (very interesting, tours every 45 minutes, and well worth a visit if you are in the area).
Tower : https://broadwaytower.co.uk/
Holiday Clips (late June - PH/SH)
Click here to read their clips (with photos): PH/SH holiday Pub Clips
"Eastern Approaches" (8 August - TD)
At the White Hart in London Road, Holybourne (an easy less than 10 minutes walk from the 65 bus stop on the A31 at the bottom of Lower Neatham Mill Lane - ring the bell soon after turning out of Montecchio Way or you've got a longer walk from Cuckoo's Corner ) I had a decent Greene King IPA, if misnamed at 3.6%, and a pretty good Timothy Taylor Landlord 4.3%. The changing guest is currently in abeyance and the barman was not sure when it would be reinstated.
A different story at the Queen's Head in Anstey Road where three ales were on offer and I enjoyed tasty Amber Otter 4% and the current triple fff offering, Moondance 4.2%. I understand this will be replaced by the powerful 5% Rambe Tamble shortly. Black Sheep's Monty Python's Holy Grail a 4% golden ale "tempered over burning witches" was also available.
Finally the Railway Arms had its usual good selection of Triple fff, and here I enjoyed Ramble Tamble plus the two guests, St. Austell Proper Job and Siren Undercurrent, a 4.5% pale ale brewed with pale, oats and caramel malts balanced with spicy, citrus, floral hops. The regular Alton Pride and Moondance were also available.'
Personal walkabout (26 July - TD)
A walkabout in the Alton town centre today started with the Ivy House where I tried a very drinkable St. Peter's Plum Porter. Other guests were Purplemoose Dark Side of the Moose and Fallen Acorn Pompey Royal.
The Crown Hotel had just a decent Andwell Gold Muddler in addition to the regular Doom Bar and I was pleased to be offered the award-winning Timothy Taylor Boltmaker in the Market Hotel alongside the more familiar Landlord.
Final port of call was the King's Head for a Longdog Golden Poacher which was very good indeed. The usual Courage Best was also available.
Eight Bells (22nd July - TD)
The Eight Bells was up to full strength on the five handpumps today including the very tasty West Berkshire Maggs Mild. One-third options enabled me to also sample Flowerpots Bitter and Perridge Pale from the Flowerpots Brewery and the other guest Hog's Back TEA, all very drinkable. As usual Sharp's Doom Bar was also available.
Personal trip (12th July - TD)
I took no.23 bus out of Alton at 12.12 pm to the edge of our branch area at Grayshott to visit the Fox & Pelican. Shortly after 1pm the bus dropped me at the pub with just over half an hour before the next bus heading back (they run every two hours so one could go for a leisurely lunch here, but I had other pubs to visit and anyway the kitchen out of order today). With four Fuller's ales to choose from, I tried the 3.6% Seafarers and the seasonal Respect Your Elders, a 6% collaboration with Tiny Rebel based upon ESB with a trio of new world hops, both very palatable. London Pride and HSB were also available. This sprawling, comfortably furnished turn of the twentieth century ex-Gales house, which interestingly retains a dartboard, is well worth a visit.
Got bus going back to Headley to visit the Hollybush (the stop is just round the corner past the pub coming from Grayshott) where I found only Doom Bar on, which was satisfactory; and two unused handpumps one with a Ringwood Razorback clip turned. The pub has stopped doing food but the helpful lady behind the bar told me I could bring in something from the cafe two doors down which I did. This was a pleasant down to earth locals' pub with a pool table and sports TV.
Next I took a short half mile walk starting back towards Headley, turning left by the playing fields and downhill on the road signposted to Arford to find the Crown. Discovered that this Heineken (UK) pub had fortuitously just reopened last Thursday after an extensive refurbishment starting in April, with new leaseholders Adriano and Radina in charge. Tried both the ales on offer - London Pride and Ringwood Razorback which were very drinkable, and had a look at the small but charming garden down some steps behind the pub car park the other side of the narrow lane. The garden is steeply terraced leading down to a brook and well used on a sunny summer afternoon. I must return to try the interesting looking menu described as a "modern British version of tapas".
Picked up the no.23 bus past the Hollybush at 3.50 for my return to Alton. This is a most useful route on which you can also visit the Three Horseshoes, East Worldham, the Cricketers, Kingsley, the Royal Exchange, Lindford and the Woodlark, Whitehill - all these shared with the no. 13 route which make up to an hourly service Monday to Friday. The routes diverge at Whitehill with the no.13 going on to Liphook - not Saturdays (hopefully a report on that at a later date). Both these buses are also handy for the September beer festival held in the Phoenix Theatre and Arts Centre, Bordon.
Eight Bells, Alton (9th July - TD)
In the Eight Bells I had both the very good Flowerpots ales, Bitter and Perridge Pale which are now regular fixtures alongside the Doom Bar. A further guest will be added from Thursdays onwards when trade picks up towards the weekend.
Good news from the Flowerpots Brewery and pub in Cheriton which have been sold as a combined going concern to local entrepreneurs with the old brewing team kept on so should see little or no change to their excellent beers.
King's Head, Alton (8th July - TD)
Here Christine was distraught because she had been drunk dry of LPA before another guest was ready to go on. The Courage Best as ever was very drinkable.
Personal walkabout (7th July - TD)
An interesting pair of guest beers at the Queen's Head, Holybourne. Black Sheep Monty Python's Holy grail, a 4% light golden ale reputed to be "tempered over burning witches" but none the worse for that. The usual Triple fff Moondance was replaced with the delicious 4.6% Lady Eleanor. The usual Olde Trip was also on.
Down the road opposite Station Approach I did get my Moondance fix in the Railway Arms and very good it was too. I also tried the Rock Lobster which was getting past its best but still drinkable. Other beers on were Alton's Pride, Old Dray and lady Eleanor.
Cricketers, Kingsley (5 July - TD)
The handy 13/23 hourly bus service from Alton to Liphook or Haslemere takes around just 10 minutes to Kingsley with a stop named for the Cricketers, where today found new manager Ellie in charge with four ales available on the bar.
I started with the award-winning Greene King Mild, a very tasty drop, before moving on to the same brewery's Mid Summer Pale Ale, a floral and refreshing 4% golden ale, before finishing with a more traditional offering from Dorking Brewery DBOne. At 4.2% this is an undemanding , nicely balanced bitter. Greene King IPA was also available and Ellie tells me that all four handpumps will be rotated with a mix of local and national brands. Beers from Hog's Back and Triple fff are currently in the cellar.
The pub, which was gratifyingly busy at lunchtime today, is now open all day Monday and Tuesday with lunchtime and evening food service from Wednesday to Saturday, food finishing at 6pm and closing at 9pm on Sundays. Very worthwhile making the trip with good walks around Kingsley and Shortheath Commons in the vicinity.
Bakers Arms, Alton (24 June - TD)
Landlady Trudy making her mark here since the pub reopened in May with very much a sports bar theme towards the rear with large TV screens, darts and pool; but a more comfortable saloon ambience in the comfortable seating at the High Street end (although still got TVs).
Three cask ales provided and I tried halves of all three. The house beer called Baker's Brew is a light, slightly citrussy pale ale at 4%, brewed by Sharp's. This is the same ABV as the other regular ale Doom Bar, which was also pleasantly drinkable with a discernible heavier malt content. The third handpump currently taken by a third Sharp's product, the 4.2% Atlantic.
All the ales are competitively priced at £3 a pint.
Four Marks and Alton (21st June - TD)
At Offf the Rails, Four Marks I had the pleasantly contrasting Pressed Rat and Warthog and Lady Eleanor. Alton's Pride, Moondance, Rock Lobster and Goldfffinger were also available on the stillage. The guest craft keg was in the process of changing over and there was a guest cider - Harry's Cider - a 6.2% medium dry traditional cider from Somerset. Despite recent issues over noise restricting outside use the Triplefff Open Day will be going ahead on Saturday 17th August with a Temporary Event Notice.
At the George in Butts Road, Alton I tried the Itchen Valley IVBEE, a 3.9% Honey and Elderflower infused (if that's the right word) pale ale. This was very tasty as was the Black Sheep Baa Baa, a 4% pale ale from Masham and Dartmoor Bes, a 4.1% traditional bitter. Old favourites Sharp's Sea Fury, Flack's Double Drop and Irving Type 42 were also available.
The King's Head, Market Street, Alton continues to champion local ales with Longdog Bunny Chaser, a very quaffable 3.6% copper coloured traditional bitter currently available alongside the perennial Courage Best.
Separate bit of news: Itchen Valley Brewery (just out of area in Alresford) will be opening up a brewhouse tap for limited Friday opening from July.
Scheduled bus trip (6 June - TD)
A good turn out of seven plus the driver for a trip out to villages surrounding Bordon with some mixed results.
Our first intended port of call was the Royal Oak at Hollywater, but the one beer clip in evidence, Sharp's Doom Bar, was turned as we arrived.
More luck at the next stop, the large and rambling Woodlark - a food oriented Marston's pub in Whitehill where two of the company's ales were on offer, Pedigree and 49er from the Ringwood Brewery. We had the unusual experience of tasting both "northern" and "southern" versions of the beers as one of our number got the tight sparkler tap removed in the course of our orders. Both were rather average beers in any event. There were two empty handpumps, one with a turned clip for the Ringwood session beer, Razorback.
On to the Cricketers at Kingsley which has seen a number of managers since reopening last August, and local owner Tony Gould is currently hands on until another new one is expected take up post in late June, when all day when all day opening on Mondays and Tuesdays should be introduced. Quality was average to good here with a more enterprising choice on the ale front compared with previous visits. Three handpumps out of four were in use with Windsor & Eton Windsor Knot, Longdog Red Runner and a seasonal from Andwell, Crouch Hold Engage, a nicely balanced 4.5% bitter, sales of which support the Wooden Spoon charity helping disabled or disadvantaged children through rugby. The empty handpump would normally have the one regular beer, Greene King IPA which was being changed and in the next week or so there will a fresh batch of guests including one of Greene King's best ales (and not just in my opinion), the low gravity but very tasty Mild at 3%. (See 5th July entry for update.)
Finished the out of town run with the Three Horseshoes in East Worldham, a Fuller's pub where London Pride, Dark Star Hophead and guest Butcombe Gold (4.4% ) were on offer. I enjoyed the first two and the Hophead got approval from those who tried it.
Back in Alton most of the group adjourned to the Eight Bells where the regular offerings, Flowerpots Bitter, Perridge Pale were enjoyed along with Loddon Hocus Pocus, a 4.6% dark chestnut brown winter old ale style - although out of its seasonal comfort zone it tasted fine on a blowy evening and went down well.
Golden Pheasant, Lower Farringdon (7 May - TD)
David at the Golden Pheasant was very pleased to receive another East Hants 'Pub of the Year' award from local CAMRA Membership Secretary Shirley Hawley this evening while branch members sampled a selection of the as usual very drinkable ales from his seven handpumps.
St. Austell Trelawney, a 3.8% full-bodied well balanced beer came in for special approval and the Triple fff Moondance was also well received. Bowman's Swift One, Hog's Back TEA and Sharp's Atlantic also on.
Other regular ales, Courage Best and Sharp's Doom Bar were in the process of being turned over while we were there. LocAle stickers for 2019 were also handed over.
"Eastern Approaches" (4 April - TD)
I got the 65 bus out to the Star Inn, Bentley for a decent pint of Butcombe Bitter and a good half of Triple fff Moondance with a light lunch, before taking the bus back to the outskirts of Holybourne and a pleasant walk to the White Hart, where I had halves of Skinner's Betty Stoggs and Timothy Taylor Landlord. A good guest policy in this Greene King pub where Morland Original also available.
A short walk to the Queen's Head revealed what I was assured was a temporary aberration, no Moondance. However they did have Betty Stoggs for second time today, which stood up well against the White Hart offering.
I skipped the regular Olde Trip to make a final port of call, the Railway Arms near Alton Station where I had the best Moondance of the day and (just a half) of the powerful Comfortably Numb - at 5% a beautifully balanced and dangerously drinkable strong ale. A good spread of other Triple fff beers were available and I was assured that guest ales such as Adnam's Ghost Ship were waiting in the cellar.
Alton (3 Apri - TD)
I had a really excellent new beer from Andwells - Spring Magic - in the King's Head, Alton; a 4.4% golden ale with marmalade flavour. Broke the habit of a lifetime and had another one on the trot!
Up Amery Hill to the Eight Bells and a good selection here, the usual two, Perridge Pale and Bitter from Flowerpots together with Darrtmoor IPA. All in god condition: Doom Bar also on.
Queen's Head, Holybourne (25 April - MP)
Dropped in for a quick one today. Three beers on - H&H Olde Trip; Skinner's Betty Stoggs; and Triple fff Moondance - although I thought the latter two were off because the pump clips were upside-down! This was quickly corrected.
I had the Olde Trip and the Stoggs - both excellent.
Sun, Bentworth (24 April - TD)
Five of the six handpumps were in use at this attractive rural pub on a busy weekday lunchtime, which is now accredited to the CAMRA LocAle scheme for East Hampshire. The regular ale, Palmer's Copper Ale (not loca) was well received as were the four other, all Hampshire beers. Andwell's Resolute, Bowman Swift One, Flack Manor Flack's Double Drop and Itchen Valley Hampshire Rose.
Four of us covered all the ales between us and the Hampshire Rose was judged to be the best of the bunch.
King's Head, Alton (15th April - MP)
Dropped in here for a quick one (or two). Only 2 beers on - Courage Best and Flack Manor Double Drop. I had the latter - very nice.
Christine was going to put Itchen Valley Hampshire Rose on next - saving Longdog's Bunny Chaser for Easter!
Railway Arms, Alton (13 April - TD)
All five ales on today were Triplefff products and all on good to very good form including old favourites Hallelujah and Moondance. The Winter Oatmeal Stout was also good although must be nearing the end of its season and an intriguing new one for me was Day is Done 4%, described as a golden ale which is quite correct: there is much of the character of such beers with Amarillo and Simcoe hops imparting the expected resinous and citrus aroma and flavour but also a balancing body from Munich and Crystal malts. Very nice beer. Only Alton's Pride not tried.
Eight Bells, Alton (12 April - TD)
Flowerpots ales continue to move well here and today the Flowerpots Bitter and Perridge pale were on good form as was Bowman's Wallop's Wood making a welcome return. In addition the Goddard's Fuggle-dee-Dum a fine ale was just about reaching the end of its natural life but still drinkable. Sharp's Doom Bar also on.
The Flowerpots drayman was making a delivery and we chatted about the impending sale of the Brewery and Flowerpots Inn. The proprietors are retiring and want to see it sold as a going concern. The other two tied houses,the Wheatsheaf, Shedfield and one of my personal favourites, the Albion in Winchester, will apparently not be affected as run by independent owners and can continue under their own steam.
Scheduled evening trip (4 April - TD)
Just three of us set out on a cold, wet and windy evening to visit the village pubs in the north-west quadrant of the branch area. We were supposed to start at the Gliding Society Club at Lasham but found it closed at around 7.45 pm. We should have heeded the warning on WhatPub to "check in advance for evening opening hours."
There was a warmer welcome at the Royal Oak in the heart of Lasham village where Andwell Gold Muddler and Hog's Back TEA were on offer and found to be in good order. A decision was made there and then to reinstate LocAle accreditation for this friendly village local.
An even warmer welcome - a roaring open fire - was available at the Sun on the edge of Bentworth. Here there were no less than six ales on offer. Bowman's Swift One and Itchen Valley Hampshire Rose were very drinkable and we regretfully had to leave the Andwell King John, Flack Manor Flack Catcher, Hog's Back TEA and Palmer's Copper Ale for another time.
Last port of call was the Castle of Comfort, Medstead, a very dog-friendly pub with a large stove belting out heat in the cosy right hand bar and three ales available, Courage Best, Greene King IPA and Sharp's Doom Bar. The first two were tried and found to be in good condition.
The Lord Raglan, Smithfield, London (3 April – PH)
Went to the “Smoke” to renew our Privilege Oyster Cards and visit the Museum of London. Found this Greene King pub half-way between the Museum and St. Pauls Cathedral. Quite a decent place with plenty of space with a reasonable menu, however the ham, egg and chips weren’t a patch on that served by the George when we visited in February. As well as the usual GK offerings, they had Sharp’s Doom Bar and Sambrook’s Wandle; had the latter which was quite good and well served BUT it was £4.80 per pint as was the Doom Bar. Next time we’ll look out for a Wetherspoon’s.
Alton (3 April - TD)
The Ivy House had three good offerings in the JDW Real Ale Festival today and all tried with benefit of three thirds for price of a pint, In ascending order of strength there was Adnams Topaz Gold 4%, a golden ale full of fruitiness, Hook Norton Crafty Fox 4.4%, a smooth black IPA and lastly from Californian brewer Jeff Bagby guesting at Wadworth, Asphalt Jungle 4.5%, an easy drinking stout with chocolate and coffee notes. The usual suspects available.
Round the corner at the George I tried a couple of interesting beers one unfamiliar, a rare limited edition 3.2 %, deep brown Vienna Red style beer from Sharp's called Rising Tide. Also had an old favourite Itchen Valley Watercress Best 4.2%. There is a indeed a hint of watercress in the aroma and taste. Irving Type 42, Dark Star Hophead and Sharp's Sea Fury were also on.
Alton (24 March - TD)
The Eight Bells in Church Street is thriving under Phil's hands on management and a lively crowd on Sunday afternoon had as usual five well kept ales to enjoy. Two Flowerpots offerings, Perridge Pale and Bitter, both very drinkable and the Pale very good indeed seem to becoming fixtures due to their popularity. I also tried Goddard's Wight Squirrel a 4.3% rich, russet-coloured full flavoured traditional best bitter brewed with Crystal Malts giving a smooth caramel taste. Sharp's Doom Bar and Suthwyk Old Dick were also available.
A pleasant walk in the spring sunshine through the St. Lawrence churchyard, down Amery Hill and across the community centre car park took me to the garden entrance of the King's Head where enjoyed the easy drinking 3.9% Andwell's Gold Muddler and the regularly available Courage Best.
Alton (14 March - TD)
Pleased to see that the Hop Poles, Alton has reopened (today apparently) under a "temporary" manager and gratifyingly busy . Fuller's London Pride and St. Austell Tribute on and enjoyed a pint of the former.
A rather more interesting bill of fare round the corner in the George where had St. Austell Proper Job and a very good indeed Hammerpot Bottlewreck Porter. Andwells Resolute, Irving Type 42 and the old favourite Sharp's Sea Fury were also available here.
Royal Exchange, Lindford (7 March - TD)
Since 17 February a new bus service, the no.23, supplements the no.13 roughly every two hours running through to Liphook and Haslemere.
The 11.12 service out of Alton drops you right outside the Royal Exchange, Lindford about 10 minutes before opening time, albeit after a rather convoluted journey around Whitehill and Bordon.
The pub is part of the Red Mist group and features local ales including as a house beer, Red Mist, a 3.7% well-balanced bitter sold throughout the group and which has 20p from each sale donated to local good causes. Also available was Hog's Back England's Glory, a 4.4% dark golden ale with a quite strong malt taste for the style - very flavoursome. Hog's Back TEA is also usually on but we were between casks. The very good food was also sampled.
The bus back to Alton goes from over the road at 14.43 and town residents should be prepared for another round trip of Bordon before heading home along the A325 and B3004. This very useful route takes in East Hampshire branch area pubs in East Worldham, Kingsley, Liphook and Grayshott and also looks a practicable way of getting to Headley and Hammer Vale.
I hope to produce a complete report on the route's reach for a future Worts & Ale.
Forest Inn, Holt Pound (5 March – PH)
Called in to deliver Magazines and have a spot of lunch. Had a very nice steak and chips, washed down with a rather good Greene King Abbot Ale (the only beer on – was waiting for the IPA to be delivered). New Manager (Jason) very interested in CAMRA and is a potential recruit. He told us that his sales of cask beers was increasing and if they got to a (unspecified) point he would get a third pump and a free choice of beer.
Queen's Head, Holybourne (26 February - TD)
Took advantage of the balmy afternoon sunshine for a walk to the Queen's Head, Holybourne for Happy Hour, which actually runs between 4.30 and 6 pm Monday to Friday offering cask ale full pints reduced from £3.50 to £3.
Tried all three ales on - the permanent Hardys & Hansons Olde Trip, the Triple fff guest currently Moondance, and the third guest Hog's Back TEA. All very drinkable, the TEA particularly so, and the garden had even been opened because of the unseasonably warm weather.
George, Alton (19 February-PH)
Called in for a spot of lunch whilst doing a Pubzilla up-date. Had an excellent pint of Sharp’s Sea Fury, then got stuck in to a first-class sirloin steak (with a Stilton sauce over it. Don’t normally like sauces drenched over my food but can’t resist Stilton!). Shirley had ham, egg and chips which she said was also excellent. Ham was a decent thick slice (not the wafer-thin slices purveyed elsewhere).
Had to have another Sea Fury before tackling a three-scoop ice cream sweet. Finally had a coffee and staggered back up the hill.
Was advised that the July beer festival would be “something special” as it would be the last Bristol RE running day.
Selborne Arms, Bentley (19 February - TD)
First of all an important piece of news: after introducing full day opening during the week a few weeks back this has now been put off until Easter when it is expected that full day opening will run on an annual cycle from Easter until after the Zig-Zag Festival held at the beginning of October. Outside that period opening times are 11-3 and 6-11.
Today as usual five ales were on including the regular offerings Bowman Swift One and Ringwood 49er, both very palatable. Also available were Big Smoke Solaris 3.8%, a light golden ale from Surbiton (or perhaps Esher by now), Parkway Cheeky Monkey, 4% a golden ale from Somerset and Hog's Back England's Glory, 4.4% a robust dark golden ale with a good balance of malt and citrus hops. The usual excellent lunchtime menu choices available.
From 1 April the 38 bus route is being cut but Alton dwellers can still make a lunchtime session with the 12.45 bus from the train station arriving in Selborne at 13.13. What will now be the last bus of the day returns at 14.31 from just outside the pub, so an hour and a quarter in the pub. No buses at the weekend.