Sunday Afternoon Drinking Club @ The Saxon®

News 2012

Sun 3 June 2012 - Chippenham Folk Festival for The Queens Diamond Jubilee
Visited the marquee in the park, but most of the singing etc comes from people crawling around the pubs and the one they want to end up in is of course the 3 Crowns! They seem to prefer the tiny back bar so it was necessary to get there early to bag our seats.  Singing starts around 9 or 10 and Gwyn said we had to be there by 6-30 !!  Mind you, Steve did have 11 beers on!

Three Crowns, Chippenham
Arbor 3.6 Full o'beans
Arbor 11.0 Goo Goo G, Joob
Ashley Down 4.4 Best
Bristol Beer Factory 4.4 Sunrise
Blackmere 4.3 Gold
GWB 4.2 Bees Knees
Kelham Island 4.5 Night Rider
Monty's 5.0 Mischief
RCH 3.9 PG Steam
Slaters 4.3 Diamond Jubilee
Wold Top 4.0 Gold













Fri & Sat 1st & 2nd June - Cricketers Beer Festival
Glad to see the pub putting on this event admidst appalling weather.  So we braved the rain too and tried some excellent beers.
Needed more beer tasting notes!


Wed 16 May 2012
We found ourselves in Buckland Newton looking for a model railway shop on a local farm so we stopped for a beer.  Two local beers on.   Tyne Mill, Lyme Gold 4.2%    and Sunny Republic, Beach Blonde 4.2%.  The latter is located at Winterborne Stickland and only started selling its beer in the last couple of weeks.  An excellent refreshing pint so I wish them well.

We were told about the Craft Fair/Goose Fair & Beer Festival on Sun 27 May and decided to go back!  Sadly just a glorified car boot and the beer tent had same beers as in bar plus plastic glasses!


Friday 11 May - The Three Crowns

Three Crowns, Chippenham
Oxfordshire Ales 2.8 Chancellors Revenge
Cotswold Spring 3.8 Ambler
Three Castles 4.1 Spring Daze
Arbor 7.0 Collaboration
Milk Street 5.0 Beer
Box Steam 3.6 Tender Mild
Cotswold Spring 3.9 OSM (Old Sodbury Mild)
Shardlow 4.5 Reverend Eaton











Bank Hol Monday 7 May 2012 - Blandford Georgian Fayre
Kath was attending a craft fair at the church so I spent a few hours sampling beers at The Railway Hotel Beer Festival.  It's not a bad event really.  Good collection of beers and an informative programme.  Burgers etc were not overly expensive.  It's just a shame the pub is what it is, for me at least - no interest in sport!  I tried 5 new beers and then gave up trying to get any conversation out of the young bar staff and went to The Dolphin.


Friday 4 May 2012
We made the trek to the Thornbury Model Railway Exhibition and on our way back went into Rode to see what the Cross Keys was like.  I was surprised to find this now belongs to Butcombe and unlike the old Smiles Brewery Tap in Bristol, this has been tastefully renovated in keeping with its history.  Once the proud Fussell's Cross Keys Brewery who took Silver Medal at Olympia in 1960.  Queen Victoria's magnificent clock is on display in the lounge thanks to Lottery funding.  4 hand pulls give: Butcombe Best, Fullers London Pride, a Cider and their seasonal ale - Mendip Spring 3.8%.  Menu not extensive but not over priced either.  No steaks, but I enjoyed the gammon at £9-95.  Has a nice rear courtyard as a suntrap!  Worth a visit if you are passing that way.


Tue 1 May 2012 - Dolphin, Blandford.
A pleasant evening where I issued Card No. 257 to Landlord Simon who took over when Laurie retired about this time last year. 7 beers on plus a cider.  3 were from their Piddle Brewery tie, plus guests.  I think Piddle beers are in that category of you either like them or hate them.  Like a couple of other breweries I can think of not too far away they have what is to me a distinctive unpleasant sour taste.  Having said that, Silent Slasher 5.1% breaks the mould and is very drinkable.  I was even treated to a Smiles Blonde at 3.7%.  Who is brewing that these days??


Sat 21 April 2012 - The Maltings
After the 2010 session I published our Photo Album as 'The Maltings Years'.  I'm beginning to wish I hadn't because it seems to have jinxed matters.  Sadly I had to miss last year due to the death of our friend Steve in Liverpool and numbers are clearly down this year.  So 'Three Cheers for the Burntwood Jollyboys!'  who are a real do or die crew!


Fri 13 April 2012
On our way to a surprise visit to Liverpool for Kath's Birthday we stop off with Roger & Gwyn for another session at The Three Crowns!
A good selection of ales and after 5 new ones for me the pub moves up to 9th place in my league table with 85 beers.

Three Crowns, Chippenham
Slaters 3.6 Golden Bitter
Itchen Valley 3.6 5 Hops
Devilfish 4.5 Apachi
Arbor 6.0 By Zeus
Saltaire 4.8 Cascadian Black
Milk Street 4.5 Zig Zag
Codrington 4.2 Codger









Sat 31 March 2012
Kath is away so Pad & I visit the Crown at Alvediston for its Beer Festival.  I was surprised that only 6 beers on and together with Tony, Teresa & Roger we were the only people in the bar!  Couple of new beers though, and back to The Cricketers for a few before our Whisky Evening which was just as poorly attended!


Thur 22 March 2012
Met Tony & Teresa at the 6d Brewery.  They have a new beer 'Man in the Wall' 4.2% brewed specially for the new Wetherspoon in Wimborne where it can be purchased for a lot less than the price here!!


Fri 16 March 2012 - Bristol Beer Festival

And 3 more new beers in the 3 Crowns makes total 80 and now equal 10th with the once mighty Market Porter of London Bridge fame!


Sat 3 March 2012 - IT's MY BIRTHDAY!!!


Fri 2 March 2012 - Pub Crawl of Bristol


Thur 1 March 2012 - Three Crowns

Three Crowns, Chippenham
Dark Star 4.1 Partridge
Stonehenge 5.0 Danish Dynamite
Waylands 4.4 Wayland Smithy
Potbelly 4.5 Old Barsteward
Downton 5.8 Chocolate Orange Porter
Otley 5.5 Oxymoron
Box Steam 5.0 Dark & Handsome
Ashley Down 4.4 Best Bitter











Sun 12 Feb ~ Longs Arms, Steeple Ashton

A village not too far from and similar to Lacock with many Tudor buildings.  The pub is old but I couldn't find any history.  4 hand pulls offer: 6X, Henrys IPA, Sharps Cornish and a guest - 3 Castles Barbury Castle 3.9%
We had the 2 course Sunday lunch at £13-95 which was excellent.  Friendly pub mostly given over to eating although it became apparent that it changes with the time of day and who's about.  Sunday afternoon was definately for watching the rugby!  Beer Festival on 14 April - 16 beers in marquee in rear beer garden.
Worth a visit I would think!








We also went chasing The King near Wootton Bassett................

6024 King Edward I approaches Langley Burrell running 50mins late with
the 10:07 Paddington-Bristol, Cathedrals Express.











Sat 11 Feb
Yet another visit to The Three Crowns and thanks to Clive it became the 'Blue Shirt' Launch!!  And finally our 1st group photo of the year in the pub!  Another 5 new beers moves pub into equal 10th place on my beer list. [Total 72 beers]

Three Crowns, Chippenham
3 Castles 4.0 Saxon Archer
Braydon 4.1 Yer Tiz
BBF 4.5 Californian Bitter
Arbor 4.6 Oyster Stout
RCH 4.5 Old Slug Porter
Plain 3.9 The Wife's Bitter
GWB 4.2 Bees Knees
3 Castles 4.5 Try Me!
Cotswold Spring 4.6 Guv'nor













Friday 3 Feb ~ 3 Crowns again!
Still no photos!!  But with 3 more new beers this pub moves up to 12th place in my beer list. [Total 67 beers]

Three Crowns, Chippenham
Braydon 4.0 RWB Royal Wootton Bassett
3 Castles 4.3 Vale Ale
Stroud 4.5 Budding
Box Steam 5.0 Dark & Handsome
Wickwar 5.0 Penny Black Porter
Slaters 4.4 Premium
RCH 3.6 Hewish Mild









Wed 1 February ~ Torquay
Torquay is a lovely place to visit with its own sub-tropical climate, and of course it's where Kathy used to live.  Despite being, or possibly because it is, a tourist trap the pubs are not particularly to my liking.  I think it's true to say most aim for the 'Batchelor Party' market and real ales are thin on the ground.  Kath used to live not far from Torquay's oldest pub, The Hole in the Wall at the bottom of the steps in Park Lane.  Now that was a cosy pub, but today we are at the other end of town visiting Kath's brother Stuart.  His local is The Printers Elbow II, and I think it's worthy of a write up and consequently issued Visiting Card No.252.

In the mid 1980's Eddie Thomas, Landlord of The Printers Elbow in the centre of town (pub lost to re-development some years ago) moved out to Torre to take over The Globe, a Courage house, and promptly renamed it The Printers Elbow II.  Present Landlord Barry Owen and his wife took over the lease in 1987 and for the last 25 years have kept the pub in the original condition it is in today.  It's a classic boozer with Darts & Pool in a large bar where the old 2 room split is still part of the atmosphere.  A walled rear area doubles as outside drinking in the summer and smoking area.  5 hand pulls offer:  Courage Best, Directors, John Smiths, and a guest which they choose to take from local Teignworthy Brewery subject to suiting the taste buds of their regulars.  It's a pub with no food!  Not often you find Courage Best these days, in our parts at least, and this was particularly well kept, a CAMRA 4.  I also sampled Teignworthy Winter Daze 5.4%.  A sample was pulled for me and it was in cracking form despite being the 1st of the session.  Well done Barry, you keep a fine pub, probably one of the best in Torquay.  It's a shame you declined to be in the pictures, but many thanks for your hospitality.

Pub No. 252 ~ The Printers Elbow II








Saturday 28 January ~ Salisbury Winterfest
Roger, Gwyn and I went to stay with Tony & Teresa at 6d Handley and we all went to Salisbury on the bus for £5-30 each return!
This is a small CAMRA festival which started 15 years ago in the Scots Lane Social Club to showcase 'Winter' ales.  The mix of Social Club, small number of beers, and generally dark ales never appealed to me, and of course the main festival was always the June one in the old church!  So I never did the WinterFest and I thought the one in the church (Now Salisbury Arts Centre - in Bedwin St) ceased some years ago.  Now I know why I didn't bother with the WinterFest, but luckily I found a flyer for the Church Fest 16 June, and it says it is the 32nd, so I've missed a few!!

We met up with NW Wilts CAMRA boys and when the festival started saving beers for the evening we left and went on a pub crawl and took visiting New Zealanders Leonie & Martin with us!  Someone took a group photo for us in The Anchor & Hope, but sadly managed to blur the shot!  Sorry guys!  I wasn't wearing my glasses when I checked!