Last night, we attempted a mid-week visit to the pub, and made a bee-line for one very close to our house which has a relaxed atmosphere and excellent St Austell Proper Job. Usually.
We walked in out of the rain and found an empty bar. The landlady greeted us with almost unhinged glee: customers!
Our faces fell. The Proper Job pumpclip was turned round. “Is that off, then?” asked Boak, knowing what the answer would be.
“Yes,” said the landlady, “but we’ve got this Cornish ale on as well.” (With flourish.)
It was, of course, from one of the Cornish breweries we don’t mention — one whose beers always disappoint; a purveyor of bland, sweet, often nasty-tasting ales usually found skunking next to the wooden swords and heritage oven gloves in ornamental garden gift shops.
She stared at us, poised to pull two pints. There was a silence. “We’re not fans,” said Boak eventually.
The landlady looked crushed, as if we’d passed judgement not only the beer but on her business. On her. We felt like arseholes.
We didn’t just want to walk out so ended up with bottles of Estrella Damm, the least worst option, which we polished off as quickly as possible before aborting the mission and heading home.
What else could we do?