In Which We Are Daft

We went to Gloucester on Saturday, barely planning the trip at all, choosing where to go with a map and a train timetable over our morning tea.

On the way, crammed onto a train full of rugby fans, we did what we often do in these situations: checked Martin’s blog, as a kind of Good Beer Guide by proxy, with photos and commentary. Though beer wasn’t the primary purpose of the trip (under-the-weather-ness, lingering post-holiday booze exhaustion) we made a mental note of his description of the Gloucester Brewery tap:

Gloucester Brewery’s newish Tank is a very decent chunk of modern beer bar, a bit like the Twisted Barrel tap but with burgers…. Full marks to the cheery and engaging staff, who seemed pleased to serve me. Perhaps because of their enthusiasm, they were selling a lot of beer. Some upholstered bench seating makes it feel decently pubby, though I was confined to the high tables…. A 1981 soundtrack of “Romeo and Juliet” and “Bette Davis Eyes” and good cheapish burger compensated for an inability to discern any interesting banter among the young professionals.

Hours later — the other side of a cathedral, a cream tea, a wool shop, and an antiques centre, we found ourselves at the docks confronted by a Gloucester Brewery branded van. Nosing around we found a taproom with two bars, a shop, and a fiercely flaming wood burner. “This must be it,” we said, not thinking to check, but slightly bemused by the disconnect between the reality and Martin’s prose.  This place was cold, dark, quiet, and basic, though not at all unpleasant — a bit like drinking in a forest hut or mountain refuge.

We had a couple of rounds of beer that ranged from passable (Wit, session IPA) to impressive (porter, a brilliant session-strength saison) against a backdrop of echoing Beatlesque pop-rock and 1990s indie rock.

A family (parents, teenage daughter) came, sat sullenly for an hour, and left; they were replaced by a group of Germans in state-of-the-art winter-wear, which we suspect they were glad of. The staff labelled bottles, whistled merrily, danced, and occasionally prodded the fire.

We were the last to leave, after the posted closing time of 5pm, when we wandered towards the unmistakable sounds of Saturday night reaching simmering point across the water.

And that’s where we found Tank, exactly as described by Martin, barely two minutes away.

What a pair of idiots we are.

(But do you know what? The beer was better at the taproom proper.)

6 replies on “In Which We Are Daft”

Don’t feel daft, I was equally confused. Tank doesn’t even have its own marker on WhatPub, and I struggled to find it amongst all those new bars at the docks. Presume you were in Brewhouse & Kitchen, which I really wish I’d done by mistake now it’s in the Beer Guide and I need to go back. Hope you popped in the Sam Smiths to admire Humphrey’s generous refurb !

“Presume you were in Brewhouse & Kitchen”

No, we were in the *actual* brewery taproom, which is at the brewery, whereas the brewery tap is only *near* the brewery.

Long ago – well, a few years ago – what is now Tank was the brewery. The building next door became available and they decided to buy it and open a bar. For reasons I’m not clear on, but which probably involved deep pockets, Wetherspoons got the building instead, so the Brewery moved over the water so the original building could become the pub. Things would be so much better if Gloucester Brewery had prevailed!
I hope whilst you were in our fair city you visited the Pelican – now that’s a proper pubby pub and the fact that it has never won CAMRA’s PotY is a travesty!

Darrel – thanks, interesting background.

We didn’t make it to the Pelican this time but will put it top of the list for our next trip.

The Brewery isn’t really a pub, it only opens at odd times and for specific events. B&K is on the same side of the canal as Tank, but the opposite side of the road on the quay side.

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