Pub of the month, November 2015 – The Shambles, Lutterworth

Not many trips out this month, but most of them were to quality establishments. Most, but not all. A trip to the Toby carvery earlier this month was a bit of a disaster, which ended with a vow not to return for quite a while.

There were no ales on. Three pumps. No ales. An utter travesty. It took ages to get served, and the roast beef in the baguette was poor, sinewy and fatty.

Anyway, on to the good pubs. The month began with another trip to the Marquis Wellington, before a night of laughter with Bill Bailey. Another chicken and pulled ham pie and a tasty X Anniversary ale, but still not enough chips and peas with the pie!

IMG_3855

Next up we have the Swan, an old haunt that I returned to after a brief (in the context of the 20 years I’ve been going there) hiatus.

The Swan is all about the beer. The ale selection remains undiminished after all these years. In fact it has increased, with a new craft range and loads of bottles to choose from. Also available are several “proper” ciders and perries, and a great selection of very good single malts.

IMG_3896

So, we come to our winner, The Shambles in Lutterworth. A wintry day with a fast evaporating dusting of snow, and we were out for a walk in the area. The plan was to do a walk, pop in for some lunch, and then go out for another walk. This changed when we got to the pub. The pub was nice and warm. Outside it was cold.

This year it was voted community pub of the year for Marston’s. A former abattoir and butchers, it is the oldest timber-framed building in Lutterworth. It has a nice rustic charm to it. The food was great too, this BBQ chicken baguette was stuffed with chicken and cheese and a nice BBQ sauce:-

IMG_3902

A nice pint of Colonel’s Whiskers from Batemans too, a classic black & tan style of beer, nutty, creamy, with a hint of liquorice.

A worthy winner of pub of the month!

Beer of the month, November 2015 – Renegade Brewery West Coast Pale Ale

Only four trips out this month, so unsurprisingly, the contenders for beer of the month are all bottles sampled at home.

First up we have Oyster Ale by Mersea Island Brewery:-

IMG_3910

This is a lovely slice of excellence from Essex. Hops, dark malts, and smoothness all combine to make a very nice winter pint.

Next we come to Silver Dollar by Tyne Bank Brewery, which was picked up during a trip to Booths in Settle:-

IMG_3899

I said a hop, hop, hop – a good grapefruit hit here and better than many IPAs. Very good indeed.

Next up we have Revisionist Rye Pale Ale which is made for Tesco by Marston’s:-

IMG_3891

What’s wrong with this picture? There is no way on this earth that this is a pale but it is super hoppy, which is why it appears in this list. I am a total hop head if you’ve not worked that out yet.

And so we come to our winner, this West Coast Pale Ale from Renegade Brewery

IMG_3912

This was the best one from the Good Food show. Luckily I bought a case of all of their beers. A super hop hammer hit on this one #hophammertime – definitely one for hop heads and a worthy winner!