Date: 1 June 2011 Absent Friends, Welcome Visitor

Sampled by:


With TM resting before the big Berlin trip and MG showing no interest in biking this year, Mengo numbers were down to four. The train took the strain to Bentley from where it was but a short ride to Lower Froyle and our first port of call.

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Anchor Lower Froyle GU34 4NA
After passing a vagrant (or at least someone having a kip) in the bus shelter, the kudos of the area picked up markedly upon arrival at this quiet and opulent pub - you might have thought you were in a leafy suburb of Stuttgart going by the number of silver BMW's and Mercedes in the car park. Fortunately, the pub end was empty and the diners were not put off by the sweaty biker boys. SH then arrived in time for a not unreasonable pint (in both price and quality) before we headed off to the next pub.
Triple fff Alton's Pride 3.8 2.90 3.0 Not at it's absolute best
Triple fff Hallelujah 4.5 3.20 3.5 Bitter but nice

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Hen and Chicken Upper Froyle GU34 4JH
On mention of TM and PC's upcoming Berlin trip, SH entertained us with a story about the Eastern European girls he encountered on a works trip there shortly after the wall came down - waiting on corners dressed in fur and with beaver on the menu. The story went down well, as did the beer.
Hall & Woodhouse Badger 4.0 3.05 3.5 Excellent bitter
Hall & woodhouse Firkin Fox 4.3 3.30 3.0 Caramel aftertaste
Hall & Woodhouse Tanglefoot 4.9 3.30 - Not tried, even by FN
King & Barnes Sussex 3.5 3.05 - Not worth the effort

The greatest distance between two pubs this evening provided plenty of opportunity for PV and KOC to cloud gaze as the sun set on this pleasant evening. There was ever changing shades of blue and pink on display.

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Queens Head Holybourne GU34 4EG
After the typical greeting from a couple of locals having a fag outside on entering we were more pleasantly welcomed by the landlady. Whilst we were enjoying the Cornish beers available, Anna called by and we had an enlightening chat about Greene King and the company tie. Seems GK are seeing the light and giving their tenants more autonomy in sourcing local beers.
Greene King IPA 3.8 3.00 - Neither North nor South
Hardy & Hansons Olde Trip 4.3 3.20 - A pub favourite but not ours
St Austell Tribute 4.2 3.20 4.0 In stunning nick
Skinner's Betty Stogs 4.0 3.20 4.0 As was this

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Eight Bells Alton GU34 2DA
Phil and his pals were crowding the bar but they did not totally obscure the barmaid displaying her lower back tattoos. The beers available weren't bad either with the two Flowerpots beers going down particularly well. Phil confirmed his beer festival would again take place on the weekend after the August Bank Holiday.
Ballards Best Bitter 4.2 3.00 4.0 Phil's favourite
Flowerpots Bitter 3.8 2.90 4.0 Enjoyed by all
Flowerpots Goodens Gold 4.8 3.10 4.0 Lovely golden beer
Bowman Swift One 3.8 2.90 4.0 Martin's flagship beer
Sharp's Doom Bar 4.0 2.90 - Surprisingly not tried

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Railway Arms Alton GU34 2RB
Not only did Sally join us but she was just as adroit as talking bollocks as we were. One of the guest beers, Dark Star Saison, carried the instruction to staff on the back of the pump clip - 'tell them it is a copy of a Belgium wheat beer and is meant to be cloudy'
Triple fff Alton's Pride 3.8 2.70 4.0 ROC could at last relax
Triple fff Moondance 4.2 2.80 - Not tried
Triple fff Pressed Rat 3.8 2.70 - No mild takers tonight
Triple fff Hallelujah 4.5 2.90 - Already tried
Surrey Hills Gilt Complex 4.6 2.90 4.0 Has the SH taste
Dark Star Saison 4.5 2.90 4.0 Ah, Dark Star

Then down the station for the last train home. SH must try and grasp the importance of the door lights when he attempts to get off or he will end up cycling home from Aldershot.