Pubs in Spalding, Pinchbeck and Quadring in new Good Beer Guide

Landlord Phil Britten at the Duke of York, Gosberton Risegate. Photo: SG2909115-
Landlord Phil Britten at the Duke of York, Gosberton Risegate. Photo: SG2909115-
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Pubs Officer sounds like the dream job for many, especially as it involves drinking real ale.

Pubs Officer sounds like the dream job for many, especially as it involves drinking real ale.

For Malcolm Phillips (who holds that title) and his fellow real ale enthusiasts in the Fenland branch of CAMRA, drinking real ale is all in a day’s work when it comes to keeping up good standards in the district’s pubs.

The local CAMRA members are responsible for coming up with a list of pubs they think are suitable for listing in that beer guide classic, CAMRA’s Good Beer Guide.

That work has been completed for this year and the 2017 guide is now out, containing the names of around eight pubs in this district.

These include pubs, such as The Duke of York at Gosberton Risegate, that have been listed previously, as well as newcomers, such as Ye Olde Red Lion at Bicker.

Malcolm explains: “We do have to try and rotate pubs otherwise you would get some pubs that would always be in the guide and some equally good that would never get in.

“It’s subjective because everybody has their own idea of what a good beer is, but what we are looking for is quality, and that very much depends on the landlord’s ability to keep good beer.

“The landlord is key, much more so than with keg lagers, which are more forgiving. With real ale there is an art to keeping beer in really good condition.”

And the local pub landlords who can congratulate themselves on meeting the high standard demanded by the CAMRA testers are, in addition to The Duke of York and Ye Olde Red Lion, the Ivy Wall and Prior’s Oven in Spalding; The Ship Inn at Fosdyke; The Hare & Hounds at Haconby; The Bull Inn at Pinchbeck; and The White Hart in Quadring, a pub that is being listed again after a couple of years’ break.

The testers had 200 real ale pubs within their branch area to choose from, with individual members making visits to score the beer before putting forward suggestions.

The scoring doesn’t end with the beer though, as a pub’s ambience and friendly, community spirit could just tip the scales in its favour to ensure that important listing.

And, of course, a welcoming landlord or landlady is a pub requisite.