FIRST VISIT: SUNDAY 25 MAY 2014
I’ve visited the Salutation Inn (affectionately known as the Sally) once before. August 2013. I’m not even sure how I discovered that the place existed. It probably involved a click and run job on the CAMRA Gloucestershire website. But discover it I did and I am glad that I discovered it.
A tweet sent today alerted me to the fact that I’d just missed a Kernel beer that was being poured from the recently installed ‘craft keg’ tap. It’s always a bummer when you miss a Kernel but it had been replaced by Gloucester Brewery’s Chinook so it wasn’t exactly a disaster. When we pulled up there was a group of folk sitting outside the entrance door – I’m pretty sure they were the same folk who occupied that position last August, which is nice.
When you get through the main entrance you have a choice to make. The best choice if you are a newcomer is to take the right hand door as that is the door that takes you into the room that houses the main bar – a bar that’s stocked with five reals ales and eight real ciders. There are other keg offerings but the only one that’ll grab the majority of beer geeks is the aforementioned craft tap. The bottle selection is relatively modest in size (a dozen or so) but hosts some great beers from the likes of Arbor and Bristol Beer Factory and Thornbridge (Imperial Raspberry Stout).
The Sally is a great community pub. On Mondays the guest chefs (a couple of locals) whip up a storm in the kitchen by creating such culinary delights as slow roasted pig’s head and lamb’s heart & red pepper goulash. The last Tuesday of each month is Ham from Home where folk bring and share and swap food that they’ve created in their own homes. There’s also regular games nights and meet the brewer evenings. And the organise regular away days to breweries and cider farms. It’s a great place for a one off visit but I’m sure if you made repeat visits you would be suitably rewarded.
As it was the Gloucester Chinook that had brought me here I decided it should be my opening choice. I’d had a couple of pints of it on Friday in the Bristol’s Seven Stars but that was on cask so it was good to have the opportunity to try it from the keg. It could’ve done with a little bit more fizz but it was still a good tasting beer. Is the keg version as good as the cask version? Hmmm… perhaps but I need to conduct more research to be certain. The sun was shining so we took our drinks outside. The garden is a decent size and has six big picnic benches dotted around – they are well enough spaced that if you want some space to discuss private matters you’ll be able to do so without letting the other occupants of the garden know you are plotting the downfall of the civilised world or that your fav TV prog is Britain’s Got Talent. The garden is a lovely spot to pass some time. When my pint was dead I returned to the bar and bought a bottle of Arbor’s Greenhorn Rising, which is a beer that I’d only previously had on cask so it was good try it from the bottle – it was as good as hoped. The Greenhorn went down nice and quick. I was out of beer. I was out of cash. During my previous trip to the bar I’d noticed a card machine by the till so it was apparent that being devoid cash was not too much of an obstacle to securing another beer. But I only really like to use plastic in big and shiny metropolitan cities or in places where I’ve witnessed other folk go cashless. So, with reluctance, I decided to depart. I will return. And when I do I’ll make sure I have a big pile F-‘oldin’ Money.
If I lived local I would be very happy to call the Sally my local but as it is roughly an hour’s drive away it will have to remain an occasional treat.