St Thomas Street


Adventure golf is thirsty work and especially so when you emerge victorious. Admittedly I was only victorious thanks to a single shot and I was a disappointing seven over par but I was still the Champion. Although, arguably, my girlfriend was the true Champion as she got a hole in one at the 19th hole and therefore gets her next game for free.

Today, once again, the majority of the Swan’s clientele were elderly people but this time it was mostly couples tucking into plates of deep fried food. Perhaps Thursday afternoons at the Swan is OAP Date Afternoon. The Modo’s Midden has been replaced by a beer that I’ve forgotten and didn’t think was interesting enough to buy. I went for a can of Bengali Tiger. When I was paying my girlfriend plonked a straw in my glass. I decided I may as will sup my beer through the straw – an IPA Day treat.

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If you are one of those folk, like me, who primarily use Twitter to chat about beer I’m sure that you’ll be aware that Spoons have come in for a bit of stick (and defence) over the last few days. It was effectively started when Matt Curtis released THIS blog post and was then advanced when Boak & Bailey composed THIS follow up. As is often the case when someone unleashes a blog post that is mildly controversial, loads of folk decided to wade in with comments . Some folk contributed to the discussion in a positive manner, some just used it as an excuse to fling some thinly veiled insults. But without those blog posts and follow-up rage and fury I very probably wouldn’t have visited a Spoons today.

The Swan is very similar to the majority of Spoons: old fashioned country pub but without the old fashioned country tat. There were quite a few cask handpulls – at least eight – but the majority of them housed boring stuff from the GK stable, Doom brain – only one of them had something that slightly piqued my interest. Sadly, there was no sign of John Kimmich or his beer. I ordered the one beer that had slightly piqued my interest: Modo’s Midden by Brecon – it’s one of a number of beers brewed in honour of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld books and characters. One of things I love about Spoons is the fact that they do Contactless Payments. Contactless makes you feel like you actually do live in the 21st century. It makes so much more sense than handing over a grubby bit of paper and then keeping your hand held out so someone can drop bits of metal into it. The future is now. The future is Spoons! I’ve never read any Pratchett books – although I did once borrow Mort from the library – but I can only assume, and hope, that he delivers far more than Modo’s Midden does. It wasn’t an especially bad beer, just pretty much a nothing beer.

The majority of the Swan’s clientele were elderly gentlemen who looked like their finest days were behind them but they also looked like they didn’t care if their finest days were behind them as long as they had a pint of Abbot in their hand. There were a smattering of folk whose facial expressions and clothing choices suggested that they may still have their best days ahead of them. There were no children – I don’t know if that is a policy of this Spoons.

Modo’s Midden had been vanquished. It was time to order food. I was tempted to go for a burger. Spoons burgers are decent enough. Not up there in the realms of Byron but way better than the Tesco Value shite that some detractors like to claim. I decided to go for a Philly Steak Sandwich: slices of steak, caramelised onions and montjack cheese. As with the burgers it comes with a free drink. Time for a can of Sixpoint. Despite the POS material still being in full affect the Sixpoint stock was pitifully low. I’ve been in Spoons where they’ve had an entire fridge dedicated to craft cans and most have at least a full shelf of Sixpoint. The Swan only had a couple of rows in a fridge that was proudly displaying pristine and welcoming bottles of Punk and Goose Island and Brooklyn Lager. I could only see cans of The Crisp but thankfully there were still a couple of Bengali Tigers lurking at the back. And it was served in the specially commissioned craft glasses, which is something that hasn’t always happened during recent visits to other Spoons. Sadly, the steak sandwich was a bit of a letdown. Fortunately, the Bengali was a good as ever.

With the food and beer despatched I departed. As I left I heard a group of elderly gentleman discussing how different their lives would be if John Kimmich had never existed. I might have misheard. They might have just been chatting about the weather.