GROVES COMPANY INN – SWINDON

Groves Company Inn
Fleet Street
Swindon
SN1 1RQ

SEVENTH VISIT: SATURDAY 4 OCTOBER 2014

Was just walking past so decided to pop in and see if they were selling Devil’s Backbone IPA and the new BrewDog lager. There was no BrewDog but the Devil’s Backbone had pride of place in the middle of one of the keg fonts. As I’d gone to all the trouble of going into the pub I thought it would be a bit daft to leave without having a pint. The obvious choice was a pint of the DBIPA. I had a pint of the DBIPA. It was good but it didn’t seem as good as it did at the Dockle on Wednesday. I will undertake further research at some point in the not too distant future.

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SIXTH VISIT: SUNDAY 14 SEPTEMBER 2014

On the train back to Swindon I’d decided that I’d visit a Spoons and have a can of Bengali… actually, I’d decided that I’d visit a Spoons and have two cans of Bengali. But before ordering my cans I had a quick look at the pumps to see if there was anything that piqued my interest. Nope. Two cans of Bengali it was. The bartender twice referred to me as ‘my love’. It didn’t actually annoy me but I did find it odd that a woman half my age was calling me such things. Perhaps I reminded her of her Granddad. She asked if I wanted her to pour them. I replied that there was no need. She left both cans unopened. Nice. One for the pub and one for the garden when I got back home.

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FIFTH VISIT: SATURDAY 6 SEPTEMBER 2014

Was just walking past and it seemed a bit rude to not pop in for a can of Bengali.

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FOURTH VISIT: THURSDAY 21 AUGUST 2014

We’d been on an early morning run to the tip to dispose of some grass and hedge clippings then popped into town to score some tickets for the Great Dorset Steam Fair and decided we may as well have a Spoons breakfast. I hadn’t planned to get a pint – I was more than happy with just a decaf – but when I spied a beer from a visiting dignitary my fate was sealed. We sat a table near to an elderly gentleman who was dressed in a suit and was drinking a glass of white wine while doing a crossword – how says Spoons are only full of riff-raff? My beer was a pint of Black IPA which was brewed at Caledonia by somebody from Barley Brown’s who are based in Baker City, Oregon, USA – never heard of them. It wasn’t great. It tasted more like a broon ale than a BIPA. It tasted pretty much like everything that comes out of Caledonia. Oh well, never mind, at least the yolks of my fried eggs were runny.

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THIRD VISIT: FRIDAY 6 JUNE 2014

I had to head into town to get a bus out of town so I decided to stop off for a can of Bengali Tiger. The initial plan had been to go to Sir Dan’s but as I approached the place I could see that all sorts of sinister characters were occupying the outdoor area, so I kept walking. The clientele in the Groves wasn’t much better. As I sat drinking my beer I couldn’t help feeling that I was in a pub that was full old age pensioners who looked like they would beat you up if you happened to announce that John Terry is a bit shit. I kept quiet and left unscathed.

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SECOND VISIT: THURSDAY 3 APRIL 2014

The quest for Yeastie Boys…

I’d been in earlier in the day and found the bar devoid of Yeastie offerings. I left without buying anything. A few hours had passed since that visit so thought I’d give it another. Nope. Still no Yeastie. And there wasn’t any beers from the visiting dignitaries. I decided to go for a pint of Adnams Red Ale. Stupid boy. I don’t like red ales. I’m sure this is a well made beer but it’s still a red ale. When will I learn. Probably never.

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FIRST VISIT: SATURDAY 8 FEBRUARY 2014

One of the more modern styled Wetherspoons: light wood and bright lights. You can usually find a decent pint of beer in here but occasionally it is home to nothing but Greene King.

I was in town to do a bit of boring grown-up shopping – a new shower hose and some hoover bags – and decided to pop into the Groves for a burger and a beer. I walked the length of the bar scanning the pump clips and was just about to exit stage left when I arrived at the last pump which housed a clip for one of Spoons’ USA offerings: California Session IPA (4.8%) brewed by Three Weavers & Golden Road at Bank’s. That’d do. California Session IPA is a good thirst quenching ale with a nice blast of peach blossom and citrus upfront but I did find something slightly off-putting in the finish that I couldn’t quite place. But it went down easily enough and I wouldn’t be upset if I had to drink it again

Within 30 minutes I’d entered the pub and scooped and ale and munched a burger and departed. If you ever find yourself in Swindon town centre and need a beer and a bite to eat but you have a limited time budget then the Groves is very probably your best bet.