Monday, August 09, 2010

Just Beer

Once upon a time pubs were places of tradition and character, places to socialise and forget your woes, places of laughter and a damn good English pint. Alas these days pubs and bars are fickle places, often changing hands, being refurbished or re-branded so they are appealing for the younger drinker. In some respects the traditional pub has been dying a slow death for a good while, many a country pub you pass are boarded up or in disrepair and in the towns and cities many pubs have been bought and turned into shops or living accommodation.

In Newark where I live some pubs have closed and new ones have opened. Most new pubs these days of course need to be versatile to bring the punters in, offering food, entertainment or other facilities to make things pay. If you think the days of traditional English pubs that just serve real ale were being consigned to history, slowly being swallowed up by big pub chains and turned into something else - then think again.

It's not often I get excited about pubs these days, not many really appeal to me in truth. Then suddenly a place comes along that captures my imagination, and that place is called 'Just Beer'.

Four local lovers of real ale have opened 'Just Beer' in town, in the swan and salmon yard near the river. The beauty of Just Beer is that it is a simple affair, no frippery, no neon lights, no advertising boards, no loud music - just a bar, chairs, tables and already a good atmosphere. Just Beer isn't big inside, it's small but that adds to the social aspect because it's conducive to socialising, people aren't sat in different corners staring at each other or being distracted by the television. I've been in several times now with friends and it's just nice to indulge in the increasingly forgotten art of conversation and socialising.

Four beers and and a cider are sold, all from local micro breweries - it's all nice and simple, no baffling array of drinks just quality local beer. When I'd sat in the pub for a while and soaked things in it all made sense and certainly is a refreshing change to Newark's pub scene.

Without wanting to go on about things it's fair to say I know a good pint, years of drinking the stuff for a start and working in a brewery for a good few years gift you with knowing good beer from bad and the beer in 'Just Beer' has been excellent. I'm not a real ale sycophant, I like it sure but I'll never be a real ale purist (I do like a lager when it's hot), that said I will definitely be spending more time in Just Beer and I can only wish it well for the future and commend the lads down there for doing such a great job with conviction and enthusiasm.

You can read more about 'Just Beer' - Here.

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