Fenman and Friend Take The Real Ale Trail Bus
Fenman and friend took to the omnibus recently on the Shropshire Real Ale Trail. Having purchased their tickets (£15 ea) in advance they made their way to the Bricklayers Arms in Copthorne, a suburb of Shrewsbury.
One of the 6 buses on the trail was waiting outside the pub but the pair decided the first call of duty was to sample the Joule’s beer (pronounced jowls’s by the locals, not jewels) and joined the throng in the Brickies. The sign above the bar proclaimed “Joule’s Pale Ales brewed with Pure Shropshire Mineral Water” so the Pale Ale and Blonde were ordered and very refreshing they turned out to be.
By now the next bus on the trail had arrived and 30 or so thirsty ale trailers boarded and off then to the first stop on the route, the Bull at Rodington. Most of the travellers alighted here and a further 30 or so revellers boarded. The next stop was the Ugly Duckling at Long Lane where 3 changing beers accompanied the Doom. Once again most of the passengers got off and another 30 got on. The third stop was the Tiddly at Ellerdine; here Fenman and friend alighted, and along with 30 others made their way to the cosy bar.
The 4 barmaids were geared up for rapid but friendly service and it wasn’t long before Hobsons Best and Evolution, Rowton Starlight, and Wye Valley HPA were dispensed and sampled in one of the small rooms with a warming coal fire. So after a quick wander round this excellent community pub it was time to catch the next bus, out in the showers that had just started. Spirits were not dampened however as the next stop was the Bear at Hodnet, a large black and white Tudor building which has the remains of a bear pit near the bar. Opposite the pub the historic church is famed for its holy grail connections. Back in the Bear, 3 Tuns beers and Rowton were eagerly sampled.
Back outside the Bear to await the next bus whose next stop was the Dickin Arms at Loppington, a 17th century inn and from the window of the pub a rare example of a bull ring can be seen in the middle of the road. Bit of bull theme here. Beers included Salopian Shropshire Gold and Three Tuns XXX. On then to the Red Lion at Bomere Heath another Joule’s house to sample their Blonde and Slumbering Monk. The pub was once a part of the extensive local estate of the Shrewsbury & Wem Brewery. The packed (once again) bus returned to the Bricklayers Arms to disgorge its happy passengers and so Fenman and friend weaved their way into town. A later sortie saw the two visit the Prince of Wales where Lemon Dream and Hobsons Mild hit exactly the right spot whilst sat out watching the crown green bowlers enjoying an end or two. Bliss !!