One of the few things to shout about in 2020 was the opening of a new Taproom in our home town, Stourport-on-Severn. We've been with it through the lock downs, the sitting outside in December with bowls of Vegetable Chili and the shared hope for better days, now just around the corner.
|An unassuming exterior...|
|... leads to a suntrap Terrace. Right Hand table booked for my Son.|
I must admit that I was a little sceptical as to whether it would be a success, but this worry was completely unfounded. One of the main reasons for this, is the permanence on tap of the wares from a new local brewery, Nothing Bound.
There's something about their beers that has captured the imagination of the town. The bar is always full. Pre-booking is advised. Even then, on some evenings, we have exceeded our allotted 2 hour window and politely asked to vacate to allow the next shift to take over.
Importantly, a shared love of beer has developed between myself and my 23 year old son. After many sessions, he has developed a theory that these Craft IPA's contain something that is sending middle aged men loopy but not affecting his age group. To be fair, today's youth have grown up on the plus 5%'ers. We cut our teeth on Banks Bitter.
His observations include previous law abiding middle aged citizens running away without settling the bill. The night we ended up with all the left overs from Pat's chippy, without paying. And a story about a friend of a friend who required help being put to bed, following an incident that cannot ever be mentioned.
It didn't take long for us to realise that the brewery had a tap room - which despite a systematic social media campaign from yours truly to include Bank Holidays in their opening times, only opens on a Saturday. Two months after the release of semi lockdown, three of us have a spare Saturday to make the pilgrimage. A walk was fashioned from the metropolis to Chapel Farm, Heightington
The walk was better than expected. Troops motivated with hot sausage rolls, we meet at the bridge and head on up (ever up) through Arley Woods, wild flower meadows and the odd encounter with beasts of the field.
|Through Arley Woods|
|Sheep that were bothering us|
Three miles uphill is about the correct distance that refreshments are required.
The brewery is hosted in a barn at Chapel House Farm. Indoor seating can be booked, but when the sun is shining, there's few places better than sitting outside on long benches, with a beer menu to work through.
|The Brewery Tap Room|
|The Untappd race is on....|
Naturally, we started at the top of the menu. Quiet Spring is a brand new beer. Checking Untappd, I looked at the details and realised that worldwide Check Ins were zero. This was a chance for a unique record. Photos were arranged. The text was written and I announced to the table, my record breaking feat.
Only for the head brewer to overhear and say "the bloke on that table has beat you to it".
A very pleasant couple of hours were spent, trying the other two pales/ipas and watching the place fill to capacity.
The word is out and its great to see a success story. If the news spreads to Kidderminster, they will need a bigger barn.
A wrench to tear ourselves away, even if the best views were waiting for us.
|Four pints and I was ready to challenge the Romantic Poets|
Eagled eyed viewers will have noted that the route stops abruptly at the Dog in Dunley.
Lola, the little dog in the first walking picture, was getting tired - so we called emergency services for rescue.
No one wants a dog to have to suffer.