The pub crawl got off to a bad start – I turned up at the Plough in Guildford at about 11.10am, and the boys were still waiting outside! The landlord and bar staff were ‘running late’ and hadn’t opened up the pub. However, when he did open the door for us, there were nice pints of Fullers London Pride waiting for us in a proper pub atmosphere. The crawlers present at the start were Mr Badger and myself, Tony and Social Bob from Surrey/Hants Borders, and Keith and Rob from East and Mid Surrey.
Next it was on to the Keystone, ex Cannon, just around the corner from the Plough. It is a very smart pub with leather sofas, trendy décor, healthy meals etc. Again, the pub wasn’t really open but the staff said we could pop in for a drink while we were waiting! The beers on offer were Black Sheep Bitter, St Austells Tribute and Courage Best. The Black Sheep was excellent, others attested that the Tribute was in good nick as well. Keith and Rob seemed very pleased and surprised at the Keystone’s transformation!
Lastly in Guildford we tried the White House by the river. Again a very smart looking place (it has to be refurbished regularly, as it gets flooded every few years) the Fuller’s Chiswick was on good form. It was also serving Pride and ESB, with Jennings Cumberland as a guest ale. There was a lovely view of the river as we sat by the window – far too cold to sit outside, of course.
Bob then decided to leave us, as he was unsure of transport back to Woking. The remainder of us set off by bus for Shalford, where the Victoria awaited. We were pleased to find Triple fff beer there, in good condition.
Next stop was Shere where we visited the White Hart, a Chef n Brewer place with cloudy beer, and the Youngs pub up the hill (can’t remember the pub’s name…the Wellington perhaps? Things were getting hazy by then!
At Abinger Hammer we tried the Abinger, bit touristy but the beer was on good form. At Westcott we tried the Fullers pub and the Crown, both very good. The Compasses at Gomshall was excellent, really good range of beer. For the hard men (like Keith!) there was a concurrent pub crawl in Dorking! But Bill and I wimped out and took the train home.