The Stapleton Tavern at the foot of Crouch Hill used to be The Larrick. Not a pub I’d ventured into, until it’s name change, but it’s quite a nice establishment now. A mix of characters, boxing on the telly, a massive backroom (for eating) and cool retro furnishings. On a Saturday night, my team even managed to find a table to sit all 8 of us.
Aspalls (Draught) seemed to be the cider option here. Unfortunately, without the nice gentile, but manly, Apsall’s glass. I always have a mixed feeling when I see Aspall’s, part excitement and part fear, for I know that although the label says 5.5%, this Suffolk cyder is cyder with a capital Y.
No, I don’t really know what that means either, except that any cyder spelt with a Y is serious stuff. Old skool. And I don’t mean Spandau Ballet old, I’m talking 1728 old skool. Well, this particular one was launched as a mainstream cider in 2003 (off the back of the Magner’s-headed cider revolution), and it’s a fairly full flavoured, bittersweet cider/cyder. Standing boldly in the no-man’s land between mainstream and scrumpy, Aspall’s feels heavier on the gob, (yes, that’s a cidellier phrase), than other mainstream ciders, but still refreshing, until you realise that for every pint drunk, you lose an hour of your life. You don’t realise this until the next morning. Standing in a field.
So after a brief dabble with Aspalls, I ruefully return to the standard, reliable ciders available. And so ends an enjoyable flirtation with a headstrong, classy cider, that I know, if pursued, would come to nothing but ruin.
Saved by the bell, when last orders was called.