Sometimes you have to take desperate measures. The fact I'd never had the much acclaimed Batham's Bitter was playing on my mind. There was only one thing for it. I would have to go to the Midlands.
Being a cultural wasteland there's normally no reason to go there, so I'd never found a way of matching up finding the beer with doing something else. But it did occur to me that with a little side trip I could change the Midlands from the annoying bit when heading north to a welcome, and brief, break. So my next journey to the Lake District had a detour to Dudley planned into it.
The satnav got me there without any bother and I was finally standing outide the famous Bull and Bladder pub. It's an excellent traditional boozer, with several rooms and two hand pumps on the bar: mild and bitter. Such elegant simplicity. And what a delight it is to be able to just say "a pint of bitter, please". Only £2.60 a pint too.
As to the beer, I'm pleased to say it was good. Surprisingly bitter and surprisingly sweet there was also a little something adding something extra. A little four carbon molecule in fact: diacetyl. Now some would say that diacetyl has no place in beer. But they'd be wrong, in some beers it works. Admittedly it doesn't work in every beer, and in this one there was perhaps a touch too much, but I drank it quite happily and if I hadn't been driving I've had more. Sadly I was though, so with that I was off and heading north again.