Sunday 11 February 2024

Finally visiting Sarah

I'd waited a long time for this. It was over thirty years ago that I first drank Sarah Hughes Original Dark Ruby Mild. I think they've dropped the "Original" from the name since then, but as I now know the locals simply call it "Ruby".

I have an 1990 programme from Farnham Beerex where I can see as a teenage beer bore I ticked it off:

I doubt I'd had it before then, and they'd only started brewing it a few years earlier in '87 anyway. I'm still a fan of the beer to this day and if I see it at a beer festival I'll drink it. I'd never actually got round to visiting the pub it's brewed in though. Over the years I have thought about it a few times and even looked in to accommodation but never actually pulled my finger out and made the trip. So when I saw work was taking me to Wolverhampton it was in fact to Sedgley that my thoughts turned. It's not blessed with a lot of accommodation so it's in Dudley that I ended up, a bus ride from my ultimate goal. 

I had another stop before that though. Pubs have a depressing tendency to close if not "spontaneously" combust so I made sure the route to my hotel took the past Ma Pardoes (The Old Swan) in Netherton. This is one of the few pubs that still brewed its own beer when CAMRA was formed and cask beer was saved. It has had hard times recently so really it's the duty of anyone in the area to call in. It's a cracking pub too.

I had a pint of the Original, a beer of modest strength, which was for the best really as I was driving and was on a mission for the rest of the evening. 

Once I got to my hotel room I checked the bus times and was off out in minutes as one was on its way. This did mean I got to the Beacon Hotel without eating but did that stop me charging in for a pint? Oh no!

The building is quite unassuming from the front and advertises wines and spirits. Wonderful interior though, with a little serving hatch in the room I ended was in. 

After my first pint of Ruby I nipped across the road to the chippy. The beer is 6% so best not drunk on an empty stomach. Then it was back for more. After finally getting there I wasn't stopping at one! It's great pub with great beer. More people were drinking Ruby than anything else as well despite the strength.

The closest I got the brewery was the brew house door so I really need to get planning another visit, and not wait so long next time!