13 th June Midweek crawl - ‘ beers by the seaside’ ( or beers in the pub in the rain).

Tuesday 3 September 2019

13 th June Midweek crawl - ‘ beers by the seaside’ ( or beers in the pub in the rain).

This was the first mid week crawl that I had organised for South Devon CAMRA since becoming branch secretary a few weeks before. Bob, our Chairman and I had been discussing different venues for the mid week crawls and he suggested I devise one to visit some of the pubs in Babbacombe and St Marychurch. As most of these are accessible by the 22 bus from Paignton or Dawlish via Torquay, this looked like a good plan. It was also a good chance to get some scores on Whatpub .I did a couple of exploratory trips myself and came up with a suggested route which was to begin in The Hole in the Wall in Torquay and travel up to Babbacombe from the nearby harbour bus stop. Everything looked good so the trip was advertised in What’s Brewing and on the branch website. Snag no 1 came with the weather, particularly the good old jet stream which plonked a load of rain across the area on the appointed day. Snag no 2 was my late realisation that the proposed starting pub didn’t open until well after my advertised start time, but I averted disaster by emailing three of the known participants the night before. In the end three of us met in Yates in Torquay and so it was that the intrepid party comprising Ian the Vice Chairman and treasurer, Andrew our magazine editor and myself the Branch secretary set off for Babbacombe. As we had missed our first ale stop we decided to stop at The Kents in Wellswood which was open and sampled a half of Camerons Old Seadog brown ale. Here we were joined by Bob, who had caught the next bus up from Torquay harbour and then we left to catch the 22 bus to Babbacombe. We decided to visit the ‘ town’ pubs first getting off at the stop nearest to St Marychurch and walking up to Molloy’s where we sampled Platform 5 ‘s APA at 4.6% and Coaster , a blonde ale at 4%. Both were in fair condition and the pub staff were helpful and friendly so we moved on through The Precinct (aka Fore St) to The Dolphin Inn which looked smart and neat when we entered. Here we sampled halves of Dartmoor Best, which isn’t often seen in this part of the area and which proved to be in excellent condition. After The Dolphin we walked up to see Dave at the Crown and Sceptre. Here the beers were of the usual superb quality particularly the Butcombe Gold sampled by the author which was very clear and fresh tasting. After this we retraced our steps to the Snooty Fox, a large pub opposite the churchyard in St Marychurch. We sampled two beers here, one from the 3D brewery, and a light stout from Hunters. We were very pleased with the condition of both of these beers. By then the weather had cleared a bit so we walked down to Babbacombe Downs and visited the Buccaneer (St Austell) for halves of HSD, another rarity in this part of the South West. Then on to the Babbacombe Inn for Bay’s Summertime and Dartmoor Legend we sampled the Summertime and Legend, both in good condition. After The Buccaneer we adjourned to The Dog and Duck. Unfortunately the Purity UBU was going off but the landlord refunded us without hesitation and we left with a good impression. After this we decided to return to Torquay and the Hole in the Wall, which was now open. Timothy Taylors Landlord and proved to be a very satisfactory end to the day.