Mid Week Socials

Branch Midweek Socials

Our Mid Week Socials have been variously described by regulars and visitors alike as ‘See Devon by Bus’, ‘Last of the Summer Wine’ and ‘Escape to the Country’. All these descriptions have some semblance of truth but these monthly rambles to the far-flung corners of our branch have provided branch member regulars and friends from neighbouring branches with a wonderful days entertainment.

The itinerary is planned in advance and the day starts with us all meeting at a particular bus station to begin our magical mystery tour to some of the finest pubs in in South Devon. All of the journeys are by public transport and include the occasional train journey when we venture off ‘our patch.’ For those of us who qualify the bus pass is very much to the fore and we enjoy reminding our younger journeymen of the £ we are saving. As you can imagine this is much appreciated.

Each month, usually a Wednesday around the middle of the month, we choose an area and a range of pubs to grace with our company. Don’t worry about the exact date as we always publish the social in What’s Brewing and on this website's Diary. Sometimes we concentrate on a town and other times, especially in the summer months we visit areas such as the Teign Valley, the South Hams and other idyllic areas of our beautiful county. (Please see the article below from the latest News & Brews about one of our days out this summer.)

We are fairly well known to the landlords and receive a warm welcome; sometimes a bowl of chips and a great deal of banter ensues.

The memories of these wonderful days revolve around the countryside, the great pubs, and landlords and of course the beer. We all remember to score the beers don’t we? The abiding memory is however of the fun we all have and many a time I have arrived home and promptly gone to sleep in the chair!

Please come and join us and we especially welcome our friends from other branches who will be made to feel just one of the gang.

Article from Autumn 2017 News & Brews

Mid Summer Madness

For this ride around the county we all met in Exeter and caught our bus to the Sandy Park Inn at Chagford, which has recently reopened with new owners. The 17th century pub is delightful with its thatched roof and period interior and we all sat round a large table in a small snug supping Otter Bitter, Dartmoor IPA and Proper Job. All of the beers were in good order.

We then discussed the forthcoming general election, yes this was June, and we decided to run a sweepstake on the size of the assumed Tory majority, with guesses in the range of 15 to 140 seats! How wrong can you be? Our next sweepstake was on the number of seats the SNP would lose and this time we were closer to reality. So well done Philip and the Dapper Drinker for your winning predictions. What excitement! A sad lot you may say but don’t mock, when you get to our age you have to take your thrills from the most unlikely of sources. And now back to the business in hand.

A short bus ride took us into Chagford where we called in at The Globe where Otter Bitter, Devon Dumpling and Dartmoor IPA were on offer but many of us moved straight to the 5.2% Tavy Porter which was the star of the show and my beer of the day. A short walk brought us to the Ring of Bells and we were treated to Reel Ale, Jail, Dartmoor IPA and Otter Amber. No shortage of choice and all good quality beers.

At this point Philip, he who was to win the sweepstake, left us to attend to other business but the rest of our jolly bunch waited patiently for our bus that took us to The Union at Moretonhampstead where house named Red Rock beers and Tribute were offered and consumed.

It was then back to the bus, again, for the ride back into Exeter where a short walk from the bus station brought us to The Fat Pig, not too easy to find but well worth the effort. The pub has its own brewery, and was the first brewpub in Exeter. It serves three or four changing beers, all from the in house Fat Pig Brewery. Between us we tried all the beers on offer including Ting, Steam King and Phat Nancy, what a wonderful collection of beer names. The beers lived up to their billing and we were sorry that this was our last port of call but some of us had homes to go to so we trudged off to catch our buses and trains home from Exeter.

A really good day, some great pubs and very good beers, all complemented by superb company, and some scenic and hair raising bus journeys. Why not join us on the next midweek social, maybe September or October. Watch out for the social diary in What’s Brewing or contact any branch official. No previous experience required!

Edgar Halton