18 March 2008

The Tale of the Old Speckled Hen

This is a sad story of two pubs with three names and of two beers with one name.

Once upon a time a happy drinker moved to a new village and found that he had a nice pub only a few minutes walk from his cosy new home. The village was called Ham and the pub was the Hand and Flower.

The happy drinker soon discovered that he liked the pub and he liked the Old Speckled Hen that it served. This was a red, smooth, strong and tasty beer, ideal for those few quick pints at the end of the day.

Over the years the happy drinker became happier and he joined the Old Speckled Hen Appreciation Society (he still has the badge) and the cheery landlord gave him some of the special Old Speckled Hen glasses provided by the brewery occasionally.

But times changed. The Hand and Flower stopped selling Speckled Hen then it stopped being a pub at all and became the Legless Frog instead. The happy drinker became less happy and had to walk further to one of the several other pubs nearby instead. He tried all of them, several times, and eventually he found a new local and he was happier again.

The happy drinker was even happier when his new local got in Old Speckled Hen as its guest beer.

But time plays tricks on people and what had been a satisfying strong beer (5.2%) had been reduced to a tame one (4.5%) and some of the flavour had been lost in the process. So the happy drinker was not quite as happy as he might have been and he drank the London Pride instead.

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