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Username: Triathlete

Age: 56

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Latest comments by Triathlete

Waterend Barn, St Albans

This has been a pretty good pub for beer over the last year or two. There is usually an interesting range and because they get through loads of it, its usually pretty good to.
BUT - of late they have taken to use sparklers (see my comment later) so your beer will look fine when its poured but will be flat 10 minutes (if you're lucky) later and taste a bit sour i.e rubbish. They hope you'll assume its some other problem and wont take it back. I noticed the uniformity of the bubbles and slightly creamy looking head (give aways of the sparkler) so I asked the staff why they have started doing that and they said "because we've had trouble with flat beer". Didn't exactly fill me with confidence.
They will take it off if you ask. The staff in here are nice and its so busy they do a pretty good job generally, just such a shame about the poor cellarmanship resulting in the unwelcome arrival of the sparkler. I my experience its just not been necessary the beer here is usually good and the price is right.
I cant recommend this business whilst the sparkler persists and, of course, they cannot qualify for the CAMRA Good Beer Guide. They deserve to be there, they do a great job selling decent ale at good prices, but they have shot them selves in the foot.

For those who might not know.
SPARKLER - a small plastic cap perforated with tiny holes which screws onto the end of the swan neck of the pump. The pump forces the beer through the holes, effectively pressurising it a little. The effect is short-lived and after a few minutes the beer is COMPLETELY flat and virtually undrinkable.
The tell-tale signs are an over uniformity of the bubbles forming a creamy looking head and swirling of these tiny bubbles beneath the head as its poured. It looks a bit like Guiness.
Unscrupulous landlords use this device to make old or substandard beer appear to OK. A little cellermanship would remove the need to con the public with these devices

26 Nov 2016 10:34

Three Hammers, St Albans

Another facelift for this pub Autumn 2015 and the interior has improved with a more sensible seating layout. New set of taps with 10 real ales on the bar.
It is still staffed rather light and although they do their best service can be slow.
Prices have crept up over the last couple of years. It used be that only Wetherspoons was cheaper but now prices are more or less average but a small discount to Camra members.
Beer quality is still an issue. Its very strange here, pints are poured and they look and taste OK but by the time you are halfway down the glass the beer has lost condition and developed an unpleasant taste. When the beer is poured I notice that the head is made up of very uniform bubbles not the random sizing you usually see in real ale, I'm not sure why that should be I haven't seen that anywhere else that actually serves "real ale" as Camra would define it. This pub does have very long beer lines to their tap room and I guess that cannot help.
The staff will change your pint with just the odd grumble if its not good enough but I always feel guilty about it if I've drunk a significant portion of the beer already.
I do hope they can sort their quality issues out.

One more word of warning - don't go on a Tuesday night as its Quiz Nite. The quiz master who makes constant gaffs and struggle with the queens English is amusing for about 5 mins. She shrieks the questions over the Tannoy so loudly that your head will resonate and conversation is impossible. Best avoided.

4 Feb 2016 11:49

The King Harry, St Albans

Beer quality has been a problem here in recent weeks - by that I mean cellarmanship. Often the beer has been a little flat and sour slightly vinegary and I've sampled a couple before finding one that is drinkable.
A great shame as the beers they have are quite good. I don't agree about the prices though its nearly a pound a pint cheaper at the Three Hammers who generally keep their beer better.

7 Nov 2012 09:44

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Triathlete has been registered on this site since 21st April 2005