All change at the Dog and Partridge in Friargate. Well, I say all change. One change. A big one mind.
Exit stage left, late last year, legendary landlord Ronnie Fitzpatrick, a man who probably handed more foaming pots to more wobbly Prestonians than any alive today.
Enter stage right, one new landlady and, on the evidence of my mid-Yule visit, a safe pair of hands for Preston city centre’s premier – still, after all these years – rocker/biker/greaser pub.
And, I might add, a leading contender for its premier no nonsense boozer crown, too.
Now, yours truly is neither rocker, biker nor greaser – I haven’t got enough hair – but I for one have always found their company convivial. Not least because, as a young punk knocking about town circa the 1980s, pubs like the D&P – pretty much the only one you could count on not being accosted/thumped for having hair like an electrified cockatoo – were a welcome respite.
That, and they always had the best jukeboxes. Mainly metal, obviously, which is not my cup of tea, but via such devices one first heard Hendrix, The Doors, Iggy Pop and countless other artistes still on my playlist.
Anyhow, back to the D&P, where the blaring MC5 greeted my arrival, an event I toasted with a large jar of Hobgoblin.
Or winter in a glass, as I have come to think of this classic dark bitter from Wychwood.
Fruity and malty to inhale, all that plus a blast of treacle toffee chocolate in the mouth, there is a case to be made for each pint coming with its own roaring logfire.
A terrific pint in superb condition, another Dog and Partridge tradition clearly thriving in the new era.
Never had a bad pint in there that I recall, good beer being another reliable virtue of your rocker/biker/greaser pub, IMHO. A Holy Trinity, I’d argue, along with aforementioned loud music and a decent pool table.
A Lancaster Blonde, left, was next along, a pale ale out of season, perhaps, but always a pleasure, never a chore.
One of my favourite golden ales, with an aroma like warm bread dough and packing a sharp bitter snap and citrus tang inside, happy memories of summer drinking flood back with each swallow.
Anyhow, here’s to the D&P. A facelift in the pipeline for 2015, or so I hear, but am absolutely confident all the things which make this pub a wee gem will survive any change.
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