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Norfolk pubs told to get basics right in new survey

Coach and Horses, Bethel Street, Norwich.
Photo: Andy Darnell

Coach and Horses, Bethel Street, Norwich. Photo: Andy Darnell

Archant © 2010

As a new survey reveals what punters really want from their pub, Love Your Local reporter DAVID BALE was taught how to pull a perfect pint.

Norwich publicans are being urged to get the basics right by punters who took part in a new survey Suffolk brewer Greene King commissioned from YouGov. Drinkers were asked what makes a “proper pub” in the survey, and the answers will bring cheer to those publicans whose time-honoured view of the British pub is of an authentic inn which prides itself on service and high-quality tipples and meals.

The Evening News Love Your Local Campaign has been urging punters to return to pubs and has highlighted how landlords are diversifying to attract cash-strapped punters.

But the new survey found that a “proper pub” was still all about the food, beer and friendly landlords. Two thirds of people in the survey said a good choice of food and drinks was top of the pub-goers’ wish list, while a friendly landlord was thought essential by 57pc of people.

David O’Reilly and his partner Tracey Moore, who took over the Coach and Horses pub in Bethel Street in June this year, believe their watering hole is a “proper pub”.

Mr O’Reilly said: “To me a “proper pub” is somewhere which has a warm welcoming feel to it. You need to keep it simple and traditional with good ale. If you can attract the old boys who’ve got the best stories to tell, you are on the right track. I find a lot of big beer chains cold and unwelcoming.”

Good ale is part of a “proper pub”, and Mr O’Reilly, who has worked in the pub industry for several years, said the landlord also had to know how to keep the beer in good condition.

He said: “This means having the correct temperature in the cellar where the beer kegs are kept and knowing your ale. Ales are all different and some are livelier than others.”

You also need to know how to pull the perfect pint, as Mr O’Reilly explained.

“The trick is to start with the pint glass under the tap at a 45 degree angle. As you pour it you can straighten up the glass.

“The first pull determines how big the head of the pint will be. If you pull it hard to start you end up with a big head. I’m from up north so I think a head is part of the drink.

“If you don’t get the perfect pint, there’s often a variety of reasons for it, including the wrong cellar condition or unclean lines.”

A website – www.properpubs.co.uk – has been launched to give people the chance to cast their vote on what they think should be in a “proper 
pub”.

To see more stories from our Love your Local campaign visit www.eveningnews24.co.uk/loveyourlocal.

Have you just taken over a Norfolk pub? Call reporter David Bale on 01603 772427 or email david.bale2@archant.co.uk.

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