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BITE user profile - chope

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Username: chope

Age: 48

Sex: ?

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The Bulls Head, Davenham

Cask Marque paid a suprise visit to the pub and found the beers to be "adequate". They then discussed the events I described below with the landlady and were told that "it was a pack of lies" and that I "wasn't barred, but told to leave due to my beligerent attitude".

I'm just giving you both sides of the story. You decide the truth.

3 Sep 2008 21:05

The Bulls Head, Davenham

I'm a 30-something year old, university lecturer and for the first time ever in my life I've been barred from a pub... I'd just been out for a mid-week romantic meal to an Italian restaurant in Davenham, Cheshire with my wife. We left the car parked near what looked like a lovely pub, The Bull's Head - I'd never been before and was delighted to see four hand-pumps and the Cask Marque plaque proudly displayed next to the main entrance. This is all too rare in the Northwich area. I purposefully didn't have anything to drink with my meal so I could go back to the pub for a nice half of real-ale afterwards. I bought half a pint of Davenport's Cloud 9 and half a Youngs for my wife. To my (and wife's) experienced beer palate(s), the Davenport's smelled and tasted so sour as to be undrinkable. I returned to the bar with only a couple of sips taken to inform the barman that I thought it might be off. He poured it straight down the sink without so much as a word and just stood there... I waited a second or two before asking if I could have a half of Thwaites instead.

The problem started when the barman asked me for 1.10 to pay for the replacement half to which I replied "Erm, but the Davenport's is off." His response was "Well I'm not allowed to just give you a free drink." I repeated my point and the barman simply walked away, leaving me confused waiting at the bar like a lemon while he went to find the landlord. When the landlord arrived, he told me without trying the beer himself that he'd been selling it all night and that there was nothing wrong with it. I was treated as an aggressor from the very outset. I repeated my point that it tasted off to me. These comments went back and forth; apparently "Davenport's has a peculiar taste" (his words, not mine) and "Who are you to tell me that a beer is off when you've never tasted it before?" Seeing as this was going nowhere I backed half-way down and said "Okay, so let's agree the beer is meant to taste like that (which I doubt), but your staff took it off me and poured it down the sink without telling me that they would charge me for a replacement." Eventually the landlady joined in along with the two bar staff, all four faced me across the bar as if I was some kind of trouble-maker. I can assure your readers that I did not once raise my voice, I was not rude, I was stone-cold sober and made reasonable points without swearing - in fact I was lost for words during most of the argument and so didn't blurt out anything impolite or unreasonable. I finally asked if they'd mistaken me for someone who'd been in before and caused trouble; to which the landlady shouted, "Listen. You owe 1.10 for the beer, we can't afford to give it away, just drink it and get out. Go on, get out. You're barred." I was stunned into silence before telling them that "I've never experienced anything like what I've just been subjected to before in my life." I paid for my untouched Thwaites whilst my confused wife left her untouched Youngs. We departed without another word, backwards glare or parting shot - that is not my style. I sat in the car shaking before I felt composed enough to head home.

I've never, ever been treated in such an appalling manner; in a pub or elsewhere. The entire experience was actually quite surreal. Good pub landlords are normally happy to replace off beer, even if they consider it okay. All of this happened to a CAMRA member - who knows an off pint when he tastes it - in the The Bull's Head, Davenham, Cheshire.

15 Aug 2008 18:40

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chope has been registered on this site since 15th August 2008