Pubs seem to be a way of life in the UK and in a lot of the villages around where we live they are something of a community hub. The Chequers is one such place. Especially on a Friday night when Munson’s Brewery are shopping their wares.
On a Friday you’d do well to arrive at The Chequers early in the evening. On our latest visit to this quaint pub in the village of Gazeley we walked in at half seven and the place was rammed. Not a table or chair going.
There are a couple of reasons why this is the case. For starters the vibe is friendly. Everyone seems to know everyone. That’s probably due to the fact that Gazeley isn’t the biggest village. In fact, much of it seems to consist of a single road, easily identified as The Street. At least that’s what I’ve noticed when driving through the area. The Chequers provides a venue for friends to catch up after a long week and Munson’s offer up the excuse to meet.
Then there’s the Mermaid. The fish and chip truck that arrives every week. You can order from the truck and then wait inside The Chequers with a beer for it to be ready. It’s then a case of sending someone out to fetch it and bringing it in for everyone to tuck into at the table. Based on the fact that every table had evidence of the paper wrapped fish and chips it must be good.
The reason that everyone chooses to go to The Chequers may have something to do with the friendliness of the proprietors but it also has to do with the quality of the beers they offer up from the on-site ‘micro-brewery’.
Micro of course referring to the limited batch of brew offered up every week. Although there’s been an upsurge in support over the last few months, at least during the period between our first and most recent visits, that suggests the operation has enjoyed a successful time of late and that they’re starting to scale up on the demand.
There’s usually a list of about five products to sample. A personal favourite is the Chocolate Milk Stout. It’s a variant I’ve grown to enjoy in the last few months and this particular version, which is fermented in cocoa nibs and has a 5.6% ABV, is always my first pick. I’ll choose it for the second drink too. And the third.
But that’s not the only good thing that Munson’s do. They’ve also got a West Cost IPA, East Coast Pale Ale and Wheat Beer that are also really good. It’s small batch craft beer that’s worth trying. But you’d better get there early before it runs out on a Friday night.