Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Three Tuns, Wisbech, Cambridgeshire

Old established family brewers like Elgoods seem to value their pub estates that much more than non-brewing pub companies. Pubcos (and sadly this includes some of the very large brewers) are so divorced from the business of brewing and selling ale, that their estates are merely there for short-term cash flow, or medium-term property investment. A brewery which owns its own pubs has a vested interest in their success since they act as a shop window for the brewers craft. Time and again, if it's the best of unspoilt traditional British pubs you're looking for (and a genuine, well-run Free House is not available), those owned by the old established family brewers are the ones that seem to deliver the goods more often than not.

A good many beer enthusiasts don't seem to value these more traditional boozers very highly though. The choice of beers not nearly exciting enough, the conversation not nearly 'beery' enough. Novelty, extreme hop rates, and unusual flavours are what beer enthusiasts favour, all of which can be more commonly found in a shiny new beer bar, no matter how dull and impersonal the interior. Even a Wetherspoon has more value to the beer enthusiast than a pub which has developed and grown within the local community for generations. The beer range is better you see, which for some seems to be all that matters.

Pubs like the Three Tuns are not for beer geeks though, they service the needs of people who perhaps have a better understanding of what makes the great British pub so unique and envied throughout the world. People, conversation, and the sense of belonging to a community that a true local engenders. Entertainment, games, and perhaps even drinking good beer, but without feeling the need to spend all night talking about it!

The Pool Table has now gone from the Three Tuns, but Darts, Shove Ha'penny, and a very good Dice Set are available for play in the comfortable front bar.

The bar itself benefits from a fairly typical set of Elgoods liveried stained glass windows, the small panes and sparse decoration giving the bar a slightly subdued lighting level which really suits the traditional decor, and very well suits an afternoon pint.

The dice is a good quality Abbot Ale set, containing a Shut The Box, Poker Dice, and Crown & Anchor amongst others. The Shove Ha'penny could do with a good polish and a bit more use.


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