I am fortunate enough to have regular expenses paid trips to Leicester, Nottingham or Derby as part of my day job, and today I had a meeting, and thus a session afterwards in The Brunswick in Derby.
Back in the mid 1990's Derby used to be the best city in England for a pub crawl, an accolade which is now held by Sheffield, although this week's floods have had a temporary effect on that position. No crawl of Derby was complete without a trip to The Brunswick, and bearing in mind its proximity to the railway station it made a perfect first or last port of call. Back then the brewery was independant and the head brewer was Trevor Harris who now owns Derby Brewing Company. The Brunswick Pub and Brewery now though are owned by Everards.
Initial worries that the pub would go significantly downhill were ill founded and the guest beer policy continued. I think it's fair to say that the range of guest beers is not as good as back in the good old days, but when you add on the range of home brewed beers there is still an ample selection to choose from.
The pub itself is a gem. It is multiroomed with four distinct drinking areas as well as an outside patio. One of the rooms is non-smoking, although of course all the others will be from Sunday, and the signs are already in situ ready to be unveiled at the weekend. There are a fair number of old train and railway photos on display together with the odd item of breweriana and old beer bottles. A colleague today stated that "the pub's not much from the outside but it's lovely inside". For what it's worth I think it's pretty special architecturally, appearing to be triangular from some angles.
Food is available which is standard pub grub, but it's the beer we come for and each of the five beers I tried were in fine fettle. It's a shame I wasn't able to have a crawl of the city like I used to, but spending a few hours in 'The Brunny' is a worthwhile use of anyone's time.
For the record four other pubs worth visiting are
The Flower Pot
The Babington Arms
A visit to each of the five makes for a hell of a day!