So after my bad experience, I traipsed to The Briar Rose. This is a JDWetherspoon pub, so in many ways I had preconceived ideas as to what I would experience.
However things are slightly different here. It is a Wetherlodge, so is slightly plusher than most JDWs in that it wants to be more inviting for its residents. It is also proud of its entry in the Good Beer Guide and is making a concerted effort to promote real ale.
Behind the bar there is a screen, much like The Wellington, advertizing the real ales available, but the screen rotates to another image proudly stating: "We sold 1567 pints of real ale last week, thanks for voting us into the 2008 Good Beer Guide". Two things strike me here. Firstly 1567 pints doesn't actually sound that much, and secondly, it is nice that they are grateful for their entry in the GBG, and hopefully will make the most of it, by advocating real ale. Certainly being just down the hill from The Welly should work in their favour.
I had two Sharps beers and the GK World Cup Rugby special. I would have to say that the beers were fine, but not outstanding. This may be that they are not particularly good beers anyway, rather than the pubs fault, but it was disappointing.
My major criticism is that the flyer on my table advertized three third pints for the price of a pint. I requested this offer, but they had not yet had the delivery of the third pint glasses. I really like the idea, but for heavens sake, do not promote it before you can deliver guys
I am not generally a fan of Wetherspoon pubs. There are one or two excellent branches (The Babington in Derby springs to mind), and a few that are shockingly bad. The Briar Rose is definitely above average, and I wouldn't hesitate to look in in future to see what's on the pumps.