One commenter suggested that many people wouldn’t have been to one through simple reasons of geography, but Sam’s pubs are fairly widespread, with concentrations in Yorkshire, the North-West and London, and a scattering through the Midlands stretching down as far as Bristol and Cardiff. Plus it’s very unlikely that anyone of drinking age has lived such a limited life that they have never travelled to within reach of one. Here’s a map of their pub locations.
And, for those who complain about Sam’s limited and unadventurous beer range, John Clarke has provided me with a number of examples of their brewing innovations over the past thirty years:
- First to seriously introduce revivalist oatmeal stout, (Taddy) porter and imperial stout in the 1980s
- Exported these to the USA and arguably played a part in the revival of interest in those styles there
- Produced strong bottle-conditioned Yorkshire Stingo - another revival of an old style
- Continue to innovate, e.g. Organic Chocolate Stout
- Make authentic German wheat beer in house in the UK
- Run the only UK lambic brewery at Stamford - brew house had been sprayed with yeast from De Troch lambic brewery in Belgium (shame all goes into sweet fruit beers)