Last night, on the local CAMRA “Stagger” of Offerton, in the Emigration Inn, we had probably the worst experience I can remember in thirty years of these events. It really needed the pen of Simon Everitt to do it justice, although I can’t see it featuring in the Good Beer Guide any time soon.
The licensee gave the impression of being somewhat the worse for wear, and called one of the party “a twat”, although I didn't hear this myself. He also referred to called Robinson's Brewery using the same term.
Obviously a sequence of people walking up to the bar and individually ordering halves of bitter might give rise to a bit of gentle joshing, but he seemed to take great exception to this. To each person he said “And what do you want? Oh, a half of bitter!” and then shouted “Roll with it!”
He proceeded to fetch some kind of cellar award plaque out of the back and angrily plonked it on the bar in front of the handpumps. The beer wasn’t much cop either, although I would say not quite as bad as some people judged it.
Otherwise, it was a good, convivial evening. If I lived in Offerton I’d certainly take my custom to the Victoria, Gardener’s Arms or Fingerpost, while steering well clear of the Emigration. According to WhatPub it has a “pleasant and welcoming atmosphere”. I don’t think so!
Edit: This brings to mind an anecdote from another Offerton stagger many years ago. The CAMRA posse were approaching the pub, led by the late Rhys Jones in full cry. One wag sitting outside piped up “Here we go! Save the fucking wallaby!”