I called in at the Wheatsheaf, a “quintessential British gastropub” (according to its claim), on my way home from work. More out of curiosity than anything else, just to see how pretentious it is.
I was met at the door by a maître d‘ who enquired what I wanted, to rhyme with what’s a scruffy oik like you doing in my restaurant. I’m used to pubs with bouncers, dressed as bouncers and obviously not employed for their charm, and already I was thinking that this place is not for me. “Beer” said I and walked past to get to the bar.
The barmaid asked what I would like, to which I replied something pale and hoppy. She suggested a pump labelled “Sandbach” with the pub’s stylised wheatsheaf logo. I asked who made it and she told me that Cheshire Brewhouse make it specially for them, yeah right. An inoffensive enough beer, at 3.7% ABV and judging by the taste I’d be willing to wager that it was just rebranded Cheshire Gap. Now, taking into account town centre prices, Cheshire Gap should retail at around the £2.80 to £3.00 mark.
There was a big gap between that mark and the price charged in the Wheatsheaf. £3.75 for a bog standard session beer is way over the odds.
I didn’t bother asking if they let dogs in because I won’t be going back.