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Warwickshire
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The Rainbow at Allesley

The Ladies Toilet at The Rainbow at Allesley

 

A Cask of Gold at the end of The Rainbow
I found myself in Allesley today. This is a village I've somehow managed to miss. A terrible oversight on my part as it's got plenty of interest to keep you stimulated for a good wander over an hour or so. The main street [formerly part of the Birmingham to Coventry turnpike] looks like it was a ribbon development and many of the old stone houses, timber-framed cottages and Georgian mansions have survived, particularly as road traffic has been diverted for decades now. Entering the village from Coventry, just around the corner at the top of the hill is The Rainbow. This timber-framed pub looks pretty good doesn't it? There's a steep driveway to the left. This was almost certainly covered in the old days as you can see timbers sticking out of the building that would have extended and connected with the neighbouring Wigan House built in 1772. The pub used to be operated by Terry Rotherham who, in 1994, set up his own brewery in the stable block behind. He retired and headed off to Portugal and in 1999 the pub was leased to Unique. Unfortunately, they'll only allow one guest ale from the brewery which, thankfully, is still running. As ever, I like to collar someone at the pub whether it be the licensee or brewer. And I managed to find Joseph Melia who, apart from doing almost every other job around the pub, is the brewer of the beer. Hailing from Liverpool he's been here roughly the same time as licensee Jonathan Grote [around four years] and joked that he's improved on the ales produced in the 1990's. He hadn't brewed before and I wondered whether this was the nearest we could get to the 'have-a-go' brewers of the Victorian age? Except that is for the plant - looking dated now but all in very good nick. Joseph brews once a week to ten days and produces 144 gallons [16 firkins], most of which, if not all, is sold in the pub. Aha, this must result in some strange creatures with trolleys and carrier bags and, oh no, sample bottles. Yes, it must be a ticker's pub. Only one beer seems to be produced and this was on sale today - the 3.8% Piddlebrook. If that 144 gallons figure is correct then the pub must sell a lot of beer because they also stock Bass, Greene King IPA and Courage Director's Bitter. And the fact that there's three beers on suggests a lot of people drink in the pub but don't drink the house beer. I'm confused? The pub has been opened out a bit which is a shame but there are still separate drinking areas. I particularly liked the leaded stained glass windows on the front door and the door leading to the pleasant patio garden and toilets. Oh yes, I've found one to balance the men's icicle moments in the winter. Have a look at this Ladies Toilet [I had to explain to a woman sitting in the garden what I was doing taking photos of the Ladies Loo] - here's one to freeze your bottom in....... I bet they've cheated and put a little heater in there like they have at the All Nations at Madeley.
Kieron McMahon 8th June 2005

You would be lucky to try a drop of Piddlebrook. Last time I was in there the brewer was supping lager at the bar telling everyone that the beer had turned to porridge. Basically he had left the mash too long and it had become stuck so they had to start again. Shame you did not go into Coventry city centre and visit the Whitefriars which has a good range of ale and interesting architecture.
Dave Guest 9th June 2005

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