I arrived a little before the five o’clock opening time and talked with the builders doing the architecturally sympathetic renovations/additions to the Plough in Great Haseley. It is a fantastic old house that the villagers bought just over a year ago and are still putting the finishing touches on.
I had an XT 4 when the landlord/manager popped out and invited me in. “You’ve had this before, then?” he asked in the terrifying way that someone asks when you order something exotic. “Er, no, and I DO like Doom Bar [the other ale] but I thought I’d give this a go.”
The 4 was a bit odd, citric like underripe lemons mixed with the peels of overripe oranges. It had a very astringent, turpentine-like finish and not a lot of depth but that all makes it sound very bad and it really wasn’t bad at all. The XT Brewery is run by a couple of dudes out in Thame, a few miles away and seem to be on good terms with several of the local bartenders.
The pub is something of a secret and frequented only by the villagers for the most part. The big addition at the back will house a large dining area and a modern kitchen but if you want to have a look before the crowds descend upon it I would encourage a visit soon.