The guy at the Three Horseshoes turned his nose up at the Moonrakers and did all but come out and say it was a chavvy bar, but to be fair when I asked why he wouldn’t go he came up with, “Well, they ain’t got no real ale, for starts.” Oh, well, there is probably a bit of class prejudice there that I, as an American, escape on the first observation then as a professional and academic escape on closer looks; however, my formative years were spent largely amongst the sort of rowdy and dangerous drunks and addicts that couldn’t come visit now (for legal reasons) if they were still amongst the living. Dive bars were always sort of a step up in the world for me.
So, the Moonie was like a bit of a homecoming with a couple of guys watching the cricket (woulda been baseball back home) and making inane chitchat with the barmaid and, after a suitable pause, the weird, sweaty foreigner knocking back a Fosters (my piss-take as the cricket was the Ashes — England v Australia). Wonderful lads.
It seemed unfair to complain about the dearth of real ale here (as did my friend at the Horseshoes). While none were on the taps, there were some bottled ales in the fridge alongside about 20 varieties of cider.
Finishing up my drink as they were getting yet another round they asked if I was still thirsty. A quick word that I was already three pints in and due a five mile race in an hour — barely enough time to hit the next bar on the way — I’d have to take them up on it the next time around. And, I think it would be well worth looking out for the opportunity to arise. Next up, the Crown Inn….