Brains exhausted, opt for limited nuclear Exchange

Corn Exchange
Corn Exchange
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You are never more likely to have a drink about your person in the Corn Exchange than during the merrymaking month of December.

It is anybody’s guess how many work-do attending malcontents will cross the threshold of this Preston city centre pub between now and early 2015.

A hundred? A thousand? No, probably not a thousand. Far too many. Let’s say 214, for argument’s sake.

Naturally, among said random festive herd will be many an old soul for whom this public house – aimed fair and square at the young people – is way off the beaten track.

Well, I am here to tell these types that although jostled and deafened they might be at the Corn Exchange, there are at least decent ales on offer with which to ease their passage.

Passing through the other evening, a pint of Brains SA proved this beyond doubt.

A deep brown traditional bitter with a thin white head, my glass emptied lickety-split.

Sweet cocoa toffee to smell, there was a fruit and nuttiness in the body and an earthy herby bitter aftertaste.

Pleasant, well-kept ale, and just as well, this being the sole cask on offer (another pair of pumps had their heads turned in, but when – that is the question).

Undeterred, my eagle-eye spied a familiar bottle in the fridge on my right and thus I reacquainted myself with the one and only Newcastle Brown.

Despite the brew’s enduring popularity, it has always been something of an acquired taste – too sweet by half for some palates – but happily one that yours truly acquired before out of my teens.

It is sweet, very sweet, but ice cold, poured in dribs and drabs rather than emptying the bottle in one, there is something about that bready nutty brown ale that always manages to hit the spot.

But only in small doses. Once or twice a year, very much like the Corn Exchange itself.

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