Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Pirates of Penzance

On the first Sunday we were in Penzance they held a World Record beating attempt to get the most pirates in one place, so in a way I'm a record beater (Woohoo!). They did beat Hastings, the old holder of the title as they managed to get over 8000 folks dressed as pirates along the seafront. It was brilliant, the effort some folks went to was very impressive in the extreme. There are some photographs online of this attempt and luckily I avoided those photographers.

The best pirate I saw was a bloke dressed pretty much as Captain Jack, bottle of wine in hand who walked along the seafront trying to buy various items from other tourists for 5 gold pieces. Maybe it was the booze but he had the swagger and right accent for the part and was extremely good natured.

Spingo, a local brewery had a beer tent on the harbour side which showcased nearly all of their beers. All of which were lovely, just a shame I doubt I'm going to see them up here as most Cornish pubs didn't stock them either. Ben's Stout at 4.8% was superb, thirst quenching and very morish as was their 'Special' although that one was 6.6% and Easter Special was higher at 7.6%ish mark. Fantastic beers to end the evening on, smooth and rich.

Apart from Skinners, St Austell and Otter breweries, the only different brewery was Spingo. All of them do very good beers and we didn't see one London Pride pump clip!

For more information on Spingo beers: http://www.spingoales.com/Brewery.html


  1. At first I misread your heading as "The Pirates of Penance", the title of a Joni Mitchell song, & thought you were wandering into my area, beer and music! Welcome, if you want to.

    I lived in Cornwall for nearly a year. St Austell was the only local brewery I recall from then, but as I was looking for work the whole time, I couldn't afford much beer.

    A few years after I left, there was an all-woman micro-brewery (mother and daughter) in a converted farmhouse called the Min Pin Inn near Tintagel. Their strong beer was called Brown Willy, named after Cornwall's highest point, of course. I liked their beer but the brewery is long gone.

    Tintagel is the legendary birthplace of King Arthur, and I wish I'd had a camera to photograph the sign, "King Arthur's Car Park". Tintagel Castle is well worth a visit.

  2. I can see how looking for work down there would be hard, we saw a fair few shops empty. Although not as bad as St Austell which was awful.

    Spingo seem to be like the microbrewery you mentioned as it looks to be based in an inn. Hopefully they will grow and their beers will be seen in other places but it must be hard given the amount of brewery owned places vs free hold. Having said that the Star Inn also have their own microbrewery and they seem to stick to supplying their (albeit busy) pub.

    I see you have a big folk and beer festival up there so hopefully we can get up there for that soon. :)

  3. Glad you had a good time. We keep finding more and more microbreweries -- quite the thing down here. Spingo has been flogged out of the Star Inn for years and looks set to stay that way -- I don't think they have big expansion plans.

    The Driftwood Spars at St Agnes has incredible beer; and the beer at the Star Inn is even better.

    Of the usual suspects available down here, St Austell is by far the safest bet from what we've seen so far. Always liked Tribute; getting to love it, and to know it in all its many moods. On form, it's as good as Proper Job, in its own way.

  4. 'tis a shame you didn't pop up to Rock for some very unsafe Sharp's beer Meer. Always welcome.

  5. I mean that Spingo has been flogged out of the Blue Anchor, obviously. D'oh!