A single sticker was added to the Colchester Ale Trail album, after popping to The Odd One Out on Mersea Road. It’s 30 years since John Parrick took over the pub and renamed it, making it one of the first, or probably, the first real ale freehouse in Colchester.
Also celebrating it’s 30th anniversary this year is the Colchester Real Ale Festival, and their festival programme includes the entries for Colchester in the Good Beer Guide that year, and let me tell you, it’s grim reading from where we are now in 2015. Listed are The Artilleryman (Greene King XX, IPA and Abbot), The Hospital Arms (Tolly Cobbold Bitter, Original and Old Strong), The Live and Let Live (Ridley Bitter, Truman Prize Mild and Bitter), and The Rose and Crown Hotel (Tolly Cobbold Bitter).
So into this real ale wilderness rode Mr Parrick with his vision of a no-nonsense pub with real ale and cider sourced from a wide range of breweries. And the years, nay, the decades have passed by. Not that you would spot the passage of time, as the decor is the same and (a tad disappointingly) the beer choice (Mauldons, Elgood, Greene King, and Harveys) wasn’t particularly inspired. Ten years ago those beers would have been A Result, but nowadays less so.
I chose the Greene King ‘Magna Carta’ a special of theirs which includes juniper berries, evidently used in Bygone Days in place of hops, and it was quite a flavoursome drink – but going into The Venerable Oddie and having a pint of GK!!!