Nick, Joe, Paul E, Stephen and Trev all met up on the No 69 bus heading in the direction of Shedfield and the The Wheatsheaf Inn. All had resisted the temptation to start off with a pint in the Crown mainly because Si could not join us as he was busy tasting cream teas in the Cotswolds.
After a shortish walk from the bus we arrived at the pub to be faced with a fine selection of beers - mainly from the Flowerpots Brewery in Cheriton. The range was Perridge Pale 3.6%, Flowerpots Bitter 3.8%, Goodens Gold 4.8%, Flowerpots IPA 6%, and Oakleaf Nuptu'ale 4.2%.
The price of the beers ranged from £2.50 - £2.90 which we all agreed was excellent.
We all settled down to our pints opting initially for the lower gravity beers of Perridge and Pots Ale and all agreed they were in excellent fettle. Paul thought his lager tasted the same as it always did.
Joe had carried out the research for this visit and they had offered to prepare a steak and ale pie for us on the day. The ale being used was the Flowerpots IPA.
Before the pie made its grand entrance Joe was presented with a rather dangerous looking knife and a slice and spoon for serving the creation. Our veg was presented separately on our plates. When the pie arrived we could not believe our eyes or our stomachs!
Joe attacking the pie!
The pie was built for 6 hungry men but, as you can see from the photo below, we were up for the challenge and the five of us managed to devour the lot. Everyone agreed that it was a truly excellent pie washed down with some excellent beers and lagers(?).
Nick felt it could have done with a tad more gravy so he decided to soak some of his portion in his beer to get the desired affect!
Needless to say puddings were out of the question so we supped up our beer and headed for the bus back to Bishops Waltham and the Crown to wish Joe a safe trip to
Scores for The Wheatsheaf, Shedfield (Max 5 in each category - total 25 overall)
Pastry - 4.36
Filling - 4.84
Beer - 4.35
Ambience - 4.30
Value - 4.86
Overall - 22.71
An excellent afternoon - a nice traditional pub with attentive staff, good beer from a local brewery and an exceptional pie. In fact, not only is this the highest-scoring pie of the year so far, it it also the highest scoring pie in the history of the Pie Club, making it a truly exceptional pie.
Pieman is obviously upset at having missed this pie as he was unavoidably detained elsewhere. Pieman has noticed that there seems to be a trend developing; that all the best pies are sampled when he is away. If this trend continues, he may be forced to re-consider his position. Or maybe he should get his priorities right, stop whingeing, and just make sure that he turns up for all Pie Club outings in future.