Wednesday 30th November 2016
This is the nearest pub to Pewsey railway station, although that fact is not immediately obvious when one arrives there. The pub is in an area known as World’s End, or sometimes, West End, which is considerably more correct on a geographical basis. Although it is a pleasant pub in its own right it has an extra claim to fame inasmuch as it is the home of the World’s End Brewery.
I won’t rush ahead of myself here as the brewery is a relatively recent development and the pub is much older. It was built between 1867 and 1875 in an area of Pewsey that had around thirty households.
For most of the twentieth century it came under the ownership of Usher’s Brewery of Trowbridge, Wiltshire. The route to this was obviously via another brewery that was taken over by Usher’s.
The most obvious candidate would appear to be Adam’s Brewery of Marlborough which Usher’s acquired in 1911. This is pure conjecture and not fact.
Whatever, Usher’s was taken over by Watney-Mann in 1960. Brewing continued at Trowbridge until 2000 and in fact, brewing of many of Watney’s national brands were moved there.
You may know what happened to the brewery after its closure but if not, I will recount the story here.
It is now the Taedonggang Brewery in a suburb of Pyongyang, in far away North Korea. Simply, they bought the lot and reassembled it in their capital. It is now the major brewery of North Korea and brews at least seven different beers including some dark. Many use rice in their recipes, often mixed with barley malt. For more details please see the article by Adrian Palmer in the Beer Writings section of BeerVisits.eu.
Usher’s continued for a while as a pub-owning company but in 2004 the estate was sold to Punch Taverns. Like many pub-owning companies, Punch had over-valued their estate and had to sell a number of pubs to stay afloat. They are also responsible for the closure of many more. After the closure of the Trowbridge brewery I guess the pub was run along Free House lines.
After a number of licensees during the 2000s, the pub was purchased by Vaughan and Helen Roberts in 2008. In August 2009 they installed a small brewery in the pub in a room next to the kitchen.
This produced its first beer for sale in December of the same year. It is a one barrel (bbl) plant and Vaughan is assisted by his son Iago in the production process.
It was a totally freezing evening as Linda and myself approached the pub along Wilcot Road and so were very glad of the warmth and sanctuary it provided from the elements.
It is a two-bar pub and we turned left into the main room, which is the Saloon Bar. We were greeted by the pub dog, Laurel. We ordered two beers from the World’s End Brewery and looked around the room.
There hop bines hanging from the ceiling and this area is carpeted with bare varnished floorboards further along.
The bar counter is to the right of the room. The furniture is wooden with cushioned seats and stools. In one corner there is a piano; I wonder if it is used. I also took a look at the Public Bar. This contains a pool table and dart board. The bar counter here is made of brick and wood and has a sort of “roof” over it.
There were five cask beers on offer: Wadworth’s (Devizes, Wiltshire) 6X (4.1%), a staple around these parts; Plain Ales (Longbridge Deverill, Wiltshire) Sheep Dip (3.8%) plus three from the in-house World’s End Brewery: Dark World (4.2%), a mild; Golden Sunbeam (3.8%), a blonde / golden ale, and Bitterus Magnus (4.1%), a traditional English bitter. These were all good.
They also have a selection of real ciders but I forgot to ask what they were. They organise Summer and Winter Solstice beer festivals and have a cider festival in the autumn.
There is live acoustic music on the second Thursday of each month. Food is limited to Friday nights, when they always have a special. Also they offer a traditional Sunday roast lunch, which is often sold out.
This pub is well worth a visit if you are in this part of Wiltshire.
Crown Inn, 60 Wilcot Road, Pewsey, Wiltshire SN9 5EL. Tel: 01672 562653
Monday-Tuesday: 16.00-23.00; Wednesday-Thursday: 12.00-23.00;
Friday: 12.00-23.30; Saturday: 12.00-24.00; Sunday: 12.00-22.30.
Pewsey railway station is served by Great Western Railway with a rather erratic service from London via Reading and on to Taunton and Exeter. Please consult the timetable as there are some big gaps in service.
Exiting from the station on the arrival platform from London, look across the station yard.
You will see the entrance of an alleyway. Walk along here and turn right at the end.
This is Wilcot Road and you will soon see the pub on the right side of the road.
The useful X5 bus operates during the day from Salisbury to Swindon past a number of good pubs.
No service in the evening or on Sundays. Bus stops are in each direction by the station and in the town.