Oxford Pub links:
The official Turf Tavern Oxford Pub Website.
The Oxford City CAMRA branch - branch news and info on their pub guide.
Colin Batchelor's Carfax Catelogue - previous definitive guide of Oxford pubs.
"NBWD" - No Beer Worth Drinking. This pub serves no cask ale and therefore I have only come here by accident or purely for the purposes of completing this guide and keeping it up to date. Usually, but not always, results in the pub automatically scoring only one star.
"NuMorrelled" - Ubiquitous term used to describe the process employed by Morrells of Oxford to convert their pubs into "olde ale houses". The continuing saga of Morrells, the traditional family brewery of Oxford, has taken several interesting turns in the last few years since the brewery closed. The Morrells beers were then brewed by the Thomas Hardy Brewery of Dorchester, Dorset, then were dropped and are, indeed, no more. The pubs, after much of a fight, became the property of Morrells of Oxford ("the genuine feel of Oxford"), an independent consortium. It was under the aegis of this company that a large number of the old Morrells pubs became NuMorrelled as described below. Morrells of Oxford sold off nearly all of their pubs to Greene King of Bury St Edmund's, Suffolk, and then folded themselves, I think. So Morrells is now as Oxonion as Light Blue and punting from the wrong end of the boat. The pubs that Morrells of Oxford retained are almost entirly ones they promptly flattened and converted to houses. When most of my pub reviews were written the old Morrells pubs still had Morrells beers. You will find that almost all of the pubs which I have said have Morrells will now have Greene King beers such as IPA, Abbot and Old Speckled Hen.
The NuMorrelling procedure
is generally along the following lines:
I have now identified three "archetypes" of NuMorrells pubs: Rustic Charm (e.g., Plasterers Arms); Riverside and Nautical (e.g., Isis Tavern); and Victorian Parlour (e.g., Black Boy).
"Evil Bass Empire" - Or variants thereof. William Bass founded his brewery in Burton in 1777, with the first British trademark of the Red Triangle, and until recently the brewery has gone from strength to strength, producing the best selling bitter in the country and owning pubs nationwide. Then things started going wrong as Bass started buying up lots of other breweries, then restaurants, hotels, and anything else they could to take over the world. It all became too big. Harvester restaurants sprang up everywhere and each week Bass' latest acquisition was announced. Finally, Bass realised that of all their worldwide enterprises one was far less profitable than the others: brewing beer. Therefore, all the beers were sold off to Interbrew, then Coor's, and all the Bass-owned businesses were fragmented and given silly names, like Six Continents instead of Bass Retail. Six continents has now metamorphosed in Mitchells and Butlers (M&B), a direct turnaround to the name of one of the breweries that Bass gobbled up many years ago. This is typical of the huge national breweries and means that you can now drink Bass beer in a Bass pub, neither of which has anything to do with the original Bass anymore.
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