In early 2015, Mr Gibbons told me, "I've discussed this with Alan (Bartram), and Bob (Leiper), and they both agree that we'd like to invite you out for a beer"?
I don't need much excuse to have a beer, but the way in which Mr Gibbons asked me was like I was being intvited to join the free masons, except, they are the beer Gestapo. I have never been asked out for a beer in quite such a pious, pompous, patronising, sanctimonious, sycophantic, unctuous, holier than thou kind of a way, before. I thought to myself. I've got to go along for a look.
On the Wednesday afternoon we met at the Anchor Hotel, and had a pint, then we walked over to Piries Bar. The young and clearly inexperienced barmaid poured four pints, but Mr Leiper decided to refuse to accept his pint, as he had objected to the way that it had been poured. His pint was poured again.
I was stunned. I was appalled. I was embarrassed. I sat down with them. I quickly finished my pint, and left. (They had not said anything that remotely intereted me).
As I left I had a quiet word with the barmaid. I apologised for the appalling behaviour of the Beer Gestapo who were nothing to do with me.
A half hour in their company was all that I could stand.
A few weeks later the three scallywag monkeys came into the Malt Shovel. Horsham Battle of the Bands winner Jodie Munday was working on her own behind the bar. Mr Leiper again refused to accept his pint of beer. I warned her to be very careful of the Beer Gestapo. I paid her £2 for the pint.
I am delighted to say that the scallywag monkeys no longer visit the Malt Shovel. These self appointed beer inspectors have decided boycott and ostracise themselves from the Malt Shovel, because they took umbrage to the fact that the landlord Sam Clayton and his team refured to serve them any more beer, because he knew that one of their number was driving.
These scallywag monkeys are not missed at all at the Malt Shovel.