Pub of the Year competition: The CrispinBy Julie Spencer
March 21, 2013
Not all the regulars at The Crispin are local – one group makes regular trips from Devon to sample the well-kept ale at the historic pub.
Austin Hamshere and Emily Ness run the ‘wet led’ pub.
That means no food, only beer of exceptional quality, which keeps the conversation flowing among regulars who can sample an ever-changing array of real ales.
However, drinkers who fancy a quick lager or cider are equally welcome in the Denmark Street pub, which dates from the 17th Century.
Mr Hamshere has been at The Crispin for three years and at the helm for nine months.
He said: “We are a traditional pub but that doesn’t mean you have to have a pipe and slippers to come in.
“The main feature apart from the ale is the clientele.
“This is a pub where people have conversations and anyone can come in, sit at the bar and immediately they would be welcomed into the conversation.”
The Crispin was nominated for The Wokingham Times Pub of the Year 2013 by regular Lyn Newdick, who said: “The Crispin has the best selection of well-kept beers drunk by the regular locals of Wokingham.”
Mr Hamshere added: “The cellar is very regimented and is the most efficient part of the establishment.
“The ale is always settled and aired. Every barrel has a different settling period and a venting period so it is served at its best.”
The pub hosts CAMRA meetings and draws drinkers from London as well as its regular day-trippers from Devon, who round off a day of sightseeing with a pint at The Crispin.
With its ales and traditional Aunt Sally throwing game, The Crispin is the kind of pub that American tourists long to stumble upon, but rarely do.
To preserve the ambience, an age restriction is upheld in the evenings.