Two years ago Leon and Michelle introduced Thai food and, as in several other local pubs, this has proved to work really well alongside the traditional wet sales - “the best thing we ever did” says Leon. The food is all freshly cooked by properly Thai chefs and the menu choice runs to 55 starters and mains, either to eat in or take away. You can also have any dish customised to your personal preferences. On weekday lunchtimes there's a cheap and cheerful pub grub menu featuring pizzas and the like.
However, it's the progress on the real ale front which has brought the George to our attention. Between three and five beers will be on sale, depending on the time of the week, with only the inevitable Greene King IPA as a fixture. Leon has recently joined the SIBA Direct Delivery scheme which gives him access to beers from several local breweries – Elgoods, B & T, Nethergate, Potton and Oakham. On the last of these, the pub has recently been admitted to the “Oakademy” which recognises pubs selling excellent examples of that brewery's superb beers (is there a better ale in the country at the moment than Oakham Citra?) Coupled with Punch's Finest Cask range and the normal Punch guest list, this means Leon has a vast array of goodies to choose from. The customers clearly appreciate it as 80% of the beer sold here is real ale. Leon's attention to the quality of the beer was recently recognised by the re-awarding of Cask Marque accreditation.
The George occupies a sturdy Victorian building with the front door leading you into the smartly-appointed main bar which has the restaurant off to the left behind a screen. There's another, quieter bar at the back. The pub closes mid-week afternoons, reopening at 5.30.
If you think your local (or your pub) has not had the attention it deserves from ALE, please contact the editor who will be happy to consider it for this series.