In a world that is "on its way to hell in an handcart", here is something very reassuring when sitting in the Dolphin drinking my favourite ale, Bass. Each pint is lovingly drawn from stacked barrels by gravity, unadulterated or worse sent through a sparkler, " to give it its head, me dear" It is some five or so years since I was last here, but little has changed, accept Billy Holmes is no longer behind the bar, substituted by his granddaughter and friends, continuing a long tradition starting with his parents a generation back. Little concession is made for comfort save for a tiny coal-burning fire, and seating is on wooden benches, placed higgledy-piggledy around the open room. I noticed that Bass is being served alongside Doom Bar, Betty Stoggs and Jail Ale, but only the Dartmoor beer, brewed next to HM Prison in Princetown gives the best beer in the world a run for its money. I met up with Phil, a former Bass Charrington worker for over 40 years, man and boy, who has travelled the seven seas, always returning to pay homage at the Dolphin Hotel bar. It is worth a visit just to enjoy the idiosyncratic crowd that populates this place.
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