My job sends me all over the country. Now you would have thought that this would mean that I would be able to visit loads of different pubs, with all there different beers to try and I would be busy keeping this blog fresh with new and exciting beers to try. As you can tell, this not so.

The problem is this. We don’t want to end up spending the night in some dodgy b&b with no heating, no hot water, a shower that would be more effective if you were to use a pipette and a mattress that would be more comfortable sleeping on the floor (I’m looking at you Saxon Holme Hotel, Stockport). So as a result we generally stay at one of the major chains of hotels that we are all familiar with, particularly Premier Inn. At Premier Inn the beds are always warm and soft, the shower is usual adequate and there is always a restaurant on-site to get some food and a pint after a long days work.

The trouble is that when you go up to the bar it’s nearly always the same few mainstream lagers, Guinness and the tasteless Smoothflow ales. Only if you are very lucky do you ever get a proper pint of cask ale, and even then it is normally one of the big names, Marston’s Pedegree, Wychwood’s Hobgoblin and the like. Now I’m not complaining about that. I just wan’t a little more variety when I drink out.

I’m going to be going up to Burnley, Lancashire, on Monday and I know that the Premier Inn there has got no ale choice at all. Infact, the most exciting thing they have is Magner’s Pear and Ginger, which I am yet to try.

I don’t want to seem like I’m having a downer on Premier Inn, I’m not. Holiday Inn and Travelodge are far worse. They NEVER have any beers bar a few bottles of lager in a fridge behind  a bar where you can order something which I would define as a snack but they insist on charging for it as if it were a full meal.

If we are lucky we can sometimes stay in one of these and there will be a local pub down the road. This is not often the case though. Most of the large chain hotels are built on the outskirts of the towns where land is cheaper, nowhere near walking distance from any pubs.

A few weeks ago I was working within spitting distance of the regions “CAMRA pub of the year”. There is bound to be some good beers in there, but I can’t tell you that for sure because our hotel was two miles away on the ringroad, with a pub attached to it that, to be fair, did have a Greene King IPA tap on. We were there for a week and they didn’t have any IPA in all week, so again we were having to settle for Guinness.

I think mostly that it is a shame because Premier Inn is part of Whitbread. A company which started out in the brewing business has turned its back on beer and makes its money now out of hotels and coffee.

By the way, can anyone suggest a pub/hotel/restaurant that has some good beers, good beds, good showers, secure off-road , home cooked food and preferably a TV with at least full freeview channel listings. It’s not much to ask for is it?