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Clubhouse at DHFC

jimbarkanoodle

Well-Known Member
I don't believe it is unless something special is happening.
If so, then they have given up trying to be a nightly bar in the week for locals, which is a shame. But not surprising, even with the nightly happy hour, id go in sometimes in the week (or even a Friday night) to watch football, and it would be deserted. Not worth turning the lights and heating on for, to sell a few £3 pints of Estrella.
 

Pink Panther

Well-Known Member
If so, then they have given up trying to be a nightly bar in the week for locals, which is a shame. But not surprising, even with the nightly happy hour, id go in sometimes in the week (or even a Friday night) to watch football, and it would be deserted. Not worth turning the lights and heating on for, to sell a few £3 pints of Estrella.
I think this has always been a problem when previous regimes have attempted to promote the clubhouse as a "local". The bar is just too tucked away from the main road to attract passing trade and you can't see into it from outside. You wouldn't even know whether or not it was open at any particular time unless you'd already seen it advertised somewhere. This was a point that brewery and pub company marketing types paid a lot of attention to when I was a barman 25-30 years ago. In those days a lot of pubs had leaded windows with opaque glass, you couldn't really see inside from the street which was reckoned to be especially off-putting to female potential customers. That's not the case anymore, you can see right inside most pubs through big clear windows these days. How many times have you spontaneously decide to try a pub because it looked inviting or interesting as you passed it? That's just not going to happen with the Hamlet clubhouse unless you're particularly adventurous!

Even for regular supporters with the incentive of £3 happy hour pints, if you go there and don't bump onto any fellow supporters you'd possibly rather pay a bit more and have a pint or two in the Cheery Tree or EDT instead. This also ties in with not having real ale in the bar. Virtually all trade is in the space of a few hours every other Saturday. Unsold casks won't last until the next game and won't sell in between games. It's also more fiddly to change casks than kegs on a matchday if you have them on handpump and there isn't enough space to have them racked up on the bar as was the case a while ago. The best option for real ale on matchdays is an outside bar like the one Southey Brewery ran last season. It's a shame that arrangement can't be restored. The best place for it would be the old groundsman's shed then cask's could be kept out of the sun and secured overnight after tapping them without having to move them around. (I'm not sure why the bar in that corner is next to it instead of inside it now.)
 

DonkeyAssessor

Well-Known Member
You sound a little disproportionately cross about this. Mind you, I'll drink any old piss......
Maybe. Thanks for your collective responses. Lack of communication, be it notification of supply problem or whatever reason at time, or for complete withdrawal , only served to add to irritation.

After enjoying such excellent ales that have been so regularly made available over last 2 or 3 years, it was disappointing when such were not, especially when arriving an hour or so early AND BRINGING EXPECTANT (for points as well as pints) FRIENDS for the H&R and H&W games on Boxing Day and last Tuesday respectively. Don't do twitter, but if manager agrees and continues to supply similar quality that has been on for the last 3 years, such as the ruby ale on in November, it would more than satisfy me and I guess most others . Will have a word with manager at next opportunity.... (if still necessary)
 

editor

hiraethified
I'm still happy to promote the bar on Brixton Buzz - all I need is a list of the days it will be open, along with the hours and some beers on offer and prices.
 

blueheaven

Well-Known Member
After enjoying such excellent ales that have been so regularly made available over last 2 or 3 years, it was disappointing when such were not, especially when arriving an hour or so early AND BRINGING EXPECTANT (for points as well as pints) FRIENDS for the H&R and H&W games on Boxing Day and last Tuesday respectively. Don't do twitter, but if manager agrees and continues to supply similar quality that has been on for the last 3 years, such as the ruby ale on in November, it would more than satisfy me and I guess most others . Will have a word with manager at next opportunity.... (if still necessary)
I was about to say your posts seem like an over-reaction, until I realised that the way you feel about the disappearing ale is basically the way I feel about the disappearing Thai and Caribbean food.
 

editor

hiraethified
Clubhouse news
Is there a page somewhere that has all the games and bar opening times, ideally with some details of what bewers are in stock/prices etc?
If so I can finally post up a page on Buzz which would effectively be a free advert!
 

jimbarkanoodle

Well-Known Member
i see they have cut 'happy hour' by an hour. used to be 6-8. May well put people off who plan to come and watch the football and get a couple of cheap ones in before the match (which all start just before 8pm), then stay for the duration. I wonder what brought on that decision?

Happily for me it doesnt matter as i have a season ticket.
 

jimbarkanoodle

Well-Known Member
in fact, having looked on Facebook ,there are several statuses that confuse me:

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1580375519644.png

The first one suggests they might be closed apart from big matches and (private) functions. The second screenshot suggests they are open all the time, with happy hour also literally all day :hmm:
 

mick mccartney

Well-Known Member
Maybe. Thanks for your collective responses. Lack of communication, be it notification of supply problem or whatever reason at time, or for complete withdrawal , only served to add to irritation.

After enjoying such excellent ales that have been so regularly made available over last 2 or 3 years, it was disappointing when such were not, especially when arriving an hour or so early AND BRINGING EXPECTANT (for points as well as pints) FRIENDS for the H&R and H&W games on Boxing Day and last Tuesday respectively. Don't do twitter, but if manager agrees and continues to supply similar quality that has been on for the last 3 years, such as the ruby ale on in November, it would more than satisfy me and I guess most others . Will have a word with manager at next opportunity.... (if still necessary)
Did you get to see the manager yet ?
 

DonkeyAssessor

Well-Known Member
Did you get to see the manager yet ?
Spoke to the Manageress after the game on Saturday.
Despite my request, it is clear that she has no intention whatsoever of putting cask ale back on, because in her view is that it remains unsold after games.

Strange that, because the club didn't seem to have any trouble shifting a barrel or two in the exiled days at Mitcham, despite crowds being 2/5ths of the size they are at Champion Hill !!!

She did however make me aware that they serve Brockley Bitter in bottles, and Harvey's Sussex bitter in cans , which is some concession.

But as far as the club giving out an "inclusive for all" welcome, it isn't for real ale drinkers. (or it would seem for those seeking tasty food ),

My memory goes back to the notices plastered round Chippenham Town's ground conveying the message " Before you complain, have you tried volunteering !", so I take heed of such sentiments here and will drop the matter (but I am not too impressed with the "This is the way things are, "Foxtrot Oscar" attitude.)
 

DonkeyAssessor

Well-Known Member
I was about to say your posts seem like an over-reaction, until I realised that the way you feel about the disappearing ale is basically the way I feel about the disappearing Thai and Caribbean food.
Fully empathise and sympathise with you on that one. More compensatory delights for those prepared to venture down to Mitcham during those dark days, that have disappeared.
 
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Cat Daisy

Active Member
Spoke to the Manageress after the game on Saturday.
Despite my request, it is clear that she has no intention whatsoever of putting cask ale back on, because in her view is that it remains unsold after games.

Strange that, because the club didn't seem to have any trouble shifting a barrel or two in the exiled days at Mitcham, despite crowds being 2/5ths of the size they are at Champion Hill !!!

She did however make me aware that they serve Brockley Bitter in bottles, and Harvey's Sussex bitter in cans , which is some concession.

But as far as the club giving out an "inclusive for all" welcome, it isn't for real ale drinkers. (or it would seem for those seeking tasty food ),

My memory goes back to the notices plastered round Chippenham Town's ground conveying the message " Before you complain, have you tried volunteering !", so I take heed of such sentiments here and will drop the matter (but I am not too impressed with the "This is the way things are, "Foxtrot Oscar" attitude.)
Well done for taking up the matter. TBH the cask ale in the clubhouse since returning wasn't in great condition - sadly, even during the summer beer festival. And that creates a vicious circle of people not buying and beer being ditched.
(The outside Southey beer - at Mitcham or at Dulwich - wasn't that great either although that was no doubt because it was racked & served on the same day.)
Are any of the bar staff actually trained in looking after cask beer? If so, maybe they could try again whenever a "busy" weekend occurs - Saturday and Sunday games & Comedy Club.
Otherwise I will stick to £3 Peckham Pale and get my real ale from somewhere I know will look after it.
 

EDC

A Slightly Less Invisible Cyber Fan These Days
I’ve stopped drinking in the ground because it’s too expensive as a non season ticket holder.
 

Pink Panther

Well-Known Member
Well done for taking up the matter. TBH the cask ale in the clubhouse since returning wasn't in great condition - sadly, even during the summer beer festival. And that creates a vicious circle of people not buying and beer being ditched.
(The outside Southey beer - at Mitcham or at Dulwich - wasn't that great either although that was no doubt because it was racked & served on the same day.)
Are any of the bar staff actually trained in looking after cask beer? If so, maybe they could try again whenever a "busy" weekend occurs - Saturday and Sunday games & Comedy Club.
Otherwise I will stick to £3 Peckham Pale and get my real ale from somewhere I know will look after it.
Real ale has been my preferred drink pretty much since I was legally old enough to drink, so 36 years. I've worked on and off as a barman for most of that time, including four years as my full time job. My personal view is that it's just not practical to serve real ale in good condition under the current circumstances. Like yourself I'd rather have a consistently ok keg beer like Peckham Pale than a poorly kept real ale that's warm, flat, underripe because it hasn't been tapped early enough, hasn't been kept in a cellar, the barrel has been knocked or moved because it's in the way etc. Serving it in plastic cups doesn't help either, although I accept that's mandatory before and during the game. I know some people would rather accept that than make do with a couple of pints of keg beer but I'm not one of them, and I wouldn't be too keen on serving it under those conditions if I was managing the bar either.

The whole of the main stand building is poorly designed, including the fact that the beer cellar is at one end of a very long bar rather than underneath it. Having real ale worked best in the early days at the current ground when first Paul Hobdell, then Dave Bartlett, looked after it. We had one handpump serving Wadworth 6X, attendances for matches were typically 400-500 and the bar was busy throughout the week for the 7-a-side leagues on the astroturf. Now it's either jam-packed from crowds of 2,000 or more on matchday or completely dormant for most of the rest of the time. Having the casks on or behind the bar as has sometimes been the case is hopeless when it's that busy.

The best solution I can think of would be to have a proper stillage in the old groundsman's hut that housed the original outside bar so 8 -10 casks can be racked and tapped several days before a home game and kept there securely until matchday, which is more or less what Southey were doing without having the facility to tap the casks early enough.

I’ve stopped drinking in the ground because it’s too expensive as a non season ticket holder.
Whilst I'm happy to take advantage of the season ticket holder discount, I don't really think it's right to have discounts for some customers but not others at the same bar. It's a very generous discount so if the club can afford to offer that it would be more appropriate to charge a bit less for everyone and price each beer acccording to wholesale price. The outside bars take card payments only and I would imagine a majority of transactions at the main bar are card payments so the need to round prices up to avoid handling lots of loose change isn't really as pressing as it once was. I typically pay £4.20-£4.40 for a pint of cask ale in my local pubs, although as I never touch mainstream lagers and I'm rarely in a round that includes anyone who drinks them I've no idea what they cost these days. I don't suppose you get much change from a fiver for anything resembling Estrella in the Cherry Tree or the East Dulwich Tavern.
 

pompeydunc

Well-Known Member
Spoke to the Manageress after the game on Saturday.
Despite my request, it is clear that she has no intention whatsoever of putting cask ale back on, because in her view is that it remains unsold after games.

Strange that, because the club didn't seem to have any trouble shifting a barrel or two in the exiled days at Mitcham, despite crowds being 2/5ths of the size they are at Champion Hill !!!

She did however make me aware that they serve Brockley Bitter in bottles, and Harvey's Sussex bitter in cans , which is some concession.

But as far as the club giving out an "inclusive for all" welcome, it isn't for real ale drinkers. (or it would seem for those seeking tasty food ),

My memory goes back to the notices plastered round Chippenham Town's ground conveying the message " Before you complain, have you tried volunteering !", so I take heed of such sentiments here and will drop the matter (but I am not too impressed with the "This is the way things are, "Foxtrot Oscar" attitude.)
It sounds like real ale options has continued to deteriorate since I've been away. A real shame.

The bar used to shift barrels of the stuff only two or three season back with queues snaking across the bar for it. I guess this doesn't make as much money as just getting people to drink the more speedily served and looked after keg stuff, but it clearly doesn't reflect demand. I would like to think we could still cater for this part of our community and not just the bottom line at the bar.

However, the lack of ale could indeed affect income above and beyond its own sale. Given that lager and keg ales can be bought anywhere, then the minority who insist on real ale will drag their friends to other places before or after the game.

I also think it's a vicious circle, as the bar increasingly loses its rep for real ale, then the demand will shrink as people don't know it's on.

I don't see a problem with half a cask being left after a game, if you have sold seven to ten before that, which we certainly used to with lower crowds. You can then just knock out the remainder after 6.30pm for a cut price, or save it for the comedy club on Sunday or the women's game.

It also needs to be more clearly marked when it's on. At a comedy club, I remarked earlier this season, it was a shame that there was no ale left from the previous day (after already had a couple of pale ales). I was told it was on, but nobody was drinking it. Given that it was hidden down end of bar and not marked as on, and no pump clip on the handle, then is that really surprising?!

Sorry for the whinge, but I know a lot of work went into growing ale range a few years back, and it was rewarding to see the large demand for it. I do think was one of the many reasons crowds grew, even if perhaps a minor reason. So it's just a pity to be reading lots of gripes about it over this season.
 
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