The Hobgoblin (Wychwood)
St Aldates, Oxford

Wychwood Shires GBP 1.50
Wychwood M4 Mild GBP 1.50
Torrington Old English Ale (4.8%) GBP 2.20 (2000-08-10)

Formerly The Bulldog. Now The St Aldates Tavern. (2005-08-13)

Mark Dickerson writes:
The delightful thing about going to a newly-opened (or in this case 
re-opened) pub is that the whole question of clientele is up in the air.  
The Hobgoblin could go either way---it advertises a discount for students, 
but the clientele was decidedly meaty on the opening night, aside from the 
brewery workers, CAMRA members and journalists.  It's going to have 
bouncers on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, which is always off-putting 
but probably necessary.

The interior has had some modifications to the bar from its Bulldog days; 
the overall feel is Ye Olde Rough Ale House.  The Hobgobin theme appears 
throughout, but for this type of pub is not as excessive as, say, a 
Firkin.  A hobgoblin in a picture plucks a student on a bike from the 
streets of Oxford as it threatens to demolish the Radcliffe Camera, which 
is nice.

As for the beer, it was excellent, with three guests.  Wychwood beers 
always strike me as robust, and they do a good (seasonal) stout.  They are 
a perfect match for the pub, and help to create the slightly rough edge in 
the atmosphere that the Firkin chain used to succeed in doing.  One to 
watch. (1998-10-16)

The mild is apparently brewed in Wychwood's test plant, and is only 
available in two other outlets.  A very welcome lifeline for mild 
drinkers. (2000-05-01)

Colin Batchelor (that's me) writes:
Clientele on Saturday night (this is the acid test) was mostly 
middle-aged.  I got to ask for a pint of Shires, but the barmaid didn't 
spot the Archers reference.

No bouncers tonight (Thursday).  Largely quiet but for a small group of 
American tourists, and some real ale enthusiasts.  The beer on offer was 
Shires, the Wychwood beer of the month, Wychwood M4 Mild, and three 
guests, one of which (Postage Stamp) had a really strange aftertaste, but 
another of which (Torrington Old English) was very fine indeed.  All of us 
order Shires in Borsetshire accents.