Monday, April 15, 2024

The Two Julians

We straddle the Waveney so you don't have to.

The Two Julians
DerehamGood Beer GuideTwo Julians

Dereham Pub Day – The Cock

Dereham Pubs

Julian and I had left The Cock to the end of our first visit to Dereham pubs because it’s an award winning CAMRA pub and our hopes were high. First opened in the late eighteenth century, it has been a Bullards, then Watney Mann, then Chef & Brewer, then Brent Walker, then Pubmaster before a few years of closure and usage as a restaurant. Now free trade, the current owners took over in early 2020 and the pub has an excellent reputation. The Cock won the CAMRA District pub of the year and only lost out on the wider branch pub award to the marvellous White Lion in Norwich. Julian, accidentally I’d add, wore his White Lion branded hat when entering the pub, I’m not sure if they noticed.

Dereham Pubs

There were four real ales on, which was the widest choice of the day other than the JD Wetherspoon operated Romany Rye.

Dereham Pubs

I’m always delighted to see any Titanic beer, and I’m looking forwards to a small group of us going to visit their brewery in a few weeks, but the whole selection here is creative and there are some breweries that I rarely see. I’m much more likely to go to a pub which changes its beer options on a regular basis and looking back on Untappd, the Cock has offered some really decent options.

Dereham Pubs

I took the photos during a quiet period, as the pub was generally quite busy throughout our visit. The service at the bar was warm and friendly with the whole atmosphere feeling inviting and informal. It seemed a rather suitable place to linger.

Dereham Pubs

The front of the pub is cosy, with this section at the back feeling more open and suitable for those who want to dine whilst they’re here. The owners also operate some rooms with a self-catering apartment at the rear of the venue, as well as some other options a short walk away.

Dereham Pubs

I started with the Steerage from Titanic Brewery, a well kept clean and hoppy bitter. As a random aside, I would have thought they would be able to get some half pint beer festival glasses from CAMRA rather than using those from Timothy Taylor, but I didn’t let that ruin my day.

Dereham Pubs

As the pub atmosphere was comfortable and inviting, we decided to stay for a second, opting for the Megoatron from Top Rope Brewing. I hadn’t heard of Top Rope before, but the owners met at Brewdog Liverpool and decided after a few pints it would be a good idea to open a brewery. That certainly seems an optimal decision to me. Also well kept and at the appropriate temperature, this was an oaty and smooth stout, suitable to prepare me for a walk back to the bus stop in the Dereham rain.

Dereham Pubs

I very much liked this menu, something creative which is easy to prepare and sounded rather decent.

Dereham Pubs

There’s plenty of theming based around the pub’s name.

Dereham Pubs

I thought that this was a nice touch, it’s useful for the locals to be prepared in advance if they’re travelling to somewhere like Watton.

Dereham Pubs

There’s a sense of fun to the pub and it also feels like a venue where the owners are keen to put events on to surprise and delight the local community.

Dereham Pubs

Here are some of the current planned events, there are games evenings, a pub quiz, a rum festival and plenty more. If I lived in Dereham, I think that I’d become a regular here.

Dereham Pubs

I like the tagline of “like pubs used to be”, although any community which had a pub this well run would have been very fortunate. It feels like it’s at the heart of the community, it’s got a strong offering and a relaxed atmosphere. We felt welcome, we would have willing stayed for longer if it wasn’t for the need to catch a bus and this venue very much seems to be on the up. This really is one of those pubs which surprises and delights, a worthy winner of numerous CAMRA awards despite being open for just a few years under the current management.