Green Dragon Pub

Author: Claire Bowman

We’ve Got Knotweed Problems!

The pub garden will be closed for the next few months as we deal with a rather nasty infestation of Japanese Knotweed!

For those of you who are unaware, Japanese knotweed is one the UK’s most damaging invasive species. If left unchecked, this bamboo-like plant can grow at an alarming rate of 60cm a week during the Summer, but worse of all it has the potential to cost us a massive amount of money if it spreads into our neighbours’ land.

We have to thank one of our smokers for tipping us off about this particularly nasty plant. Jerry has been our regular smoker here at the Green Dragon for nearly as long as the pub’s been here and whilst we can’t support his choice of habit, we are very grateful for him having spotted the shoots popping up through the cracks in our patio outside. Our pub garden is one of our major selling points during the Summer, so it’s really important that we get this problem sorted out before the weather starts to pick up and the Knotweed starts to grow even more!

After confirming that what we were dealing with was indeed Japanese Knotweed, we hit the books (for ‘books’ read the internet) and discovered more about our new horticultural foe. Pay attention to the following facts as we’re considering adding a special Knotweed round to our Pub Quiz and you may be in line to win a platter of our brand new Nachos!

After consulting some Japanese Knotweed legal specialists we were able to glean the following information and strongly suggest that you check your own gardens, as this is a fast-growing (and expensive!) problem that only gets worse if left to its own devices.

Japanese Knotweed was originally brought over from (you guessed it!) Japan during the Victorian era. Those smarty pants Victorians thought that this study looking plant could be rather useful back in the UK, so they took a few scraps back to see what they could do with it. As it turns out, a few scraps is all they really needed as the plant proved to be incredibly hardy and capable of reproducing itself without normal reproductive methods.

The simple (and rather frightening) reason why Japanese Knotweed has proved to be such a hardy enemy to gardeners since its introduction in Victorian times is that it can clone itself many times over, from a single fragment to an unwieldy mass that can be a real hassle to get rid of. If you opt to hack it to pieces with a machete it’s likely that you’ll spray these ‘rhizome’ fragments all over your land, creating even more opportunities for it to thrive!

As such, it appear that the only way of effectively tackling this dangerous eye-sore is to hire professionals to slowly kill it by means of a nasty ‘glysophate’ chemical solution. Administered by hand, this is a long process that (if done correctly) will eradicate the Knotweed problem. We’ve heard some real horror stories of other pubs ignoring their Knotweed only to find themselves at the wrong end of a lawsuit from their neighbours, which certainly isn’t something we’re willing to risk!

The garden will be closed for the next few months, but should be back open for the Summer – fingers crossed!

4 New Beers Coming Soon & New Menu

This month we welcome a whole host of exciting new beers, not to mention introducing an exciting line-up of winter warmers to our food menu that should go some way to banishing any blues you’ve still got left lingering from January.

The first quarter is always a tough time of year for city-dwellers. Many of our regulars are slave to the 9-5, which has slowly transformed into the 8-6 and started to bleed into the weekend. During these harsh, post-Christmas Winter months they’re lucky to get even a few minutes of sunlight per day, so moods can be at an all time low. Luckily we’ve been busying away seeking out some fresh beers to pour at the Green Dragon and our chefs have been devising some ideal comfort food that should go some way to turning those frowns upside down!

Handyman x Sprawl Scotch Ale – 4.7%

The moonlighting brewers at the Handyman Supermarket (a chic Liverpool bar and micro-brewery) are all architects by day, but that doesn’t seem to affect the superlative quality of their ales which they’ve been pumping out for a couple of years now. This is their 14th brew and marks another successful collaboration, this time with pop-up dining club Sprawl Kitchen who helped them brew this spectacular Scottish style heavy ale.

Beavertown Black Betty – 7.4%

With hand pump and can designs that are consistently as barmy as they are eye-catching, Beavertown has become one of the most successfully exported craft beers from London, it also helps that their beer is a real treat to drink! This particular brew is one that we’ve been waiting a while to get our hands on. A complete contradiction in terms, this Black IPA comes with a dark steak featuring aniseed and a slight roast to imitate the classic ‘Black Jacks Fruit Salad’ sweets – a must-try!

Fuller’s Vintage Ale – 8.5%

At over 200 years old, Fuller’s is one of the longest surviving brewers in London, so its Vintage Ale has certainly earned it’s name. This spicy, warm and very hoppy ale is cellared for a few years to develop its full character, giving it a surprisingly complex backbone of red fruit, tobacco and port-like notes. This is a true London standard and one that should certainly not be missed!

The Kernel London Sour

Rounding off the last of our new beers, this Sour is leading the charge for its kind. For those not familiar, Sour beers are brewed to have an acidic or tart taste, they’re incredibly refreshing and can often be just the thing to start a night of adventurous ale sipping. The Kernel London Sour is a cracking addition to the party and wears its Berliner Weisse inspirations firmly on its sleeve. Hints of lemon and pomegranate make this a sure-fire winner and a great first Sour for newcomers.

Winter Warmers a’plenty!

Our chefs have got just the ticket to help you bust those Winter blues and it comes in the form of huge steaming plates of grub. The new star-attraction, unlikely as it might sound, is our Cottage Pie. Made with quality British beef, heritage vegetables and topped with an irresistible cheesy-mash, this comfort food done right and will perfectly pair with one of our new guest ales.

If you’re looking for something to share then we’d be happy to present to you our newly devised Nacho Sharers. We layer lightly salted tortilla chips with stringy mozzarella, mature cheddar, fresh salsa and sweet red chillies to create a huge plate of gooey-crunchy delight. Add to that a couple of stellar dips and you’ve got the perfect plate to share amongst friends with a couple of pints.…

Old Pub, New Branding!

After nearly 30 years we’re going to be changing our branding…

There are some brands that are timeless. Think Apple or Hugo Boss. These fashionable brands are easily recognisable from their stylish products and synchronous design, unfortunately we cannot say the same about our own design work.

Our founder had many hopes for the Green Dragon Pub when it first opened its doors. He wanted to own a pub that he would spend his time in. That meant the Green Dragon had to evince rural charm, it had to serve simple, delicious food and it had to be free of the modern trappings that had made pubs so inescapably detestable to him. He wasn’t concerned with making the Green Dragon ‘snobby’ by any measure, but he laid down strict ground-rules to the successive owners to ensure that his pub would never be home to ‘noisy arcade machines, ghastly slots games or awful jukebox machines’.

We’ve kept in line with his recommendations to the tee and added a few eccentricities of our own to ensure that the Green Dragon has remained a comfortable place to enjoy a few pints. We knew that our founder was keen on a bit of music, so whilst we’ve not installed any jukeboxes, we do take vinyl requests from our drinkers. Just take a look at our catalogue and put your request in at the bar, just bear in mind you might be waiting a while to hear your pick as we always play records in their entirety.

There are no slot machines or arcade games here, but we do have a wide selection of board games and copious decks of cards to get your mitts on. Rental of playing cards comes with a £3 deposit and board games have a deposit of £10. You can ask at the bar for recommendations, our staff all have a passing knowledge of our selection and will be able to give you a quick run down should you wish.

We’re happy with the changes that we’ve made to this place over the years, but there’s one aspect of the pub that we’ve been reluctant to adapt, no matter how hideous it might appear. Our signage hasn’t been changed since the pub first opened in 1983 and whilst we could argue that the iconic Dragon has a certain vintage charm to it, we’re frequently told that it’s an eyesore by journalists and fellow publicans.

Having consulted with graphic designers, we sent off our finished ideas to a vinyl printers who we heard are the top dogs of CNC cutting in London. Over the next few weeks we’ll slowly be transforming the interior of the pub, erasing all evidence of our ‘retro’ design work and retconning it with our fresh, funky designs which should sit pretty at the Green Dragon for the next 30 years. So don’t be alarmed if you see that the Dragon has disappeared over night, we’ve not changed hands and we’re not closing shop – we’re just getting a face lift! …

Escape the Six Nations: Our Alternative Events Itinerary

If you’ve not guess by now, we’re not your average city boozer.

When our manager opened the Green Dragon back in 1983, he did so with the intention of creating a space that offers weary urbanites the chance to relax and switch off from modern life. He pined for the rural pubs that he’d visited in his youth and wanted to bring that same bucolic vibe to the city. He designed our pub to be a post-modern marvel, a building that recalled the past whilst flatly denying certain aspects of our present day hence the lack of any televisions and the proliferation of book cases!

Little did he know that over 30 years later, the world would be even more hectic and modern life would have us shackled with even more bizarre gadgets and gizmos. Whilst we haven’t gone as far as to ban mobile phones in our pub, we have stuck to our founder’s original vision of a pub without televisions which makes it a perfect place to escape this year’s Six Nations…

Starting from the 1st February onwards we’ll be offering an alternative itinerary that will provide much needed asylum for any rugby refugees who need it:

Let The Games Begin: Board Game Bonanza

1st February, from 6pm

We kick off our alternative itinerary with a huge board game blow-out that is bound to be a hit with Rugby widowers looking for a bit of friendly competition. We’ll be emptying our games coffers, not to mention bringing a few extra special ones out of the closet to share with you all. Drop in at any time from 6pm and jump into a game when a space opens up. There’ll be plenty of variety, from marathon length role-players to quick-fire rounds of cards, so you should find something to your taste.

Crafty Saturdays

Starting Saturday 2nd February to 16th March, 2pm-5pm

Turn your frustrations into something creative at our regular Saturday Craft workshops. We’ll have a whole bevvy of materials and tools that you’re at liberty to use, so if you’ve got a backlog of DIY cards to put together we’ll have you covered. Each week we’ll be inviting a specialist crafter who will be demonstrating their particular talent and showing you how to do the same. There’ll also be a few stalls selling wares, should you wish to take a sneaky short-cut.

Quiz Me Silly

Starting Saturday 2nd February to 16th March, 6pm-9pm

There’ll be strictly no Sports round at this quiz, which will stretch your knowledge in every other area. In Green Dragon tradition, team entry is absolutely free so we won’t be offering any cash prizes, but there will be the opportunity throughout the quiz to win food sharers for your table and a few cheeky drinks. The grand prize is a slap up roast dinner for team member that can be cashed in on any following Sunday.

Classic Sunday Afternoon Movies

Starting Sunday 3rd February to 17th March, from 3pm

We might not have any telly screens here at the Green Dragon, but we do have a real film projector and an ever-growing selection of classic movies. Drop in every Sunday afternoon to catch a classic movie, get comfy in our screening room, order pints to your seat and help yourself to complementary popcorn whilst you’re at it. Entrance is strictly limited to 20 people on a first come first served basis for £5 a ticket. Check in the pub for our complete schedule.…

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