Three generations of the Beard family held this pub until about 2002 when it changed out of the family’s hands. There is a well-known local story that a letter addressed only ‘The Viper, England’ was delivered by the post office. This is another proper rural pub which gets busy at lunchtimes. It is a three bar pub – public, saloon and tap room – and only since the Beard’s left has a communicating door been knocked through between the saloon and rest of the pub. Good pub food and well kept beer continue to be the hallmarks of this CAMRA award winning pub. About twenty years ago I remember Fred Beard’s wife serving me a pint then moments later coming over to my table with a replacement. In her view the pint was cloudy and that would not do.
‘Essex pubs’ has some lovely old pictures of the pub and its former landlord and landlady: http://londonpublichouse.com/essexpubs/Ingatestone/viper.shtml
Beer In The Evening reviews: http://www.beerintheevening.com/pubs/s/37/3750/Viper/Mill_Green