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IN

The magazine from the Wigan branch of The Campaign for Real Ale

November 2015 to

January 2016

Kevin and Becky from the Albion Ale House receive their Pub of the Season award from Pete Marsh, Wigan CAMRA Chairperson.

ALBION ALE HOUSE In this Issue... • LOCAL BEER FESTIVALS • NEW BREWERIES • TAP N BARREL OPENS

PUB OF THE SEASON FRE

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+ Much More...

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Branch Contacts Chairperson: Pete Marsh e: chair@wigancamra.org.uk Vice-Chairperson: Ken Worthington e: vicechair@wigancamra.org.uk Branch Secretary: Vacant e: secretary@wigancamra.org.uk Treasurer: Brian Gleave e: treasurer@wigancamra.org.uk Membership Secretary: Shaun Ashton e: membership@wigancamra.org.uk Pubs Officer: Donald Appleton e: pubs@wigancamra.org.uk Public Affairs Officer: Robin Gibson e: public@wigancamra.org.uk Pubs Heritage Officer: Pete Marsh e: heritage@wigancamra.org.uk Young Members Officer: Joanna Whalley e: young@wigancamra.org.uk Social Secretary: Roy Pearson e: social@wigancamra.org.uk Cider Officer: Carol Worthington e: c/o vicechair@wigancamra.org.uk Contributors to this edition: David White ; Jean & Alan Wass ; Carol & Ken Worthington ; Hannah & Phil Koller ; Jo Whalley ; Darrell Lawton ; Christine & Roy Pearson. Web: www.wigancamra.org.uk Twitter: @WiganCAMRA The Editor reserves the right to amend or shorten contributions for publication. All editorial copyright © Wigan CAMRA 2015 Disclaimer: Views expressed in this publication are those of their individual authors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Editor, branch committee or the Campaign for Real Ale nationally. Wigan CAMRA accepts no liability in relation to the accuracy of advertisements; readers must rely on their own enquiries. It should also be noted that acceptance of an advertisement in this publication should not be deemed an endorsement of quality by Wigan CAMRA.

Campaign for Real Ale Ltd. - www.camra.org.uk 230 Hatfield Road, St. Albans, Herts, AL1 4LW t: 01727 867 201 e: camra@camra.org.uk

PUBLISHED BY Capital Media Group First Floor, Central Buildings, Middlegate, Newark-on-Trent, Nottinghamshire, NG24 1AG t: 01636 302 302 e: hello@choose.capital www.choose.capital © 2015 Capital Media Group. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be transmitted, reproduced, recorded, photocopied or otherwise without the express written permission of the copyright holder.

November 2015 - January 2016

MESSAGE FROM THE EDITOR WELCOME

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n this edition of Swiggin, we take our regular look at what’s happening in our local breweries (page 12) and try to keep you generally updated with the local pub scene (page 13). Speaking of pubs, a new micropub recently opened in Wigan town centre belonging to one of Wigan’s very own breweries (page 18). It’s another welcome addition to the Wigan pub scene which keeps getting better and better. In fact it’s so good, a frequent visitor to our town has written a poem about it (page 10). And it’s not just Wigan! The real ale scene nationwide is improving as indicated by the recent Cask Ale Report 2015. You can download this via www.cask-marque.co.uk but we have picked out a few highlights (page 14) We also take a peek at the evolving brewing scene across our region and feature some of the newer breweries to keep a look out for in your local pubs and clubs (page 6). Beer drinkers love a good beer festival. In fact, two of the biggest local festivals happened to fall on the same weekend in September. We reflect on both of these (page 4). Another beer festival close to our hearts is the Bent ‘n’ Bongs Festival in Atherton. Due to unforeseen circumstances, the organisers have had to relocate and change the date of this very popular festival (page 8). Our regular feature – ‘Mists of Time’ – is always a popular and interesting read. It takes us into our realale Tardis to reflect upon the real ale scene in Wigan in bygone times (page 16). CAMRA members like to socialise and enjoy ourselves as demonstrated by our recent social trip to Shrewsbury (page 9). We even let members out in small groups or by themselves to drink outside the Wigan area and they still seem to enjoy themselves. Check out their reports from Newcastle (page 20) and York and Peterborough beer festivals (page 17). Christine & Roy Pearson

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Co-editors of Swiggin in Wiggin, Wigan CAMRA

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Wigan branch of The Campaign for Real Ale

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LOCAL BEER FESTIVALS HAVING A REET GOOD TIME

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wo beer festivals in Wigan held on the same weekend in mid-September, were both roaring successes.

REET GOOD BEER FESTIVAL

The inaugural ‘Reet Good Beer Festival’ was held on Mesnes Field and raised funds for the Wigan Youth Zone. On Saturday evening, the festival was full to capacity and people were queuing to get in. Spencer Parry, the festival organiser, says he was overwhelmed by the success of the festival and plans are already being made for next year’s festival.

CROOKE HALL BEER, BOAT & MUSIC FESTIVAL

It was a similar success story from the Crooke Hall Beer, Boat and Music Festival. Over 37 barrels of real ale and 7 kegs of cider were sold. Over £2000 was raised for charity - the Stroke Association and Wigan and Leigh Hospice, two very worthy causes. Greg Liptrot, licensee and festival organiser, would like to thank all the festival volunteers for their hard work and all bands for providing their services free-of-charge. However, a few more volunteers for next year’s festival would always be welcomed and appreciated.

Reet Good Beer Festival 4

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Crooke Hall Beer, Boat & Music Festival

2016 WIGAN BEER FESTIVAL

Of course, we shouldn’t forget our own Wigan CAMRA Beer Festival which will be taking place on 3rd-5th March 2016. Plans have already begun for this festival and the theme has now been decided – ‘at the seaside’. Details of this festival will be featured heavily in the next edition of Swiggin.

2016 theme is ‘at the seaside’

Crooke Hall Beer, Boat & Music Festival November 2015 - January 2016


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Wigan branch of The Campaign for Real Ale

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NEW BREWERIES THE BREWING REVOLUTION CONTINUES

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lthough no new breweries have opened in our branch area during 2015, there has been plenty of activity nearby and across our region. Some of the breweries opening up recently include:

Drink Up Brewing

Central Workshops, Back Longworth Road, Horwich, Bolton, BL6 7DB

Beers first started appearing in Spring 2015, although a number of the early beers were brewed at Rivington Brewing Company. A 10-barrel plant has been newly installed alongside the 2 hectolitre plant used for seasonal and test brews. It’s intended that their beers will be available in can, cask, bottle and keg formats. Their core beer range currently includes :- dubWest (5.0%) - West Coast Pale Ale; dubWhite (4.5%) - Hefeweizen; dubSummer (4.5%) - English bitter; dubClassic (3.0%) - Dark Mild; dubSmash (5.3%) - Saison; dubFire (5.0%) - American Amber Ale; dubFire Ace (5.0%) - dubFire dry-hopped with Sorachi Ace.

Rivington Brewing Co.

Cunliffe Farm, New Road, Anderton, Chorley, PR6 9EY

Craft brewery based on a dairy farm. First brewed Spring 2015. Size of plant: 1.5BBL. The brewery is predominately bottling, with some limited keg and cask facility. Beers produced so far includes :Radical (4.9%) - farmhouse ale; Choice (6.2%) - IPA; Uber Rad (7.7%) - strong Belgian; Bodacious (4.6%) - golden session ale.

Third Eye Brewery

Eccleston

Founded by Matthew Leach, a keen home brewer. Located on a farm near to the Delph Dive Centre. Brewing on a 1.5BBL plant producing just 6 firkins at a time. Only one beer being produced at present - Session (3.9%). 6

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Neptune Brewery

Unit 1, Sefton Lane Industrial Estate, Maghull, Liverpool, L31 8BX

First brewed June 2015. 1BBL micro brewery. Brewing cask, keg and bottles. Beer without isinglass finings. Beers include: Triton (4.4%) - pale ale; Riptide (3.7%) - English bitter; Abyss (5.0%) - oatmeal stout; Jack May (6.3%) - IPA; Erik the Red (4.5%) - American red ale; Amberjack (4.5%) - amber ale; Amberjack’d (6.0%); Thick & Twisted (6.6%) - stout ; Amber (3.7%); Lowtide (2.8%) - English bitter.

Rock The Boat Brewery

6 Little Crosby Road, Crosby Village, Liverpool, L23 4TS

First brewed June 2015. Located in a 16th century wheelwright’s workshop in Little Crosby Village. Beers include :- Mussel Wreck (3.9%) - golden bitter; Bootle Bull (3.8%) - amber bitter; Liverpool Light (3.4%) - blonde session ale; Dazzle (3.6%) - pale golden beer.

Potts Brewing Company

Russell Avenue, Southport

Run by husband and wife team, Simon and Shona Potts, from an outbuilding at the back of their home, just a stone’s throw from Southport Brewery. This ‘nanobrewery’ promises ‘small batch beers brewed in Southport’ with a capacity to produce around 200 bottles per week. Bottled-version of Sprocket IPA (5.5%), their first beer, was launched in August. Cask versions of beers expected shortly.

Red Star Brewery

Unit 54B Stephenson Way, Formby Business Park, Formby, Liverpool, L37 8EG

First brewed May 2015. 10 barrel brewplant. Bottled Partisan Ale has already attracted interest from Serbian football fans – Red Star Belgrade v Partizan Belgrade is known as Serbia’s Eternal derby. November 2015 - January 2016


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Wigan branch of The Campaign for Real Ale

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BENT ‘N’ BONGS ON THE MOVE NEW VENUE & DATE CHANGE

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he Formby Hall in Atherton, home to one of the most successful local beer festivals (Bent ‘n Bongs Beer Bash) for many years, closed at the end of July. The venue was sold to Formby Hall Limited and was earmarked for demolition to make way for an extra care facility for the elderly. Now, after a timely intervention by South-East Lancashire CAMRA branch, the building has been added to Wigan Council’s Assets of Community Value list where it will remain for five years. This means the building has protection from development under the Localism Act 2011 and the owner therefore must inform Wigan Council if they wish to sell it or make changes to it. As part of the order, any community group who wants to buy the asset can trigger a six month freeze on the sale to give them a chance to raise funds. It also protects the building from planning applications. Former Councillor Norman Bradbury is now calling for residents to sign a petition to get the hall given back to the community once and for all. The petition demands that Formby

Hall should be returned to the Atherton community, as this was originally intended when the hall was gifted to Atherton by the Burrows family in 1917. Amidst this uncertainty, the organisers of Bent ‘n Bongs Beer Bash had no alternative but to relocate the 2016 festival. It will now be held at Atherton Community School, Hamilton Street, Atherton, M46 0AY. On a more positive note, this provides the festival with a larger and more central venue. There has had to be a slight change in dates due to the use of school premises. The festival will now take place on 18th20th February 2016, during school half-term week.

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November 2015 - January 2016


OUT & ABOUT SOCIAL TRIP TO SHREWSBURY

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n Saturday September 26th, a coach full of us took to the road bound for the delightful Shropshire town of Shrewsbury. But, being a Wigan CAMRA trip, we had to call at a brewery first. The Stonehouse Brewery, just outside of Oswestry, proved to be a perfect calling-off point. Set next to a disused railway line and surrounded by a pretty orchard, we all enjoyed the good weather sat outside at the picnic tables whilst sampling their beers. Although it was only a fleeting visit, we were warmly welcomed by the owners, Shane and Alison Parr. Shane also provided us with an impromptu tour around the brewery. Despite some of the group being happy to stay there all day, it was soon time to move on. Shrewsbury never disappoints. With 43 real ale pubs in the town centre (11 listed in the Good Beer Guide 2016) there was plenty of choice. If that wasn’t enough, the local CAMRA branch was hosting their annual beer festival in the historic Morris Hall. Popular pub choices were: Admiral Benbow, Coach & Horses, Three Fishes, Salopian Bar and the Dolphin. The beer festival was in a small venue and was very busy. However, all beers were served on handpull and those sampled were in good condition. Upon leaving Shrewsbury, spirits were high and Sandra’s quiz kept us all amused for the first part of our return journey. However, we had one final stop... at another brewery. This time it was at Big Hand Brewery, just outside Wrexham, which was hosting a Beer & Rugby Bash. We arrived in time for the build up to the big game (England versus Wales in the Rugby Union World Cup) which

was being shown on a big screen. There was a choice of 8 cask ales on handpull from Big Hand, Cwrw Ial, Axiom and Griepel breweries with all the respective brewers in attendance. Too soon it was time to leave and head back to Wigan. With England leading and a final blast of ‘Swing low, sweet chariot’ and we were on our way. Roy Pearson, Social Secretary.

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Wigan branch of The Campaign for Real Ale

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WHERE IN THE WORLD? A POEM ABOUT A SPECIAL PLACE

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here in the world, within a half-mile stretch, would you have: 12 pubs serving real ale, 3 of which are owned/operated by local breweries; an award-winning brewery; 2 railway stations (serving London, Scotland and both the east and west coasts); 1 bus station (serving surrounding areas and other local towns); several pie shops?. Welcome to Wigan! It’s so good, one of the regular drinkers in Wigan has written a poem about it... The train arrives bang on queue; Off for a beer in Wigan’s chosen few A town that offer many a surprise; It sells more beer than traditional pies That’s what I like about Wiggin

Wigan... A special place

Out the Station and up the road; Choose your pub there’s no dress code Left or right the choice is yours; There’s old and new on the real ale tours That’s what I like about Wiggin A busy day at the pavement tables; Lager drinkers telling fables Falling over they’ve had enough; Follow us for some decent stuff. That’s what I like about Wiggin We go for a bite in Wetherspoons; Moon under Water late afternoon A burger and a pint it’s cheap as chips; And a tomato sauce relish to use as dips. That’s what I like about Wiggin. New pubs opening Keg and Craft; Fine selection of bottles and draught Good town folk from the CAMRA scene; From Wigan Central to Little Fifteens That’s what I like about Wiggin That’s what I like about Wiggin Poem courtesy of Dennis Swift

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November 2015 - January 2016


• 13 TVs & A BIG SCREEN, CREEN, All major sports shown hown • LIVE BANDS EVERY RY FRIDAY from 9.45pm 5pm • SATURDAY NIGHT T - RADIO DJss • FOOD 7 DAYS A WEEK from 12pm Midday ay

5 CASK ALES & 1 CASK CIDER changing weekly

Participant in Sky’s TV series ‘Quiz the Nation’

27-29 WALLGATE | WIGAN | WN1 1LD | T. T 01942 242041 24204 41 4 1

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November 2015 - January 2016

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Wigan branch of The Campaign for Real Ale

BREWERY NEWS KEEPING YOU UPDATED All Gates Brewery

www.allgatesbrewery.com The brewery is running to absolute capacity at present. A new beer, called Nellie Melba (4.3%), was brewed in September using the recently acquired Australian single hop Melba. Monthly beer Patchcroft, single hopped with Mosaic, has been well received and is a personal favourite of the head brewer, Jonny. Look out for the ginger-infused Hardybutts. Last seen on the pumpclips as Milk Stout, Dairy Pit will soon be available in bottled form along with the ever popular Blue Sky Tea Pale Ale. The bi-monthly beer for August and September was Industrious Bee (3.8%). Also, look out for another new beer Pony Dick (4.2%), pale and hoppy.

Martland Mill Brewery

www.martlandmillbrewery.co.uk

Beer sales continue to rise and production has been increased to cope with this and the demand from their tied house, the Tap ‘n’ Barrel. New fermenters are being sourced to further increase capacity. D-Day Dodger has been a successful addition to their core range. A dark beer will be produced in November to reflect the change in seasons. All core beers plus a Christmas special will soon be bottled. Paul recently hosted a meet the brewer at the Albion Ale House with very positive feedback. The Tap ‘n’ Barrel now has a regular Sunday music slot (35pm each week).

Wellcross Brewing Co. @WellcrossBrewer

There seems to have been no activity from this brewery for quite some time. As such, it is strongly suspected that brewing has ceased. If you know any different, then let us know 12

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Hophurst Brewery

www.hophurstbrewery.co.uk

All three beers in their ‘specials’ range have received great feedback and will be brewed again. Flaxen and Campfire are in the first batch of beers for bottling to be followed by Joust, Cosmati and Debonair. Campfire was very well received at the Great British Beer Festival with very positive feedback. A third fermenter has just been purchased to cope with demand and they will soon be kegging their beers. The brewery celebrated their 1st anniversary in October (7th) which coincided with their 50th brew (a 4.4% Session IPA).

Problem Child www.problemchild brewing.co.uk

Tantrum is their latest beer - a summer ale at 4.5%, golden with tropical fruits and dry hopped. A special was also produced in August – One Night Stand. The brewery hosted a pop-up bar at Haydock Park Racecourse in September. A range of their beers were also seen at the recent Reet Good Beer Festival in Wigan.

Prospect Brewery

www.prospectbrewery.com

A double dose of bad luck and bad news during September. Firstly, thieves brazenly stole two Karcher pressure washers (worth over £3000) during broad daylight whilst staff were working in the adjoining unit. Then, notification was received from the landlord terminating the lease on the brewery on November 8th 2016. On the beer front, sales of core range beers have remained very strong over the summer months and additional brews are now being undertaken to facilitate bottling of beers in readiness for the Christmas rush. Bottling is now being done locally by Morrow Packaging in Buckshaw Village, near Chorley using state-of-the-art equipment.

November 2015 - January 2016


LOCAL PUB NEWS KEEPING YOU UPDATED LOCALE ACCREDITATIONS: During August the following pubs were approved and presented with their LocAle awards: Prodesse Ale House, Hindley; Silver Tally, Shevington Moor; Albion Ale House, Standish and Standish Unity Club. PUB OF THE SEASON (AUTUMN 2015): Voting took place at the September branch meeting and the overwhelming winner was the Albion Ale House in Standish. Other nominations included the Delph Tavern in Tontine and Wigan Central. WIGAN CENTRAL: Despite being open for less than 12 months, Wigan Central did exceedingly well to be shortlisted for the Pub of the Year in Manchester Food & Drink Festival. The results were announced at a gala dinner in October and the deserved winner was the Marble Arch in Manchester. PRODESSE ALE HOUSE, HINDLEY: After opening in a blaze of glory on May 28th and shaking up the real ale scene in Hindley, it is sad to announce that the pub has been sold. We understand that it is likely to remain as a pub, although the new owners are likely to revert back to keg beers. In its short spell, the Prodesse gained CAMRA recognition for its beers and ciders, most of which were sourced locally, and was one of the early recipients of Wigan CAMRA’s LocAle Accreditation 2015. Wigan CAMRA wishes the previous owner, Julie Swarbrick, well in her future ventures and hope that cask ale may once again return to the Prodesse at some time in the future. DOWNTOWN CROFTERS WIGAN: The longclosed Crofters Arms on Market Street has finally re-opened as a pub, after a spell of being a Thai restaurant. It has been renamed Downtown Crofters Wigan and is described as ‘home of live entertainment’ and already has its own website see www.downtownwigan.net. When our roving reporters called by there were two handpulls serving Tetley Gold and Black Sheep. November 2015 - January 2016

MARTYS BAR AND KITCHEN: has finally opened on Wallgate, in the old Pooles’ Pie Shop. Unfortunately no real ale but you do have a choice of 4 lager fonts, including Brooklyn Lager at £4 a pint. Bottled craft beers are also available. RILEYS BAR: currently undergoing internal refurbishment with a poster denoting “Q8 Bar & Grill. Coming soon”. The poster suggests it may be a sports bar. COCK T’ALEHOUSE, ECCLESTON: Richard and Ruth Hull, licensees at the Allgates-owned Victoria Inn in Aspull, are due to open their own micropub in Eccleston, just outside our branch area. As the name implies, it will focus upon cask ales and cocktails. It is situated opposite Eccleston Institute in what used to be ‘Grocers on The Green’. Thankfully, Richard and Ruth are not leaving the Victoria which, under their stewardship, has won the Wigan CAMRA Pub of the Season on two occasions in recent times. The micopub was due to open on September 25th but this has been delayed due to planning application issues and will now only be considered at a committee meeting on October 27th. We wish Richard and Ruth good luck in their new venture.

Online with Wigan CAMRA Do you know that a third of Wigan CAMRA Branch members keep in touch with happenings within the branch via email?

We send out monthly bulletins about what is going on within the real ale scene locally plus beer lists for local festivals and other ‘hot off the press’ news. If you are a Wigan CAMRA member and do not currently receive our e-mails, please contact our Membership Secretary and let us know your e-mail address. This will only be used for internal CAMRA communications – we do not forward our e-mails list to any other organisation.

ARTICLES FOR SWIGGIN IN WIGGIN? Local beer related articles are always welcome! If you would like to contribute please let us know or email your copy to editor@wigancamra.org.uk Please note that for legal reasons that a full name & postal address must now be submitted with any contributions.

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Wigan branch of The Campaign for Real Ale

CASK ALE REPORT 2015 ONWARDS & UPWARDS

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ask Reports have been produced annually since 2007 and summarise the cask ale market from the previous year as well as studying the existing market and predicting future trends and offering advice and tips to licensees of all levels. It is written by Pete Brown, esteemed beer author and blogger. The latest edition was released in September 2015. Some of the key points within this report are listed below:Cask Ale drinkers visit the pub twice as often as the average pub-goer. Their annual spend on food

and drink amounts to £967. This is:- almost double the spend of the general population; 63% higher than wine drinkers; 48% higher than beer drinkers who don’t drink cask ale; 45% higher than spirits drinkers. 70% of cask ale drinkers take the lead when deciding which pub to go to with a group of friends. Till receipts may show cask to be a relatively small proportion of takings – but indirectly it significantly drives sales of other drinks. 50% of cask ale drinkers go to the pub once a week or more, helping to fill the venue and create atmosphere. They are a quintessential part of ‘pubiness’, helping differentiate the pub from other food and drink outlets. Currently cask ale represents just 17% of all beer sold in the on-trade. This is growing – and will reach 20% by the year 2020. “This increase is significant not only for pubs, but also for breweries,” says Pete. “Almost 4 new breweries are opening every week. There are now 1,700 of them, most brewing cask-conditioned ale and most supplying pubs whose sales are increasing – despite all the market challenges. What a great success story for British industry.” Pete Brown

A family & community pub situated in Orrell near the beautiful Waterpark. Now boasting a new modern look whilst retaining a homely character & charm.

• 4 Ever-changing Real Ale Pumps • Fresh Homecooked Food • Extensive Menu • Chef Specials Board • Function Room - Please enquire for details

Go online to see our Christmas Menu Now taking Christmas Bookings (bookings advisable)

OPENING TIMES Mon & Tues: 4pm - Late Weds & Thurs: 12 noon - 12am Fri & Sat: 12 noon - 1am Sun: 12 noon - 12am

FOOD SERVED Weds - Fri: 12 noon - 2.30pm & 5pm - 8.30pm Sat: 12 noon - 8.30pm Sun: 12 noon - 7pm

Sandy Lane, Orrell Wigan, WN5 7AZ tel: 01942 511859

www.robinhoodorrell.co.uk @RobinHoodOrrell

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November 2015 - January 2016


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Wigan branch of The Campaign for Real Ale

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FROM THE MISTS OF TIME A LOOK AT THE LOCAL PUB SCENE OF YESTERYEAR Thirty-five years ago In 1985-6, it was announced that Wigan was to get a ring road with three possible routes, all of which imperilled town centre pubs including the New Star Inn, the Grapes and the Wheatsheaf on Wallgate, the Horseshoe on Millgate and the Derby Arms on Darlington Street. Tetley and Whitbread swapped a number of pubs in January 1981, giving the latter a foothold in Wigan. Those switching to Whitbread included the Belle Vue, Springfield, the Hare & Hounds, Pemberton and the Saracen’s Head, Swinley, which was also threatened by the ring road. Greenall Whitley put the Conquering Hero and the Manley Hotel up for sale in Ince-in-Makerfield.

Thirty years ago The Crofter’s Arms on Market Street reopened as Crofters, with fizzy Tetley bitter (73p pint) but no real ale. Webster’s Yorkshire Bitter available in the Golden Lion in Hindley Green and the Mount in Orrell. The Black Bull in Standish, which had sold keg Burtonwood mild and bitter through handpumps, went over to the real stuff.

Twenty-five years ago Clown’s Bar in Springfield reopened as Traditionals, serving real ales such as Tetley bitter and dark mild, and Holts and Hyde’s bitters. Despite its name, Traditionals was anything but, with TVs, video screens and a lot of noise. The Railway Hotel in Platt Bridge reopened, selling real ale for the first time in light years – Tetley bitter and dark mild. The Robin Hood, Ashton-in-Makerfield, went over to real ale - for years the only Higsons pub in the Wigan area and a bastion of keg, now selling Theakstons best bitter and ‘Higsons bitter’. 16

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Twenty years ago Real ale – Thwaites bitter – returned to the John Bull Chophouse after a long absence. The Gidlow and Beech Hill Social Club was renamed the Cabaret with handpulled Tetley bitter and mild on sale (the latter at £1.10 a pint) alongside ‘Beech Hill Bitter’, which turned out to be Websters Yorkshire bitter. Handpumps replaced electric pumps at the Bridgewater Arms, Hindley, dispensing Burtonwood mild and bitter.

Fifteen years ago Platt Bridge became a real ale-free zone after the Commercial Inn converted to fizz. The handpull for Theakstons Best at the Railway Hotel was still there, but no longer in use. The Bird i’th Hand in Higher Ince, which had recently reopened as the Cottage, reopened again as a mini market and off licence. In Pemberton, the Halfway House was closed and all traces of its being a pub had been removed.

Ten years ago The eagerly awaited reopening of the Whitesmiths Arms on Standishgate turned out to be a damp squib as it became Casa Carlos Spanish restaurant with no real ale. The Stocks Tavern, Parbold reopened looking much the same as before with handpulled Tetley bitter and a guest ale available. Real ale went bob-bob-bobbin’ from Robin Park after the Red Robin axed handpumped Tetley bitter.

Five years ago ‘Time’ was called at the Dog & Partridge in Standish to be converted into a gun shop. The Montrose Hotel, Worsley Hall was demolished to make way for a residential care home. The Cross Keys, Ashton-in-Makerfield was re-branded as ‘Fifteen in Ashton’ aimed at a more mature clientele. Real ales included Tetley bitter, Everards Tiger and Taylors Landlord. Dave White November 2015 - January 2016


PIE EATERS ON TOUR AROUND THE FESTIVALS

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n August, it was off to the Fenlands of Cambridgeshire for the Peterborough Beer Festival and then in September to our favourite beer city - York. It seems that our visits to Peterborough tend to happen biennially and we are never disappointed. If one can find fault with this one it is that there is never enough seating for its size. People bring their own blankets and fold-up chairs to take the weight off their feet. However this does not detract from the fact that the festival itself is a superb and well organised event – every age and food preference catered for, not to mention the 400 plus beers on offer. Marquees are set in a field in a “u” formation with the beers and ciders down either side and the music marquee across the top of the setup which is good as you can have a conversation without ending up hoarse at the end of the evening! Several new breweries and beers were on show from all corners of the country thus attracting several tickers (my sad self included!) with a few familiar faces from our own fair town. We could fill a few pages telling you about all the beers so to cut it short our favourites will have to suffice. Jean’s was the low ABV (2.8%) Table Liquor from the Three Blind Mice brewery in Cambridgeshire. Mine, which definitely hit the spot, was Bexar County Phantasmagorical (7.4%) – not a session beer as you can imagine. Added to this was a demonstration from one of the few remaining coopers displaying amazing skills rounding off a superb festival. Off to York then to take in some of the excellent hostelries and also the York Beer and Cider Festival at the Knavesmire racecourse. Every time we visit we never seem to have enough time to visit all the pubs we intend to (but we have a good go!!). The ones which we managed to savour this year, Pivni, The Maltings, Hop, The Punch Bowl – a Nicholson’s pub providing excellent food, and last but definitely not least the York Tap on the railway station. Following a visit to one of my favourite attractions the

November 2015 - January 2016

National Railway Museum (anorak alert!!!) we spent a day and a half at the beer festival. This beer festival is again held in a marquee on the periphery of the racecourse complex. The choice of new and unheard of beers and breweries was excellent with my favourite being a delicious 3.8% session ale from the Ghost brewery in West Yorkshire, and Jean’s pick of the hops was once again a low ABV 3.2% i.e. Dishforth brewery’s BAD Whiter Shade of Pale. Whilst this is an excellent festival you really can’t go wrong visiting York just for the pubs which provide a festival all year round. Jean & Alan Wass

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Wigan branch of The Campaign for Real Ale

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TAP N BARREL OPENS MICROPUB BOOM CONTINUES

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hursday 30th July saw the official opening of Wigan’s newest micropub – the Tap ‘n’ Barrel. The pub is the brainchild of Paul and Delia Wood, owners of Martland Mill Brewery on the outskirts of Wigan. The pub is centrally located in Jaxons Court in the Victorian Quarter of Wigan. It is a unique bar situated over two floors and to the rear is a heated under cover beer garden. The pub has six hand pumps featuring their own Martland Mill range of real ales, plus others from further afield. Although it has only been open a couple of months, the pub is proving to be extremely popular and is a welcome addition to the real ale scene in Wigan. On October 4th, the pub proudly hosted a regional meeting of the Brewery History Society. The event featured talks from

eminent brewery professionals from Cains, Higsons and Boddingtons breweries. Guest speakers at the event were Phil Linley, Stewart Thompson and Dave Sweeney. It was a very positive event that highlighted the changes to the brewing industry over the years and was further enhanced by the provision of a typical Wigan lunch of pie, peas and gravy!! A reet good time was had by all. Keeping it real!!

Trading Standards

Have you ever... received a short pint? Deliberately been overcharged for your beer? Been to a pub that serves only keg beers despite advertising cask ales? Firstly let the publican know about the problem but if you don’t get a satisfactory response these matters should be reported to Trading Standards, which exists to protect the rights of consumers. Wigan Council Trading Standards, Unity House, Westwood Park Drive, Wigan, WN3 4HE. t: 01942 827476 e: ts@wigan.gov.uk

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www.wigancamra.org.uk

November 2015 - January 2016


THE ST A

U P CO M I N G E V E N T S

CLUB TY

ISH UNI D N

THE LANKY KATS - ROCK N ROLL Every 1st & 3rd Thursday of the month SEE WEBSITE FOR FURTHER EVENTS & ATTRACTIONS

5 CASK ALES ON AT ALL TIMES

FROM VARIOUS BREWERIES, COMPETITIVE PRICES

Full Size Snooker Table • Pool Table • Darts • Dominoes • Cosy Lounge Room Large Function Room Available to Hire - Fri/Sat/Sun All bookings require a refundable deposit

WE ARE PROUD TO SERVE LOCALLY BREWED REAL ALE - CAMRA LocAle - CAMRA Accredited

Winner of CAMRA Club Of The Year 2010,11,12, 13 & 14 Runner-up Greater Manchester Regional Club Of The Year 2012, 13 & 14

Opening Times Sun - Thurs 7:30 pm - 11 pm Fri & Sat 7:30 pm - 12 am

Cross Street, Standish, Wigan, WN6 0HQ t: (01257) 424007 | e: standish.unity@standishunityclub.com www.standishunityclub.com

IN November 2015 - January 2016

www.wigancamra.org.uk

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Wigan branch of The Campaign for Real Ale

IN

BARRY TRAVELS TO NEWCASTLE HOWAY WITH THE LAD

O

ur first stop was the Crown Posada, a national inventory pub which is long and narrow with two very impressive stained glass windows over the front doors. We found a tiny snug where we enjoyed a pint of Tyneside Blonde from Hadrian & Borders Brewery. There is an interesting coffered ceiling as well as local photographs and cartoons of long gone customers and staff on the walls. Other beers available were from Marble, Pennine and Gundog breweries. It was a shame to leave but our next place was just a few yards away, a small micro brewery bar called the Bridge Tavern. A trendy bar with its own micro brewery with a range of beers under the Tavernale name. From here we made our way up some steps to the Bridge Hotel, situated next to the high level bridge built by Stephenson. The rear windows and the patio have views of the city walls and the quays. The main bar area is adorned by many stained glass windows with a raised area set out for dining. Two regular beers feature, Sharps Doombar and Anarchy Blonde Star. Other beers available were from Fyne Ales, Three Kings, Roosters, Fat Cat Brewing and Totally Brewed. Not a bad choice I thought. Next up was one of my favourite pubs – Lady Grey’s, close to the historic Theatre Royal and busy shopping

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areas. Formerly known as the Adelphi, this one-roomed pub serves six real ales and two ciders. From here it was just round the corner to the four times pub of the year winner Bacchus, with nine hand pumps offering a wide selection of changing guest beers with one hand pump dedicated to cider and another to beers from Orkney Highland Brewing Company. The house beer is brewed by Yorkshire Dales Brewery and a large selection of draughts and bottle foreign beers are available. Another short walk took us to Pleased To Meet You, which has been totally refurbished to a high standard. Situated in Newcastle’s premier real ale street, it offers six hand pulled beers by local and national breweries with a trend toward the out-ofthe-ordinary. Next up was the Hotspur, a traditional double fronted pub opposite Haymarket bus station. Eight handpulls adorn the bar with six serving guest ales and two serving real cider. A short walk took us to the Bodega, next to the Tyne Theatre, where two stained glass windows are the architectural highlights. The interior offers booths for intimate drinking and several old brewery mirrors adorn the walls. A good selection of foreign bottle and draught beers available. Our final stop was the Union Rooms, a Wetherspoons pub, where we enjoyed a nice pint of Tyneside Blonde. The perfect end to a wonderful day in Newcastle. I am already planning a return trip next year. Barry Seale November 2015 - January 2016


A TRUE FREE HOUSE WITH 5 ROTATING GUEST ALES FRESH HOME COOKED FOOD FROM A SEASONAL MENU LARGE OUTDOOR BEER GARDEN & SEATING AREA LIVE SPORTS ON 5 SCREENS THOUGHOUT THE PUB POOL TABLE & DARTS

QUIZ NIGHT WEDNESDAYS Free Sausage & Chips plus Play Your Cards Right

FOOD SERVED Wednesday - Sund ay 12 Noon - 8pm

DELPH TAVERN | TONTINE | ORRELL | WIGAN | WN5 8UJ | t. 01695 622239

IN November 2015 - January 2016

www.wigancamra.org.uk

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IN

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Wigan branch of The Campaign for Real Ale

www.wigancamra.org.uk

November 2015 - January 2016


IN November 2015 - January 2016

www.wigancamra.org.uk

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Swiggin in Wiggin - Issue 8 - Nov 2015 to Jan 2016  

The magazine from the Wigan CAMRA branch.

Swiggin in Wiggin - Issue 8 - Nov 2015 to Jan 2016  

The magazine from the Wigan CAMRA branch.

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