Ale & Hearty: Autumn 2014

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Message from the Editor Hello everyone and welcome to the 65th edition of Ale and Hearty. I am Pam your editor and I am looking forward to receiving articles and photographs from you for future editions.

and 7 blokes) we managed to get around about 8 breweries in Prague. We also met a couple of Czech friends that some of us knew and went to a 62nd birthday party with free beer all night long (excellent) I was going to do an article on Prague for this issue but I shall leave it now for the future.

The last edition was my first as editor and I must confess I was a little nervous on what people would think of it, but I needn’t have worried, as the feedback has been good.

In this issue you can read about The Great British Beer Festival, a new micro pub in Leyland. Learn how to score beers for inclusion in the Good Beer Guide and tax your brain with a quiz and crossword.

April was a busy month as it was 30 years since the branch split from Liverpool and a few drinks in Baron’s Bar and a birthday cake marked the day. Also we had the Beer festival helpers trip by coach to Lymestone Brewery the beer of the festival winner. Later in April was the CAMRA Members weekend and AGM at Scarborough.

Can I thank The Sparrowhawk, Guelder Rose, Dog and Gun, Ring O’Bells Lathom & Farmers Arms for letting us have our monthly Open Branch meetings there also the Zetland & Barons Bar for letting us have our Beer Festival meetings there.

At the end of May a few of us went to Prague and stayed in a Brewery. We had a brilliant time (me



Chairmans Bit Hello and welcome to this new edition of Ale & Hearty for Summer and Autumn of 2014 which hopefully will give us plenty of chances to get out and enjoy our very rich pub heritage in the area either town or country pubs in the hopefully warm summer and autumn days and evenings. For ideas of possible pubs to go to, why not visit the CAMRA run website “WhatPub”. Also when visiting the pubs if you see any mistakes on the website then please contact the relevant branch via the submit updates button as the details are constantly changing and we try to keep the site as up to date as possible.

The branch now has a regular weekly column in the Southport Visiter, Ormskirk Advertiser and Crosby Herald, which usually has a campaigning or pub guide article in as well as details of future branch fixtures and general pub events/beer festival in the area, and we are always looking for possible writers for these articles. And also if your pub is having an event that you would like some publicity for, then please contact either Branch/Press Contact Mike Perkins or myself for further details. Some exciting news is that the branch now has two new breweries in the name of Parker an Formby Brewery, both based in Formby and we hope to have some beers available from both breweries at the beer festival.

Doug Macadam Branch Chairman


is the CAMRA Southport & West Lancs Branch’s magazine, published three times a year and distributed free to pubs, clubs, beer festivals, tourist offices and other outlets in Southport, Formby, West Lancashire and beyond. We produce 4,500 copies, and each one is read by several people. Ale & Hearty is funded entirely by our advertisers, whom we gratefully thank.

CONTACTS Editor Pam Kelly

07515 824539


07714 265096


01704 573768


Finance Doug Macadam

Branch Contact Mike Perkins

Items for inclusion to Editor, please email: Cut off for editorials for the next Ale and Hearty is 31st October 2014 Name and contact details required: anonymous correspondence will not be considered, although your name can be left out of the magazine with the editor’s agreement.

BRANCH WEBSITE AND FACEBOOK For more local news about CAMRA, pubs, beer and breweries go to: You can also follow ‘Southport and West Lancs Camra’ on Facebook. ‘Like’ us for updates.


CAMRA HQ 230 Hatfield Road, St Albans, AL1 4LW.

01727 867201. Website:

SEFTON TRADING STANDARDS Sefton MBC (Environmental Protection Department), 1st Floor, Magdalen House, Stanley Precinct, Trinity Road, Bootle. L20 3QZ. Email: (0151) 934 2089 Fax: (0151) 934 2106

SEFTON LICENSING AUTHORITY Sefton MBC, The Licensing Authority, Magdalen House, 30 Trinity Road, Bootle, L20 3NJ. 0151 934 4015 Fax: 0151 934 4276

LANCASHIRE TRADING STANDARDS Trading Standards Service, County Hall, Fishergate Hill, Preston, PR1 8XB. 01772 533569 (General Enquiries). E-mail:

WEST LANCASHIRE LICENSING SERVICE West Lancs Borough Council - Licensing Service, Robert Hodge Centre, Stanley Way, Skelmersdale, WN8 8EE. Email: 01695 577177 Fax: 01695 585126

The opinions expressed in Ale & Hearty are not necessarily those of the Editor, the CAMRA Southport & West Lancs Branch or CAMRA Ltd.


More Pub Meanderings Not long after my last article I was invited to Liverpool in January (the 17th) with others to commemorate the founding of the Merseyside Branch of CAMRA 40 years ago in 1974, this was the founding branch for all the other local branches that have developed since CAMRA grew to a massive 150,000 members. The first meeting, like this one, was in the Globe in Liverpool, by Central Station, and 40 years on the place was packed – there were beers from Jennings and Moorhouses, but I tried some great pints of Sharps Doom Bar, Fullers Bengal Lancer and Itchen Valley Tea Clipper – good beers at a cost of £3.15 per pint. There were many CAMRA members from far and wide, including some founders, and it was a great evening. Lancs Branches Meeting in January saw us at Disraelis’ in Ormskirk, where we sampled Ringwood Scuttle Butt. Cocker Hoop and Pedigree also available. The next week saw us at another Regional Meeting in the Freshfield, with an excellent range of beers- too long a list but all good. I tried Black Jack Beginners’ Luck, Corvedale Oatmeal Stout and Derventio Feast IPA. This pub is always worth a visit, but this day – 25th January also marked the sad passing of Dave Griffith, our popular and very efficient Social Secretary. May he long be remembered.

a large range – I tried the Thirst Quencher – very good! Bear and Billet was another good pub with many on offer - Okell Spring Ram for me. Finally to the best bargain – the Falcon for a pint of very good Sam Smith’s Old Brewery Bitter at £1.80 per pint! The 12th April saw us on a social outing by coach to the Lymestone Brewery in Stone, Staffordshire which you can read about a bit further on. More local pubs included Ship Haskayne (now a J W Lees pub), Barons Bar (real glasses!) and Lakeside Inn, latter thankfully reopened after a winter long closure. The Guest House with its 11 beers visited and also the Inn Beer Shoppe (with its continental atmosphere). Near the end of April was CAMRA’s AGM and Members’ Weekend in Scarborough, and I set off earlier to visit family and friends en route. The first night I was staying in South Duffield, near Selby with my brother, and we started off dining at the Wheatsheaf in Burn, which is the York Branch Pub of the Year – lots of Yorkshire beer in evidence at these pubs and I tried Salamander Dulcet Tone and Empire Moonraker Mild – very good.

4th February saw the service for Dave Griffith in St Helens and we commemorated his passing at the Abbey, near Windle Crematorium, with a few pints of Holt’s beers, including Two Hoots, Bootleg Gangster’s Moll and Speakeasy.

The next day I headed towards the East Coast journeying via York, and the first pub of the day was the Bay Horse in Fulford with Sharp’s Doom Bar. Much nearer to Scarborough, with about ten miles to go, I encountered a sea fret, a cold mist for which the resort is renowned, and stopped at the Hare & Hounds for some Wold Top Big Sky – very good.

Another Regional Meeting in March then took us to the Cross Keys in Chester, where the very nice Joules beers associated with this pub were sampled. Other great Chester pubs visited were the Brewery Tap with its own Spitting Feathers beers amongst

Having arrived at my base in the evening some CAMRA friends took me west to country pubs the Anvil at Sawdon for Partners Mungo Mild and north to Cloughton to the Bryherstones for York Guzzler. Strange pub name, the last one.


Next day we started by travelling by local bus to the Scarborough Brewery off Seamer Road, where is also located the garage of local bus operator featured on Channel 5 at present (On The Yorkshire Buses). Lots of brewery beers to choose from, American Pale and Sealord, together with a Black Country beer, Fireside Bitter – all in very good condition at £2.50 per pint. Travelling back into Scarborough town we tried the Angel, with 3 Yorkshire beers, but my choice was the non-local exception: Wychwood Pile Driver, named after the Status Quo song. Then to the Spa, named after the shore complex venue of the CAMRA weekend for a pint of QWB Moose River. Then a short walk to the Wetherspoons, near Scarborough station – the Lord Roseberry. Lots of beers here from all over, but I tried the famous Rudgate Ruby Mild – very nice too! Next day the conference started in full, so I dutifully attended this all day and didn’t drink any beer. In the evening I was booked on a social to Whitby and it was in the evening, after a foggy trip over the moors that I reached that well-known old town. Strangely enough it was a Goth’s Weekend, and very pleasant people in fashionable costumes were parading around the town. All the pubs were very busy and the first was the Station Inn, with a large beer selection. I tried Platform 3 at £3.15 a pint, quite good. Next stop was the Black Horse, a very tiny pub in the old town, which was packed to the brim with Goths, Rugby Players in feminine costumes and CAMRA members. When I got to the bar it was a pint of Robinsons Hoptimum Prime that I tried – very good, but a loaded tourist price of £3.50. Along the quayside to the Endeavour for a great pint of Bradfield Farmer’s Blonde at £3.50 again. The next day Sunday saw conference business in the morning, culminating with a few beers in the beerex bar, then another itinerary: the outstanding North Riding Brewpub on North Marine Road was first on the list, after a tour around both bays on an open top bus to Peasholm Park (the bus route 109 also featured in the Channel 5 series). Lots of beers and cider on here and I plumped for the pub


brewed American Pale Ale, followed by Mallinson’s Chocolate Stout. Sadly our next three pubs had no real ale (surely an omission on a CAMRA weekend?) and we ended up at the Indigo Alley again, where a very good Revolutions Clash London Porter was tried. On our way back to the station we stopped at a nice community pub, the Black Lion, with only a nice Wychwood Pile Driver, as the others had sold out. Last stop was an excellent locals’ pub, the Alma, where I tried a very good Clearwater Red Smiler. Monday was time to travel away, and after a family get together featuring visits again to the Alma and the Lord Roseberry we departed towards York, stopping at the New Malton in that same named town for a half each of Black Dog Whitby Abbey and Great Newsome Sleck Dust. Arriving back in South Duffield, with views of the four large Yorkshire power stations, we travelled out to dine at the King’s Head, Barmby on the Marsh for a pint of Great Newsome Spring Fever, with a good selection of Yorkshire beers. Next day homeward bound with a lunch stop at the Brewer’s Arms in Snaith for their own brewed Snaith Traditional and Red Goose. Blonde Bombshell also on tap. From the 15th May the Derby Arms at Aughton had a well-prepared beerfest in operation in a marquee at the back of the pub and we attended to make our West Lancashire CAMRA Pub of the Year Award. I tried Moncada Notting Hill Amber, which was very good. I attended again for the festival on Saturday, with loads of beers on offer – too many to list here, but in good condition along with great food and entertainment – also good – well done to the licensees! Later in May a meeting at Disraelis in Ormskirk with pints of Cocker Hoop and Pedigree, with my first visit to the newly opened Wetherspoons, the Court Leet – a typical JDW with the main toilets upstairs in a brand new pub! The choice of beer was good, the place was packed, and I tried a nice US craft beer – Societe Publican at £1.99 a pint. In June the Railway in Ainsdale revealed no real ale

and the place was closed when this was written. At the Freshfield, a Pub and County award of the Pub of the Year for Merseyside on 10th June, and the licensees were very pleased to achieve this, not for the first time. Large range of beers as usual included Liverpool Organic Pilsner, York Decade, Red Willow Smokeless, Shiny Award IPA (6%) and Hawkshead Dry Stone Stout, all tried in small amounts by myself, from a mind-boggling selection, before slowly making my way to Freshfield Station. The night after saw us at a Branch meeting in the Dog and Gun in Aughton, another fairly unspoilt pub where I tried Pedigree and Banks’s Sunbeam – both in good nick. The next night I was at a Johnny Cash tribute concert in the theatre and called into the Lakeside Inn for a pint of Thwaite’s Original – very good and they had some draught cider – Rosie’s Pig on as well. Lunching at the Derby Arms in late June drinks tried were Isle of Arran Blonde Premium, Deeply Vale Still Walking and Boggart I Am Best. All very good, and en route home a visit to the Park in Birkdale for a pint of Wainwright at £3.08. On 28th June we had organised a Social to Crosby and Waterloo pubs by local buses and this was reasonably well supported – we were supposed to visit 9 pubs, but I managed only seven. First was in Crosby at the Stamps bar and interesting beers, including their own Mail Train Next to the nearby Birkey a modern pleasant pub at which I sampled Hop Back Summer Lightning –. Round the corner to the Crow’s Nest, with a licensee very interested in real ale. I tried Robinsons Brasilia and Banks’s Sunbeam from the six. Next after a run, hobble and a frantic walk to catch the 54 bus we leapt aboard and finished up at the Liverpool Pigeon, a recently opened micro pub, which is a popular continental type bar with a similarity to the Inn Beer Shoppe in Southport. A good atmosphere, where I sampled a Brew Company Frontier and a Lancaster Golden. Further along Endbutt Lane to the eponymously named Endbutt, looking quite smart and busy. I tried Liverpool Organic William Roscoe, which I enjoyed. Into Waterloo on the 54 bus to Stamps Two on

South Road, a smallish bar with a good beer range. I drank Arbor Artisan and All Gates Big Pit. My final stop was the Wetherspoon’s Queens Picture House, again with a large range, from which I chose a Hop Discoveries US Craft Ale called Mosaic, and Brewsters Hop A Doodle Doo – where do they think of these names? We were scheduled to visit two more pubs, the next door Old Bank and then the Volunteer Canteen – both very good, but I’d given it a good go and I dawdled to Waterloo station for the train home. Into July for a Beerfest meeting in the new Baron’s Lounge Bar, where I had some All Gates Chocolate Milk Stout and Dunscar Bridge at £2.10 a pint in real glasses – very good as well. Next day I was at an annual event at the Liverpool Cricket Club in Aigburth and was playing bowls – the beers were Sharp Doom Bar and Black Sheep Best Bitter at £3.30. A proposal is to be put to planners to close the Ropers Arms in Ormskirk and replace it with a local supermarket. Locals are not too happy as its neighbour the Windmill is closed at present. We were invited to a meeting at the pub where we were preparing some protest documentation. The one beer on tap, Moorhouse Vanilla Cream, was very good. We hope to be involved in any local protest to close the pub. Finally it was the Freshfield Beer Festival near the end of July, held in blistering hot weather conditions, but the licensees were doing fine with beer conditioning, and many beers had sold out by the Saturday. On the day I visited there was quite a good choice, so I tried Ashover Elderflower, Heavy Industry Diawl Bach and beer from the new Formby Brewery: Utopia, these were all very good.

Mike Perkins



Classic Pubs of the UK the Haunch of Venison, Salisbury, Wiltshire On Saturday 21st December last year I decided to make the effort to see the Sandgrounders of Southport Football Club play their first-ever league match again at the Whites of Salisbury City in the Skrill League. After a stop at the Earl of Normanton in Idmiston on the way there, Yvonne and I set off for the Raymond McEnhill stadium in Old Sarum whilst the rain got heavier and heavier. After watching a game which was lucky to be played on a very heavy pitch which was John Coleman’s first game in charge of Southport, we set off to find our guest house, the excellent Rokeby House, which was just outside the city centre. After a few beers in various real ale pubs in the centre on the Saturday evening, we decided to do some sightseeing on the Sunday, including a visit to Stonehenge. On our return to Salisbury (in much better weather then the previous day) we visited the historic Haunch of Venison in Minster Street. This pub of great antiquity was established in 1320, the present three-storey building is largely 15th century with some alterations being made in the 18th century. It is believed to have been built as the Church House for St Thomas’s situated just behind. The entrance leads to a tiny lobby and a narrow door leads into a tiny snug called ‘The Horsebox’ at the front on the right hand side. It is also referred to as a ‘Ladies Snug’ dating back to the times where public houses were for the preserve of men only. It has a black and white tiled floor, half-height panelled walls with three pieces of bare benches attached, just one barrel tables but no stools. The panelled bar counter has a pewter top and there

are 100 year old bar back shelves on a mirrored back. Note the rare wooden carved elevated arch with seven spirit taps with a brass plate inscription ‘Gravity fed spirit taps fitted by H Neale, Plumber, Salisbury’ with gilt decoration and dated 1909’. CAMRA is only aware of four other sets of spirit cocks at Shipman’s, Northampton; Queens Head ‘Turners Vault’, Stockport, Greater Manchester; Bull, Paisley, Scotland; and Crown, Belfast, Northern Ireland - all CAMRA Real Heritage Pubs. Through a pair of doors with etched ‘The Haunch of Venison’ panels is the Public Bar called The House of Commons with another black and white quarry tiled floor. The small room has some splendid old fielded panelling, bench seating running down three sides of the room, and old fireplace with carvings



above. The only way to get casks of beer into the cellar is from the public bar and while firkins (9 gallon casks) can go through the door on the left of the servery, larger ones involve removing the shelf behind the counter and opening up the bar front - very rare. The panelled bar counter also has an old pewter top and is one of only half a dozen such examples left in the country that CAMRA is aware of. Note how there are no dispensers on the counter and handpumps are affixed to the bar back-fitting which also has drawers, again something that is rare. On the bar back is another set of eight spirit taps (one is missing). Go up the stairs towards the restaurant and halfway up on the left hand side you will find another small room called ‘The House of Lords’. It has a low oak beamed ceiling (due to the cellar below), oak panelled walls and can comfortably seat a dozen people. Under the inglenook fireplace note the former bread oven now with a secure iron gate across it beyond which is a smoke preserved mummified hand. It is believed to be from an 18th century demented whist player who lost it in a card game due to cheating! Continue up the stairs into the restaurant upstairs, now called ‘One’, which includes part of a Merchants house added to the inn in the 16th century and at quiet times is worth a look for its wealth of exposed beams in its two rooms. The left hand room has an uneven bare wood floor, old dado panelling with some carved sections in parts and a fine old carved wood surround fireplace. Up a couple of steps is another splendid creaking wood floor room with an ornate ceiling containing many bosses. It has half-timbered walls with fitted seating attached to old dado panelling and a large stone fireplace that dates back to 1558 with a brick interior (possibly added in the 1930s?). There is a hidden bar but this is not accessible to the public as its only access is by going down the staircase in the private area next to the right hand upstairs room. However, my reputation as an Ale and Hearty writer obviously has great influence, because the landlady showed me into this part of the pub in order to complete my report!

The tiny cloisters bar was originally accessed from the street - look for the ‘Haunch of Venison’ glass fronted sign on the other side of the jeweller’s shop, which is located under the restaurant, indicating its entrance. It has a fine carved bar front and sectioned beamed ceiling but is now only used for storage. Needless to say, this is a fabulous pub and made the long drive to Wiltshire worthwhile. I would have advised you to go and visit it this season, but to my surprise I found out when Southport’s fixtures were published for the 2014/15 season that Salisbury City, despite finishing higher than Southport in the league last season have been expelled from the Premier (now known as the Vanarama Conference). So it was a good decision to go last season, despite it being the weekend before Christmas. But even if you do not like football, you must visit this pub if you are in the South West, because it is one of the most remarkable pubs I have ever frequented.

David Williams

Letter to the Editor Dear Pam, Keith and I had breakfast at Lloyds yesterday and he picked up a copy of the spring Ale and Hearty. I sat and read it cover to cover yesterday afternoon, I so enjoyed it. I used to live in St Helens so that was interesting. The Sussex Pub Crawl was good too as my gran lived in Eastbourne and Hailsham at one time. As for What’s Inn a Name that was great. I had a good laugh at the Beer Bus also. So I had a good afternoon and I don’t even drink Beer but love the names. Keep up the good work, Love Enid x



15th Sandgrounder Beer Festival The branch is now actively planning for the 15th Sandgrounder Beer Festival to be held again this year at the St John Ambulance Hall on Wright Street opposite the side entrance to the railway station from 9th to 11th October. There will be over fifty different beers on from the full range of styles of British Real Ale with many local breweries represented and some slightly more distant. There will also be a selection of ciders, perries and fruit wines. The Saturday evening will see the return of the Ormskirk Ukulele Band and the only other entertainment planned is for some acoustic music on the Friday & Saturday afternoons. Divine Catering will again provide the food with their selection of snacks and slightly more substantial food. The Thursday evening sees the annual branch awards to local licensees. Anybody wishing to sponsor the festival is asked to visit the festival webpage at where a sponsorship form is available to give details of possible ways to sponsor the festival, also any CAMRA members wishing to

volunteer can also visit the above webpage where staffing forms giving details of possible ways of helping at the festival can be obtained. There is also a staffing form a bit further on in this magazine.

Doug Macadam Branch Chairman

Editors Note: you can also find a sponsorship form further on in the magazine also scan this QR code for the beers


Beer Festival Setup Carrying on the theme of our Beer Festival by Doug I Thought you might like to see how much hard work is involved in the setting up process. It takes us about 4 days to set up, One of the first things we had to do is to cover part of the floor with kitchen towels and plastic to try to protect it as we can’t afford any leaks from the pipes or casks. After that we fix up the stillage to hold the casks. Anyone know where this bit goes? The casks start to arrive and they are lifted up onto the stillage that’s usually a man’s job and 2 men at that. We have our own cooling system which involves connecting up pipes and they all have to be sterilised first and then connected to coolers We then get the bar in and hand pumps have to be fitted and everything is ready. The Cider Bar is set up ready for the Cider bar manager and her cider and fruit wines order usually comes later. The beer festival opened on time and was a huge success with copious amounts of beer and cider being drunk and fabulous food from Divine Southport. The last night when we had closed we had a party with music and Food. But for some it was all too much Night Night.

Pam Hadfield



67 Moorfields Liverpool, L2 2BP ” Tel: 0151 236 1734 ” ” Cask Marque ” CAMRA National Inventory Pub ” “One of the 100 best pubs in the country� Daily Telegraph

supply a selection of prize-winning real ales (including Locale brews) plus handpulled cider

2YHU 0DOW :KLVNLHV One of the largest selections of malts on Merseyside

&$05$ 'LVFRXQW 10p off a pint of real ale for card carrying CAMRA members ƒ Bob Dylan Society

1st Thursday of the month

ƒ Acoustic Night

2nd Thursday of the month

ƒ Meet the Brewer

3rd Thursday of the month

ƒ Poetry Get Together

4th Thursday of the month

ƒ Quiz Night

Every Tuesday at 9.30pm

Food – see the board for a good value selection 15

15th Sandgrounder Beer Festival 9th-11th October 2014 St. John’s Ambulance Hall Wright St. Southport SPONSORSHIP DETAILS FOR OUR FESTIVAL Would you like to be one of our sponsors for this exciting event, which attracts over a thousand visitors from Merseyside and beyond? To help you decide whether you would we have set out below the different options and benefits and the form is on the next page

Type of Sponsorship A - Event Advertising Sponsorship Cost: £50 B - Beer Donation (one cask) Cost: £80

C - Beer Donation (two or more casks) Cost: £80 per cask

D - Products Donation

E - Other Sponsorship


Benefits Your name will appear in the Festival Programme and on one A4 poster at the event. You will receive two free entry tickets, £5 of beer tokens and an invitation for two to our presentation buffet. Your name will appear prominently in the Festival Programme and on two A4 posters at the event. You will receive two free entry tickets, £10 of beer tokens and an invitation for two to our presentation buffet. Your name will appear prominently in the Festival Programme and for each cask donated on two A4 posters at the event. For each cask donated you will also receive two free entry tickets, £10 of beer tokens and an invitation for two to our presentation buffet. In addition, you will receive a free ¼ page advertisement in our Branch Newsletter “Ale & Hearty”. If you are able to donate brewery or pub-related products (e.g. T-Shirts, Beer Mats, Pump Clips, Brewery Badges, Pens, Books or other memorabilia) with or without your own logo, then we can offer you free advertising at the event and/or other concessions, depending on the extent of your sponsorship. Please advise us if you can help in any other way. We will be able to offer something in return.

15TH SANDGROUNDER BEER FESTIVAL: SPONSORSHIP Please tick the appropriate box(es) below to indicate the level of your sponsorship:A

Event Advertising Sponsorship


Beer Donation (one cask)


Beer Donation (two or more casks)


Products Donation


Other Sponsorship (details below please)

Name of your organisation as you wish it to be displayed at the event:

Other Sponsorship details (if applicable):

Your name, address and other contact details:

If you wish to return a cheque with this form to cover the cost of your sponsorship, please make it payable to “CAMRA - Southport Beer Festival”. Please return this form with your payment no later than Tuesday 30th September to guarantee inclusion in the Festival Programme, or respond as soon as possible to:Alan Ascott, 9 Bakers Lane, SOUTHPORT, PR9 9RN Tel./Text: 07974 433264 Or email to: Detach receipt here only if paying in person to 15th Sandgrounder Beer Festival representative. If paying by post the receipt will be returned to you when completed form and payment is received. >------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------<

RECEIPT On behalf of the 15th Sandgrounder Beer Festival Committee, I acknowledge receipt of £ _______________ from (please print name of sponsor) ______________________________________________________________ Signed ___________________________ Print name __________________________Date ____________________


Sipping, Dripping and Skinny-Dipping Woman versus West Highland Way THE WEST Highland Way is a walk for the stouthearted, and therefore wholly suited to a woman who has stout very close to her heart. Ninety-four miles of empty snow-capped landscape might not seem an obvious choice of holiday for a pub enthusiast, but in Scotland things work differently. Wherever there’s a road, a lonesome hotel will materialise. Find the secret door marked ‘public bar’ (usually round the side by the bins) and you will enter a magical world of log fires, haggis Panini’s and draught stout. Mostly I encountered Belhaven Scottish Stout, as black and silky as they come, sometimes partnered by Belhaven Best Bitter, but I didn’t care for the honey flavour of this caramel-coloured beer. For me, the real lip-smacker was Black Gold, brewed by Cairngorm in Aviemore. It had that toffee, creamy, vanilla taste that makes a girl think she’s hit the dessert menu. Within this remoteness, few hotels had hand-pulled pumps, but I was settling happily into my stout stint, when up popped Harviestoun Bitter and Twisted (Stirling stuff, brewed near town of same name). It was that time of day when I was more than ready to rest my buttocks in the Trossachs and the bar, at a campsite called Beinglas, was blob on the trail. But … the famed Drovers Inn sat a mere half-mile away in the wrong direction. Dilemma. Go the extra mile? Or just reach out my arm for another pint of Harviestoun? I am of the weaker sex, after all. It might have been the Bitter and Twisted, or the haggis lasagne (I kid you not), but after an hour or two, I felt sufficiently rejuvenated to set out once more, leaving my disparate convoy of fellow trekkers settled in for the evening, either at the campsite or the Drovers. I’d been wild camping along the way (free and legal) and was itching for a bath, so I left the track to follow a tumbling burn uphill, to a spot where it pooled deep enough for a skinny-dip. Afterwards, I would wash my socks, I thought. Socks had other ideas. I was just in time to see the second follow the first over a waterfall. Thinking about it later, I could have chased them, but there’s probably some law against fell running in the buff, especially at my age.


The very un-Scottish fine weather gave way to a black sky just as I was sampling a pint of Skye Black (4.5%, firmed up with roasted rolled oatmeal, laced with heather honey). This was in the typically remote Kings House hotel, and the rain that evening was to settle for the next two days. I arrived at Kinlochleven in an advanced state of saturation. “Do you serve wet people?” I asked, dripping in the doorway of the Bothan Bar. “Only type we get round here,” the landlord replied. “Why d’ye think we have plastic chairs?” No problem then, provided the pint of Lochness Brewery ‘Madness’ didn’t fall from my slippery hands. This 4% beer was delicious, with a hoppy bouquet that jumped up and bit you on the nose. And finally … it stopped raining and I dried out (I mean, my gear dried out) at the Youth Hostel near Fort William. After a day of rest, I climbed Ben Nevis which I can report no longer has a hostelry at the summit, but Fort William boasts several good ones and I worked my way through three hand-pumps at the Grog and Gruel before I left. Quick resumé: Houston Brewing, Killellan: 3.7%, citrus and flowery Alloa Scottish Joker IPA: 5%, a moreish IPA, pale and hoppy An Teallach Brewhouse Special: 4.4%, a fitting reminder of my walk – it tasted like five-day-old socks. Would I recommend the West Highland Way as a real ale trail? Well, you start off seeking real ale, but before long, any ale will do. The more muddy miles and ruddy midge bites you get under your belt (yes, they bite you there too), the better each pint goes down. I’m planning to return in October to back-pack Mull, Rum and Eigg (sounds like a cocktail recipe doesn’t it?) and drink in the scenery, which is served unmeasured in Scotland. But a few stouts won’t go amiss. Kay Ellis 07719617462

Past Ale & Hearty This time we go to the change of the Millennium issue of Ale & Hearty, which was issue 19 dated Nov 99Jan 00. During this I was on a once and for all tour of the world covering Australia, New Zealand etc., and was probably sampling some nice Aussie beers in the Rocks area of Sydney, or in a real ale pub in Christchurch. The cover page of the single colour edition on plain paper carried a Threat to Classic Southport Pubs item by Ian Wareing and pointed out that the Guest House and the Hesketh Arms in Southport might be threatened by the fact that Scottish Courage (now S&N) had acquired the Greenall’s Pub Estate for £1.1 billion. In the past Higsons of Liverpool had sold out to Boddingtons of Manchester and Higsons eventually stopped brewing their nice beers in Liverpool. The Guest House had been a Higson’s pub, but then Whitbread bought the Boddington brewery and made their beers a national brand – they also established a pub company under that name to cover Boddingtons and Higsons pubs. Then Boddingtons sold out to Greenalls, who sold out to S&N near the date of that Ale & Hearty. There were worries about the Guest House, but it has carried out a great survival job, despite the demise of beers from Whitbread and Higsons – are there still any Boddington’s real ale outlets? Then we come to Punch Taverns, who had many ex Bass houses, but had just bought the Allied Domecq estate, who then also owned the Tetley Leeds brewery (now gone!) and some 3,500 pubs. The price for this was £2.75 billion, but Bass had jumped in and offered around £1 billion for creaming off just under 600 of the top managed pubs Punch gained by losing a third of the cost against only a seventh of the pubs! The Hesketh was one of the (noble?) 600 and worries abounded about the future of the

beer selection, and the quality of the chef prepared food that the pub was noted for. The pub was also voted our Summer Pub of the Year in 1999. Ian was quite worried about the situation, but fortunately the Hesketh Arms has also survived reasonably well and remains popular – unlike other Southport pubs, the London, the Plough, Portland and possibly the Up Steps, Pageant and George some of which at present times have been demolished or remain closed (and now the Railway in Ainsdale!) Ian even suggested us contacting the two large pub company owners mentioned, but would this have made any difference? Other parts of the newsletter included a bowls evening at the Zetland with photo of prize winner Angus McCormack (why did we stop doing those?) and a branch trip to the interesting Jennings Brewery in Cockermouth, Cumbria, where we had been made most welcome. Dave Williams had got into a good mannered argument with a Yorkshireman about Barnsley beers, and he had also written about a Classic Pub in Priors Dean, Hampshire which he had difficulty in locating, but the 1620 dated pub near Ringwood was well worth a visit. He also visited the Ringwood Brewery on the same trip. AL Guzzler did his usual humorous article – he said the Blundell Arms in Birkdale had been renamed Mr Qs – he predicted that the name wouldn’t last and he was right! Dave Williams, a very active newshound, had also produced an article on the Kings Arms in Haskayne, which provided a good range of beers, and excellent food. The pub near the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, is still worth a visit, along with its nearby neighbour, the Ship Inn. The newsletter had 28 pages, 21 adverts, and the Editor was Chris Summers. Wetherspoon still retained its company name before the renaming to its present title of Sir Henry Seagrave. Mike Perkins


The Great British Beer Festival Roll Up Roll Up the adverts for CAMRA’s Great British Beer Festival read, so we did. Colin and I trundled down one Monday morning to London by train. It took about 2 ½ hours from Liverpool, but time soon passed with us delving into price lists of beers for our own beer festival in October. We arrived at Euston and found our way to Olympia where we had to report to the admissions desk. They gave us our badges and told us which student accommodation we were staying at, (this is free but not compulsory you can choose to stay in a hotel) we thought we could escape but no we were put straight to work on the membership stand, helping to put 800 membership packs together.

We eventually got to our digs about 6.30pm where on checking in they told us we were in two separate rooms. I was on the ground floor and Colin was upstairs, huh I wasn’t very impressed with that. Ten minutes later we still couldn’t find Colin’s room when one of the lads came to find us and told us we were actually in the same room 36A and 36B were in the same room but because it had two beds it was A & B I guess they were having a joke with us.


We spent the evening going round the pubs where two pints of real ales cost between £7.10 and £9.00; we are not planning on going out much in London.

The rest of the week we worked behind the Stilt Walkers Bar. For the opening Bruce Dickenson the lead singer of Iron Maiden was there giving interviews on our bar as we were selling his Trooper Beer. We were all given a Trooper T Shirt. They also filmed for the One Show and I was on it. The low point was no one saw me. If you thought things must get better Prince Harry turned up, another low I didn’t see him. We had over1,100 people queening at the door the first day and in the first two days two bars sold over 45 thousand pints of beer. There was over 900 different beers on we had 22 pumps on our bar alone. The Champion beer of Britain was announced which

was Timothy Taylor’s Boltmaker. The theme this year if you hadn’t guessed was the circus and all the stalls were named appropriately, like Apple Bobbing, Big Top or Mime Artist. Skinners brewery dressed up from Star Wars and marched through the hall on Tuesday with a band. Apart from beer there was a huge cider stall and loads of food stalls from Greek to Chinese or Indian. I had one day a fantastic Greek meze salad with pasta, stuffed vine leaves, olives, and pitta bread. We had a cafeteria in the staff area with lunches for £4.00 and a free volunteers bar with beers that were not for sale in the beer festival downstairs. On the last night we closed at 7pm and spent about 2 hours tidying up then we went upstairs to the staff area and had a party. All the food stalls contributed with platters of cheese and sandwiches. Then they welcomed all the first timers and we had

the famous Bar Managers Mallet dance where they all did a dance with their mallets holding hands and skipping round in a circle to the Floral Dance. Watch it on U Tube, it has to be seen to be believed and just about sums up the atmosphere of what is the Great British Beer festival.

Pam Hadfield

The Sleeper Just for fun can anyone tell me were this sleeper was sleeping e-mail the editor answer next publication


Happy 30th Birthday Southport CAMRA Saturday April the 19th saw the 30th anniversary of Southport’s break from Liverpool CAMRA and was celebrated with a few drinks and a cake in Barons Bar. We sang Happy Birthday and offered some of the cake to the staff as there was more than enough. We then went on to a couple more pubs before going home.

Pam Hadfield

Ale and Hearty Quiz 1. After which famous Southport landmark was Southport Brewery’s beer “Tower Mild” named? 2. The first registered trade mark in the world was for a beer. Which one? 3. Which north-west brewery’s range features a Dizzy Blonde? 4. Why could students at Cardiff University be very very clever? 5. Which north-west brewed strong ale might otherwise be known as “Unsteady Robert”? 6. Which north-west award winning brewery features a windmill on its pump clips? 7. What is the difference between stout and porter? 8. What is the name of CAMRA’s 2014 National Pub of the Year? 9. What is the technical term for the water used in the process of brewing? 10. How many gallons of beer are there in a hogshead? Answers next Issue





September Thurs-Sat 6th-8th Wed 10th Sat 27th

Lowther Pavilion, Lytham Conservative Club, Formby

7th Lytham Beerfest Open Branch Meeting Social

October Sat 4th Wed 8th Thurs-Sat 9th-11th

Liverpool Mersey/Ches Regional Mtg. St John Ambulance Hall, Southport Open Branch Meeting St John Ambulance Hall, Southport 15th Sandgrounder BeerFest

November Sat 8th Wed 12th Sat 15th* Sun 30th

Station Inn, Oxenholme Guest House, Southport West Lancs Pubs Branch Pub

West Pennines Rgl Mtg. Open Branch Meeting Branch Social 375 Bus* Social

Disraeli’s, Ormskirk Regional Area Pubs

Open Branch Brch Xmas Social Train/Bus

December Wed 10th Sat 13th

2015 Wed 14th January 2015 Open Branch Meeting Wed 11th February 2015 Open Branch Meeting Wed 25th February 2015 Southport & Birkdale Sports Club AGM/New Committee 2015

* Also Beer Surveying Trip for 2016 Good Beer Guide. NOTE: Branch Meetings in italics to be held second Wednesday of each month. Committee business to be brief, with separate sub groups for detailed work. February Annual General Meeting to be combined with a sub meeting for the new Committee to convene. Branch Meetings and AGM commence at 8.00pm, Lancashire Branches & Regional Meetings 12.30 for 1.00pm. All others will be announced separately.


What Pub, Beer Scoring and the Good Beer Guide You are probably aware of the ‘Good Beer Guide’, National CAMRA’s flagship publication which lists the best pubs in the UK. But what you may not know is how those pubs are selected to appear in the Guide. The answer is that it is largely via beer scores submitted by CAMRA members – like yourself – from all over the country. So, if you’ve ever wondered why your favourite pub isn’t in the Guide, this may well be because you, and others, haven’t entered scores rating the quality of beer there. By beer scoring, you can contribute to the process of selection of pubs that go in the Good Beer Guide.

So how do I score the quality of the beer? You don’t have to be an ‘expert’ to begin scoring your beer. However, it is not always about your personal favourite beer receiving the highest scores! You may try a beer that isn’t to your normal taste but what you need to consider is the quality of that beer and score it according to the general guide below. It is a simple system of a ten point range from 0 to 5, with half points being used if your opinion of the beer falls between two categories.

5. Perfect. Probably the best you are ever likely to find. A seasoned drinker will award this score very rarely.

How do I submit my scores? In order to submit your scores you need to login to CAMRA’s online pub guide Here you will find a list of over 35,800 real ale pubs from all over the UK; these are not all Good Beer Guide pubs, merely pubs that serve real ale. In order to start submitting scores via What Pub you need to:-



0. No cask ale available 1. Poor. Beer is anything from barely drinkable to drinkable with considerable resentment.


2. Average. Competently kept, drinkable pint but doesn’t inspire in any way, not worth moving to another pub but you drink the beer without really noticing.


3. Good. Good beer in good form. You may cancel plans to move to the next pub. You want to stay for another pint and may seek out the beer again. 4. Very Good. Excellent beer in excellent condition. You stay put!

Login, to do this you need your membership number and your CAMRA password which will be your post code unless you have joint membership in which case it may be your surname. You can then search for your pub by name, be careful here as there are many pubs in the country which share the same name, my advice is to search by the pub name and the town. The What Pub smart phone web page also gives you the option to search for real ale pubs nearby, very useful if you are in an unfamiliar town Once you have found your pub a ‘Submit Beer Scores’ box will appear on the left hand side of the screen (or on the tab bar underneath the pub photo if you are using a smart phone). Simply fill in the date and your score then as you begin typing the brewery name should automatically appear underneath were you are typing. You do not have to enter the name of the beer your are drinking but if you wish to do so once you have entered the brewery


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name you should be able to click on the arrow in the Beer box and a drop down list of that brewery’s beers should appear. In some cases the beer you are drinking may be new or a one off by the Brewery so may not appear on the list, if this is the case you can simply type in the beer name. Select the correct one click ‘submit score’ and your score will be entered into the database. It is as simple as that. An added bonus is that it will keep a record of your scores so you can look back to see what beers you have had and how you rated them if you want. If you have any queries please feel free to drop me a line, my email address is:- Happy Beer Scoring! Contributed by Sonia James-Henry Good Beer Guide Co-ordinator (Liverpool and Districts) Editor’s Note:- Many thanks to Sonia Liverpool CAMRA for letting me use this artical


Market Ale House Leyland Micropubs are the latest fashion in real ale drinking with the Barrel House in Liverpool Road Birkdale and the Liverpool Pigeon in Endbutt Lane, Crosby being local examples. The Market Ale House is another micropub opened last December by Danny and Alison Hindle who also run the Good Beer Guide listed Railway in Leyland. By public transport it is easy to get to from Preston Bus Station, take Fishwick’s 111 service (stand 8) and alight on Hough Lane, Leyland at the Gables. The Market Ale House is 100 yards away on the opposite side of the road next to the entrance to Leyland Market. The JD Wetherspoon Leyland Lion is nearby on the other side of Hough Lane. There are 6 pumps for real ale and 1 for real cider. Breweries are usually Lancashire based (proper Lancashire) eg. Prospect, George Wright, All Gates, Moorhouses, Marble, Big Clock, Snaggletooth, Three B’s being recent examples. There is also a list specifying which ales will be on next plus their ABV. As with the Ale Emporium (ex Bitter Suite) there are glass thimbles with samples of the beer in front of each pump. Paddles with 3 x thirds are available. Prices are competitive £2.50 per pint approximately with a reduction to £2.00 each Tuesday and Wednesday. The Market Ale House is closed on Mondays but otherwise opens at noon each day, closing at 7.00pm on Sundays, 9.00pm on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays and 11.00pm on Fridays and Saturdays.


As expected there are no TVs, lager, alcopops, but snacks are available. I can vouch for the pork pies. There is room for 30 people seated, some standees and a pleasant seated area outside to take in the solar rays. For my part this is a most welcome addition to the North West real ale scene with the emphasis on good quality real ale and conversation. Dave Wright

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Has opened a microbrewery!

SCALLYWAG 3.7% abv


4.2% abv

4.6% abv

Golden Easy drinking Cascade & galena hops

Deep golden Toffee & liquorice Chinook & galaxy hops

Straw colour Light hoppy Easy drinking Cluster hops

Tel: 01257 464600

A Wright Cross Word



1) A cross between a tangerine and a grapefruit (4) 8) Merseyside Pub of the Year 2013 & 2014 (10) 9) Member of an ancient Semitic race (8 10) There are eighteen of these in a round of golf (4) 12) Lancashire League cricket club near Accrington and Oswaldtwistle (6) 14) Eqyptian beetle seen as a symbol of life after death (6) 15) Day of the week observed by Christians as a day of worship and rest (6) 17) The capacity for doing work (6) 18) The goddess of youth in Greek Mythology (4) 19) The tenure of property in absolute and unqualiďŹ ed possession (8) 21) Best selling Burscough Brewery Bitter ABV 4% (4 & 6) 22) Any province in Germany or Austria (4)

2) Southport’s award winning public house (5 & 5) 3) Informal word for uncertain (4) 4) Cross bay ABV 5% Brew and opposite to nadir (6) 5) Gratitude (6) 6) London Cemetary where Karl Marx is buried (8) 7) The cutting side of a blade 11) A North Wales town on the river Dee (10) 13) Bought back full possession of an article as in a pawn shop (8) 16) Another name for a green woodpecker (6) 17) Stage direction for all actors to leave the stage(6) 18) This plant provides Marijuana (4) 20) Hookers do this to the ball in a rugby scrum (4) Dave Wright Just for fun Answers next Issue


of Two Halves

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