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Message from the Editor Hello everyone and welcome to the 66th 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. After our hectic week with the beer festival we now have a few quiet months before Christmas (well at least you blokes do anyway) By the time you read this we should be into December and looking forward to turkey, Christmas pudding and mince pies and not forgetting all the great Christmas beers that come out at this time of year. There is good news for us beer drinkers from the European Beer and Health Symposium in Brussels; they have found that drinking beer is good for you. Drinking a pint off beer a day cuts your chance of a heart attack by a third, wont make you fat and basically helps you live longer and of course the alcohol content compared to wine is a lot lower so it might even be better for us. Cheers guys nice one.

Next years AGM is in Nottingham 17th – 19th April a haven for real ale and hotels are getting booked up fast so if you are thinking of going its advisable to start looking now. In this edition you can read about Mikes Meanderings, Disappearing Beer Mats, Guess where someone was caught napping, and one on beers and knickers (I jest not) There is also a mention from our facebook manager explaining how you can “like” us and keep in touch with us through facebook. Hot off the press Ale and hearty is now on Facebook brilliant. Can I thank The Freshfield, and St John Ambulance Hall for letting us have our monthly Open Branch meetings there also the Tap & Bottles for letting us have our Beer Festival meetings there. A special thanks to Marion and St John Ambulance Hall for letting us hold our 15th Sandgrounder Beer festival there. Cheers Pam

Chairmans Bit Hello and welcome to this new edition of Ale & Hearty for winter 2014/15 As I write this the weather is remarkably mild for the time of year but it can’t last forever and as we all know you can’t beat the welcome you get when you step inside one of our many pubs with the warmth and the atmosphere often with a roaring real fire one gets at this time of year and often with a warming winter beer full of flavour and character. So when you are next out in your local pub why not try one of these winter beers and be a bit adventurist instead of the safe choice you normally try, you might be surprised! This is a very interesting time in the pub trade at the moment with some closures but also some openings in the new genre of the Micro Pub of which we now have 4 in the branch area and I wouldn’t be surprised if more appear shortly. The Legh Arms at Mere Brow has also reopened under the ownership of Mike McCombe of the Hop Vine Burscough and has three hand pumps of which two

will be for Burscough Brewery Beers. Also we will shortly have a new brewery as Parkers Brewery has started in the Formby area have now got premises and are putting the final touches to their brewery and visitor centre in the Banks area. To put my other hat on as Beer Festival Organiser just to say thank you to all those that attended and volunteered and all the sponsors who provided help in either monery or goods. I can say the Beer of the Festival was Liverpool Crafts Love Lane IPA. Can I also mention our weekly newspaper article in the Southport Visiter, Ormskirk Advertiser, Crosby Herald and Skelmersdale Advertiser papers which is co ordinated by Mike Perkins who is always looking for possible leads and articles to publish and also it is a good way to keep up with future fixtures and events etc. Also the branch facebook site looked after by Kirk Harrison has all details of up and coming events and beer festivals in the immediate area. Can I wish all our readers a very Merry Christmas and prosperous New Year.


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 28th February 2015 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 30th July saw me in the excellent Fishermen’s Rest (note plural form) in Birkdale, a great community pub, where I sampled a Brains of Cardiff beer, Bread of Heaven (a rugby connotation?) - quite good, too. A few days later in the Barons Bar in Southport centre, we had a beerfest meeting and I sampled a few: Moorhouse Witches’ Cauldron, Copper Dragon West Coast Pale Ale, Southport Golden Sands and Lancaster Red – all in good nick at a sensible price of £2.10 a pint. Farmers Arms in Burscough for the August Branch Meeting saw us drinking Bass (quite rare now) and Salopian Oracle, after which we moved to the Slipway for a Thwaites Wainwright – nice too! Later on in August I was visiting my brother from Bradford, and we ventured forth to Pudsey (the bear’s birthplace) to a nice pub called the Fleece, where we unknowingly encountered a pub beerfest, with excellent choices and good priced food. I tried Leeds Pale, Greenjack Summer Dream and Elland 1872 Porter – all good. Amazingly I bumped into another CAMRA member there from our own branch! On my way home I called in at the Wetherspoon’s Richard Oastler in Brighouse for a pint of Slightly Foxed Flying Fox at £2.25. Later in August, at another beerfest meeting, we were at the Zetland Hotel for Marstons EPA, Jennings Sneck Lifter and Ringwood True Glory – all very quaffable in this nice community pub. Being a member of the transport group OPSTA, we subsequently met at the Heaton’s Bridge Inn and I tried Hart from Preston’s Pride of the Glen at £2.90 a pint. On the way home we called in at the Thatch &Thistle (its current name) at Blowick where we sampled Courage Best Bitter. This pub recently reopened after a renovation.

I then started my summer break headed initially for Cardiff – en route I stopped at the Swan in Brewood, a nice Staffordshire village west of junction 12 of the M6, where I sampled some some nice local Slater’s Remember. Whilst in Cardiff we headed north up the A469 to the Black Cock, a great rural pub hidden in a tree-lined valley off Caerphilly Mountain. We had lunch at this micro beers pub and drank some great Wye Valley Butty Bach and Celtic Experience Silures – Welsh prices here at £3.20 per pint. Later we headed for the suburban Hollybush in Whitchurch, Cardiff for a pint of Brains SA at a more reasonable £2.56. My next phase was based in Basingstoke, so I headed east along the M4 and decided to stop at Royal Wootton Bassett in Wiltshire, where sadly they brought home all the servicemen killed in action. The pub I visited was the Five Bells in Wood Street , a nice pre 1841 thatched local where I drank Crouch Vale Brewers Gold at an expensive £3.45, but nice. On my way towards Newbury I stopped at the nearby Arkell’s owned Lord Lyon in Stockcross, where I tried the Moonlight, a nice session beer. After arriving in Basingstoke we took an evening trip out to Northbrook Arms at East Stratton, for their own pub beer, Hop Black, again at Hampshire prices - £3.45. We then visited the interesting Lasham Gliding Club for a more reasonably priced Sharps Doom Bar, the only real ale on tap. I had never been to any pubs in Reading, so the next day we took a short train ride from Basingstoke to that Berkshire town. The first pub, a short walk from the station was a beer paradise – 12 cask beers from all over on offer, including a Liverpool Organic Empire. I tried some very nice Maggs Magnificient Mild, a good starting beer. Next to an unusual pie shop-cum-pub, the Sweeney and Todd, guess what we had for lunch! I tried Hook Norton Old Hooky,


but it was very expensive at £3.80 per pint (the pies weren’t cheap either!). Our next stop, the Zero Degrees – they are an unusual small pub chain – they have four pubs (one each also in Cardiff, Bristol and Blackheath, South London). Their own beers are brewed in huge tanks inside the pub building and they are served quite chilled and quite expensive – so not a session haunt for the more abstemious customers – I bought a half of their own Pale Ale at £2 per half. We next headed towards the town centre to try firstly the Hop Leaf, where I had some unusual Redsells EKG (£2.80) then to the Ale House for local West Berks Mr Chubbs Lunchtime Bitter – a great selection of 8 real ales and a perry on here. Finally to the Three Guineas next to Reading station - it’s quite a modern bar aimed at travellers, yet a great choice of ten beers. I tried an excellent Wild Weather Stormbringer – other good beers were from Brains, White Horse, Cotleigh and Upham. After that we headed for the train back to Basingstoke for a relaxing evening. Next day by local bus to Alton in Hampshire, at where we called in first at the Eight Bells, a comfortable local’s pub just off the town centre, where I sampled some nice Bowman’s Swift One, before trekking slightly out of town to the Railway Arms, near to the station. This is a Triple F (fff) outlet and I tried their Devil In Disguise (wasn’t this an Elvis song?), which was very good, others included Alton’s Pride, Moondance, Rock Lobster and Dazed and Confused – also a beer from Plain Ales and some Addlestone Cloudy Cider. Next on board a bus from the station, where we took a half hour journey into “Stockbroker Surrey” to the town of Farnham and the Queen’s Head, a busy town centre pub where I tried the Elgood EP – Fullers and Gales beers also on tap. Around the back streets to the Hop Blossom – a Fullers pub, where I paid my most expensive price of £4 for a pint of one of my long term favourites, the Fullers ESB! The compensation was the my two colleagues and I were each awarded a case containing a 500 mls bottle of Fullers Vintage 2013 Ale at 8.5% - we


had qualified for some sort of offer, which was most acceptable! - I still haven’t drunk it, but it should survive a while at that strength. Back over the border into Hampshire by car this time, as a colleague’s wife had arrived to do the chauffeuring, and we continued to the Millhouse at North Warnborough, a Brunning & Price owned house, similar to our own Sparrowhawk, it is actually an old mill, with the mill wheel still turning the river water over and on view from the first floor as it does its job in the cellar below. A good beer selection here, and I tried a beer from Sherfield Village called Green Bullet – it had a greenish colour and it tasted quite different, but very good. The next day it was time to head northbound for home, a 250 miles journey, so I belted along the A34 through Newbury, then along the M40, M42 and up the M6, deciding to have a lunch break in Staffordshire. I stopped for some food at the Bell Inn at Haughton on the A518 Newport Road, for some food and a nice half of Cottage Hercules, together with a Salopian Shropshire Gold, both very good and the beer price totalled £3.20. I then thought I’d seek out a gem in the backwater and headed for the Anchor at High Offley on the Shropshire Union Canal – hard to find, but worth it – it has been run by the same family since 1870, and the landlady who served me, the only customer on a Thursday at 2pm, had been there 44 years! Only Wadworth 6X and Rosie’s Cider on offer, but very good. The pub interior has some original furniture, and has a beautiful canalside garden. Do try it if you want to break your motorway journey, but check the opening times. It is near Eccleshall, which is the former home of Slater’s brewery, and that town has some good pubs including their “brewery tap” the George – but a long drive ahead precluded these for me. Back to home and on the last day of August we were at the Freshfield for a beer festival – pints of Liverpool Craft Love Lane, Cumbrian 5 Hop, Tatton Best and Thornbridge Wild Swan went down very well. Many other beers from Bradfield, Burscough, Hawkshead, George Wright and Robinsons also

available. The beer selection here is always amazingly good. September saw my first visit to the Tap & Bottles in the Cambridge Arcade in Southport for a beerfest meeting, where we met in a cosy little room upstairs above the bar. The owner is a CAMRA member and he specialises in small brewery beers. The first pint for CAMRA members is discounted by 10% and I tried some George Wright Hop Discoveries Pemboe and also AllGates Napoleon’s Retreat. Southport Golden Sands also on tap. Prices normally around the £3 mark, but an interesting small bar, well worth a visit. On the 6th September a small number of us visited Lytham Beer Festival – very well run, with lots of interesting beers. On the way home whilst waiting for my X2 Southport bus in Preston I visited the nearby Stanley Arms next to the Guild Hall. Very busy here early Saturday evening, Good range of beers and I tried a swift pint of Beer Studio Amber Dawn – nice at £3.10 less from my pocket. Back to the Tap & Bottles for another meeting where I tried the full set of Peerless Full Whack, Prospect Pioneer and Liverpool Organic Joseph H Williamson Tunnel Ale (the latter with a strong Liverpool historical connection). This pub does very well with local small brewery ales – very good to support these too. Our next Branch Meeting saw us in the very busy Freshfield in Formby, and I tried the CAMRA 2014 Champion Beer award winner, Timothy Taylor Boltmaker – very good, too, and named after the Boltmaker’s Arms in Keighley, which is the brewery tap and always sells the full range of Taylor’s beers – another one well worth visiting if you’re in the area. The Freshie also had other great beers as usual and I tried some from Salamander of nearby Bradford, their Golden Salamander, and Brown Ales the Usual Suspect - all very good. The Ship (“Blood Tub”) at Lathom had a beerfest on in September and we visited on the 11th and the 14th to try beerfest beers (all at £3 per pint) 1648 Lammas Ale, Mr Grundy’s Big Willie (no comment!),

Magpie Thieving Rogue, Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing, Bowman Wallop’s Wood, Conwy Rampart and Blue Monkey Marmoset. I also tried a Problem Child Scallywag in the pub bar – all the beers were in good condition and the festival was well run. A little later some of us attended the ancient Scotch Piper in Lydiate at the invitation of Liverpool Branch, where the licensee was giving a talk on the history of this old pub, dating back to 1320. Some nice butties were very aceptable, and I tried the Bass, once very common, Tatton Indian Summer and Marstons specially prepared 1320 Piper’s Ale a great night out was had by all – do think of joining us for some of these treats! An OPSTA transport meeting took us again to the Heaton’s Bridge, where I sampled the very nice Moorhouse Black Cat, plus the Copper Dragon Golden Pippin, very nice and contrasting beer flavours. Visitors from Blackpool Branch were visiting the Freshfield a couple of days later, so we went to meet them and I sampled Red Willow Directionless, Salamander Tower Crane and Salopian Hop Twister. We were there again a few days later to present the pub with its award for the CAMRA Best 2014 Pub in Merseyside & Cheshire and I tried even more beers from Red Willow (Wreckless), Tiny Rebel (XLPA) and Off Beat Blackberry Mild – well done the Freshfield. Visitors from other branches attended. Tap & Bottles again for our final beerfest meeting before the actual event, and I enjoyed some Southport Ruck and Maul and Red Willow Directionless. My Birthday on the 26th saw me dining at the Bold Arms in Churchtown where a few beers from Blakemere brewery in Cheshire were evident. I tried their Churchtown Bitter (a pub special) and Jewel Gold – both good. The next day I went to another concert at the theatre to see “The Magic of Motown” – very professionally done, and we adjourned to the tiny Lakeside Inn, which now does some interesting beers, and I tried just a pint of Prospect Silver Tally. Draft cider from Dove Syke was also available. The pub was due to start its first beer festival in early November.



Just after our busy beer festival I was at the Inn Beer Shop in Lord Street, and had a nice pint of Southport Carousel – this brewery’s beers are usually on sale here. Back to the Tap & Bottles at an OPSTA meeting, and some examples of Hawkshead Sundown, Peerless Triple Blonde and Paxton Peculiar. A little later and a visit to Ormskirk took us to the fairly new Wetherspoons, the Court Leet, named after the old town council for the area, and I tried some craft beers in the form of a Ramsay Village Elder from New Zealand and two US beers – Sixpoint Bklyn Bitter and Liberation American Brown Ale – all were quite unusual, but very drinkable. The same day back in Southport to another recent newcomer – the Marstons owned Guelder Rose – for a nice pint

of Bank’s Botanical Ale, and a great sunny sea and pier view from the Marine Drive My two last visits before closing were to the Arion in Ainsdale on Halloween, for a Wychwood Hobgoblin ( what else?) in fine fettle at £3.30 served to me surrounded by bar staff and waitresses in the appropriate spooky costumes and makeup. Then later to the Imperial for a golden pint of Holts Two Hoots, where I met some musicians bound for the Bothy Folk Club entertainment evening. More next time – readers are invited to let me know if you have any comments or suggestions for my contributions (polite ones please!) Mike Perkins

Where Have All The Beermats Gone As every good quizzer knows collectors of beermats are called tegestologists. Various friends and acquaintances of mine fall into this category. Some do so for practical purposes – to prevent tabletops from swimming in liquid and to reduce drips of liquid from descending onto clothing. Others enjoy beer mats if they are of aesthetic or entertainment value. The best examples of the latter category were the beer mats issued by Higsons Brewery in the 1970s or 1980s, which depicted such local luminaires as Pierre Head Albert Dock and Penny Lane.

them on the way down. There was no internet, mobile phones or TVs in pubs. Companies other than breweries still use beer mats for advertising purposes eg taxi companies and public places telling customers not to smoke or not to drink to excess. Please Mr Brewer can we have our beer mats back David Wright Editors note: I have to confess to a little beermat flipping myself

One local licensee told me that he no longer had beer mats available for customers as breweries charged him for them! As he is in a free house I would have hoped that his purchasing and negotiating skills were better than that. In the past in the absence of a piece of paper I’ve often peeled back a beer mat to make a note on which beers have been supped, phone numbers or forthcoming dates of events etc. When I was somewhat younger and carefree I would even flip as many beer mats as possible in the air and catch



Best Bar None Attractive Marta Niedojadlo is employed as a bar supervisor at The Mount Pleasant, Manchester Road, Southport and really enjoys meeting and serving the customers and working with a great team under the supervision of licensees Joanne and Joan. Marta was born in Krakow, Poland and moved to England in 2007 and now resides in the Churchtown area of Southport. She has grown extremely fond of the town and her work, which is emphasized with a friendly smile and warm welcome. Before moving to Southport Marta had an interesting career in Poland working in a laboratory, as make up artist and managing a coffee bar before deciding to up root and head for England where she has done bar work for over seven years. When not at work Marta enjoys eating a tasty steak and ale pie, sewing, painting, cycling, gardening, dancing and reading books and often holidaying on the Balearic island of Majorca. When relaxing Marta enjoys watching The One Show on the telly, a glass of Shiraz red wine and listening to The Rolling Stones, Dire Straits or any classic rock music or perhaps a ďŹ lm starring Meryl Streep such as Out of Africa.

centre and offers three cask ales with a varied entertainment program including premiership football, quizzes, karaoke, afternoon ďŹ lm shows and live music etc. also good quality pub food is served daily from noon until 8-00pm.There is certainly something for everyone at The Mount Pleasant so why not pop along and meet the delightful Marta.

Jeff Carter

The Mount Pleasant is a large open plan community pub approx. ten minutes walk from the town

Editors Note:- Since this article was written Marta has been voted one of our winners of Best Bar Staff presented at our beer festival well done Marta



CAMRA’s National Winter Ales Festival 2015 Where: The Roundhouse, Derby, DE24 8JE When: Open from Wednesday 11th – Saturday 14th February 2015 In 2015 CAMRA’s flagship National Winter Ales Festival will return to Derby for the second year running, with over 400 beers available the Festival will showcase some of the very best ales, ciders, perries, bottled world beers and mead in 3 separate areas. Located beside the Pride Park exit of Derby Railway Station (just 93 minutes from London) Derby’s historic Roundhouse could not be in a more convenient location. Four Brewery Bars have been agreed: multi award winning Blue Monkey from Nottingham; innovative North Star from Derbyshire both in the Main Hall, Derby’s very own Brunswick Brewing Company in the Music Marquee and Yorkshire’s shinning gem Brass Castle in the Carriage Room. The National Winter Ales Festival is home to CAMRA’s prestigious Champion Winter Beer of Britain Competition which sees the 4 winter styles of beer (porters, stouts, old ales/strong milds and barley wine/strong old ales) being gathered from

across the UK to be judged and a winner declared. Though the festival itself has lots of pale beers and golden ales to choose from too. The website will be updated regularly with details of admission prices, live entertainment, tutored tastings and special hotel rates thanks to our partners at www.visitderby. There are no advance tickets as this is a pay on the door event. Well behaved and supervised under 18s are welcomed until 19:00 each evening, after which they must leave due to a licencing requirement. The feedback from 2014 revealed that our customers loved the building, the beer quality and selection as well as the hot and cold food which was available. So why not join them and come and see Derby at its beery best!! Cheers! Gillian Hough Organiser National Winter Ales Festival


Classic Pubs of the UK The Grill, Aberdeen On a recent visit to Braemar in Scotland (see my other article), I dragged my wife around Aberdeen on a pub crawl. The highlights were Six Degrees North, a Good Beer Guide listed pub which sold easily the best beer of the week, and the Grill, easily the most unpretentious and noteworthy of the week. This pub could be so easily missed, and yet it is the only pub listed in CAMRA’s National Inventory of pubs with historic interiors for miles around. The building has been in existence since the 1830s, with the present name unchanged since it became a Restaurant and Dining Room in 1870, with a “billiard saloon and electric lights”. It remained that way for thirty years, until being converted to a public house in the early 20th century. The pub was then refurbished after its acquisition by a landlord named John Innes in 1925. The pub was remodelled to include unusual oxidised bronze fascia panels and a scroll-work exterior, with mahogany veneer panelling on the inside. There is also a finely-carved back gantry and an ornate clock opposite the bar. The long mahogany bar was delivered through the windows after stopping the traffic on Crown Street whilst it was being fitted. Apparently the back windows had to be removed twice because the first attempt resulted in the counter being the wrong way around!

disperse the thirsty ladies! The women finally got their wish in 1975 when the Sex Discrimination Act became law, although there were no ladies toilets built and installed until 1998. Now that’s a long time to have to cross your legs!!! Situated on Union Street, a main street across the road from the Music Hall, musicians often visit the pub during concert breaks, and the Grill also has a large selection of whiskies from around the world and not just Scotland, having won numerous awards from lovers of the malt. This is the latest of the special pubs I have visited across the British Isles, and well worth a visit if you are ever in the area, although it’s a long way to go from Southport if you are not! Cheers

From 1925 until 1975 the pub was frequented by men only, despite an invasion of female delegates attending the Scottish Trades Union Congress in 1973. This created front-page headlines and resulted in the police being called in order to


David Williams


Trip to Prague

Last March 7th CAMRA members and two others (its not their fault) all went to Prague for 5 nights. Four of us braved the early elements on the flight and arrived in Prague before the others had even left Southport. We stayed at U Medvidku-Brewery Hotel, which yes is a brewery hotel “heaven”. It is situated right in the city centre and is priced very reasonably. It is the only hotel in Prague with a brewery. It has 43 rooms and is placed in a 15th century house with gothic trusses and painted timber ceilings. Czech cuisine is on offer, which we sampled in the pub and the microbrewery is on the top floor where the fumes hit you on the stairs up. The four of us were privileged to be shown behind the scenes at the brewery where they brew what they claim to be the strongest beer in the world X-Beer 33 semi dark lager which is fermented in oak barrels for a period of 200 days. I had one-? excellent. Some of their other beers I tried were Oldgott an unfiltered 13°semi dark lager 5.2% which is fermented twice in oak barrels which is why the beer is given the label Barrique also brewed there is Blackgott again unfiltered 14° and a special dark beer with extra roast barley added 5.8%. Later on in the day we went for a meal in another brewery (the others still hadn’t turned up hah!!) at the Novomestský Pivovar or New Town Brewery where there is a mural on the wall the spitting image of my husband (for those who know Colin what do you think?), We went upstairs and had a Mushroom


soup with sour cream and a sprig of dill, served in a bread pan which was delicious, while Doug contemplated the map on where we should go. This place was founded in 1993 but it is stated that in 1434 a house was built here by the maltster Vanek Zpevak, who lived here and held a licence to brew beer. Today the establishment has picked up on the old long-forgotten tradition from the 14th century of combining a mini-brewery with a restaurant. The beer brewed here uses exclusive Czech raw materials ie: Czech malt and Zatec hops using a traditional brewhouse, fermenting cellar and a storage cellar. It is completely natural and is not filtered and has a opal hue of yeast. This is a brilliant place in the centre of Prague about 400m from Wenceslas Square. Their beer Novomestsky lezak (light/dark) has an alcohol content of 4.0-4.3%. Later we went back to the hotel brewery and met the others and went back upstairs to sample their beers. On the Saturday we went to the 7th Annual Czech Festival in Prague, usually on for over two weeks with live music and over 4000 seats. It is held at Letenská Plán, Prague 7 – Letná . The way of paying is a really good idea with a card similar to a credit card which you can charge up at any time and pay for everything at the festival with

it. We met some of our Czech friends there who we have known for years. In the main tent there was a range of beers from the Royal Brewery Krušovice and non alcoholic beer from Krásné Brezno brewery. Here is our chairman getting it wrong and ordering an orange drink. We spent a pleasant few hours there sampling various beers The next day we decided to travel to the other side of Prague across Charles Bridge on an uphill bus ride to a Monastery Brewery of Sv Norbet, it was worth it for the view alone. The brewery is in a monastery, which was founded by King Vladislav 11 in 1142. It was closed in 1907 and was used solely as farmhouses, but in 2000 it was extensively restored giving it a total capacity of 350 seats in three environments ie: The Brewery itself, St Norbet Restaurant and Brewery Courtyard each being for a specific use and atmosphere. Some of the beers they do are India Pale Ale IPA 6.3%, Special semi-dark lager, “Amber” 5.3%, Special lager (dark beer) 5.5% and a special Dark Wheat beer Dunklern Weizenbock 6.3%. Most beers are stronger than in England as you can tell. We tried the dark beers which were extremely good particulariy the Special lager.

Letter to The Editor Dear Editor, Just a note to say I was delighted The Cricketers Chapel Road Ormskirk was awarded the Best Newcomer 2014 for promoting real ale by local CAMRA members presented at The Sandgrounder Beer Festival in October.

The Sleeper

To Be Continued

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


Past Ale & Hearty Our journeys backwards this time take us to the May-July 2007 Edition of Ale & Hearty, no.48, in full colour. The Editor was Michael Hoey, who sadly for us, has left our area to live in Faversham, in the Swale Branch area of CAMRA. No doubt some great pubs around there, in the shadow of the Shepherd Neame Kentish brewery. Michael’s editorial covered pub closures – not a new topic, and even then 26 pubs a week were closing. Recent losses in 2007 were the Sandpiper in Ainsdale (now demolished), Swan in Aughton – not sure of current status – it was recently a restaurant; another Swan in Bescar had already closed several years ago. Two Brewers in Coronation Walk also long gone – it’s hard to believe it was the local training pub for Tetley’s employees (their brewery in Leeds also now demolished). Nigel’s Bar had gone recently due to redevelopment (though its sister pub the Berkeley Arms was then still trading), and the Red Lion in Scarisbrick had converted into a restaurant. The Cricketer’s in Ormskirk was converted into a Spanish restaurant, but has recently reopened as a pub with the same name and is doing very well. Sadly the situation goes on with the Ropers and the Plough in Ormskirk under threat and the Up Steps in Birkdale boarded up. Letters to the editor included one from Cleethorpes when two of their residents had visited the Ship & Anchor in Cable Street (now gone, too) mainly to sample Cains Dragon Heart beers (what’s happened to that brewery?!) The Social Diary reported on trips to our West Lancashire pubs and a visit to the Guest House to hear the Bothy Folk Club singers during Communty Pubs Week in February 2007. In March we had visited Southport Brewery to make


an award for its success in winning Champion Beer at our 2006 Sandgrounder Beer Festival. Some members visited Wigan Beer Festival during the same month. It was also reported that we would be assisting with a real ale bar at the first forthcoming Southport Food & Drink Festival in May. The editor provided an article under “Old Friends” about a visit to the Yew Tree in Ormskirk – a very pleasant ex Higsons pub, which perhaps we should visit a little more. He also compiled a regular article then - “Around the World in an Ale-y Daze”, in which he covered a trip to Taiwan, with beautiful women in glass boxes at the side of the roads – this apparently did have an innocent, but unclear reason! It was claimed they sold an anitidote to remove bezelnut stains from the teeth of those who suffered from this strange but common nut chewing practice. He later visited a micro brewery – the Jolly Brewery – seemingly real ale is fashinable amongst the young in Taiwan, and sampled a Scotch Ale, which was malty and sweet with a 7% strength – quite enjoyable, followed by a Viennese stlye lager, a Weizen white beer and a great Pale Ale session beer. In May the Baron’s Bar, then under different management, were running their annual beer festival, themed on light and dark beers – this started as usual at 6 am (yes in the morning!) on May Day. We were all entertained at this by the Swords Morris Dancers and free bacon butties! Sadly this event was discontinued in recent years. David Wright reported on real ale and cricket, as some local clubs did and still do serve real ale – Southport and Birkdale is a good example. At that time the Fleetwood Hesketh and the Ormskirk clubs also served cask beers, along with the Formby and Ainsdale venues. AL Guzzler was still producing the humorous section, sometimes leaving little to the imagination! David Williams did his usual entry based on Classic Pubs, and as he had decided to miss the Southport Brewery trip and travel to St Albans (where is located CAMRA HQ) - he ended up at the Boot Inn

in the city market place – still in the 2015 CAMRA Good Beer Guide – which is an old oak beamed building serving great ales. He tried a Downton Quadhop at 3.8%, and was taken aback at the then southern pint price of £2.65 – events have moved on since then! He also said that the pub often got smoky then – many changes since too on that topic! Last Word from Ian Garner reported on the pending legislation to ban smoking from all public places, which at the time created mixed feelings from supporters and opponents. The Editor also penned some interesting information on our great community pubs, namely the Arion in Ainsdale and the Lakeside Inn and Zetland Hotel

A note from our facebook admin Kirk We have a Facebook page and if you haven’t already ‘Liked Us’ then this guide is what you should do. 1. Type the following: Southport and West Lancs CAMRA. 2. Please read the About, Description and General Information. 3. Like Our Page by selecting the icon. You can also scan the matrix QR (Quick Response) barcode by using an app on your smart phone device. This will take you directly to the page and then hit the Like icon. Although socialising is possible in person, especially at branch meetings when we always welcome non CAMRA members to meet at pubs and other socials organised by the help of it’s members, this isn’t always the case. We can now use social networking to link to individuals and groups interested in Southport CAMRA, it’s aims and activities. You

in Southport – thankfully these are still trading, serving real ale and doing well. Finally, we then had News From the Back Bar, which covered government and political activities – the Chancellor had slapped a penny duty rise on beer, whilst freezing spirits from an increase. This happened frequently, but thankfully recent budgets have not increased duty and concessions have been introduced for smaller breweries. Feel free to contact me via the Editor should you have any queries, comments or points of view. Mike Perkins

don’t need to be a member of CAMRA to support us but we want to get the massage out there to as many people as possible. You can see all the latest branch news and information including awards and beer festivals that are happening within the branch and in our region. Please message the page if you have any information, question or query regarding the pubs in the Southport and west Lancs area. Most of the pubs, micro pubs and breweries in and around Southport have already connected with our Facebook page via theirs and we now have a good dialogue with one another when it comes to delivering the latest CAMRA news as and when it happens, from what the local scene has to offer. Please visit the page and give us a Like. Thank You.

K. Harrison Admin


A Bus Pass Ramble The North Yorkshire market town of Skipton is known as the “Gateway to the Dales” and was recently voted the best place to live in Britain in a recent Which? magazine survey.On the last Saturday in March I took the X2 Stagecoach service to Preston, then the Lancashire United 280 service to Skipton via the A59 enjoying the picturesque Ribble Valley scenery on route. On arrival in Skipton I decided to make my first visit to the White Rose club on Newmarket Street which had a cosy comfortable lounge and function room with the guest beer and price chalked up outside.I opted for the Leeds best at £2-40, Tetley bitter is the permanent house beer and the guest pump changes with local breweries featured including Goose Eye, Dark Horse, Bowland, Ilkley, the beer quality was excellent so it was a good start. Almost next door is The Duke of Devonshire, Wetherspoons which had just commenced its March,International Beer Festival, I have to admit I often use Spooners but much prefer it when they do not have a festival on and I know what I am drinking, being a dinasour I opted for Moorhouses, Pendle Witch at £2-15 per pint. Proceeding to Swarford Street I called in at the Cock and Bottle where Theakstons Bitter, Lancaster Bomber, Charles Wells and Naylors Yorkshire Ale was on tap, I decided on the Naylors which was in good form. My next call was a pub I have passed many times without being intised in by the lack of beer range,I was pleased to see the old Rose and Crown had been tastefully refurbished and renamed The Yorkshire Rose.There was a selection of five cask ales with Tetley Bitter, Sharps Doom Bar, Robinsons Dizzy Blonde and two Nine Standards beers from nearby Settle, I opted for the pale and fruity Royal Standard 5.5% at £2-90. The Yorkshire Rose had only been open 6 weeks and already gained Cask Marque accreditation, the licensee was very friendly and came over for a chat when


he noticed me scribbling notes, there is a delightful outside drinking area and a food menu with all the usual pub favourites, this pub is well worth a visit now. A short distance away is The Royal Shepherd by the canal, which was once my favourite pub in the town, now being run by Ben and Tasha the pub was extremely busy on a warm sunny afternoon with a mixture of diners and drinkers.The cask beer list was York Guzzler, Otter Bitter, Naylors Black Tan and Saltaire Blonde which I opted for at £3-00 and was in very good condition. Finally, to my now favourite venue in Skipton The Narrow Boat which was the first pub in the successful Yorkshire based Market Taverns chain which are now owned by Okells of the Isle of Man, the extended downstairs area is supplemented with an upstairs gallery and the emphasis is on real ales, real food and real people having a conversation without the intrusion of televisions and loud piped music. The beers on offer were Ilkley Mary Jane and Lotus IPA, Taylors Landlord, Golden Sheep, Okells Bitter, Revolutions EP, Acorn Gordouka and Dark Horse Hetton Pale Ale, there is also a large selection of foreign draught and bottle beers, I opted for the Mary Jane at £2-70 which as usual was perfection. Overall a very enjoyable afternoon out in Skipton with a good selection of beers all well kept and served in top condition. It was now time to call at the superb Bizzie Lizzies Fish Restaurant/Take Away for a traditional Yorkshire chippy tea which was excellent as always

Jeff Carter


Open Branch Meeting

February Wed 11th Wed 25th

Southport & Birkdale Sports Club

Open Branch Meeting AGM/New Committee 2015

NOTE: Branch Meetings in Bold 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. More Information:01704 573768



All Beer and No Knickers IT WAS my honour to be invited by Lancashire’s most voluptuous beer buff, Shirley Banks, to the very premises that once supplied her bras. She was simply returning the support, she said. This erstwhile underwear shop in Cambridge Walks, Southport, is now the Tap and Bottles and our cosy corner table occupied the old fitting room, Shirley informed me. Overflowing cups were bound to spring to mind as we tucked into two pints of Allgates Gin Pit (4.3%), named for its juniper aftertaste and tingle on the tongue. The mastermind behind this imaginative conversion from panties to pints is 39-year-old Julian Burgess, a canny ex-accountant with barrels of pub trade experience. The corner location, and big windows, makes the Tap and Bottle a great base for people watching. Like many female real ale fans, I’m particularly pleased by today’s trend towards micropubs, which have a more continental, cross-gender atmosphere than traditional pubs, and are often located in markets or busy shopping centres. It wasn’t long, of course, before the underwear jokes were bouncing back and forth like loose elastic. Julian had wanted to call it Jugs and Bottles but his wife said ‘knickers to that’. To keep you abreast of Julian’s plans, he will soon be adding outdoor seating, coffee and snacks. Besides the hand-pulled ales, he already stocks a good range of bottled beers and some excellent wine choices. So next time you’re in Southport, pop into the Tap and Bottles and put the ‘linger’ back in lingerie. After all, a bar is just a bra with a typo.

Kay Ellis



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

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

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 23

Lymestone Brewery Trip Liverpool. Apparently all his beers have the word Stone in them Sharon Stone being the best one. After the talk we had free sandwiches to tuck into and then a tour of the brewery.

Every year at the Sandgrounder Beer Festival our customers have the opportunity to vote for Beer of the Festival, this year was no exception and the winner was Love Lane IPA from Liverpool Craft. In the New Year we go and visit the winning brewery just like we did with last year’s winner Stone Dead from Lymestone Brewery. It was one Saturday last April a coach full of Beer Festival helpers went down to present the certificate “Best Beer of the Festival”. We got picked up at various points along the way around 11 o’clock and then went down the Motorway to Stone where we arrived around 12:50. There was plenty of free beer on tap two different varieties Stone the Crows a dark beer and Stone Faced a lighter beer. Brad gave us a talk telling us about the history of the place and how it was opened on the site of Bent’s Brewery of Liverpool and their connection with Lancashire and


The tour finished and our chairman presented the certificate to Brad then about 3.00pm we got on the coach to go to our first pub The Royal Exchange which belongs to the Titanic Brewery. The beers on were Titanic Porter, Titanic Steerage, Titanic Iceberg, Titanic White Star and various others. After one or two in there we went down to The Swan in Stone. This pub was built in 1771 and was originally a warehouse serving the Trent and Mersey Canal Wharf. It has 9 cask ales on. Among those beers on were Black Tor Dartmoor, Lymestone Foundation Stone, Nutbrook Brewer Responsibly and Beartown Ruby Beer. Back on the bus and Doug does a quick head count. (Its

advisable this far into a pub crawl in case we have lost anyone). Then on to the Castle Mona at Newcastle under Lyme. Among the beers on there were Skinners Cornish Knocker, Bombardier and Joules Strisselspalt Spring. A few of us by now were starving so we had a look down the road and

found an excellent fish and chip shop which was just what the doctor ordered. Our final pub was Lymestone Vaults which is the first pub to be owned by Lymestone Brewery and among the beers on there were Lymestone Foundation Stone and Stone the Crows. After that we decided we had better get on our coach and wander back home having had a great day out at Lymestone Brewery. We arrived back home about 9.00pm.

Pam Hadfield

The Hope & Champion On the way home from a recent trip to Eastbourne by coach, our driver announced that we were pulling into Beaconsfield services at junction 2 on the M40 on the way back to Southport. This is where I visited Britain’s first motorway services pub: the Hope & Champion, a new-build JD Wetherspoon pub, allegedly costing over £1,000,000 to create. With only half an hour to spare, I decided to try a quick half. At £1.68 for a half, making it at least £3.36 a pint, the beer is obviously more expensive than the average Wetherspoon’s prices, but I guess the rent and/or Council Tax for the privilege of being sited on a motorway is more expensive than the High Street. The service however was extremely good, much, much quicker than the average Wetherspoon pub where I always seem to wait ages to get served. The beer choice was limited though. I asked for a Sharp’s Doom Bar, which did not look right and was promptly taken off. Instead I could have had the locale Windsor & Eton Knight of the Garter, but instead opted for the Fullers London Pride, which was very well kept. Anyway, the evidence is attached, with a photograph of me outside the pub with beer in hand: my firstever beer at the motorway services – just as well I was not driving. Personally, I don’t know what all

the fuss is about. I quite often pull off the motorway when I am driving home on a long journey to have a meal and a pint of beer as I will not pay the prices at the motorway services or eat junk food. So what if Wetherspoon’s have built a pub on a motorway: it is long overdue that drivers and their passengers can get a decent meal and a pint of real ale without either being ripped off or going miles out of the way to get a decent meal and a decent beer.

David Williams



CAM’RA SHOTS Julie McCombe one of our License of excellence winners

The gang in a bar in Prague

CAMRA members supporting “Meet the Brewer” at the Freshfield

Scarborough AGM Last April

Linda Cider Bar manager 15th Sandgrounder Beer festival 27

How and why CAMRA should attract new members The branding on particular beers has a huge impact on who drinks it; I see this reflected in my peers’ choice of ale. My local brewery Robinsons based in Stockport has just produced bestselling ale ‘Trooper’ endorsed by Iron Maiden, one of my personal favourites. Elbow also brought out a brew ‘Build a Rocket Boys’ to appeal to the younger market. Real ale has increasingly become more fashionable with the help of some clever marketing and an increasing interest in drinking something often cheaper and more varied than other bigger brand alternatives. This switch in habits is evident all over Manchester, particularly in the Northern Quarter, where the age of drinkers has noticeably decreased to people under 30. The question is how do we recruit the new emerging group of youngsters?

of celebrity involvement may help recruit more young members, for example Madonna’s favourite drink was once cited as ‘Landlord’. Maybe certain celebrities can be made honorary CAMRA members to develop the brand.

There has never been a better time to increase young members within CAMRA. The target audience is already interested in real ale and in turn supporting their local pubs. In order to both engage and maintain members, recruitment needs to be strategically co-ordinated. Having attended a vast array of local beer festivals, recruitment needs to be targeted at the younger based festivals, for example at Didsbury where more students and young professionals reside and also at Chorlton, with a similar demographic. Potential members need to be educated about the importance of pubs and their reduction in binge drinking. It would be beneficial to improve the discounts into beer festivals to increase membership. Alongside this, bringing a non-member for free admission to the festival can help to create further interest.

Author Bio: Heather Peel

Once more young members have been recruited the dynamics of the CAMRA meetings can gradually progress, with more meetings held at pubs with live music or a comedy venue. The use of twitter and facebook should also be increased to help young members become more active and to spread the hard work of CAMRA. Reminding people


Prior to becoming a young member of CAMRA, I too wondered, why did I need to? Not only is it worth the fee for the Wetherspoons vouchers but more importantly we need to sustain the amazing work that CAMRA has already done and help to maintain pubs and develop the brand. Thus ensuring that pubs can thrive and provide live music, comedy nights and band themed pints created just for people like you.

I am currently a member of the Young Member Marketing group, helping to recruit and retain more young members, vital to CAMRAs survival. I have been a CAMRA member since 2010, after seeing the hard work of CAMRA and how active changes can be made. I also feel strongly about maintaining local pubs. One of my favourites being the community pub of the year, The New Oxford in Salford who do an excellent pint of Chocolate and Vanilla stout from Titanic brewery.

A Wright Cross Word Answers Across


1) Ugli 8) Freshfield 9) Assyrian 10) Hole 12) Church 14) Scarab 15) Sunday 17) Energy 18) Hebe 19) Freehold 21) MereBlonde 22) Land

2) GuestHouse 3) Iffy 4) Zenith 5) Thanks 6) Highgate 7) Edge 11) Llangollen 13) Redeemed 16) Yaffle 17) Exeunt 18) Hemp 20) Heel

Ale & Hearty Quiz Answers 1. The gasometer at Kew. 2. Bass Pale Ale 3. Robinson’s of Stockport 4. Because they probably have a lot of Brains. 5. Wobbly Bob * 6. Lytham. 7. Stout is a strong version of porter. 8. The Swan with Two Necks (at Pendleton near Clitheroe). 9. Liquor. 10. Fifty four. * Readers will be interested to know that the original “Wobbly Bob” was a three legged cat in the brewer’s local pub.

Answer to the Sleeper last edition. The photo was taken at the Hop Vine


of Two Halves

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