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Message from the Editor Hello everyone and welcome to the 72nd edition of Ale and Hearty. I am Pam your editor (that’s me on the right just in case you wondered what I look like) and I am looking forward to receiving original articles and photographs from you for future editions, please don’t send copied articles as this infringes the copyright. Firstly I must apologies to the Southport Visitor, the picture of Una McBride I featured last edition was courtesy of the Southport Visitor. This was put in in the original but missed out in the printing.

areas. Town Centre is not too bad. I am also looking for people to deliver particularly West Lancs area. So if you have some spare time and possibly a car or bus pass?? In this issue you can read about an adventure in Prague, Northern Train Journey and a quiz Finally can I thank, The Zetland, Grasshopper, Upsteps, Tap & Bottles,for allowing us to hold our meetings there. Also S&B Sports Club for our AGM. Cheers

I am getting short of scribes for one reason and another and would welcome some new ones. So if you ever fancy seeing your stories in print they would be most welcome, particularly pub news which I am short of, Ainsdale, Birkdale, Churchtown

Pam Editor

Chairmans Bit Welcome to this our spring edition of Ale & Hearty were we hopefully are looking forward to some warm spring weather. Don’t forget that as the weather warms up we can start looking forward to enjoying our pints sat in the outside areas of pubs in some of our more countryside areas. We can very easily make a small pub crawl with the Leeds Liverpool canal leading itself to this very easily with its many canal side pubs and many

points along the canal with which we start and finish and also making use of public transport at many of them so meaning there is no worries about drinking and driving. Possible example for joining the canal are Burscough, Heaton’s Bridge and Downholland all have excellent connections with public transport.

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 Hadfield

07515 824539


07714 265096


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 June 30th 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.


Letter to Editor Hi Pam, Just been reading my winter 2016 Ale and Hearty. In the past section a mention is made of the Cock at Broom in Bedfordshire. I remember reading about it in my edition of Ale and Hearty. Dave had written a review of the pub but unfortunately I did not agree with his report. The service was poor and being the middle of summer the ale “Greene King” was not at its best. The White Horse in the village at the time was a better pub in my opinion. Again not the best ale but a little cooler and at least we did get served. I am pleased to report The Cock has improved beyond recognition. It is just as it was 16! years ago but is a free house now. My Sister and Brother in law live a few miles away so we visit a couple of times a year. My brother in law reckons the brewery sold it a couple of years ago for £350k. I don’t think it is tied to the brewery as the ale has improved no end. Greene King is not my favorite beer. It is a proper pub. No juke box. No fruit machine.

Beer is dispensed straight from the cask and now the casks have coolers round them. The games room does contain a skittles game although some people call the game cheeses. When it was a tied house the landlord used to do a chilli. It was legendary! My 1978 Good Beer Guide description just says “beer fetched from cellar” My brother in law lives in Clifton. A village about 5 miles away. It used to have 3 pubs all ok but nothing special and all Greene King. One pub shut 15 years ago and is now an Indian restaurant. It used to be the Clifton Arms. Or as it was locally known The Windmill. If you were buying they were open. One is open then closed as the tenants come and go. Still Greene King. The third “The Admiral” was nothing special and the brewery sold it. It is now managed by a bloke from Manchester. It is a true free house and the manager certainly knows his ale. What a difference a good landlord makes. Kind regards Colin Ogilvy

Tony Williams R.I.P Also some very sad news is that Tony Williams of Liverpool and district branch was found dead in his house by the police on Friday 3rd February.

always help in branch pub crawls of Liverpool branches area with his encyclopaedic knowledge of all the pubs including recent converts to real ale and you could always guarantee some pubs that you have never gone to before and very often never even knew sold real ale.

He was a great supporter of CAMRA, having been a committee member at Liverpool for many years and until 18 months ago running all there coach trips and always helped at the Southport Beer Festival and if available would

We wish condolences to his brother Robert in this sad loss.


The Willow Grove

Open every day 8am till midnight • 2 floors 12 hand pulls • Ales from £1.99 a pint. At least 10 on at any one time Always Doombar, Ruddles, Abbott and Wainwright. (unless Beer Festivals weeks which we do 4 times a year here) Beer bus or meet the brewer once a month We support all the local breweries like Parker Red Star

387-389 Lord street, Southport, PR9 0AG 01704 517830


CAMRA Membership Keeps On Rising The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) has just signed up its 185.000th member, reinforcing its place among some of the top membership organization in the UK. It now boasts numbers above all but one of the major political parties The milestone member was one of hundreds who signed up at the recent Manchester Beer and Cider Festival which played host to almost 15,000 visitors in January 2017. The organization now has more membership than the Conservative Party the Scottish Nationalists, the Liberal Democrats the Green Party and UKIP. Only the Labour Party has more members In 2016 CAMRA embarked on a member wide consultation about its future direction and purpose to ensure that it remains relevant 45 years on from its founding. The proposals put forward by the committee charged with running the revitalization consultation suggested various changes that CAMRA could make in order to better represent the modern beer and pub environment. A final decision on these proposals should be made at CAMRA’s Members Weekend 2018 in Coventry. Colin Valentine, CAMRA’s National Chairman says “It is fantastic to see our membership continue to grow year on year at such a successful rate. CAMRA remains as attractive organization in this day and age because of our ability to adapt to the new issues that face the beer and pubs industry. We have seen the world of beer change significantly since 1971 with the rise in breweries and the rapid closure rates in pubs which is why we continually evaluate our purpose and strategy to reflect these changes.

As a result we are looking forward to another 45 years of pubs and beer campaigning”

Family Family Fami ly brewery crafting tasty tast ta sty y ales in the heart of St Helens

V i si t Us!

Tel: 07921 83 88 31 7

Brewery News Burscough Brewery As I write this the brewery is not brewing at the present time but the beer might still be available at the Hop Vine in Burscough and at the Leigh Arms in Mere Brow. Doug Macadam

In February the brewery launched their NEW seasonal ale - Boadicea IPA 5.5%, a traditional English style IPA, which will be followed by their next seasonal ale - Golden Samurai Ale 3.8% which will be produced in May. Plans are under way for the brewery to open up their brewery tap room for select Friday evenings over the summer months, serving cask ales, wine and a limited range of spirits - watch this space!’ Colin Hadfield

Southport Brewery For April National Hero will be being brewed again during the Grand National period in memory of famous local race horse Red Rum. The Grandstand beer is to become a regular beer in future due to its popularity and High tide will also be being brewed throughout the spring and early summer period. Doug Macadam

The Parker Brewery The Parker Brewery are pleased to announce that they will be having a bar for the first time at the Southport Food & Drink Festival on 2nd - 4th June, where there will be ales available to buy along with bottled gift packs. They will be making an appearance again at the Formby Food & Drink Festival (July 14th - 16th) again after the success of last year. The brewery tours are continuing to be a success, with several more members to the ‘Brewery Tour 10 Club’, for those who have attended 10 or more tours. Private brewery tours are becoming even more popular.



Many Congratulations to Dave and Glen on CLOUD NINE the latest brew sampled it at the Liverpool Beer Festival in February – very quaffable – it’s a must try!!!

time, had enough spare to share bottles with the “CRAFTY TASTERS” a group of locals that would be happy to get free beer from me and give me advice, the rest is history!

Julie Squires Brewery Liaison Officer, CAMRA

At the time of setting up there was only Southport Brewery and Parker who were both doing traditional ales. They’re both great breweries whose beers I like, but I saw there was room for what I wanted to make. 3 Potts then came along about the same time and concentrate on stronger beers, which as an afternoon drinker personally meant they are not the sort of session beers I wanted to make. Red Star Brewery then also hit the scene just after I had started selling my beers commercially too.

3 Potts Brewery A couple of updates, I have several new beers in the pipeline. A couple of Pale Ales and a Black IPA are amongst them. I have recently taken delivery of two more fermenters (purchased from Neptune after their expansion) so production is growing steadily. Getting closer to moving out of the brew shed into bigger premises. About to brew the first main batch of Twin Turbine, which at 10% will be Southport’s new strongest beer. Fred Harris BLO 3 Potts

The Craft Brewery Prior to setting up The CRAFT Brewery I was a Software Sales manager covering Europe for a US company. The travel and commitment to them was huge all I wanted to do when I got home after spending time with my wife was go to the pub, There were a few bottle shops in Southport at the time the Inn Beer Shop, the Tap and Bottles and Boulevard West where I could enjoy something different from the normal John Smiths or generic Bitters. What I didn’t see at the time was a local brewery that was making flavourful hoppy beers. So my wife convinced me to start brewing my own at home and after some

Initially I started experimenting with different styles and gave them Masonic themed names such as Labour to Refreshment, Masters Maul and Brethrens Brew. Eventually, I settled on three key styles; an IPA, a Golden ale and a Dark ale packed with flavour and easy to drink. These are available in Cask (Pin and Firkin) and bottles. Southport has been my main target market while I get set up (to reduce travel costs) selling to the bottle shops, bars and restaurants and event venues in town. I’m currently brewing on a 100 litre system from Powell Brewing. Expansion has to be organic as I’m self funded I have replaced my initial 6x60 litre fermenters with 3x210 litre fermenters allowing me to help meet demand at the moment expansion in to Liverpool and Preston are on the cards having some customers in these areas already. Rick from Parker brewery and Peter from the Inn Beer shop have been instrumental at helping me look at the bigger picture and are always happy to do so. Following on from the success of the three initial core brands The CRAFT brewery has recently added two more beers to its core rage CRAFTY DEVIL 5% and CRAFTY SMOKE 5%, CRAFTY DEVIL is a porter with a hint of Cherry and CRAFTY SMOKE is a Pale slightly smoked ale utilising German rauch malt.


Friends On Tap To Prevent Loneliness CAMRA has welcomed a survey by the Campaign To End Loneliness which revealed that older people experiencing loneliness miss simple things in life, such as a drink in the pub, a walk in the country or a shared meal. CAMRA itself commissioned a study by Oxford University called Friends On Tap which showed how community locals can help fill gaps left by loneliness. In 2014, the Office for National Statistics found Britain to be the most lonely country in the EU. We’re less likely to have strong friendships or know our neighbors, and many us have no one to rely on in a crisis. While isolation is most commonly associated with older people, the study found that younger people in the 18-34 age band can often feel alone too, despite smartphones, Facebook and other social media, or - in my view - partly because of them. Reading ‘LOL’ on your phone is not the same as having a laugh with your mates around a pub table.

a community local, and some may cater more for specific age groups so that even a regular pub user of the ‘wrong’ age might feel out of place. An older woman may not find it easy to go into a pub on her own, especially as she may be of a generation that did not readily accept women doing so. When you are a regular pub goer, as we CAMRA members are almost by definition, walking into a pub is simple; consequently we sometimes forget that some people may find the prospect daunting, partly because of the fear that you may end up sitting sadly on your own, perhaps compounded by simple unfamiliarity with pub going in general.

Certain times of the year, such as Christmas and Easter, can actually deepen feelings of isolation because, if you’re alone, it can look as though the whole world is having a party to which you’re not invited. To be fair, there are occasional messages reminding us not to forget people who are lonely at this time, but the problem is not on seasonal phenomenon: for many, this is a year-long struggle. Pubs are one obvious answer, as you can enter and buy a drink without having to pay for admission, join or sign in, and it is acceptable to speak to strangers, but it’s not necessarily an easy thing to do. First you have to find a suitable pub: not every pub is


I’d suggest that people try to find out about suitable pubs before venturing out: for example, from other people, from the local papers and on-line. It may be an idea to go when there is entertainment on,

because that can be the ostensible reason for being there, and it doesn’t matter if you’re watching, say, music alone as people will assume that’s why you’re there. Music and quiz nights are probably the most common forms of entertainment, although some pubs put on comedy acts. If music is your thing, a loud rock band doesn’t help if you’re hoping to speak to people, although not all amplified music precludes speech. Increasingly there are unamplified acoustic music sessions, some held during the day and therefore clearly suitable for retired people. Pub games, such as darts or pool where you can challenge whoever’s playing to a game, may be another way of breaking the ice. It is not even necessary to drink alcohol: in my local, one of my friends whom I’ve known for decades drinks only diet Coke. If, like me, you are not drawn to soft drinks, tea and coffee are often available nowadays. Pubs aren’t a silver bullet that can solve all the problems of loneliness, and some people may

genuinely not like them anyway. The propaganda of anti-alcohol campaigners has had a corrosive effect on the perception of pubs, as have media stories suggesting our town centres are like the Wild West at weekends. In my last job, some of my colleagues would be surprised when I’d mention that I had gone into town at the weekend, asking, “Doesn’t it worry you?” I’d reply that I go out every weekend, and never come across any trouble, but I don’t think they were always convinced. CAMRA’s suggestion that, for some people, pubs can help reduce isolation is basically correct.

Neville Grundy



Beer Street 25th - 27th November 2016 At a time when the Southport & West Lancs branch of CAMRA is considering whether it can successfully reintroduce its Annual Beer Festival it should be recorded that Julian and his team at the Tap & Bottles in Cambridge Walk Southport showed what can be done with the goodwill of delighted customers not all of whom were CAMRA members. The Tap & Bottles has established a reputation over its relatively short existence for knowledgeable and helpful staff and for its range of cask ales from unusual breweries. After expanding into the former shop next door they had room to set up over 20 real ale hand pumps. As regulars will know they also offer keg beers galore and some 48 were available for the festival, a good many of which were available in Cambridge Walk. Of the 30 Cask ales there were some local breweries featured: Ad Hop, Craft, Mad Hatter, Melwood, Neptune, Parker, Red Star and Southport. Others came from Scotland: Alechemy, Fyne and Fallen Wales and the West Country provided Arbor, Moor, Tiny Rebel and Wild Beer. My personal favourites were the 4.5% Ice Cream Porter from North Riding Brewery and the Inspired Pale Ale from Twisted Barrel Brewery in Coventry. It is fair to say that Cambridge Walk was cold at the time of year but this did not deter customers from quaffing mostly craft beer and the various food on sale. The other businesses in the arcade will have benefited hugely from the extra footfall. Beer was available in thirds, half pints and pints and for some of the stronger craft beers in two thirds measures. Payment was in tokens in sheets of £10.00. Any spare tokens were handed in and I understand that a sum of in excess of £400.00 was handed over to the nominated charity of Southport Food Bank. In addition music was provided in Cambridge Walk

and any money donated to the buskers was added to the spare token money. Unfortunately several of the local branch hierarchy were in Prague until Friday evening. I would advise them and all interested parties to keep the latter stages of May free this year as I understand the intention is to hold another Beer Festival plus a second one in October 2017 rather than November’s chill open air. Bring on Beer Boulevard 2017! I’m sure the reputation of the Tap & Bottles will ensure that those people from outside the local area will return whether they are behind the bar or in front of it. I understand that the preferred dates are Friday 19th May to Sunday 21st May inclusive. Dave Wright


“Responsible drinkers posters ignored in pubs” - Study I read on the Alcohol Research UK website that a study suggests that posters encouraging moderate drinking are largely ignored in a pub environment. Well, you could have knocked me down with a feather! Dr Daniel Frings, Associate Professor of Psychology at London South Bank University, who led the study, said, “On average, our PubLab volunteers aimed nearly eight times as many glances at their own drinks than at responsible drinking posters.” Well, obviously. You don’t go to pubs to read posters; you go for a drink. I haven’t wasted any money researching this, but I think I can state with some certainty that at football matches, fans spend very little time reading the adverts all around the edge of the pitch. Any cashstrapped university department that would like to charge the FA a small fortune for researching this phenomenon is welcome to the idea. Why aren’t we avidly reading these posters? The ‘moderate drinking’ message has become somewhat self-defeating. I have written a number of times previously that many drinkers simply do not believe the 14 units a week propaganda that the anti-alcohol campaigners keep on trotting out. If one part of your message lacks credibility, then so will the rest.


People often don’t notice posters, especially when there are so many displayed, or there are other visual distractions such as pictures or television, with the result that individual posters just get lost. CAMRA beer festivals make the same mistake; they put up far too many posters so that hardly any get noticed, let alone read.

Simplest of all: adults are bored stiff of being nagged, especially when they have gone out to enjoy themselves.

There could be some money in this: I must look into getting a grant for researching “the bleeding obvious” (to quote Basil Fawlty).

Neville Grundy

Family Family Fami ly brewery crafting tasty tast ta sty y ales in the heart of St Helens

V i si t Us!

Tel: 07921 83 88 31

Pubs giving CAMRA discount to card carrying CAMRA members Tap & Bottles 20p off a pint 10p off 1/2pint & a loyalty card Sandgrounder 30p off a pint of Real Ale Bold Arms Churchtown 20p a pint Real Ale Freshfield 25p a pint Real Ale Railway Formby 20p a pint real Ale Phoenix 10% off Real Ale Park Birkdale 10% off pints and halves Cross House Formby 10% off pints Grasshopper Hillside offer a discount scheme Cock & Rabbit Members discount and loyalty scheme I am sure this list is not exhausted and if I have missed anyone out of Southport and West Lancs area or you decide to start offering discount please let me know at This list will be a permanent feature of Ale and Hearty hoping to try and encourage pubs to be included.


Out and About with Southport F.C. Recently I embarked on the long journey in pursuit of two of my favourite hobbies – visiting new football grounds and drinking real ale. Well, visiting good pubs too. That’s three now, to follow in the footsteps of the great Monty Python team in the Life of Brian. Oh, and walking too (that’s enough!!!). Anyway, I set off on the long drive to Kent with Yvonne (Mrs. Williams to you) to pay a visit to my cousin Cathy and her husband Pip. They live on the Isle of Thanet in a place called Minster-in-Thanet, which, for anyone who does not know the area, is just outside Ramsgate. In other words, it would be quicker to get to Greece or Turkey by plane, as it is almost in France! It takes me about five hours to get to the Dartford crossing, and then another hour to get to Minster. Starting at about 9.15 on Wednesday 1st March, we duly arrive at about 5 o’clock after a couple of stops. The second of those had been to visit the Kings Arms in Upper Upnor, a pub I targeted specifically because it was a local Pub of the Year (POTY) winner, having received that accolade from the CAMRA Medway branch. A good pub it was too, and I slaked my thirst with an excellent pint of Dark Star Original, a rare beer for us Northerners, although Dark Star Hophead, one of my favourite beers of all time, is often seen in free houses around the country. It was Wednesday, and our plan was to stay with Cathy and Pip for five nights, returning home to Southport the following Monday. I had planned this trip for months, as it all revolved around the Maidstone United v. Southport match on Saturday 4th March. However, there were still a few places to go in the meantime and a few good pubs to


visit. After a good night’s sleep we were taken to Sandwich the following day. There were several Good Beer Guide (GBG) listed pubs here, but I only managed to sneak in a quick half of Timothy Taylor Landlord in the Red Cow. We then drove up to Margate, which is the nearest thing in Kent to Blackpool, having a pint in the non-GBG listed Barnacles. However, the Adnams Southwold bitter was not bad. The following day we visited Ramsgate, where I don’t think I had been since crossing the Channel to Dunkirk on the way to the European Cup Final in 1985 with three mates. The least said about that the better, because that was the infamous Liverpool v. Juventus match at the Heysel Stadium in Brussels, an occasion I have never forgotten. On this day, Pip was going to the local hospital for an appointment, so he dropped Yvonne and me in the town centre, which gave me the chance to sample a few pubs. After getting my bearings right, we headed for the Hovelling Boat Inn. Now, if you have never visited a micro pub, then Kent is where they were invented, and there are loads of them in this county. This was the first of many that weekend, and this was wonderful, a throwback to the good old days of proper old-fashioned service when you would go to a pub, take a seat, and the bar staff would come and serve you, take your order and bring your drinks to your table. Well, that’s what happened at the Hovelling Boat, and my Three Castles Chain Mail Pale was excellent. Much that I could have stayed here all afternoon, I moved on in the interests of research to take a good walk up the High Street, turning left up Westcliffe Road and, after getting to the top of the hill turned right into Grange Road. Here was another micro pub, the Conqueror Ale House. This pub was a previous

finalist in the national CAMRA POTY competition, and again it was very friendly. However, it was so small that it was hardly a long way to the serving hatch, as it did not really have a bar anyway. It was hard not to get involved in conversation with the locals, and the banter here was priceless, including a conversation with a well-dressed man whom I soon realised was the local undertaker! I was in good hands here if I drank too much and keeled over! After a pint of an unusual beer called Mad Cat Oatrageous (sic) brewed using oats, I said farewell and headed back down Westcliff Road to the Artillery Arms. I had already passed this pub, but as the Conqueror closed in the afternoon before reopening later, there was method in my madness as the Artillery Arms was open all day. This was a lovely quiet pub with a raised area for me to get away from the regulars at the bar and have a quiet read on my own with nobody to bother me. My beer was Whitstable Try Time, a rugby-themed pub cashing in on the forthcoming Six Nations rugby tournament. However, more important to me was the fact that it was a local (e) Kent beer from not far away. Very good it was too! Later that night we got back to Minster and took Cathy and Pip for a meal as our way of saying thanks for putting us up. We had a bottle of wine with our meal at the New Inn in Minster, but I had a pint of Canterbury stout on arrival which was rather good despite this pub not being GBG listed. The food was very good too, and we finished the night by having one last drink at the local GBGlisted micro pub, the Hair of the Dog. I found the beer a little flat for my liking, but the cider in here is excellent, and although I am not normally a cider drinker I found the cider more to my liking than the beer last time I was in Minster in late 2014. Also, it is all made locally, whereas the beer I had was Rudgate Battleaxe all the way from Yorkshire. So that takes us up to Friday, and Saturday was my big day. I had already booked a train ticket from Minster to Maidstone, so I duly set off the next morning on the 11.25 train, changing at Ashford

International at 12.00. The 12.10 train was waiting on the platform, and I arrived at Maidstone East at 12.33, all planned so that I could have a few beers. My plan in Maidstone was to visit four GBG listed pubs, which ended up being a tall order, because Maidstone is a bigger place than I anticipated. I came out of the station and turned right down the High Street, past the local Wetherspoons pub to the pub which was furthest away, the Olde Thirsty Pig. Hopefully you will read more about this pub later, because this was a classic pub, a Grade 2 listed 15th century inn. The barman could not do enough for me, offering me tastes of the beers until I found one I liked (they were all excellent) and even taking a few photographs for me and allowing me behind the bar. If I had been POTY judging, this would have scored very highly. My Wantsum Black Pig was superb, probably the best pint of the week so far, and I got a discount with my CAMRA membership card too! Superb. My plan was to try and get to two or three GBG pubs before the match, but this went to pot, mainly due to the distance I had walked to get to the OTP and the fact that the local CAMRA branch had recommended a non-GBG listed micropub called the Cellars Alehouse. The pub was listed as being 0.4 miles away by the CAMRA pub directory, What Pub, but it was hard to find. Situated on Buckland Road, close to the railway line and the River Medway, its location meant that I had to go all round the houses to find it. Eventually I found it down the steps of the old Style and Winch brewery yard, but it was worth the effort. It was well after 2 o’clock by now, and my aim was to get to the Rifle Volunteers pub before the match, but I soon gave up on the idea as the beer I chose in here was superb. The Maidstone Alpha was perfect, and easily the best beer I was to have all week. So although I am reluctant to score beers as the perfect 10, I gave this 9 (or 4.5 out of 5 on the CAMRA National Beer Scoring System). Not surprisingly, I was advised that this new micro pub should find itself in the 2018 Good Beer Guide.


I decided at this point to make my way to the Gallagher Stadium after getting a little lost and asking for directions (the danger of drinking beer before going to the match). I was getting a little more used to the geography of Maidstone by now, passing Wetherspoons and the station again, and knew the football ground was nearby. Maidstone United’s stadium was good and bad for me. The good news was that it was only the third football stadium I have been to which sold real ale (the others were Dagenham and Redbridge and Stafford Rangers), but unlike the others the beer was sold in plastic glasses. But with a gate of over 2400 I could understand that. The thing I did not like at this ground was that there was nowhere to sit down, no away end for visiting supporters, and no terraces, so I had to watch the game at pitch level with people in front of me. It’s just as well I am over six feet tall, or I would not have seen much of the game. The match started well, as Southport, despite the artificial pitch, were a goal up inside four minutes. However, that was as good as it got as the Sandgrounders were eventually well beaten 4-2. However, this was the 99th ground I had seen them play on, and I was not going to let the result get me down, especially as by that point I was resigned to Southport being relegated anyway in a fairly forgettable season. After the game, I headed for the nearby Flower Pot, described in the Good Beer Guide as a “must-visit when in Maidstone”. It was OK, but my Redemption Pale Ale was not a patch on the Redemption Trinity from the same brewery when I had a pint in Leeds with Doug Macadam at Foley’s Tap House. By now I realised I was not going to be able to visit all my pubs in time to catch the 17.56 train back to Ashford, so I sent a text message back to Yvonne and advised her that I would catch the 18.56 instead. So I headed back towards Maidstone East station, where the J D Wetherspoons Society Rooms was the closest pub. Now in conversation with a fellow customer at one of the pubs earlier, he


advised me “not to bother” with the Society Rooms, which was after all listed in the GBG. But I wanted to make my own mind up, but he was right. The pub still had a number of Maidstone fans toasting their win, but there was very little choice in here for a Wetherspoon house. My pint of Brecon Brewing Six Beacons did not taste like it had travelled well from South Wales, and I drank it with considerable resentment. This was one of the poorest beers I have ever drunk in a Wetherspoon pub, and it ranked alongside a JDW pub I went to in Monmouth. IT served me right ordering a Welsh beer, which is why I normally go for local beers. However, they did not appear to have any. So I swiftly left, leaving myself just enough time to head back down the High Street the same way that I had headed from the station on arriving at Maidstone East at 12.33. But this time I turned left up Wyatt Street, which I had now pinpointed on my A-Z, despite the drizzle. The Rifle Volunteers was another POTY winner, and this was a lovely, homely quiet pub selling the Kent-brewed Goachers beers. Not only that, they sold mild, which I thought had all but disappeared in Southern England. Very good it was too, although I only had time for a half. It was only £2.70 for a pint too, remarkably good value for Kent, and over a pound cheaper than two other pubs I had been in that day. If my map-reading had been better earlier I really should have had a pint here, stayed longer and skipped the Society Rooms. However, I had ticked off four GBG pubs and was ready for home. I could have stopped off at Ashford and/or Canterbury to visit more pubs, but I thought that was enough for the day and I did not get back to Minster until 20.06, so it had been an eventful day! There was a chance of one last pub visit on the Sunday. Cathy and Pip took us to Deal, where we had last been in about 2000 when I went to see Dover Athletic v. Southport. WE went for a walk around the town, and while the girls went to look in the shops I asked Pip if he fancied a pint. So we went to one last Kent micropub (I told you there were a lot of them in this neck of the woods), which

was situated in King Street in the town centre. Called Just Reproach (it must be the only pub in the land with that name), it is apparently one of Kent’s (and therefore the UK’s) first micro pubs, this was wonderful. Again, I opted for a pint of mild in the form of Breakwater HMS Minnow (obviously named after a local warship) which was excellent. Not only that, but the barmaid asked us to help ourselves to complimentary cheeses and crackers, even though we had never been in there in our lives. The local people were lovely, delighted that we had travelled so far and made us extremely welcome. I really could have stayed here all day, and it was also dog friendly, which was particularly good as Cathy had her King Charles Cavalier dog, Alfie with her. Nothing was any trouble to the staff and locals here, and this was now probably my favourite pub of the week, because I just love cheese and biscuits and good beer (OK, that’s five things I like now).

So that was it. My first visit to Kent since November 2014, and probably my last visit to a Kent football ground for a few years if Southport starts life in August 2017 in the Vanarama League North. But for any fans going to the Dover Athletic away game on Good Friday (they will deserve a medal if they go) then try and take in some of these pubs. Deal is the closest to Dover of all the places I have mentioned, but if you have never been to a Micropub then this is the place to go. Regards,

Dave Williams



Leap of Faith That’s what four CAMRA members ended up doing on a remote train track somewhere in the Czech Republic. I realise I have written quite a bit about our exploits in Prague and wasn’t going to bore you with it this time but this is worth reading It all started in Prague last November when someone suggested we visited two breweries out of the capital, one in Beroun about a 30 minute train journey and the other one a good few hours away in Prachatice. We had had these breweries recommended to us so we were quite keen to visit. We bought the tickets a few days earlier to save time and decided to do the one furthest away first as that closed early and the other one being a restaurant as well was open later. Our journey started at Praha Hlvni Nadraz on the 10:12, we had to change trains 4 times as Doug had worked out how to get to Prachatice. As train journeys are one of Doug’s other interests we decided to leave it to him to work all the time tables and changes out. After about half an hour we arrived at Zdici we had then about 15 minutes to find the correct platform to get to Protivin on the 11:15. This proved a bit difficult as the train had changed platforms so we found ourselves running back down the steep platform steps and up the other side just in time to catch the next train. How you would get a wheelchair up and down those steps I have no idea and there didn’t appear to be any lifts. We then had over an hour to recover from our sprint on the train before we had to get off and spend 6 minutes trying to find the next train to Cicanice. By now the train stations were getting very rural as

we got deeper into the heart of the Czech Republic. More difficult to find anyone that spoke English and all the signs were in Czech. The stations had one platform on either side with no station master and about 6 lines running in between which the Czechs just stepped over to get to the train they wanted. If a train stopped in the middle line you appeared to have to be next to it when it stopped to get on it. Pretty scary really just walking across the train lines was a first for me and probably my last. We finally found the 13:33 to Prachatice guess what the middle line. So there we were in the middle of nowhere surrounded by railway lines two in front and two behind me and a train coming from the distance. At this stage I was desperately trying to work out which line it was coming in on the one in front of me or the one I was stood on in case I had to move quickly. Pictures of my two cats and dog passed before my eyes anyway it came in, in front of us so we boarded the train to Prachatice rather grateful that this was the last change. We finally arrived at Prachatice at 14:31 just over 4 hours since we left Prague, I really needed a drink. The Brewery was about a 15 minute walk from the train station and Doug reckoned we had about two hours there. Enough time for a few beers and some well earned food to calm my nerves ready for the expedition home.


Prachatice was founded in the second half of the 13th Century along an old trade route in South Bohemia and the historical character of the city centre has been protected since 1981. The Prachatice Brewery production of beers places great emphasis on bitterness that is typical beer from the brewery.They produce a Lager 11% golden colour, rich, creamy foam and strong bitterness using Humnovy pilsner malt and Munich malt. Light Lager 12% a bitter strong hoppy flavour at the end of a full malt base brewed with Czech hops. IPA Light 13% light colour malt pale ale and Karapils and two kinds of American and Australian hops. Australian hops was used so that emphasised the scent of pomegranate and peach.The beer is dry with a higher bitterness that lingers long. Bradacek 13% semi dark lager, dark brown sometimes golden colour with fine brownish fluffy mousse. You can smell a faint scent of caramelized malt which you can taste along with the strong hop bitterness. English Red 13.3% A top fermented dark speciality English style cooked jednoteplotni infusion, unpasteurised and not filtered. It has a subtle lingering bitterness gradually using the English East Kent Goldings hops. Unfortunately the dark beers had all gone that day so we had to stick to the light ones. We had some rather strange traditional Czech food as again there wasn’t much left. After about an hour and a half I had had enough beer and food to calm my nerves so we decided we had better set off back calling at this other brewery on the way back at Beroun.


We caught the 16:33 train from Prachatice to Cicanice without too much trouble and arrived at Cicanice at 17:17. We then discovered we had an hour wait as the train were hoping to get only ran in the summer and Doug’s knowledge of the Czech language notes in Czech rail timetables is not very good. So we looked around for a place to have a pint as it was getting dark and a bit chilly now. We discovered a bar just the other side of the station so we went in. The first thing I noticed as it was all men in there sat at rough benches drinking pints most of them turned and looked at me as I entered which made me feel that I might get chucked out. Anyway we got served of a kind , no dark beer just had to have what they gave us and went and sat down at a bench with me still feeling all eyes were on me. It wore off after a few minutes but in the meantime Colin had spotted a huge wood burner in the centre of the room. Now for those who don’t know Colin he is heavily into scrap metal and he was wondering how much it would be worth. The rest of us had never seen anything like it, it was most unusual but very efficient. We finally persuaded Colin to part with his wood burner and we caught the 18:27 train to Protvin which was only a 5 minute journey. Thinking about it we could probably have walked it. At Protvin we would have three minutes before the next train, what could possibly go wrong? We didn’t sit down but just stayed by the door till we got to Protvin where the train drew to a halt, not too sure which side to get out of and no sign of anybody else. Ok we have no electric doors out here so it’s the old fashioned window and handle that you pull down, could we get it open? No. The member of our party closest to the door wrestled with and after what seemed like a life time then Doug tried the other side and opened it and got down onto the train track. Picture this Doug in the

middle of nowhere in the dark on a train track and suddenly the train looks as if it’s about to start and move off with the rest of us on it. Someone shouts jump so all three of us 60-80 years of age jumped into the dark what seemed like five feet but was probably only three, off the train and onto the track and then we froze while the rest of the train moved off. No guard or whistle blowing as would happen in England. After the train had moved off we just followed the people that had managed to get off the other side across the railway tracks to the safety of the platform saying never again. If you picture a scene from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid you won’t be far off. We managed to get to Beroun without too much more incident at 20:56. We found the Brewery in a scrap metal yard full of old army tanks and machinery Colin was in his element. The beer is produced here using spring water, malt, barley. Hops and organic brewers yeast. The beers they brew are 8° light, 11° ale, 11° semi dark honey, 13° dark special, 14° semi-dark lager, 15° semi-dark lager, 18° dark lager special, the latter being exceptionally nice. Brewing in the town dated back 550 years. In 1872 the town’s people built a new brewery which continued until 1978. After a 20 year break the Mayer family renewed the brewing tradition by building a new family brewery Berounsky Medved. We enjoyed that brewery so much we decided to go back later on in the week, but for now we had to get a train back to Praha Smichov which was a double decker. Obviously we were getting back into civilization. This was a first for us as we had never been on a double decker and made a beeline for upstairs. Finally we got the metro to Narodni Trida near to the hotel having thoroughly enjoyed our escapades on the trains but glad to be back in one piece. Cheers Pam Hadfield

The taming of the kilderkin. It may not appear hostile. But the Taylor’s cask is well known amongst landlords for its tendency to erupt and drench the unsuspecting if not handled correctly. We still brew our beer the traditional way, which means it undergoes a vigorous secondary fermentation in the cask. This extra conditioning results in a cleaner and crisper beer. But it also means that our casks demand extra time and care. So when you see Landlord in a pub, you know you’re in the presence of a landlord who has tamed the beast to bring you that Taylor’s Taste. Please thank them for their endeavours.

All for that taste of Taylor’s




Town Centre Tittle Tattle The newly burgeoning northern quarter of Southport Town Centre proceeds apace. Bar 45 in Leicester Street now has 2 real ale pumps, the same as its counterpart in Skipton, Sound Bar. In addition to Fullers London Pride on a recent visit it had on sale a Bowness Bay Beer – Swan Blonde. On Lord Street itself The Inn Beer Shop sale has gone through. Beers vary – ie. not always Southport Brewery. Prices are around £3.00 per pint in a venue little changed except it appears to be lighter and the bar staff a little younger! Peter Bardsley can still be found next door with an imaginative stock of bottled beers. At the end of the block Peaky Blinders goes from strength to strength. The bar area has expanded greatly as has the choice of cask beer. Tatton Brewery beers appear often; Blonde, Gold and the 5.7% Obscure have been sampled to good effect. There are cheaper beers in Southport but with 5 beers on this is a place well worth visiting. On the opposite corner is the newly refurbished boutique Bold Hotel which continues to sell 2 national beers such as Bombardier. 4 doors down is Corridor which has on 2 local beers from such as Neptune or Rock the Boat and 2 more common beers such as Wainwright and Hobgoblin Gold. A warm welcome is assured. Over the road on the corner of Lord Street and Union Street is Punch Tarmeys. In the same ownership as the Bold Hotel it apparently has one real ale such as Doom Bar in what has been described as an opulent setting. Finally the Guest House in Union Street can always be relied on to provide a wide range of real ales. Recently I thoroughly enjoyed Butcombe Bitter and also a rare visitor in Bank Top Dark Mild. Gail Heyes invariably has one mild on very often this is the popular Moorhouses Black Cat. Always a must visit pub but definitely one to look in during the mild month of May.

GO WITH THE FLOW… Taking its name from an island on the Thames, two miles away from our famous Chiswick brewery, Oliver’s Island is a smooth cask ale with a crisp and refreshing citrus flavour.

Aroma – Citrus and f loral

Taste – Biscuity grapefruit, crisp and refreshing

Cask: 3.8% ABV Bottle: 4.5% ABV


Get the real taste of Ramsbottom

Opening Times: Tue-Sun 12am-11pm Irwell Street, Ramsbottom BL0 9YQ t: 01706 825 019 w: @IrwellWorksAle Facebook/IrwellWorksBrewery


How our media disapproves of women drinking There was quite a bit of coverage late in 2016 about a report from two Glasgow universities that drinking by women is depicted more negatively than that by men, despite the fact that, overall, men still drink more alcohol. I feel the depiction of women’s drinking in our male-dominated media is determined by prescriptive attitudes to how women should behave, disguised as concern for their vulnerability. It’s often implied that female drunkenness can lead to sexual promiscuity and, even worse, bolster the offensive old insinuation that a drunken woman, especially if revealingly dressed, is “asking for” sexual assault. Interestingly, I can’t recall seeing much concern about young males becoming sexually promiscuous after a skinful, or too much concern about their being attacked, even though statistically they belong to the group in society most likely to be assaulted on the streets. I looked at Google images for ‘drunken women’ and ‘drunken men’, and found many pictures for both genders of drinkers in similar poses - huge grins, raising glasses in the air, swigging from bottles, and so on - as well as some showing people throwing up or lying unconscious in the street. The one big difference was that those depicting unconscious young women often showed them with their clothes in disarray revealing their underwear and bodies; one or two were nearly naked. I found no comparable pictures for men. I have no doubt that many pictures in the media of young people out binge drinking are posed, but that doesn’t explain why drunken women are photographed differently to men. One reason must be that most editors and journalists are male, but another is an outdated morality about the behaviour of young women in society, perhaps combined with a gloomy sentiment that the world is going to pot. The latter view is usually expressed by some middle aged or older people who hold that things were better in the old days. Curiously, people who were young in the 1950s and 1960s were often described in ‘shock horror’ terms at the time; many of them are now saying


similar things about today’s younger generations. There’s nothing new there, of course: in the 1920s, young women who flouted conventional manners and expectations were often disapprovingly referred to as flappers; 40 years later, some of them probably took a dim view of the ‘flower power’ generation. A combination of disapproving morality and barely-disguised titillation drives the media’s reporting of female drinking, which makes its contribution to informing us about this subject largely worthless. Perhaps some parts of our ‘free’ press need to grow up. Neville Grundy


6) Which of these is an effective way of removing alcohol and sobering up

1) What can speed up the effect of drink in you

7) You drink a pint of 3.5% beer. How long is it before the alcohol in it is completely broken down by the body and will no longer affect you

a) An empty stomach b) Gulping the drink rather than sipping it c) Fizziness in the drink d) All of these 2) The legal limit for drinking and driving is a) 35 mcg of alcohol in 100ml of breath b) 50 mcg of alcohol in 100ml of breath c) 80 mcg of alcohol in 100ml of breath d) 100 mcg of alcohol in 100ml of breath 3) The most accurate way to find out how drunk you are is to a) Measure how much alcohol there is in your blood b) Attempt to walk along a white line c) Measure how long you have been drinking d) Ask your mates 4) Alcohol is: a) A stimulant drug b) A depressant drug c) Not a drug d) A non-toxic drink 5) Alcohol begins to affect the brain: a) The moment it is swallowed b) Within 5 minutes c) After twenty minutes d) Only after several drinks

a) A cup of strong coffee b) Making yourself sick c) Fresh air or a cold shower d) None of these e) Paying for a round

a) About half an hour b) 2-3 hours c) 10-12 hours d) It depends how regular a drinker you are 8) You are at the pub from 9pm-11pm drink 3 pints of Dark Ale 5% per hour. For a fit healthy male assuming no meal is eaten and no residual alcohol is in the system a) How many units would be in the system at midnight b) At 7.30am c) At 10.30am d) At 3.30 pm 9) How long does it take for the first unit of alcohol to be absorbed a) 5 mins b) 10 mins c) 30 mins d) 1 hour 10) Therefore how long does it take for 1 unit of alcohol to be processed and leave the body assuming you don’t eat a) 30 mins b) 45mins c) 1 hour d) 2 hours

Answers next edition


Chairman & Vice Chairman’s

Day Out Back in 2016 our Chairman, Doug Macadam, told me about a special offer being advertised by Northern Trains in conjunction with Johnston Press, the company who print newspapers such as the Lancashire Evening Post. Although it was difficult finding newsagents who stocked the Lancashire Evening Post, I eventually bought a couple of copies in which there were vouchers printed which, once you obtained two vouchers, entitled the reader to apply for a £10.00 Johnston Press Day Ranger ticket for use on Northern Trains between 26/9/16 and 21/11/16. As it happened, I went into hospital on 26th September for an operation, so I had to wait until I was fully recovered to join Doug on one of his train journeys. However, that’s another story! I ended up doing a total of three journeys with Doug: one to Lincoln and another one to Leeds, but I’ll perhaps save those journeys until a future Ale and Hearty. When we eventually found a day when we were both free, it was not until Saturday 5th November. This journey needed some meticulous planning, all done by Doug, who is a public transport expert and mine of information. Why he never settled on a career with a bus or train provider is beyond me, because he has got timetables to get you just about anywhere in the country via public transport. The good news about this day is that we were going to see a lot of the North West scenery by train. The bad news was that it meant an early start. Early meant meeting Doug and his brother Ian at Southport station in order to catch the first train of the day at 6.20 in the morning. I was up with the


birds and raring to go, leaving the house by 6 o’clock to walk into town. We caught the first train to Manchester, and, although we were originally planning to alight at Wigan, we decided to alight at Bolton instead in order to change and get the first train to Preston, which arrived on schedule. Our next leg of the journey was to catch the direct train to Carlisle, a Northern line train which took 3 hours 56 minutes or thereabouts. However, this journey was one of the best train journeys I have ever experienced, taking in Morecambe Bay and some wonderful scenery on the Cumbrian coast between Barrow-in-Furness and Carlisle, where we eventually arrived at about half-past twelve. This section of track takes in a lot of stations and therefore a lot of stops, but also has the advantage, if you have time, of stopping at stations such as Foxfield, a few stops past Barrow, where you can experience the wonderful beers available at the Prince of Wales pub, a long-time favourite of CAMRA members in Cumbria and in fact the whole of the north of England! We also stopped at Sellafield, which I can only describe as a little bit eerie. There were signs everywhere saying “no entry”, “no access to the public” and other such warnings, which I suppose is only to be expected when you are a stone’s throw from a nuclear power plant, and this was the nearest I had ever been to it! We also went through the once-busy ports of Workington and Whitehaven, where the train suddenly got a lot busier with passengers getting on the train to visit the bright lights of Carlisle like us. At this point we had a little wait due to essential engineering works on the line between Carlisle and

Appleby-in-Westmorland, so we went for a quick pint in the local Wetherspoons pub, the Lloyds Number 1 William Rufus, where I supped a pint of Cumberland Great Corby Blonde which was very good. The next part of our tour involved getting a replacement bus journey to Appleby, which is the first part of the famous Carlisle to Settle line. The bus did not take long, going along the M6 for most of the journey until we were able to resume our journey by train when we got to Appleby. We did not have time for a pint here, catching the next train to Skipton, again taking in some wonderful scenery such as the three Yorkshire peaks of Ingleborough, Pen-y-Ghent and Whernside. In fact one of the stations, Ribblehead, I remember well from walking up Whernside with my son Mark and finishing with a pint at the Station Inn.This time though there was little time to stop, but we did eventually arrive in Skipton, which gave us a chance to sample a couple of beers. I had not visited Skipton’s first micro-pub, the Beer Engine, so we called in. The wonderful Dark Star Hophead was available, and it is one of my favourite beers, so this was a must. Good value too at £3.00, so I was a happy man. We left after just one pint to try a pint at the Narrow Boat, where I had been before, and I sampled a pint of Ilkley Mary Jane, one of my favourite Yorkshire beers. Now I didn’t want to bore you with train times in this article, but suffice to say we had a strict schedule to keep too, and it had been crucial to start early for two reasons: one was that we (or should I say Doug) had planned a busy route; the other was the fact that, being November, we had to get going early in order to make the best of the daylight available before it went dark. So after two pints we headed back to Skipton station and caught the next train to Keighley.

who own a lot of pubs in the town. The last time I had been here was for a memorable trip to the former Tetley’s brewery in Leeds, run by Southport’s Mr. CAMRA Mike Perkins shortly before it closed in 2011. The exact date we went to Leeds and called in at Keighley was 30th October 2010. On that occasion, I visited the Boltmakers Arms, the Cricketers Arms and the J D Wetherspoon Livery Rooms. So this time I wanted to tick off another couple of unvisited Good Beer Guide pubs, which involved a bit of a walk from the station to the Lord Rodney followed by another walk to Timothy Taylors’ Brown Cow, a GBG regular. Not surprisingly, Timmy Taylors’ beers were available in both pubs, so I tried the Boltmaker (Best Bitter with a new name) in the Lord Rodney and Golden Best in the Brown Cow: the latter really a light mild. At £2.90 and £2.80 respectively they were excellent value and typically competitive Yorkshire prices for beer and both in tip-top condition. That was it as far as the beer sampling was concerned, because we still had a few miles to cover in order to get back to Southport.We timed the rest of the journey so that we left Keighley in time to catch a train to Bradford, changing there in time to get to Manchester, arriving at Victoria in time to catch the last train back to Southport, getting us home around midnight! I have just looked up the price of a ticket from Preston to Carlisle alone, and a single ticket as I write this article costs £36.10. Therefore, as you can see, to do all this in one day for just £10.00 was a bargain thanks to Johnston Press and Northern trains. My thanks also go to Doug for a wonderful day; one I will not forget in a hurry, hence the reason for this article. I know there were not that many pubs involved, but if the same offer materialises in 2017 I will be first in the queue for the Lancashire Evening Post! Best wishes,

Keighley is a place with lots of good pubs, especially as it is home to the famous Timothy Taylor brewery,

David Williams


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