Message from the Editor
Congratulations to The Grasshopper our North Merseyside Pub of The Year and The Cricketers Ormskirk as our West Lancashire Pub of the Year
Hello everyone and welcome to the 75th 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. I would like to welcome our new Cider Officer Joanne who has come from another Branch and has moved to Southport recently. You can read her article inside introducing herself.. There are a few new and changing pubs in Southport at the moment. The Albert has reopened as Southport Tavern. The Sandgrounder is opening as a smokehouse called The Firepit on June 14th. Also Parker brewery is hoping to open up a micro pub in Duke Street soon. I also went in Punch Tarneys the other week and was pleasantly surprised as they had 6 hand pumps on so that’s worth a visit. There is plenty to read about inside, Dave & Doug’s expedition to Kent, Milds madness and Craft Beer. Did you know you can now follow us on Twitter @SPortWLancCAMRA so come on and give us a tweet.
Family brewery crafting tasty ales in the heart of St Helens
V i si t Us!
Can I ask people not to forget to score their beers through What Pub its really easy to do and you could make a difference to which pubs appear in the Good Beer Guide Finally can I thank, Upsteps, Zetland, Hop Vine, Grasshopper, for letting us hold our meetings there. Cheers Pam Editor
Tel: 07921 83 88 31 3
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
Chairman Doug Macadam
Branch Contact Mike Perkins
Items for inclusion to Editor, please email: email@example.com. Cut off for editorials for the next Ale and Hearty is 31st August 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: www.southportcamra.org.uk. You can also follow ‘Southport and West Lancs CAMRA’ on Facebook. ‘Like’ us for updates. Our Twitter address is @SPortWLancsCAMRA
USEFUL CONTACTS •
CAMRA HQ 230 Hatﬁeld Road, St Albans, AL1 4LW.
01727 867201. Website: www.camra.org.uk
SEFTON TRADING STANDARDS Sefton MBC (Environmental Protection Department), 1st Floor, Magdalen House, Stanley Precinct, Trinity Road, Bootle. L20 3QZ. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org (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: email@example.com
WEST LANCASHIRE LICENSING SERVICE West Lancs Borough Council - Licensing Service, Robert Hodge Centre, Stanley Way, Skelmersdale, WN8 8EE. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
Chairmans Bit Welcome to this our summer edition of Ale and Hearty which at the time of writing the weather has been reasonable so let’s hope it carries on and we can enjoy those country walks with cluded The local obviously a few pub visits included. area lends itself to walks with the many miles of canal locally and still surprisingly in this day and age some quite good public transport links in the evenings. For further information of public transport please see www.travelinenorthwest.co.uk or ring 0871 20022 33. Also don’t forget all our town and urban pubs as so many nowadays have outdoor gardens or seating areas ideal for those hot summer and autumn evenings to enjoy a drink or two.
In the last Ale and Hearty I mentioned about the ﬁnal part of the Revitalisation Project that CAMRA has been going through for the last 4 years now. At the AGM and conference weekend in Coventry these were ﬁnally voted on with all of them passing except for no 6 which did have a lot of members worrying that CAMRA in future was going to be supporting all types of beer including keg beers. This was going too far but even this still had 72% of the vote as for the resolutions to pass they needed a minimum of 75% this being due to company law. It is hoped that the Revitalisation process has not split CAMRA members too far and that they can reunite. Doug Macadam Branch Chairman
What is Craft Beer? I know that some of the terms used by beer lovers can be confusing, particularly ‘real ales’, ‘keg beers’ and ‘craft beers’. To begin with real ales: these are brewed in such a way that they ﬁnish their fermentation in the barrel, are not ﬁltered or pasteurised, and are served without gas pressure. Old-fashioned keg beers were brewed to a certain point, pasteurised to stop the fermentation process, ﬁltered, and served using carbon dioxide (CO2) pressure from a gas cylinder. Modern smoothﬂow beers are similar, except that the gas is a mixture of CO2 and nitrogen. Why did brewers go for keg beers? They could be produced in huge quantities, were never cloudy, and there was little waste. They were easy to serve and their taste was consistent: at best bland, or at worst downright unpleasant, depending who’d brewed it. At one time it looked as though keg might take over the whole beer market, which led to the founding of CAMRA in the 1970s. So far so good: real ales are naturally-produced products, while keg beers and smoothﬂow are not, which was quite straightforward to understand until the arrival of craft beers in recent years. These beers are skilfully brewed using good ingredients without ﬁltering or pasteurisation, and most would qualify as real ales until the point when they are served, which is done using gas pressure. Because of this, they do not ﬁt the description of ‘real ale’ as deﬁned, not only by CAMRA but also by most modern dictionaries. This means that the main
difference between real ales and craft beers is not the production process, but simply the method of serving. Does this make a difference? This is a controversial question even within CAMRA, and the answer is that it’s a matter of opinion. In the spirit of experimentation, I have tried some craft beers: I’ve quite enjoyed them, and found they were far superior to old-style keg beers. However, to me they were very like bottled beers, which can be very enjoyable but do not match my personal ﬁrst choice: draught real ale. You don’t have to take my word for it: why not go out and have fun deciding for yourself what you prefer? Neville Grundy
The Pubs Which Go the Extra Mile I was having a think about ideas for a new Ale & Hearty article the other day, and came up with this idea. Over the years I have had some great experiences in British pubs and thought I would share some with you. I don’t want to miss anybody out, and these pub visits are in no particular order of preference or are meant to appear in league table form, but I thought I would share some special pub experiences with you and add to the list with each subsequent issue: • I was in the Castle Tavern in Inverness with my mate Dave Taylor in 2013 when the landlord got chatting to us. We told him we were doing an Inverness pub crawl, and our next planned pub visit was the Clachnaharry Inn. “It’s a couple of miles away, on the other side of the River Ness” he said, but I can give you a lift, which he duly did. We had another pint and thanked him, and he provided us with a free taxi service. What more could we ask for? • I was in Dumfries and Galloway with my mate Doug Macadam and we had a couple of beers in a superb pub called the Laurie Arms Hotel in a place called the Haugh of Urr (but don’t ask me to pronounce it). Anyway, we were the only two people in there, and we told the landlady we were about to catch a bus to Kirkcudbright. As we left the pub still chatting away the bus sailed past. “Don’t worry” she said. “I’ll close the pub for ten minutes and I’ll run you to the bus station in my car”. Again, what more could we ask. You must visit this pub. It was superb. • Again, Doug and I were away in Cumbria
with his brother Ian. However, Ian had had enough one night when we decided to do a few more pubs, and caught the bus towards Wreay, a little village just on the other side of the M6 from Carlisle. We got chatting to the landlord and landlady who asked us what we were doing. “We came to visit your pub because it is in the Good Beer Guide” we said, “but we have got to leave in order to walk over a mile back to the bus stop to get the bus back to Carlisle”. “I live there” said the landlady, “but if you want to have another pint I will drop you off”, which she duly did. Now it probably takes a brave lady to give a lift to two blokes she has never met before, but this was another example of the sort of service you can get from British pubs. I was in Kent with my mate Doug in February 2018 and we visited the Butchers Arms in Herne which you can read about in my Kent pub crawl article. Not only did we get a sample of landlord Martyn’s Harvest Ale (which I bet most of the locals haven’t tried), one of the regulars Rob Smethurst gave us both a lift to our next pub in Herne Bay. This was a fabulous little pub with really friendly customers and you must visit if you get the chance.
There may be more to come regarding this article, which is still work in progress. If you have any more examples of the pubs which go the extra mile, please write to our editor Pam Hadﬁeld. Best wishes, Dave Williams Editor: Good idea Dave anyone else had experiences like these????
Brewery News SOUTHPORT BREWERY
3 POTTS BREWERY
A new beer for June to August is Summer IPA at 3.8% abv. A summer golden easy drinking session ale Doug Macadam BLO
3 Potts has stoppped brewing and put there plant up for sale Fred Harris BLO
THE CRAFT BREWERY THE PARKER BREWERY The Parker Brewery has again produced its successful seasonal ale for the summer, Golden Samurai Ale 3.8%. A delightfully easy drinking ale packed full of fruit ﬂavours, an ideal summer drinking ale. The brewery is continuing to conduct their popular brewery tours every month, with a tour of the brewery, lunch and unlimited ale in their brewery bar, all for only £15.00 per person. For more details contact the brewery - 01704 620718 E: email@example.com The lease has been signed and building work is underway for The Parker Brewery to open their own micro pub, situated on Duke Street, Southport. The micro pub is going to be called The Beer Den and will have a rotating selection of cask ales, with guest ales on the bar along side The Parker Brewery ales. The Beer Den will also be selling keg lagers and wheat beers, along side a wine list and a small selection of spirits. The Beer Den is looking to open June/ July 2018 Colin Hadﬁeld BLO
RED STAR BREWERY On 6-8 April 2018 Red Star Brewery in conjunction with Formby Cricket Club ran 2nd Beer Festival which was a sell out. The festival featured a bar with 24 real ales (including a well stocked gin bar) Julie Squires, Brewery Liaison Officer, CAMRA
The Craft Brewery have continued to build its customer base outside of Southport, as there apparently in no requirement for unﬁxed real ale form any of the local Pubs and Bars. We have been delivering as far as Blackpool and North Wales where they appreciate Crafted ale that hasn’t been subjected to ﬁsh guts. Due to this we have been experimenting with ﬁnings to see if we can broaden the appeal of our ales. Pam Hadﬁeld BLO
HOPVINE BREWERY Two new beers added, Flat Rib Porter and Bottling IPA and a new 100% Citra beer with tropical fruit ﬂavours to be called Hop Vine Summer Ale at 4.3% abv and it is planned to be a regular ale in future years from April to September. Also plans are in place to bottle a number of beers to be available via mail order or from the Hop Vine or the Leigh Arms. Doug Macadam BLO
Past Ale & Hearty Number 42
I have to say sorry that I have not been able to do the Mike’s Meandering column about my pub visits, as for the last two years or more I have been largely housebound due to a car hitting me in January 2016, (try and avoid it!) resulting in many broken bones and spells of hospitalisation and other conﬁnements. I am a little better now and hope to resume my pub visiting soon. However, this time we have a look at the Ale & Hearty no. 42 of November 2005 to January 2006, which had a photo of the 2006 Good beer Guide on the front cover. The Editor was Michael Hoey and I was the Sub Editor and Branch Contact. Branch Chairman was Dave Williams, Ian Garner was Secretary with Julie Squires doing Membership (as now). Phil Morris was (and still is) website minder, and Pam Perkins and Ian Rogers handled various jobs. At that time we had two meetings per month – one for Committee and one Open Branch – these are now merged to one monthly.
pub changes, which mainly incorporated all afternoon opening and later closing at night. No pubs opened 24 hours, but some night clubs would open until the very early hours.
GOOD BEER GUIDE Also mentioned was the arrival of the 2006 Good Beer Guide – the pubs included were, in Southport the Baron’s Bar, Berkeley Arms (now gone), Cheshire Lines, Falstaff, Guest House, London (gone too!), Masons’ Arms; Sands in Ainsdale, Bold Arms in Churchtown and the Freshﬁeld in Formby. In West Lancashire appeared the Derby Arms, Dog & Gun and Stanley Arms in Aughton; Slipway at Burscough, Scarisbrick Arms in Downholland, Railway Tavern in Hoscar (also sadly gone), Ship (Blood Tub) in Lathom, Legh Arms Mere Brow, Hayﬁeld and Yew Tree in Ormskirk and the Prince Albert in Westhead. A grand total of 21 pubs, but sad to see that so many have closed since this edition was published.
PUB AWARDS These had been made at our 2005 (6th) Beer Festival and included certiﬁcates for Licensees of Excellence, Special Merit, Most Improved, Best Newcomer, Club of the Year Best Country Pub, Best and Best Community Pub Local. I can give speciﬁc details of the winners if you contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org but space is scarce for a long list here.
PUB LICENSING The Editorial section covered news about the new licensing hours and changes allowed by the 2003 Pub Licensing Act, and whether this would result in more binge drinking – fortunately this does not seem to have occurred, as drinkers could now spread their “booze time” out in a more civilised way. A list of some of the
IMPORTANT NOTE: The Branch are organising our 17th Beer Festival this year, and it will take place at the St John Ambulance Hall, Southport, on 25-27th October, 2018.
AROUND THE WORLD IN A ALE-Y-DAZE Michael the Editor wrote his usual touring article and covered a visit to the Queen Mary, the old liner that is now a ﬂoating hotel in Long Beach USA. He also mentioned a visit to the world’s largest club (it claimed) in Houston, Texas. But he actually went to a pub in Long Beach called the Yard House, which had 250 pumps from everywhere in the world! There was an enormously long bar with beers from all over – he spotted Abbot, Bass, Belhaven, Boddingtons, Fullers ESB & London Pride, Newcastle Brown, Old Speckled Hen and Tetley’s amongst beers from all over the world. It was packed and he eventually got a beer at £4 a pint (in 2005!). It was supposed to be a brew pub but no sign of this. A good proportion of beers were from micro-breweries in California, but were ice cold and probably keg based. He later found nearby real ales at the Rock Bottom Restaurant and Brewery, and sampled Signal Hill Gold, Pelican Red Ale, Long Board Brown and Black Seal Stout – the latter two dark beers he preferred the best.
A SCOTTISH SAFARI PART TWO I wrote a series of articles about my Scottish visit to coincide with the CAMRA National AGM in Glasgow in 2005. I travelled from Southport to Pitlochry (Part 1) and Ullapool via the Northwest and North Coast to Thurso, then Orkney, Shetland, Aberdeen and Dundee to Glasgow and ﬁnally back home via Annan and Gretna. (parts 3 & 4). In this part we had nice beers at the Moulin Hotel in Pitlochry brewed by the pub. We were also shown around the brewery, which was interesting. We went into the town and then to view the Fish Ladder, where salmon make their way up the River Tummel for breeding. After a couple of drinks in Pitlochry at £2.80 per pint (pricey in 2005!) we proceeded north to see the Queen’s View (used by Queen Victoria) just of the A9 by Killiiecrankie Pass. North along the A9 through Dalwhinnie, then a diversion via Loch Laggan to see the ﬁlm set used in the Monarch of the Glen TV series. In the Glen Hotel at Newtonmore we tried Orkney Dark Island Ale and Skye Glenbogle (do these still exist?). Then
onward via A9 to Kingussie and into Aviemore, the ski centre for Cairngorm. Drinks in the Old Bridge Inn and Cairngorm Hotel for beers from Deuchars IPA , Skye Red Cuillin and Cairngorm Stag. More of the A9 passing across the Moray and Beauly Firths, past Inverness and to the Black Isle. We were staying at the Anderson in isolated Fortrose run by an American called Jim Anderson. We later sampled the one real ale, Cairngorm Trade Winds, which was nicely kept. Jim, a beer geek, had more than 50 bottled beers from all over, including some bottleconditioned, and we managed to sample quite a few before retiring! Next day via Rosemarkie and the Plough, then via Dingwall into Inverness and the Glen Mhor Hotel by the River Ness for a pint of Inveralmond Lia Fail (not up to scratch). In the town centre we called at the Hootenanny and a nice Black isle Red Kite. Last call to the Blackfriars for Cairngorm Wildcat, then a coffee stop and to Culloden, the 1746 battle site where Bonnie Prince Charlie was ﬁnally defeated. Finally a meal stop at the 17th century Clachnaharry Inn where we tried halves of Broadside, McEwans 80/- and Cairngorm Trade Winds. Then a long, lonely drive west via the A835 via Lochs Glascarroch and Broom into the sleepy Ullapool. We stayed there at the Argyll Hotel, with a landlady from Chorley! A bedtime sample of Skye Red Cuillin and a rest before commencing Part 3 the next day.
A.L. GUZZLER I liked the quote from Brendan Behan: “I am a drinker with writing problems” – and hope this doesn’t apply to me!
THE BLUE BELL, BARTON Dave Williams wrote articles about “Good Enough to be in the Guide (But Not in It). He was referring to our Good Beer Guide for this area, and wrote about the Blue bell in Barton – another one sadly. long-gone. This was on the inland road, the A5147 from Maghull to Southport, and the pub was between Haskayne and Halsall, now a housing complex. The pub had a great outdoor animal garden, and offered good quality, well-priced food. The Sunday
carveries were very good. The pub did all day breakfasts and the beers offered then were Jennings Cumberland, Fuller’s London Pride and Greene King Abbot Ale. There was a nosmoking room (rare then) and darts and pool games were available. Sadly now gone, like quite a few others in our area.
SOCIAL SCENE On 16th July 2005 we all had a bus trip to Preston on the X59 (it’s now the X2) and visited several very good pubs in Preston, including the Olde Dog & Partridge, New Britannia, Limekiln, Old Black Bull, the unspoilt Black Horse, Olde Blue Bell (Sam Smith’s), Shawes Arms, Stanley Arms and the Market Tavern. Quite a day out – can we still do it?
THE LAST WORD Time, Gentlemen, Please! Ian Wareing wrote this interesting article about the new pub licensing laws, which could extend opening times
to 24 hours per day, and were in the process of being implemented locally, with longer, all day hours but none near here to open around the clock. Ian mused about some of the comments that had been raised by the likes of the teetotal supporter’s groups and others. Ian criticised the new rules and thought that they could lead to difficulties regarding implementation and trouble in pubs. New training was required, with qualiﬁed manager on duty at all times. Costs would increase to allow for longer coverage, and licensees would be responsible for serving to excessive drinkers. There would be civil servants surveying that licensees complied, and this might cause problems, too. Fortunately things seemed to have settled reasonably well and without serious problems. This edition had 40 pages with 19 advertisers.
Southport Snippets As already iterated by the Editor the Southport real ale scene continues to evolve. First the bad news. The Shakespeare at the junction of Scarisbrick New Road and Virginia Street is no more. What was once a roomy public house slowly became a huge pile of bricks and is now an empty space shrouded by fencing. The Coronation King Street is still open but up for sale. Perhaps in future real ale could return. On to more positive matters. The Cheshire Lines has now changed hands and is part of the Star Pub company. This pub always has one mild on usually Tetley Mild but alternatively Southport Dark Mild or Moorhouses Black Cat.
On Eastbank St the Old Ship situation remains unclear. The lease is now for sale and the pub remains closed. What was the Albert in London Street close to the railway station has emerged as the Southport Tavern. The beer choice is eclectic with beers from Beer Monkey (Skipton) Southport Brewery and Weetwood being spotted. I hope they get the throughput to justify 2 real ales being available.
The Sandgrounder on Lord Street reopens June 14th but with facilities available on 2 ďŹ‚oors. Downstairs will be the Potting Shed and upstairs the Firepit. Along Lord Street Barons Bar now has paddles with 3 x 1/3rds on. If you like Moorhouses this is the venue for you. The Tap and Bottles next beer festival will take place on June 15th to June 17th. From what I hear there will be some unusual breweries coming plus collaborations.
Towards the northern end of Lord Street Punch Tarneys now sell 5 or 6 real ales with offerings such as Titanic Rum Porter, Loweswater Gold at sensible prices. They need to keep up the good work bearing in mind their proximity to the always excellent Guest House. The recent good weather has seen throngs of customers topping up their suntans outside Peaky Blinders and the Bold Hotel on Lord Street . Indeed Peaky Blinders now have other outlets both in Churchtown and in Liverpool Centre.
Cider Report Now the sunshine has started to interrupt all the cold rainy weather of the previous months, and w we’re beginning to talk about summer s being on its it way, it’s time to tu our attention turn to the cooling refreshment re of real re cider and perry. p Having re recently moved to the vicinity, I’d like to take this opportunity to introduce i myself as your new cider representative in your local CAMRA branch. I previously held this position in another branch, and now I’m here I’m keen to help promote real cider and perry in the Southport and West Lancs area. We have some fantastic pubs offering these mouthwateringly tasty quality drinks, and we want you (our branch members and local nonmembers alike) to share in our delight. Because of the natural variety of often delicate ﬂavour in real ciders and perries, they are increasingly popular among those ladies who maybe aren’t particularly into beer, although this is in no way exclusive as this tasty traditional beverage is widely enjoyed by men and women alike, alongside real ale. Although we promote real cider and perry all year ‘round, May and October are particular focal points for us as October is the centre of the production season, while both the blossoms of the apple and pear trees and the ‘fruits’ of the cider and perry makers’ hard work can be found in abundance during the month of May. We would love for you to come out and try some during its peak readiness, especially if
you’ve never had the pleasure before. We are also organising a social outing sometime in October to visit a few of the pubs in or around Formby which have ciders or perries available, and we would like to invite anyone who thinks this sounds like a nice day out. Full details will be published in our next issue, and posted on our website nearer the time, so please check back or contact the branch for more info. All are welcome to join us, and for those who would like to learn more about real cider and perry, such as how it’s made and how it differs from non-real (keg) cider, I will be happy to impart my knowledge and answer any questions I can. This year (2018) marks 30 years of CAMRA campaigning for real cider and perry, and a lot has happened over these past three decades. Please look out for my followup article in our next issue, where I will talk more about this momentous milestone in our campaign. Remember, real ciders and perries can be sweet or dry and everything in between. Some can be very strong (such as 8%), but many are a similar strength to an average real ale (4%). They have a great variety of ﬂavour, are a lovely refreshing drink especially in the hot summer months (or even the kind of summer months we tend to have here in England), and as they’re natural they are a healthier choice than some other drinks. Your local cider rep,
A.I. is too important to be left in the hands of machines. The A.I. we’re referring to isn’t Artiﬁcial Intelligence, it’s Ale Intelligence, of course. We’re not technophobes, we just don’t trust anything incapable of smelling, feeling or tasting to create something as delicately balanced as Landlord. That’s why we have ﬁve hands-on, Heriot-Watt trained brewers involved in every step of the process, from barley delivery to ﬁlling the casks. This way, we can make sure that every sip of Taylor’s is as delicious as humanly possible. Machines may one day take over the world, just be thankful you won’t be around to drink their terrible beer.
All for that taste of Taylor’s
EAT, DRINK, TOUR & SHOP 0161 612 4100
Best Bar None may help Southport nightlife Hugh Evans, CEO of Southport BID, recently announced a plan to relaunch Best Bar None in Southport. This is an accreditation scheme intended to promote responsible management and operation of licensed premises. The scheme’s website states that it improves standards in the evening and nighttime economy. In Mr Evans’ view, “a vibrant evening and night life is one of the most powerful economic factors that a town has.” Such a positive approach makes a refreshing change. Pubs, bars and clubs often get negative write-ups by people with agendas of their own. Pubs are blamed for binge drinking, disorder on the streets, violence and injuries. In response, duty has to be raised, minimum prices considered, and a ﬂood of intensive propaganda published to tackle what is depicted as an undesirable social scourge. In my last job, some of my colleagues were amazed if I mentioned going into town centre pubs at weekends. They looked sceptical when I said I saw very little trouble; clearly the propaganda that town centres are like the Wild West at weekends has done its job. I can think of 40 real ale pubs and bars in Southport, 18 on or near Lord Street. Add to these all the venues that don’t serve real ale and the total number is much higher. Combined, all of these need thousands of customers to stay in business, but despite that, we do not have thousands of drinkers causing mayhem every night. It only needs a small number of
idiots to give all drinkers a bad name and cause problems for the police and A&E staff, all of whom have better things to do. If people feel more conﬁdent about going out to our many varied licensed premises as a result Best Bar None, alongside schemes such as Pubwatch, then it is worthwhile. If while they’re out, they decide to sample the extensive choice of real ales now available in Southport, Formby and West Lancs, then even better!
Th Be e U lti er Fe ma te st iv al
7-11 August • Olympia London
More than 30 bars under one roof! Real Ale • Craft Beer Cider • Perry • Wine Gin • Entertainment Street Food • Music
Book your tickets today
© CAMPAIGN FOR REAL ALE LTD.
CAMRA redeﬁnes its aims and objectives CAMRA members have voted to approve all but one of its National Executive’s recommendations designed to take the organisation into the future. Almost 18,000 members voted online and at the Campaign’s AGM in Coventry on 21 April to express their views on changes to CAMRA’s Articles of Association that redeﬁne the 47-yearold organisation’s purpose and campaigning activities. Members voted to remove the organisation’s old objects in the Articles of Association – the statement of the aims of the Campaign – and replace them with new ones designed to make the organisation more inclusive, relevant and welcoming. These are: 1.
To secure the long term future of real ale, real cider and real perry by increasing their quality, availability and popularity
To promote and protect pubs and clubs as social centres as part of the UK’s cultural heritage
To increase recognition of the beneﬁts of responsible, moderate social drinking
To play a leading role in the provision of information, education and training to all those with an interest in beer, cider and perry of any type
To ensure, where possible, that producers and retailers of beer, cider and perry act in the best interests of the customer.
However, members voted against one proposed objective, which was “to act as the voice and represent the interests of all pub goers and beer, cider and perry drinkers.” The changes will see CAMRA put increased focus on educating people about different types of beer, they add campaigning for real cider and Perry to the objects for the ﬁrst time, and they recognize pub and club protection as an important object. In some respects, these amendments reﬂect what was already going on at ground level, but now such activities are placed on a legitimate basis. Colin Valentine, CAMRA’s outgoing National Chair, said, “The hard work now starts to deﬁne new strategies to position CAMRA where our members have told us they want it to be. We need to do all we can to reassure all members that our core campaigning objectives remain focused on real ale, cider and perry as ever.”
A Kent Pub Crawl Tuesday 30th January – Day 1 I can guess what readers will say when they read this article: Kent is a long way to go from Southport for a pub crawl. However, for the past two years I have been away for a break with our Chairman Doug Macadam and his brother Ian. This year, I wanted a change, Ian didn’t want to go and so Doug asked me where I fancied. I suggested a few counties and Doug looked at a combination of places with some good pubs, good public transport services and good value accommodation. He came up with the idea of going to Folkestone, and when told me how cheap it was, I said “go for it”. He then looked at the prices for train journeys, and when I realised how cheap some of the train fares were we decided to go by train via London. My journey to Folkestone using my Senior Railcard was just £18.50, my SRC saving me a total of £19.00 for the return journey. So Doug set off from Southport on Tuesday 30/1/18 on the 8.58 train, with me catching him up at 9.02 at Birkdale. We walked from Liverpool Central to Lime Street, catching the train to London at 10.47 from Liverpool Lime Street. We duly arrived just before 1 o’clock in the afternoon at London Euston, and from there turned left out of the forecourt to walk towards Kings Cross St. Pancras station where we caught the ﬁrst train to Folkestone. So far so good, but this was where things didn’t quite go to plan. Arriving at Folkestone Central station, I put my coat back on, picked up my rucksack and got off the train. On getting to the bottom of the ramp out of the station, Doug was taken aback as I suddenly shouted “my bag”. The reason being I suddenly realised I had left my main bag with my week’s clothes
and everything else for that matter on the train. So, instead of heading straight for our hotel and off to the ﬁrst pub, instead I went back to the platform at Folkestone station to speak to the station porter. “You will have to go to Ramsgate” he said, “because that is where we store the lost property”. So, after a couple of phone calls and a chat with Doug to sort out some alternative arrangements, we walked to the bus stop and caught a Stagecoach bus to Dover, buying a South East 7 Day Megarider weekly ticket for just £23.50 as we knew we would get good value out of them despite the cost. From there Doug took another bus to Deal whilst I caught a train to Ramsgate to go and retrieve my bag. On arriving at Ramsgate station I went to the station property office and there it was! Now I could breathe more easily, although that was easier said than done because I now had to carry two heavy bags on a pub crawl! I got the train from Dover Priory to Deal, and a short walk took me to the Just Reproach, a superb little micropub which I had visited before in 2017. Doug was ready to go, but I needed a drink after all that, so had a quick half of Downlands NZ Pale, a superb beer to start the week and one which as it happens would not really be bettered. We then went to the Ship Inn and the Farrier, both Good Beer Guide listed pubs but quite a distance apart. It was already getting heavy going carrying a heavy bag and a rucksack. And most people would probably just go to the nearest pub, but not us! The Ship sold one of my favourite beers, Dark Star Hophead, which was an easy choice for me. Having by now ticked off all the GBG pubs in Deal, we got the bus back to Dover to explore the pubs there. The ﬁrst one was a J D
Wetherspoons pub called the Eight Bells, where I tried the Welton’s Old Cocky at just £2.25 which was OK but nothing special. Next port of call was the Lanes, our second micropub of the week. This was a lovely, friendly pub and we liked it so much we decided to try two beers: mine were Kent Black Gold and Kent Zingiber, both locally brewed and excellent. After leaving the Lanes, we looked for the Rack of Ale. We found it OK, but it was closed, and closed permanently. So we then headed for another GBG pub, the Mash Tun until we realised that was closed on a Monday and Tuesday, and we were there on Tuesday. So Dover was becoming a bit of a disaster. Our last two options were the Thirsty Scarecrow, but that closed at 10 o’clock. So it was Hobson’s Choice and we headed for the Louis Armstrong In Maison Dieu Road. You can tell by the names of the streets in Dover that there is a huge continental inﬂuence, but at least this pub was open until 11 o’clock, so I tried a half of Old Dairy Uber Brew, another Kentish beer. So a disappointing start to the week in terms of pubs visited, managing just six including ﬁve new ones. We got the Stagecoach bus back to Folkestone and walked the short journey from the bus station to Lees Cliff Road, where we easily found the Southcliff Hotel on the Promenade where we were staying for six nights.
Wednesday 31st January – Day 2 At the start of our ﬁrst full day in Kent, we decided after a hearty breakfast to head west using our Stagecoach bus tickets. Departing from Folkestone bus station, which was going to get very familiar, we headed towards Hastings on a bus called “The Wave”, alighting at a place called Icklesham across the border into East Sussex. Here I sampled an excellent beer called Romsey Murmuration before we headed down the road to another pub, the Robin Hood. What this pub was doing in the GBG was beyond me, because its selection of beers were all from the Greene King range, and my half of Fireside was distinctly average.
From here we went into Hastings and got another bus to a place called Westﬁeld, where we had an hour, so we visited the New Inn. I tried halves of Jurassic Durdle Door and the house beer, Long Man New Inn. The bus stop was on the Main Road where the pub was situated, so a check of the bus timetable enabled us to get back into Hastings quite quickly. I had been to Hastings on a trip from Eastbourne with my wife in January 2014, but the Crown was my only unvisited GBG pub, so I tried a quick half of Three Legs Dark. Then it was another bus from Hastings to Rye, a journey between two historic Cinque Ports. Here Doug and I visited two historic pubs which I had been in before, but not since the 1980s. The ﬁrst was the Standard Inn, and the second the Ypres Castle Inn, known by locals at the “Wipers”. Both were well worth another visit, and the view from the Wipers of Romney Marsh superb. Even the address of the latter pub gives the reader some idea of the history of Rye as its address is Gun Gardens. Our last pub in Rye was a bit of a walk, but the Globe Inn Marsh was worth a visit, and I tried the First Inn Last Out Gold, brewed by a pub in Hastings which I visited in 2009. From Rye we had to start making our way back to Folkestone, so we got back on the Wave bus, which takes a picturesque route along the south coast. We decided to alight at Camber Sands, a place similar to Ainsdale and not by coincidence, because Pontin’s have another of their holiday camps based there. The Owl was a modern pub, and not easy to ﬁnd as it was now pitch-black. It was still January after all. Here I tried a half of Long Man best bitter. We got back on another 100 bus, which took us back over the Kent border to New Romney. Here we walked from the main road to the High Street where there were two more pubs to visit, the Cinque Port Arms and the Smugglers Alehouse. The Ringwood Forty-Niner in the former was better than the Broadwood Wassail in the latter.
We still had a fair way to go to get back to Folkestone, but we were getting good value out of Stagecoach buses, and we had time for another couple of stops. The next one was Hythe, where there were a couple of GBG pubs, but by the end of this article you will be getting used to the fact that Kent has a lot of micro pubs, and many of them have shorter opening hours than traditional pubs (see Dover earlier in the week) and also usually have one or two days when they are closed. So here we visited the Three Mariners, leaving the Potting Shed, which closed at 6 o’clock, until another day. Last but not least was another stop, this time just outside Folkestone at Sandgate, where we stopped off at the Ship Inn. Here I tried a beer which had gone a little sour, but the landlord was a lovely man and very apologetic, as he changed my beer without hesitation to a lovely Long Man Blonde, an excellent beer to end a busy day! I was feeling hungry by now, which I always do after a few beers, and I think we stopped off after getting the bus back to Folkestone bus station to get a pizza to eat when we got back to our hotel.
Thursday 1st February – Day 3 Another hearty breakfast and another walk to the bus station! Folkestone bus station is not the smartest in the world, and even makes Preston bus station look good. Full of pot holes, it was being repaired at the time and much of the bus station was roped off in order to avoid accidents. This time we seemed to have a bit of a wait and nobody knowing what was going on, but we eventually got a bus to Canterbury and then changed for Whitstable, famous for its oysters. Here there were three pubs not marked off in my GBG, the ﬁrst of them being the Ship Centurion. And a superb beer it was too, another drop of Dark Star Hophead. We planned to visit the other two on the way back.
From Whitstable I think we were originally going to Herne Bay, but I suggested we catch the bus to Herne, which was a great decision. Here was the wonderful Butchers Arms, described in the Good Beer Guide as “Britain’s ﬁrst micropub”. The description of this pub in the GBG is absolutely spot on! It calls it a real ale gem and the inspiration for other micropubs, with the compact drinking area ensuring lively banter. Here we met Rob from Speke, who was a lovely guy and the ﬁrst of several Scousers Doug and I were to bump into during the course of the week. This pub was so good that we decided to stay for another beer, so I tried the Kentish Gadd’s No. 5 from Ramsgate and another of my all-time favourite beers, Oakham JHB. Also, landlord Martyn treated us to a sample of a special beer, J W Lees Harvest Ale, bottled in 2001. This was wonderful, and I’m sure I was not supposed to tell you this. Suffice to say that this was an unmissable pub, and I will be going there again next time I visit my cousin Catherine on the Isle of Thanet.
Hophead), the West Gate Inn (Wetherspoons), Dolphin (Timothy Taylor Landlord at £4.50 a pint) , Thomas Tallis (Kent Black Gold), New Inn (Old Dairy Blue Top) and the Foundry Brew Pub, which was excellent. In the Foundry I tried four beers, as you could try third-of-a-pint tasters, and of course they brewed their own beer. My favourite in here was the Foundry Torpedo. This was the best pub in Canterbury in my humble opinion.
Rob was such a nice guy that he even gave us a lift to Herne Bay, as Martyn was closing for the afternoon at half past one, although I suspect it was more like 2 o’clock by now. We wanted to get to the Bouncing Barrel in Herne Bay, so Rob dropped us off, gave us directions and bade us farewell. The Bouncing Barrel was memorable, because the beer was a very good drop of Dark Star Hophead, but we were greeted by local John, a bit of an old curmudgeon and member of the “bring back smoking in pubs” brigade, who would deﬁnitely not get my vote. However, what a character he was even if he was a little eccentric. Not only that, he knew a thing or two about good beer, and recommended another pub which was not in the GBG but sold excellent beer called Parkerville. So we gave it a try and the Four Candles Oatmeal Stout was excellent. I fully expect to see this in the 2018 Good Beer Guide. From Herne Bay we caught a bus back to Whitstable where I still had to visit two more pubs – the New Inn and the Black Dog. The former was a Shepherd Neame pub and was rather average, but the Black Pig sold Wantsum Black Pig which was very good. From Whitstable we caught the bus back to Canterbury, where there were six pubs to visit (and many others too). This was probably our biggest walking pub crawl so far, and we took in the Eight Bells (Young’s), Unicorn (more Dark Star
So it had been another productive day, but there was one last chance of another beer when we got back to Folkestone on the bus, because Chambers, not far from our hotel, served until 11 o’clock and 1 a.m. at weekends. So we had one last half before going to bed, a rather nice Hop Fuzz Yellow Zinger. Dave Williams & Doug Macadam Editor: Will Doug and Dave ever see home again?? Or will the beer mongler gobble them up ?? Who Knows! Find out in the next riveting conclusion of their epic Pub Crawl next issue
See the entire range at www.jwlees.co.uk
Pubs giving CAMRA discount to card carrying CAMRA members Pubs giving CAMRA discount to card carrying CAMRA members Tap & Bottles - 20p off a pint 10p off 1/2pint Bold Arms Churchtown - 20p a pint Real Ale FreshďŹ eld - 10% 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 Cheshire Lines - 20% discount Tap Room 12 Ormskirk - CAMRA members have a choice of 10% discount or a stamp on a loyalty card buy 10 pints get one free Railway Ormskirk - loyalty card also 20p CAMRA discount and Monday less 50p on cask ales 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 email@example.com This list will be a permanent feature of Ale and Hearty hoping to try and encourage pubs to be included.
Local Social in Hillside On Good Friday Bank Holiday evening I joined up with the local CAMRA branch for the ﬁrst in a series of local 3 pub socials in the Southport area. This event was to take in three pubs in the Hillside area starting at our recently crowned Pub of the Year the Grasshopper.
The Grasshopper is a two roomed micropub close to Hillside Train station and the 47 bus stop on Waterloo Road. The place was full with Bank Holiday revellers when we arrived. However, we did manage to crowd around a small table in the back room to enjoy the beers. The pub has been extended to offer 8 cask ales. There was a wide range of beers including 2 dark beer options. Beers on tap were Salopian Hop Twister, Bank Top Flat Cap, Moorhouse’s Pendle Witch, Lister’s Limehouse Porter and local beers from the Parker Brewery (Boadica IPA), Rock the Boat(Mussel Wreck) and Beer Brothers of Preston(Gold) but I plumed for a Great Heck DAVE which I am told stands for Dark and Very Enjoyable - and indeed it was. All beers are at a ﬁxed price of £2.80 or £2.30 in exchange for a 50p CAMRA Discount voucher (Wetherspoons). Our merry band then moved on to The Crown on Liverpool Road. This has been subject to an extensive and expensive refurbishment and has reopened as an upmarket Ember Inn. The pub is open plan and is comfortable and spacious. Six hand pulls were on show but only 4 had cask ales on for our visit: Timothy Taylor Landlord, Black Sheep Best Bitter, Wainwright and their house Ember Bitter. I opted for the Timothy
Taylor Landlord with an upmarket price tag of £3.80. A CAMRA discount is offered so I only paid £3.60. A debate ensued about the quality of Timothy Taylor Landlord against that in days goneby.
Our ﬁnal pub was Taylor’s Continental Beer and Wine Bar which is on Liverpool Road opposite The Crown. Our visit coincided with the Landlord’s wife’s birthday party and very lively it was. It is a small single room bar and a marquee had been put up for any overspill. The bar had two cask ales on draft from Coach House brewery near Chester. I had a pint of the Cheshire Gold and it was in good form. I can’t report the price because our Chairman, generous as ever, bought it for me. It was the end of a very pleasant evening. Andrew Frith
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’s Mild Madness over Craft Beer T The member’s weekend ssaw CAMRA indulge in ssome mild madness over ccraft beer. The NEC was torn apart with only one to ssitting candidate re-elected and the motion for CAMRA a to campaign for Craft beer roundly defeated by 26% ro against to 74% for (ﬁgure a that out!). Recent years have th sseen the introduction of ssuper citrus ﬂavoured hops from the new world world. These have enlivened the traditional English Pale Ale and there is now a predominance of full ﬂavoured over-hopped Golden and Blonde beers. These beers are very tasty. Some very hoppy beers do beneﬁt from being served cooled and under gas as this reduces the sharpness of the hop ﬂavour. However, for me this obsession with craft beer is missing the point. Real ale comes in all shapes and sizes and there is a spectrum of tastes from the afore mentioned hoppy pales ales right through to the rich smooth malty beers at the other end. In mild beers the malt ﬂavours predominate and are a true test of the brewer’s skills. Rather than following a simple recipe of adding different hops at different times during the boil, the brewer must consider the interaction of the different enzymes that are employed at different mashing temperatures to create a range of fermentable and non-fermentable sugars. This art creates softer subtle ﬂavours and these beers are lightly hopped so that the bitterness of the hops does not overwhelm the gentle malty ﬂavours. Small differences in temperate and the addition of different base malts can create a range of taste proﬁles with different mild beers described as creamy, sweet, smooth, caramel, rich, buttery,
indulgent, toffee, biscuit, cake dough, banana through to more pronounced tastes such as dark chocolate, coffee, liquorice. CAMRA’s Mild May campaign encourages pubs to offer milds to customers when perhaps they would have a more limited range of pale and blonde ales for the rest of the year. At the Grasshopper we are offering 16 different cask milds in the month of May. Our milds range from the gentle Dunham Massey’s Light ( a golden mild ) through to the magniﬁcent Sarah Hughes Dark Ruby mild at 6.0% ABV. Drinkers saying ‘I am not a mild drinker’ but trying something a little different have been pleasantly surprised. Andrew Frith
Get the real taste of Ramsbottom
Opening Times: Tue-Sun 12am-11pm Irwell Street, Ramsbottom BL0 9YQ t: 01706 825 019 w: www.irwellworksbrewery.co.uk @IrwellWorksAle Facebook/IrwellWorksBrewery
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Join us, and together we can protect the traditions of great British pubs and everything that goes with them. Become part of the CAMRA community today – enjoy discounted entry to beer festivals and exclusive member offers. Learn about brewing and beer and join like-minded people supporting our campaigns to save pubs, clubs, your pint and more.
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BEER FESTIVAL!!! ɔɔɔɔ OVER 3+ REAL ALES!!! ɔɔɔɔ LIVE MUSIC THROUGHOUT ɔɔɔɔ BBQ ɔɔɔɔ
- OCTOBER WHEATSHEAF TH ANNUAL BEER FESTIVAL TH
We would like to welcome you all to our th annual beer festival at the Wheatsheaf, with a huge selection of ales, this promises to be bigger and better than previous years! Live music, BBQ and great atmosphere are just some of the reasons to come and pay us a visit, we know you’ll love it!!!
FULLY WEATHERPROOF MARQUEE
WHEATSHEAF INN TOWN ROAD CROSTON PR26 9RA 01772 600370
WWW.WHEATSHEAFCROSTON.COM From 12pm on th October running through to th October