Sunday, 22 September 2019

The Vestry Tap Room, Tarleton

The Vestry Tap Room in Tarleton
I first learnt about the Vestry Tap Room after they had contacted the local CAMRA branch. It has been open for around six months.

I caught the 2 Stagecoach bus on Lord Street and about 40 minutes later was dropped off right opposite the pub. It was empty when I arrived except for Lisa behind the bar, although it did fill up later. Lisa was very helpful and patient as she answered all my various questions.

The main room is light with wooden walls to waist height and wooden furniture, including bench seating along the walls. There is also a comfortable room upstairs with easy chairs, and an outdoor drinking area to the rear of the building.

Lisa behind the bar at the Vestry
Three hand pumps were serving Avid Brewing Co. American Pale, Hawkshead Windermere Pale and Brewsmith Bitter. These beers are always changing and those due on next were from Polly's Brew Co., Tiny Rebel, Siren Craft Co. and Squawk Brewery. A real cider, Lilley's Rhubarb Cider, is also available. On Sundays, the real ales are reduced by 25% between noon and 4.00 pm. All three real ales were in good condition.

There are also lagers and craft beers, including a rhubarb milkshake pale called Rhubarbra Streisand! Other drinks offered include a large gin selection, canned craft beers and bottles of BrewDog Punk IPA.

On Tuesdays at 8.00 pm, a speed quiz is held, and Lisa had to explain to me what that actually was! Live music is presented once or twice a month between 5.00 and 9.00 pm on Sundays – next time is 29 September - and occasionally free cheese boards are offered, also on Sunday. Live sports are sometimes shown. 

On Friday 4 and Saturday 5 October they are putting on an Oktoberfest with an oompah brass band, imported German beer, gins, authentic German street food, live music and a DJ in a large marquee. It is a ticket-only do, and there aren't many left so if you're interested phone 01772 301976 to check.

The premises are not suitable for under-18s, but dogs are admitted. They have free WiFi, and are on Facebook where you can check the opening hours which do vary through the week. You'll find it at 109 Church Rd, Tarleton, Lancashire PR4 6UP.

This is one of a series of articles that I write for the CAMRA column in our local papers, the Southport Visiter and Ormskirk Advertiser. Older articles on local pubs are here.

Tuesday, 17 September 2019

Real ale 'isn't dear enough' and it's all our fault!

The root of all evil? The Sir Henry
Segrave, a Wetherspoons in Southport
A couple of months ago I picked up the summer issue of Ale Cry, the magazine of the CAMRA Central Lancs Branch. It's an interesting mag, and its layout and presentation are much better than a few years ago when, although the articles were okay, it looked like a badly-produced college rag mag. One article grabbed my attention, 'The Price Of Your Pint Revisited', written by the editor Adrian Smith - you can read the article concerned here (on page 22).

The general thrust of the article is that we drinkers are reluctant to pay what he considers a fair price for real ale with the consequence that real ale may be "dumbed down" to save costs, or discontinued altogether. He makes some international comparisons, but comparing our beer prices with those in other countries is of little value unless you also compare average incomes, taxation levels, duty, and indeed all the many other factors that affect what we British drinkers pay.

He also has some scathing words for Wetherspoons and the vouchers that they give to CAMRA members, describing this membership benefit as CAMRA encouraging members to visit JDW pubs at the expense of traditional pubs, even though it is actually funded by Wetherspoons, not CAMRA. The value of the vouchers, £20 per year, equates to 77p per CAMRA member per week, not an amount, I would suggest, that would drive traditional pubs to close, especially as 99.7% of the UK population are not CAMRA members.

Many organisations have benefits for members provided by outside businesses; indeed, some of the membership benefits I am entitled to claim, in addition to those via CAMRA, come through my trade union, the National Trust, my railcard, my car breakdown service and even my folk club. Furthermore, there are 17 other companies that offer perks to CAMRA members, some of them in the beer and hospitality industries - but there's not a word in Ale Cry bemoaning any of those. Besides, there is absolutely nothing to stop any other pubco making similar offers.

At this point I wondered whether I was beginning to detect the anti-Wetherspoons snobbery that, regrettably, some CAMRA members are prone to, a perception reinforced by a statement in the Ale Cry article that, "Real ale on sale at £2.09 a pint is frankly ridiculous". Why? Wetherspoons are making a profit, so if they can afford to sell beer at such a price, why shouldn't they? Perhaps it's the perception of the clientele that Wetherspoons' prices are said to attract: people on benefits, parents with screaming brats running wild and pensioners drooling into their cheap meals, all of which shameful slanders - and more - I have read too many times (although not in the Ale Cry article). I consider such generalisations about Wetherspoons clientele both inaccurate and disrespectful.

CAMRA says that avoiding isolation by going to the pub is a good thing, but without Wetherspoons, many people on low incomes could rarely, if ever, afford to go out for a pint; they would certainly have no chance of paying the price for real ale that Adrian Smith thinks they should.

I've written before about the price of beer, most recently in June 2018 here. One point I have made several times is that in 1972, a pint of bitter here in the north west was around 13p or 14p. Using the Bank of England inflation calculator, I learned that 14p back then is equivalent to £1.82 in 2018. In recent years, and especially since 2010, ordinary people's incomes have definitely not increased correspondingly. In real terms, beer is nowadays markedly dearer while many people's incomes are lower. It's logical to assume this is a significant reason why drinkers are reluctant to pay more for real ale, but the Ale Cry article makes no mention if it.

A list of factors affecting pub usage, the level of beer prices in pubs and what people can afford would include (in no particular order):
  • Beer taxes that over the years have risen by more than the rate of inflation, and which are among the highest in Europe.
  • Excessive business rates (which, incidentally, are set by Whitehall, not councils).
  • Pub companies overcharging their tenants for rent, supplies (including all drinks) and building maintenance.
  • Rising costs for brewers (e.g. raw materials) and pubs (e.g. utility bills).
  • Falling beer sales overall.
  • Changes in drinking habits, with many young people preferring go to bars and clubs rather than traditional pubs.
  • More choices of places to drink, such as bars, restaurants, hotels and clubs.
  • Cheap drink in supermarkets.
  • Sophisticated home entertainment systems.
  • Austerity, leaving people with less cash and either unemployed or worried they might be.
  • The increase in insecure employment, zero hours contracts, and minimum wage jobs.
  • The smoking ban.
In the face of all this, it seems perverse and facile to criticise the drinker, and I am surprised that the editor of a drinkers' campaigning magazine does so. I did e-mail him a couple of months ago making some of these points but received no reply.

For information, the Wetherspoons voucher scheme is currently being replaced.

Saturday, 14 September 2019

Liverpool's Dispensary to shun real ale

You can see part of the original sign (top left) from when the
pub was called the Grapes. ('Borrowed' from the Liverpool
Echo, just as they've used my photos without asking)
I was chatting to Dave in the Lion Tavern in Liverpool on Tuesday; I was there for our monthly singaround. He was telling me the the current licensee of the Dispensary on Renshaw Street, also called Dave, is retiring.

I wrote about this pub almost exactly 6 years ago on 19 September 2013: "This pub has won Liverpool CAMRA's Pub of the Year award in the past, and I have spent happy afternoons and evenings there. The licensee once took the mickey out of me when he saw me at the bar writing down all the beers that were on. He obviously didn't believe me when I told him I was making notes for my beer blog."

He actually declared in a loud voice that "We've got another ticker in!" One thing I am not is a ticker, but I took it as banter, even though Dave's reputation was such that I doubt he'd have been bothered if I had been offended. His approach to customer service has been described as eccentric, but I always found that the beer was on good form.

Dave in the Lion told me that the Dispensary will now be focusing on craft ales and cocktails and that no real ale has been included in the next order. This is a shame, and I see no reason why a pub cannot sell both craft beer and real ale, as the Tap & Bottles in Southport does.

Tuesday, 3 September 2019

Song and music sessions to 16th September

All events are free, unless otherwise stated. At singarounds and music sessions, you can perform, sing along or just listen to suit yourself. All venues serve real ale.

► Tuesday 10th: song session in the Lion, Moorfields, Liverpool from 8.30 pm.
► Wednesday 11th: singaround at the Grasshopper, Sandon Road, Hillside, Southport from 8.15 pm.
► Sunday 15th: singers night at the Bothy Folk Club, Park Golf Club, Park Road West, Southport from 8.00 pm. Free admission for performers.
► Monday 16th September: music session in the Guest House, Union Street, Southport from 8.15pm.
► Every Thursday: lunchtime singaround in the Belvedere, Sugnall Street, Liverpool 7. 2.00pm to 4.00pm.

Saturday, 31 August 2019

The Captain Alexander, Liverpool

The Captain Alexander
My friend Ann and I decided to try the new Wetherspoons pub on James Street in Liverpool, the Captain Alexander, named after Alexander Allan, founder of the Allan shipping line which used to have offices in the city. It is across the road from James Street station in the ground floor of a former office block. It has one large room panelled with light wood and was very busy when we were there.

The clientele was mixed and included office workers on their lunch break, some families and an unexpectedly quiet hen party, although to be fair it was still early in the day. It's clearly popular even though it has been open for less than three months. The pub has an outdoor terrace on the first floor, which was filled with drinkers enjoying the sunshine. The pub is accessible and, unlike some Wetherspoons, has toilets on the ground floor.

There was a good range of real ales, including some I wasn't familiar with (yes, there are a few) and included: Greene King Abbott; Big Bog Swampy Bitter; Purple Moose Dark Side of the Moose; Yazoo Hop Perfect IPA; St Peters Plum Porter; Big Bog Blonde Bach; Twilighter Fresh Yorkshire IPA; and Lancaster Black. Ruddles Best Bitter is usually on but had run out. The beers I tried were on good form and Ann enjoyed her Shiraz.

The outdoor terrace
The keg range includes BrewDog Punk IPA and Shipyard American IPA. It has a good choice of bottled beers, all the wines and spirits that you'd expect and a gin menu called “The Little Book of Gin” which lists more than fifty gins from the UK and around the world. The usual Wetherspoons food was on offer and we both enjoyed our meals: a mixed grill for Ann and a skinny chicken burger for me.

The Captain Alexander is less than half a mile from Moorfields railway station, and is close to the shops, the Mersey ferries, the Pier Head and the Three Graces. It's a worthy addition to a city centre that is already well-endowed with great pubs.

This is one of a series of articles that I write for the CAMRA column in our local papers, the Southport Visiter and Ormskirk Advertiser. Older articles on local pubs are here.

Monday, 12 August 2019

Song and music sessions to 2nd September

All events are free, unless otherwise stated. At singarounds and music sessions, you can perform, sing along or just listen to suit yourself.

► Wednesday 14th: singaround at the Grasshopper, Sandon Road, Hillside, Southport from 8.15 pm.
► Sunday 18th: summer singaround at the Bothy Folk Club, Park Golf Club, Park Road West, Southport from 8.00 pm.
► Sunday 25th: Bothy Folk Club summer singaround - for 1 week only - in the Guest House, Union Street, Southport from 8.00 pm.
► Monday 26th: song session in the Tap & Bottles, Cambridge Walks, Southport from 8.15 pm.
► Monday 2nd September: song session in the Guest House, Union Street, Southport from 8.15pm.

Friday, 9 August 2019

The Wayfarer, Parbold brewpub

CAMRA has published a list of the top ten brewpubs across the country, and the nearest to us is the Wayfarer on Alder Lane, Parbold, Lancs WN8 7NL. Problem Child has been brewing on-site at the pub since 2013 and produces a wide range of fine beers. The Wayfarer is also known for its food, and it will be the subject of a full post in future. After a 20-minute railway journey from Southport, the pub is less than ten minutes' walk from Parbold Station. The opening hours are restricted so best check before travelling. Website.

Ben Wilkinson, CAMRA’s National Director said: "Brewpubs provide a fantastic experience not just for the beer connoisseur, but for anyone interested in learning more about how their favourite drink is produced. They act as the showroom to our nation’s breweries and provide a highly sustainable option with the beer travelling a grand total of zero miles from where it’s produced. In addition, like all pubs, they play a pivotal role in bringing communities together."

The full list of brewpubs is here.

Tuesday, 6 August 2019

The Dormouse in the Room

I have read the smoking ban described as "the elephant in the room" in discussions about the decline in pub-going and beer drinking. The point being made is that many people who mourn the decline in pub-going and beer drinking are missing an obvious point, i.e. that the smoking ban is destroying pubs.

I think the survey summarised below refutes that argument quite conclusively. Smoking has been banished from our pubs permanently, and a good thing too. I put up with smoky atmospheres in pubs for more than 35 years, and I think it's quite probable that other people's smoke has exacerbated my sinus problems, which over the years became significantly worse than when I started going to the pub in the early 1970s.

I find it quite extraordinary that a minority of smokers abandoned their social lives in order to avoid the arduous journey of a few seconds' walk to outside the door in order to have a fag. Was the right to smoke inside a pub more important than meeting their friends? If so, they were not particularly loyal friends.

The pub world is changing, as it always has: pubs in the 1950s were quite different from those in the 1970s, and they were different from those in the 1990s, and so on. I do know some lifelong smokers who say they prefer smoke-free pubs and have no problem with going outside to have a smoke.

Bearing in mind that no one under 30 has ever had a drink in a smoke-filled pub or bar, and they are the drinkers of the future, I'd say that this is a lost cause for those who are so committed to their addiction that they believe it's okay to pollute the lungs of non-smoking beer lovers.

I'm pleased to say that, although I know quite a few smokers, none of them is that selfish.

Saturday, 3 August 2019

Ainsdale Food & Drink Festival

Advance notice of a local festival in two months' time.

Ainsdale Cricket Club has informed Southport & West Lancs CAMRA that they will be holding their first food and drink festival at the Cricket Club from 11th to 13th October. While they will have gin and rum bars, street food, bands and DJs, the main emphasis will be on the beer and they intend to have around 40 different beers and ciders on offer. They want to showcase some local breweries as well as some more obscure ones.

On Friday night, 6.00 pm to 11.00 pm, some of the brewers will personally showcase their products. On Saturday they will be open 2.00 pm to 11.00 pm, and 2.00 pm to 8.00 pm on Sunday.

The organisers tell me that they are hoping to make it an annual event. I'll provide more details when I learn them closer to the time.

Wednesday, 31 July 2019

Local acoustic music events to 15 August

All events are free, unless otherwise stated. At singarounds and music sessions, you can perform, sing along or just listen to suit yourself.
  • Friday 2nd: Untrained Melody - folk and blues in the Tap & Bottles, Cambridge Walks, Southport from 8.30 pm.
  • Sunday 4th: summer singaround at the Bothy Folk Club, Park Golf Club, Park Road West, Southport from 8.00 pm.
  • Monday 5th: song session in the Guest House, Union Street, Southport from 8.15pm.
  • Sunday 11th: Folk in the Park, 1.00 pm to 6.00 pm, Hesketh Park, Southport.
  • Sunday 11th: summer singaround at the Bothy Folk Club, Park Golf Club, Park Road West, Southport from 8.00 pm.
  • Monday 12th: tunes session in the Guest House, Union Street, Southport from 8.15pm.
  • Tuesday 13th: singaround at the Lion Tavern, 67 Moorfields, Liverpool L2 2BP from 8.15 pm.
  • Wednesday 14th: singaround at the Grasshopper, Sandon Road, Hillside, Southport from 8.15 pm.

Sunday, 28 July 2019

The Victoria – Southport Promenade

The Victoria, Southport Promenade
The Victoria is a large, prominent pub on the Promenade in Southport close to the Marine Way Bridge. It tends to have a mixed clientele: local residents, theatre-goers, conference delegates and visitors to the town. I have sometimes enjoyed a pint after a show in the nearby Southport Theatre or while sitting on its fine beer garden to the front on a sunny day. Inside it is a large pub with separate drinking areas, one of which to the rear has a pool table. There is also a dart board, and I noticed that the Ladies Darts Team has been particularly successful recently.

This is a Thwaites house, and the two real ales that were on when I visited were Original Bitter and Gold, a pale citrus beer. As I've had the bitter many times previously, I tried the Gold and found it pleasant and in good condition. A third handpump had an Old Rosie Cider pumpclip but this had run out at the time. I also noticed that they have an extensive gin bar as well as a good range of all the usual bar drinks.

The food menu has a wide choice of pub favourites, and I saw signs advertising Sunday lunches, chippy teas at £7.95 and a children's menu. Overall there are very positive reviews of the food on Tripadvisor.

Music is popular here with karaoke every Friday and Saturday, while every Sunday there is live music in the afternoon followed by a disco karaoke in the evening. Live sports are shown on HD television, particularly Premier League matches and golf. The pub is family-friendly, which includes your dog as long as it is kept on a lead. Perhaps a good place to relax after taking your canine friend for a walk along the Prom. This is clearly a pub with a broad range of activities to cater for different tastes.

Contact details: 01704 544121 and Facebook. Website: victoriasouthport.co.uk.

► Linda, team leader in the Willow Grove, Lord Street, Southport, was obviously very pleased to tell me that the pub has been awarded Cask Marque accreditation. This is an independently-assessed measure of beer quality, so well done to all concerned.

This is one of a series of articles that I write for the CAMRA column in our local papers, the Southport Visiter and Ormskirk Advertiser. Older articles on local pubs are here.

Saturday, 8 June 2019

Death of a pub

"Borrowed" from the Liverpool Echo article,
which used a picture I'd taken without credit.
The Blundell Arms in Birkdale was for more than 30 years the home of the Bothy Folk Club of which I'm a resident singer. Regrettably, over many years the pub was run into the ground by the pubco and deteriorated from respectable street corner local to scruffy and, frankly, slightly dodgy dive. The Bothy was increasingly made to feel unwelcome, despite the amount of custom it brought in every Sunday night, and moved elsewhere. Finally, and perhaps inevitably, on 6 March 2016 the pub closed its doors for the final time.

Shortly afterwards, a campaign to convert it into a community pub was set up by Jason MacCormack and succeeded in gaining Asset of Community Value (ACV) status for it. The site on which the pub sits is large, and developers bought it to turn it into housing, leading to something of an impasse.

There the matter had remained until last weekend when, according to the Liverpool Echo, a huge fire swept through the building. The cause of the fire has not yet been announced, but empty buildings with no gas or electricity supply don't tend to go on fire spontaneously. I have read three different speculative explanations, although obviously I have no idea which is the right one:
  • Vandalism.
  • An accident by homeless people who, it has been said, were staying in the building.
  • A convenient fire to scupper the community pub campaign.
The campaign has said it will try to get an estimate of the cost of repairing the fire damage to see whether they can still proceed, but even if they can, there's no doubt their task has become considerably harder. I wish them luck, but I fear it will soon be a building site.

Friday, 31 May 2019

Killing the goose that lays the golden eggs

The Office of National Statistics states that the average price of a pint of draught bitter in 1988 was 91p and that 30 years later in 2018 it was £3.06. We all expect prices to rise, but according to the Bank of England inflation calculator, 91p in 1988 is equivalent to £2.39 in 2018. If inflation had been the only pressure on beer prices, that's what we'd be paying nowadays.

A year ago, YouGov conducted a survey with more than 40,000 respondents and found that beer was on average around 60p dearer than what drinkers considered reasonable. This means that, not just that beer is dearer in real terms, but drinkers feel they are being overcharged for it. How did this come about?

When the big brewers sold off their huge pub estates, most were bought by pub companies, who financed their purchases by mortgaging their newly-acquired properties. The 2007 financial crash then put most pubcos into massive debt; they are however too big to fail or they'd take the lenders down with them. To service these debts, pubcos charge very high rents for pub tenancies and insist the tenants buy their supplies through them, adding mark-ups that can be as much as 100% - just for passing on the order.

Then it was the government's turn. Beer duty has during this period been pushed up by much more than inflation, notwithstanding the odd duty freeze now and then. In addition, business rates, also set by central government, are disproportionately high when compared to other businesses with comparable turnovers. Talk about killing the goose that laid the golden eggs: if pubs are driven to close, they pay no duty or rates at all.

If you ever feel your pint is dearer nowadays in real terms, you're quite correct!

This is from an article I wrote for the CAMRA column in our local papers, the Southport Visiter and Ormskirk Advertiser. Some previous write-ups are here.

Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Select 4 at the Southport Tavern

Local rock band, Select 4 which is led by guitarist Mick Cooper, will be playing a gig at the Southport Tavern (formerly the Albert) on London Street this Friday evening, 24 May.

The band plays a mixture of interesting well-known songs along with a few neglected classics. They tend to avoid the usual standard rock songs that many bands reach for.

To the right is a logo I designed for the band, but I don't know whether they have taken to using it!

Tuesday, 7 May 2019

Asset stripping through neglect

Passing this closed pub in Southport recently, the Hoghton Arms, I thought the obvious neglect gave one compelling reason why pubs are closing. Letters are missing from the name and the paintwork below the windows hasn't been touched for years. If I were looking for a pub to run, I'd just walk past this one. It wouldn't surprise me if planning permission was sought to develop the site.

Two views of the same corner on Google street view.
Slightly further away it still shows the London.
Move closer and the new houses magically appear.
I've seen this happen before. On my last visit to the London Hotel in Southport, the place had clearly not been decorated since long before the smoking ban as the ceiling was still heavily stained with nicotine, several of the light bulbs were broken and the whole place was dingy and unwelcoming. Unsurprisingly, there were only about three or four people in what was a large street corner people in a residential area, even though there wasn't another pub or bar nearby.

I e-mailed the owning company and asked about the rumour that the pub was to be closed down. I initially received nothing back but after a couple of reminders was sent a very guarded reply asking what my interest was: was I interested in buying the pub? I replied no, I was just a customer concerned about its future. I received no further response. Shortly afterwards came the inevitable announcement that the pub was unviable, although unsurprisingly they didn't mention that they had run it into the ground. A group of new houses now sit on the site.

Most pub companies are property companies and have no vested interest in maintaining their pubs, especially when they can get the equivalent of a massive lottery win by selling the land for redevelopment. Breweries were more likely to maintain their estates of pubs because they were outlets for their core product, beer, but as is well known such brewery estates are uncommon nowadays.

Even many apparently successful traditional pubs are, behind the scenes, struggling under inequitable tenancy agreements that require licensees to take responsibility for often quite major maintenance costs, as well as overcharging for the products on sale: licensees have told me about 50% to 100% mark-ups on beer as compared to the open market. Many pubs would be much more successful if they weren't tied and could buy their supplies where they wanted. Although I'm a Leftie, my understanding is that under capitalism competition is supposed be good for the economy by bringing prices down to benefit all of us - well, that's the theory we're fed. The tie ensures that pubco-owned pubs are denied even that dubious benefit.

Nothing is likely to be done because our rulers are quite happy if pubs close and we all stay at home, but people cannot be bullied into such behaviour against their will. The rise of new micropubs and bars, not tied to any company, are stepping into the breach, or even opening in areas that weren't previously served by any drinking establishments. For example, the Hillside area of Southport had no licensed premises at all until three years ago: now there are two new bars and a micropub, with two of them serving real ale (the Grasshopper and the Pines).

The down side is that we continue to lose irreplaceable traditional pubs that, if the owners had the will, could remain open. The success of various community pubs which had previously been closed by pubcos as unviable simply shows that the pubco business model is itself the problem.

I do know there are other factors in pub closures, such as excessive tax, unfair business rates, changes in how people socialise, and so on, but I have seen pubs allowed to deteriorate, often (in my opinion) quite deliberately.

Friday, 26 April 2019

Bob Fox in Concert

  • The Atkinson, Lord Street, Southport 
  • Saturday 11 May 11th 
  • 2.00 p.m. 
  • Tickets £12 - buy here or at the box office. 
A great afternoon concert hosted by Pete Rimmer.
Part of the Southport Festival - 10 to 12 May.

What they're saying about Bob Fox:

"Fox always was one of the scene's superior singers and his voice is as confident and ebullient as it ever was." - Colin Irwin - Folk Roots Magazine 

"Bob, in my view, is a greatly under-rated singer and musician, if he were pushier he'd be up there with the Carthys and Gaughans and he could certainly teach the upcoming generation a thing or three!" - Raymon Greenoaken - Stirrings Magazine

"Bob Fox’s supreme voice is full of life and clarity." - New Zealand Folk Newsletter

"The most complete male folk artist on the British folk scene, his voice and singing style is envied by many of his contemporaries." - Colin Randall -The Daily Telegraph

"As soon as I heard him sing I realised that Bob Fox must have one of the best voices in England, he is an artist of great ability and integrity." - Ralph McTell

Wednesday, 24 April 2019

Magic Mild Festival

As I wrote on 17 April, CAMRA Southport & West Lancs' contribution to 'May is Mild Month' is to run the Southport Mild Trail throughout May in conjunction with eight great local real ale pubs.

One of those pubs, the Grasshopper in Sandon Road, Hillside, will be taking the concept further and will be holding its own 'Magic Mild Festival' over the May bank holiday weekend, 3rd to 6th May. They will be offering eight different cask milds from various breweries including:
  • Dunham Massey.
  • Timothy Taylor.
  • Salopian.
  • Local breweries – Southport, Rock the Boat and George Wright.
  • Moorhouses Black Cat.
The full range of blonde, golden and bitter beers will still be available as usual. There will also be music, a barbeque and Morris dancing.