Thursday, 10 June 2010

Ale & Hearty at the Dog & Gun

The new issue of Ale & Hearty, the Southport and District CAMRA magazine, has just arrived from the printers. It's my first as editor, so I hope it's all right. I picked up my copy last night at the Branch committee meeting at the Dog and Gun in Aughton. The main article reports on the campaign to save the Becconsall  in Hesketh Bank, to which I have referred to in several previous postings. The beer blogger Tandleman, who in another guise is deputy organiser of the National Winter Ales Festival, has also written a characteristically punchy article. Ale and Hearty is available now free of charge in all good local pubs.

After the meeting, Mike who runs the pub had a chat with us about the possibility of his running a small beer festival next Spring. He would be limited to the Marston's range of guests, but as he's considering about 20 beers in a marquee, that would still give some scope for a reasonable choice. We chatted about cooling systems we'd used at our own beer festivals and serving beers by gravity to avoid the problems of trying to locate and borrow scores of handpumps, something he hadn't considered before. It's still only in the planning stage, but sounds an interesting venture.

The Dog and Gun had 5 real ales on, including Marstons Pedigree and Fever Pitch and a real mild. There is no keg or smoothflow ales in this pub at all, apart from the inevitable Guinness, although the mild sales are slipping and Mike fears he might have to remove it. It's a nice pub, well worth a visit, and is in Long Lane, about 8 minutes' walk from Aughton Park railway station.


  1. A beer festival at the D&G would be an excellent idea - it's my local although I don't get down there as often as I should (ad-hoc Thursday nights).

    I would love to see a return of the Jennings Dark Mild - that was lovely, I won't miss the Banks Mild though.

    I normally drink the 'guest' but it would be so good if they didn't have to just serve Marston's stuff.

    Any idea why they don't get Wychwood & Brakspear stuff? They are all under the same roof aren't they?

  2. Mike told me that the Jennings Mild became hard to obtain after the brewery was flooded, and at the time the mild drinkers seemed to prefer the Banks's, so he stuck with it. I've no idea why he doesn't get Wychwood & Brakspear which are, as you say, owned by Marston's now.

  3. It's a shame as Jennings are brewing the Dark Mild again and I really liked it - it's a little different and even my non-ale drinking pals liked it.

    Let me know if you are down there on a Thursday night in the future and if I'm down I'll come and say hello?

    Are you on twitter?

  4. Yes, I'll do that if I'm there on Thursday. I'm not on twitter, but I have an e-mail address for this blog on the contact page.

    It could do no harm to tell Mike you prefer Jennings Mild ~ he might try switching back, especially as sales seem to be declining.

  5. Congratulations Nev on your first edition as Editor of Ale and Hearty. I picked up a copy this evening in the Hopvine in Burscough. An excellent read. I wish you all the best for future editions.
    Ale and Hearty really has come a long way in recent years. All credit must be given to Mike Hoey for all the time and commitment he has given developing this publication over the past few years.

  6. Thanks, David, that's much appreciated. I agree Mike Hoey did a great job and it's a pity he had to give it up. Still, he'll continue to contribute; "News From The Back Bar" is by him.

    The Hop Vine is an excellent pub, and I look forward to the brewery they plan to set up there.

  7. The Hopvine will be even better over the next few weeks. No flags, no TV, just excellent beer and good conversation...

  8. I think the Hopvine is an excellent pub, shame they don't run a free shuttle bus service from Ormskirk...


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