As I was in Liverpool for an eye test on Thursday, I decided to check a couple of pubs afterwards. My first port of call was the Crown on Lime Street, next to the railway station, which I wrote about nearly a year ago. This two-roomed pub is often overlooked by real ale drinkers, but I can't see why. It has many original features, including an elaborate ceiling, wood-panelled walls and a largely unaltered exterior. Owing to the demolition of an adjacent office block, you can now get an unobstructed view of the side of the pub (as in the picture), and it is now much more of a landmark on Lime Street than before.
I noticed that the beers were much the same price as last year: Marstons EPA was £1-69, Cains Bitter £1-79, and Brains Rev James and Spitfire were both £1-89. The EPA was a pleasant light beer, quite enjoyable on a warm sunny day.
The tiled room in Dr Duncan's
I next went to Dr Duncans, which only sells the Cains range. This pub is impressive, and part of it, a spectacular tiled room, used to be offices for the Prudential. I had a pint of Cains Raisin Beer, which I can remember happily drinking all afternoon a couple of years ago, but which I found merely acceptable but nothing special. It was in good condition, so I'm not sure if my tastes have changed or whether the beer isn't brewed as well as it used to be. I suspect the latter, as I generally find I don't enjoy Cains beers as much nowadays. The pub is still worth a visit though.
View from the Ship's beer garden
On Friday, I was in the Ship Inn in Haskayne, an attractive canal side pub which features frequently in my 'events' page as it has three music nights every week. I have written about the folk singaround previously. It was a beautiful sunny day, and I thoroughly enjoyed the house beer, Ship Ahoy, brewed by George Wright. Two other real ales were on, including Black Sheep.
Standing at the bar, I overheard the barmaid chatting to some male customers. She was saying, "I was ten minutes from finishing my shift when ..."
"Finishing your what?" asked one.
I did hear the disturbing news that the Kings Arms, just down the road from the Ship, is up for sale, and that the potential buyers may convert it into a restaurant. I remember going to folk nights in the function room upstairs years ago. With the Ship being so successful, the PubCo that owns the Kings Arms hasn't even tried to compete, with the completely unsurprising consequences we see today.