Wednesday 4 June 2014

Derby Arms - pub of the year

The Derby Arms, Aughton
The Derby Arms in Prescot Road, Aughton, is this year’s CAMRA Pub of the Year (West Lancs area). The award was made to licensee Janice Brogden at the pub’s beer festival held in the poshest beer tent I’ve ever seen. The festival offered an interesting range of good real ales, ciders and perries and was well-attended over the weekend.

The Derby Arms is a highly visible, white building on the B5197 Ormskirk to Kirkby road. It is an attractive, traditional pub with four separate, cosy drinking areas, and is justly popular with a range of customers. There are also two outdoor drinking areas.

They serve a range of five real ales, two of which are permanent and three ever-changing, and always well-kept: not for nothing have they won the Pub of the Year award before. On the bar there is also a curiosity - to my eyes at any rate - which is keg Walkers Bitter at £1.50 a pint. I asked who brews it, but Jan's partner Mike wasn't sure: he suggested Adnams, but he did feel it was based on the old Walkers recipe. I may try a half next time I go.

They have a very popular, busy acoustic folk night every Wednesday evening (either join in or just listen), gypsy jazz on third Monday of the month and quiz nights on Tuesdays and Thursdays. They are also well-known for their good value meals, which are served all day until 8.00pm Monday to Friday and until 5.00pm Saturday and Sunday. The pub is not close to any built-up areas, and the nearest station is nearly one and a half miles way, but despite its isolated location, the Derby Arms is a successful and popular pub.

This is part of a series of articles that I am writing for the CAMRA column in our local paper, the Southport Visiter. Previous reviews are here.


  1. what is gipsy jazz?

    Is it being distracted by a tuneless racket whilst someone nicks your wallet?

  2. Gypsy jazz, or hot club jazz, is the style probably best exemplified by the playing of Django Reinhardt. The most I've had pinched from me recently in a pub is my seat. On more than one occasion, I've gone to the gents and returned and find someone in my seat, despite the presence of my pint, coat, and guitar: "I didn't know this seat was taken." How many clues do you need? I don't play gypsy jazz, by the way.


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