Sunday 20 March 2016

Hop in to the Grasshopper

The Grasshopper on its first day
Last week on St Patrick's Day, I decided to go to Southport's newest micropub on its opening day: the Grasshopper at 70 Sandon Road, just off Waterloo Road, in Hillside. The premises were once a branch of Martins Bank, which had a grasshopper trademark. When I arrived, there was already a comfortable hum of conversation as hosts Angie and Andrew made customers welcome. The d├ęcor is minimalist: one wall is stripped to the bricks, the rest are painted white, the floor is bare wood, and it is furnished with tall tables and chairs.

The bar has four handpumps and two fonts. On my visit, the real ales were: Parker Centurion Pale Ale, Burscough Priory Gold, Rock The Boat Bootle Bull, and George Wright St Patrick's Black Gold; these are all local beers, and the ones I tried were in good form. The choice will change, and the 'Coming Soon' notice board looked promising. The prices are reasonable, and they sell you third of a pint measures if you want. The fonts dispense two beers from the Outstanding Brewery of Bury: White, a wheat beer, and Pilsner. They also offer a choice of wines.

There is no food, but they have made an arrangement with the chip shop across the road that they will deliver to the pub, so you can have a swift drink while you wait. Children are admitted until around 6.00pm, and dogs are welcome too. Andrew told me they have the premises next door and they may in time expand into there, but not just yet. There is plenty of free street parking, the 47 bus passes just yards away, and it's a five minute walk to Hillside Station.

By the time I left, it was pretty busy with around thirty people, most from the immediate area. It is open 4.00 to 9.30pm Monday to Friday, and noon to 9.30pm on Saturday and Sunday. This micropub meets a long-standing need in Hillside: hop in if you get the chance.

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.

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