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Saturday, 6 June 2009

Derby Arms & Ormskirk pubs

Last night, Southport & District CAMRA ran a bus trip to present the Derby Arms in Aughton with a West Lancs Pub of the Year award, but first we stopped in Ormskirk for a couple of hours. There is real ale in Ormskirk and it's generally well kept, but mostly consists of well-known brands, such as Bombadier, Landlord, Black Sheep, Pedigree, Directors, and Tetley. The surprise of the evening was in Disraeli's which sported two hand pumps next to a large bank of tall silver fonts; the beers were Pedigree and Ringwood's Old Thumper, the latter completely unexpected in this pub, and very tasty to boot. For quite a few of us, the Old Thumper was the best beer we tried in Ormskirk.

On to the Derby Arms. This country pub is on Prescot Road (B5197) in Aughton, surrounded by fields rather than houses. Despite this location, the pub was very busy when we arrived, with a happy buzz of conversation and friendly regulars. It has been partially knocked through at some time in the past, but there are still four distinct drinking areas, almost separate rooms, that add the charm and atmosphere. The beers were Marble Lagonda IPA, Boggart Bog Eyed and 3Bs Shuttle Ale and an Arran ale I didn't get around to. A curiosity was keg Walkers, apparently brewed to the old Warrington recipe; I don't think any of our party tried it, although I was slightly curious. The beers were excellent and those that ran out were replaced straight away. I found the bar staff were friendly and helpful, happy to chat when serving duties permitted.

Then came the award, and panic among the CAMRA ranks as the framed certificate could not be found. Eventually it turned up, having slid down the back of a seat. The award was made, speeches given and Jan and Mike's achievement, as well as the work of the staff, duly applauded by everyone. A few minutes later Jan brought the certificate back ~ it had 2008 on it! Someone would have to come back with a replacement. The pub had laid on some snacks, and I had a look at the ordinary menu and thought it reasonably priced. There are regular live music nights that I intend the visit for the purposes of the real music aspect of this blog.

This is an excellent and attractive community local, clearly very popular with its regulars, whether real ale drinkers or not, that serves an excellent, interesting and varied range of real ales. Needless to say, definitely worth a visit. Just over a mile from Town Green station; postcode L39 6TA.

5 comments:

  1. Sounds like most Camra dos I've been to - except there doesn't seem to have been a war-of-words fight. Are they going soft?

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  2. I didn't hear a cross word all night, and the award speech was just the right length too, i.e. short. Going soft? Not so sure about that.

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  3. Wrong date on the certificate? The award was for lancashire region pub of the year 2008. Cant award 2009 until the year is over and the members have voted. Cant expect landlords to know what theyre getting if the branch doesnt explain.

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  4. was going to nick your picture of the Derby but then realised you'd nicked it from me("|")

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  5. I pinched the picture from the CAMRA Branch website, so either you gave the photo to CAMRA or they pinched it from you ~ whoever you are!

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