Thursday 15 October 2009

Beers in Liverpool & Churchtown

I was in Liverpool for a meeting yesterday and, having an hour to spare, decided to visit a couple of pubs, as you do. First was the Globe opposite Central Station. There was steady late afternoon custom with locals mostly, and a nice comfortable atmosphere ~ I have written about this great pub before. There were four beers on: Copper Dragon Challenger IPA, Sharps Cornish Coaster, bitters from Cain’s & Black Sheep and Weston's Scrumpy. I had the Sharps, as it's the only one I hadn't tried before. A pleasant 3.6% beer, light in colour and flavour. While I quite liked it, it's not one I would seek out. I do like Copper Dragon IPA, but had decided to move on.

I next went to the Swan in Wood Street, a rock pub since the 1970s. It's actually an unremarkable pub when not busy, as on this occasion, but has tremendous atmosphere later in the evening when it's busy and the juke box is blaring out. When I arrived Ozzy Osbourne was singing "So Tired" on the jukebox, which then fell silent. Seven of the nine hand pumps were on with 6 beers and Weston's Scrumpy; several of the beers were unfamiliar to me. I tried Cottage Fifteen Guinea Special, another light coloured beer, but at 4.7% with more body than the Sharps: I quite liked it but thought it needed to be cooler. However, I'd suggest visiting this pub when it's rocking, later in the evening.

After the meeting, I caught the train to Southport and then the bus to Churchtown, a picturesque urban village north of the town centre. I was going to a CAMRA meeting in the Bold Arms (pictured), which is an old pub going back around 400 years, if not more; it has 4 or 5 drinking areas, with various nooks and crannies. In addition to Tetley Bitter and Mild, there were two guests: Celt Native Storm 4.4% and Wooden Hand Brixham Buccaneer 4.3%. The Wooden Hand was not bad, but I much preferred the Celt, a nice light-coloured, full-flavoured beer, dry but not astringent.

I don't get to the Bold that often as it's out of my way, but the beers I tried were on good form. Although I didn't try it, Tetley Mild features here, a beer that is becoming harder to find and which is - in my opinion - much better than Tetley Bitter.

All in all, a pleasant little exploration of pubs and beers in two quite separate parts of Merseyside.


  1. Such a shame what they did to the Hesketh Arms in Churchtown. Also glad you like the Swan, some fickhead book called it one of the roughest pubs on Britain. Nonsense! It's a cracking, friendly ale house for rock lovers

  2. Roughest pub in Britain? Whoever wrote that has led a sheltered life. I've never seen any trouble in there. I expect the thinking goes: leather jackets & rock music = rough.


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