Formby, a few miles south of Southport, consists of a village surrounded by large dormitory estates. It has often been described as a real ale desert in the past. Fred and I decided to check a few Formby pubs to deliver the local CAMRA mag, Ale & Hearty and see whether we could get any more adverts.
Our first stop was the Grapes on the corner of Ryeground Lane and Green Lane. It is a large, comfortable pub that is clearly food-based. The beers they had on were Bombadier and Pedigree, with a Landlord clip turned around on a third hand pump. Usual suspects perhaps, but if you have a limited range, beers like that sell.
The Cross House in Three Tuns Lane had a surprise: as well as Greene King IPA and Old Speckled Hen, there was BrewDog Rip Tide, a stout. You don't see BrewDog in this area very often, so this was a pleasant surprise, and a very well-balanced and flavoursome drink it was too.
The verdict on the Formby pubs we visited was favourable overall, and the Railway and the Feshfield are very close to railway stations; it's certainly no real ale desert. I'm reliably told that Formby Conservative Club, also on Three Tuns Lane, is very good for beer too, but for obvious reasons, I haven't checked it personally!
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