I was at the Fylde Folk Festival in Fleetwood last weekend. I didn't have a ticket and so looked to the fringe, where there were quite a few free gigs, singarounds and tunes sessions going on. I gravitated to those in the Strawberry Gardens in Poulton Road. This pub boasts that it has up to 12 real ales and 6 real ciders, and it has won several CAMRA awards. They have also put in a planning application to build a brewery on the site so that Fleetwood Brewing Company can brew up its own beer, First Trawl, locally, rather than under license at Burnley as it is now. If you're ever in Fleetwood, I recommend a visit to this pub.
The pub hosted live gigs downstairs during the festival and upstairs there were informal singarounds that I joined in. The range of beers was excellent, and most were £2.30 a pint for CAMRA members. The two I had the most often were the Cumberland Brewery Corby Blonde, a 4.2% beer, well-balanced with a distinct hoppy flavour and Cross Bay Sunset, described as a Blonde ale, also 4.2% and with a citrus taste to it. I hadn't had the Cumberland before; it's not to be confused with Jennings Cumberland. Cumberland Brewery is in Carlisle and Cross Bay in Morecambe. If you're drinking all day, as you tend to do at a festival, then 4.2% is a good strength that doesn't put you flat on the floor in the evening.
When I arrived at the festival, I was asked by one of the organisers whether I'd like to do a spot on Saturday at the Late Night Cabaret, which began at 11.30pm, and I ended up going on after 1.00am. The venue, the New Boston Hotel, had only one real ale, Thwaites Little Bewdy, a 4.2 % (again) pale ale brewed with Australian hops. I thought that, being Thwaites, it would merely be okay, but it was surprisingly good, with something of a fruity flavour. The pump clip carried on the Australian theme with a silhouette of a kangaroo and cricket stumps.
After I had returned to Southport, I went to my local and there I saw saw among the guest beers, Cross Bay Sunset. I can only conclude that Fate was driving us together.
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