As usual there were eight real ales and ciders on, all with a 10p discount for CAMRA members - well, those 10 pences do add up. The beer I was on most of the evening was Roosters Fort Smith, a 5.0% IPA, although it's 5.5% according to the brewery's website. I hadn't seen this one before. The website describes it thus: "Named after the town in which Rooster Cogburn lived, Fort Smith is a big and bold India Pale Ale, brewed using Citra and Chinook hops from the USA to create tropical and passion fruit aromas and a lasting, bitter finish." Well, I didn't get the tropical and passion fruit aromas - I rarely detect them, but perhaps that's because my sense of smell is less than perfect - but apart from that, it's a fair description. The bitterness is definitely lasting, to the extent that a final drink of a beer I usually like - the house beer, George Wright's The Lion Returns 3.9% - tasted quite insipid by comparison. Some beers have such a powerful taste that they just cannot be followed, and Fort Smith certainly made a nice change from the insipid golden beers that some brewers produce nowadays.
It had been raining most of the evening, so after my pints of 5% beer, I decided that if it was still wet when the train reached Southport, I'd get a taxi. However, it had stopped when we arrived so, without a good excuse, I walked the mile home.