In Formby again this week to visit the Lifeboat, a JD Wetherspoon house. It was opened in July this year in the ground floor of a private members club, which still operates in the upstairs rooms. It was named after the former Formby Lifeboat Station, said the be the first in the country. It is an attractive brick-built building and the interior decor is light and airy with timber that blends nicely into the overall décor. Behind the pub is a pleasant beer garden and covered shelters for smokers.
Wetherspoons pubs currently have a beer festival running until 23 October, and the real ales on sale when we called in were: Sharp's Doom Bar; Greene King Abbott; Everards Pitch Black; Moorhouse's Blond Witch; Hot Night in the Village; Recreation Ale IPA; Ruddles Best; Phoenix Pale Moonlight; Liberation Pilsner Cask Lager; and Morland Old Crafty Hen. They have Cask Marque accreditation for the quality of their beers. Real cider is also available.
On 29 October the pub is holding a Hallowe'en night, with Moorhouse's - whose beers include Pendle Witches Brew, Blond Witch and White Witch - coming along between 6pm and 8pm. They will be bringing down samples and some of the ingredients they use in the brew, such as hops, and will provide an explanation of the brewing process. The pub also has a brewery tour of the Parker Brewery in Banks coming up, but the details of that are still to be confirmed – please contact the pub if you're interested.
The Lifeboat offers: disabled access; baby changing facilities; free WiFi; and children are welcome. They serve food all day until late and have an open kitchen where you can see your food being prepared. There is also a window through which you can see the beer barrels in the cellar.
Opening hours: Mon-Wed 8 to 11.30; Thu-Sat 8 to Midnight; Sun 8 to11.30. Address: 41 Three Tuns Lane, Formby L37 4AQ. Tel: 01704 830839.
The pub is just over half a mile from Formby station, and Formby circular buses run past the pub. More buses stop just around the corner in Cross Green, including the X2 and 47 on the Liverpool-Southport route. No car park. This is part of a series of articles that I am writing for the CAMRA column in our local paper, the Southport Visiter. Previous reviews are here.