Monday, 12 November 2018

The Baron's Bar, Southport

The Scarisbrick Hotel, home of the Baron's Bar
The Scarisbrick Hotel is a landmark building on Southport's Lord Street, and is home to the famous Baron's Bar. In the 1980s, this bar was particularly popular as it offered 4 or 5 beers from different breweries. Such a choice is unexceptional today, but back then it made the Baron's unique in the town.

I decided to see what's on offer nowadays and when I called in there were 8 real ales and one real cider, Old Rosie. There are three beers on all the time: Baron's Bitter, the house beer brewed specially by Moorhouses, Moorhouses Pride of Pendle and Tetley Original Cask. The changing guests were: Scaredy Cat and Pendlewitch, both from Moorhouses, Doghouse Citra, Brewhouse Mosaic, and Lancaster Red.

The 'coming soon' board looked interesting with Salopian Pipe Dream, a personal favourite of mine, and George Wright Cheeky Pheasant among those lined up. The three beers I tried were in good form; the real cider I'd sampled on a previous visit and had found it satisfactory. Among the usual range of other drinks, there is a good choice of Scotch whiskies.

The baronial interior
The Baron's Bar is usually described as being in a mock-baronial style, and there is a preponderance of dark wood. Around the bar are displayed dozens of pumpclips from previous guest beers. A beer festival was held in this room last September. The bar is in the heart of the building and has frosted glass on one side, which gives the effect of being cut off from the town centre. A complete contrast is the Scarisbrick Lounge: this is a bright, airy and more modern bar with large clear windows through which you can watch life go by on Lord Street while drinking the real ales from the Baron's. You pays your money and takes your choice. 

Children are admitted until early evening, and dog are allowed too. Happy Hour is from midday to 1.00 pm with a reduction on the Tetley's, the keg cider and a lager. There is free WiFi for customers. The opening hours are 11.00 am to 11.00 pm during the week; on Friday and Saturday the bar closes at midnight.

The Baron's could be called a 'no frills' bar: no food, live music, quizes or TV sport. It just concentrates on serving good, reasonably-priced real ales, and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that.

This is one of a series of articles that I write for the CAMRA column in our local papers, the Southport Visiter and Ormskirk Advertiser. Previous reviews are here.

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