|The recently-opened Beer Den in Crossens
Converted from a shop, the single roomed bar is attractively decorated with a wood panel effect up to waist level and the bar in the far corner. Rick Parker and Debbie were on hand to welcome everyone through the door, and very soon there was a happy buzz of conversation among the many customers who turned out.
Both branches of the Beer Den (the first is nearer the town centre on Duke Street) are run by the Parker Brewery based in Banks. There were three handpumps serving two Parker beers, Saxon Red Ale and Viking Blonde, and a guest beer from Bury's Deeply Vale Brewery, Optimum Best Bitter. Our group found all the real ales to be in excellent condition.
Goose Eye Midway Session IPA, Lowenbrau and Camden Hells Lager were available on tap, and other drinks included the usual spirits, with some specialist gins, wine and a choice of bottled beers in the fridge.
It is good to see a micropub open in a residential area not previously served by any pubs and bars at all. Drinkers in Crossens have previously had to travel to Marshside, Churchtown or even the town centre for a sociable drink and a chat outside the home with friends and family - or even people you don't yet know, as happened to me on opening day.
The Beer Den is at 125 Rufford Road in Crossens; opening hours are:
Fri & Sat: 2-10pm
can find it on Facebook and the brewery's website is here.
If you get hungry after a few drinks, there is a takeaway next door.
► 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. Older articles on local pubs are here.