Southport – Mobile Again

Well, here I am in Southport having had lunch with dad in the Willow Grove, Wetherspoons. The Beef Madras was excellent and to carry on the Indian theme my accompanying beer, which wasn’t too bad either, was … Thornbridge Jaipur.

Happy Days!

Now in the Tap & Bottles with a lovely pint of Clouded Minds ‘N253’ (new brewery to me). Very drinkable (always a positive thing in a drink I find).

Found a new friend in the Tap too … meet Luna.

Oh, and I’ve got my foldaway Bluetooth keyboard. Hence my first Blog for an eon. 

Happy Days2! 

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Been a while …

Have been without a capable phone for almost a 18 months. That has made Blogging on the go impossible, but now i have an okay phone then I could well be back with a few blogs.

Watch this space …

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Hop On, Hop Off: Hops In

Off on the Southport Run this afternoon. For those that don’t know this involves getting the train to Southport, getting a couple of pints there then hopping back on the train to Liverpool.

Oh, and getting off at stops that have real ale options near to the station for a pint. Hop on, hop off, and hops in as it were.

It’s been a few years since I’ve done it and the options have vastly improved at the northern end of the run with the addition of the Tap & Bottles in Southport, the Barrel House in Birkdale and the Grasshopper in Hillside. As far as I know Ainsdale still doesn’t have good options, which is a place crying out for a new pub or micro pub isn’t it?

Of course after that there’s The Freshfield and the Railway in Formby. Then the options around Crosby (the Cornerpost) and Waterloo (StampsToo, Volunteer etc). As for Liverpool, depending on verticality issues, well, we’ll see.

Will try and post updates on here (no chance around the signal black hole of Freshfield of course). If not will update tomorrow and will of course Tweet and Instagram photos. @realeliverpool

Anticipated crawl:

  • Baron’s Bar
  • Tap & Bottles
  • Barrel House
  • Grasshopper
  • Freshfield
  • The Railway
  • The Hightown
  • Cornerpost
  • Stamps Too
  • Lion

(Subject to beer related bright ideas)

Like I say, subject to change. One of the last times I did this crawl I started in the Mason’s Arms (with a group of beer drinking ladies!). So thought I’d give it a go again. Three cask taps… all off. 

So popped to closest other option The Willow Grove. A typical Wetherspoon’s, on Lord Street. Decent pint of Hawkshead Lakeland Gold. Nothing of note really, apart from someone asking for a taster of that unusual ale ‘Doom Bar’. I ask ya!

Then it was on to the Baron’s Bar in the Scarisbrick Hotel, Lord St. This is where I first started my ale drinking back in the late 1980s when I was at KGV Sixth Form. Oh the memories.

Anyway, decent choice of ales. A few Moorhouse and Southport Brewery options. Settled for the latter and their Golden Sands. Incredibly it’s cheaper than Wetherspoons – £2.19 a pint.

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New Keyboard, New Possibilities

Bought a foldable Bluetooth keyboard and it is the dogs doo dahs! 

So that means that it is a lot easier to type up stuff whilst out and about – like this.

I am currently in the Pen Factory where there is some lovely ale on – including Ossett ‘Inception’ and ‘Golden Ale’, Tiny Rebel ‘Ryu’ and Rock the Boat ‘Dazzle’. Top choices and it’s sunny and there’s room in the garden.

Huzzah!

   

After tryng my first Rock the Boat ‘Dazzle’ and a nice chin wag about beer, cricket and the US of A with a couple of locals I went on to the Caledonia. The Cali is one of my most favoritest pubs in Liverpool for the ambience and the music. But not always for the beer quality. Happy to report that the Hop Hop Hop from Allgates was on fine form. 

Hop Hop Hop in the Caledonia

The lickle long dogs were on fine form too.

 

To follow the Cali it was on to the Blackburne. Four ales on – two Parker Ales, a Steam Box and Dazzle again fom Rock the Boat.

The Kinks are playing (think it’s a CD and not that they are practising upstairs) and I went for a Centurion.

(still loving the keyboard)

Centurion in the Blackburne

From there it was obviously downhill and round the nearby corner to the Belvedere. Fab there to see George Wright ‘Pipe Dream’ on. Bit surprised to see Rock the Boat ‘Dazzle’ on – three pubs out of four?! hats of to their sales staff!

  Finally it was a quick one in the Fly in the Loaf. Had a Revisionist (Marstons) West Coast IPA. Not outstanding but then again quite drinkable too.
Bonus was to sit outside on the single table remaining. (Staff had started to clear outside before 9pm – Dom must have had a day off).

 

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The Crawl Less Travelled

Decided to have a different walk around town last week. Instead of the usual top Liverpool pubs with guaranteed pint size glasses of loveliness I chose a few other hostelries less frequently visited on the ale trail.

First off was the Victoria Cross on Victoria Street (sister pub to the Richmond). It was sparsely populated with obvious regulars. Of the six taps there were four ales on – it was a Monday after all – and the beers were all quality: Southport Carousel, Brimstage Trapper’s Hat, Tatton White Queen and Thwaites Wainwright.

I went for the Carousel (easing in to the crawl after all). It was on fine form and reasonably priced at £2.70. I’ll be back sometime I dare say.

Wrote down a list of pubs to consider for #thecrawllesstravelled and started tweeting about it too. Of course. I’m a Twitter obsessive after all.

  
The second pub was the Exchange Bar on Old Hall Street. It looks quite old fashioned and unappealing from the outside but I used to go there quite a lot when I worked on Tithebarn Street in the 1990s. It hasn’t changed.

There were only two beers on: Thwaites Wainwright and Lancaster Bomber.

  
I went for the Bomber for a change – £2.60. Okay but not sparkling.

Next up was a more traditional pub, another regular from the 1990s, The Pig & Whistle. A nicer cosier more interesting pub than the Exchange. Let down by a single issue. The two taps were off. So it was off and out…

Ma Boyles over by St Nics was much more welcoming for an ale drinker. There were three taps with two beers on: Robinson’s ‘Trooper’ and Vocation ‘Chop & Change: Chinook’. Went for the Vocation which was a new one for me. It was lush! The crawl was looking up. For info it was £3.40 a pint.

  
Had a good chat with the enthusiastic manager who used to work at the Philharmonic pub – when it was good.

Contemplated staying for another, but that would have knocked another pub from the little travelled crawl so decided better of it. And I will be back to Boyle’s no doubt!

Another blast from the past was The Cornmarket. One of the oldest pubs (or two pubs) in the city. Again a lovely venue. Has a nice beer garden – very much a rarity in Liverpool pubs. It was almost empty. But it was mid-afternoon on a Monday so it would be.

Ales on were not inspiring at all – national brands. Went for the Atlantic which was okay, but not on good form. Was happy to leave and unlikely to rush back.

The Beehive by Chapel Street was another 1990s haunt – largely to watch footy or on a Friday post work night; was a Guinness then with young people but not today.  Two bland nationals on, which I won’t bother publicising. Still, I stopped for one and at least I could sit outside and people watch for half an hour

.

  
Heard some good things about the Lime Kiln lately but it was the first time I’ve been in since I had a poor experience over a year ago. And lo! that experience was all but forgotten when I found Jaipur was on… with a 50p voucher it was cheaper than discounted milk. Happy boy. I’ll be back!

For the last pint it was round the corner to the infamous Swan. An okay pint of Saphir Single Hop, but to be honest I was still recoiling from my accidental Jaipur.

   

All in all some disappointing pubs – which I suppose there would be (or else it would be the crawl MOST travelled). But finding the ales on at the Lime Kiln and the excellent ale (and service) at Ma Boyle’s will take me back to these places again. And I would recommend not sticking rigidly to the same pubs; you never know what you may find…

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Chester Day Trip

I am working this weekend so having Thursday and Friday as my weekend. That being the case today is my Saturday and I am off for a few bevs in Chester.

First time out with the new iPhone so will be learning about that a little eg battery life, photography, and WordPress of course.

A few shots of pubs and half full glasses guaranteed (certainly not half empty glasses).

To be continued…

 

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Updates and lack of them

I’ve not been doing well with these ‘fortnightly’ updates since I started the driving job have I?

Well, there’s been less drinking of course, but still there’s no excuse for not being able to have a blog up that (ir)regularly. So I will endeavour to get that back on track for the rest of the year – even if just little splashes in a half pint glass.

Currently sat in the Dispensary with a wonderful pint of Oakham Citra on way to my writing group meeting. On a school night – a rare pleasure.

See you soon….

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