Thornbridge Brewery and craft beer wholesaler Pivovar have had plans to transform a former branch of Lloyds Bank in Birmingham into their first joint venue approved. The ‘Birmingham Tap’ will open in Autumn 2018 and will be the first of ten venues with others planned in Manchester, York, Leeds, London and Brighton. [more]
Source: Wigan CAMRA News
Several businesses are seeking approval to serve alcohol to punters in busy town centre zones across the borough. On the council’s current list of pending licensing applications, there are five applications for “new premises licences” three of which fall into areas covered by the “cumulative impact policy”. [more]
Source: Wigan CAMRA News
Plans to establish a micro-brewery on the site of a former police station on Castle Hill Road in Hindley have been given the green light by the town hall. The main building is now a dental laboratory and the brewing process will take the place from an existing garage. [more]
Source: Wigan CAMRA News
The “Official unofficial” best beer in Salford competition took place at the recent Eccles RFC Beer & Gin Festival on 17, 18 19 August 2018.
Here are the results as supplied by Martin Parkinson:
The beer was split into 4 categories; Pale Ale & Golden Ale, Bitter, Best Bitter & IPA, and Speciality Beers.
The winner of each category would then go forward to a final judging panel to find the Best Beer of Salford.
Dark Beers are to be judged next year during Winter Months.
Four breweries supplied a beer in each category. One brewer did not have a beer which fell into the Speciality category and therefore only supplied 3.
During the first stage of judging, i.e. for best beer in each category, all beers were tasted by 4 judges.
For the final round of judging, i.e. best overall beer, all beers were tasted by 6 judges.
Judging panels were made up of Eccles RFC club members & CAMRA members.
Beers were scored out of 10 for: clarity, smell, conditioning, taste 1 & taste 2.
Pale Ale & Golden Ale:
Winner – Pale by Pomona Island
Runner Up – Session by Seven Bro7hers.
Winner – 1863 by Hydes,
Runner Up – Red by Outstanding.
Best Bitter & IPA:
Winner – IPA by Seven Bro7hers
Runner Up – IPA by Outstanding
Winner – Peach by Seven Bro7hers
Runner Up – Witbier by Outstanding
Overall Best Beer of Salford Results:
Winner – IPA by Seven Bro7hers
Runner Up – Peach by Seven Bro7hers
Going by volume sales of all the beers, Seven Bro7hers brewery were a clear winner with the highest volume of sales – not difficult when you consider they had a winner or runner up in 3 of the 4 categories.
Joint second place on volume sales were First Chop Brewery & Pomona Island Brewery – I have put them joint as they were within a gallon of each other and the recorded figures were subject to my reading of the dip stick, with a shaky hand and sore head.
A very interesting exercise to say the least.
Thanks to the CAMRA members who took part in the judging.
Eccles RFC open this Saturday
We still have a bit of beer to get rid of, including category winners & runners up. All the beer has been kept under good cellar conditions with casks sealed since Sunday.
As we have a game at home, Eccles Rugby Club will be open Saturday 25th from 13:00 till early evening. Anyone wishing to come and help mop up the surplus are more than welcome. Beer prices will also be reduced from festival prices.
Twenty years of building a business has put a Rochdale pub in the winners’ enclosure as it is judged Greater Manchester’s Pub of the Year.
The Flying Horse adjacent to Rochdale’s magnificent Town Hall was in need of Ben Boothman’s vision when he took it over. Trade at the site started in 1691, but it endured a spell renamed as The Sports before he took the reins. Ben could see the potential to transform the town centre building to provide a destination for drinkers, diners and overnight visitors, as well as an ambition to become the town’s premier free live music establishment. But a long-term commitment to providing the very best real ales underscored his efforts.
Ben is well-known in amateur rugby league circles as he combined turning out in the green and gold colours of Rochdale Cobras alongside his work at the Flying Horse. It’s a real family success as mum Pat has supported Ben throughout, taking charge of the functions as well as finding time to run a popular outside catering business, Quirky Catering. The pub is also a vital supporter of town centre initiatives including Rochdale in Bloom and the recent Feel Good Festival.
Recognised by the Rochdale, Oldham & Bury branch of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) as its pub of the year for the last two years, the Flying Horse first made the Good Beer Guide in 2002. The pub’s growing success saw a doubling in size of its real ales to twelve handpumps, with traditional ciders, craft keg and a selection of foreign beers making it a drinkers’ delight.
CAMRA’s regional director Graham Donning said: “The Flying Horse represents all that a well-loved pub should be. It is supported by its regulars, and attracts visitors for its beer, food and accommodation offers. It has adapted to changing social patterns, but at its heart is a landlord whose commitment to real ale makes the Flying Horse a worthy winner.
“Last year, our regional winner was just pipped at the post, gaining runner-up in the national Pub of the Year. I’m not a betting man but I’m confident this pub will be neck and neck in the final strides!”
The Flyer, as locals call it, lined up against seven other exceptional pubs nominated by the Greater Manchester branches of CAMRA. An expert team of volunteer judges drawn from the 9,400 members in the region visited unannounced and evaluated the qualities of each. They scored the pubs on a variety of weighted features including quality of welcome, value for money, community focus and – most importantly – the quality of beers and ciders.
Regional judging coordinator for CAMRA, Caroline O’Donnell added: “Our judges gave points for the knowledgeable and welcoming service, condition of real ales and ciders, and the innovative use of a digital display board showing beers and tasting notes. Most commented on the building’s interesting features and the lively and friendly atmosphere. It’s great that The Flying Horse champions local breweries, especially the excellent brewers in Rochdale.”
Ben Boothman is thrilled with the award. He said: “This success is down to a fantastic team, headed by my bar manager Jon Hudson. We all share a belief that happy customers will tell everyone about their good experiences. And I’ve been helped by our suppliers and breweries who consistently provide customers with the best food and drink.
“I’m proud of our welcoming atmosphere and delighted the judges mentioned this in their assessments. Keeping and serving our traditional beers and cider in tip-top condition is a matter of personal pride, so it’s fantastic to be recognised as the regional winner.
“I’ve wanted to see Rochdale recognised as a great town for beer choice, and I’ve enjoyed strong support from the local CAMRA branch. There’s a lot of history associated with Rochdale but it has a great future too.”
CAMRA will be presenting the award to Ben at The Flying Horse on Thursday 23rd August at 7.30pm.
1. Each branch decides its pub of the year, and the regional winner is drawn from these. In 2018 the finalists were:
Wigan Central WN3 4DY (Wigan branch)
Blue Bell Inn, Levenshulme M19 3HF (Stockport & South Manchester branch)
This festival is running over three days – Friday, Saturday & Sunday. There will be twenty beers, six ciders and ten gins, as well as hot food, live music and rugby. There is also a competition between the five Salford breweries – “The official, unofficial best beer in Salford”. Entry is only £3 each day or a reduced rate of £2 for club and CAMRA members.
The 24th of July saw the inaugural branch midweek trip to an out of town destination namely Chorley.
Of course midweek trips had been a regular thing for some time but this one was more inclusive to all members of the branch, members whose circumstances meant an afternoon trip on a weekday was possible.
A good half dozen of us turned up and all managed to be on the same train but wouldn’t you know it after weeks of unbroken sunshine the rains finally came and we were met at our destination with a light drizzle, no matter the pubs we visited were all within a short walk of the station.
Passing various places we would be gracing with our presence later we homed in on the Bob Inn guided by Bev who had been on the previous ladies day trip, after claiming not to remember where it was she soon picked up the scent and zoomed straight there.
The Bob Inn sits on the outer ring of shops/stalls of the market so has the bar itself, some outside seating and an inner ‘lounge’ both of these are tiny but the seating was adequate for our small band. Some locals were at the bar but no other customers joined us, it was obviously market day and a steady stream of shoppers would pass by. There was plenty of choice for all with IPA’s and stout which proved popular, the room was adorned with various ornaments including a ‘cuddly stags head’ on the wall and fake bookcase wallpaper.
First of the day had now on to the Flat Iron which was just outside the market, we passed some stalls one of which had two birds of prey on pedestals someone said they were sparrow hawks I wouldn’t know but one had a chicken drumstick in its talons, not a sub-species I would have thought. The Flat Iron had a traditional look to the outside but was clearly modern inside and there was the fake bookcase wallpaper again, beer was cheap though, £4 for two pints.
Outside round the corner to the Shed so called because of the décor, basically tongue and groove panelling, they did serve food but some of our gang missed the sign and brought their own in from the market, the bar people were fine with this which was good of them.
A relatively (0.3M)long walk now a real gem of a pub on the other side of the railway, The Malt’N’Hops once again a stout was available but also pork pies, sandwiches and pickled eggs, the pies and eggs being only being only 50p each. We sat outside but the interior had lots of dark wood and etched and stained glass.
Back across the tracks to the bars we passed earlier the Shepherds Hall Ale House and the Ale Station, you would call these micros I suppose but plenty of choice in each for their size, Bev was quite taken with a shaggy white dog in the latter, I said it looked like my bath mat had come to life.
This concluded our very successful trip out, enjoyed by all and I’m looking forward to future outings in the same vein, the next will be Macclesfield.
DIARY DATE: Presentation at Petersgate Tap SK1 1EB, 2.30pm, Sunday 5th August
Stockport’s modern take on a pub has scooped the title of Greater Manchester’s Cider Pub of the Year.
Opened in September 2016 on the site of a former betting shop, the Petersgate Tap has attracted rave reviews for its innovative range of traditionally-produced ciders alongside a stunning selection of beers and speciality gins. It was nominated by the local Stockport and South Manchester Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) branch for the first time. But despite a challenge from six of the best cider outlets across the region, an expert team of judges marked Petersgate Tap the Greater Manchester winner.
Although real ale takes pride of place on the bar with six handpumps, father and son Alan and Chris Gent were also determined to provide cider and perry drinkers with an excellent choice from the off. They dispense traditional favourites from award-winning producers with a choice of cellar or fridge cooling. Recent offerings include a pair of national gold medal winners from Somerset, Scrummage Cider from Harry’s and Nempnett’s Piglets Perry.
Alan, a long-time CAMRA member said: “Although we’ve won a couple of awards from the local branch, this is our first regional recognition. As well as national winning ciders and perrys from traditional orchards, we’re keen to champion local producers such as Dunham Press and have its organic Dabinett available at present.
“We’ve worked hard to gain a reputation for our ciders and perrys, and are proud to win this title.”
The Petersgate Tap has an active programme of events with accoustic bands, poetry evenings and takes part in Stockport’s Foodie Friday each month. Its commitment to cider is next on show as part of the forthcoming Stockport Beer Week. Charlotte Bulmer will be leading a tutored tasting of nine ciders and perrys on Sunday 30th September.
CAMRA’s regional cider coordinator Mike Gilroy said: “I’m delighted to see a new winner. This award recognises and rewards excellence in promoting and serving our traditional drinks, and encourages others to aim for high standards.
“Our judges were impressed with the welcoming environment, value for money and the quality of the cider on offer. Many mentioned the knowledge of bar staff about the ciders and perrys sold at the Tap, and the encouragement to try unfamiliar products.”
Mike and CAMRA stalwart Phil Moss will present Alan and Chris with the award at the Tap at 2.30pm on Sunday 5th August 2018.
The pub now goes forward to the next round of the competition, with the national Cider Pub of the Year expected to be announced in early October.
In 2018 the finalists were:
Petersgate Tap, Stockport (Stockport and South Manchester branch)
Tap ‘N’ Barrel, Wigan (Wigan branch)
The Font, Chorlton (Trafford and Hulme branch)
New Oxford, Salford ( Salford branch)
Blackedge Brewery Tap, Horwich (Bolton branch)
Samuel Oldknow, Marple (High Peak, Tameside and NE Cheshire branch)