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Showing posts from April, 2017

Lakes, Ales, and a Road Trip to Boot....

I went back to the Lake District this week for a few days break in one of my favourite parts of the country. This gave me the chance to check out what was happening on the local pub and beer scene, which, with the odd exception, did not disappoint.

I had to call in at Ambleside to sort out some new walking shoes, so I decided I would get my visit to this crowded spot out of the way and then it was done. This meant I approached via the A591, which gave me the chance to pop into the Watermill at Ings, which is set back on a lane just off the main road. It is a comfortable pub with its own on-site Watermill Brewery, whose ales tend to have doggy-related names. It was pleasant enough to sit out in the little beer garden and enjoy the sunshine. Welcome to the Lakes!

My business done in Ambleside, I headed the 8 miles or so to Coniston where, as usual, I was staying. Duly checked in, I headed up to one of my favourite pubs, the Sun Hotel. As usual, the bar did not disappoint. 8 handpumps in…

And The Beat Goes On....

I visited the lovely old Victoria Theatre in Halifax the other evening, which also provided the opportunity to visit the Victorian Craft Beer Cafe situated a stone's throw away. This is a comfortable place with seating and nooks and crannies on a number of levels, with around 8 beers on cask, 10 on keg, and a couple of ciders, as well as the usual wines and spirits. The beer choice is top notch, featuring the likes of Salopian, Track, Squawk, and Hawkshead on a regular basis, and on this visit I enjoyed an excellent pint of Jarsa from Brew York, as well as a 4.2% pale from the wonderful Black Iris brewery who have recently re-located to Nottingham. The Victorian has been open just over a couple of years, and until last year, pretty much had the town centre of Halifax to itself. It says something that despite the pressure from the fantastic micro pubs that have sprung up in the town over the past 12 months - The Grayston Unity, the Alexandra, and the Pump Room - the Victorian has u…

Monkeys, Mackems, and Dragons....

Hartlepool is not a place I have visited many times, and situated off the A19 at the end of the A689 as the Durham coastline gives way to the sea, it is not really on the way to anywhere. An old rumour has it that during the Napoleonic Wars, a French ship sunk nearby and the only survivor was a monkey, which the crew had dressed in a French sailor's uniform. The locals, never having seen either a French sailor or a monkey, assumed it was the former and proceeded to execute it by hanging, which gave rise to the derisory nickname for the locals of 'monkey hanger', particularly used, not surprisingly, by inhabitants of neighbouring towns!

Hartlepool though is well worth a visit, having a fine industrial heritage, plenty of history, a marina, and some interesting old buildings. And, situated in a room at the town's railway station it also boasts one of the original micro pubs, the Rat Race, which opened around 2009. In the intervening period over 1,300 beers have been sold,…