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Showing posts from August, 2017

Hats Off to Stockport....

There was a strange silence and stillness as I left Stockport Railway Station. Nobody was about, there was no birdsong, and I could hear no traffic noise. A few minutes later, the heavens opened and an almighty shower ensued, complete with unseasonal hailstones. I managed to shelter under an overhang of the Garrick theatre, opened up the Good Beer Guide app on my phone, and planned out a route for when, or if, the storm ended.

Finally, the storm subsided and the rain became light enough to emerge from my shelter. I had planned to carry on walking down Wellington Road, past the Hat Museum - Stockport was once a major centre for hat-making - and then up to the Magnet, but unfortunately the route was blocked by building work. So I needed a Plan B. I walked on Petersgate and something that I had read in the local CAMRA magazine 'Opening Times' jumped into my head. There was a new bar called the Petersgate Tap! As if by magic it appeared on the right. The Petersgate Tap is a comfor…

Goat Milks It as Tiger Fades Away....

A new Supreme Champion Beer is crowned, as a long-established beer moves to a new home....

This week the Great Beer Festival has been taking place at Olympia in London, and, as is the tradition, voting took place to decide the best beers, with one of them being chosen as overall Supreme Beer of Britain. And this year, following the success of Bingham's Vanilla Stout in 2016, it was another beer from the Midlands which scooped the prestigious title.

This time it was Goat's Milk, a well-balanced 3.8% pale bitter from the Church End Brewery which is situated between Nuneaton and Coleshill. Whilst it has been around for quite a while - the brewery dates back to 1994 when it was set up in an old coffin shop in the village of Shustoke - I think it is fair to say that Church End, whose beers often have church-related names such as Vicar's Ruin and Fallen Angel, has been somewhat under the radar compared to some more publicity-minded breweries, which makes the win all the more ple…

A Piece about Halifax....

Stunning restoration brings Halifax's past back to life....

The Piece Hall is an amazing Grade 1-listed building in the middle of Halifax which over the years has lived a somewhat chequered life.

It dates from 1779 when it was built as a market hall where 'pieces' of hand-woven woollen cloth were traded by the local weavers. Halifax was the dominant town in the North for wool in those days and the local merchants wanted a building that reflected their pre-eminence. They wanted the best, nothing less would do, and so the local wool barons paid the princely sum of £12,000 for the construction of an Italian-inspired colonnaded hall around an open square. Because it was built on a slope there were two levels on the upper side and three on the lower, with small rooms behind each walkway and balcony. It was a spectacular place at the heart of the woollen trade, and now remains as the only building of its kind in the country.

Gradually, though, over the years, the focus of the wo…