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Beer Garden Weather....

We had some welcome warm sun over last weekend, which sent many people heading off in search of pubs with beer gardens to enjoy an alfresco drink.... What a difference a bit of sun makes. The garden centres get busy, the supermarket shelves are stripped of salad, bottles of wine, and large boxes of beer, the drone of a distant lawn mower or hedge trimmer can be heard, and the distinct smoky whiff of a barbecue drifts seductively through the air. And for those pubs and bars with a beer garden or some other outdoor space, there is the anticipation of more custom. And of course more pubs and bars these days have an outdoor space they can call their own. The relaxing of last year's lockdown on April 12th which only permitted drinking to be done outside led to a spike in demand for picnic tables, outdoor seating, and, for those with more space to play with, marquees, gazebos, and the like. For a few weeks thereafter we would sit, wrapped up in our winter clothing, some under a blanket f

Micropubs and Nightingales....

A few days ago, Facebook Memories brought up a blog post I wrote 7 years ago about Calan's micropub in Hebden Bridge. As it happened, I was in Hebden again last week, and here's how I spent the evening there.... There was a heavy drizzle in the air as the 1849 from Brighouse pulled into Hebden Bridge's rather attractive Victorian railway station. I put the hood up on my jacket and walked out past the car park towards the main road, pausing to look at the view along the canal towards the hillside beyond, a view that is always delightful whatever the weather and whatever the time of year. This time, the lush greens and early coppers of spring complemented the old stone buildings, mellowed by time, barges silently  clinging to the towpath, an odd puff of smoke emanating here and there, as a small dog sniffed and snuffled on an early evening walk with its owner. Hebden Bridge I reached the main road, crossed over, and turned left. A few minutes later, I was walking the steps up

There's A Storm Brewing....

News was circulating the other day that popular Manchester-based brewery Beatnikz Republic had ceased trading. Very sad news, but in the light of the current cost of living crisis will there be further bad news for pubs and breweries? Here's some thoughts... We have sadly become accustomed to pubs closing for good on a regular basis over the years and no doubt we can all cite plenty of examples in our own areas of many that have been sold off and converted to other uses, some housing, others offices, shops, restaurants, whilst some have been razed to the ground for the sake of one building project or another as others lie empty, awaiting their fate. Indeed, I passed one of those, the Jolly Angler in Ancoats, when I was in Manchester the other week. The now-closed Jolly Angler, Ancoats, Manchester On that same trip, we called in at the popular Beaknikz Republic bar on the corner of Tarriff Street and Dale Street in the Northern Quarter. It was buzzing on a sunny Good Friday afternoo

A Roam Over To Buxton....

A first-time blogging trip to a lovely spa town set high in the Peak District hills. And whether you visit the town to take the mineral waters, attend the Opera House, or use it as a base to explore the beautiful countryside nearby, there are plenty of pubs and bars with some excellent beers to enjoy while you are there. Welcome to Buxton.... Buxton had been on my to do list for several months, but it hadn't really cropped up in my thoughts for a while. However, I had picked up a copy of Opening Times , the excellent magazine produced by Stockport and South Manchester CAMRA branch on a recent trip to Manchester, and in it there was an interesting tour around a number of places in the town which looked pretty good and it set me off looking at the train timetable. With a football-free Saturday coming up, I decided I would make the trip over there sooner rather than later. And the visit seemed even more apposite when I realised that this particular weekend marked the 90th anniversary

A Good Friday In Manchester....

I went out on Good Friday with a group of friends, reviving an event that has been a regular happening over the past couple of decades or more whereby we travel to a northern city and visit some of its finest drinking establishments. After a covid-induced hiatus, our first trip since 2019 took us to Manchester.... There had been a growing sense of anticipation. Ever since the trappings of Covid started to fade away, conversation started to turn to where to go on Good Friday, and pretty soon Manchester became the location of choice. It had also been where we had been last time around, and has certainly been a regular port of call on the trips I have made, but Leeds and Wakefield have also featured in recent years. The original trips took place before I moved to Brighouse, with the participants featuring a cohort of regulars from the Red Rooster in nearby Brookfoot, but there have always been a number who came from other parts of West Yorkshire with the intention of sampling some of the

A Grand Night in Huddersfield....

I only made the short trip to Huddersfield the other week when I went to the newly-reopened County, but I have been back to visit a couple of old favourites and to call in at a beer festival at a much-loved local brewery.... I had not been to Huddersfield very often recently, what with lockdowns and all that, but a couple of weeks after calling at the new Beerhouses pub, The County, I was back, visiting a couple of previously frequent stopping off places. One of them was The Grove, situated about 10 minutes walk away from the train station, where I had arrived in the town after watching Halifax Town gain a fortuitous win against Woking in the National League. To add to a poor performance by Town, it was a game that was peppered with dodgy tactics by the away team and a shocking performance by the referee. So to avoid becoming embroiled in any potential collective meltdown in the post-match discussions I decided to get away after a quick pint at the Three Pigeons. The Grove, Huddersfiel