Saturday lunchtime is possibly not the best time to go into Liverpool. The first train was so full it didn't bother to stop, the second one was also wedged but I managed to squeeze on. Compare and contrast: In London the multi-billion pound Elizabeth Line is about to open, complete with gold decorations; in Liverpool we are still squeezing onto half the pre-COVID service. Levelling Up?
Anyway, stepping off my soapbox, I took a mile's walk from the station and soon reached Love Lane Brewery:
It was remarkably full, perhaps I shouldn't be surprised on a Saturday. Standard warehouse conversion decor, bare bricks and steel beams.
The echoey double height main room was filled with chatter and many of the long tables were occupied by people who all seemed to be waiting for their dinner. At the counter I was pleasantly surprised to see four handpumps; only one had beer on (Two idle, one cider) so I had a pint of some delicious murk, their New England IPA. It came in a Higson's glass.
As my pint was being poured a waitress informed me that they couldn't do any food at the moment, fortunately not a problem for a pub research trip. As I swigged my ale lots of food came out and soon the chatter was mixing with the clink of cutlery on plate, so I guess the difficulty was a temporary overload in the kitchen. Perhaps the three full tables of ten or so each were all one party who had ordered at the same time.
Next a short stroll brought me to the second brewery of the day, the ex-brewery that is now "Cain's Brewery Village". I wanted to tick some of the places here which I missed before, plus a number of new ones, and I started in Punch Tarmey's:
I entered by the smaller door on Grafton Street, not the entrance shown above. Once inside it's a very well done atmospheric warehouse conversion with a barrel vaulted ceiling in the part I sat in.
No cask, of course, and the Guinness was an appalling £5.30, but who's counting. The great interior almost makes it worth the price, they really have done a fine job here.
The place was quite busy although there was still plenty of room, and more and more arrived as I enjoyed my beer.
I exited via the gents, passing through two more bars. Perhaps I should add Tarmey's Tunnels, Punch Tarmey's Courtyard and Tarmey's Tavern to my database? Near the toilets you can walk on a glass floor over Higson's original well.
Out of the other entrance (pictured above) and on to another place that wasn't here last time I was; Hippie Chic:
Good grief, the places I go just to update the guide! Rather cleverly decorated to look like tents filled with hanging flowers, very loud music, two bar staff and no customers at all. My pint of Madri was only three quid.
This is where the pub surveyor needs a total lack of self-consciousness: I'm sure the staff were wondering what that old bloke is doing in here, typing on a tablet. Never mind them, they should be grateful that I've substantially increased their sales this afternoon!
Eventually two younger ladies tripled the custom, there was probably a bit more profit in their bottles of Corona or whatever it was.
Through a connecting corridor is my next destination, the Yellow Submarine Bar:
This one wins points for the exterior decor, a yellow submarine obvs. Inside it's also well done, the tubular room decorated with old music posters, gold records and so on. Not the first submarine I've been in, but certainly the first one I've drunk in.
As I arrived I was one of three customers, but there was a steady flow in and out here, some drinking outside in the intermittent sunshine. A reasonable three quid for a pint again.
This pint of Madri came in a standard sleeve unlike the proper goblet next door. It tastes the same, of course.
The soundtrack of sixties hits was rather good, I must say.
There are no toilets in here so I nipped back through the corridor to use the ones in Hippie Chic on my way out.
OK, room for one more, let's try the Black Pearl which I noted last time but didn't visit:
Doesn't look like much from the outside, does it, but once inside you find my idea of a nightclub vibe, and it reminded me somehow of the Rock Jungle in Pittsburgh. Pretty deserted at three in the afternoon apart from a number of people drinking at the tables outside but I bet it does well in the evening.
Obviously no cask so I continued today's theme and had a pint of Madri, in a Madri goblet this time. And three quid again.
As I sat in a booth (complete with candle) enjoying my lager I continued to think this place reminds me of American night clubs. Since I haven't been there for twenty years I'm guessing that means it's "retro"!
The tellies were showing live footie, playoffs of some sort. I stopped paying attention when Everton reached safety on Thursday; not that I was taking much interest before.
Five pints, five new ticks, who can argue with that? My total progressed to 1,384. How long until fourteen hundred?
Miles walked: 2.7
Maybe coming soon: Undecided.