Wednesday 23 November 2011

Research in Bebington

A quick trip across the water to examine a couple of pubs I've not visited before, starting with the Three Stags in Bebington. This turned out to be a standard member of the Ember Inns chain, doing a good lunchtime trade. They had about five handpumps and I enjoyed a pint of Thwaites' Wainwright.

Next I headed down to Lower Bebington village where I was very pleased to discover a pub I didn't even know existed, a fairly rare bonus nowadays, making The Chronicle number 1,756 in the database. A member of the Smith & Jones chain, it's another place concentrating on food but still managing a decent pint of Bombardier.

My third and final call was to Wetherspoon's John Masefield in New Ferry, a medium size member of the chain in a converted shop, serving the usual good value food and real ale. It opened in November 2007 so it's only taken me four years to get there. I had something very nice from Heywood's Phoenix Brewery.

Friday 18 November 2011

Two In Town

Back to Blood Donors again yesterday, so I had to replace lost fluids! I started in the Cross Keys which I haven't visited for ages. Nothing much has changed here, and it was busy with office workers on their lunchbreaks. Only one real ale was available, and I enjoyed a spot on pint of Deuchars IPA.

I needed to visit the Chinese supermarket on Upper Duke Street (Unfortunately they were out of Erguotou.) so a good opportunity to go to the Grapes on Knight Street, another one I haven't been in for a few years. Here once again I found little change, a tiny street corner pub serving excellent ales. One thing has changed though, last time I was there they had three or four handpumps, this time it was nine! I'd not got half way along the bar when I spotted the superb Two Tone Special Chocolate Stout from Northern Brewing in Northwich. No need to examine the rest of the options! What a wonderful beer, a very creamy dark stout, highly recommended. The pub was quiet on a Thursday afternoon, in fact at one point I was the only customer in the place. I'm a little surprised such a small place can keep nine hand pumps going, but if this sample is anything to go by they're doing a great job. Highly recommended, but I think you might be out of luck looking for a seat if there's more than a dozen people in there.